Common Admission Test or CAT, as it is commonly called is a demanding exam. It not only tests your potential to answer tough questions but also your mettle to overcome time constraints and ability to perform under pressure. Time management is considered a crucial aspect of the CAT exam. Poor time distribution for each section can either result in poor preparation or unattempted questions during exams that can seriously hamper the overall CAT score. Keeping this in mind, it is vital that MBA aspirants learn time management skills to manage time effectively before and during the exam, to ace the CAT.
Through this article, Career2NextOrbit team would like to share with the aspirants some tips and tricks to help them ‘Bell the CAT’:
- Find out your strengths and weaknesses
Start by taking mock tests to gauge your performance in all the three sections. Once you figure out which section is your strength and the section that requires more practice and attention, it will be much easier to distribute time for preparation of each section. Likewise, even during the actual exam, you can choose to answer questions you find easier before tackling the tougher ones in a given section.
- Have a Timetable
While different people follow different styles and methods of study, having a routine is always helpful as it makes you more aware of how you are spending your time and helps you keep your preparation on track. Dedicating a fixed amount of time every day is crucial for good performance in the actual exam. Consistency is key to a better score. You can start by deciding how many hours you want to spend per day on preparation and solving questions from different sections. Even during the CAT exam, you will have a better idea about what kind of questions will require more time and you can split your 60 minutes accordingly.
- Move on and revisit later
During your CAT preparation, while solving questions from different sections, if you feel you are stuck at a certain topic then try to tackle another topic or question for the time being. Looking at the same question from a different perspective at a different point of time can give you new insights and help you understand the topic or question better. While it is recommended that you do not waste too much time on a single topic, remember to revisit the topic or question later. Even in the actual exam, devoting too much time to one question may result in you losing out on the time to answer other important questions. An important point to remember here is that CAT is a three-hour long exam and each of the three sections in the CAT are allotted exact 60 minutes each. You can revisit the questions only before submitting them so remember to save some buffer time. Candidates are not allowed to switch from one section to another.
- Judicious use of Calculator
You are not allowed to carry your own calculator for the exam but an on- screen calculator will be provided to you during the test. However, the on- screen calculator that is provided does not accept inputs from the keyboard. Candidates have to use the mouse as an input device and doing so can considerably slow down the speed. Calculators are helpful but it is advisable to do manual calculations and save the calculator only for complicated calculations.
- Keep a tab on time
It is easy to lose track of time in an attention consuming exam like CAT. Candidates need to answer 100 questions in 180 minutes. Having a plan for answering questions and keeping a check on the clock at regular intervals can increase your efficiency and productivity. Monitoring time can turn out to be a game- changing strategy for you to score better in CAT.