We are on the eve of SimCAT 1 and a lot of students (mostly first-time CAT-takers) are apprehensive, 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.
In the previous two posts, we discussed the mindset and the tools that you would need for a successful retake. In this post, we will take a look at the specific things you need to do for each section and area.
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.
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 …
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 …
This is a question that I get asked often by students and a very important one at that — how do I build my profile? So before we get on to the answer, let us evaluate what elements of a profile are.
Every year in the March-May period, a lot of CAT aspirants contemplate quitting their jobs to prepare for the CAT, this post is outlines the things that you need to consider before taking that call.
In the aftermath of the CAT, a lot of aspirants who did not make it will be contemplating their next move and the GMAT as an option will be looming large on the horizon. I feel that for those aspirants who have a stellar profile, more than 30 months of work experience as of now, and are aiming at top-tier colleges, the GMAT should definitely be an option to consider.
At this juncture, it doesn’t take a magician to see what kind of anxieties aspirants might be going through. A small fraction of you have got the calls you want and are all excited and nervous about the impending interviews or the results of the same, others have GD-PI calls but are not sure whether the b-schools that have given them the calls are really worth it, and still others knowing that this year is done have hit snooze-mode till June. This post will primarily deal with the dilemma of those in between — to re-take or not to re-take the CAT. It is not an easy call to take but your task will become easy if you ask yourself the right questions and give the most honest answers you can to them.
I hope the last week served its purpose, which was for you to process all the emotional side-effects of the CAT. Going by the response to the previous post, there seems to have been enough and more trauma that this year’s edition of the CAT has caused. The CAT is an indicator of what you CANNOT do, not what you CAN do The aim of the CAT is to eliminate applicants and not benchmark applicants, so given this you should understand that the CAT exam serves the needs of the IIM admissions teams more than the test-takers. So, in effect what is tells you is this — it puts really heavy weights in front of you especially the DI-LR section, if you can lift great if you cannot, hard luck. Until 2018, the other two sections were easy, I assumed it was by design to ensure a more equal playing field to applicants from diverse educational backgrounds (you cannot say you want educational diversity and shaft the non-Math students in the QA section). Last year, …