“Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.”
2020, a year full of happenings. A global pandemic, lockdown, isolation, and whatnot. For the students who are going to sit for the Common Admission Test 2020 and are looking forward to getting into their dream B-schools, it is definitely a testing time. CAT is one of the toughest and the most competitive exams in India with lakhs and lakhs of students trying their level best to excel and make it to the crème de la crème. And to make a cut at something so competitive, it not only requires the right dedication and attitude but also the right strategy. As Lee Bolman said, A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.
What to do? How to start? Where to start? Whom to seek help from amidst this lockdown?
To bring some respite to the CAT aspirants and answer these questions, we will share the top preparation tips to crack CAT 2020 in this article.
Like the famous Clint Eastwood movie ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’, any of the three sections of the Common Admission Test can be Good for some, Bad for a few and Ugly for others. The exam pattern is such that anyone (be it an Arts graduate, a Tech graduate, or a Commerce graduate) can sit for it and excel. But the key is to identify the strength areas. For example (and not typecasting) – An English Literature Graduate will be more at ease with VARC than an Engineer or a Commerce Graduate. Similarly, an Engineer or a Commerce Graduate will be more at ease with Quantitative Aptitude than an Arts Graduate. Candidates often focus on their weaknesses and devote very little time to perfecting something they are already good at. One must remember that their strength areas are the ones that are going to take the major chunk of pressure off their minds and are going to fetch them the maximum marks.
“Give time to your weak areas but whilst doing so, do not take your attention away from your strength areas.”
Rome was not built in a day. Similarly, it would require days and days of constant practice to convert the weakness into a strength. Identify the topics where you do not fare well on the very first day itself. Do not deal with them in the eleventh hour. Do not procrastinate. Identify and start working immediately so that you get enough time to perfect the art of solving the problems.
” The key is to strike a perfect balance between honing your strengths and working on your weaknesses so that on the D-Day you are not left with an Achilles heel.”
Mock Tests are like the military exercise which prepares one for the worst. One cannot be air-dropped in the war-zone with an expectation to face the enemies without any prior training or know-how. The biggest mistake most students make is that they don’t take mock tests seriously and, on the exam day, they go completely blank as soon as a difficult situation arrives. Giving mock tests on a daily basis would not only enhance the mindset of an examinee but would also prepare them to face the extreme pressure situation of an exam hall. Giving mocks constantly would help students control their nerves and would make them adept at facing various difficult questions without losing their cool. Apart from mocks, do practice the previous 5-10 years’ question papers.
“Mock tests would help you to prepare for the most nervous moments of CAT. So never skip them from your daily routine.”
Only giving mocks will not suffice. You are not done with your CAT preparation until and unless you analyze your mocks. Devote at least 90 minutes each day to analyze them. Understand your mistakes. Try and find out the areas where you are faltering and rectify them. This will not only help you to explore the depths of your subjects but would also mitigate the possibilities of replicating similar mistakes in the future.
“Mock Tests are your best friend if you wish to ace CAT. The more time you spend with your best friend, the better you’ll get at understanding them.”
Often the CAT aspirants are confused between what study material to go for and what not. And finally, they end up buying a plethora of them, which end up being unused after the CAT is done. The pro-tip is to stick to one author. There are many good ones like Arun Sharma, Nishit K. Sinha, and Sarvesh Verma. However, we recommend Arun Sharma the most.
“The crux is not to get confused while selecting a set of study material. Most of them are on the same page and would help you ace your test.”
The aspirants should stop putting too much burden on themselves. As the great Sachin Tendulkar once said, A little pressure is always good, it helps you to stay focused on your game. But overburdening oneself and crumbling under pressure is not going to lead you to success. Always have a positive attitude. Enjoy the learning process. Take short breaks. Follow your hobbies. Listen to your favorite music. Watch your favorite show. Eat your favorite delicacy. Exercise! Meditate! And come back with a fresh mindset to achieve your goal.
“Key to success is good mental health. Stay positive and fresh to stay successful.”
It all depends on how well you manage your time. If we take into account the 3 hours of Mock Test and 1:30 hours of Mock Analysis, topped with 1-2 hours of going through the study material, chipping in 5-6 hours to prepare for CAT on all weekdays would suffice.
It all depends on your mindset. There are examples of non-engineers not only excelling at CAT but also scoring 100 percentiles.
All the top preparation tips to crack CAT 2020 include a recommendation of solving mock tests as often as possible. While most of the mock series are on the same page, the top three picks would definitely be TIME, IMS, and Career Launcher mock test series.
Here is a list:
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