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CAT 2009: Strategy for the last 3 weeks

November 11, 2009 10:28 IST

By now, you would have evolved as a "test taker" with certain identified strengths and weaknesses. With less than a month for the CAT, you need to manage both your strengths and weaknesses and ensure that the result is upbeat.

Starting with the strengths, the first thing you need to do is to understand whether you have consistently done well in these areas to label them as strengths or was your performance purely incidental?

In case of the first eventuality, the next issue you need to address is whether these areas emerged as strengths in a fair distribution of time across all sections/ areas of the test or due to significantly more time allocated to these areas? If it is the first case, then it is infallibly an area of strength; you simply need to sustain the tempo and ensure that it stays a cash cow for you.

If it is the second case, you need to ensure that the same performance is upheld in a certain desirable time frame. For example, a student getting 99 percentile in one section (because he has spent disproportionately more time in this section) and faring abysmally in the others, cannot brand the first section as his/her strength. You need to sacredly anchor on to an instruction which requires you to be competent across all sections of the test.

In case of the second eventuality, that is, when your performance in the so called "strong areas" is a consequence of random flukes, you have to immediately stop cheating yourself, categorise it as a weakness and revamp your approach vis-a-vis these areas.

Coming to weaknesses, you need to understand the core reasons for not doing well in these areas. The following have been identified as the most common ones, with their corresponding remedies:

To summarise, 'the one month to the CAT' requires you to leverage your strengths, hone your weaknesses and formulate a smart strategy to approach the test. The most important thing is not to lose heart or feel that it's just too late. There have been others in your position and they have made it to the top through sheer focus and pragmatic time management. 

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