If you are a serious CAT aspirant, my best wishes are with you. I would have said that I empathize with you, but that would be a lie. Working with CAT aspirants, I have somehow become a little detached with my students, and I am not proud of it. But I guess, it helps me remain objective about the goal of helping them do better in CAT, and that is what I am trying to achieve via this post. The mantra, which is true for most serious endeavours in life, is – Keep Calm and Carry On! I know that it is easier said than done. Here is a plan for the exam week. Also, in the last week you should never pressurize yourself to study for more than 5 hours.
Monday – Take a hard look at all the data that you have and by data I mean your performance and results in mocks. After looking at the data, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- a) What should be the time split in Reading Comprehension and the other Verbal portion?
- b) On an average, am I stronger in Logical Reasoning or Data Interpretation or at a similar level in both?
These two questions should shape the way you attempt these two sections in CAT. Obviously, you need to remain flexible in the CAT 2015 exam but having a clear idea will help. This entire exercise should not take more than 3 to 5 hours.
Tuesday – Take a full length mock test. You should take the test in the same time slot that you have the exam scheduled in. It will condition your body and your brain to function at a full 100% during the exam. You should then relax for the rest of the day
Wednesday – Solve all 100 questions of the mock test that you had taken yesterday without any pressure of time. It is perfectly fine if you are not able to solve all 100 questions or even 75 questions. The idea is that after looking at the solutions of those questions, you should be comfortable with solving all of them.
Thursday – If the mock test that you had taken on Tuesday were lesser than your average mock score, you should take another mock. It will help you face the CAT 2015 exam with confidence. If you did well in the Tuesday mock, then probably you should pick up one particular topic that has bugged you throughout your preparation – it could be para jumbles, it could be set theory, it could be Geometry and just solve questions on that particular topic from previous mocks. Probably, you will not be able to solve too many of them but after looking at the solutions – you will gain the confidence to solve easy questions on that particular topic. It is a psychological battle that you should try to win before the exam.
Friday – Revise all Quantitative Aptitude formulas. While there isn’t much to revise in sections like Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability, QA has a large number of formulas/tricks that you should revise. I have compiled a PDF of important quantitative aptitude formulas that you can download. It will be a quick revision of all the important stuff. You might have forgotten some of it. It will all come rushing back to you once you see it.
Saturday – Probably the best way to spend the last day before the exam is to hang out with friends and go to bed early. Have a healthy diet at home and probably you should stay away from beer as well. It will be a good idea to check out the exact location of the examination center. Figure out how much time it takes actually to travel from your home location to the venue. You might be unlucky if it is in a different city (it has happened to quite a few of my students located in the NCR) – then you should try and reach the city of the venue on Saturday itself.
The most important thing for you to understand is that you cannot do much to boost your score significantly in the last week. You have been preparing for CAT for a long time now, and hard work rarely goes to waste. Although, trying flashy stuff in the last week might not be a good idea. So, as I said at the beginning of the post – Keep Calm and Carry On!
Ravi Handa, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, has been teaching for CAT and various other competitive exams for around a decade. He started online courses on his website Handa Ka Funda in 2013 and 10000+ students have subscribed for them since then.