How to Handle CAT Exam Stress?

Handle CAT Exam Stress

CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the toughest entrance examinations of the country and while preparing for exams like CAT, stress management should always be included in the preparation plan. Often the aspirants tend to lose their interest or concentration in the preparation because they don’t understand how to reduce stress.

However, stress management is not a very tough task and it brings out a positive energy in CAT aspirants so that they remain focused towards their goal till they have achieved it.

If you know how to overcome stress and anxiety, your preparation for the examination will be smooth enough and then CAT will not appear as a tough paper to you, instead, you will start enjoying it.

This will definitely increase your efficiency and productivity during the examination.

So if you are facing examination anxiety, then here are some ways which will teach you how to reduce stress and remain focused on the CAT exam:

  1. Stay Motivated and Believe in Yourself

Stay Motivated and Believe in Yourself

First and foremost task to do before starting the preparation for the one of the toughest exams i.e. CAT is to improve your perspective towards it.

The CAT syllabus is sure quite extensive but it’s not that tough. It’s something which everyone has already studied back in the school. All you need is the training about how to use your thinking, reasoning and analytic skills to crack the exam.

Always keep yourself confident and surrounded with positive energy as it will keep you motivated and help in focus on the concentration.

Speak to experts about their experience of writing CAT. This will bring positive vibes around you and you will know how to relieve stress or fear of writing CAT.

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  1. Start Early

Start Early

As it is a well-established fact that the syllabus for the CAT examination is very extensive and you have to cover a lot of topics before the examination.

And thus in order to complete the syllabus and have enough revision before the actual exam, one needs to start preparing early.

CAT syllabus includes the following subjects Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. Divide the preparation time available to you in three different phases or slots.

Always start your preparation in ideal time i.e. when you are 12 months away from the actual exam. Starting at such a time interval will help you to pay equal attention to all the four topics and still get enough time for revision.

Start from studying each topic from basics and then go for higher difficulty levels. Work on your vocabulary and reasoning abilities regularly as well.

Make sure that you finish your syllabus 8 months before and then spend these months for revision, solving previous year CAT papers and taking mock CAT exams.


  1. Follow your preparation plan

Follow your preparation plan

Often the haphazard study plans prepared make the aspirants unsure about their preparation and so in the end; they end up confused & anxious and have no clue about how to handle the stress of CAT preparation.

But the solution to this anxiety is very simple and it will definitely make the aspirants learn how to deal with stress.

First make a proper study plan for CAT exam and it should include sufficient amount of practice sessions for various sections of CAT syllabus.

But only planning will not be sufficient to crack the exam, you also need to follow that plan religiously. Start you preparation in the ideal time slot i.e. before 12 months from the examination and make your plans according to it.

Split up your 12 month CAT preparation plan into different goal slots or levels on the basis of syllabus to be covered within a given time and to start the revision and mocks within the enough required time.

Study for almost 2-3 hours daily and make sure that you solve enough questions so that you finish your syllabus on time.

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  1. Take regular breaks and schedule in fun things to look forward to

Take regular breaks and schedule in fun things to look forward to

You are allowed to have a little time for a study break even for the most intense exam timetables. This can include 20-minute breaks during your long study hours and revision day, and longer activities that you can look forward to.

 Go out for dinner with friends, go to the cinema or anything that you like doing in your spare time that will take your mind off exams.

In the days leading up to the CAT, relax as much as you can. This is not to say that you should stop studying but don’t focus exclusively on the test.

 Do some practice problems and review your time management strategy, but do not go crazy. Spending a little time away from the books will leave you feeling more refreshed and relaxed the next time you sit to study or revise.

  1. Exercise and get outdoors

Exercise and get outdoors

Go out for a walk, or a run, or head to the gym or swimming pool. Do make sure to get plenty of rest and good food. Besides keeping you healthy, exercise is also known to boost your mood and can also help to make you more productive while revising.

Drink some herbal tea or hot chocolate. It’s a well-known fact that hot drinks are known to soothe the soul (avoid too much caffeine though!).

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  1. Don’t (always) listen to others

Don’t (always) listen to others

There’s an old saying that “comparison is the thief of joy”. While discussing topics with fellow students and often revising together might be helpful but never try to compare other people’s preparation or revision with your own.

There’s a chance that you are doing just fine, and listening to other people talk about their preparation level will only stress you out and may make you feel like you aren’t progressing as well as them.

Also if they themselves are stressed, this can rub off on to you and other people’s stress is not what you need while preparing.

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  1. Don’t hesitate in asking for help

Don’t hesitate in asking for help

Whether you are preparing on your own or taking any coaching for CAT, you will always come across some topics or problems that you will find difficult to understand or solve. Get all your doubts solved by the experts.

Only procrastinating about your doubts will take you nowhere and in the end, you will find that chapter difficult to master.

If the stress gets to a point where it is overwhelming and is affecting your day-to-day life, try and speak to someone about it.

It happens when you are preparing for some exam like CAT, you get nervous, confused and anxious. A personal mentor plays a very important role in anyone’s CAT preparation helping the aspirant in knowing how to manage stress or tension regarding their doubts.

You can also open up to a family member or a friend about the pressure you feel, it will help you in getting relaxed and focusing on the preparation better.

You should always get some sleep. The virtues of a good night’s sleep during exam season should not be underestimated.

It helps you in getting rid of the stress and freshens up your mind for your hard work. Keep the things in perspective.

Of course, the exams are important but you are so much more than your exam results. So give yourself something to look forward to, something positive you can think of which gives you pleasure.

You need to focus on your goal and continue the hard work for the exam preparation. But also at the same time, you need to give proper rest to your mind in order to be concentrated and alert for the paper.

Only a healthy mind will give positive results.

All the Best!!!

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By Sourav Pathak

A Guy Without a "Title". Good friends, Good Books, and a Sleepy Conscience: That Sums of My life.

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