The Final Countdown

A lot has been said about the preparation building up to the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2010, however, students still panic in the last days before the actual test.

CAT 2010 the management exam for entry to the Indian Institutes of management (IIM) and other top level institutes in the country is set to begin from Oct 27. Over 250000 students are said to be appearing for the competitive test, who are no doubt, burdened under crammed revision schedules frayed nerves and last minute strategy anxiety. Here is what needs to be kept in mind to avoid buckling under at the last minute.

Stop studying>>>

Yes, that’s right. As much as you may try, trying to grasp concepts on the last day before the paper is not going to help unless you have exceptionally high concentration. This is the time to keep aside your books and practice lighter stuff; If you are a little more confident about your preparation taking a couple of mock tests is also highly advisable.

Stick to your strategy>>>

You have worked for months to assess your strengths and weaknesses. After taking multiple mock tests you finally devised a strategy that would allow you to do your best. On the day before the paper you talk to a friend who tells you that your strategy is in fact all wrong and you must begin only with particular section in order to do well. You began to doubt all that you have planned and end up having a nervous breakdown. Stop! Don’t fool yourself. The one simple rule for CAT that has been repeated often enough is – that there is no one common formula to succeed. What works for one may not work for another. Believe in yourself and stick to your exam taking strategy that you have already worked on.

Stay healthy

As important as it is to prepare well, it is equally crucial to take care of your mental and physical health especially during these last few years. Simple things like staying well, hydrated eating light but on time and speaking to a friend can go a long way in keeping your overall energies high on the day of the exam. If possible practice some basic breathing exercises and meditate for a few minutes each day to calm your mind and improve concentration. Don’t lose your sleep on the previous night of the CAT. Your mind needs to be fresh to think fast and correct.

Day before the Exam>>>

If possible find out the exact route to your CAT center by visiting it before so that you are not hunting for directions on the day of the exam. Pack your bag the prior evenings and check and recheck for – your admit card, stationary and a carry an additional identity proof like your college or employee ID, driving license pan card etc.

On the day of the exam>>>

Stay positive and avoid any negative thoughts such as being unprepared for entering your head. You will be asked to sign a legal document called an NDA (Non- Disclosure Agreement) and your thumb impression will be scanned. Don’t get fazed by any of this and be prepared for different computers starting up at different speeds in the room where several students will take the exam at one time. Don’t let it bother you as eventually none of this will matter in the final scores. Keep your focus on your paper and give your best performance till date.