'I will fight till the last few seconds'

A Inspirational note fro Rediff.

As CAT rapidly approaches, many students find the pressure unbearable.

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By now you should have sorted out your weakness and figured out your areas of strength. The most preferred order of attempting the sections should also be in place. There should not be any major change in your strategies during these last few days for the simple reason that the time available is not sufficient to practice that new idea someone gave you during the last mock test.
People who are working should consider keeping these last few days to themselves and taking leave from office. There are two lines of thoughts here. While some believe staying away from office helps one focus better, others feel that engaging in activities other than CAT gives you something else to think and talk about which in turn helps you cope with pressure better. It's upto you to decide what suits you best but the things I'm about to suggest would be more effective if you chose to stay at home.
Here are a few simple things which should help at least a few of you out there:
~ Review earlier mocks/FLTsIt would be in your best interest to review the mocks/FLTs you have already attempted. The aim should be to review those special questions which either introduced a new concept or required a different approach for solving. This is of immense help since if lady luck decides to smile on you, you might just get a question similar to one in those mocks. Atleast it happened to me for CAT-2005 and I think that was the clincher for me!
The second reason you must review those mock tests is to remind yourself of some of the silly mistakes you committed in them. You surely won't want to repeat any of those on the most important day. By now you should know the areas which are your pitfalls. It might be parajumbles or poems or geometry or something else. These areas should not be your first choice on the day of CAT. Only if you have run out of questions after the first stage of scanning should you come to these.
~ Practicing with mocks and earlier CAT papersI believed it was a good idea to go into the exam-hall after having run a mini marathon and taken a small rest! What I'm suggesting here is something I tried myself and it worked for me. You can tinker it to suit your comfort level. It may be a good idea to attempt about 5-6 full length papers during the last two weeks, attempting a mock every alternate day. This should be the final test for your strategy for CAT-2007. The day between the two mocks can be spent in analysis of earlier mocks, brushing up on some fundamentals and attempting a sectional test or two. There must be a sense of urgency by now which should ensure that you are able to review most of the mocks and sectionals you attempt now quickly. Out of these 6 mocks, atleast 3 should be the earlier CAT papers. This would ensure that you not only spend a good amount of time practicing but also get a flavour of the real CAT.
Test your speed and accuracy with this Mock CAT
I also suggest you choose these mocks/ sectionals across different coaching institutes. This would provide some variety. Don't get bogged down in case you happen to score low in one of these paper. Your only aim should be to meet all the sectional cut-offs in these papers and better your highest score. And, I suggest you don't calculate your score from the last mock! ~ 2 days before the CATYou should not attempt any mocks at this stage. The best way to utilise this time is to pick up those books on quant fundamentals and brush up on the formulae, concepts and whatever else you had left for review during the last few days. Don't try anything new here! By this time you should begin to move away from the preparation mode. You may decide to go to office just like I did.~ A day before the CATThis day should be spent away from books. Spend time doing what you love the most. Catch a good movie, speak to people, go to office or do anything else other than discuss CAT. I would suggest you see a movie which inspires you to achieve and gives that adrenalin rush!
~ On C-Day When you wake up, sit quietly for a few minutes. Tell yourself: "This is the day I have been waiting for -- this will be my Day! I won't falter and come what may I will fight till the last few seconds!" It may leave a few of you really charged up emotionally, which I'll say might just work. It did for me!
Have a good light breakfast. Before leaving for the CAT centre, pick up the newspaper. Read any article the fastest you can without bothering to comprehend. Think of some arbitrary numbers and add, multiply, divide them for next 2-3 minutes. This will be like a warm-up before the race and would ensure you get into the hall with your cerebral-machinery running.
Consistency and timing are critical
Reach the examination centre with sufficient time in hand. When you receive the paper, read those instructions carefully. This would give you an idea of the number of questions and their split across different sections. The next few minutes can be utilised to modify your strategy if required. Eg. In CAT-2005, 2-mark questions were introduced. In those 15 minutes before 11am, I decided to spilt my 40 minutes for each section into 15-25 in favour of 1-mark and 2-mark questions respectively, the sequence remaining same.
Lastly, I would like to remind you all once again, the kind of mock scores you carry into the halls never matter. A guy with 99+ per cent in mocks could falter and a guy who scored less than 90 per cent could ace the exam! I have always believed that its all about those two hrs (now 2.5 hrs) which will change lives!
Someone told me once: "In the race of CAT, the first hour will see people fighting to stay in the race, the next 30 minutes will have only 5 percentile of people in the race and the last 30 minutes will see the winner emerge!"
So go in with a positive frame of mind, fight it out to the best of your abilities and be a winner.
All the best!

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Vocab Power Updated Daily

  • COBBLED - Repair or mend
  • ABHORRENCE - Hate coupled with disgust
  • INCUMBENCY - The term during which some position is held
  • MITIGATE -Lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
  • dubious - Open to doubt or suspicion
  • FOSTERING - Encouragement; aiding the development of something
  • ELICIT- Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
  • PLAUSIBLE - Apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful
  • FORGE - Move ahead steadily
  • BOLSTER (V)-Support and strengthen
  • ECCENTRIC- A person with an unusual or odd personality
  • PATRONAGE - The act of providing approval and support
  • IMPERVIOUS - Not admitting of passage or capable of being affected

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