Home / Last Minute Tips to CAT 2020 – CAT Preparation with the end in sight

Last Minute Tips to CAT 2020 – CAT Preparation with the end in sight

The CAT 2020 Exam is just a few weeks away now and with this, candidates and aspirants start to panic. This leads to a more erratic CAT Preparation as their panic reduces their efficiency as well as clarity of mind. This article is aimed at giving some of the last minute tips to CAT 2020 which can help streamline their CAT Preparation in the final month.

Some of these tips may seem like common sense but they are much more difficult to implement than you may think. Let us start off with some easy tips first:

Formulate a CAT Preparation Strategy for the final month

As the CAT 2020 Exam nears, people start losing their heads and this makes them erratic and inefficient in their CAT Preparation. This leads to wastage of time and can lead to even more panic for the candidates. In order to avoid this, it is essential for the candidate to formulate a CAT Preparation strategy which will ensure that they will stay on course for the CAT 2020 Exam.

In order to formulate this CAT Preparation strategy, there are a couple of things that need to be done:

  • Combine your calibre with accuracy ::Make a judgment call on which sections you need to focus on during this final phase of the CAT Preparation. This will help you decide on the allocation of time required for each section. This can be done with the help of the previous year CAT Analysis which can be found on this page. It contains all the relevant details about the CAT 2020 Exam including the syllabus, exam pattern and all the operational details.
  • Engage yourself in stress-free reading :: Modify your routine such that you are able to read as many newspapers as possible. This will aid not just your CAT VARC Preparation but will also help you in the processes following the CAT 2020 Exam (interviews and group discussions)
  • Try to improve credibility by learning the main concepts of the section and enhancing your problem-solving speed. Try to strengthen your brain calculations and refrain from performing the same on rough sheet. Try to sift out easy set of questions from the previous year sample papers which were 12 in QA section and 12 I.e 3 sets in DILR section and solve them first. For QA, look out for questions that seems familiar to you and is light-handed on calculations and for DILR look out for simple arrangement questions or bar chart-based and line chart-based questions. After you know you have successfully completed easy questions, divide the remaining time into equal parts and shift your radar to time consuming questions.
  • Find your middle ground :: Find the happy medium between flexible and rigid in terms of the schedule that is prepared. This is because the rigidity will ensure that you put in the amount of effort required for the CAT Preparation while the flexibility ensures that you are able to make the necessary tweaks in your CAT Preparation plan according to the information that you gather.
  • Sort your necessary documents :: Ensure you have the necessary documents in place for CAT 2020 Examination I.e your hall ticket for CAT 2020 and your government ID proof. Also, the credentials of your hall ticket should match the one on your government ID. This will save you a lot of time on the official day of examination. Also, take precautions against Coronavirus disease by ensuring proper social distancing and self-sanitization.
  • Final Checks :: Go through the main CAT sample paper and CAT official mock released by IIM Indore to familiarize yourself better with the CAT pattern or type of questions asked in CAT. Understanding the concepts and solving all the questions correctly can lead you to 99%ile in the actual CAT exam, as attested by previous year CAT toppers.
  • Ensure you have the necessary documents in place for CAT 2020 Examination I.e your hall ticket for CAT 2020 and your government ID proof. Also, the credentials of your hall ticket should match the one on your government ID. This will save you a lot of time on the official day of examination. Also, take precautions against Coronavirus disease by ensuring proper social distancing and self-sanitization.
  • Go through the main CAT sample paper released by IIM Lucknow to familiarize yourself better with the CAT pattern or type of questions asked in CAT. Understanding the concepts and solving all the questions correctly can lead you to 99%ile in the actual CAT exam, as attested by previous year CAT toppers.

It is essential for each CAT 2020 aspirant to keep these things in mind while preparing for the CAT 2020 Exam. With these 2 benchmarks, the aspirant should be able to devise a CAT Preparation strategy for the final month.

Also Read : CAT Preparation Strategy for the final month

Role of CAT Mocks in CAT 2020 Preparation Strategy

One piece of advice that you will get from every source when you are deciding on how to prepare for CAT in the last minute is to give as many mocks as possible. This is because the CAT Mocks will be able to simulate the actual CAT 2020 Exam better than any practice question. The exhaustion at the end of the long exam and the time pressure of the exam itself cannot be completely reproduced in while you are doing your CAT Preparation for CAT 2020.

Some things that should be kept in mind while using CAT Mocks for CAT 2020 Preparation are:

  • Give as much importance to Mock analysis as the actual CAT Mock itself. This will allow you to benchmark your performance against your CAT Preparation level. While scoring a low mark in one of the sections does not mean the end of the world, it should be a cause for concern this close to the CAT 2020 Exam.
  • Based on the CAT Mock Analysis, the CAT Preparation plan should be flexible enough to solve issues that crop up during the analysis. It is important to be conceptually clear on all the important topics so that you stand a good chance of clearing the CAT 2020 Exam.
  • Give at least 2 mocks a week with complete analysis. This would allow you to identify issues faster and make sure that any blips are swiftly rectified. It would also allow you to have a look at various different types of questions that could be asked in the CAT 2020 Exam.
  • Schedule the mock in the same time period as the actual CAT 2020 exam. Everybody has a certain period during the day when they are most productive and alert. If you are lucky, your CAT 2020 Exam slot coincides with that timing. However most people are not so lucky due to which we need to trick our body into that state of mind during the exam slot. This can be done with repeated practice during that particular time slot which will acclimatize you and ensure that you are performing at the peak of your abilities at the time of the CAT Exam.

If these guidelines are kept in mind, the CAT Mocks can take your CAT 2020 Preparation to another level.

Read in Detail : Significance of CAT mocks

Believe in working smart, rather than working hard

CAT has been a prominent examination for having good number of loopholes and eye-washes. After all, it is an aptitude screening examination, often mistook for an intellectual examination. There are a few common guidelines which you need to follow as soon as possible, as there are 2 months in hand for you to give substance to your CAT preparation. The sooner you start pre-exam checks, the better state of mind you would be in a few days before or at the time of examination. Here are a few tips which will help you prepare smartly for CAT 2020, without breaking a sweat:

  • The most effective way to work smartly is to time yourself while solving each question. As you might be aware that the sectional time limit of CAT 2020 has come down to 40 minutes from earlier 60 minutes, so you need to shift your focus from learning the concepts to enhancing your speed and accuracy during the examination. For this, you need to earmark at least 3-4 mock tests every week followed by intensive performance analysis for each mock.  Frequent mock simulation will but your current preparation strategy to test and enable you to solve maximum questions accurately and within the required time frame. This will also cut down your chances of making mistakes and increase your motivation for CAT 2020.
  • Focus on solving last year’s question papers. As CAT syllabus has stayed the same since inception, do not scavenge for syllabus add ons. Studying the entire CAT syllabus is a well known myth. This will be an unnecessary burden for you. Instead, bolster the concepts which you have already learnt and practice more and more questions based on that. On the exam day, scan the CAT question paper from top to bottom and identify questions you can solve without moving many muscles. Those questions will give you that initial boost of confidence and will lead you to solve the rest of the paper energetically. 
  • Identify the trick questions. With few days remaining for CAT 2020, you ought to be in a state where you can pick out trick questions from CAT question paper. CAT consist of 100 questions but since this paper is a sole-check of your aptitude, it would try to confuse you by introducing unsolvable “sitters” in the examination. These types of questions are not meant to be solved by anyone. Beware of wasting your valuable time on such questions. In fact, if you are not able to understand a question in 2 minutes, chances are that you would not be able to solve it all. Students who do not attempt even a single question in CAT also end up scoring more than 50% in the exam. Hence, it is necessary to let go of the trick questions in the examination.
  • Read the questions correctly. Reading a question correctly increases your chances of solving it correctly. Many a time, students who are aware of how to solve a particular question end up solving it incorrectly. This mainly happens because of “confidence overshoot”. Glancing at the question once can put you in a state of illusion that you can solve this question blindly. However, this can lead to wrong interpretation of the information provided in the question leading to an incorrect solution. Hence, take time to read your question and start solving only after you understood it properly.
  • Try to solve the Verbal Ability and the Paragraph based questions before the RC questions. As RC is the most-lengthy part of VARC, it is advised to start your VARC section on a lighter note. Beginning with easier questions would not land you in a state of quandary which is likely tp happen with RC questions. Also, use the “POE Technique” I.e Process of Elimination to solve the RC questions fast and effectively.

CAT Preparation 2020 : The last straw

Believe in working smart, rather than working hard. CAT has been a prominent examination for having a good number of loopholes and eye-washes. After all, it is an aptitude screening examination, often mistaken for an intellectual examination. There are a few common guidelines which you need to follow as soon as possible, as there are 2 months in hand for you to give substance to your CAT preparation. The sooner you start pre-exam checks, the better state of mind you would be in a few days before or at the time of examination. Here are a few tips which will help you prepare smartly for CAT 2020, without breaking a sweat:

  • Time yourself, very important :: As you might be aware that the sectional time limit of CAT 2020 has come down to 40 minutes from earlier 60 minutes, so you need to shift your focus from learning the concepts to enhancing your speed and accuracy during the examination. For this, you need to earmark at least 3-4 mock tests every week followed by intensive performance analysis for each mock. Frequent mock simulation will put your current preparation strategy to test and enable you to solve maximum questions accurately and within the required time frame. This will also cut down your chances of making mistakes and increase your motivation for CAT 2020.
  • Focus on solving last year’s question papers :: As CAT syllabus has stayed the same since inception, do not scavenge for syllabus add ons. Studying the entire CAT syllabus is a well known myth. This will be an unnecessary burden for you. Instead, bolster the concepts which you have already learnt and practice more and more questions based on that. On the exam day, scan the CAT question paper from top to bottom and identify questions you can solve without moving many muscles. Those questions will give you that initial boost of confidence and will lead you to solve the rest of the paper energetically.
  • Identify the trick questions :: With few days remaining for CAT 2020, you ought to be in a state where you can pick out trick questions from the CAT question paper. CAT consists of 100 questions but since this paper is a sole-check of your aptitude, it would try to confuse you by introducing unsolvable “sitters” in the examination. These types of questions are not meant to be solved by anyone. Beware of wasting your valuable time on such questions. In fact, if you are not able to understand a question in 2 minutes, chances are that you would not be able to solve it all. Students who do not attempt even a single question in CAT also end up scoring more than 50% in the exam. Hence, it is necessary to let go of the trick questions in the examination.
  • Read the questions properly, for heaven’s sake :: Reading a question correctly increases your chances of solving it correctly. Many a time, students who are aware of how to solve a particular question end up solving it incorrectly. This mainly happens because of “confidence overshoot”. Glancing at the question once can put you in a state of illusion that you can solve this question blindly. However, this can lead to wrong interpretation of the information provided in the question leading to an incorrect solution. Hence, take time to read your question and start solving only after you understood it properly.
  • CAT VARC to your rescue :: As per the updated CAT 2020 exam pattern, CAT VARC difficulty level is going to be lower than CAT 2019 and this can be a blessing in disguise for CAT aspirants. Try to solve the Verbal Ability and the Paragraph based questions before the RC questions. As RC is the most-lengthy part of VARC, it is advised to start your VARC section on a lighter note. Beginning with easier questions would not land you in a state of quandary which is likely to happen with RC questions. Also, use the “POE Technique” I.e Process of Elimination to solve the RC questions fast and effectively.

Learn to Relax

While it may seem rather counterproductive compared to all the previous suggestions, it is important to remove some time for you as well. This will ensure that you do not burn out before the actual battle and will also keep you refreshed during your CAT Preparation.

Any leisure activity which will help you refresh yourself can be done at this time. If it includes something like reading novels or newspapers, it is even better as it will aid you in your CAT VARC preparations well. However it is important to keep your mind clear of all worries as it will only hamper your quest to recharge your batteries and go for the CAT Preparation again.

Anxiety can be a good servant, but a bad master. Do not let anxiety choke you up or cast a shadow over your confidence while you edge closer and closer to the examination. You have spurt in significant efforts to prepare for this examination and you are all set to face it “head on”. Think of it as a “two-way street”. Walking on any of the two ways in front of you will be significant in the longer run of life. Having this perspective will ease a lot of pressure and help you dart your focus towards the exam. Once your focus is in place, success is bound to trip in your favor.

Do not let your anxiety take control over your confidence

Anxiety can be a good servant, but a bad master. Do not let anxiety choke you up or cast a shadow over your confidence while you edge closer and closer to the examination. You have spurt in significant efforts to prepare for this examination and you are all set to face it “head on”. Think of it as a “two-way street”. Walking on any of the two ways in front of you will be significant in the longer run of life. Having this perspective will ease a lot of pressure and help you dart your focus towards the exam. Once your focus is in place, success is bound to trip in your favor.

Conclusion

As it is with any performance sport, it is important to be in the right frame of mind at the time of the main event which in this case is the CAT Exam itself. As long as you follow the steps given above and customize it such that it suits you best, you should be able to cover a decent amount of ground and be ready for the CAT 2020 Exam when it comes your way.