Achieving Success in CAT – 5 Important points to be kept in mind

The journey to cracking CAT is one full of mistakes and failures. But what is more important is to learn from those mistakes and come out better prepared every time. I would not call it mistakes to avoid rather the mistakes to do and learn from. Just remember one thing, even after all these failures and low points in your preparation journey, never lose faith in your abilities. It is important to stay motivated and optimistic throughout.
" The only real mistake is the one from which you learn nothing"
- Henry Ford
Below mentioned 5 points capture the essence of my CAT preparation journey.
1. Getting to know my strengths and weaknesses
I believe that some of us are good at the quant section whereas some of us are good at the verbal section. Understanding my strength and weakness as regards the subject areas for CAT preparation helped me to work in the right direction.I believe that mock tests are a part of the preparation journey. I did not wait for the whole syllabus to be complete but I started attempting mocks after few months of preparation. Analysis of the mocks helped me to plan and work on my weak areas. A combination of questions from different topics and of various difficulty levels gives a true picture of your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Covering the entire syllabus for CAT/ Non- CAT MBA entrance exams
The first step in my preparation journey involved a thorough analysis of the MBA entrance exam syllabus. After noting important details of the syllabus and the weightage of different topics thoroughly, I understood which topics are more important from the exam point of view.But I did not leave any topic completely. I made sure that I cover at least the basic concepts of each topic and then move ahead with my schedule and starteddevoting more time to the preparation of important topics. A lot of times in CAT, very easy and direct questions come from difficult topics, so if you have your basics covered then boom an additional +3 in a topic which you had planned to skip. I also had in mind that for the Group Discussion and Written Ability Test I had to enhance my knowledge of current affairs.Therefore, I used to read newspapers and read articles online regularly to keep myself updated with the latest news stories.
3. A Weekly Planner or time-table is a must
By failing to plan, you are planning to fail.
I had put a planner and I startedfollowing it diligently. I started my CAT preparation according to the timetable. A decent timetable should cover everything from initial concept sessions, practice assignments, test days, revision time, and ample fun breaks. Also, it is okay to not go as per plan on some days and skip a few things, you can always reschedule them. I firmly believe in the importance of a schedule/timetable as then we don’t waste time and focus on the task at hand.
4. Underestimating the power of Mocks
When I was preparing I always wondered how exactly am I supposed to analyze mocks?
And believe me, there is no set pattern to do it. The analysis is very subjective and varies from person to person. You need to understand the critical points that impact your performance. A thorough analysis presented a true picture and helped me to analyze the questions which I had skipped or got incorrect. For example - I used to calculate my percentage attempt and percentage accuracy for various difficulty levels. Prepare an analysis table compiling all the mock test performances to track improvement. The above methodology helped me to improve my performance.
5. Burning out and giving up
One thing which I observed that many times we work so hard that we feel stressed and exhausted. Therefore, don't stress yourself out with the burden of preparation, rather enjoy the process and stay calm and motivated throughout. There will be days you will feel like giving up, all you have to do at that point is take a day or two off, go for a stroll, listen to your favourite music, watch a movie, hang out with your friends, enjoy your favourite snack or maybe just sleep and relax. This will help you to look at things from a different perspective and think more rationally. Self introspect and then start afresh. I fully comprehend the fact that preparing for CAT is not an easy task but don’t be overwhelmed by the hard work that you need to put in.
" Success Mantra: Determination, Dedication, and Persistence. Little efforts in the right direction will add up to big results. "
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