M.B.A - Master of Business Administration is a degree which will never go out of fashion. It is the most coveted profession. Common Admission Test (CAT), is the common entrance exam that you have to take to get admission to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, and Kozhikode. Many other institutes like, MICA, Nirma Institute of Management, S.P. Jain Institute, also draw out their candidates based on the performance in CAT.
The exam itself consists of four parts which are Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Problem Solving and Data Interpretation. All the questions are multiple choice and you should shade your choice of answer (only with a HB pencil) in the computer coded answer sheet. For every correct answer, one mark is awarded and for every wrong answer 1/4th of a mark is deducted.
With CAT only few days away, it would be wise not to waste time working on anything new. In the next few days, just revise your fundamentals and take few full length or module tests. While revising, put stress on varied application of the same concept. Check if there is a better way of doing a question. At this stage, your study hours should be down to a minimum of 2-3 hours a day and all that you should work towards improving your concentration.
The Optimum Strategy
There should be no fiddling with your Test-taking strategy at this late stage. As long as you know that the strategy you are using is giving you rewards, don't change it… For example, you would know if your best bet is to scan a passage and then move onto to the questions, while another person could be more at ease scanning questions before going onto the passage. So just stick to whatever works best for you.
Analyse the Tests
Test-taking is the most important aspect of your preparation now. Take two or at the most three tests a week. Test-taking should be followed by an in-depth analysis of the complete paper. Analyse what mistakes you have committed and how you will rectify them. Also check the questions that you have missed, and whether you have missed any 'easy' question! That will help in your choice of questions later. Remember, CAT is not about last minute cramming and revising. It's about being alive and mentally alert, here and now.
For CAT- Day
One of the biggest pitfalls is that as students we always search for short cuts, asking 'which is the easiest way out and which are the easiest questions?' A critical issue here is the tremendous urge to skip questions. We tend to lose concentration at different stages during the exam and tend to skip questions because of the pressures of time. But things get better if you follow a couple of golden rules. If you want to identify the questions to attend, it is imperative that you read all the questions.
Learn to relax
CAT is not the end of your life. Many a time, very high potential students have not made it to the IIMs because they could not handle the pressure. So unwind, go for movies, do things that help you relax, go for walks, listen to soothing music, meditate…. People who stick it out, hang in there and continue to peg away will make it.