How to Analyze CAT Mocks ?Anisha Mukhija
How to analyze CAT Mocks: Step-wise approach for CAT Mock Analysis
With the onset of the MBA exam season, preparations have started in full swing, and candidates have started learning concepts and taking up cat mocks. However, a lot of candidates appearing for the CAT exam tend to forget one major factor which leads to a low percentile. Every candidate should analyze their cat mocks thoroughly. Mocks without thorough analysis is futile and a waste of time. But before jumping on the analyzing part of the mock, every CAT Aspirant needs to make sure they have their own strategies and shortcuts to solve CAT Mocks.
This article will give you a detailed analysis of how to analyze CAT Mocks thoroughly. Students following these steps to analyze Mocks will understand his/her weak areas and strong areas in the CAT Exam.
Steps to Analyze CAT Mocks-
Step 1: Appear for CAT Mocks:
This may sound silly for the first step, but it is a genuine problem; A majority of the CAT Aspirants don’t give Mocks! It’s either because they have started late and now don’t have enough time at hand, or because they keep procrastinating. While it’s true that giving one mock requires a lot of time, energy, and dedication, but there is no way out. If you look at the strategies of all time CAT toppers, all they do is give mocks and analyze them (the analyzing part we will come to later), but for now, if you are one of these who haven’t started giving mocks, start now!
Step 2: Targeting a Score for each CAT mock:
The next problem with giving mocks is giving them half-heartedly. Appearing for cat mocks just for the sake of it is something that any candidate should not do. This might be a less common issue, but it definitely exists. Some students just give the mock and ignore the score, which is also a wrong approach for the CAT exam.
The right approach for your CAT preparation would be to first fix a score that you want to target and then attempt the mock. For example: Be determined that you will solve 4 sets of DILR and attempt at least 20 questions of Quants, to begin with. Once you give the mock, analyze the accuracy of your attempts, and accordingly keep increasing your target score and attempts. If you continue doing this, you will soon get into the flow of solving a higher number of questions in less time.
Step 3: Analyze your CAT mock section-wise
Here comes the most important part: analyzing the sections in your CAT mocks! Once you are done giving your mocks, make a mental note that you will dedicate at least a few hours (if not the entire day) to analyzing the CAT mock, section wise. You have to analyze each of the sections namely, Verbal Ability, Logical reasoning, and Data Interpretation and Quantitative Ability. Start by going through all the questions that you have attempted section wise. For the ones that you have attempted wrong, check the solution, and analyze at which step you went wrong. Most of the time it’s just because of a silly mistake, so try to understand the. In case of the ones that you solved right, again don’t skip them, check if your solution matches the one provided in the mock solution. A lot of times they provide some shortcuts of trick to solve the question that you may not know before, so don’t skip the right ones either.
Finally, check the questions that you couldn’t attempt. Analyze why you couldn’t attempt them, you will find a lot of them were very easy and could have been solved quickly. When you analyze all this, the next time you give mocks, you will be sure to identify these types of questions. Also, try to gauge the amount of time you took to solve each question, could you have solved it any faster?
Repeat these steps for each section, I repeat each one of the sections! Don’t skip any section that you feel is your strength and can be managed. Sectional cut0offs apply in the CAT exam, so while you try improving your weaknesses, keep consistently working on your strengths too. An analysis is the only right way for CAT preparation, so make it an integral part of your strategy for CAT.
Step-4: Resolve the same CAT mock
Now that you have gone through the entire paper and analyzed all the questions, resolve the entire CAT mock. Make sure to solve the questions that were not attempted, were wrong and the questions where you didn’t get enough time to solve. Identify the questions you missed out on, and try to segregate your silly mistakes. Make a note of the questions that you are able to solve without the time pressure. Try to understand how you solved the paper in the first go and how you should have actually solved it.
If you have analyzed your questions well in the previous step, you will notice that you have performed better in this attempt. That is exactly what we want, to learn from our mistakes and apply them in the future. Keep a note of all the new shortcuts you learned, and continue using them in your future mocks as well.
Step-5: Keep a cheat -sheet handy
In continuation to step – 4, make a quick cheat-sheet of all the things you learned from the exam. This should include:
- Shortcuts and Maths formulae
- Tips and techniques for Data Interpretation
- Logical reasoning self- made diagrams and codes
- Grammar and usage rules (new ones that you discovered in the exam)
- New words you learn
There is no point in just solving mocks if you don’t extract something useful from it. And believe me, each mock is designed differently and you are bound to come across a question or trick that you haven’t used before. So keep a note of then, and keep revising them every now and then. Keep a small book in hand which you can carry around when you travel so that such free time can be utilized to go through these small concepts and tricks. Remember, hard work is important, but smart work is what will carry you to success.
Step-6: Focus on Weak Areas:
Every candidate will have their own weak points or sections that they have trouble with compared to the other sections. It is important that you identify, accept, and work on these weaknesses. You can employ different strategies for different sections. Example: In case you find Reading comprehension in the Verbal Ability section difficult, try to identify the different passage sources and keep reading them. If you find words difficult, make note of all the vocabulary-based questions and different tones of the reading comprehension. This will make you accustomed to reading and you will eventually find it easier to read and comprehend passages.
Let’s say you find it hard to solve Logical reasoning questions. Try to solve at least 10 questions with different varieties so that you get in the habit of solving them. For Quants, you can focus a lot on clearing the concepts and basics, investing time in it can actually help you improve a lot. In this manner, identify your weak points, make a strategy, and work on it.
Step-7: Based on your learning, build a strategy for the next CAT mock
On the basis of your current attempt, draw up a strategy for the next exam. Give yourself a series of directives to follow in the next exam, and see how it goes. This is the time to use the insights you have gained from the previous mocks. Revise the new concepts or shortcuts that you have learned from the previous mocks as well. If you understood where you have lost time in the previous mocks, or where you made a silly mistake; make an active thought to not do that in the current attempt, Remember, it is not just enough to learn stuff, you have to apply them as well. Only then its true essence is utilized.
Step-8: Keep repeating the process!
Candidates should understand Mocks are just like the net practice before the actual match. So there is no ideal number of mocks after which you can stop or ideal marks after which you don’t need to solve mocks. Till the actual exam day appears, you need to keep attempting and analyzing CAT mocks. Keep re-solving and practicing, and you are bound to see an improvement in your score.
So that’s the 8 golden steps you need to follow to analyze CAT mocks. Just keep following these steps delicately, and I’m sure in no time you will see a huge improvement in your score. Just remember to not get disappointed or demotivated if you score less in your first few attempts. CAT is based on strategy and how well you identify and accurately solve them. You don’t even have to be a genius to get a 99 percentile! All you need is consistent efforts, dedication, and motivation to strive. So do exactly that!
I hope you liked this article on how to analyze mocks for CAT. Do leave a comment if you have any queries regarding this.
Also read: Crack CAT exam