I never thought I’d say this but it looks like the IIMs have finally figured out once and for all what they want to test. I keep taking the CAT every year, yesterday being my 14th time if I am counting right, with a view to understanding the changes in the test and incorporate the same into my teaching. But given the last four CATs (including this year’s) I think they seem to have settled upon what they want to test. The phrase that most of us in the CAT-prep fraternity use — the CAT keeps changing — might not hold true anymore.
Unlike international tests like the GMAT or the GRE, the CAT is not a standardized test, there can be — new question types, fluctuation in difficulty levels, more questions than expected from a particular area. Given this, it is imperative that you go into the test with a few pointers both to manage the uncertainty as well as to ensure that you optimise your performance during 180 minutes.
One of the biggest questions that you need to ask yourself is how do you think of yourself with respect to life? Do you think of yourself as an individual who makes life happen or to whom life happens? Do you see yourself at the doing end of things or at the receiving end of things? Do you believe or do you hope?
From very early on in our lives we are exposed (or subjected) to this word called TEST. As we enter the higher grades the importance that TESTS play or are supposed to play in our lives steadily increases. If we look back, for most of us, tests have always been part of a trinity, they have always been concomitant with two other things — fear and prayer. At some point of time all of us when faced with a test (including yours truly) have felt at the least a sliver of fear running through our bodies prior to a test and even most unbelieving of us have muttered a tiny little prayer under our breaths.
We have reached the last stretch now. We have done enough concepts, practice & strategy. We have now crossed an invisible frontier, we have moved from the general to the specific, from what is outside of you to what is inside of you, to that space between your ears. Those who have taken the CAT before will attest that how well you manage your 180 minutes, how well you react to tough set or a section, how well you are able to execute Plan A or switch to Plan B, everything, depends on how well you manage the space between your ears. So let’s take it section by section, let’s look at each of the 60 minutes, let’s look at what you need to do right, what you need to watch out for and most importantly what can go wrong.