Harvard Business School (SPNM), MBA: SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Master of Information Technology, Virginia Tech.
Importance of CAT mocks - How to prepare for CAT the right way:
A student preparing for 10th and 12th standard board exams will definitely give full-length prelims exams. These exams aim at instilling confidence in him before appearing for the board exams. Similarly, when preparing for CAT and other management exams, giving a Mock test is very important. It helps to a great degree in appearing for the exam confidently. In order to have an upper edge over the students, giving mocks with sincerity during CAT preparation should be the utmost priority for the students. So let's understand in depth the importance of mocks for CAT exam so that you never make excuses for solving mocks again!
Types of Mocks:
Based on the preparation level, a student can take three types of mock CATs:
1. Full mock tests:
This kind of mock CATs will be a replica of the actual CAT exam and this mock has to be taken very seriously as if you are sitting for the actual CAT. Full mock CAT consists of three sections i.e Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning.
2. Sectional mock tests:
These sectional tests help the aspirants to check their preparation level for each section of the CAT exam. It is advisable to take the sectional tests of the topics before starting a full-length mock.
3. Topic-based mock test:
These tests will help you to check the preparation level of each topic. Tests on Permutation and Combination, Geometry, etc will help you to analyze the understanding of each concept.
Depending on your stage of preparation, you might want to choose amongst these mocks. It is recommended that you start off with Topic-based mocks ate the early stages when you are still understanding the concepts and basics. Once you have gone through all the concepts, you can proceed to sectional mocks. This target only one section and usually with more time per section that in the real mock. This is just to make you more comfortable with the multiple topics put together and identifying them. Finally, you will move to a full-length mock test. This will give you the actual experience of giving the real exam, with all three sections and exact same time limit and format. You can find all these mocks in our custom course that is targeted to give you the best mock experience and practice. Click here to enroll in our mock course for CAT 2020. Now that you know what sort of mocks exist we can now proceed to the actual point: Why give mocks at all?
Importance of CAT mocks: Why is it necessary?
Mock Tests - Must know facts for an MBA aspirant:
As people, the things we must learn, we do by daily practicing them. As it's far stated, ‘Practice makes a man perfect’, and to examine for securing high percentiles top management entrance exam, aspirants must give Mock exams and analyze them. The mock test performs a crucial position to decide the level of preparation for the real takes a look at. it's far practice examination or a revision strive for the student to prepare for an upcoming exam. After taking a mock test, a candidate can compare his performance and check in which area requires attention and practice those areas. Also read: Important Quant topics for CAT
Why Mock Test?
A mock test is the only approach to evaluating your current level of preparation and re-strategize your future plan of preparation. It also makes you familiar with the kind of questions that might appear within the real MBA entrance examination. If you solve the past 5 year’s questions of CAT, you have got excessive chances to crack the exam with a terrific percentile. Mock assessments inform candidates on which topics they have already mastered. They can then direct their learning to other areas and spend the minimum time on the subjects they already have mastered.
1. Gets you acquainted with the actual exam:
Mocks are a replica of the actual CAT. They have been curated by experts, who have followed the pattern of previous CATs and understood the methodology followed by the IIMs in preparing the final CAT exam. Giving the actual CAT exam can be an overwhelming experience, with the time limit, the pressure, the concentration required, etc. Mocks will help to get familiar with this. In case you are taking a mock in a proctored surroundings, it's going to make you acquainted with, the exam taking method and the time management as required for the examination day. It also will expose you to the stress and examination surroundings you will have uncovered on the real D-day.
2. Time - Management:
A crucial part of CAT is time management. You get 60 minutes for each section, with 34 questions each (32 for DILR), which means you have an average of 1.7 minutes for each question. And believe me, most of the questions need more time than this. Hence, time management becomes very important for CAT, and you can gauge this better through mocks. When you first start giving mocks, you will realize that you have spent way more time on certain questions that may not have been necessary. Sometimes, you might not even be able to finish the desired number of questions because of this. Giving mock cats will help you in this matter to a huge extent. You will understand how much time to allocate to each question, which ones to solve, and which ones to skip only through mocks. This takes us to our next points.
Also read: Everything you need to know about CAT 2020
3. What to attempt and what to leave in the exam:
Now, CAT is an exam that is to be solved strategically. You don't have to solve all questions, that is in fact a very wrong approach. Instead, you need to identify the right kind of questions and invest your time in only them. Now you will be able to do this only when you solve mocks. Mocks will help you to understand how to scan through questions, identify the easier ones among the lot, and hit them. This way you not only save time, but your accuracy will also go up.
3. Analyze Strengths and Weaknesses:
Mock test will make you examine your's stronger and weaker section. It's important that you pay attention to topics that give you a hard time, and at the same time keep practicing the ones that you easily score on. A lot of times when you are solving and individual topic, you may be able to solve every question. But the moment it comes with the mock, you get entirely lost. All these sorts of issues can be identified and solved when you solve mocks. You will also understand the questions that you are able to solve no matter what, and you will then be able to target this strong point at all costs in the actual exam. Thus, it will help you in prepping up your strategy, which leade=s us to the last and most important point.
Also read: Real IIM experiences of Students
4: Helps in Setting your own strategy:
You absolutely need to have a strategy in place for CAT. Now, this strategy can change from person to person. What works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. So how do you know which strategy is right for you? The answer is to mock! When you solve mocks and understand your strengths and weaknesses, you get to know your own limits and expertise. You will know which topics are an absolute win for you, and which will keep circling in the maze. Understand all these elements, and know exactly what you want to solve and give up during the actual CAT exam. If you are weak in Verbal, how do you want to maximize your marks? If you are weak in Quants, what should you target to get the highest accuracy? All these questions can be answered by solving mocks alone. So do that, and get your strategy in place.
General Questions on Mock CATs:
When should I start taking Mock CATs:
Ideally, a student preparing seriously for CAT should start taking his mock CATs around 8 weeks before the test. Before these 8 weeks, you should complete your basic preparation and be thorough with the concepts. Importance point to remember is to give only those Mock CATs which are standard and all the relevant topics with all levels of difficulty. In order to gain maximum benefit from giving these Mock CATs, it should become important for your preparation process, analyze the mocks, and overcome the weaknesses one is facing.
How to best utilize from giving mock CATs?
According to toppers who have excelled in the CAT, their main success mantra was giving Mocks regularly and learning from the mistakes. The method and frequency of taking mocks regularly will decide your performance on the final day. If you are very comfortable giving mocks and if you are scoring well then your final paper on the D day will be a cakewalk and you definitely excel. Giving mocks regularly will help you keep motivated. Set a target for every mock and try to accomplish it. This way every time you achieve your target, you will feel proud and keeps you motivated. Also read: How to stay motivated for CAT
How many mocks to give before the main CAT exam?
Ideally, you should give one full-length mock per week from September. Only giving the mock will not help, one should analyze it thoroughly before attempting the next mock. Remember, analyzing mocks take time and one should plan properly for analysis of the mocks. In between the two main mocks, one should regularly attempt topic wise mocks to keep his concepts updated.
How to analyze Mock CATs?
After giving a mock test, the next important thing is to analyze the Mock CATs to know your strengths and weaknesses. While analyzing the mocks keep the below points in mind: Time: You need to analyze how much time taken to solve each question, which question took maximum time to solve, which section was the easiest and the hardest, average time spent on each question. Accuracy: The number of attempts and accuracy of the questions attempted is very important because less accuracy can bring down your percentile. Every time you write a mock co-relate the attempts and accuracy and try to increase the accuracy. A decent number of attempts with high accuracy will fetch you more percentile than a student attempting a high number of questions with low accuracy.
Silly mistakes check: Most students tend to make silly mistakes while attempting exams. Mocks help you to analyze your silly mistakes and rectify them in your main CAT exam. If there is any common pattern in committing the mistakes then these mocks are a great tool to rectify them.
Short-cuts: A lot of problems you solve might have hidden shortcuts that help you save your time. Solutions of these mocks by experts will help you to learn these short-cuts and also strengthen your concepts. You can read our detailed article on how to analyze mock to get a better idea and the right approach to doing this.
Mocks are as important for your overall preparation as learning the basics. Most students feel that giving mocks is a waste of time, and instead just focus on solving the topic-based question. However, this creates a problem during the actual exam. Try to not be overconfident in your abilities if you score well in one or two mocks. If you look at the success stories of toppers, they have all followed this mantra, Solve as many mocks as possible! Hence, start your mock giving journey and get ready to crack CAT on the D-day! I hope you find this article on the importance of Cat mocks helpful. Do read our other article on CAT to make your way to IIMs.