If you get a low Mock score, more often than not, you lose hope on CAT Prep, on that year’s CAT, and self doubt creeps into every decision you take moving forward for a few days. This is very normal for CAT aspirants. So, the question is -- How to stay Motivated if you don’t do well in a Mock CAT?
Before we get to that, let us start with the three important parts to cat preparation.
As the title of this article states, in this Blog article, we will talk about the Importance of CAT Mocks and how you should get back on track if you don’t do well in one (or in a few).
Importance of CAT Mock Tests
If you haven’t taken mocks yet, now is the time to start. CAT is 60 and odd days away -- Just around the corner. 20 would be a good number of mock tests to get really comfortable with the exam pattern in general, and being able to sit in a place and answer questions for 3 hours.
Mocks form a vital part of your CAT preparation. Mocks tell you how to go about staying focused for three hours, how to tackle pressure, how to maximize your scores etc. But the real problem lies in getting a bad mock score and pulling yourself together to take another mock.
Mocks and Learning to Run!
Think of mocks as the process of knowing how to walk, and transitioning that into the skill of running a race, and your cat exam is the actual race.
When you are learning, it is equivalent of watching videos and learning techniques on how to walk, jog, run etc. Practicing lots of questions after learning is equivalent of beginning to walk and jog. While you learn to walk and jog, you are on the right path to running a race. You know how to walk, but will fall a few times when you learn how to run. Feeling winded, dehydrated and tired is natural.
You could have seen tons of explanatory videos on how to walk and run, still the actual experience of running for the first time is tough. It is very reasonable to fall. If you are afraid of falling, you are never going to get back on your feet, and eventually learn how to run.
The same goes for aspirants who hesitate to take more mocks because their bad scores hurt them. You’ve got to pick yourself up, dust yourself, and try again. That’s how you reach great places. At this juncture, I am reminded of one of my favourite poem.
The heights reached and kept by great men were not attained over sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Take a mock Today
Take a mock right away, with the idea that CAT is a very do-able (read: non-genius) exam. Make your focus input centric and remove focus from outputs.
Input metrics like taking 4 mocks in the next two weeks helps more than wanting to get a 90th percentile in the next mock and 93rd in the following mock. Remember that we control many vital parts of CAT prep, but not all. Hence being result agnostic helps take away a lot of pressure from the system, thereby leading to a brilliant CAT (mock) Score.
What if you have not purchased any Mock CAT ?
You can take one free mock and 4 past CAT papers for free, in actual CAT format with on screen calculator here: https://mockcat.2iim.com/
How to tackle Plateaued / Low Mock Score?
Wanting to cross a certain score threshold is natural. Most people plateau somewhere. Wanting to cross 100~120, if you are stuck in the 80’s is natural. Planning to get there by worrying is actually counter intuitive if you think about it. But naturally, we start worrying and take a lot of pressure to get where we want to. But in default pressure setting like CAT, it does not work that well, and ends up sabotaging your attempt. If your natural attempt and practice can take you to 90-95, the pressure you add will want you attempting questions you know you shouldn’t be attempting -- If this leads to a low accuracy rate, a year’s preparation effort down the drain.
As mentioned earlier, Input Metrics are a good way to start off. Tell yourself that you will take 4 mocks in the next 2 weeks, analyse every mock aggressively, and fix gaps that you find from each mock analysis before taking the next mock. Spending 4 hours everyday in mocks, analysis, learning and practice is another great way to fix input metrics instead of worrying about output metrics.
Revision helps like nothing else
I have seen so many students that ask the question, “I am able to answer question without the clock running, but during the mock, I am just not able to solve questions like I usually do”. How to fix Low Mock Score? Why is it required to revise simultaneously while you learn and take Mocks? How much is revision really going to take the pressure off while taking CAT Mocks? How much is revision going to help you with CAT Prep at all? All of these questions are answered in the Video below. Take a look at it.