Dos and Don’ts of giving Mock Tests for CAT

CAT Mock Tests can be tricky to solve initially, especially for a beginner. With time, you might even find yourself frustrated with your results or with not being able to manage time. This article will list out the dos and don’ts that are non-negotiable when attempt your mocks so that you can score better with each attempt.

It should go without saying that Mock tests are an essential part of preparation strategies for competitive exams. So, CAT is no exception there. However, if you are still looking for reasons to appear for Mock tests. Here are 10.

But, you are not sure how many and when you should exactly be taking mock tests. Perhaps, you have even started taking mock tests regularly but are still confused whether you are doing it right. Don’t worry any more. We have got you.

This article will walk you through the dos and don’ts of taking Mock tests for CAT.

So, let’s dig in.

Dos and Don’ts for Taking Mock Tests

1. Starting mocks after Completing the Syllabus

DON’T WAIT. I REPEAT, DON’T WAIT. Don’t wait to complete your syllabus to start giving mocks for CAT. In fact, you can start your preparation by giving a mock first. As a result, you will be able to analyse yourself and understand where you stand on the preparation curve.

However, if you wait to complete the entire syllabus to start attempting Mock tests to prepare for CAT, then it will be never. CAT’s syllabus is vast in each of its sections, that is, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude. Therefore, completing each and every topic thoroughly is close to never happening. That’s why every CAT coaching in Kolkata recommends you to start taking Mock Tests as soon as possible. In fact, if you’ve never thought of taking a Mock CAT, we recommend you to do it TODAY regardless of whether you have done your preparation or not.

2. How well VS How many

We hear many students say that they have been attempting CAT Mock Tests every single day, but still see no progress in their scores. Then, there are also students who say they’ve been attempting mocks at least twice a month and hardly see any progress. Both of these cases have their own problems but still many students preparing for CAT will profusely promote taking as many CAT Mocks as one can. This is a tactic which is bound to make you lose at times.

Taking as many CAT Mock Exams as you can in a given period of time, will not give you significant results. Consequently, it will not lead to much progress, and frustrate you with time. This can be curbed by looking over the mistakes you have made and actually making an effort to learn from each one of them.

In the second scenario, where the student is giving fewer mocks, the student must aim at finding a balance between giving too many CAT Mocks and too few CAT Mocks. It is essential to go over your mistakes in both of the scenarios to study the concepts related to it.

3. Learning over Percentile

Let me tell you that Percentiles of Mocks hardly matter. In fact, if it is one of your first five mocks or so, the percentile should not matter at all. What matters is focusing on making mistakes genuinely without guilt and learning from them immediately thereafter.

It is easy to get consumed by the guilt of not doing too well in your mocks when the CAT exam is just around the corner. However, keep this in mind that progress is exponential and all the little mistakes you have been learning from, in the past few months or so, will definitely lead to massive progress in time. Remember that, Consistency is the key to progress.

So, don’t worry if you got 50th percentile in your third mock attempt. Go over your mistakes, practice patiently, and score better in your next attempt. Repeat this method over and over again until you get your desired results.

4. Focusing on One Section

This is a mistake most beginners make. Many students initially focus on the section that they can score better in than the rest of the sections. However, in doing so they are not focusing on improving their performance in the other sections. As a result, their overall score will suffer. That’s why, it is essential to  remind yourself time and again that all sections of the CAT exam matter and that all sections of the test add to your overall percentile.

Furthermore, many top business schools like IIMs require the student to have a specific minimum score for each section of the test to meet the eligibility criteria to get admitted.

5. Spending too much time on the Wrong Questions

Most of the students solve the paper in the usual order of the test, focusing on one question at a time. Sometimes, the student might find themselves stuck on a question. At those times, students often keep solving the same question until they get the answer. This method does more harm than good.

In each section, the CAT Exam has questions of varying difficulty levels. The student can first attempt the ones that they know best and instead of dwelling on questions they are not sure about, they can choose to solve it later, if time permits.

For example, every reading comprehension passage will have, at best, 2 to 3 questions out of 5 (or 6) questions which can be solved. Therefore, even if you attempt these 2 or 3 questions with 100% accuracy, you would be able to score 30 marks rather than attempting all the questions with 60% accuracy. The prior method will at least get you a 80th percentile in a medium difficulty level paper. Whereas, the latter method will reduce your overall percentile. That’s why having a working strategy matters a lot.

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