As a CAT aspirant, we know that preparing for the three sections is paramount to success in the examination. However, as James Clear (Author of the book Atomic Habits) would put it, Habit is something that helps you sustain success over a longer period. We all know that CAT is a long game. One might get a great score in a mock or score a stellar percentile in a section. But if you don’t have the habits in place, then this success cannot be sustained for a longer time, in our case till CAT. We will look at some of the habits that a CAT aspirant must inculcate while preparing for CAT.
Habit 1 – Read every day
Reading every day builds your reading muscle organically and helps you:
a. Read faster
b. Comprehend faster
There is no other shortcut. This habit takes a long time to build but when you have this in place, we guarantee that you’ll have a great advantage over many aspirants appearing for CAT.
But how long should you read every day?
You need to read for at least 45 mins every day. Mind you, this reading is not for CAT, but it is your leisure reading. Read from various sources so that you get accustomed to various kinds of topics that may appear in CAT.
This is one of the most important habits that a CAT aspirant must inculcate. We highly recommend Bharath’s curated reading list as this has 800+ articles from various topics ranging from Philosophy, economics and politics to technology and space science. It is a great resource for building the habit of reading every day, something every CAT aspirant must inculcate into their daily routine.
Habit 2 – Prepare for your weaker section every day
We know that you might be good at DILR or VARC or Quant, But B-schools have cut-offs for individual sections, and you must clear these sectional cut-offs to get a call. So, you must score well in all the sections.
You can solve 2 DILR sets every day or try 5 Para jumble questions or solve 25 Quant questions every day. Make sure you analyze them and correct your mistakes. Set a target that is achievable every day and add it to your to-do list. Make sure you check the box by the end of the day.
2IIM Question Bank is a great place to start.
Habit 3 – Have a schedule for Mocks
CAT preparation does not stop with learning a new topic or solving some questions or reading every day.
Mocks are an integral part of the preparation process as it not just tests you across the three sections but also tests your stamina. How energetic/tired you are when you come to the third section in the CAT is very important. When you’re tired and you’re not able to focus, then the whole section will become a disaster, an apocalypse if Quant is your strong suit and you wanted to maximize your score in this section.
Take mocks periodically so that you build stamina and nail the third section as well.
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Habit 4 – Analyze
This is in continuation to the previous one, make sure you analyze and learn from your mistakes. It is as much important to analyze the test, as it is to take the test. Solve all the questions that you’ve gotten wrong and solve all the questions that you’ve left un-attempted. Not just that, you must also look at the questions that you’ve gotten correctly and check if whatever method that you used to solve is correct or if there is any better way to solve the question than what you did.
So, Yes, Make analyzing your tests/mocks an habit if you are a serious CAT aspirant.
Habit 5 – Take breaks occasionally.
This is just what it says, Take breaks occasionally between your CAT Prep. You can read something on the internet or watch a video or consume social media in this break, but do not get consumed into the scrolling paradigm that these newer avatars like YouTube shorts and Instagram reels are built on.
One more thing that we wanted to warn you is about the whole internet beefs that are common on these social media platforms. Do not get into this comment, post, debate, and challenge trap. You can get pulled into the vortex where you think you’re doing something meaningful and you’re winning but what you’re actually doing is wasting your time and energy which makes you none the wiser.
The two things that you can do in a break that we would suggest are,
- Take Rest
- Play a sport or do some physical exercise.
We frequently put our emphasis on the goal, but we do not actually care about our habits. Success is a byproduct when you have the systems in place. So, as a CAT aspirant, make a conscious effort to build the habits and I guarantee that you’ll see a drastic change in your results.
Watch this video where we discuss about some of the habits, that a student aspiring to get a 99th percentile should follow.
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Best wishes for CAT!
Muhatashim Aaqib works for 2IIM. Apart from solving interesting math questions he likes to chat about politics, productivity and loves to watch F1.