Rush Hour: The Last-Minute guide to Bell The CAT

“Dhoni finishes off in style…. India win the World Cup!” is a sentence no Indian is likely to ever forget. It is also a sentence most Indians wish to have it based on them! Talk about heroic finishes… the feeling of jubilance after having earned a victory. Right now, with just over a month to go for CAT, all MBA aspirants especially would be hoping and pray for a magnificent finish akin to a Dhoni innings. And we assure you, you will! Go through these few tips in order to handle the last minute pressure of exams and come out all colours flying!

Do not start with something new

By now, we’re pretty sure you must have finished studying almost every topic. The few tough ones that you haven’t, or are not completely well-versed with, should be left alone now. At this juncture, you will do yourself much better to improve your speed inaccuracy in topics you’re already sure of! Practice all sums of these topics as much and as quickly as possible so when the day comes, those 3 marks are yours for the taking. This is the time to revise, and not confuse and stagnate your brain with more data that cannot be processed at this point. A trick that’s advocated even by Ananth Radhakrishnan, IIM Bangalore student and CAT topper with 99.85 percentile.

Never stop reading

The Verbal section is a real time-cruncher. With more than 6-7 RC’s nowadays, the onus is on you to maintain the optimum reading speed throughout the section in order to finish the section. You may have clocked the desired words-per-minute ratio before, but CAT doesn’t care about the past, does it? You have to ensure you maintain that speed – for an entire hour - something that is possible only by regular reading. Make it a point to solve at least 1 or 2 RC passages every day until the main day in order to keep your brain oiled.

Kick the calculator

Yes, CAT 2017 is slated to have an on-screen calculator to perform basic math functions. But here’s why you shouldn’t depend on it – it is damn slow an exercise! Clicking each number separately with just a mouse is quite cumbersome and time-consuming. You could save a lot of time instead of by speeding up your own mental calculations. Writing it quickly and roughly on the sheets provided and then calculating quickly will save those extra 3-4 seconds of typing. Think it doesn’t matter? 16 DI questions out of which say 12 require you to calculate properly – rounds up to approximately 36 seconds saved. Those 36 seconds will come in handy for attempting an additional LR question that is easy but requires time for complex matrix building/option elimination. Hence, just like RC’s, make it a habit to indulge in complex mental math solving to keep your brain loaded for D-Day. A habit advocated by Prateek Bajpai, IIM Ahmedabad student and CAT topper with 100 percentile.

No mocking the Mocks

As said before, now is not the time to indulge in new learning. It’s the time to hone your existing skills. The best way to do that is giving mock tests. Of course, how better to know how prepared you are for giving CAT than well, by giving CAT? It showcases the minute chinks that might be prevailing in your armoury and tells you what flaws you need to iron out. If you have joined classes, they must have provided you various tests of their own, including sectional tests. Even otherwise, there are various other websites like Hitbullseye and Careerlauncher that provide hundreds of free as well as paid tests. Not just results, some sites like also provide a detailed analysis such as time taken versus time allowed, accuracy measurement, SWOT analysis, etc.


Practice so much that the actual CAT seems nothing more than just another mock test!

Develop a healthy routine

It may sound irrelevant on the outset, but a healthy daily routine can go a long way in ensuring you go the IIM way. Eat proper food, especially during the last week before an exam. You do not want to feel lazy and bloated while attempting the main exam, do you? Also, ensure you’re well hydrated and well slept. After all, your brain is not a machine! It needs to be fresh so as to be at the peak of its speed and accuracy levels. It’s no secret that CAT is extremely demanding in these areas. Going into the exam hall with a fatigued mind devoid of sleep and with a bloated stomach full of undigested oils is a recipe for disaster! We know it’s Diwali and you want to revel, but trust us - this one Diwali that you miss will be worth a hundred times more glamorous Diwali once you get the MBA tag on your visiting card! Think of the greater good!

PS – “Healthy routine” would also include staying away from excess social media usage (we know you’re guilty!). Parties and dates can wait too. It’s tough, but as an ex-master of Hogwarts once famously said

(Refer to mbauniverse as well as entrancecorner for more exam-day tips)

Also, check out this video by an IIM-A student -

Here’s hoping to see you finish your world cup in style. Dhoni-ishtyle!