CAT 2020 Section-Wise Tips for the Topper in You: Do’s and Don'ts for Exam Day

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Megha Rohilla

University Data Specialist

CAT Exam is often considered one of the most venerated entrance exams. IIM graduates are considered the cream of the crop; they get some of the best placements, great jobs and most importantly excellent education. Cracking the CAT Exam takes a lot of hard work, but it is not impossible if you know what you are doing. Preparation up to the exam is one thing, but there are some things you need to keep in mind on the day of the exam: 

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • For Reading Comprehension, read the questions before solving the answers. 
  • Keep in mind that this section is generally easy to moderate in difficulty. 
  • If you cannot remember the meaning of a word or phrase, do not waste time remembering it. Leave it for later. 
  • If there is a question that you do not understand, leave it for later. 

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Solve the questions that you know you can solve quickly first. 
  • Follow it up by time consuming questions. 
  • Use shortcuts as much as you can. 
  • Visualise figures and diagrams. 
  • This section is generally moderate to difficult. 

Read more about CAT 2020 DILR Preparation

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

  • The key to cracking the QA Section of CAT is accuracy. 
  • Quickly solve all the easy questions, leave the difficult ones for later. 
  • Leave questions that you are unfamiliar with. 
  • Remember to use the on screen calculator. 
  • Attempt questions within 90 seconds approximately. 
  • This section is usually difficult.

General Things to keep in mind on the day of the Exam: 

  • Do not waste too much time on one question alone.
  • Accuracy and Speed is key. 
  • Select the TITA Questions (Non-MCQs) wisely. 
  • Remember, Quality over Quantity. 
  • Do Not attempt questions you do not know or are unfamiliar with. 
  • Leave out all the questions that you think will result in a wrong answer, avoid negative marks as much as possible. 
  • Do not stop attempting the paper sincerely after you think a cut off has been achieved, as this strategy might backfire very poorly. 
  • Each section has to be completed in around 40 minutes. 
  • Do not spend too much time on a single question, or keep coming back to that question. Throw in the towel if you are not able to solve within 1-2 minutes. 
  • Do not be demotivated if one section went badly, there will be plenty of opportunities to cover for the lost marks. 
  • Drink plenty of water. 
  • For at least one hour before the exam, stop studying. This will give your brain a chance to reorganize itself and you can give a better attempt. 
  • Get plenty of quality sleep before the exam, as a sleep deprived brain will function very poorly and this might affect your speed and accuracy. 
  • Reach the exam hall at least 40 minutes before to avoid any last minute hassles. 
  • Make sure you have a general travel plan towards the Exam Center, accounting for traffic and crowded public transport. 
  • Remember to carry your Admit Card and ID Proof. 
  • If you feel like a panic attack is incoming, take a moment to get your bearings. Sit down, take a deep breath. It is okay to be anxious, remember to put yourself first and the exam later.