CAT Preparation Tips for Retakers: It’s common to take CAT twice, some have gone as far as retaking CAT three or four times! At the end of the day, we all have the same reason for retaking CAT, to get a higher score. Perhaps you need a higher CAT score to compensate for a weak area on your business school application. Or maybe you wish to strengthen performance on one section of CAT to indicate competency to MBA adcoms. All that said, if you have made the decision to retake CAT, it’s time to diagnose what went wrong in your first attempt and remedy those problems. “I am Prithvika Gupta, currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kozhikode. I have done B.Com (Hons.) from Hansraj College in Delhi and then went on to work for about two years. But here’s the thing, I couldn’t even manage to cross 80 percentile in my first two CAT attempts” says Prithvika.

CAT Preparation Tips for Retakers

“I am not going to give you general tips to prepare for CAT. I am going to tell you the things that worked for me. You may know some of them. A mock or two every week, in-depth mock analysis, previous year papers, exam-specific preparation, reading newspapers and articles, sectional tests – yes, I did all those things that every serious candidate does. And the good part is that I took up Online CAT Coaching for my preparation and converted each one of my calls and choose to go with IIMK. Experience has been great so far, here, in God’s own campus and in three months from now, I’ll be interning with a leading consulting firm” says Prithvika.

CAT Preparation Tips for Retakers: Find the right strategy

“Since it was my third attempt, I knew most of the concepts and formulae already. This is why I had enough time to adopt different strategies to find my key to crack the exam. Obviously taking enough mocks to validate your strategy is the thing here. And I took around 60-70 of them around the year” says Prithvika.

According to the toppers and other experts, a major ingredient of your strategy is the time you devote to preparing for the CAT exam. As the time for the exam nears, it is mandatory to revise more intensely, so that your preparation is solid and you remember all that you learnt. Once you get the time factor in place, you need to understand how to prepare for this exam at home by studying out of standard books and other preparation material and focus on the weaker sections. 

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CAT Preparation Tips for Retakers: Practice is the key

I solved around 60-70 Online CAT Mock Tests and analyzed each one of them. Practice will tell you which questions you have to pick, but more importantly, it will tell you which ones not to pick. Try not to leave any easy ones in the exam and find ways to solve questions faster. If you are stuck somewhere after having spent 1.5-2 minutes kindly move onto the next question. 

CAT Preparation Tips for Retakers: Common mistakes

  • When you are preparing for CAT, you need to ignore your preferences and invest more time in your weaknesses, even if they include subjects you do not enjoy. Targeting your weaknesses should be your priority and fortifying your strengths should come second.
  • Another common mistake is not being consistent in your preparation. When you have decided to take CAT you need to devise a solid plan from the start and stick to it. Procrastination may lead to poor test performance. Inconsistent study will prevent you from learning the concepts effectively.
  • By taking Online CAT Quant, Verbal Ability and LRDI Course and solving sectionals and mocks alongside can fetch you good scores in this exam.
  • You will often hear CAT experts mention that almost any student can solve the questions in CAT if he/she has enough time. However, one of the main reasons why this test is so difficult is that you are under a pretty severe time constraint. In your retake study schedule, be sure to emphasize test pacing.
  • Poor time management will often lead to stress, which will seriously affect your ability to answer all the questions. As a remedy to your stress management issues, be sure to practice under simulated conditions so that you will get used to performing under pressure. It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of people feel more comfortable on their retake because they have already gone through the whole process once and thus are more familiar with the testing conditions. 

Final thoughts

By setting aside six hours a week to VARC, DILR and Quant concepts and testing them at the end of the week with a three-hour mock test, you can understand the analysis and aim towards a 99 percentile. And finally, amidst all the chaos, do not forget to lose your charm and positivity. Stay surrounded by positive people. Find your daily dose of motivation. And always remember, persistence is the key. All these golden rules will help you ace CAT and secure calls from various top colleges. 

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