The CAT notification is out and the frenzy around the exam is building up. First up, please don’t get caught up in this hysteria. I know it’s easier said than done but if you keep your head down, drown out unnecessary distractions and attack your CAT prep with razor sharp focus, this madness won’t get to you. Unfortunately, there are con-artists out there in the CAT world who will try to take advantage of this situation and try to deceive you. This happens every year and sadly, there are students every year who fall prey to these devious tactics. My attempt here is to raise your awareness about these CAT exam hoaxes so that you can keep your guard up and protect yourself.
1. Generic websites often at the top of Google search results
When you search for CAT related information on Google, you will often see generic websites related to MBA, B-schools or even general education right at the top of the search results. They have clickbaity search result snippets which will link to pages containing useless info or worse, info that is completely false!
For instance, a couple of days before the CAT notification was released, one of these websites merrily claimed that the notification had already been released. This will happen for other critical aspects of the CAT exam as well – official CAT mock, answer key release date, results date etc.
Try Googling “CAT 2022 answer key” and you might see some of these websites claiming that it is already out 100+ days before the exam! Talk about lame CAT exam hoaxes. Either these are rookie con-artists or supernatural beings that can see the future.
This fake information might cause you unnecessary anxiety and frustration. Stay away from these sites and always trust either official sources or trusted sources that are known to you.
2. Do you want a fancy gift or a high-quality CAT course?
There are CAT coaching institutes that promise to shower you with luxury gifts if you join their courses! I have no idea about the veracity of their claims and this is absolutely not an opinion on the quality of their course offerings. My point is, should you be choosing a CAT coaching institute based on these gifts or should your selection criteria be – course content, pedagogy, faculty, honesty & ethics?
Tread with caution folks and please keep your priorities in order!
3. Pinky Promises!
If an academic counselor or anyone from a CAT coaching institute promises that you will get into an IIM upon joining their course, run away from them as fast as you can! This is one of the biggest CAT exam hoaxes ever. NO ONE can promise you a seat in an IIM, not even the official CAT authorities, not even GOD!
It’s not going to happen, it can’t happen! Stay away from such “pinky” promises that are nothing but desperate and unethical sales tactics.
4. Flamboyant Experts!
Some self-proclaimed CAT experts are flamboyant and appear to be super-confident and try hard to come across as extremely knowledgeable. There is nothing wrong with flamboyance but if it’s not backed up by substance, then there is a big problem.
Be cautious of any teacher who claims to be the best in a subject. For instance if you are my student and I say that “I’m the Mahaguru of Verbal!”, feel free to cancel me! The best teachers don’t need to claim to be anything. Their classes speak for themselves, their students speak for them and in most cases, you will find them to be humble.
You might also find some experts to be masters at providing motivation. This can be quite enticing because motivation makes everyone feel good, warm and fuzzy. Motivation is great but that alone is not going to get you anywhere. You can listen to 5 motivational “gurus” and read 10 self-help books but if you don’t master the basics, practice a ton of CAT questions and attempt (and analyze!) numerous mocks, you ain’t getting anywhere near a top B-school.
5. Hacks to crack CAT?!
CAT is arguably one of the most challenging exams in our country. If there were hacks to excel in this exam then it would not have achieved this status. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are absolutely no hacks to crack CAT!
Achieve 99 percentile in 9 days – For the love of God, don’t even! Please!
That’s it folks, these were the 5 CAT exam hoaxes that I wanted to bust! Hope this helps and you stay on your guard from now on and never fall for them. Keep working hard on your prep, get the right guidance from honest and trusted sources and stay away from hoaxes and scams. Thousands of students have followed the right path and aced CAT in the past and you can definitely do it too!
All the very best! May you shine in CAT and beyond.
Jatin is 2IIM’s Lead VARC faculty. He left the big bad corporate world after 18+ years to pursue his passions of teaching and English and he has been obsessing over VARC since then.