CAT 2018 is just around the corner. Clearing the CAT entrance exam with a percentile that will get you in your desired B-school is no piece of cake. You will come across several challenges like official mock test delays along the way. While we understand that it is human nature to panic, try not to stress too much. Instead of thinking about the newly-arisen problem, focus on the solution.

We’ve listed down a few common challenges you might face and how to overcome them.

Last minute changes

The CAT entrance exam takes place once every year. There is a basic exam pattern with 100 MCQ-type and non-MCQ type questions that are divided into 3 sections. However, the exam pattern and syllabus changes every year. There could be a change in the following areas – topics, division of MCQ and non-MCQ questions, weightage in different sections, increase in questions in a certain section etc. These changes will force you to change your strategy at a month’s notice. The official CAT site reveals the exam pattern and the syllabus only a month before the exam, forcing students to change their preparation tactics. When you are informed of these changes, make a revised study timetable. For instance, if Quantitative Ability is going to have more weightage in CAT 2018, make sure you spend more days than you usually would giving mock tests for this section.

Exam content remains unknown

The CAT entrance exam has no definite number of questions from each section. There is also no certainty as to the content from which the questions will be asked. Candidates often focus more on certain sections and invest less time in other sections. If more questions are asked from the section you didn’t prepare well for, it may affect your attempt. And you may not be able to score the minimum required qualifying percentile in all the sections of the CAT entrance exam. Thus, we encourage candidates to focus on all the three areas.

Adding to this challenge is the fact that CAT has negative marking for MCQ questions. This is absent for the non-MCQ questions. There is no telling the proportion in which they will come in the exam. An increase in MCQ questions will raise your chances of being negatively marked. Thus, candidates are encouraged to work hard and be sure of their answers.

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Official CAT 2018 mock test delays

Every year, before the CAT entrance exam, the official website releases the official CAT mock tests. These mock tests will give you an understanding of the nature of questions, the ratio of questions from the different sections, and the topics that will be covered. Candidates especially bank on these mock tests to help them prepare for their CAT entrance exam better. However, these mock tests have been arriving later than the announced date since the past 4 years. Due to this, candidates have less than a month to focus on some topics or drop some topics. No matter what date the mock tests get released online, make sure to take them immediately. While attempting these mock tests, evaluate things like which sections have been given more weightage and what kind of topics are covered. Make a revised study plan based on the same.

You may come across questions that are long forgotten

It is quite likely that you may come across questions that had totally disappeared from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 CAT entrance exam format. For instance, you may face questions on correction of errors or vocabulary usage. The CAT entrance exam usually does not repeat the content from its previous exams. However, it is likely that a few of these questions may appear in CAT 2018. The easiest way to be prepared for these long forgotten questions is by going through previous years’ papers and attempting as many different kinds of questions as possible.

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While these are the common challenges that most students face, it is likely that you will come across difficulties of your own. The key is to keep calm and focus on finding a solution, instead of thinking of the problem. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your act together for CAT 2018!

Oh, and before we forget, all the best for CAT 2018!

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