CAT Fact file

The CAT is more about attitude than intelligent with the right mindset one can achieve the desired results, simply by doing away with the associated stress and pressure of performance.

The basic difference between those who crack the CAT and those who don’t is the mindset. Most aspirants start out by selling themselves that the CAT is too difficult an exam to crack. This self defeating thought is often supported by some false notions about the exam. Let’s destroy a few myths that students love to hold onto.

Terming the CAT a difficult exam and giving up on it thinking that only engineering students can crack it, is pre escapism some does not want to put in efforts that the preparation demands. Results have proven that non engineers have done just as well in the CAT as students from an engineering background. The most important thing to keep in mind for the CAT is common sense. The ability to gauge the test and adapt to it quickly is the key.

Its possible to do well in the CAT with any one area is your core strength. A lot of people who were not comfortable with math have managed to crack the CAT by following simple strategy – manage the weak area, maximum in the area of strength and manage time to maximum the overall score. The CAT contains several simple and elementary questions as well. Having a fear in one area makes one ignore those questions or approach them as if they were tough to solve.

Though the proportion of people with work experience is usually higher and varies across institutes there is no rule about freshers not being admitted at all. Most institutes want diversity in their batch and hence freshers are given a chance because of the fresh perspective they bring in.

IIMs are only of the many institutes that accept the CAT score. There are many good institutes that one can consider taking admission to, through the CAT. An IIM call may be cherished but do not get disheartened if you don’t get a call. CAT offers many other excellent options besides IIMs.

CAT cannot be approached the same way as regular college exams. Unlike college exams, one cannot do justice to CAT preparation through a last minute study or during preparatory leave. CAT needs regular consistent practice over a period of at least six months. It’s a classic case of slow and steady wins the race, in which consistent effort is far more important than short bursts of intense study.

Another important point to keep in mind is to look for ways to solve a questions until on discovers the most favorable method. It’s a case of constant and never ending improvement much of the perceived difficulty of the CAT arises from the hype that is created around it making it seem as if cracking the CAT is nothing short of a miracle.

Having seen through the above falsehoods one also needs to bear in mind a few more seemingly minor but significant tings. The first amongst them is persistence. There will be days of disappointment and tests with terrible scores. Know this before you start preparations and then takes these disappointments in your stride.

Also, enjoying the process is important Thakore IKMA, batch of 2007-09, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the process of preparation I immersed myself in it giving very little thought to what the outcome might be. It helped me focus my energies and do away with the pressure of result’.

Above all one needs to start by believing ‘I can crack the CAT’ Quips Thakore ‘I told myself that I’m good enough for the IIMs, and believed in it. I had not’, the battle would have been lost even before it began!

‘I can’t’ should be your mantra as you begin preparation for the exam. That’s where the right mindset begins.

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