Online CAT Preparation: How to stay motivated?
Hitting a trough with your online CAT preparation due to a drop in motivation levels? It’s a problem that’s common enough—but it’s not due to what you think. Let’s set some facts straight and reset that motivation level!
First of all, preparing ONLINE is not your problem, your problem is PREPARING.
You may be tempted to think that your motivation is low because of online CAT Preparation and that you would have fared better if you attended an offline class…well, this is a typical case of the grass looking greener on the other side! 🙂
Yes, a classroom setting will have a set plan laid out and when you are preparing online, you have to make up your own schedule. But then, the flexibility to plan your schedule while preparing online is a feature, not a bug. While preparing online, you don’t need to worry about missing lessons, being forced to sit through a class on a topic you already know or not being able to keep pace when the class races ahead.
What’s more, the other reasons why you chose an online course—access to the best faculty, content, testing, analytics— still hold true.
You may think that if you had a peer group to prepare with, your motivation levels would be high. While the role of the good peer group cannot be disputed, remember it is a toss up getting that ‘right’ set to prepare with in a classroom/center too!
So, let us recognize the problem for what it is—the problem is not that you are preparing online, but that you are not motivated enough to prepare. This leads us to the next point.
Ultimately, preparing for any competitive exam is all about your INDIVIDUAL effort
A good course, the right teachers/mentors and a good peer group can and do help, but cracking the exam is all about how many hours you put in, how well you stay motivated and how desperately you want to crack the exam.
Like they say, anyone can want a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian. Every goal and every choice has a price you must pay for it. Love—or at least start by accepting—the grind, for no one can do the work but you.
Remind yourself ever so often WHY you started
For some, it is the reward of success that motivates. For others, it is the fear of failure. You may have started preparing for CAT to prove a point to yourself. Or, to prove a point to others. Something motivated you to start your CAT preparation. Given the general human tendency to avoid work/procrastinate, that something that made you kick-start your preparation was powerful enough to elicit action. Remind yourself of this every day.
Only if your pain of not cracking CAT >> pain of preparing for the exam, you can stay motivated. After all, giving up is the only sure way to fail.
Make a realistic prep plan – one that is easy enough to follow
It is easier to stay motivated if you manage your expectations and commit to making small, incremental improvements — rather than setting yourself some impossibly high goals and working in spurts.
The way to successfully make sure you consistently do something is to make it easy enough to do with little or no motivation.
So, work on a realistic CAT prep plan. Set yourself achievable targets for the month and week, cutting yourself some slack. Once you do this, don’t compromise. Hold yourself accountable. Equally, celebrate milestones and reward yourself for a job well done. Ticking off a to-do list is a great way to stay motivated.
Remember, momentum is more important than genius in cracking CAT
CAT is not an exam that you need to be a genius to crack. All you need to do is to brush up school level Math and English, develop the ability to think quickly on your feet, understand key ideas and reason with logic. These are skills you can develop, with consistent practice. Build momentum by sticking to a prep plan and taking regular mocks.
Finally, keep your chin up and remember that you are not alone
You are not alone in being overwhelmed with the exam preparation. Youtube, Netflix and Instagram don’t exist only in your world. Other aspirants face pressures at college/work/home too. You are not the only one to do badly in mocks.
At least half the battle is won in the mind. So, learn to talk yourself through the stress. Don’t underestimate the importance of physical exercise and good sleep schedules in boosting your energy levels. Prepare diligently with a plan and you are sure to succeed!
All the best!
Leave a Reply