Updated: Jul 10
No matter how much an aspirant practices CAT questions, the preparation will remain incomplete without thorough mock analysis. This must be a crucial phase for CAT aspirants now that they're taking mocks. So, today, we have a very special guest post, in which Chhavi Gupta, a CAT 2017 100 Percentiler shares her advice on taking and analyzing CAT mocks.
Chhavi Gupta is an IITD, IIMA alumnus. She topped the CAT 2017 with 100%ile. She has worked with many NGOs, startups and government entities, most notably the Income Tax Department for demonetization analysis. She will be soon joining the Boston Consulting Group. She is also an avid writer on Quora.
In Chhavi's Words:
Making the Best out of your Mock Tests
When we are preparing for an exam, it might seem for a while that there’s not much that is improving. Some days seem as good days, while others not so much. When we are just practicing and studying new topics, we do not understand if we have practiced enough or not.
For all of these questions, the most important thing to do is take mock tests continuously. I have had endless people ask me if they should wait to finish the entire syllabus before taking mock tests. Many people don’t attempt any mock test till as late as September, all for the fear of scores there.
Ideally, you should start taking mock tests as soon as you decide that you want to appear for CAT. What is the worst that could happen, you get 10%ile? So what! It is just a mock test, by giving the test you can gain so many insights which can help you improve remarkably. Attempting mock tests just gives you the final exam feel without the result dependency, it is the best way to prepare for your exam. Not only can you just focus on weak sections, you get to learn a lot from the solutions as well.
By taking a mock test, you just make yourself less ignorant of your strong and weak topics. And that knowledge is very important for your overall preparation, because when time availability is low it is best to focus on topics where you need more improvement. By analyzing mocks properly you can also understand the nuances of mistakes you make, and ensure you don’t repeat them. You also get to identify few tricky questions and mark them for revision later on. If you have only 10 hours to study for the exam in the week. I would give 3 hours mock test, and spend 2 hours in analyzing it. Then the rest 5 hours in studying the concepts and topics I’m lacking.
By taking 30-40 mock tests, you almost cover all the possible topics that you should study. Hence taking mock tests can be the best way of completing/revising the entire syllabus. I used to keep an entry of how my accuracy/score is improving in each of the sections as well. It gave me amazing insights on individual sections and I continued to improve on all the scores.
The best can be taken out of a mock test by analyzing it properly. Give it a proper 2-3 hours, do it in one go and do it quickly. For more details on analyzing mock tests, do watch:
I have also given a lot of exam preparation tips here: Playlist: Chhavi Gupta's Quick Guidance Videos.
Hope this helps.
First of all, I'd like to thank Chhavi for taking out her valuable time to pen down this post for the benefit of all the blog members. Chhavi has always helped aspirants by guiding them through her YT channel & Quora profile. You must follow her if you need more insights on CAT preparation.
Secondly, I cannot agree more with her when she says that you must be taking CAT mocks alongside completing your basics. Don't wait to finish your syllabus, taking and analyzing mocks is the key to scoring better in the CAT exam. So, do consider her advice.
More on CAT 2020:
Must-Read: 15 Free CAT Mocks