CAT is a competition that requires the continuous and dedicated effort of 3-4 hours every day for 8-12 months rather than 12-14 hours for 2 months. It is said that the human body is the most complex machine ever made. Compare it with a car. In order to keep the car functioning properly, you take it for periodic servicing, refuelling, cleaning etc. The same needs to be done for the mind and body if one wants to keep functioning in an optimal condition.
How to do that? How to make sure that you don’t wear yourself out during the long strenuous phase of CAT preparation? The answer lies here: “Study Breaks” If you talk to successful candidates of CAT from the past years and ask them about their preparation strategy, you can be sure to hear about the importance of taking small breaks during long study hours.
Why Should one take a Study Break?
- It’ll help you maintain top performance when you are actually studying as your mind will be fresh.
- It will reduce stress and anxiety associated with CAT exam preparation.
- Your brain is less likely to get cluttered. Hence, you’ll be able to retain the information which you have learned for a longer period of time with better clarity.
Research shows that taking a study break of 10-15 minutes after studying for 50-60 minutes depending upon your capacity gives the best results. Here are some Dos and Don’ts that should be followed while taking study breaks:
What to do?
- Take a Walk:
Get outside and get some fresh air, no matter how short the walk maybe. Getting your body moving helps re-energizing you. Any form of exercise which you prefer is going to be beneficial for that matter.
When you study, you sit in the same position for long periods of time. Taking some time to stretch your muscles out can help to relax and feel a bit more energized.
- Tidy Up:
It can be difficult to focus amidst chaos. Though you should never clean as a means of procrastination, it can be relaxing to tidy up during one of your regularly scheduled study breaks.
- Take a Quick Shower:
Everyone feels revitalized when they are fresh out of the shower. During your next study break, take a five or ten-minute shower to help revitalize and refresh your body and mind.
- Take a Snack:
A healthy snack is going to get you feeling energized for the next session. You’d feel full and you’d be able to focus better.
During one of your scheduled breaks, take a few mindful minutes to meditate in a calm and quiet setting. Focus on some breathing exercises, which can really revitalize and invigorate the mind so that it’s ready to absorb more information.
What to Avoid?
There are also some things you should avoid doing on your study breaks. The wrong types of study break activities can hinder your ability to stay attentive and concentrate – exactly the opposite of what you need during study time.
- Snacking on Junk Food:
Junk food isn’t nutritious and they’ll beat the whole purpose of taking breaks. You are bound to get lazy after a heavy dosage of junk food.
- Watching TV, Surfing the Web, Video Games & Other Media-Related Activities:
These activities don’t aid productivity. You want to give your mind a little rest during your breaks and these activities sure don’t help in doing that.
- Excessive Caffeine:
Though you may think it’s your best friend during CAT preparation, too much caffeine has adverse effects and can actually cause you to crash in the end. Positive study break activities help with longer-term focus – not just the spurts of energy that caffeine delivers.
Remember, a good study break should never be another way to procrastinate. If an activity makes it difficult to transition back into your studies, it’s likely not the right break activity for you. Use the study breaks to your advantage.
Keep visiting BYJU’S to get more such tips to aid in CAT exam preparation. At BYJU’S, MBA aspirants can also get various video lectures, sample papers, question papers and mock tests to be able to prepare for the CAT more effectively.