How To Analyze Your Score For CAT Mock Tests
Do you know it is as important to analyze the performance in CAT mock tests as it is to give the mock tests? Find out how to analyze mock tests in CAT by IIM Skills – online CAT coaching
Analyzing CAT mock tests is crucial because the CAT or the Common Admission Test is the entry gate to the best management institutions in India. It is one of the most competitive examinations in the world and the admission rate is less than 2%. If you want admission to one of the IIMs, you need the make the most out of your CAT preparation.
Getting a good percentile is essential in CAT 2020 if you wish to study in one of the best management colleges in India. It is estimated that nearly 2.5 lacs candidates are going to compete in the CAT 2020.
It is important to follow a proper strategy for CAT mock test if you want to get admission to the best management colleges.
There are a total of 20 IIMs in the country. Add to them some other renowned institutions like FMS, DMS, XLRI, etc. These colleges do not have enough seats so it is very important for you to have a high percentile.
CAT is an aptitude test. It has different sections to test the candidate in different skills such as quantitative aptitude, Data interpretation, and logical reasoning, Verbal ability, and Reading comprehension.
These three sections make a total of 100 questions. These questions are to be answered in 3 hours total but each section has a sectional-time limit of 60 minutes. So you have to spend 60 minutes, no more no less, in every section.
There are a few things that should be understood first before having expectations from CAT. The first is that the CAT exam is not a test of intelligence. It is a test of aptitude. It tests your speed and accuracy and your skills in time management.
In addition to that, the stressful environment also requires a level of calmness and ability to perform under pressure. You also need to have a lack of selecting the right questions that you can solve and not waste time on questions from subjects that are your weak areas.
You do not have to attempt the whole question paper in CAT. This shows that the CAT is all about speed and time management.
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Two important skills for a manager. Lastly, CAT tests your language skills and the ability to filter out useful information from available data. This skill is tested in the VARC section in CAT.
It is a myth that CAT maths is very tough. All the questions from mathematics in CAT are elementary level and CAT maths is nowhere close to the level of maths in engineering.
Any student from a non-technical background can successfully attempt quant in CAT and get a good score.
there is no doubt that the CAT exam is competitive. However, every year the same number of students crack CAT and other management entrance exams and get entrance in the best management colleges.
If you plan properly and follow the steps on how to prepare for CAT given here, you can be one of those students.
Solving Mock tests is an essential part of your CAT 2020 strategy. There are many benefits of solving mock tests for CAT. Mock tests help you develop the CAT exam temperament.
You understand the exam better every time you attempt a mock test. It is important to keep an eye on the goal when you are preparing for an exam like CAT. Mock tests help you achieve exactly that.
Mock tests also help you formulate strategies and let you know insights about your strong and weak areas.
But to take full advantage of the mock tests, it is also important to analyze your mock test performance. This way you can deal with your weak sections and get faster at solutions. Learn here how to do that.
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How to analyze CAT mock test performance
Before starting the preparation
Attempt one mock test before starting your CAT preparation. The reason for giving a mock test unprepared is to understand the kind of questions asked in the CAT exam. it is natural to first understand what you should be aiming for before starting to prepare for that aim. This first mock test will also tell you your strengths and weaknesses.
Once you have some basic information about your performance, prepare your study plan accordingly, giving more time to the weak areas. Remember that CAT is not a test of intelligence but aptitude.
This is why it is better that you have minimum weak areas rather than one or two very strong sections.
This advice may be taken lightly by many readers but this will give you invaluable insight and give a needed direction to your CAT preparation.
Sectional mock tests
Once you have attempted the first mock test and started your preparation according to the CAT syllabus you will complete topics every few days.
But since you will be far from the competition for the complete syllabus, it is a good option to give sectional mock tests. Once you have prepared enough sections, you should start giving sectional mock tests every week.
This will also help you revise in addition to helping you track your progress and performance.
Sectional mock tests will help you understand more possible types and varieties of questions that may be asked from each topic.
A full test that has 32-34 questions per section may not be able to give a correct representation of your detailed preparation in each topic. The sectional mock tests are better for this purpose.
Full mock tests
Once you have done enough preparation, start solving full mock tests. Do not wait for the syllabus to complete. You should ideally solve one mock test every week while your preparation is still going on.
Once you have completed the preparation, you can increase the frequency.
While attempting the mock tests keep a few things in mind:
- Keep all distractions, like phones, away.
- close your room and tell others not to disturb you.
- Sit for a complete 3-hour session without getting up. Do not get up for bathroom breaks or refreshments.
- Keep the environment as close to the actual exam.
- Keep the guesses minimum.
The best way to attempt the initial few mock tests is to keep a target of a certain percentage of the paper, for example, you may aim to attempt 40-50% of the paper. Try to get maximum questions correctly before trying to solve more questions.
You may aim up to 60% of the paper or more depending upon your level of preparation or progress. Never attempt to solve the complete question paper. This is a bad strategy to attempt the CAT exam.
The correct strategy to attempt the paper would be like this.
- Spend the first 3-4 minutes scanning the whole paper.
- During this time, mark all the questions that can be solved easily inside a minute
- Also, mark questions that can be solved but will take more time
- Leave the questions which you cannot solve or the ones which you can solve but they will take a lot of time.
- start attempting the paper with the easy questions you have marked
- Then attempt the second type of questions you marked
- If there is time left after this, verify that the questions you have solved are correct.
- Only after verifying should you proceed to solve more questions, if any time is left, that is.
Sometimes, it may happen that a question you expected to be easy turns out to be difficult. But as you do this process repeatedly, every week, you will become much faster and better at picking and marking the right questions.
Do not worry about the low score. The purpose of preparation itself is to increase the score.
Coming to analyzing the test, try to notice these things out of your mock test performance:
- Number of correct questions out of attempted questions
- Topics of correct questions
- Topics of incorrect answers ( These questions tell you where you have false confidence)
- Reasons for correction (calculation mistake, wrong approach, etc.)
- If there was a faster way to solve the correctly solved question
- Topics you did not attempt
- Time to solve each type of question
- number of questions attempted
- total score
- scope for improvement
- What is the purpose of the question or the paper at large
- Weak sections and strong sections
As you keep practicing, notice improvements in the sections.
After analyzing these points from your mock test performance, do the following:
- Find out your weak and strong sections
- Also, see if the speed needs to be improved
- improve your strategy and approach
- Spend more time on weak sections if there is a lot of time left for CAT
- Spend time on strong sections if there is not much time left for CAT
- Work on your accuracy
- Work on your attention span
- Learn shortcut techniques
- Reduce negative marking
Importance of mock
For any exam as competitive as CAT, and performance of which will decide your future prospects, it is important to be fully prepared.
And the preparation can not be complete without practicing the actual exam-like conditions. Mock tests provide just that.
The practice will help you clear your concepts and you can identify your threats and opportunities. With mock tests, you can learn where you stand compared to others.
What will your level of preparation get you in terms of percentile and rank?
What college will you get based on your percentile?
This is why it is important to attempt as many mock tests as your study schedule allows.
There are many benefits of attempting mock tests:
- Mock tests are designed to keep the actual format of the CAT exam. This is the best way to acquaint yourself with the exam atmosphere. You can learn many things like the pattern, the level of difficulty, types of questions but also on the strategy on how to approach the paper, how to maximize speed, how to increase concentration in the exam, etc.
- Mock tests teach you how to handle the exam stress and anxiety during CAT. As you practice more mock tests, you will know what to expect on the day of the exam. This will help reduce last-minute surprises and you can control your performance more. This is because you know what to expect in the paper. There will be no reason to be nervous and anxious because you will be familiar with the exam pattern and confident about your performance. Mock tests help reduce exam fear. All the psychological factors that negatively affect your CAT performance are dealt with by giving mock tests.
- Mock tests help you learn what are the kinds and varieties of the question asked from different topics. This gives a better direction to your preparation and you know what to expect in the paper.
- Mock tests also help you manage your time better. Time management is a crucial skill tested in the CAT. It can make or break your score irrespective of how intelligent you are. There are many candidates who could perform much better if only they managed their time better, despite possessing intelligence. Because as a manager there are also other skills that are important.
- Mock tests help you improve your speed and accuracy. With so much practice, it is easy to improve your speed. Solving so many quaint and DILR questions makes your pace much faster. You learn better strategies. As you solve more and more mock tests, you will get better at selecting and marking the right questions. Your judgment will improve. Negative marking is really damaging to your score. Each incorrectly attempted question reduces 4 marks from your potential score, 1 for being incorrect and 3 for not being correct!! You will soon learn how to reduce negative markings, mostly by constantly checking the solution while doing it, for errors.
- Mock tests also help with revision. CAT preparation goes for months usually. It is normal to forget chapters that you did not revise in a long time. But mock tests do not let that happen. Solving a mock test every week keeps your memory of those early chapters fresh and intact. This way you do not forget what you practiced a few weeks ago. This is because solving a mock test involves solving questions from all the topics in CAT at the same time.
- Mock tests help you feel more confident about your preparation. You are no longer in doubt about where do you stand in the competition. You have clear results that can give you an estimate of your percentile. If you need to increase it, you know what to do. But there is no reason to panic. Even while attempting the CAT, you will know the expected percentile if everything goes perfectly. Confidence also comes because you know you have the right strategy and know your strengths to achieve your best performance.
- Mock tests help you keep track of your CAT preparation and its progress. Since CAT preparation is a matter of months, it is easy to lose track of your growth and slow down. This may impact your performance in CAT since without mock tests, you will have no idea what is your level of preparation and it might be less than you expect. It also helps you stay on track with the preparation and not waste time on topics that are rarely asked.
- Mock tests help you learn about your weaknesses and strengths. IF there is a lot of time for the CAT exam, you can work on your weak areas just by saving more questions and giving the section more time. If there are only a few days left for the exam, it is better to leave the weak topics and just focus on the strong topics. They show you which of the part from quant, DI, LR, RC, etc is your strength. in the exam, you should squeeze maximum marks from your strengths unless the question takes an unreasonably long time to solve.
- Mock tests help you learn the best strategy for attempting the exam. You can test new strategies and experiment with them. If it works you can adopt them in your permanent strategy. You can tweak the strategy learned in this article too, and change it to what suits you better or what works for you.
- You can come up with new tricks and shortcut techniques to solve a certain type of question. This will help you take less time and solve more questions. You can also learn new techniques and test them if they work for you.
- mock tests create the atmosphere of the real exam if you prepare properly. This will tune your brain to get comfortable with the setting of the exam. No matter what, the actual exam will always be more stressful but the least we can do is prepare with the help of real-life conditions. this can reduce anxiety on the day of the exam.
Strategy and tips to prepare for CAT one month before the exam
These are some tips and directions you should follow for CAT preparation. The strategy needs to be very simple in order for it to be consistent and long-term. Complicated strategies sound great but don’t work for long. So, keep things simple:
- you can divide your topics into three categories on the level of your strength or weakness.
- Strong areas
- weak areas
- intermediate, that is both not too strong but not weak either
- during your last days of preparation, do not focus much on weak areas and try to turn your intermediate topics into strong topics. Do not learn any new concept during this time because there is not enough time to practice it and you will end up wasting time that could be spent better on making intermediate topics stronger.
- Focus more on strong areas by practicing more CAT-level questions from these topics.
- Revise the basic concepts and keep solving mock papers
- Learn shortcut techniques
- Also, practice topics from which you can solve the questions but take more time. This way you can increase your score.
- practice for speed and accuracy
- Take mock tests every alternate day. Take the rest of the days to revise and analyze the results. do not solve papers every day. It is also important to learn lessons from your performance in the mock papers. Mock tests are for practice of the real exam and get trained with real exam-like conditions. It is to maximize your score in your level of preparation.
- By now you must know your time slot for the CAT exam. Solve mock tests only at that time. This is to tune your biological clock to the actual exam timing. Your brain will develop the habit of enhanced focus during that time by itself. This will keep you mentally alert and performing your best during the CAT. If your slot is in the afternoon, it is essential to keep your brain alert since we all the habit of taking some rest in the afternoons.
- During the last month, try to solve at least 3 reading comprehension questions every day.
- Read a few newspaper articles, editorials or magazine feature every day.
- Keep revising quant concepts and questions
- Spend one hour every day practicing miscellaneous questions from each section.
- Do not overstress yourself at this time. Doing more does not mean better performance every time.
- If you think your preparation is not the best you expected to be by the time of the exam, try to solve more mock tests and previous years’ questions and learn from the solutions. Then follow the tips given here to solve mock tests for CAT.
- Try not to refer to too many different materials for CAT preparation. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many books spoil the CAT. More the material you refer to, the more confused you will become.
- Prepare a study plan for these last 30 days. Keep it simple.
We hope you found this article helpful. Learn more about CAT preparation on our online CAT exam blog.