These days I come across many of the hardworking souls from you wonderful people out there, who have started feeling demotivated because of low mock CAT scores and have started to think if you can do well in CAT or not. This article is my candid conversation with all you people out there to share my experience, share what I have observed during admissions at some of the top B Schools and how have I seen the Underdogs like me and you emerging with flying colors on D Day! Let me begin this with the statement that there is No need to get demotivated by low mock CAT Scores.
Demotivated by Low Mock CAT Scores ?
What are Mocks and what is their Significance?
Mocks are nothing but a way to prepare for the main exam. The purpose of mocks is to identify weak areas and improve regularly. They are in no way the reflection of how much you are going to score in the actual CAT or for that matter in any other MBA Entrance exam.
Testimony to the above statement are many people around who scored around 90 on an average in mocks but ended up scoring 99+ percentile in actual CAT, as well as those who scored 70-75 percentile on an average in mocks but scored more than 85 percentile in actual CAT. Similarly, there have been instances where the person who scored 99.5 plus percentile throughout in Mocks and that too AIMCATs (considered to be the toughest one) eventually scored in low 90s when it comes to actual CAT.
The purpose of saying this is just that there is no need to be bogged down, rather take these moments of low mock CAT Scores as a challenge and an opportunity to analyze, to improve and to emerge with flying colors on the day which matters the most. No one remembers the person who topped all Mock CATs, no college considers your Mock CAT scores for admission. It is only and only what you score on the exam day which matters and eventually where you land up after WAT GD PI stage that matters.
If above is true, then why to take CAT Mocks?
Here is the purpose solved by CAT Mocks:
1. Identification of the weak links in your preparation and hence the opportunity to overcome them. You might need to go back to your reference books or coaching notes for these topics.
2. Improving further on the areas you are already good at. Remember, CAT is not just about solving correctly but also about time taken in solving correctly. So, knowing the shorter methods always helps.
3. Understanding what kind of questions consume good amount of your time. This helps you in modifying your approach of solving the questions in a particular section.
4. Realization of your skills to solve a certain set of questions even without using pen/pencil/rough sheet. This enables you to solve atleast 5-10% of the questions within a section in almost no time
How to Make the Best Use of Mocks once the Results and Scores are out?
STEP 1: Forget what the score in this Mock is. Compare it with the score in the previous mock taken by you. Not from the percentile perspective, but from the percent of the maximum marks perspective. If you are improving, you are on the right path. One-Two off mocks here and there where the score got lowered are ok. Even AB Devilliers doesn’t score a century in every match.
STEP 2: It is the time to not to get bogged down by the score, rather to gear up to make the best use of the mock. Take out the mock and have it solution infront of you.
STEP 3: Now, start going through the questions that you solved correctly. Once done, try to look out for shorter methods for the questions solved correctly. This is very important. CAT is not only a test of aptitude but a test of your time management skills as well. Learn to do questions in the shortest time possible. This will help you save enough time for difficult questions.
STEP 4: Then see the questions that you solved incorrectly. This is the most important part. Make sure that you never make the same mistake again. Note down the mistakes (conceptual, logical, tukka) that you made somewhere and go through them periodically. Seems stupid but very helpful nevertheless.
STEP 5: Solve the unattempted questions setting a time limit and then analyze them using steps 3 and 4.
STEP 6: Solve the same paper in 3/4th time a week later. It will make you feel great.
Before i conclude this article, let me re-emphasize that there is no need to either get overwhelmed with mock scores or to get bogged down by the low mock scores. Mocks are just the means to reach the bigger goal and that is to score high on the exam day. The means should be used to extract the most out of them and not to impact you negatively. So, irrespective of what you have scored so far in mocks – Pull Up your Socks, Fasten the Belt, Press the Pedal, Improve your mock analysis methods, Sharpen your focus and am sure all of you will soon start improving mock on mock basis and be at the peak at the right time and that is THE D DAY.
Will leave you all with one of my favorite quotes: Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible – After all, to emerge as the winner it is important to focus to see the light when the moments have become the darkest!!
Article has been written by Varun Saxena – Founder @ Career Anna and NITIE Mumbai Alumnus. Mock Analysis part has been borrowed from an earlier article on Career Anna written by IIM Calcutta Alumnus.