Monday, November 23rd, 2020
This must be a nervous time for you. It is completely natural. But if you are panicking, you are probably taking it a bit too far. Rest assured, the efforts that you have put in over the last few months would not go to waste. I can only wish that all readers of this post ended up with the colleges they deserve and hope that they actually get something even better. But we all know that is statically impossible. Here are a few things that I suggest that you do in the last week to calm your nerves and hopefully ace the CAT 2020 exam.
While I understand that you have prepared well for CAT but it always helps to revise the formulas one last time. Nothing is better than notes that you have prepared yourself but in case you haven't, don't worry – we got your back. You can download a PDF from the link given below. It is a compilation of all the important formulas/shortcuts/tricks that you would need to ace the Quantitative Aptitude section of the CAT exam.
Some students and even some teachers think it is a good idea to attempt a mock every day in the week before the CAT. I do not subscribe to that idea. I think that would be a waste of your time. It is much better to take a couple of mocks and then analyze them. Too many mocks might end up doing more damage. What if you get a poor score in 3 of those mocks? What if you get overconfident and try to attempt more questions than you should in the actual exam? These mocks are there to refine your preparation in the last week not to define what you do on the day of the exam. I would suggest that you take two mock tests – one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Analyze the first mock on Wednesday and the second one on Friday. Also, you should attempt these mocks in the same time slot as your actual exam. Try to maintain the same sleep schedule that you would have on the exam day. All these tiny little things help.
If you are left with some time, practice some more Reading Comprehension passages. Trust me when I say this, you can never practice enough passages and it is the most scoring part in the CAT exam. Keep Saturday free for the next point.
Unless you are extremely familiar with the test center, I recommend visiting it on Saturday (or any other day of the week). You would get accustomed to the route. You would get an idea of how much time it takes. There would not be any surprised on the day of the exam. It might seem like a wasteful exercise but the mental peace that it would bring would be worth the time and effort you put into it.
IIM Indore has released a detailed test guide for what to do and what not to do on the exam day. You can download it from the link below. Please go through it in detail. It is one of those things that seems obvious and redundant but you might miss something crucial which can put you in an uncomfortable position on the day of the exam. The examination authority will conduct the exam according to the COVID-19 guidelines set by the Government of India which includes sanitization of the CAT exam centres, temperature check at the entry, physical distancing, use of face masks and hand sanitizers, etc.
One of the most common things that I have seen CAT aspirants mess up is the document verification part. While it is a part of the guide, I will still like to highlight the same.
Candidates would also produce at least one original (not photocopied or scanned) valid (not expired) photo identification (ID) card (such as College ID, Employer ID, Driving License, Passport, PAN Card, Voter ID, Aadhar Card, and Identification Affidavit) along with the Admit Card. The Candidate’s photograph and signature should be legibly printed and visible on the photo ID card and should match the name on the Admit Card.
Sometimes the photos don't match. Sometimes the signatures don't match. Please be careful with what document you are carrying so that it doesn't become a stress trigger on the day of the exam.
Avoid junk food / outside food for the last week. You don't want to fall sick on what's probably the most important day of the year. Also, avoid getting drunk / partying in the last week. I understand that this can be a stress buster but you should probably look for other ways to relax. Eating healthy and getting into a rhythm is important before the exam. This is not your 6th semester end-sem exam that you can ace after a night out. Or maybe you can but I would suggest not to experiment.
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