Well, we are almost there. The alarm bell is actually about to ring anytime now and you guys should be ready for slug-fest on the 4th of December. The anxiety must be at all-time high right now and it makes sense that each one of thinks with a cool head before heading into your exams. In the last post, we covered the strategy for the Verbal section. Now it is time to handle Maths.
The Section Strategy:
Before we talk of the specifics, make sure that you have your section strategy sorted out. In Maths, one of the biggest challenges that any student faces is the right selection of questions. If one gets that right, the section would seem a lot easier. How many of you, while analysing your Mocks, realized that you could have a solved a certain question and left another that you wasted your time? How many of you realize that you missed out on questions that you could have easily solved, and you never saw these questions? If this is happening to you, then it’s a problem with a very simple solution: round strategy. Make sure in your examination that you are attempting the section with the round strategy in mind, which basically means that solve questions of your favourite topics first. What you need to do is spot the questions of your favourite topic first. Make sure you are solving these questions in the first go and then move on to other areas.
First things first: prepare a table of all topics and list down all sub-topics as well. For example, under the main heading arithmetic, you should have the following entries: profit and loss, time, speed & distance, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, etc. In front of each of these topics, write down the amount of practice you have done and how comfortable you are with these respective areas. Also write down whether you have solved all previous year CAT questions from these topics. In case you feel you have done all that is required of you for any topic and you have a good accuracy in the topic, make sure you attempt its questions in the first go in your exam. In case you have a medium accuracy level, it should be reserved for the second attempt. And in case you have a bad accuracy rate, then this topic should be avoided. In no case you are supposed to get emotional with a question and spend more time on it than it is required of you. Please have the ability to move on in the exam, the same one you have with your ex-girlfriends or boyfriends. These is another waiting in the line for you..:)
Guru Mantra: Avoid questions that require lengthy calculations, precise calculations and DI Sets that involve a lot of data/counting etc. The first round of solving questions involves picking the best 10-12 questions. Those questions are best that can be solved in the least amount of time and with the best possible accuracy. Generally these belong to your favourite area.
What to study in the last few days?
Repeating the sentiment from the ‘Last Minute Verbal Ability’ article, remember, you are not going to move the mountain in the last 3 days before the exam. So it is best to keep things simple at this stage and not to complicate matters too much.
Simply go through the following checklist:
1. For your strength areas, practice a few problems and solve some previous year CAT questions (if you have not done so already).
2. Make sure you go through all relevant formulae and short-cuts.
3. In case you have made a list of key insights, tricks, and shortcuts from various Mock tests you have taken, revise those shortcuts.
4. Solve 5 to 10 LR and DI sets each. Do not over-do things as this might put you under strain. No point being mentally tired at this stage.
As far studying for the exam goes, this is just about it.
Make sure you are getting your basics right:
Revise what you have already studied.
Practice a very limited number of questions.
Maths, LR and DI are all about question selection Select the wrong question and you might end up spending time on it that you should not. So focus on the mental aspect at this stage rather than pure-play problem solving.
Most importantly, make sure you do things that help you relax.