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With 15-odd days remaining for CAT 2012 to start (20-25 days for those opting for middle or end slots), Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind Education, shares the preparation strategy to be followed during the last leg.
The urge to solve more mock tests is paramount at this juncture. However, any fair analysis will show a candidate’s inaptitude and lacking in a number of areas or topics, leading to a loss of confidence. More often than not, instead of making the full use of the last few days, aspirants become bewildered and lose the necessary focus.
The last 15-odd days are like the last two overs of a T20 match. You can improve your score by as much as 30 (at least 20)! Believe it or not, the last few days can make or break the continuity of your preparation!
There are two things you should do at this stage -- write mock CATs to finalise the strategy you are going to use in the exam and aim for tactical improvement of marks in certain topics/areas
The final strategy
MS Dhoni is a shrewd captain and a CAT aspirant can learn a thing or two from him. Take the second group league match India played against England on September 23 for instance. Already assured of a super eight birth, Dhoni made some experiments both in team selection and in batting order. Only time can tell how future pans it out, but there is no denying that Dhoni was thinking ahead and planning a few things in advance that give him more chances of success. Unfortunately in a T20 match, it is not good enough if you are well prepared or not, you have to be better than the opposition. In CAT, you are your opposition. Rather than the inability to solve problems, your fears and worries let you down!
CAT, therefore, is easier than a T20 match!
Take a mock in every 4 days: At this stage, the maximum number of mocks you would take in a week should be two. These mocks should be used to finalise your strategy for the D-Day. Since no surprise in pattern or number of questions is expected, it makes sense to develop a final strategy now. The last four mocks should, therefore, be the practice mocks for the strategy you would adopt.
Tactical improvement of marks: There are only two ways in which you can improve your scores.
1) Increase attempts
2) Decrease mistakes
Neither of the two ideas is earth shattering. They are the most obvious ideas for improving marks for any exam, leave alone CAT. Since you are writing only two mocks in a week (8 days), the intervening period should be used for improving marks in some areas.
There will always be enough areas that you wouldn’t know. But, this is not the time to worry about what you are not good at. Get better at what you already know. For example, if you are good at arithmetic but don’t get full marks, concentrate in improving in that area. Take out all the questions in arithmetic from all the previous mock papers you wrote and use the days between the two mocks to become an expert in that area.
If you are thinking of writing say five mocks before CAT, you have about 15 days of preparation time. Even if you pick up five topics in these 15 days and become thorough in the same, you can improve your marks by 15/20 at the least. Either you will be able to attempt a couple of questions more per section or reduce mistakes at least by two in each section.