Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most unanticipated entrance exams in India for MBA (Master of Business Administration) or PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) course and is taken by the aspirants seeking admission in IIMs and other business schools accepting CAT score.
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.
Sometimes aspirants are so concerned about covering the whole CAT syllabus, solving previous year papers and counting the days left for the exam that they forget about correct attitude and effective planning that is most important to succeed in an examination like this.
Hard work coupled with smart work is the main key to success here. A good strategy and months of preparation would go in vain if aspirants end up making silly mistakes.
The five mistakes that aspirants must avoid while preparing for CAT exam to achieve success are listed here:
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Not having a daily time table
One of the most important components while preparing for any competitive exam is following a well-planned timetable. Most students work hard, but many of them do not prepare a daily/weekly time table.
It is necessary to make a schedule and stick to it religiously while preparation. The time table should be prepared in such a manner that it can be practically followed.
Strictly following the time table will help you to get through the revision of the syllabus quickly and avoid any last minute panic of not knowing and not having the time to revise everything.
The time table should not be such as to create a situation of “promise more, deliver less” because of your over ambition as this might lead to de-motivation.
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Not gaining conceptual clarity
Some aspirants have a believe that they can crack the exam just by memorizing formula and short cuts but theirs is a wrong belief as the only way to excel in CAT is by gaining conceptual clarity in every section of the CAT syllabus.
For any competitive exam clearing the basics and building a foundation before you start with the higher level topics is must. Jumping directly to the advance level without clearing the concepts and basics will put you in trouble.
Therefore the candidates are advised to distinctly understand all the concepts and principles before solving questions of that section.
If you come through any doubts, collect them and discuss them with your teachers or mentors. One should remember that no doubt is worthless, so do not hesitate in airing your doubts and queries.
Too many study materials
There are thousands of books available in the market for the CAT preparation and the students often get confused over the selection of the books. But candidates should choose the right preparation book for them.
After students have understood the syllabus, they turn to reference books for guidance. Most candidates get puzzled and take on multiple reference books which lead them to a lot of confusion.
Candidates often take many reference books and then end up worrying to cover the syllabus and questions in all of them which normally results in waste of their time and a lot of doubts as to which topics or tricks to focus on more.
It is advised to the students to keep their reference books limited to avoid confusions in basics, mix-up of concepts, etc.
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Not practicing CAT question papers and mocks
Practice makes everyone perfect. Many candidates skip the practice papers and mocks because they feel that they first need to finish off their entire CAT syllabus but the test series is designed to help the candidates build concepts, prepare strategies, identify weaknesses, and take steps to eliminate them.
Candidates should practice section wise questions of subjects like reading comprehension for CAT, verbal ability, quantitative aptitude, reasoning, and data interpretation.
Solving previous year question papers will give candidates an idea about the question pattern and difficulty level of the questions. It also helps the aspirants in increasing the speed and accuracy of the candidate and it also helps in boosting the confidence.
Last minute mugging
There are many students who keep sticking into the books till the last moment before the examination. But remember that the things which were not done in so many months cannot be done in few minutes.
Candidates should try to keep away from books and notes in the last minutes before the exam and think positive and good stuff. Keeping the mind relaxed and tension free can give you a lot of positive energy.
Also a sleepless night just before the examination will hamper your concentration during the exam so remember to get back to your normal sleeping pattern a few days before the examination.
Not everybody has the same ability to study. Some aspirants have good analytical skills while some are good with the concept retention.
Create your own preparation strategies as it would generate more favorable results and give you a boost of confidence in your own abilities. Never avoid self-preparation as it will keep things difficult.
Many candidates quantify their quality of preparation in terms of number of hours spent in studying rather than in terms of number of topics covered, number of concepts learnt and so on.
Keep in check the syllabus covered rather than number of hours given to study as it will ensure that you find yourself in a more comfortable position with regard to the syllabus of the examination.
Always properly analyze your performance in the practice papers and the mocks as it will help you to figure out the areas/chapters which are trouble makers and then work on them diligently.
While analyzing your performance also keep track of your accuracy levels across the sections. If you are committing a lot of mistakes, try to figure out the reason and take corrective action immediately.
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6.Don’t give up in the middle of the journey
While preparing, there will be times when you feel like giving on your CAT preparation, especially when your performance in the mocks is not good. But this will be the time when you need to self-motivate yourself and push towards working even harder.
Figure out your weak areas and work on improving them. Your performance in the mocks is not your final performance; you still have time to improvise.
You will succeed in your endeavor only if you do not give up, take your failures in these practice tests in your stride, learn from your mistakes, and at the same time kept faith in your abilities and you will eventually realize your dream.
You still have a few months to go for the CAT exam. Prepare hard, and you can make a world of difference in this time, just have confidence in your preparation.
Doubting your abilities and your preparation have never been a good idea and will never be.
Avoid making the mistakes and work hard as per your schedule and planning and then there is no stopping you from scoring well and achieving your goal.
Always remeber the words of Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
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