Why do students fail in CAT?

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This post is being written for slightly different reasons, and in fact, is a response to an e-mail I received from our much-loved user. The ‘user in concern’ was perturbed by a few doubts that actually prevail in the minds of a lot of students. Essentially, his questions can be outlined as:

1. What should a student NOT DO to get into IIM?
2. Why people fail to get into IIMs despite working hard?
3. Does a student need to leave everything (almost everything including his job, social life etc.) in order to prepare for CAT?

Well, let’s begin with the last question. The answer to that one is a definitive no. Students do not need to leave everything in order to crack CAT. What you need to do instead is make sure you prepare in a systematic manner and ensure you tick all the boxes required for preparing well. A balanced preparation is required. In case you are a working professional, and are struggling to find time, then probably you need to ask yourself how desperately you wish to crack CAT and can you make some sacrifices for it. In case you are in college, then you should pretty much not have any excuses for not being able to find time to study for CAT. You don’t need to slog for 12 hours a day, rather you need to maintain your focus for a few hours and ensure you complete the syllabus in a time-bound and logical manner. But one thing is for sure: you cannot do everything for the next few months (whether you are in a job or a student). Eliminate the habits and time-consuming activity that do not offer you any value addition; ensure you exercise and stay fresh; and minimize the amount of time you spend on random browsing, television, gossip sessions etc. This should ensure you have sufficient time to prepare.

Now, the second question which is really important: why do people fail despite working hard?
The first reason is simple: it is one thing to prepare for an exam and another to sit for it. Most of us do not handle stress too well, and in fact, one of the biggest reasons for failure is that we place too much pressure on ourselves. At the end of the day, you need to remember that CAT is JUST ANOTHER EXAM, and in case you keep this mind, it simply takes the pressure of you. In the exam, you do not need to solve all the questions, you only need to solve the ones that you know. Giving an exam is as simple as the last statement,  but most of us do not follow this simple time-tested mantra.

The second reason why people fail is that at times they assume that they are better than what they actually are. This overconfidence is actually a big killer, and this only leads to a terrible performance in the exam. In case you know your strengths and weaknesses, genuinely understand your potential, and understand that you need to sit for the exam without any stress, the exam should be a breeze.

The third reason why people fail is one that most people have a hard time digesting: at times you are simply not made for these so called ‘aptitude days’. A lot of us are not made for these tests (which are silly from the angle that they supposedly judge our potential to be managers). There is no shame in trying and in failing; as long as you are able to identify the kind of person you are.

The last question for today: What should I NOT do to get into IIMs?
Well, don’t waste your time thinking about things that do not matter. What matters? Well, only your preparation and your performance in tests do. Analyze yourself, study in a planned manner, relax and exercise and keep your mind fresh: these are the simple things in life that go a long way in ensuring success.

Hope the questions and queries are answered for today.

Happy Learning..:)


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