10 Self Preparation Tips to ace CAT 2020

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Megha Rohilla

University Data Specialist

CAT 2020 is one of the most competitive exams in India, with several millions of students attempting this prestigious management examination every year. The candidates who succeed in this highly rigorous exam are placed in some of the most globally recognized colleges in India. The best colleges under CAT include the IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore and so on. Especially with CAT 2020 right around the corner, here are some of the best tips and tricks to crack CAT 2020: 

  1. Visualise the Data and use the Rough Sheet

The data in CAT can become extremely confusing and overwhelming for a lot of aspirants. Due to the limited amount of time you have for solving the paper, it is not always practical to draw in the rough sheet. As much as possible, try to visualise the data accurately. This can only come with enough practise, however. If visualising data is not your strong suit, it is recommended that you should really make use of the rough sheet to draw a very rough mockup of the figures and data you're trying to find. It is given to you for a purpose, best to make use of it. 

  1. Use the method of Elimination

One of the most used tricks in Multiple choice questions papers is to use the method of elimination. CAT options can get quite confusing, even for the best of the candidates. However, if you use certain methods you can maximise the time you save. The trick to this method is to find the wrong answer first. When you look at a question and are completely sure that the option is wrong, cross it out. Do this for the other options as well. This can be a very useful time management trick. However, it can also backfire so be careful while eliminating answers as the negative marks can pile up quite quickly. 

  1. Read Questions first before reading the passage

This is an important tip as it is a natural response to read the passage before reading the questions. However, it is more efficient to read the questions and all the options before approaching the passages as it can save time and improve accuracy for the Reading Comprehension section. Reading the questions will give you an idea of what to look for when you are attempting the passage, and sometimes you don't even need to read the entire passage. 

  1. Prioritize

CAT 2020 is an extremely time sensitive paper. You will have only about 40 minutes to solve each section, so it is important to keep an eye on the clock. Prioritise the questions you know you can solve quickly and accurately, leave the lengthy and difficult questions for the end. Do not just focus on the easy questions, rather prioritise the questions that take small amounts of time to solve. Here practise also becomes necessary, because without practise you will not know which questions you are well versed with and which questions take too much time to solve. 

  1.  Avoid Last Minute Panic

This is quite important, because any form of last minute panic can leak into your exam performance and drastically affect your scores. Make a checklist of things you need to carry for CAT 2020, such as ID Proof and CAT Admit Card. Make sure you know how to reach the exam center beforehand, and plan for traffic and public transport as well. 

  1. Pay Attention to the words

This is an important tip, as the questions sometimes are worded to be deliberately confusing. Read each question carefully before attempting to solve it. 

  1. Have a Balanced Diet

Your brain needs energy to perform well, so eat plenty of healthy food during the exam preparation and before as well. Having an empty stomach during the exam can be very distracting, so make sure you have some food in your system before attempting CAT 2020.

  1. Hydrate Yourself

Your brain will also need plenty of water to perform well. Being thirsty during the exam can be pretty detrimental to your performance. 

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

The impulse to not sleep and evote all those precious hours towards preparation can be pretty enticing, but a sleep deprived brain functions poorly. So, sleep for at least 7-8 hours daily. 

  1. Self-Care

It is understandable to forget yourself during exams, but it can have very lasting impacts on you. Take some time for yourself as well and do something that you enjoy for at least one hour a day. 

All The Best!