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CAT (Common Admission Test) is an entrance examination for admission to business and management schools for the MBA (Master of Business Administration) or PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) course.
Many top business schools like IIMs (Indian Institute of Management), ISBs (Indian School of Business), and etc. offer admission to students through this examination.
After clearing the examination with a decent percentile, the candidates also have to go through group discussion and personal interview rounds for final selection.
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It is an online examination which is conducted on a yearly basis by the IIMs on rotation.
The candidate must possess a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% for SC, ST and PWD/DA category) to be eligible for this examination.
Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification are also eligible to apply for CAT.
Every year more than 2 lakh aspirants appear for CAT for about 2000 seats in the IIMs. The competition thus is very tough as the seats are available for about 1% of the total candidates who appear for the exam.
So considering the level of competition, CAT exam demands months of preparation and even a single mistake can cost aspirants a lot.
Students often forget that correct attitude and effective planning is most important to succeed in an examination like this and are just concerned about covering the whole CAT syllabus, solving previous year papers and counting the days left for the exam.
No proper planning and strategy lead the students to confusion and self-doubt. It can lead to lack of focus in the preparation and thus lower the chances of success.
Many candidates even leave their jobs for the preparation and thus it will cost a lot if they lose confidence while the preparation.
Many candidates start to think about quitting the exam due to the stress and low confidence. But it should not be an option as it will make all the efforts put in the preparation to that point useless.
So we are going to discuss some points to consider before deciding to give up on the examination.
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Think about your goal
When you started preparing for the CAT examination, you had a goal in your mind to get enrolled in a top management school and give your career a boost.
You must have made plans and schedules for the preparation and after that, and if you quit it now all will be a waste and you will not be able to fulfill that goal in the given time required or will not achieve it at all.
When you plan about something and want to achieve something give your best to it as there is nothing that you cannot achieve if you stay focused and give in the hard work required.
Never quit your goals as it will lower your confidence for other things as well. Work for what you dreamt of achieving.
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You planned to take the examination, so you must also have invested your time in acquiring knowledge about the examination, colleges, course, coaching, etc.
You must have made plans to be followed for the preparation, and once you start to think about quitting the examination you are wasting all the time invested till now.
Time is very precious and you can never recover the time once it is gone, so if you worked to this point and invested this much time and energy from your side the big examination there is not point of benefit in quitting it now.
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Coaching classes, study material, etc. requires investment and once money spent cannot be recovered. When you have spent this much for the CAT examination, then make the most out of it. Once you invest in something that might take your life positively and get involved in it, never back down.
And if you are planning to quit the preparation at present just to postpone it for the coming year, it will just be wasting your time and also you will be delayed in your preparations.
Once you stop practicing what is taught, you will not be that good at it anymore.
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No matter how sure you may feel in your decision to step away from the preparation, it is difficult to meet a person who has not faced feelings of doubt or regret. Doubtful moments will come, whether from idle time, poor mood, or loss of friendships.
The creeping questions of, “wait – did I make the right decision?” are virtually unavoidable and discouraging. Before quitting, really consider the most important reasons as to why you started it in the first place.
You must learn to let go of these elements.
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Are you overworked?
Are you feeling like things are getting a little out of control? Are you just burned out? If that is the case, all you need is to look for assistance, tools, and resources so you can take more control over your studies and preparations instead of quitting it.
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Try to energize it and take it to the next level
Sometimes we get bored. When you know the questions you are practicing currently like the back of your hand, it gets boring and then eventually you start to lose interest in the preparation at whole.
At this point, instead of quitting the exam you just need to get hold of higher difficulty level of questions to practice. It will make your base stronger and will also improve your speed and analyzing capability.
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It is very tempting to want to bail from something when it is tough – but don’t. Your performance at the end is counted and not at the beginning.
Ending a role with mediocre to poor performance may haunt you throughout your career. If you improve your performance and keep working on it continuously, it will increase your confidence in yourself.
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Many candidates leave their jobs in order to be able give enough time for the preparation.
And after giving some time to preparation, they get bored, stressed or scared due to the level of preparation required to crack this examination.
But quitting the preparation for which you left your job is never an option. You just need to re-plan you strategies and work on them even harder to achieve what you dreamt of in the beginning.
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Talk to people who have quitted
The only way to know about something without having experienced it on your own is by asking someone else who has experienced what you have gone through.
Someone who had quit his/ her preparation in the middle will give you proper guideline as to whether it is a beneficial and right step or not.
Ask the related person; whoever he/ she might be either be your elder, knowledgeable person, etc.
Is there something else going on?
Are you getting stressed and confused about your preparation due to other areas of your life? Things like relationship issues or other challenges that can cause extra stress.
If you’re blaming your schedule for that extra stress, quitting is probably not your best option because that stress is just going to carry over with you until you work for that.
It’s better to resolve the issues that are happening outside your study schedule and plans instead of quitting the examination.
If there is even the slightest chance that you can clear the exams, go ahead and write them. You can always have that second chance – but why miss out on this one?
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Even if you are not able to qualify, then even you would, at least get a feel of the exam pattern and the difficulty level. That will help you, when you give your exam the next time.
Stop wasting time on useless things, and focus on your studies. Concentrate on your aim and work hard. Remember, we do not get unlimited chances to have the things we want.
And nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could have changed our life. So just have confidence, work hard and go for it.
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