The day has finally arrived when CAT aspirants will test their hard-work and luck on Sunday which will open the gates of IIMs and other prestigious MBA institutes. . Let’s discuss some Last minute Tips and Tricks that can really help to ace the exam!

On Sunday-D day, the paper will contain the same questions as you did at coaching centres and standard books. So take a deep breath and don’t focus on the rumours regarding type of questions that will come in exam. CAT 2018 will be no different from previous year exams! This is the time of relaxation and sticking to Formula Sheets. At this juncture, it is your responsibility to set up your biological clock.

Here are some things you need not bring inside the exam lab

— Do not wear any jewellery that contains metal. In case an aspirant is caught while frisking, they’ll be asked to remove.
— Do not wear jackets and footwear inside the exam lab.
— Do not bring any mobile phones, electronic gadgets, watches, calculators, stationery items inside the exam centre premises.
— A candidate will be allowed to wear socks, plain pullovers/ sweaters/cardigans (without any pockets) inside the exam hall.
— Candidates with a metal implant, pacemaker, etc. in their body would bring a medical certificate of the same at Test Centre
— All personal belongings would be kept aside at this point and the authorities would not take any responsibility for loss of items.

CAT will be conducted in two shifts – 9 am to 12 pm and 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm. Candidates are advised to report at 7:30 am for the morning shift and at 1 pm for the afternoon shift.


Logistical Arrangements

CAT 2018 exam will be held in two slots i.e. forenoon Session – 9.00 am to 12.00 pm and afternoon Session – 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm. You must make all the necessary arrangements for travel, food and accommodation (if test centre is away from their residence) and other expenses in advance. Candidates with medical condition should also carry the necessary medication and prescription for the same.

Photo Identity Proof

Along with their CAT 2018 admit card, you also have to carry an original and valid Photo Identity Proof. The supporting ID Proof will be used to cross verify the your personal details provided on the admit card.

Google Maps Link

To help candidates locate their respective CAT 2018 test centre, IIM Calcutta has embedded a Google map link on the electronic version of the admit card. You should use the link to identify the location of the CAT 2018 test centre and also figure out the mode of transport you would be using to commute to the centre. CAT organizers have also advised candidates to commute to the test-centre at least once before the exam to know the travel time required to reach the centre.

Photograph on the CAT 2018 Admit Card

CAT 2018 Admit Card will have a dedicated space provided where you will have to affix your recent passport size photograph. Youshould use the same photograph which was uploaded during the application process. Test-takers carrying CAT 2018 admit cards without a photograph affixed will not be allowed to take the exam.

Only Mouse – No Keyboard

The computer terminal assigned for your CAT 2018 test will only have one input device i.e. a Mouse. Candidates will have to pick the correct answer option/s using the mouse. For non-MCQ questions, the answers will have to be typed in using the Mouse and the on-screen Keyboard.

Stationary Items

For CAT 2018, you will not be allowed to carry any stationary items to the test lab. Instead you will be provided a Writing Pad and a Pen for rough calculation at the test centre. All the stationary items provided to you by the invigilator have to be returned back to them at the end of the exam.

Attendance Record

During the CAT 2018 exam, make sure that you mark your attendance in the form along with your signature.

Hand over your Admit Card to the Invigilator

At the end of the exam, you will have to hand over your CAT Admit Card to the invigilator in the exam lab. Ensure that you only submit a duly signed admit card.

CAT 2018: Tips for Last Week Preparation

  1. Focus on Non-MCQs / No Negative Mark Questions

With just one week to go for the CAT 2018 exam, aspirants should lay special emphasis and focus on solving non-MCQs or TITA questions. The Non-MCQs asked in the CAT 2018 exam are unique in a way that they do not attract any negative marking. This proves to be a great relief for CAT aspirants and gives them a unique opportunity to push their CAT percentile ahead without the fear of being penalized with negative marking for the wrong answer.

CAT Toppers and MBA experts suggest that during the last week, CAT test-takers must practice more on non-MCQs and try and ensure that they get a majority of them right.

  1. Don’t worry about Level of Difficulty

As the day of 25th November 2018 approaches, rumours regards the difficulty level expected in the upcoming exam is also starts circulating among the CAT aspirants. Many candidates start worrying about the difficulty level of the upcoming exam which in-turn harms their confidence and affects their preparation. Moreover, Level of Difficulty is a relative concept and will vary from one aspirant to another. Therefore, it is advised to stay away and unaffected by such rumours and focus on your preparation during the last week.

  1. Take Mock Tests but don’t overdo them

With CAT preparation done, most of the CAT aspirants have moved on to solving CAT Mock Tests and taking up online Mock Tests to practice well before the D-day of 25th November. But many experts suggest that aspirants must maintain a fine balance in the number of mock tests that they take during the last week. By taking too many, for instance two mock tests per day, you may end up taxing your brain too much before the CAT exam. But this doesn’t mean that you only take one or two mocks in the entire week. It’s better to plan your mock tests in a way that you get enough time to analyze and understand your mistakes and get conceptual clarity in the weaker areas.

Also, now that you have CAT 2018 admit cards, you will also know the time slot of your exam. So, try and attempt your CAT Mocks at the time of your actual exam slot. This will sync your body clock and body cycle to perform at the peak on the exam day.

  1. No Such Thing an ‘Important Topics’

During the last week, you will also hear a lot of clatter about important topics and expected questions on online forums and classrooms and your peer groups. Don’t fret over them! These are just rumours and have no value what so ever. What make CAT 2018 one of the toughest MBA entrance exams in India is its difficulty level and unpredictability. Therefore, no one, not even the CAT 2018 Convener Sumanta Basu can tell you which the important topics for the upcoming exams are. Therefore, instead of worrying about such rumours and trying to focus on the key concepts, revise the important formulas and keep practicing.

  1. Accuracy and Speed

Many MBA experts believe that over the years CAT 2018 exam has evolved from being an exam more oriented towards detailed and lengthy calculations to an exam which is more focused on decision making and time management. Therefore, you must ensure a fine balance between accuracy and speed.

Maximum Accuracy is not the ultimate goal of the CAT 2018 exam. If you try and achieve maximum accuracy, you will end up putting a lot of pressure on yourself due to time constraints and negative marking. This in-turn will bring down the number of questions you will attempt, ultimately bringing down your percentile as well. Therefore, the ideal way to maintain a balance between Accuracy and Speed is by targeting the ‘easy’ questions first, which do not require a lot of time to solve.

  1. Revise Fundamental Concepts & Formulas

There is no other way to ‘Bell the CAT’ other than getting your fundamentals right. During the last week, many aspirants are only focused on rigorous practice by taking several mocks. While that is the right strategy, it is also important to revise your fundamentals and ensure that your basics are clear.

No matter how much your practice or how many mocks you attempt, you are bound to encounter a few questions on CAT 2018 which you will see for the first time. Only those candidates who have clarity of concepts and grasp on their fundamentals will be able to solve these questions. Therefore, along with practicing and taking regular mock tests, it is also important to revise Quant formulas, understand concepts of DI, RC and LR. For VA section, keep reading latest editorials from newspapers.

  1. Revisit the Exam-Day Strategy

As per the expert analysis of CAT Exam of the previous years, it is estimated that test-takers need to score around 165 raw score to score around 99 percentile. The Raw Score of the candidate will be 165 will be scaled up to 195 – 200.

Therefore, if we assume the difficulty level of CAT 2018 to the same as last year, experts believe that you need to get 65 questions right in order to score a 99 percentile. In order to do this, candidates must consider CAT 2018 exam as three separate tests, one for each section, of one hour each. Keeping this mind, candidates must maximize the number of attempts in each of the sections to score a good sectional score and percentile.

Best of Luck!

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Last-minute CAT Preparation Strategy