The setting of this attempt was different – I had taken the test in a classroom in front of my students.
I sincerely believe that the video of my attempt of Proc Mock CAT 18 will give you clear insights into how you can execute the CAT in such a manner that you solve the questions you should have solved.
Just a few days to CAT, what can we do?
That must be the question in your mind. Well, the answer is simple – you cannot gain more knowledge, but you can still ensure that your current knowledge is fully utilized. That is the problem, isn’t it? You end up not solving questions that you should have solved.
So, the answer to the question is this – You must execute a plan during the CAT which ensures that you solve all the questions that you should have solved.
“I will solve all I can”
Here are few simple things that you must do:
- Accuracy is paramount:
Many are happy with 80% accuracy. To me, that is bad. Look at it this way – 20% of the questions were wrong; 20% of the time got wasted; given the 1/3rd negative marking the net time wasted would be around 27%. 27% of 170 minutes is 45 minutes! 45 minutes got wasted when you achieve 80% accuracy! You can’t afford that, can you?Accuracy should be really high – as close to 100% as possible! That would in turn mean that you should NOT mark the answer that you are not sure of or rather, you are sure that you are not sure. Also, you would know the areas where you tend to make silly mistakes. Be careful when you attempt such questions. Read instructions carefully. Don’t try and hurry things up just to solve more questions. Speed does not come from solving questions faster; speed comes from knowing how much you want to attempt and having a good plan to achieve that target!
- Set a target:
This is a slightly difficult thing to do – when we can’t be 100% sure as to what score well get us to 98+%ile. However, you are work out this based on the “I will solve all I can” principle. If you have been analysing your mocks, you can get a hold of this magic number.For me, the target I set when I took the mocks were – 30+ attempts in each section. For those of you aiming for ‘IIM percentile’[which I believe is all you] , you must look at an overall attempt of around 50+ with a 20+ in section 1 and 25+ in section 2.This helps to create your plan.
- Have a plan:
The questions are given in a certain order – you don’t have to follow that order. You plan must be a simple one – solve the ‘easy’ ones first and then move on to the difficult one.This is normally my plan:
- 80 minutes for each section with a 10 minutes buffer.
- My rough sequence:
Section2 80 minutes Section 1 80 minutes Buffer 10 min Time(min)-> 30 20* 30 35 15* 30 10* Area -> EU LR RC QA(R1) DI(R1) R2 Target (Quest)-> 12+ 6 – 8 10 – 12 12 – 15 6 – 8 7 – 8 The attempts will depend on the ‘manageability’ of the sets 3 or 4 sets based on how many LRs I could solve [I will pick the ones I think I can solve in less time] The attempts will depend on the ‘manageability’ of the sets Allotted to the section which I fell shot
The above sequence acts as my rough guideline. You need to have a rough plan as to how you would go about with the sequencing of attempts. Once you have a plan, all you need is to execute that plan.
- Disciplined Test Taking
One of the biggest issues is panic. The key to avoid panic is being in control. The trick is you have to act like you are in control!
- Create milestones:You have these rough targets that you designed. So you know where you should be (in terms of attempts) at some particular points in time. This will help you understand as to whether things are going as per plan. Trust me, it always does if you just handle this one thing – “Learn to quit”!
- Learn to Quit:You call it ego, you call it not wanting to leave your favourite topic – whatever be the issue – getting stuck in a question is a serious problem. The solution is actually very simple – just leave the question for later. Yes, learn to quit. If you go through the video, you will see umpteen cases where I have quit – sometimes after reading the question, sometimes after solving for a while. The moment you feel things you are stuck, come leave it and come back later if you have time.
In Proc Mock 18: this was how it happened for me:
Net: 31 attempts in Section 1 and 34 attempts in Section 2, Total 64 attempts
Before I leave, let me give you one last thought – Reassure yourself & Enjoy the process: When things don’t go as planned, reassure “Don’t worry”. When things go as planned, tell yourself “Good job”. Enjoy the whole process. Treat it like a ‘strategy game’ that you are playing with an awesome reward at the end. Play the game.