All posts filed under: CAT Strat

Why your actual abilities might not be as good as you think they are

The purpose of this site has been to examine the problems that students keep bringing back to me over the years, and as the important ones get addressed I keep getting other questions that depending on how one looks at it are either simple or hide more than they reveal to the casual observer. One such conundrum is this one, a paraphrase of a problem that I have answered in many comments: I do not know what happens to me during the test — I do pathetically, sometimes I am even ashamed to mention how much I score — but when I sit after the test, I find that I can answer all questions easily. How do I deal with this nervousness, how do I tackle this? You are looking in the wrong mirror — your post-test performance does not really count The biggest thing test-takers discount is that they are solving the whole paper for the second time! You have already spent 40 or 60 minutes with the 25 to 35 problems. You have …

Setting the right targets on your way to a 99 percentile

A few years back, I attended the Chennai convocation function for aspirants who cleared the Company Secretary (CS) exam (a relative of mine had cleared the exam). The Chief Guest was Padmishri awardee T.N.Manoharan, who is a pre-eminent figure in the Banking and Accounting sector in the country with his book being a must-read for all CA aspirants. He was part of the government-appointed team that cleaned up the Satyam mess and paved the way for the transition to Tech Mahindra. His keynote address was leavened with wisdom and had too many punchlines for me to recount here but one of the things he said is spot on when it comes to the way we should deal with success and failure. He said…

CAT Preparation: Changing The Default Settings

Every year a lot of aspirants toil away at this thing called CAT preparation. The most sincere and determined ones, come in full of energy and enthusiasm to do whatever it takes to ace this test and get into the hallowed portals of an IIM. But do they come in with a blank mind ready to understand what this test is all about and attune themselves to it? The answer as we all know is, NO. A CAT aspirant beginning his prep will be at the very least 20 years old, long enough to start the test with a sizeable psychological baggage — a mental make up that stems from one’s experiences and successes with education & tests throughout school & college.

How to prepare for a CAT retake – Part II

In the previous post, we discussed the mindset with which one should approach a CAT retake; in this post, we shall look at a few more aspects with respect to a successful CAT retake. Since each one of you readers will have a different back story with respect to your first attempt and there will also be some non-IMS students among you as well, the focus of this post will be a bit wider.

How to prepare for a CAT retake – Part I

Most of the institutes have given out their calls (or at least most of you know your chances) and many of you might be planning to retake the CAT. For some of you, it might be a case of almost getting there but missing out because of one poor section or just missing out on the overall percentile. For others, the CAT-day might have been a bad day at the office and you knew straight away that nothing much was going to happen. On my first attempt, I fell into the latter group — I knew I was out of my depth when I saw the Quant paper, there was no way I was going to clear the cut-offs. This despite consistently doing very well in the Sims leading up to the test. I decided to take another shot since I was very clear that it was not out of my league. This post, in three parts, is for all those re-takers who are NOT hoping to get lucky next time around but want to ensure that …

CAT Retake: Resetting your head before you restart prep

I have always been a big believer in the principle that how we approach a thing — an exam, a project, a a relationship — the quality of our thoughts around the same, ends up determining the end outcome to a much larger extent than the actual strategies and the things we do since the mindset precedes all of these things. So, before I post the three-part series on how to prepare for a retake, I thought I should do a short post on the right mindset that you should get into before you set sail once again. Firstly, count only the “proper” attempts I have seen a lot of people talk about attempts as if they were carrying a huge cross — this is my third attempt — as if they have given their lives for this exam and it just does not seem love them back! Well, firstly unless you have taken at least 10 SimCATs, you cannot  legitimately say that you have prepared for the exam — it is not true love …