Planning to crack the CAT Exam 2016? You may have followed a rigorous schedule for the past few months to achieve this. Whatever your plan of action was during your preparation, avoid the following common mistakes “during” your CAT exam.
- Not getting enough sleep the previous night:
Months of preparation may go to waste if your mind isn’t well rested before you take the CAT exam. The questions have been designed to test your aptitude which means that your critical thinking skills will be tested just as much as your knowledge base. For example, knowing multiple ways to calculate the area of a triangle may not matter if you are unable to decide which one gives you the correct answer in the least amount of time.
- Not having a personal strategy:
A typical strategy may have worked for a certain number of people. But it isn’t necessary that it will work for you. Rather, it is advisable to have your own personal strategy, perhaps by adopting helpful advice from others. Based on the mock tests and practice questions, you would have gained an idea about your strong topics and the durations for certain types of questions. Form your own strategy based on all this.
- Deciding “Number of Questions = Percentile Achievable”:
There is no way to know if every question you’ve answered is right or wrong. Moreover, you don’t have the time to waste on such kinds of analysis during the exam. Instead, you can have a base general plan to tackle as many questions as you can. For example, you can tackle all the small length questions in a section first while marking those that are doable but slightly time-consuming for later.
- Letting a bad start to affect the entire process:
You’ve lost your phone. You’ve just realized you haven’t revised a key concept. Had a fight the morning of the exam? Worse things have happened to many giving, not only this exam, but any exam. Such things always happen but DO NOT let it affect the next few hours of your exam. If you cannot do anything about it at the moment then there’s no point letting it affect your concentration. This mistake is something everyone knows about but people still let it happen. Don’t be that person.
- Not reading the question properly:
The people who design these tests know that there is a limited domain of knowledge being tested here. So they set their traps in other ways. Read the question properly and make sure you understand what is being asked before you attempt to answer it.
- Overworking a single section:
You may be really good at quants or have probably decided that RCs are something of second nature for you. Or perhaps the opposite where you decide tackling the difficult section first makes more sense giving you a peaceful time with the other. This is a common theory. It DOES NOT work in practice. Assign time for each section and try to work in this time limit. How you tackle sections will be part of your personal strategy.
- Not using the “Mark” option correctly :
This tool is a BIG HELP in the verbal and LR sections. Why? It is in these sections that you sometimes find yourself stuck in between two extremely good answers. Don’t force the answer and do not waste time forcing yourself to think. Mark the option and get back to it in a while. Your mental state is in an extremely tense situation and therefore relaxing it for a while will definitely help. This can be used in other sections as well.
- Calculating all answers and not approximating
In quants and DI especially, don’t try to calculate all answers. Sometimes the answer options can help you get your answer. For example, if your questions have an equation in it and the answer options are listed in some sort of ascending or descending order. Substitute the middle value in the question and you will have an idea as to where the answer is. In DI, approximate values wherever possible.
- Not using the ‘Method of Elimination’:
In all sections, there are questions where you know that a certain answer choice if definitely incorrect. Mark it off. Sometimes eliminating enough answer choices leads you to the correct answer.
- Losing hope or getting bored:
And the final thing that no one ever mentions but happens to so many of you out there… losing hope somewhere in between or just getting plain bored of the long exam. You should have already worked on your stamina but in any case just remember one thing… you have put in many days and months of work into preparing for this exam. Just keep your morale and interest up and running for the few remaining hours.
We at Byju’s classes for CAT Coaching, always emphasize the importance of having fun while learning. Guess what? Testing is an important part of learning too. Have fun doing what you do and it won’t feel like work anymore.