The Last Lap Strategy for CAT- Part 2

Continued from here.

Improve your focus and attention span

This is the right time to start practicing full length mock tests if you haven’t been doing so already. Even if you are practicing sectional tests, do it in chunks of 3-4 so that you ensure that you are practicing for at least 2 hours at a stretch. But make sure that this is also the time when you need to keep your brain in peak performance mode – do not over do anything. A sectional test every three days or so was good enough for me. You need to decide how you want to pace yourself – the key is to avoid burnout and boredom.

List down your key strengths and weaknesses

I have always suggested test takers to list down 5 topics from each section (quantitative and verbal) where they are absolutely confident of cracking any question that they are faced with. In the exam you should hunt for questions based on those topics and solve them first – it gives you a certain headstart and also boosts your confidence.

Also have another list of topics which are your weaknesses – 3 topics from each section. When you encounter questions from these topics, simply skip to the next question and come back to these questions at the end. This would make sure that you are not wasting any time.

Test out and analyse

If you have a strategy in mind to do well in the CAT exam (or for that matter any entrance exam) it is the right time to test it out. Test out your test taking strategies in full length mock tests and analyse your performance to understand how well your strategy has worked.

As has often been repeated, analysis of your performance is important. At this juncture of your preparation it becomes even more crucial. In the next few days if you can identify a particular type of mistake you commit or a particular concept you are weak in, then you just might be able to work on it and improve it – and in the end this might make all the difference.

Save up on holidays

It does not matter if you are a working professional or if you are in college – save up on those leaves. A week before your exam you would need them to relax and to concentrate. During that time you could do without pressure from office or pressure due to college academics. And if you take substantial leaves right now, you might end up ruing it in those last stages (as seen from the experience of a lot of my friends).

(Deepak Nanwani is the co-founder of, an online adaptive solution for GMAT, MBA and UG exams. An alumnus of IIT Guwahati and IIM Bangalore, he is a master strategist for all competitive exams.)