There are a few things generally associated with the CAT exam. Firstly, it is one of the toughest exams in India. Secondly, it is, perhaps, the most crucial exam in the lives of the aspirants. Lastly, it is unpredictable. Anyone who has given the exam or is planning to give it in the future is well aware that the exam has always been enveloped with an element of surprise, unpredictability and uncertainty.
1. Expect the unexpected
If there is one thing that aspirants can learn from previous CAT papers is to expect the unexpected. The CAT exam is known for not repeating previous years’ questions. It is naïve of you to expect that a particular question from a particular chapter will come in that particular form only. It will twist even the simplest of questions, leaving the candidates surprised and shocked. The idea driving the exam is to test how well the aspirants perform under pressure, hence the consistent twists and turns, sometimes, just before the exam, to unsettle the aspirants and make it more competitive.
It is safe to bet on the unpredictability of CAT. It is impossible to predict the structure and content of a CAT exam, as the management keeps making revisions and changes every year to provide a level playing field to all candidates and not tilt in favour of any particular set of candidates. For instance, in CAT 2013, the Quant section was the toughest in years as it tested the basics in Quants, while in the next year 2014, it was very easy, which resulted in high cut offs. In the same year, the number of questions soared from 60 to 100 questions and the time went up to 2 hours 50 minutes. In CAT 2015, fill in the blanks was introduced and the aspirants could not switch between sections. The time limit is set at 3 hours with the aspirants facing 100 questions. All these changes prove that CAT is an unpredictable exam, which makes it the hardest exam in the country.
3. Prepare for every challenge in advance
CAT can put off even the best of candidates with its surprises, which may vary from something like offering the help of an online calculator to setting the paper in the usual mode without any surprises. As an aspirant preparing for the CAT exam, it is important for you to take all the surprises that CAT throws at you in your stride. Cover all possible grounds for the exam and give yourself a spirited chance to overcome the challenges thrown at you to unsettle you.
4. Analyse thoroughly
Some of the surprises that CAT throws at you may be tackled with a smart approach. To begin with, study previous years’ question papers and even Mock Tests and analyse the changes. This can give you a sense of which way the wind is blowing and help you make some guess, if not prediction. Also be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes and ears open to the slightest rumour about anything to do with the exam. The idea is not to get panicked but anticipate and brace yourself up for the challenge that lies ahead.
Unlike other exams, which can be predicted, CAT retains its position of being a tough exam due to the surprises it throws up every year.
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