- 1 How to improve mock CAT scores?
- 1.1 The need to improve: Why are mocks important?
- 1.2 Pre-requisites
- 1.3 Tips for taking CAT mocks: Frequency | Timing
- 1.4 Tips for analysing CAT mocks
- 1.5 Tips for developing CAT mock strategies
How to improve mock CAT scores?
As CAT 2021 draws closer, a pertinent question in the minds of most candidates is – “How do I improve my mock scores for CAT?” Some students might be just starting with their preparation, while others might already be facing plateaued mock scores. Worry not! In this article, we will present different tips and strategies that CAT aspirants can use to improve their mock scores drastically. Whether you are scoring 50 percentile or struggling to push past 95 percentile, we assure you that employing the strategies mentioned here would definitely boost your scores.
The need to improve: Why are mocks important?
CAT mocks serve as simulations of the actual exam. However, unlike the exam day, there isn’t much at stake here. Or is there? If given in all seriousness, mocks provide the most relevant and valuable insights into an aspirant’s preparedness and progress. Thus, it becomes essential for students to give mocks sincerely in order to gauge their performance and improve their scores gradually. Ask any 100-percentiler, coaching institute or CAT guru, and they will emphasise that neglecting mocks is a terrible idea!
Before attempting mocks, you need to have a sufficient understanding of the exam content and pattern. What are the sections in the exam? What kind of questions are asked? How much time do I have to attempt the questions? You can check out the previous year CAT papers to get some idea about the same. Additionally, to get familiarised with the online format of taking the CAT exam, start by giving a free CAT mock test. This will help you assess where you stand with regard to your preparation and will be the first step in improving your mock scores.
Tips for taking CAT mocks: Frequency | Timing
Mock Frequency: A perplexing question for most CAT aspirants is the number of mocks that need to be taken before the exam. A common dilemma faced by everyone: “How many mocks should I take to score 99 percentile?” To be honest, there is no magic number that guarantees a perfect score! However, this is no reason to feel depressed. Our analysis over the years suggests that aspirants should take at least 30 to 40 mocks before the actual exam day. This provides them with adequate practise, stamina and information to eventually improve their scores and perform to the best of their capacities.
Mock timings: It is advisable to give mocks on a fixed day during the week (preferably Sundays) and in fixed time intervals (morning or afternoon sessions). Define the time at which you are planning to appear for mocks and stick to these timings religiously. More often than not, aspirants perform well in the morning and get burnt out by the afternoon, or vice-versa. In this regard, try to alternate between morning and afternoon sessions; this will prepare you for the exam day and irrespective of your designated session, you will perform stellarly.
Tips for analysing CAT mocks
You can utilise the following tips to analyse mocks and gradually improve your mock scores:
Revisit the skipped questions
After viewing your mock scores, ensure that you revisit the unattempted questions and solve them. Go through the entire mock and carefully read the offered explanations. This might appear tiresome but will go a long way in improving your mock scores.
Accuracy and time assessment
Most online mock platforms offer accuracy and time assessment metrics. This helps you understand the number of questions attempted vs the number of questions you got right from the attempted ones, along with the time you spent on individual questions. You might be wondering why I am stating the obvious! That is because many students forget the following: [More number of attempts ≠ higher score]. Accuracy matters! Ensure that with each mock, your accuracy improves. This is one of the most important facets of improving your mock score.
Identify the number and type of mistake
Keep a tab of the number of errors made in any mock. However, this alone will not do. You need to identify the reason behind the mistakes. Why did you get the question wrong? It could be because of one of the following reasons:
- Guesswork: Are you one of those guys who liked how one of the options looked and hence, marked it as the answer? Well, I won’t blame you! Some options simply look irresistible! Nevertheless, never mark an option until you are absolutely sure about it.
- Silly mistakes: Ah! My old enemy! No matter how much effort I put into preparing concepts, this little thing always spoils my mocks! The best way forward would be to re-examine the solving approach and options patiently. Always double-check and avoid being impatient.
- Conceptual flaws: If you got a question incorrect due to some gaps in your concepts, it is suggested that you go back to the drawing board and strengthen your fundamentals.
- New concept/formula: These were the questions that were beyond your control. So, face forward! Note down the new stuff and ensure that you revise them before your next mock.
Identifying your weak and strong areas:
Tabulate the topics that you have been consistently messing up in your last three mocks. This will help you identify your weaknesses. Work on them, and you will win half the battle. Similarly, the areas in which you are performing consistently well are your strong suits. Ensure that you continue to get these categories of questions correct.
Tips for developing CAT mock strategies
Question selection: Choosing the right questions to attempt makes all the difference. This is only possible if you are well aware of your strengths and weaknesses. It is also dependent on your capacity to distinguish between time-consuming questions from the ones that can be solved quickly. The ability to correctly identify or leave questions will keep on improving as you continue taking mocks.
Multiple rounds of attempt: A commonly utilised strategy is to break down your solving process into multiple rounds. In the first round, attempt the easy questions – the ones that you are 100% per cent sure about getting correct. In the second round, solve questions that you avoided in the first because you found them time-consuming or difficult to understand. Continue the process till you feel satisfied with your performance. This is bound to improve your mock scores over time.
Finally, remember that at the end of the day, these are merely ‘mock’ scores. Do not let them affect you negatively. If you are scoring well, ensure that you maintain your performance streak on the exam day. If you are not scoring well, do not get disheartened. Remember that – “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Stay motivated and keep preparing!
We hope that this article on how to improve mock CAT scores would have helped you get a step closer to your dream B-school. To know more about utilising the limited time available, check out our courses.