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Last Minute Preparation Strategy for CAT 2018 - With few days left for CAT 2018, it is high time that you gear up for the D Day, which is on November 25, 2018. Despite your preparation for months, the last week before the exam is always the most crucial since your activities can either make or mar your performance. This article of Careers360 on CAT preparation series brings to you the last minute preparation strategy by experts who suggest how to spend the last few days before the most sought after MBA entrance exam.
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According to the experts from top coaching institutes, revision and building test-taking strategy should consist of the most important aspects of the last week preparation strategy. Read here to know more about what the experts have to say. During the final phase of CAT 2018 preparation, it is more important to get yourself ready with the practical aspects of the test like taking your CAT admit card and reaching the exam centre of time to name a few. In terms of preparation, a simple revision would be more helpful than rigorous practice and study. Make sure you get ample rest to have a fresh mind and body to be ready for the big day.
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Revise – Revision is the best preparation strategy you can adopt in the last few days before CAT 2018. Go through your notes and study materials to brush up the basics and practice. This will ensure that you have your basics clear and can attempt tricky questions as well. Be it mathematics formula or vocabulary, revision is the key. Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher shares, “Revision is one of the most important aspects of preparation which is often underestimated or overlooked by the students. In the last few days to CAT 2018, revision is the best way to prepare.”
Practice – Along with revision, practice sectional and topic wise questions. Ensure that you maintain accuracy and complete the questions on time. By solving questions from all the sections and diverse topics will keep you updated and acquainted with the types of questions you can expect. It is best to solve the last years’ CAT questions to understand the types of questions to expect. Abhisekh Mukherjee, CAT 2017 topper and MDI Gurgaon student says, "One should also be consistent in solving at least two DILR sets, four Reading Comprehensions, and 10 Quant problems so that they do not run out of practice at any point of time!"
Take one last mock test – Do not take too much strain by following your erstwhile mock test schedule of taking two or three test a week. In the last seven days, take just one test and analyse it thoroughly. This is your last chance to see the areas you still need to work upon. Ensure that you take the test in a proctored environment and the pattern and structure followed are same as the actual test. Utilise the calculator and the non-MCQ questions to your advantage. “Do not overdo it by taking more than 1 mock test on a day before CAT. This last test will help you build the necessary momentum you require for the actual test day, mentions Arks Srinivas, National Head, MBA Pred, Career Launcher.
Go through the analysis thoroughly – After your mentor has analysed your mock test, go through it thoroughly. Check the type of mistakes you are committing continuously or the areas which need more attention. Brush up those areas to make yourself ready for the exam day. The analysis is more important than taking the mock test since the purpose of the test is to help you identify the areas you need to improve upon. Take help from your teachers or seniors to improve the areas which are crucial in securing a high percentile in CAT 2018. "The detailed analysis is an invaluable part of preparation which any serious CAT aspirant would vouch for. We should invest a considerable amount of time to analyse our performance. We should give the top priority to those questions in which time is invested but the answer is wrong," says Pradeep Kumar Pandey, Academic Head, T.I.M.E.
Device your test-taking strategy – By now you have taken a number of mock tests and know which strategy works best for you. On the basis of that, finalise your D-Day test taking strategy. Since you would not have the choice to start with your strong section, you should focus more on choosing the right questions to attempt and time to put for each question. “Do not put more than two minutes for each question, which includes analyzing and solving it. If you find that it is taking more than two minutes to understand the direction to solve the question, leave it out and move to next question,” says Vinayak Kudva, Head, CAT, IMS. While choosing questions, make sure that you select some buffer questions as well which would rescue at times when you realise that you are unable to find the solution to a particular question. Last but not the least, your test-taking strategy should be such that you can ensure proper time management and accuracy, which are key to a high percentile in CAT.
Avoid new topics – If you have not prepared any topic so far, don’t start it now. Neither would you be able to grasp it, nor would you be able to revise your already prepared topics properly. It is alright to leave out a few topics. While choosing the questions, be careful that you do not select questions from your weak or unprepared areas. “Don’t start any new topic at this stage. Leave out the uncomfortable areas and select the questions carefully. However, if the topic carries high weight, it is advisable that you get the basic idea so that you can clear the cutoff,” says Kamlesh Sajnani, MD, IMS Learning.
Maintain speed and accuracy - The final percentile in CAT 2018 will depend upon the speed and accuracy level. In fact, the overall performance in CAT depends more on these factors than the number of questions attempted. Experts suggest section wise time management and test-taking strategy given below.
Focus on balanced revision - Continuously focusing on a single subject or a particular topic for long hours will frustrate your mind and create confusion. Try an intermittent study schedule to avoid this fatigue. For example, if you study VARC for an hour, take a short break and then switch to LR, DI or Quant. Repeat the process every couple of hours. In this last minute preparation strategy for CAT 2018, try not to learn anything new and tiring in this final period and focus more on revising and analysing the recurring errors and rectifying them.
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