All of us know the importance of Mock CATs and the reasons why should you be taking them:
- Valuable practice under time-practice.
- Simulation of actual exam conditions and placing yourself under exam stress.
- Understanding the dynamics of the exam and how you should pace yourself in the exam.
- Understanding your section and area-wise strengths.
Effectively, Mock CATs help you sculpt your exam strategy and provide you vital insights for your preparation.
Why do students avoid Mock CATs?
There are quite of few students who do not understand the importance of Mock CATs and why should they be regularly taking them. The chief reason for this is FEAR OF BAD SCORES.
The most common excuse that students give me when I ask them why are you not taking mock CATs is that they have not covered the whole syllabus. This line of reasoning defeats the whole purpose of mock CATs. Mock CATs are not a marker for syllabus coverage; they are tools to help you refine your test-taking strategy and therefore, it is absolutely essential that you take them. So, if there is anyone who is postponing taking mocks, for this reason, you need to kill this tendency and start taking these practice CAT mocks immediately.
The easiest way to kill the fear of mocks is to ask yourself this one question: Who is going to ask for your mock scores next year? No one is going to do that; only your CAT scores matter and therefore, you should not be scared by these scores.
How to use Mock CATs for Motivation?
The above discussion brings me to the second point of discussion: how to use mock CATs for motivation? Just remember the above: mock CATs are essentially irrelevant; these scores are only there to guide you and provide you with a sense of direction for your preparation. These scores do not carry other significance. In fact, you should use tests for motivating yourself. Set a small goal for each test and try to accomplish it. This way, every time you achieve a small improvement, you should feel proud of yourself.
How to analyse Mock CATs?
The next important aspect for Mocks is analysis. It is vital that you analyse every mock you take. Check for the following:
- Accuracy and attempt: Check your accuracy and attempt for different areas; also co-relate these two aspects. Remember, these two aspects are relevant when co-related. For example, you might have a very high accuracy but an extremely low attempt in a topic. In such a case, the high accuracy is not valuable and the low attempt is the concern.
- Rely on objective data: On occasions, we can build pre-conceived notions with respect to our attempt and assume certain areas/topics to be our strength areas. Do not get sucked into this tendency. It is extremely important to remain objective and base your strengths and weaknesses on this data.
- Topic-wise learning: Mock CATs offer you a wonderful opportunity to learn shortcuts and tips for particular topics. A lot of the problems you solve might have some hidden shortcuts for them, and these might help you in the actual exam. So make sure you go through all the questions and derive the maximum possible value from each and every mock question.
- Silly Mistakes check: Most students suffer from the problem of making too many silly mistakes in the exam, and you might be one of these students. Use mocks to identify whether you are making any such mistakes and if there is any common pattern to your mistakes, you can rectify the same.
Make sure you take up each of the above to maximise your mock CAT scores and derive maximum value from each test.
How many mocks to take each week?
This is one question that might be plaguing some you. Ideally, you should be taking two to three mock tests per week. Do not over-exert yourself and limit yourself to this number. Remember, analysis of mocks is equally important and takes quite some time. I understand that all of us want to put in the maximum amount of effort but remember, it is extremely vital to channelise that effort as well.
With this, I complete this primer for Mock CATs. Hope you derive significant value from this article and hope to see you here for the next post.