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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…