75% of your strategy to score high in AIRCATs/CAT is about easy stuff. Sounds absurd, does it? But it’s true nevertheless. The first thing you need to do to crack the CAT is to understand how it is created? Who are the people who create it? What do they want to test? How do they possibly go about selecting or creating questions?
They certainly want to test some of your managerial acumen. Else they could have simply taken your Xth class marks in Maths and English as indicative of your ability. But instead they test you via the CAT entrance exam! So, begin by thinking like them.
Put yourself in the shoes of the CAT committee or any set of people who create a test. Try setting a paper of 66 questions. You would not want them to be of the same difficulty level. And they can’t be of the same level even if you want them to be. You will have 25-35% questions as easy, intermediate and difficult (in relative terms) each. Some variations of course are but natural, but you get the picture. Right?
So, what does it mean for you as an aspirant? When all questions carry equal marks, nailing the easy ones takes you far ahead in the game. It’s like hitting the bad balls for boundaries. But you need to be aware of the same, and then use this knowledge wisely and within stipulated time limits. That’s essentially your management acumen being tested!
All questions in AIRCATs etc usually show an assigned level of Easy, Intermediate or Difficult – depending upon past data from 1000s of students who attempted those questions, the average time they took and the accuracy they achieved on those questions.
(Something similar is likely to be the case at any CAT online coaching or CAT Test Series that you have joined.)
Now, 2 observations across years and 10000s of data points:
- I am yet to come across a student’s test where (s)he has picked out a high percentage of easy questions (80% or above) and nailed them with a high accuracy (85% or above) and then not achieved a very high percentile (95+).
- I am yet to come across a student’s test where (s)he has messed up the easy questions in terms of % attempted or correct, and still done very well.
Picking the easy ones and making them count is the easy way to score high.
In the Difficulty-Level-Wise Analysis table, if your Easy Row shows good numbers, you just CAN’T do badly on the test.
So, fill up your AIRCAT ADAPTIVE Analysis Excel (shown alongwith your AIRCAT attempt) – and see your performance in Easy Questions (Section-wise and Overall) across tests. Improving upon that through your CAT preparation would be 75% of what’s needed to excel at the CAT or similar exams.
Ask yourself – why did I not attempt it/get it right – for each easy question that you let go and then work on improving it in the next AIRCAT/mock CAT.
The best way to score high at CAT is not necessarily all that tough.
You get this right, and you won’t go wrong! Yes, it’s that easy 🙂
About the author: Deekshant has sleep-walked through several 100 and 99.9 %iles in practically every section of the CAT. That he is a cricket fan and he writes okay is evident from most of his posts. 1000s of our students swear that he can motivate almost anyone to double his/her percentile through very simple yet powerful inputs. And that’s why every MBAGuru student has direct access to him via mail and Telegram. Oddly, he somehow also finds the time to write songs professionally. And yes … almost missed this … he is an alumnus of IIT Delhi & IIM Cal