5 Mistakes that CAT aspirants make

5 Mistakes Which You Should Not Make As a CAT Aspirant

IIMA will be the organiser of CAT 2021. Now that this official announcement has been made as a CAT aspirant you should start thinking of preparing for CAT 2021. CAT 2021 will be conducted in the month of November- ideally the last Sunday of November – for admissions to the coveted IIMs and many other reputed B schools across the country.

Roughly 2.5 lac students prepare for different management entrance exams such as CAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP, etc. CAT is the most important exam for any MBA aspirant. It is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) on a rotational basis. Apart from freshers,  many working professionals also appear for CAT to advance their careers.  

Most students while preparing for CAT commit mistakes which are similar year after year. These mistakes are the reason why many people either leave their MBA dream midway or why many people are not able to realize their dreams of getting admissions to leading B schools.

Here Are The Mistakes Which CAT Aspirants Often Make:

No plan or strategy

For any endeavour to succeed, you must plan for success. As suggested by a popular saying -”Plan to succeed or else you have planned to fail.” Every individual is unique. Your plan must take into consideration your strengths, weaknesses and available time to prepare for the next 6 months. Planning should include initial assessment monthwise targets, progress assessment at monthly intervals, hours of study, time devoted to each section etc.  Planning should also include inputs on paper patterns and how one can improve by working mutually. Students who are unplanned, are not able to measure their progress and review their progress periodically. 

Also read: 75 Day CAT Preparation Plan

Not Taking Mock Tests

Another mistake that students taking CAT commit every year is not taking Mock Tests. Students avoid Mock Tests altogether  or  do not take the required number of Mock Tests. Remember, Mock test performance is the best indicator of your ability and your chance of success in the actual exam. Many students want to wait till they are comfortable with the syllabus before taking their first Mock Test. However, this is not the best thing to do. If you have started preparing for CAT, you should take Mock Tests regularly. Taking Mock tests will help you develop the necessary stamina for the exam and it will also provide you a realistic picture of where you may reach. Taking Mock tests also helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses with respect to the actual exam.

Not Analysing Mock Tests

Perhaps, this is the biggest mistake made by CAT aspirants year after year . Taking the Mock test is just the first step towards a potential success. Analysing the Mock tests provides students with actionable areas. Analyzing a mock test means going through the test once again in order to measure once performance. Analyzing includes identifying the number of attempts, the number of right and wrongs you obtained. It also means identifying any pattern to the mistakes that you committed during the exam. Analysis of a mock test should start with a macro view of the test followed by going over each and every section and systematically noting down what kind of mistakes you have been making again and again, which are your weaker areas, which questions you made silly mistakes. After identifying problem areas, one must endeavour to take corrective measures for each problem area. 

Also Read: CAT Analysis: Brief Overview And Paper Analysis

Spending too much time on one area alone

Most CAT aspirants start with assumptions about what are their strong and weak areas.  Many students are so eager to improve on their weak areas that they spend too much time on that one section : could be maths or could be verbal ability. This action is fraught with problems.  If you spend most of your time on your perceived area of weakness, you will probably show incremental improvement in that area. But, by not working on the other areas, you will probably show very little improvement in the other areas. The result will be that your overall score on Mock will show an upward trend but the progress will be very slow. And before you realise your mistake, the actual CAT exam will be knocking on your doors. To avoid this mistake, you should divide your time equally between all the three sections and work according to a plan on each of the three sections.

Not looking at paper patterns

Most CAT aspirants jump into the preparation without doing adequate research on the exam. Research on an exam should be the first step to start preparation for the exam. Research gives you an idea of paper pattern, level of difficulty of the questions, traditional cutoff for admissions, profile of students who have secured admission in the past. Such information provides a tangible input to you as a serious aspirant who wants to make the cut. Researching an exam also provides an idea of the question types and syllabus from which questions have been asked in the past.

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