If you are a CAT 2019 aspirant, chances are, that by now you have been told that mock test is the key to becoming the next 100 percentiler. Whether it is true or not is something you asked your internet friends on quora.
On an average 2 lakh+ MBA aspirants compete each year in the CAT exam for 12,411 seats of IIM. There are only as many more number of seats in the other top B schools as well. What makes the Common Admission Test difficult is more of the competition factor (of getting a call from IIMs) than the level of questions.
Mock tests are important when it comes to preparation for CAT exam. Several CAT toppers attest to it. Some even go so far as to say that they achieved a phenomenal jump in percentile from one CAT attempt to the other, only by taking as many as 15 mock tests.
What makes the mock CAT test critical for preparation lies in the following 5 points.
#1. What is the syllabus?
Ever since we were kids, we have always known which specific topics to prepare for an exam and from where. For example in board exams we know we have to study the school textbook for those chapters which are part of the syllabus of that exam. Even in most UG level entrance exams the syllabus is pre defined. If not, then at least there is a usual guideline that national level exams are based out of NCERT 10+2 books, and state level exams are as per state syllabus.
However in the case of CAT, or for that matter most PG level entrance exams, there is no pre-defined syllabus. Of course there are several websites, youtubers, and even books that list a syllabus. Nevertheless even they do it on the basis of previous year CAT papers.
Even in the CAT syllabus available in said places the topics of the three sections of CAT exam are such which may have a vast difficulty range.
For example Verbal Ability, has sub-topics like jumbled paragraphs, analogies, antonyms and synonyms, sentence completion. Now there are hundreds and thousands of synonyms and antonyms in the world, there are so many different types of sentence completion that may come. So you, the CAT aspirant, may end up requiring years to complete the syllabus if you do not narrow it down to what the CAT exam may actually have!
A mock CAT herein gives you a clear picture of what the IIMs have been setting in the Common Admission Test in the previous years.
Here are three questions that were asked in the previous CAT exam.
#2. Building up your stamina
Now for some of you this may sound irrelevant, but candidates have actually said that despite knowing everything they could not do well in CAT because they just could not sit for 3 long hours solving such questions.
Taking mock CAT tests at regular intervals adapts you to the test duration. You learn how to gather all your faculties, train all your grey cells, to be prepared for the D-day.
#3. The computer based test factor
CAT is a computer based test. Before 2009 it was a pen and paper based test. It is only recently that several exams in India have gone online, starting from the JEE Mains to Railway Recruitment. However most people who will be sitting for the CAT have probably never taken a computer based test before.
How much ever you are familiar with computers, taking a 3 hour long career changing test is a whole new ball game.
Then there is the fact that there is an on-screen calculator, with very limited functions, yet can be useful. Many mock CATs available before you also give you a hands on feel of the on-screen calculator you will get on the day of the exam. Use it.
Don’t wait for the test day to find out how well you would fare on the CBT. Mock CAT test will help you find that out, and eliminate any issues you may have with it.
#4. The actual test pattern
Now here is what has been officially notified about the CAT 2019:
- It will be a computer based test
- It will be of 3 hours
- There will be 3 sections in it namely section I, II, III which will be respectively Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability
- You will get exactly 1 hour to solve each section
- You cannot switch between sections
- There will be MCQs and TITA both
- You will get an on-screen calculator
Last year the exam had 73 MCQs and 27 non MCQs or TITA questions. VARC had 27 MCQs, 7 non MCQs. then there were 24 MCQs and 8 non MCQs in DILR. and QA had 22 MCQs and 12 non MCQs.
But do you know what is TITA? Did you know before now that you cannot switch between sections? Do you know how you will be able to read the RC passages and go through the questions and answer it on the computer?
To learn all that, you need to take a mock test.
#5. Mastering speed and accuracy
You may be extremely knowledgeable. Under normal circumstances you may be able to solve all questions and even teach your friends. But alas! At the end of the day, CAT or any entrance exam is not “normal circumstances”.
To champion the test, you have to race through it. And not just any race, it’s a hurdle race where you have to avoid obstacles aka questions where you may get negative marks!
Each time you take a mock CAT, you figure out (a) which type of questions you are taking up too much time on – and find ways to reduce it; (b) which type of questions you are repeatedly arriving at wrong answers of – you need to clear the basics on those topics; (c) which are your absolute strong points where you are never losing marks and gaining all – they are your weapons in the war, keep them sharp and close!
All being said and done, these are the top 5 reasons I think CAT mock tests are important for you. Feel free to add any reason, which you think makes the mock CAT important in comments section below.
If you want to know any other aspect of CAT preparation, feel free to comment about it below and we will surely get on top of that! Best of luck, and believe that you can bell the CAT!