When is the Right Time to Start Taking CAT Mocks?

by REEYA SINGH Tue 09 Jul 2024 05:54 PM 54
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The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level examination conducted by the IIMs to assess MBA aspirants across India. Each year, over 300,000 candidates take the CAT exam, making it highly competitive. So candidates need to prepare diligently for the CAT exam and taking regular mock tests is a critical aspect of the preparation process.

But Before diving into the important question of when to start taking mocks for CAT 2024 or worrying about whether you're already late, let's first understand the concept and importance of mocks taking.

Right Time to Start Taking CAT Mocks?

CAT mock Tests, or mocks for the Common Admission Test, are simulated exams designed to mimic the actual CAT exam in terms of format, difficulty level, and time constraints. The basic idea is to familiarize the candidate with the CAT exam so that on the D-day they don't feel alienated with the exam pattern.

4 Types of Mock Tests

  • Full-length Mocks: These tests are comprehensive practice exams designed to replicate the actual CAT exam experience. Taking these tests feels like sitting for the real CAT. A full-length mock CAT consists of three sections- VARC, LRDI, and QA and consist of two hours (40 mins for each section).
  • Sectional mock tests: This includes focusing on individual sections of the CAT exam. These tests are essential for identifying strengths and weaknesses within each section. Candidates can take them when they have less time to take mocks as they are only for 40 mins.
  • Topic tests: These are designed to assess your understanding of specific topics within each section. These tests help you analyze your grasp of individual concepts and identify areas that need further study. For example if the candidate has studies Time speed distance topic they can take a topic test on it to judge their understanding so far.
  • Daily tests: These are shorter, more frequent assessments that help maintain a consistent study routine. These tests can cover a mix of topics or focus on particular areas that need improvement. Taking them daily will keep the candidate in touch with a variety of topics that they otherwise might forget.

Importance of Giving Mocks Regularly

Taking regular CAT (Common Admission Test) mocks is crucial for several reasons:

  • Realistic Practice: Mocks provide a realistic simulation of the actual CAT exam, helping you build confidence and reduce exam-day surprises.
  • Familiarity with Exam Pattern: Regularly taking mocks helps you become familiar with the CAT exam pattern, types of questions, and the overall structure of the test. This reduces anxiety on the actual exam day.
  • Time Management: Mocks help you practice managing your time effectively. You learn to allocate appropriate time to each section and question, which is essential for completing the test within the given time.
  • Analysis and Improvement: By analyzing your performance in mocks, you can identify your strong and weak areas. This allows you to focus your preparation on improving weaker sections and enhancing your strengths.
  • Tracking Progress: Regularly taking mocks allows you to track your progress over time. You can see how your scores are improving, which boosts motivation and helps you gauge your readiness for the actual exam.

Best Time to Start Taking CAT Mocks

The ideal time to start preparing for the CAT exam varies for each candidate, depending on their skills, abilities, and the amount of time they can dedicate daily.

Candidates who start preparing for the CAT exam in January or February typically begin taking CAT tests as early as April. Initially, taking mocks twice a month, supplemented with topic tests and sectional tests, can be an effective strategy. Once the syllabus is completed, and as the exam date approaches, the frequency of mocks can be increased to one every alternate day or every two days. It is crucial to spend the day after each mock analyzing performance, identifying areas for improvement, and refining strategies.

Candidates who have started their CAT preparation now should focus on understanding concepts and completing the syllabus first, supplemented with topic tests to refine their knowledge. Once they have a solid grasp of various topics, they can start taking sectional mock tests to understand each section and improve time management. Around 4 months before the exam, they should begin taking full-length mocks, starting with one per week to get accustomed to the overall structure and timing.

As the exam date approaches, they can increase the frequency to 2-3 full-length mocks per week, ensuring they spend proper time analyzing each test to identify areas for improvement and adapt their strategies accordingly. Daily tests should be incorporated to keep skills sharp and maintain a consistent study routine. In the last few weeks, candidates should take full-length mocks at the same time of day as their actual exam slot to adapt their body and mind to the exam schedule, focusing primarily on revision and stress management to ensure they are well-prepared and confident on exam day.

Here is the whole plan phase wise:

Initial Phase:

Focus: Building Concepts

  1. Start with Topic-Based Mock Tests: Begin with topic-based mock tests to solidify your understanding of individual concepts. This phase is crucial for grasping the basics in Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  2. Incorporate Sectional Tests: Once you have a decent grasp on various topics, start taking sectional mock tests. These will help you understand the dynamics of each section and how to manage time within them.

Middle Phase:

Focus: Transition to Full-Length Mocks

  1. Full-Length Mock Tests: Start taking full-length mock tests to get accustomed to the overall structure and timing of the actual CAT exam. Initially, aim for one full-length mock per week.
  2. Continue Sectional Tests: Keep taking sectional tests to fine-tune your skills in each section.

Final Phase

Focus: Intensive Practice and Strategy Refinement

  1. Increase Full-Length Mock Frequency: Take at least 2-3 full-length mocks per week. This helps build exam stamina and sharpens your test-taking strategy.
  2. Analyze Performance: Spend proper time analyzing each mock test. Identify areas of improvement and adapt your strategies accordingly.
  3. Daily Tests: Incorporate daily tests to keep your skills sharp and maintain a consistent study routine.

Last Few Weeks

Focus: Fine-Tuning and Stress Management

  1. Simulate Exam Conditions: Take full-length mocks at the same time of day as your actual CAT exam slot to adapt your body and mind to the exam schedule.
  2. Review and Revise: Focus on revising key concepts and strategies. Use mock tests primarily for maintaining exam readiness rather than learning new concepts.
  3. Manage Stress: Ensure you are not overburdening yourself. Take adequate breaks and maintain a healthy routine.
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Best Mocks for CAT 2024

Choosing the right mock test series is a critical part of preparing for the CAT 2024 exam. The right mocks should closely simulate the actual CAT experience, offer high-quality content, provide insightful solutions, and deliver good value for money. Here's an overview of some of the best mock test series available online, each offering unique features tailored to help aspirants achieve their best performance:

Cracku:

Cost: INR 1,999

Cracku’s DashCAT mocks closely resemble actual CAT papers, providing aspirants with a realistic and comprehensive preparation experience. The series includes 25 National Level Mocks and 45 sectional mocks (VARC, DILR, QA), ensuring thorough practice across all areas. The solutions are provided in video and text format with all questions.

Aspirants can trial the first 3 mocks for free, allowing them to gauge the quality and relevance of the content. Additionally, Cracku offers free daily targets, enabling aspirants to maintain consistent practice with small sectional tests.

TIME:

Cost: INR 3,450 to 9,450

TIME’s AIMCAT mocks are known for being relatively tougher than the actual CAT exam. This challenging nature ensures that if aspirants can tackle these mocks, they are well-prepared to crack the CAT. However, it’s important for aspirants to stay motivated and not get discouraged by the difficulty.

TIME offers 6 variants in their AIMCAT mocks ranging from INR 3450 to 9450. These variants can cover from basic AIMCATs to Specialized AIMCATs with video solutions. Aspirants can buy the AIMCATS according to their requirements.

IMS:

Cost: INR 6,450 to 10,950

IMS offers 3 variants for their SIMCAT mock text series only CAT mocks to specialized CAT plus OMETS mocks making it an excellent choice for anyone seeking mocks that are on par with the actual CAT. Their detailed analysis of the tests helps aspirants understand their performance and areas for improvement. Additionally, IMS offers scholarships for returning students and those in reserved categories, adding value and accessibility to their offerings.

Career Launcher:

Cost: INR 4,000 to 14,500

Career Launcher offers 5 variants in their mock sets so that aspirants can choose between CAT-specific mocks or a combination of CAT + OMETS mocks based on their requirements. Their mocks features tricky questions that prepare aspirants for the unpredictability of the CAT exam. The solutions provided are easy to understand and follow, aiding effective learning.

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