The A-B-C-D Loop of Excellence in your CAT Preparation

The A-B-C-D Loop of Excellence in your CAT Preparation

If you aren’t doing too well on your Mock Tests/AIRCATs, CAT preparation can seem a laborious journey. It can just scare you out of your best shot at CAT. To increase your probability of success at CAT, you need to break it down into simpler, solvable parts instead of thinking of it as one big challenge.

When you try and do everything, you generally achieve nothing.

You don’t need to be exceptional at everything. Your biggest jumps will come from very small, specific areas of improvement. Yes, along with opting for the best coaching classes for CAT, sometimes you also need to evaluate yourself to gear yourself up. And one of the most powerful ways to ensure a quantum improvement in a small, specific area is to follow the ‘loop of excellence‘. Excellence comes from a simple 4-step loop.


Identifying what you need to improve is the first step. Whether it is a skill/section (say Quant) or a topic within that (say Speed-Time-Distance), knowing exactly what you intend to improve helps. Zeroing upon the precise challengeis a pre-requisite to getting the most out of your efforts. If you can nail down the area that will give you the biggest jump, consider it a major breakthrough. You can’t improve something you are not clearly aware of and you (quite likely) won’t improve something until you put a timeline to it. So, be aware, define and set a timeline.

Building with focused effort

Focus your conscious effort on the specific area you want to improve.

For example, if it is Speed-Time-Distance you want to improve upon, set a timeline of a couple of days to ensure that:

  • you cover the basics well, make a half-page summary of important formulae (doing it yourself would always be at least twice as effective as just printing something from the web)
  • practice easy questions and get most of them right, identify the mistakes and revisit the basics if needed.

Conscious to Automatic gear

With consistent efforts and signs of improvement, what initially seems effortful becomes automatic. Once you see signs of improvement (but it almost never happens in the first 50% of the ideal timeline for the loop), you feel motivated to keep going.

Continuing with the Speed-Time-Distance example, this could mean a couple of days work on:

  • practice tough questions and get at least 50% right.Also, see the remaining ones to identify if a few more were doable.
  • identify the errors and try not to make the same mistakes in the future.
  • see how you do on this topic in a test situation now.

Do it again

Begin again from Step-1 for a different topic or skill/section that you need to improve on!

Be specific, be focused, let it flow – repeat. In a month’s time, you can generally ensure a drastic improvement in 4-6 small, specific areas. Imagine what it can do to your CAT preparation!

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