CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the toughest exams in India for business studies with more than two lakh candidates competing for seats in 20 IIMs and other renowned institutes such as FMS, DMS, etc. It tests the candidates on the basis of their Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension(VARC) as well as their Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) skills. But that’s not enough! The most crucial aspect of CAT is that it is a test of the candidates’ speed and accuracy.
In such a competitive scenario, thorough preparation is required. And the most important aspect of this preparation is giving mock-tests regularly. In fact, the importance of giving mocks cannot be emphasized enough! If there is any shortcut to cracking CAT then it would only be giving as many mocks as possible. But it is not enough to give the mocks, the more important part is analyzing them later to understand your strengths and weaknesses for constant improvement. That is the reason this article deals with the method to Attempt and Analyse Mock-Tests for best results.
The First Mock-Test
- Before you start your preparation, every aspirant should give one mock unprepared. The reason for giving this mock is to understand what CAT is all about. It will help you understand what you know and what you don’t.
- While giving this mock, analyze the sections that require an extra effort in terms of both concepts and practice and the sections that require just practice.
- The importance of this activity may appear futile at the time but it cannot be emphasized enough. And yes, you will want to get up while giving this mock but DON’T. Give that exam like you would on 24th November. This mock is the benchmark of how far you would go in the coming months.
- Now that you know the syllabus and have started preparing for CAT, as soon as you are done with a section make sure you give its sectional mock.
- After two weeks give another sectional mock on the section you have completed as this will help you both revise and since each person is unique, it will also help you know your own retention power.
- Giving sectional mocks will make sure that you are aware of all the types of questions which can be asked from that topic. This is necessary as full-length mocks have a total 34-32 questions from all the sections which won’t prepare you to strengthen all the sections.
Full length Mock-Tests
- First thing to remember while giving the full-mocks is that you should NOT have any distractions near you. Switch off your phone, ask your family not to disturb you, don’t get up to pee or drink water because you won’t be allowed to in exam. The closer your environment is to the actual paper, the closer you are to your goal.
- While giving the mocks, DON’T GUESS, attempt what you are sure of because your goal is not to score here but, in the exam, the only person you will be tricking by guessing is yourself and that’s the worst thing you can do to yourself.
- DON’T be demotivated by this score, this is just the beginning and with each mock, you will only get better and better as the only way to go from here is up.
- Be regular in giving mocks depending on your preparation so far, you need to ensure that you have given enough mocks so that your percentile is CONSISTENTLY in the range you desire.
- Go Round-Robin: Start from question number 1 read it, see if you can do it in a minute or less i.e. if its formula based and there are not multiple cases and possibilities then go ahead and solve it. If you think you can solve it, but it will take 2-3 minutes just note it down on the rough notebook provided. Repeat this for all the 34 or 32 questions depending on the section. By this time, around 30 minutes would have elapsed and assuming an average paper you would have attempted around 15-18 question. Now two things have happened, with decent accuracy you have managed to get around 97 percentile and have seen all the questions.
- In round 2, look at the list you have prepared, attempt all the questions you have marked which were easy but would take 2-3 minutes. The good thing about this strategy is that your mind will subconsciously be working to solve these questions and you will be able to solve them even faster than you would have, had you solved them on the first go. By the time you complete it there is a very good possibility that the time will be up but if you manage to solve a couple of the hard ones then kudos to you.
Analyzing the Mock-Tests
- Please analyze the mock tests. Yes, it’s repeated for a reason, that’s how important this is. Giving a mock and not analyzing it is like trying to push the waves back in an ocean. Futile.
- While analyzing mocks first thing you need to see is the question you thought you did right but was actually wrong. These are the dangerous areas which you have false confidence about. These areas require special attention as these areas result in a score of -4 (-3 because you were counting on it and -1 because it took away from what you had attempted right.)
- Next you have to work in areas that you didn’t know about. It can either be an entire section or a type of question. Either way, make sure the next time you come across that question you are able to solve it.
- Last, you must compare the time taken. Did you take more than expected time? Then there must be a trick you don’t know about. So, you need to search for that. Make sure you are forever working on faster ways to solve questions and evolving your approach.
Resources for giving Mock-Tests
Mock-Tests, both sectional and full-length, are an integral part of CAT preparation as is obvious from this article. To help you for your CAT preparation, GeeksforGeeks has created the CAT Preparation Course 2019 which is a FREE course with 1500 questions on all three sections of the CAT exam along with 27 Sectional Mock Tests and 3 Full-length Mock Tests. These mock-tests cover all possible topics in the CAT syllabus so that you get a well-rounded preparation that is integral for acing the CAT exam.
CAT Preparation Course 2019 will help the CAT aspirants track and improve the preparation through questions of various difficulty levels. There will be 3 full-length mock tests covering the whole syllabus of CAT. Tracks will cover the theory and quizzes related to all the topics while the Sectional Contests will have time-bound questions on those topics. The explanations for all the questions will be provided at the end of each quiz and tests. There will be 27 Sectional Mock Tests and 3 full-length Contests.
Register now for the CAT Preparation Course 2019 course by clicking on the button below.