Couldn't make it through CAT this time- What could have been your mistake?

Couldn't make it through CAT this time- What could have been your mistake?

If you could not crack the CAT this time, no need to get depressed as there is always a next attempt. It is natural that after a failed attempt you must be getting tensed and many questions must be clouding your mind as to why, in spite of practicing sincerely, you were not able to get through and what if the same thing happens again. Also, there is an anxiety about the questioning of your friends and relatives.

All of these are just thoughts that make you weak. You do not need to think about what you have not got now. It is time to work on all your mistakes that you did in this attempt. Nobody can be perfect. So there might be mistakes that you made this time but are not aware of. You must give yourself some time and find out what exactly went wrong.

What could have been your mistake?

Though the difficulty level of questions in all the four slots was consistent in CAT 2014, many were not able to get through. What went wrong? This is one of the most important questions troubling you. Till now you must have realised what exactly were your mistakes. If not, then here are some common mistakes that you might have committed.

1. Extreme focus on one area- If you have just focused on one area it may not turn out to be in your favor as that slot may not contain as many questions as you had expected.

2. Getting stuck at one question- When you are strong at some areas you do not realise and get stuck at one question for a long time. Doing such things at this point of time, where each second is important for you, can prove to be dangerous for you.

3. Scrutinising the paper- Scrutinising the paper will help you know the paper structure and identify the easier questions. Once you identify the easy ones, you should attempt them first and leave the more difficult ones for later.

4. Imbalanced sectional attempt- If you are attempting all the questions from a particular section believing that almost all of them in it will be equally easy, it is terrible assumption. You tend to get stuck at only that section.

5. Time management- This time they have increased the number of questions in each section along with increasing the time. But the time you can devote to a single question has been decreased. So it is important that you do not waste your time in one question.

6. Pressure management- As you know that this time the difficulty level was reduced but the time for each question was also less. So there was a pressure of attempting more questions. It is important for you manage the increased pressure and letting it not affect your performance.

7. Accuracy- Matching your speed with accuracy is one of the most basic things but also the most important one. This time it was all about your speed.

Some wrong assumptions before the exam

There are several ideas that student develop in their minds before appearing for an exam. This just reduces your confidence level. Some of the common ones are:

Only engineers can get through the exam- It is totally wrong. Some IIM students point out that non-engineers perform much better than engineers.

Coaching can help you crack the CAT- Coaching institutes are not the only ones who can help you clear the exam. They just guide you, the efforts have to be yours.

Quant section helps you clear the CAT- Many people who are not good at this section still manage to crack the CAT by following a simple strategy- maximize in the area of strength and manage time to maximize the overall score

Work experience is important- Most of the institutes want variety in their batch and, hence, freshers are given chances because of the fresh perspective they bring in.

CAT is similar to other exams- CAT cannot be approached in the same way as the regular college exams. It is neither a matter of 'last minute study' nor something to be left to a 'preparatory leave'.

What should be your aim now?

You should try to come out of your disappointment and start preparing again. Failure is a part of everyone's life, so you should not lose hope. The only thing important at this stage is to have patience. That will even help you in future. Getting a top rank should be the only focus as that will make up for your losses.
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