How to manage your 180 minutes- We have now reached the last stretch of the CAT exam. It’s like being in a track and field race, where you have turned the last curve and hit the straight. By this point, you have already covered enough concepts, practiced, and strategized. What matters now is how well you manage the remaining 180 minutes, especially the space between your ears.
The way you manage your time and approach each section is crucial to your success. Let’s break it down section by section and take a closer look at what you need to do right, what to watch out for, and what can potentially go wrong.
Managing 60 Minutes of Verbal Ability
The most important goal for the Verbal Ability section is to maximize accuracy. Whether you are naturally good or bad at Verbal Ability, this should be your single-point agenda. We have discussed the specifics of maximizing accuracy in previous posts, webinars, and SimCAT feedback sessions.
Before starting the test, decide whether you will begin with the Reading Comprehension (RC) or the Verbal Ability (VA) questions. Most of you would have already made this decision.
Be prepared for new question types in the Verbal section. CAT often introduces new question types every few years. If you encounter a new question type right at the beginning of the test, stay calm and don’t panic. Remember that new doesn’t necessarily mean difficult. Just like existing question types, there will be easy, medium, and tough questions.
Take your time to read the directions and understand the question type before jumping into solving the question. If you find the first question difficult, don’t skip the whole set. There will be other questions that you can handle.
If you come across RC passages that are not to your liking, don’t react negatively or attempt the questions half-heartedly. How to manage your 180 minutes Instead, stay focused, concentrate on the task at hand, and attempt the questions judiciously. Let go of the questions you are unsure of or mark them for later.
Don’t rush through the last five minutes of the section. If you have answered the questions properly, eliminated options as per the process discussed before, and left out questions you were unsure of, there is no need to worry. It simply means that the paper is tough. Avoid blindly marking options and focus on maximizing accuracy throughout the section.
Managing 60 Minutes of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
The goal for this section is to solve easy and medium sets of both Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). CAT is a test that rewards test-takers with all-around ability, so it’s important to perform well in this section.
Many test-takers are more comfortable with LR than DI. If you rely heavily on solving LR sets, be cautious. If you come across a set that is time-consuming or seems difficult, it’s better to leave it and focus on easier sets. Don’t spend more than 30 minutes on LR until you have solved all the easy and medium DI sets.
The DI-LR section is crucial and will determine how you approach the Quantitative Ability section. It’s important to prepare for the worst and be mentally prepared for the challenges that may arise. Make sure you are ready to tackle tough DI sets and focus on improving your skills in this area.
Managing 60 Minutes of Quantitative Ability
In the final 60 minutes of the exam, your goal is to choose the right questions in the Quantitative Ability section. This is the final challenge after spending 2 hours solving the other sections.
By this point, you may feel tired, both mentally and physically. It’s important to stay focused and choose the questions that you are confident about. Don’t waste time on difficult or time-consuming questions. Prioritize and choose wisely.
Remember that managing your time effectively, choosing the right questions, and maximizing accuracy are key to success in the Quantitative Ability section.
In summary, managing your 180 minutes effectively is crucial to your success in the CAT exam. Focus on maximizing accuracy, be prepared for new question types, handle RC passages tactfully, solve easy and medium sets in DI-LR, and choose the right questions in Quantitative Ability. With the right strategies and preparation, you can excel in each section and achieve a good overall score.
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