CAT Strat
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3 Reasons to overcome your fears and take SimCAT 1

We are on the eve of SimCAT 1 and a lot of students (mostly first-time CAT-takers) are apprehensive and understandably so, about taking it. Over the years we have found the self-same reasons that induce this fear, and this post is geared towards addressing them.

#1: I Have Not Finished The Concepts Yet 

This is probably the biggest reason why first-time CAT-takers who have just started the CAT prep are hesitant to take the first SimCAT. They tell themselves that they will start taking tests once they finish learning the concepts.

Firstly, this is not a school/college test where taking a test means memorizing formulae from a book and reproducing them in an exam.

Cracking the CAT is only 50 percent about knowing concepts, 50 percent is about knowing how to take a test — managing the 60 minutes of a section, gauging the difficulty of questions and choosing the right questions to solve.

Test-taking is a skill that can be honed only through taking as many SimCATs as possible. So if you decide to skip a few SimCATs till you have covered the concepts, you might still perform poorly whenever you take your first SimCAT since you do not know how to take a test!

So even if you feel you do not know a thing, go ahead, take the test and solve whatever you can!


#2: I Do Not Want To See A Poor Score 

There is nothing called a poor score, only percentiles matter.

Those who are re-taking the CAT or are aware of CAT folklore, would know that in CAT 2013, a test-taker with a score of 0 would have secured the 55th percentile. Imagine, even if you slept through the whole test you would still have done better than 55 percent of the test-takers!

In the same CAT (2013), one of our students attempted only 16 questions in each of the sections and secured a 99.89 percentile (and did his MBA from IIM-C).

Whereas in 2014 the CAT was a relatively easy and test-takers had to get a much higher number of questions right to hit the 99th percentile.

So, even if you attempt only 15-20 questions in each section and get 12-15 questions right on SimCAT 1, you will still get a respectable percentile on your first outing.

#3: CAT is tough and I am aiming at other tests

Most students want to do an MBA from a decent school and are probably looking at cracking tests that have a reputation to be easier than the CAT.

If you imagine all the MBA entrance tests in India to be stacked up on a dart board, then CAT is the bulls-eye. And anyone who have ever tried his/her hand at darts would know that you should always practice by aiming at the bulls-eye.

By giving your best shot at CAT you automatically put yourself in a position to maximize your chances on the non-CAT tests for there are very few people who prepare for the CAT alone.

Serious aspirants would be aiming at the IIMs and taking other tests as a back-up,  so even if you do not aspire to ace the CAT,  you will be competing with those who do and having prepared for it they will give you a run for your money on the non-CAT tests.

If there is one thing that all test-takers should keep in mind during the whole test-taking season it is this — Never Miss A SimCAT.

SimCATs offer you the best possible simulation of the CAT in terms of test-structure and level of difficulty, so you should always be not just ready but greedy to take a SimCAT.

All the best!

32 Comments

  1. Hello sir. I hope you are doing great. Sir, I have a small request. The way you solved questions in the RC Masterclass, proved to be very helpful. I just wanted to know if you could make a video, where you would be using the same methods to solve the 2019 CAT RC’s. It would be of great help. Thank you, sir.

    Like

    • Hi Aveek,

      I am doing as well as one can during this lock-up 🙂

      I do plan to solve last year’s paper but not so early in the season, maybe a few months from now. I will do the video solutions for a few SimCATs as well.

      All the best for SimCAT 1 and the rest of the season!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you sir. its really helpful. Just completed the SimCAT 1 and when i saw result on my screen it really helped me to identify my mistakes. Thanks you for motivating us through your insightful thoughts.

    Like

  3. Thank you sir. its really helpful. Just completed the SimCAT 1 and when i saw result on my screen it really helped me to identify my mistakes. Thanks you for motivating us through your insightful thoughts.

    Like

  4. samridhi says

    hello sir,
    I am a student of IMS Vashi
    I gave my SIMCAT but i observed that i underperformed in QA .I ended up getting an average score according to me. since i have no background of CAT or SIMCAT what is a good score for first mock ?i feel discouraged since QA lways used to be my strong section
    i scored 70 in total with 65% accuracy.

    Like

    • Hi Samriddhi,

      It is a decent score for a first Mock. I’ll put up a post (once the percentiles are out) on how to make sense of it and how to plan forward.

      All the best!

      Like

  5. radhikaomar says

    Dear sir,
    Sir your blog on sim- cat really motivated me too not to miss any sim cat and overcome my fear of taking a sim- cat.

    Thank you sir.

    Like

  6. Chinmay says

    Sir, when will the percentiles and solutions for this sim cat be available?

    Like

  7. Varun says

    Good Evening Sir,
    Hope you are doing well. I just gave my first SIMCAT ( probably the first full mock since last year of my preparation). I scored 65% in CAT-19. I am quite determined to crack CAT this year.
    I scored 85 in SIMCAT-1. Can you please tell what should be course of action from now on and what could be a decent benchmark for the score in the next SIMCAT.
    Waiting for the Positive response.

    Like

    • Hi Varun,

      85 is not a bad start and will probably get your past the 80-percentile mark. I will put up a detailed post on Wednesday once the percentiles are out.

      All the best!

      Like

  8. Dear sir,
    I scored 58 in the VARC section in this SIMCAT,though i missed out on parajumbles big time.Any suggestions on this Sir,because there is no negative marking in them.
    Thanks

    Like

    • Hi,

      58 is a pretty good VA-RC score. Once the SimCAT is open take a look at the video solutions by Punit Sir, he will more than cover how to tackle them. I’ll take a few SimCATs as well later.

      I think for now spend a lot of time on the other two sections.

      All the best!

      Like

  9. Akhilan says

    Dear Sir,

    I gave the test for these very reasons, thank you for the post it helped a lot.

    Score a low 68 as a total score, I froze when I was the under the pump during QA and DI. How do you recommend I modify my daily practice to get used to this

    Like

    • Hi Akhilan,

      I think a lot of it comes down to the selection of sets/questions in DI-LR and QA, I will cover this in a later post, and getting used to taking tests. It does not have much to do with practice (unless you have not done too many questions) as much as to do with test-taking.

      Also, fatigue can be a big issue especially towards the end of the DI-LR section. So practising for 3 hours at a stretch without a break and with your phone switched off is a great way of developing stamina.

      All the best!

      Like

  10. Gunjan Gulati says

    Dear Sir,
    I have taken the SIMCAT and my percenticle and score are so less that I’m ashamed to mention it. I am a non-eng student and it is getting tougher for me to actually be able to solve questions properly and correctly. Even when i sat for analysing my SIMCAT the QA section, i realied most of the concepts i wasn’t aware of also LR DI wasn’t a easy task for me.

    What would you suggest me sir? Would this period of 6 months to the actual CAT improve my score and make be ready for CAT? Or what shall i do for increasing my score for the next SIMCATs?

    Like

    • Hi Gunjan,

      The first SimCAT will always be big torture, especially for a first-time non-engineer.

      I suggest the following as a way forward:

      1. QA — Start with watching all the Arithmetic videos in the LEARN Module, the videos are arranged topic-wise along with problems to solve; solve enough till you are comfortable with that topic and move on to the next one. After Arithmetic, solve Numbers, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Math in that order.

      2. Arithmetic & Modern Math are extremely important for DI-LR so as you get better at both of them you will see an improvement in your DI-LR scores. But that does not mean that you do not practice, you can watch the videos in the LEARN Module of DI-LR.

      I hope you attended or watched the recording of the webinar I took — https://thecatwriter.com/2020/04/21/7-skills-to-crack-the-cat-enter-the-iims-2/

      This will help you with a practice routine and schedule.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Satyam Saboo says

    Sir,I took SIMCAT 1 and scored 139(98.51%ile),I scored 76(99.9) in Verbal Section but only 22(82.49) IN Quant,sir I am a bit nervous about carrying on and doing well in further mocks,also I lag a lot behind in Quant with less attempts,how can I build the confidence throughout CAT journey,even if I under-perform in any further tests in future.

    Like

    • Hi Satyam,

      Firstly, 139 is a great score on SimCAT 1 and if were you I would take confidence from the fact that I scored 41 in the DI-LR section, and when I combined with the 75 in VA-RC I can see that you all the core skills to tackle the test, reading-speed & reasoning speed.

      So all you need to do is translate the reasoning skills into the QA section. Your scores remind me a lot of my early scores, they are eerily similar.

      So I would like you to approach Quant like a sportsman competing in a heptathlon or decathlon, knowing that you have all the core skills required to complete. Treat each area as a sport or even a game with a set of rule, within that knowing the rules itself means nothing, what is needed to reason within the context of the game.

      So do not bother about attempts and score to begin with as much as trying to feel comfortable within the QA section and being patient enough to know that it will take some time.

      Most importantly you need not become a champ at QA, to win a heptathlon or decathlon you can finish second or third in every sport and do it. The tough questions across every area need to be left.

      Watch the recording of the latest webinar, the one I used yesterday, finish the LEARN Module of QA (especially the videos and practice that makes you feel comfortable), and watch the video solution of each and every problem of the SimCAT, that will teach you how to play and how to reason.

      I am confident you should be able to crack it!

      All the best!

      Like

  12. This might not be the ideal place to ask such an advice but still since it matters before I take the preparation full on it’s important.So here goes.
    I am a GEM with currently 4+ years of experience in IT domain.I am seriously considering taking the CAT this year and have started my preparation as well.Simple question from my side, should I carry on?

    Like

    • Hi Debanshu,

      More than 4 years of work-ex is definitely on the higher side.
      I think you can take a shot but you should look at GMAT as well to apply to 1-year programs.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Hi,
        Thanks for your reply.I would like to know the path ahead if I want to follow the 1 year MBA route.And also since I want a shift in the sector in which currently I am in (I T) will it help to do such a course.Thanks in advance.

        Like

      • Hi Debanshu,

        Thanks for clarifying about the domain change.

        In a 1-year or a 2-year program, a domain shift is not easy with 5 years of experience at the time of joining but it is definitely not impossible. It will definitely be easier through a 2-year program than a 1-year program.

        If you are not a rush I would say take a shot at a 2-year program this year and hope it works out with an admit from a good college. Else you can always do a 1-year program later.

        All the best!

        Like

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