A lot of dreams and hopes are usually riding on your attempt at this exam. However, a bunch of students find themselves getting a case of the dreaded CAT Boredom. What is this CAT Boredom? How do we go about tackling this? Let’s jump into it!
I used to have this issue when I used to do a bunch of questions from topics that I found to be easy. My mind would crave the hit and thrill of solving a tougher question, of unraveling the beautiful solution embedded within.
I would find myself getting restless and feel the routine getting to me. This was my CAT Boredom.
CAT Boredom is a subjective thing. When you identify what gets you nodding off, you can manipulate the variables to eliminate your CAT Boredom.
My mind wanted to tackle the juicy, dicey, phenomenal, wonderfully challenging-type questions. I gravitated to the tougher bits to kill my CAT Boredom. That’s when I realized that this wasn’t the release clause that could eliminate my boredom.
Don’t get me wrong. I was completely serious about CAT, but we are all only human, and so many students find themselves restless and bored at the prospect of solving an endless array of sets.
The Cure to CAT Boredom?
While creating your CAT Preparation Plan, you’ve got to set aside (for example) an hour for Quant with 10 questions from some topic, another hour for a couple of DILR Puzzles, and another hour for reading something. Remember to try and crank up the intensity to see if you can hang in there without losing your concentration.
Within this plan, create a bunch of release clauses that get you to say, “Hey. This excites me. Things aren’t mundane. Let’s get cracking.”
What are your release clauses? What gets your mind firing neurons at unprecedented levels?
Brain stagnation and lockdown are understandably not a good combination. You may find it hard to get a stressbuster or release clause when your options are limited but here’s the thing – When you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to prepare for CAT amid a pandemic, you should be grateful for what you have.
Mix it up. Don’t do the same things to remove boredom. Trick your mind, challenge it. Know when to blast your mind with stimuli, and when to rest.
What are some of your options and variables?
1) Challenge yourself with artificial markers
Within your CAT Preparation, set up benchmarks and mini-challenges like, “I will solve this question with the simplest solution possible”, or, “I will get through Bharath’s daily article at one full stretch”.
These benchmarks and artificial markers will help you amp up your intensity, build your concentration, and eliminate boredom all at once.
When you make learning fun for yourself, how can it be boring? Reconstruct your targets like that!
2) Try working out
There is a correlation between cognitive performance and keeping your body active. If this isn’t reason enough, then try it for the sake of it.
Do some stretches, and check out some home workouts that get your blood pumping. Stay active!
3) Read curiously
There are tons of articles and books out there available on the internet. What’s something you’ve always been curious about? Is it dark matter? Is it about some esoteric genre of music only you like? Or is it about your prized TV show/novel fandom?
Hit that. Explore n number of topics and read with delight. With regard to your CAT Preparation, we highly recommend going through the daily article posted in Bharath’s Curated Reading List.
4) What are your hobbies?
If your hobbies are feasible within lockdown restrictions, then go for it! Is it baking? Photography? Sleeping and dreaming? Whatever it is, carve out a piece of your schedule for you. Your mental health is important.
5) “Dude, I am working. I have no choice.”
This is absolutely no reason for you not to have some fun and relax. Make sure your CAT Preparation is intense and efficient. Be consistent.
Make sure to unwind. Reward your efforts in little ways. Subjective ways. Whatever makes you happy. (Is it binge-watching?)
A Final Note
Remember your dreams and enforce your beliefs. Be grateful for the little things and make your learning fun.
Stay Safe and Best Wishes for CAT!
Rajesh Balasubramanian takes the CAT every year and is a 4-time CAT 100 percentiler. He likes few things more than teaching Math and insists to this day that he is a better teacher than exam-taker.
Saahil R Bhatt works at 2IIM as a Digital Marketing Professional. He frequently lives in his mind, critically consumes content and analyses schemata 24/7.