Analysing CAT mock tests is an essential step in preparing for the CAT exam. It helps identify your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to focus on areas that need improvement. In this article, we will discuss the step-wise process for analysing your CAT mock tests in order to maximise your learning and increase your chances of success.
Firstly, it is vital to build a mock strategy for CAT. This involves setting aside dedicated time for taking mock tests and analysing them. By following a consistent schedule, you can track your progress over time and identify patterns in your performance.
Top 10 Tips to Approach CAT Mock Tests
Here are the Top 10 tips from a CAT exam expert to approach CAT mock tests:
1. Time Management: Practice strict time management during mock tests to simulate the real exam scenario. Record the number of right questions and wrong questions you get in each section and keep a note of which section.
2. Analyse Mock Test Mistakes: Review your mock test performance and analyse your score. Focus on understanding the underlying concepts and areas of improvement.
3. Build Stamina: Gradually increase the number of mock tests you take to build endurance and mental stamina for the lengthy CAT exam.
4. Simulate Test Environment: Create a quiet and distraction-free environment while taking mock tests to replicate the actual exam conditions.
5. Sectional Strategy: Develop a personalised strategy for each CAT section to maximise your efficiency and score.
6. Prioritise Strong Areas: Allocate more time and effort to questions from your strong areas to secure maximum marks.
7. Time Allocation: Strategically allocate time to different sections and questions, keeping in mind the weightage and difficulty level.
8. Learn from Solutions: Understand the solutions and explanations provided for mock test questions to enhance your problem-solving skills.
9. Mock Test Analysis: Analyse your performance in mock tests to identify patterns, strengths, and weaknesses. Use this feedback to fine-tune your preparation strategy.
10. Practice, Practice, Practice: Regularly take mock tests to build confidence, improve speed, and become familiar with the CAT exam pattern.
By following these top 10 tips, you’ll be well-prepared to approach CAT mock tests effectively and optimise your chances of success in the actual Common Admission Test (CAT).
What are the benefits of solving mock tests?
The benefits of solving mock tests in CAT prep can be summarised as:
1. Mental Preparedness: By attempting CAT mocks prior to appearing for the CAT exam, you can mentally prepare yourself for the big day. Mock practice tests allow you to perform under intense conditions and develop the necessary confidence.
2. Personalised Approach: Mocks help you discover your own unique approach and strategy for tackling the exam. You can experiment, learn from mistakes, and refine your techniques to find what works best for you.
3. Learning and Adaptation: Mocks facilitate growth in the preparation process. You learn, unlearn, and relearn various nuances of taking the exam, enabling you to constantly improve and adapt your approach.
4. Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Mocks provide a clearer understanding of your strong and weak areas. This allows you to focus on strengthening your weaknesses and enhancing your overall performance.
5. Strategic Insights: Mocks offer insights into how to strategically approach the final exam. You gain knowledge on which questions to skip, where to invest your time and effort, and how to avoid getting stuck on a crucial day.
In summary, mock tests are an indispensable tool in CAT preparation, equipping you with the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence to perform at your best on the actual exam day.
When should I start giving the mock test for CAT?
One very common mistake made by a lot of CAT aspirants is waiting until they have completed their syllabus before starting to give regular mock tests for CAT. However, this approach is wrong.
The CAT syllabus is extensive and comprehensive, and it never truly feels complete. Therefore, waiting to complete your syllabus is not recommended. Try to understand the basics of each topic and attempt the mock simultaneously. Take time to solve the questions first, and work on accuracy; once you are confident in your solving, focus on time management.
Ideally, you should begin taking mock tests as early as April. You can start with one mock test per week and gradually increase the frequency over time; initially, start with sectional mocks and try to solve questions of topics you are comfortable with, and remember to keep revising. As you progress, you can move on to taking two mocks per week and eventually even consider taking them on alternate days. As the exam date draws closer, mock tests should become a significant part of your preparation routine.
We recommend starting regular mock tests around 3 months before the CAT exam. On average, try to take at least one mock test per week and solve more questions as you progress. Analyse the results to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This analysis will enable you to focus on improving your weaker areas and leverage your strengths effectively.
Check out 2IIM’s in-depth video on 10 CAT Mock Test Preparation Tips
What after taking the CAT mock?
Taking mocks and not analysing your scores is absolutely futile. It doesn’t add up to your progress in the CAT prep journey. Ideally, if you spend two hours taking the mock, you should be given four hours to analyse the mock. There should be an in-depth analysis of various aspects. Even the questions you got correct should be rechecked and solved to look for a faster and more efficient solution than your previous attempt.
You should be able to answer these basic questions after analysing CAT mocks –
1. What are your strong and weak areas? How much time and accuracy do you have in both of them?
2. Were the skipped questions doable? If yes, why couldn’t you solve them?
3. What was the reason behind the incorrect ones? (Lack of knowledge/ less time/ calculation errors/etc.)
4. How did you approach the paper? Is there any other strategy that you think you should apply to score better?
5. What are your learnings from this mock?
Tips to Preparation for the CAT Exam – Section-Wise CAT Mock Strategy
In order to achieve success in the CAT exam, thorough and effective preparation is essential. One crucial aspect that should not be overlooked is the significance of taking an ample number of mock tests. The mock tests are designed to evaluate candidates based on their knowledge, accuracy, time management, and overall communication skills.
The secret to cracking the CAT lies in your preparation, practice, and understanding of how to approach the exam. Mock tests play a pivotal role in honing these skills. In this section, we provide you with the top tips on approaching and analysing CAT mocks.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
VARC, or Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, is vital in competitive exams like CAT. It assesses English language skills, including reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and verbal reasoning. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to comprehend, analyse, and infer information from various texts.
Mastering vocabulary, improving reading speed, honing comprehension and reasoning skills and understanding the kind of questions are key to excelling in VARC. Familiarity with the topics covered is crucial for effective preparation and achieving a good score.
CAT Mock Test Strategy: VARC
1. Passage Selection: Begin by carefully evaluating the passages provided in the mock test. Read the options and choose the passage that aligns with your strengths and interests. Prioritise passages that you feel confident in understanding and analysing.
2. Comprehension Speed: Speed and accuracy are important; focus on improving your reading speed without compromising comprehension. Practice techniques such as skimming and scanning to quickly grasp the main ideas and structure of the passage. This will help you save valuable time during the exam.
3. Smart Question Selection: Pay attention to the types of questions in the VARC section and identify your areas of strength. Prioritise the questions that you are most likely to answer correctly and efficiently. By selecting questions strategically, you can maximise your score within the given time limit.
4. Reading and Practice: Enhance your performance by regularly reading extensively and practising various question types. Read various topics, including fiction, non-fiction, and articles from reputable sources. Additionally, solve practice questions from previous CAT exams or dedicated VARC practice materials to familiarise yourself with different question formats.
By following this approach, you can enhance your performance in the VARC section of the mock test and improve your overall CAT exam score.
To know more about analysing your mock score for VARC, check out this insightful video by CATKing on Verbal Live Mock Taking Strategy by CAT 99.71%iler, FMS Alum
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
DILR, comprising Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR), is a section known for its increasing difficulty over the years. Candidates encounter Line and Bar Graphs, Binary Logic, and Network Flow Diagram questions. Mastering DILR involves understanding data patterns, logical reasoning techniques, and developing a systematic approach. Topics covered include quantitative reasoning, data analysis, puzzles, and more. By focusing on these areas, candidates can enhance their analytical abilities and excel in this crucial section.
CAT Mock Test Strategy: DILR
- DILR is probably the most unpredictable section for most. Again, it all starts by knowing what your strengths are. Based on this, attempt a mock test and answer 8-10 questions you can solve.
- When you encounter a challenging set and find yourself stuck, it’s natural to feel a sense of panic. However, the key to overcoming this situation is to remember that there’s always something you can keep working on, which will help you navigate through this section successfully.
- Analysing DILR is very subjective, but the best way to go about it is resolving the sets because the only thing that works here is your brain’s accustomed to seeing things from different angles. This would only happen through consistent practice.
To know more about analysing your mock score for DILR, check out this insightful video by Rodha on Best Strategy to get 99+ percentile in LRDI Section for CAT
Quantitive Ability (QA)
Quants have different topics – Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Modern Math, and Numbers. Identifying your substantial area helps a lot in question selection here. However, there are some things you should keep in mind while attempting the quants section. When analysing CAT mock exams for QA (Quantitative Ability), pay attention to the types of questions that you find challenging. Are there any specific concepts or formulas that need further reinforcement? By identifying these areas, you can allocate more time to practising and mastering them.
CAT Mock Test Strategy: QA
- Only spend up to two minutes on a question. If you cannot do it then leave the question and attempt at the end.
- The Arithmetic questions could keep you stuck. In this, only prefer the questions with limited and close options so that it becomes easier for you to choose.
- Gauge the toughness of the question. This is what will prevent you from being smart while solving the paper.
- While analysing, go over all of the questions again to see where you went wrong, how you could have done better, and what topics you need more practise with.
To know more about analysing your mock score for QA, check out this insightful video by Shweta Arora.
How to analyse CAT Mock Test?
Here is a step-by-step approach to mock analysis, but before you start analysing mocks, you should be aware of the few parameters based on which your attempt rate and accuracy rate are calculated, which finally gives you your final percentile.
1: Establish a precise measurement of the Attempt to Accuracy Rate: If you are targeting a 90-plus percentile, then instead of trying to answer all the questions, try getting an attempt rate of 90% and an accuracy rate of around 70% – 80%. Note down your attempt rate, accuracy rate and percentile for each section every time you appear for mocks.
2: Analyse your unattempt Rate: Your unattempted rate is composed of two factors: 1) questions you didn’t see at all, and 2) questions you saw but couldn’t answer correctly despite attempting them. If the number of questions you didn’t see is higher, it indicates a weakness in your preparation strategy. Understanding your un-attempt rate is crucial for enhancing your target score and overall performance.
Ideally, by your 10th mock attempt, you should be able to view all the questions in your test. If you are unable to achieve this, it indicates a flaw in your strategy. In such a case, it is important to identify the discrepancies and reevaluate your plan. For instance, after analysing the mocks you have taken, if you realise that you are unable to attempt all questions in the Reading Comprehension (RC) section, there is a strong likelihood that selecting longer or incorrect passages may be the issue. In this scenario, the best approach would be to identify the sources of different passages and focus on solving the shorter ones.
3: Quickly familiarise yourself and set a time limit: When solving sections like DILR, always take up topics that you are familiar with first and give yourself a set time for each question; if you cannot decrypt the same within the given time, move on.
4: See, Try, Repeat: When solving questions around quant, try to see all the questions and solve the once you know, Do this process at least 3 times before moving on to the other section. This will help you improve your accuracy with CAT mock tests.
5: Take reference of Analysis Key: After encountering questions you could not solve, it is important to assess the difficulty level. This involves determining whether you didn’t understand the question, couldn’t identify the applicable concept, or simply didn’t arrive at the correct answer. Share your progress after attempting the third or fourth practice session.
To gain further insights on analysing your CAT mock test, I recommend checking out this helpful video!
If you are looking to tackle CAT mock tests, here are some leading websites that provide FREE mock tests for CAT aspirants.
- Career Launchers’s Free full-length CAT Mocks
- Cracku’s Free CAT Mock Tests 2023 with video solutions
- BYJU’S Exam Prep’s practice CAT Online Free Test Series
- InsideIIM’s Free Mock Test Series 2023
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