Mock Tests for CAT 2019: Just like we analyse our errors from our past so as to move on to a brighter future, we must also analyse Mock Tests while preparing for CAT 2019 exam.
The CAT 2019 is a gut-wrenching and nerve-wracking exam which tests both your aptitude and skills through a mixed bag of questions from areas like Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. Since all these sections are either extremely tricky or tough, writing Mock Tests becomes an indispensable part of the CAT exam preparation and their analysis becomes of paramount importance as well. You can also enrol into an Online Mock Test Series for CAT 2019 and analyse Mock Tests for CAT 2019 so as to improve both your score and percentile.
Importance of CAT Mock Tests
Just like high school students write numerous mock tests so as to have an idea of their board exams and gain confidence in their preparation, similarly, CAT Mocks also fulfil the same purpose and hence are an indispensable part of ones’ preparation. The CAT Mock Tests also helps aspirants in gaining speed and accuracy and give them an idea of the actual D-day.
CAT Mock Tests helps students gain familiarity with the exam pattern and the variety of questions being asked. It also helps students analyse their individual strong and weak areas which helps them fare well during their preparation in the long run.
What is the ideal time to start writing Mock Tests?
Ideally, a student should start writing Mock Tests around 8 weeks before the CAT exam. Before these 8 weeks, students should complete all their preparation and be through with the basics. The important thing to do is to write all standard Mocks which contain relevant topics as per the updated syllabus and with all the levels of difficulty. To be able to extract maximum benefit out of the Mock Tests, it is important to analyse them and overcome any errors or weaknesses that once may face.
How to best utilise the Mock Tests?
As per toppers who have managed to excel in the CAT exam, writing Mocks daily and learning from the mistakes is the ultimate way to practice Mocks. Both your method and frequency of taking mocks will determine your performance on the CAT 2019 exam day. In case you become comfortable in writing and analysing Mocks, the CAT 2019 exam will be a cakewalk for you.
Types of Mock Tests
Based on the preparation level, students can write three kinds of Mocks:
1. Full Mock Tests: These mocks are a replica of the actual CAT exam and must be taken very seriously as if you are writing the actual CAT exam. Full Mocks consist of three sections i.e Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning.
2. Sectional Mock Tests: Sectional Tests help aspirants to check their preparation level for every individual section of the CAT exam. It is, however, advisable to write sectional tests of the topics before starting a full-length mock.
3. Topic-based Mock Tests: These tests will help you to double tap the preparation level of each topic. Tests on Permutation and Combination, Geometry, etc will help you to analyze the understanding of each concept.
How to analyse Mock Tests to improve score and percentile?
Rule 1: Focus on the number of errors made.
For QA, you should have only answered 1 or 2 questions incorrectly and the same goes for LRDI. For VARC, the number of questions with incorrect attempts should be less than 20% of the total questions attempted, not counting the parajumbles or jumbled paragraph questions.
The reasoning behind the above rule is that making more than 1-2 mistakes in both Quant and LRDI is more than what you can. You can still get away with the new TITA questions but not in Quant and LRDI.
For both Quant and LRDI, you should move on the next question in case you have invested 3 minutes to solve a question. Where VARC is concerned, your answer can be wrong since both the options look more or less the same. However, you should skip the question completely if you are not able to decide between two options since your chances of getting it right woudl be slim anyway. Once you analyse your Mocks, you would find that you have attempted even those questions wrong where you were 100% sure. Therefore, if this is the result post being 100% sure, what would be the outcome when you weren’t?
Rule 2: Go beyond score and percentile
Do not get caught into the web of score and percentile and delve deeper into the data to find out where your mistakes lie.
Rule 3: Attempt the entire paper again
An average CAT aspirant can focus on nearly 50-60 questions properly in the three hours of time allocated to him. This way they end up missing out on a large number of questions. Therefore, students must reattempt the entire paper once without being time-bound and solve even the questions their got right in the first attempt. It should not take you long the next time around since you are already familiar with the majority of the paper. This would, however, give you a good insight into the various kinds of questions that were asked.
Notably, this exercise should be done within 48 hours of attempting the actual mock.
Rule 4: Analyze your questions, Sets, and Selection of Passages
This is perhaps the most important rule of analysing Mock Tests. Once you have gone through the entire CAT Mock Test again, you should try and evaluate your performance on these parameters.
- Did I attempt the correct questions in Quant?
- Did I pick the right sets in LR/DI?
- Did I pick the right passages in RC?
The prime objective of this exercise is to make you better at question selection. The main thing to remember here is that you do not need to attempt all questions but all questions you can so as to beat your competition. The difficulty level of LRDI is a lot higher than Quant still it has easy sets which aspirants can pick and solve, if only they know how to pick the right sets. Doing those alongside a medium difficulty level set can take you over the dreaded cutoff. You will miss this opportunity if you do not know how to pick the right sets. Therefore, analysing questions/sets/passages which you have picked becomes even more important if the paper is on the harder side.
Rule 5 – Identify the strategy that works best for you
There is no right or wrong way to write a Mock CAT Test or even the actual CAT exam. Therefore, you must discover your own path and walk on it. Experimenting with Mocks and analyzing them is probably the best way to achieve the same.
Given below is a helpful mini-strategy that might benefit you:
Quant Strategy: Attempt this section in 2 rounds. In Round 1, if you see a question and you know the concept behind it or if you have solved a similar question before, attempt it immediately. Such questions should ideally take you 1-2 minutes to solve. During Round 1, if you encounter a question which you have a rough idea about but you also know that it would be time-consuming, mark it for review.
Solve these ‘marked questions’ in Round 2. This way, you will be able to wade through all the questions in the section won’t miss out on an easy question.
LRDI Strategy: Quite akin to the strategy for Quant, however, in LRDI, you must take a call if you can attempt a set or not in roughly 2 minutes. In case you find it on the easier side, you can attempt and solve it in 10 minutes. If not, you can make a mental note of the level of difficulty. The most difficult questions, the ‘crazy;’ ones are the ones you shouldn’t even look at and solve easy, medium and hard questions in that order. Your categorization of questions will fall flat initially but once you master it, LRDI would be a cakewalk for you.
VARC Strategy: Attempt as many passages as you can in the first 40 minutes. Attempt anything doable. 40 minutes are more than enough to go through the passages and if not, invest 10 more minutes and then proceed to the Verbal Ability part.
If you properly analyse the Mock Tests and implement these strategies, your performance is likely to soar. In case not, devise your own personalised strategy.
Rule 6: Figure out the number of Mock Tests you need to attempt
Again, no fixed number for the Mocks, but you can follow the tips given below:
- If you have written 0 mocks till now – attempt 5 before the exam
- If your average percentile / median percentile is less than 80 – write 5 mocks before the exam
- If your average percentile / median percentile is between 80 and 95 – attempt 2 mocks per week
- If your average percentile / median percentile is above 95 – attempt mocks and analyze them all the time. Just allocate two days a week to other stuff.
Rule 7: Identify your weak areas
Aspirants who aren’t faring well in their Mock CATs should especially pay heed to this rule. CAT Mocks are like medical examinations meant to diagnose your problem, but are not the solution to your problem. Using this ideology, you must analyse your Mocks to identify weak areas amd mistakes and watch out if you are consistently making the same mistakes in more Mocks. Work on them before proceeding to more Mocks and gradually you will improve. However, identifying the problem and analysing Mocks is the first step to acing CAT 2019.
Rule 8: Check if you are slipping in your strong areas
Besides identifying weaknesses, also watch out for patterns. Like if you were good in solving parajumbles but have been getting them all wrong in your previous Mocks? Is this due to complacency, lack of attention, wrong strategy? A thorough Mock analysis will give you all the answers you need.
Rule 9: Plan your next Mock Test
This rule, in a nutshell, summaries all the above-mentioned rules for you. Post every mock analysis, you should be clear as to which strategy you will adopt in the upcoming mocks and how you will invest the time before the next mock.
P.S. A quick and fun hack would be to send yourself a mail post every Mock with at least three takeaways from your previous mocks. This way you improve upon your learning and have your progress laid out in front of you which can also perk up your motivation levels.
We hope the 9-Rule Strategy helps you with all things Mock! If you analyse Mock Tests for CAT 2019 this way, you are bound to succeed! So, keep them Mocks’ going!