All posts filed under: Motivation

Are you ready for a real test?

From very early on in our lives we are exposed (or subjected) to this word called TEST. As we enter the higher grades, the role 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.

Getting ready for CAT D-day

I did something yesterday that I do not normally do (a few colleagues have been asking me to do this for a long time) — make a video log. Marshall McLuhan, a visionary sage whose predictions and analyses have mostly stood the test of time, famously said that the medium is the message. What he meant is that the nature of the medium ends up changing or determining the message. One of the reasons why I have never done a video log is that in a visual medium the focus is on engaging the eyes of the viewer — photography, ads, movies — and my message is just words. So no wonder that after editing the video my colleague came and told me that at 40 minutes it is way too long and asked me if I can tone it down to 4 minutes! I ended up giving him a short sermon — if my goal is to engage the eyes of the students then I have to start performing in front of the camera, …

CAT 2019 Miscellany: Morning Slot, Nervous Insomnia

I was (though I should not have been) surprised that the post on the afternoon slot blues elicited requests for a post on how to handle the morning slot for those who are not morning people at all. It is natural that given the binary nature of tendencies at a broad level, for every aspirant who is a morning person there will be a corresponding night owl. I can’t say I have a cure for this but I can put forward a tentative plan that those uncomfortable with a morning slot can try out over the next few weeks. Personally, I am not a morning person either, I would call myself a mid-morning person (I work best between 11 and 2). My natural time to wake up without an alarm (irrespective of when I sleep) is 7, the real waking up time is between 7:30 and 8:00.  Whenever I have to wake up earlier than 7, usually to catch an early morning flight, I end up not sleeping that well since I am aware of having …

CAT 2019 Miscellany: Afternoon slot, test pattern, and diet blues

The super-long Diwali weekend has been a good break and I thought for a change I’d use my desk at home to do a post on the all the small niggles here and there that keep popping up through the comments. I hope you guys used the break well 🙂 An afternoon slot for a morning person! The admit cards are out and I once again I have gotten a city other than Mumbai, this time it is Pune and not Nashik like it was the time before, and it is an afternoon slot. It goes without saying half of the test-takers will have got an afternoon slot so, as Sheldon would say, it should not have come as a surprise. But the question is what do we do now that you are supposed to be in prime test-taking mode from 2:30 to 5:30 and until now you have been taking tests in the morning? How do you beat the usual sluggishness in the afternoon and is it possible to go from sluggishness to full …

CAT 2019: A plan for the last leg

At this stage, I realise that all of you are suffering from a different set of problems that occur at different score-levels. It is quite tough to come up with posts for the specific score ranges that different people are in and absolutely stupid to come up with a do-this-everyday-for-the-next-30 days sort of a thing (if you even think that is possible then you are preparing for the wrong exam). This post is intended to help you devise the best plan for yourself over the next thirty days. Fix your desired set of colleges, tests, and percentiles While everyone should and still aim to get into the old IIMs, each of one of you should also have a clear idea as to what the good colleges are for your profile for you apart from the IIMs. When I say a good college for you, you should measure it in terms of the outcomes that will be commensurate with your profile at this stage. An MBA primarily amplifies your current profile, this means that it will …

CAT 2019: My scores have plateaued, how do I push them north

We have about 40 days left for the CAT and the queries I am getting are reflecting the same. Aspirants have written to me saying that they have fixed the selection problem using the A-B-C approach and set selection approach for DI-LR and VA-RC and right now they have a different problem — scores have hit a plateau at their respective levels — 120, 135, 150. And most are facing the same dilemma —  I don’t want to increase my speed and go below the current scores and get demotivated, but if I don’t increase my speed my scores will not go up, what do I do.Well this post a more or less a summation of a long chat answering the same question that I had with an old student of mine today morning. Are you squeezing every drop out of your brain cells One of the things I know about test-taking is that your best scores will take everything out of you, you will not be doing it comfortably. All of us, including me, …