CAT registration has begun, and the exam is scheduled to happen on 29 November 2020, as is the routine (last Sunday of November), despite the COVID-19 scare.
(This is the third part of the series of articles on the CAT 2020 registration process. Part 1 dealt with a primer on Do’s and Don’ts, while Part 2 was a brief on the NC-OBC and the EWS criteria.)
In this third part, we will delve deeper into some of the crucial mistakes that cannot be overlooked. CAT registration is a process that needs to be carried out with due diligence; any lapse in concentration is most likely to end up boomeranging at a later stage.
1) Make sure you enter the correct category
Your category is the next most important data you cannot afford to lose out on, just after your Name and Date of Birth. This category determines the need to submit some extra documentation (certificates proving your category, etc.)
More importantly, this is going to play a crucial role in how your percentile might play a role in an interview call.
Ensure you enter the right category you belong to. This is of paramount importance in the CAT registration process.
2) Apply to all the courses inside the CAT registration form
I cannot stress enough on this particular aspect. You might be an aspirant yearning to get into IIM-A or B only at this point in time. After CAT, nobody can predict if your energy levels will remain the same. In case you do not get a call from the top three or six IIMs, attending an interview at one of the other institutes is not going to hurt.
Besides, any amount of interview experience you gain post-CAT is going to be a positive catalyst in your future endeavors – be it MBA, retaking CAT, or jumping outside the CAT realm – and not otherwise.
Make sure you tick all check-boxes for the choices of courses inside the form. It could be an FPM, DPM, BM or anything else for that matter. You have an option to go for the maximum during the CAT registration phase itself. Why would you not go for it?
3) Payment of fee is not an immediate task
This is one other significant mistake that I have seen people commit in a surge of enthusiasm. The caveat pertaining to the payment of registration fee is that your application gets frozen. This means, after you complete the payment, you will not be able to modify any detail in your CAT registration form.
Not today, not at the final moment
While it is a good idea to pay the fee before the eleventh hour, there is no urgency to pay it today and now. You have to check and re-check your application for any mistake, be it in the spelling, marks, date of birth and whatever else.
There is no harm in saving your CAT registration form then and there
Coming back to check your CAT registration form after a day or two is always a great option. Sometimes, it is highly possible that everything would look fine at the first glance. So, make sure you complete the application process, save it and revisit it later.
Only when you are very sure that all the details furnished are correct should you proceed to the payment of fee, definitely not before that. There are no two ways about it.
4) Photograph – the prima FAC(i)E evidence
If you got the pun there, kudos. Give yourself a pat before reading further. If you did not, you should hopefully understand the funda behind why some of the letters are typed in upper case.
The photograph you upload in the CAT registration form should preferably be not older than 12 to 18 months at the maximum.
Other common instructions to be followed are:
- White background is mandatory. This should be non-negotiable.
- Plain glasses should be alright. Coloured glasses are not recommended (it is a good idea to remove even the plain glass for the photograph)
- Your eyes should clearly be visible. They should not be blurred by outside/external/natural/artificial light, or any other technical glitch.
- The photograph should be clear. It should not be shaky or blurred.
- The photograph you upload in the online registration should be the same as the one you stick in the printed hall ticket later. If you do not have a photo that can be printed, refrain from uploading it in the CAT registration form online.
- Keep enough hard copies of the photo you upload online. They will come in handy throughout the CAT and post-CAT processes.
- Make sure you adhere to the format and size of the file mentioned in the instructions, while uploading the photograph.
5) Get your signature right
‘Get your signature right’ should probably be the official CAT slogan. It works both for your CAT preparation and CAT registration. In your preparation and mocks, you should not miss out on your signature – a.k.a strongest – scoring areas. During your CAT registration, you will have to be wary about your signature.
The guidelines are simpler to follow.
- Sign in a blank white paper. The paper should be bright enough. Do not use low quality papers.
- Scan the signature using a scanner (the professional ones that are available in the internet cafes and photocopy shops). It is a bad idea to use smartphone applications to scan your signature.
- Be mindful about the format and size mentioned in the guidelines, while you upload the signature. There could be a need to compress the file, in which case properly scanned signature work best.
CAT registration ends on 16 September at 5 pm IST. This means that you have roughly about 35 days to register yourself for the examination. Do not wait for the last date. On the other hand, do not jump the gun and try registering right away, without ensuring the necessary prerequisites are well in place.
Stay safe, and best wishes for CAT 2020!