Covid-19 has kept most of us indoors. Offices have started with work-from-home. Colleges and schools are shut definitely until end of March, and perhaps after that too. Every passing day, the number of individuals who are infected keeps growing. Sadly the number of deaths is also increasing. China and Italy are leading the list, while several other countries are following them.
Important things to note:
- Logically the best way to contain the pandemic, is through isolation, and at times, self isolation if the govt/healthcare mechanism does not enforce isolation.
- If COVID-19 testing and statistics tells us anything, that is people of age 20 years – 29 years can very easily be asymptomatic carriers. Though they do not have any physical effects, it is very easy to infect a lot of others, including elders and the ill.
- If you have any respiratory issues, stay super alert. Even otherwise, wash your hands often. Soap, hand-wash, hand sanitisers, alcohol based sanitisers, anything in the books works. Keep yourself clean, do not touch your nose, mouth regions (which is most likely the entry point for the virus).
1. Pick up a Novel
If you have postponed reading until today, you don’t have to anymore. You might be shaving off a couple of hours or several depending on the city of your work (god bless those souls who work in Bangalore). Put those hours to good use.
Reading Fiction is a very good starting point, especially if you are someone who has not read anything apart from school/college syllabus. The right authors will keep you engaged for prolonged periods, even if you are generally averse to the idea of reading. You could be realising what this person is realising.
2. Start off a Habit
Starting off a habit is tough. Breaking a habit is even tougher. If you happen to think there is some habit that bugs you, this is a chance. Take up this. Fix it with a good habit. But why? This is the answer. Once my Strategic Management professor told this in class.
You can replace a habit. You cannot just come out of a habit without replacing it with anything else.
Use this as a chance to not only build a good habit, but also maybe to lose a bad one. Some good habits you might want to think about:
- Reading at least 3 articles daily
- Solving Math questions at 8:00 pm sharp, daily.
- Solving 1 sudoku puzzle everyday.
- Reading about 50 pages of a novel daily.
3. There is fun in CAT Preparation
Questions based on Circles
There is lot of fun in preparing for CAT. For instance check out these questions based on Pi, we posted these questions on account of Pi Day (3.14): Blog link to questions. Solution link is available with detailed video solutions.
Mixtures and Alligations
Mixtures is a wonderful idea in Arithmetic. Alligation seems like a brilliant shortcut. But knowing how and why alligation works could be eye opening. It is actually weights rearranged in a specific way to be equal to ratios. If you are 2IIM student, this why is covered in your quant course, under mixtures lesson.
Right Triangle and Circumcenter
Same goes for understanding how incenter, circumcenter and orthocenter works with a right triangle. If the understanding was in place, there was a direct question from this idea in CAT 19 quant slot 2 on radius being 1/2 of hypotenuse. One might think memorising formulae will work, but in such a pressure setting, it might, or it might not. Knowing how a right triangle is, helped me recollect the idea and get to the answer intuitively, without needing a formulae at that juncture.
Quadratic equations and Roots
Understanding how a quadratic equation is also represented using sum and product of roots was eye opening to me personally. It was like, how did I miss this all along? (tbh, I was not great at math all my life, I barely scraped through and got away with it).
4. Prepare in a Silo
Lockdown / Isolation in any form is a blessing in disguise for every CAT Aspirant. Work from home is too. Isolate yourself not just in real life, but online too, and make the most out of these few weeks. You won’t be bugged by friends who want you to accompany them to a dinner/party/movie. Most cities have their bars and theaters shut already.
Go into an island online as well. Do not get diverted looking through memes, notifications, statuses and youtube. Learning happens best in silo. Arm yourself with notebooks and pen, plug in your headphones, head out to your favorite CAT preparation website, start off your CAT Prep now.
5. Planning is not everything
One can try to plan as much as they want to. I have seen CAT Aspirants chart out an elaborate plan from Jan until the day before exam, armed with syllabus, topics to cover, when to revise, when to take mocks and everything in place. I have done this in the past too. I then realised that being flexible helps. I also realised that execution helps. These two things are more than helpful than the planning itself. If there is no flexibility or execution, all planning is wasted efforts.
Stay safe. In this dire times, do not give in to that temptation. Resist the urge to socialise. Do not be flippant if you are even mildly sick. Take care of yourself. All the very best from all of us here at 2IIM.