What should you do the day before the CAT?

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CAT Strat / Motivation

Over the posts and the classes you would have seen that I often use sport, cricket more than anything else, to put many things in perspective be it the technique to solve a question, the strategic approach towards an aptitude test and the mindset that you need to have going into a test. I find a great deal of similarity in the circumstances under which one needs to perform and the things one needs to do in order to succeed.

So to figure out what to do before the test, it is best to use examples from the world of sport.

If you have seen sportsmen emerge out of the team bus you would see most of them stepping out with earphones on. Shouldn’t they be discussing strategy, animatedly talking about what they are going to do to tackle a particular opponent etc.

All of that as we know would have already been done in advance. On the eve of the game all they need to do is be relaxed and what better way to relax and than do the things you love that do not drain your energy.

So what are things you should be doing on 28-Nov

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[title text=”No tests, no studying”]

If this was an engineering exam or any other memory-based exam then we should do the exact opposite — cram as much as possible so that you retain stuff. But very little on the CAT is based memory.

  • The three SET-based questions RC, DI and LR that account for half the test have nothing to do with memory!
  • The part of VA that involves memory vocab-based questions and and Grammar account for few questions and cover such a vast spread that the last day is going to make no difference.
  • If you need to remember QA formulas a day before the test then the lesser said the better 🙂

So this has to be your day off as far as CAT Prep is concerned.

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[title text=”Be up early, take a walk”]

Be up early and take a nice long walk outside. I know the rains have left Chennai roads very messy but get in a good 30 minutes of cardio. As I wrote in an earlier post, nothing like some fresh morning air to vacuum clean your grey cells.

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[title text=”Sip on some motivational brew during the day”]

All successful sports teams have brought on motivational speakers with major accomplishments to help their elite sportsmen deliver on the big stage. If the biggest sportsmen need it then I think you can use it.

During the 2011 World Cup, the Indian team used brought Mike Horn, an Arctic explorer, to work with individual players as well as the team as whole.

Last July, Horn, an extreme athlete, climbed Broad Peak (8047 metres above sea level, on the border of China and Pakistan) on a Himalayan expedition. “I wondered how he could cope with such extremities,” Harbhajan says, pausing midway into his dinner. “Horn recalled how over 8000 metres the oxygen was minimal and he struggled to breathe. It took him 35 hours to climb up, but 56 to climb down, all without eating or drinking .

The complete article

South Africa also brought him on board for this year’s World Cup but then with them it is always…:-)

The most recent story, something I have shared with a few students, is related to the recent U.S.Open Final between Djokovic and Federer. Djokovic knew that he will be playing in front of a partisan crowd, a crowd that will be entirely rooting for Federer. He knew he was not only playing Federer but the entire crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

So he knew that beating Federer will take more than taking his A-game. He knew it was war, so what did he do?

Silly as it may sound, he watched the movie 300. He called Gerard Butler to be a part of his team and watch the match(he was not playing Murray, Butler’s countryman)!

He beat Federer but more importantly he beat the crowd who were even cheering his mistakes. 

And no wonder after the match he celebrated with Butler 300 style!

Some of the stuff that I have liked over the years

  • Senna — a documentary made only with pre-existing footage about Ayrton Senna the F1 great (the ending is very emotional). Incase you can’t find the documentary with English subtitles then this is also great to watch
  • FIFA World Cup 2006the official film on one of my favourite World Cups (not just for the matches but for Zidane, my favourite footballer, after Maradona of course)

The list can go on and on and each one of you will have your favourite TV series but then there is only so much staring at the computer you should do. I would suggest a maximum of 4 hours of watching in two parts. The eyes need to be fresh as well.

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[title text=”Meet a friend”]

Do not take a nap in the afternoon it makes you sluggish. Meet a friend and chat up about all things useful and useless.

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[title text=”Have a light dinner and turn in early”]

This is something that you should do if you have a morning slot. Even if you have an afternoon slot you should switch off by 12.

Incase you know you are the type who takes too much stress to be able to sleep the night before, put a night-out today(Friday) and do not sleep during the day on Saturday so that whatever happens you sleep well Saturday night.

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[title text=”Ask God for the right things”]

On the whole Indians we Indians are a religious lot. So I am sure the hotline to God(s) will be jammed over the weekend. But what should you ask for?

Do not pray to God that you there should be no Geometry, there should easy LRs.

Test-takers have such diverse strengths that if God grants everyone’s request then the paper will end up becoming easy across all sections and areas! This as we know is the worst possible scenario since cut-off scores will go through the roof! Or worse God might not grant anyone’s request since they will be so many contradictory requests.

So it makes sense to pray to God that He/She gives you the mental stability to handle any paper, make the right choices and do the right things that will help you clear the sectional and over all cut-offs.

You see, even in front of God you have to be strategic, you have to use your brains! Isn’t this what we have been taught through all the childhood stories from King Midas to Bhasmasura.

And yeah, those in Chennai, pray for no rain!

To beat the CAT you should be like a cat.

However you throw it, it will always land on its feet — so whatever the paper you will have to orient yourself to clear the cut-offs.

Enjoy your Saturday, wisely 🙂


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