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All you need to read before D-day

It is that time of the year when most of my students are most nervous with random questions popping out from various crevices of their brains. A few can be answered, a few can’t but the ingredients to succeed  remain the same every year.

No one can predict the pattern of the paper

What do you think will be the pattern of the paper, do you think since IIM-B is conducting the test there will be more VA questions, will they spring a surprise and ask Grammar questions, the list of queries related to the specific pattern of the paper can go on and on.

For all of them there is only one answer — we do not know and no one else does and there is no point trying to find out. In trying to find out we are still exhibiting the same old mentality that has led us to being where we are be it a mind-numbing IT job or the final year a futile engineering  degree. The steps that led us there be it mugging previous years papers from guide books or preparing for spceific parts and ignoring others will not work if we really want to make qualitative shift from where we are to an IIM.

The CAT as a test rewards all-rounders — aspirants who have the ability to

  • do better than most of their peers irrespective of what question types are posed on the VA section as long as they are in English
  • handle whatever is asked in the name of DI & LR irrespective of the tilt towards DI or LR or logic or calculation
  • solve easy and medium QA questions from any topic

So the bottom line is either you have developed this capability by now or you haven’t. Will the paper be kind to your specific strengths and weaknesses? Your favourite God is under as much pressure to deliver as another aspirant’s and I am sure given that there will be many clashing wishes, the Gods will have to do a cabinet-level meeting to sort things out!

Afternoon slot people, do not try to find out the pattern from the morning slot people


Knowledge is sometimes, if not always, fear. The earliest time by which you can get the information about the pattern is 12:15 — by which time you should have already started for your test centre. What will you do with that information at that point of time if

  • your friend tells you DI-LR was tough? Firstly, it might not be of the same level of toughness in your slot. Secondly, shouldn’t you already be prepared to handle it. If you are not prepared then will knowing it make you feel better or worse?
  • your friend tells you there was a rhombus question. Will you start looking up formulas of the same thinking you will be asked the same question?

Since since slots wll differ and you should have already psyhclogically prepared yourself to handle different diffculty levels across so many SimCATs, there is absolutely no point trying to find out. All you will do is psyche yourself out.

So do not visit Pagal Guy (or any other source for that matter over the next few nights and especially before the test) unless you want to become one before the test.

The rest is the same as last year’s story

What should you do the day before, what shouldyou do during the 180 minutes, what should you visualize yourself doing during those 180 minutes, nothing changes year on year.

So all of you should go through these posts, which put together will be all you need to read before the CAT.

Last year I had specifically written about DI-LR being the critical section and not letting performance on that affect the QA section but despite that many aspirants took that same road.

So after reading these posts each one of you will know the specific things you need to watch out for and execute. Tell yourself these things before the test during the waiting period to get yourself into the right frame of mind. Nothing is natural, even the very best need to talk themselves through things.

And remember the battle will be won by those who keep their heads about themselves for 180 minutes.

I hope all readers of this blog and all of my students will hold on steadfastly for 180 minutes and perform to the best of their abilities.

All the best!







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