What to do the last few Days before CAT
What should I do in the last few days before CAT? The simple answer to this is ‘Nothing’. The more elaborate answer is “Nothing much”. But since I cannot pass off two words as an article, I am going to do the MBA-thing. Say lot of words that convey the same point.
Looking at past papers could be a reasonable thing to do in the last few days before CAT. However, do not take it up as a mock. Go here to check out questions with detailed video solutions : https://iim-cat-questions-answers.2iim.com/
Revise away to glory
Revision is Vital. Revise formulae. Do not get into a frenzy. If you have notes made from many months of preparation, use the same. You cannot build 8 new things in the last few days. But you can very well stay in touch with things that you already prepared for.
Don’t let lack of sleep get to you.
Everyone is going to tell you that you should sleep a lot the day before the exam. But if you have prepared with any amount of intensity, you will find falling asleep tough. Acknowledge that. Keep in mind that the adrenaline on the day of the exam will drown out any fatigue from sleep-deprivation. If you can get 8 hours of the good stuff, great. But if you manage only 4 hours of it, the worst thing to do is to go into the exam beating yourself about this “mere 4 hours”. 4 hours is more than enough. Sachin Tendulkar has slept less than that and scored centuries the next day. Going into a critical exam, it is likely that you are too switched on and cannot sleep that easily. Don’t worry about this.
Do something that you enjoy, but do not overdo it
Watch a movie, play football, watch youtube videos of Lionel Messi, take a nice ride/drive. Do whatever it is that puts you at ease, but don’t do this at 2 am.
Get the small details right
Fuel your vehicle, check the hall ticket, verify if the photograph is the same, have your comfortable t-shirt ready, etc.
Don’t fret about missed chances!
However well you might have prepared, give your best shot with that. Do not go in feeling that you are under-cooked. The last day is to gee yourself up, so focus all your attention on conning yourself into believing.
Fly off the blocks, let adrenaline do its thing
In the minutes before the exam, bin all thoughts of percentiles, formulae, strategy, cut-offs and other nonsense. Simplify. Think what Usain Bolt would be thinking before a 100m dash. He might have prepared his entire adult life for the race. But on the eve of the race, he is going to operate with a simple framework “Hear starting gun, run for 10 seconds”. Solving questions is the best way to relax yourself. The least you can do is give yourself a chance.
Watch this Video on things to do, how to handle pressure and more importantly how to Fly off the Blocks!
Remember, this is not such a big deal.
Anyone who does well in the exam has to be reasonably sharp; while the converse is not true. This exam is but one outlet to showcase your mettle. Nothing more, nothing less.
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.