Analyzing your CAT Mocks – Things you might have missed
Taking Mocks is one of the most important steps towards getting a good score in an MBA Entrance Test. But you must know that you won’t get ahead just by giving mocks. After giving a mock, you have to sit and analyze every question that you have attempted. That is what will lead to better attempts and scores in future mocks. So, how do you go about this analysis? Read on this article to know more about how you should be analyzing your CAT mocks.
What are the CAT Mock Analysis Guidelines:
Now, most of you might be attempting a few mocks here and there and feeling good about achieving that task. However, giving mock is just the first step towards a huge and important process i.e. analysis. Most students either completely ignore this, or the others don’t do it the right way. It the right way is not followed, you might not gain the full benefits that you can achieve from solving mocks.
Let’s look at all the things you need to do while analyzing mocks, and take note of anything you might be missing out on.
1) Right your wrongs:
Let’s assume you have completed one mock. After 3 hours of your intense concentration, you have a look at the score, look at what you got right, get happy, and leave. But wait! You haven’t done the most important part of analyzing your mocks, and that is to correct your wrongs. Once you are done, go through the entire paper once and solve the questions for which you marked the wrong answer. Find out where you went wrong and learn whatever there is to learn about that concept. This will ensure that you do not make the same mistakes twice.
2) Types of wrongs:
Now that you are in the process of analyzing your wrong answers, take now of what has lead to the mistake. Not all the errors that you make are concept-based. Some errors maybe just plain silly mistakes (in fact a huge chunk of it would be a silly mistake). Some other errors may be due to a hasty approach and incorrect approximations. So understand where you went wrong. This will help you be aware of such mistakes in the next mock.
Understand what to do with your errors. If you are making too many calculation errors, it’s time to practice! Noice a lot of concept-based errors? then it’s time to revise all the basics and concepts. Similarly, if you are making too many silly mistakes, it’s time to work on your alertness and practice some more! Exams like CAT require a high level of concentration to solve questions accurately. So ensure you work on those silly mistakes, losing even one mark is not something you can afford in this exam.
4) Attempts & Accuracy:
Now let’s move onto the next step, which is a crucial step in analyzing your CAT mocks. You will now want to see your attempt rate. In CAT, you are not required to solve all questions that appear, you need to identify the right questions and attempt the maximum number of correct questions (hence the accuracy). Start by focusing on how much you have attempted. Make a list of the number of questions that you attempted. Simultaneously, along with the list of the number of questions, keep noting down the accuracy of your answers. You will get an idea of your current standing and how much you want to improve in each section.
Now, try to increase both of these in your next mock attempt. For example, let’s say that an LR set took 10 mins with 3 correct answers out of 6. So, next time, your goal should be to finish the set within 7-8 mins with 4-5 correct attempts. Eventually keep decreasing the time and increasing the correct attempts. If the numbers aren’t increasing, focus on the speed of solving the questions. If your accuracy is still low, go back to the concept and basics, you are doing something wrong there. Overall, if you keep doing this for each mock, you will see a gradual increase in your attempt rate as well as accuracy.
You will obviously check the solution for the questions that you marked wrong. However, it would be wise to also check the solutions for the questions that you marked right. This will show you if there were any differences between your method of solving and the one that is shown in the solution. Many times, the mocks provide you with a shortcut or trick which is much more efficient, saves time, and gives a more accurate answer. Try to take note of all these tricks and apply them from the next time.
This will obviously only be useful if you know the concepts from the start, don’t jump onto the shortcuts before going through the basics! For the questions that you didn’t solve, try solving them again. If you are still unable to solve, look at the solutions, and start learning.
6) Strengths & Weaknesses:
Your first mock test will give you a hint about your strong and weak areas. Eventually, after analyzing some more mocks, you will have a good idea about these areas. Your strong areas are usually the ones that take less time to solve and are most of the time right. Your weak areas are the ones that constantly have low accuracy. Dedicate extra one or two hours to these weak areas, especially if they are a recurring topic in CAT. For eg. If you are weak in Numbers topic, you might want to go invest some time in learning this, as a question or two is sure to come from this topic.
At the same time, do not overlook your strengths. A lot of students make the mistake of becoming overconfident in one area and focusing all their energy on the weaker areas. This will not help in the long run, you need to keep an all-round focus on all your topics and sections.
7) The untouched ones:
A lot of times, you will not be able to solve some questions in the mocks due to lack of time. While analyzing the mocks, these questions will strike you as ones that you could have easily gotten right. Here is where you need to check your strategy. If you feel that you are missing out on potential questions, then you are probably devoting some time to the complex questions which can be avoided.
One good way for anyone who is finding it difficult to manage this, is to scan through the entire paper once. Don’t go in sequence of the paper, it is always a mix of all difficulty levels. Write down all the question numbers that you are gonna solve first and attempt only those. Once you complete that list, get ahead with the rest. Again, to gauge the easy ones, you will need to practice in identifying them which can be done only through solving a lot of mocks. But eventually, you will be able to sort the easy ones form the complex ones. If you are still missing out on the easy questions, then you need to start increasing your speed. Increasing your speed will help you to cover all the required questions in time.
Write down the notes of what you learned and keep them handy. These can include different tips and shortcuts for quant & DI, different approaches to LR, certain grammar rules, new words, etc. This is a very good practice to keep revising what you have learned from your mocks. What’s the use of analyzing your CAT mocks, if eventually you are gonna forget them all? Hence, keep a note of them and any free time that you get, keep revising them.
Also read: All you need to know about CAT 2020
If you are getting varying percentiles, then you have to speed up on your preparation. Varying percentiles can be an indication of any of the following factors:-
- Lack of preparation in some areas
- Inability to handle exam pressure
- A tendency to panic in weak areas
- Too much guesswork (which is to be avoided)
- Too reliant on your strong areas
You have to make sure that you address these issues if you do come across any of them.
10) Smart Work:
Do not spend too much time on complex unsolved questions. Sometimes, questions can be a bit too far away from the main concept. CAT is very strategically designed, where they want to test your decision-making ability as well. There are always going to be some questions that are unsolvable, and or take up way too much time if you start attempting them. These questions are usually present to increase difficulty levels or to give the paper that ‘extra kick’. In such type of questions, focus more on the strategy and logic involved, rather than going after unheard-of concepts and terms. So do a bit of smart work, while you should focus on which ones to attempt, also focus on which ones to skip!
Finally, this is the most important aspect pertaining to mocks: Making a strategy! Understand that every person is different, what works for me might not work for you. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, so devise your own strategy that maximizes your strengths and minimizes your weak areas. This strategy could be in the form of how you target the questions, which topics you target first, how do you apply shortcuts, which ones do you leave at all costs etc. After every mock, modify your strategy for the next mock. Keep on doing this until you develop the perfect strategy to increase your scores. Remember, you will know when you have adopted the right strategy, once you know the following things:-
– What to Attempt
– When to Attempt
– How to Attempt
In the end, while it is important to give mocks routinely, it will be useless if you don’t analyze it. The real improvement comes from what you do after the mock. So try to ensure that you follow all the guidelines and tips we have mentioned above while analyzing your CAT mocks. This will make sure that you are progressing on the right track in your mock analysis, and are well prepared for the D-day.
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I hope you found this article on analyzing CAT mocks useful. Read our related articles for more tips on how to crack CAT and get into the I’m of your dreams.
All the best!!
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