Online CAT 2011: 10 commandments to get a Vantage Point

 | October 13,2011 11:04 am IST

CAT 2011 is going to mew in 10 days time. It's going to be a long journey for aspirants ready with a bell in their hands to tame this CAT.

Some will succeed, others won't. So what is it that you must keep in your arsenal to tackle the CAT blues? Every candidate must be more or less ready with his/her strategies to help him/her win over the initial hiccup of securing '6 sigma percentiles' (these jargons would seem less nebulous when you land in a top institute after all your hard work). The different sections are going to provide enough surprises. One of the things which might save you the blushes is - prudence. CAT is not a ground to show your brilliance in getting to answers. That's more likely to result in a scenario where you might have won the battle but eventually lost the war.


Rather it is about getting answers as quickly as possible for as maximum number of easy questions. As soon as your clock starts ticking, forget for those crucial hours that there's a word like 'panic' in the English dictionary. Scroll down till the last page in the first few crucial moments to have a perusal of the entire paper.


In line with the number of days left for CAT, we would like to put down 10 commandments of the ultimate test taking strategy which every aspirant would like to keep in his/her mind when appearing for the test on the D-day.
Decide beforehand if it’s going to be the mouse or the Keyboard – It’s imperative to employ only a single test taking strategy during the entire course of the test. If you are going to use only the mouse (which we think is the most preferable option), keep the keyboard as far as possible from your reach. It should be nicely tucked in some corner of the desk for those 2 hours 35 minutes. With mouse, be discreet with your hand movements.

When you are using the mouse, put the cursor somewhere on the screen which is FARTHEST from the buttons like EXIT, SUBMIT etc. You don’t want any inadvertent click from your side to ruin your entire year.

When you start the test, the clock starts rolling over, with ‘each second’ helping it to reach the magical figure of 0 minutes! Quickly browse through the section and chalk out a plan to distribute those 70 minutes allotted for each section Once you have decided upon such a plan, do stick to it!
Write on a white sheet of paper the 2 sections you are going to attempt. Have some space underneath each section. As you go along solving the questions, do make entries under the concerned sections about the questions which you are not sure of. Although there’s a review button specifically given for this purpose, students could use this technique in case they don’t feel confident doing it through the software.

When you leave a question, it should be a final choice. You should never be under the impression that you would take a look at it at the end. Whenever you are stuck with such a dilemma, it’s always better to go through the question once. And once you have decided it’s not worth giving your time, cross over and head to the next question.

Remember that you don't need to SOLVE every question to arrive at an answer. Before starting to attempt any question, have a quick look over the answer options. If the options have numbers like 100.35, 100.23, 100.67 etc, you must probably realize that you would be better off by NOT solving this question i.e. skipping the question COULD be the best option for you! Your accuracy in the whole paper counts a lot more than your arriving at answers with such accuracy!

Always look out for ways to eliminate choices so that you have a narrow set to choose your final answer from. Most of the questions could be solved this way. How to approach a given question could also be gauged by the kind of answer options given. For example, if the answer options for a certain question are of the type 2^99+50 or 2^99-50, you could form a generic term based on one of these choices and then substitute in the question to approve of the validity of such an assumption. It always helps you save some time.

Don’t ever get stuck on any question. If you think you are taking more time on a particular question, then that’s a signal to move on. There are way too many easier questions up for the grabs.

Make it a point that you have at least gone through every question in the paper. Because we have seen many faces painted with rue after the test has ended. The point we are stressing upon is that before becoming managers, these tests test you on a very basic but very important aspect i.e. time management!

A day before your test, don’t exert yourself too much. What you need at this point of time is confidence and conviction. So relax the way you deem suitable. After all, you want to appear for the most important test of the year with an uncluttered mind. Have a good overnight sleep and wake up the next day fully rejuvenated. Enjoy the moment and the challenge it is going to present – after all that’s what you have been preparing for.
These things on prima facie seem quite evident, but students still do make mistakes. We would like the aspirants to appreciate the importance of these minor things, which in our opinion could make a major difference to how you score in CAT.
Wishing everyone good luck for the upcoming CAT. Do well!