The Common Admission Test or the CAT is one of the most competitive exams in the country. The exam requires the candidates to be confident and well prepared. To be able to be among the top percentile scorers, one needs proper preparation and avoid some of the common mistakes that most candidates make.
The mistakes that candidates make can be due to various reasons like lack of proper strategy, less motivation, no mentor support, etc. Here, some of the most common mistakes are mentioned along with tips to avoid them. These strategies are sure to help the CAT aspirants to have a more effective CAT preparation and they can ace the exam easily.
Common CAT Preparation Mistakes & Tips to Avoid Them
Among the various mistakes that the CAT aspirants make during their preparation, some of the most common ones and the most impactful ones can be distinguished as the following.
- Not being thorough with the basics & skipping the topics/ sections
Mistake: While starting to prepare for CAT, candidates often skip going through the basics and directly start solving the questions. Some candidates also skip some of the syllabus topics (mainly from the quantitative section) and practice questions only from the topics in which they are good at.
Tip: For candidates, especially from non-engineering backgrounds, it is extremely crucial to get the mathematics basics right and then start solving the problems. Also, it is important not to skip any topic/ sections, unless, the exam is in a month’s time.
- Not strategizing a preparation schedule
Mistake: This is one of the most common mistakes that most aspirants make. In hurry to start CAT preparation, candidates often skip strategizing a preparation schedule and thus, start preparing in a disorganized manner. This affects the entire CAT preparation and reduces the effectiveness.
Tip: Before starting preparation, analyze the syllabus and understand the strong and weak topics. Then, make a schedule covering all the topics and stick to the schedule. For initial self-analysis, candidates can take a mock test and understand their level of skills in the individual section.
- Not revising periodically
Mistake: Often candidates complete a particular topic and move on to the other topics without revising and checking whether the concepts are retained. Some candidates even skip revision completely, till the exam eve. At this point, some candidates get demotivated as they fail to recall the concepts, formulas, or tricks that they learned.
Tip: It is important for every individual to revise the concepts periodically and check whether the concepts are completely understood and retained. It is suggested to revise each topic quickly before moving to the next ones. Also, one can maintain a notebook which can help in quick revisions.
- Not evaluating the mock tests
Mistake: Mock tests are taken my most of the CAT aspirants but many candidates skip evaluating their scores. This is a common mistake by most of the candidates who are preparing for CAT for the first time and lacks a proper mentor support.
Tip: Evaluating mock scores are as important as taking the mock tests. By evaluating the tests, one can easily understand their level of preparation. After evaluations, it is also important to strategize further preparation plan accordingly.
- Not having personalized preparation & exam-taking strategies
Mistake: There are many candidates who follow the preparation plan of others and not strategize their own. Some candidates do not even strategize their exam-taking strategies and randomly attempt the questions.
Tip: It is always suggested to understand personal capabilities and then strategize the preparation plan. Some students might have good grammar skills while some might be good with numbers. So, there cannot be a “one strategy” for everyone. Also, candidates should devise personal test-taking strategies which can be easily done by taking a good number of mock tests and solving several sample and question papers.
These were the most common mistakes that CAT aspirants make and end up reducing their preparation effectiveness. It is important to avoid these mistakes while preparing to be able to have a proper preparation and develop the confidence to tackle the exam questions easily.
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