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Dr. Pallavi Pandey offers expert advice on CAT 2020 and how to make your scores count

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  “What will be the acceptable score to get admission in a top B-School? Should I take a drop or get admission anywhere? What are other career alternatives?” If these are some of the questions clouding your mind as CAT 2020 approaches, then Dr. Pallavi Pandey has the answers for you. The professor of HR&OB at IMI B has a PhD from IIT Dhanbad and has strong industry and academic experience. She shares her insightful strategies for CAT and beyond. Dr. Pandey wants you to remember that CAT is about the accuracy, so in the last couple of weeks it’s important to revise your concepts and take as many mock tests as possible. To those balancing the tight rope walk between work and CAT preparations, she says, “Prioritize your tasks. You must be willing to work hard as no situation is permanent.”  There is a silver lining to your efforts – it’s the ticket to some of the top B Schools in India. But with everything that has happened this year, is 2021 the right time to start with your MBA? “It

Ayush Khowala on strategies to beat the stress before CAT 2020

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  “Every time I felt anxious during exams, I would close my eyes for a minute and calm myself. This helped me mitigate the time loss that would have occurred had I panicked,” says Ayush Khowala with refreshing candour. He appeared for the most important exam of them all, CAT 2019 and came out with flying colours to secure his admission with IMI Bhubaneswar. He shares his tips and tricks to beat the stress a month before the test. Ayush reveals that he started his preparations for the test 5 months before the exam. But the last couple of months were reserved for mock tests alone. “It’s not the time to learn a new concept. Instead, focus your energies on mock tests because they help you maintain your speed and accuracy for the exam. It’s also important to analyze your mock tests to gain an understanding of areas you should improve in,” he says on a thoughtful note. In the last leg of preparations leading up to CAT 2020, it’s also crucial to start taking mock tests depending on the ac

Jitumoni Sharma’s smart hacks for preparations one month before CAT 2020

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  Assessing your strengths and figuring out your weaknesses to work on them in the final stages of preparations can make all the difference in your CAT score. Jitumoni Sharma, who aced the test in 2019, did just that. “I was good in quant and LRDI but very weak in VARC. Through YouTube, I found “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis, which helped me a lot. I would also record new vocab words on the phone to recall and memorize them,” he reveals. Jitumoni showed the same level of earnest through the four months of his CAT prep while keeping up with the studies in 5 th semester of his graduation program. “I would prepare for CAT for 4-5 hours every day. I cleared the basics to the best of my ability and then kept revising the concepts. Give as many mock tests as possible, including sectional mocks. It’s also important to pick the right set of questions for mock tests,” he recommends. According to Jitumoni, managing time and stress is the key to giving your best on the test day. He r

Sikta Sinha’s threefold plan to boost your CAT score

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  “Even when you are fully prepared, stress can ruin it all. Stay calm and composed during the exam,” says cool CAT Sikta Sinha, who cracked the management entrance test in 2018. She made the result count by securing admission with IMI Bhubaneswar and is now specializing in Human Resource and Marketing. With CAT 2020 around the corner, we asked her for smart hacks to ace the test.  “I had a time table for preparation and focused on the parts I wasn’t comfortable with. For two weeks before the test, I would give mock tests every day and analyze them. This analysis is the key to spot any loopholes in your preparations and performance,” says Sikta, offering insights into her strategies. She also reveals that she focused on Quants because it can be the differential factor, and recommends stressing on domains you aren’t comfortable with.  Sikta’s three-fold plan for CAT was – solving as many mock tests, as many revisions as possible, and staying calm for the big day. The plan paid rich divi

Rakesh Sharma reveals how to make CAT preparation fun and manage stress a month before the test

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With CAT 2020 slated for 29 th November, your preparations are in the final leg when you want to accelerate to the finish line. Rakesh Sharma, cracked CAT 2018, believes you can insert a dollop of fun into your preparations to make the situation less stressful. This IMI B student reminds us, “We are all human and there is a limit to how much we can do. Balance is the key; if you overcome the stress your CAT will be smooth.” It’s a strategy Rakesh followed. It meant he didn’t see CAT as a tough paper but started enjoying the process. He lets us in on his preparation plan, “Don’t try to do everything in one day. Invest a fixed amount of time for each topic and mock test. Try to make stress management a part of your plan. Meditate, watch a movie, read a book; do something you love but only in moderation,” he adds.  Rakesh also extols the virtues of sports for physical and mental fitness leading up to the test. He suggests that those who like playing games on their phones can switch to lo

Nairit Sarkar offers coping tips for CAT in times of CoVid-19

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      The pandemic had delayed CAT 2020; the announcement that the test has been shortened has added to the unpredictability. Nairit Sarkar cleared CAT in 2018 with an outstanding score. “The officials haven’t made the pattern clear but hopefully the number of questions will be reduced. Candidates will also be wondering whether to wait for CAT 2021 and let go of a year,” the IMI B student comments before offering coping tips to deal with the unprecedented circumstances of the year. Excerpts: “CAT tests your mental ability as much as aptitude skills. The syllabus might look unmanageable but it really isn’t as difficult as it appears. It is a test of patience, stress and time management; don’t feel overwhelmed,” adds Nairit.  Leading up to the test, I’d suggest study when you are rested. Studying five hours a day when rested can be more productive than 15 hours when you are tired. I could only give 6 hours a week to studies because I was also working then.  In the last month, I don’t thi

Priyanka Chaudhary’s handy hacks to best CAT 2020

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With just over a month to go for CAT 2020, time is of the essence. It’s time that Priyanka Chaudhary, who bested CAT in 2018 focused on, in lead up to the test. “I used to set a timer to solve questions. always tried solving questions in the shortest possible way,” says the student of IMI B, Class of 2021. She is full of beans and handy tips as she reveals how she prepared for CAT while she pursued her B.Com. program. Having been in CAT candidates’ shoes not long ago, Priyanka understands the dilemmas. Is it worth appearing for the test to get into a B School at this time? Will the competition be tougher this year? “Being stressed about things you can’t control isn’t going to help; it will only hamper your performance. Even if your paper is difficult don’t panic; it would be difficult for everyone else too,” she offers comforting advice. Priyanka admits that focusing on CAT prep while pursuing her B.Com wasn’t easy. But putting aside a couple of hours every day did the trick for her. A