How to do better time management in CAT 2017?

Rajat updated on : 04 Oct 2017
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A better time management strategy in CAT 2017 will help you crack Common Admission Test with good percentile. Check out how effective time management can help you in India's most famous MBA entrance exam.

How to do better time management in CAT 2017?

CAT 2017 aspirants may have to face little challenge in terms of sectional time limit. The exam is scheduled to be held on 26th November 2017. Not much time is left in the hands of CAT aspirants. Now the time has come when CAT 2017 aspirants are required to put their best last time efforts so that they can make some concreter preparation actions in order to crack CAT 2017 with good score. Considering the difficulty level of CAT 2017, candidates can cope up with it but a big problem is better time management. As per CAT exam pattern 2017, there will be 100 questions which will be divided into three sections. The total time limit given solve all the questions is 180 minutes. Candidates may lack behind if proper time management isn’t done as time management is a key strategy to ace CAT 2017. The time has come when the students have to gear up to give their best shot. Considered to be among the most difficult entrance examinations in the country, candidates can excel at CAT 2017 by managing time in productive manner.

Why should CAT aspirant focus on Time Management?

Time is an important asset. Everyone should respect and value the time. Every person, be it a student or a working professional is required to do time management. Be it personal life, professional or academic life, time management is required at top most priority. We know time management is a successful factor in any exam. And when it comes to cracking such a difficult national level exam, the need becomes the most important necessity. CAT 2017 is going to be conducted by Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

There are only 24 hours in a day, which are same for everyone. Still some students make the best use of it and crack CAT with wonderful percentiles while others turn out to be average. A major difference comes in the time management factor which is both inside the exam hall while attempting questions and also at home as well while doing CAT preparation. Candidates, who are able to manage their time according to the requirements efficiently and productively, make it to IIMs.

In the words of Nishant Shah, CAT 2015 toppers,

CAT is not difficult: it’s all about time management.

 Talking about the exam pattern of CAT, there will be total 100 questions which will be divided into three sections. The total duration of the exam is 180 minutes. The time limit is also divided which is known as the sectional time limit. This means the total duration is divided into three equal parts i.e. exact 60 minutes for every section. Candidates can’t switch from one section to the other while answering the question in any section. Hence, the strategy is to invest time rather than spending it. In this scenario, the candidates are required to develop a strong time management strategy so that he or she can excel at this exam comfortably.

There are few tips and tricks which are very practical, productive and are based on the advices given by the CAT toppers. CAT aspirants who are planning to make it to IIMs should read them and develop their skills of time management. Look at these five important points:

  • Try to strategize practice goals. It is very important to plan the goals according to one’s capacity. Hence, avoid pressurizing yourself too much as it will leave you confused and baffled up. You can think of exceeding your limits but not too much.
  • Every individual section is important. Give enough time to each section. You can give an entire day to a section and one entire day for problem practices.
  • Revise and recollect whatever you have prepared so far in your preparation. Regular practice will help you in keeping things remember the things and will avoid forgetting.
  • In whatever the time is left, try to practice at least two mock tests in the week. This will develop your time management skills and will boost your strengths, making you confident.
  • Always set a time limit. Be it a mock test or a sample paper, setting a time limit will tell how much you have done and how much you need more.

Every student should highly concentrate on the strength and weakness in all the sections. In the words of Rubal, topper of CAT 2014, “During mocks, I practiced for proper time allotment to both sections with buffer time. Buffer time was kept for half solved questions or to review the test. This prepared me for the D – Day.” She invested equal time in every section. Hence, the great focus should be on sectional time management. Followings are some tips for time management in CAT which are very helpful for the candidates:

Work on your speed: It is expected that the difficulty level of this exam will be moderate or may be same as the last year. Candidate should focus on completing each section. Regularly practicing mock tests will develop strong time management skills. As mentioned above, practicing mocks and sample papers of CAT with time limit is highly fruitful. You will come to know about your time management skills and you will be able to work on it.

Starting with the comfortable section: There is a basic rule of any exam that is to start with the questions which are easy and comfortable enough to be answered with less time consumption. If you start like this, you can easily cover the section and it will boost up your confidence level, giving you positivity. This is really an amazing time management strategy which toppers have used.

Keep a track of your time: Always put a time tracker when you start answering questions while preparing. And always try to beat your own performance. This way, you will be able to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. This way you will understand what more is needed to be done.

When you divide your time while preparation, you should focus on few things which are listed below:

  • Make your own strategies as per your comfort and capacity.
  • Before you sit for answering the questions, you should know your weaknesses and your strengths. Start with the section which you can do easily. Avoid doing experiment in the time and at the crucial time too.
  • Sections Data Analysis and Data Interpretation are all calculation based. Hence, they need great practice.
  • Strengthen your vocabulary. This is time consuming. Practice the most common used phrases and words.
  • The grammar section should be strong. You may end up spending time on it. Hence, practice of grammar and writing skills should be done regularly.
  • Quantitative and Logical Reasoning sections are little confusing. But these can be tackled with the help of shortcuts and tricks.
  • Keep notes of formulae and shortcut tricks and revise time to time.
  • Invest time in every question and follow this time management. Avoid any question if you aren’t able to solve it as you will be just spending your time on it in such case.
  • It is not necessary that you will have to attempt all the 100 questions.
  • Don’t think about the question you have left because you were not able to do it. This will also consume time. Our main focus should be on speed and accuracy.
  • Revision is very important. Once you finish any section, just give it a look for revision purpose to ensure that you haven’t left any question mistakenly. Allot ample time at the end of the section. This strategy is very productive. At least 10 minutes should be kept to revise in the end.
  • The online calculator will also help you saving your time especially in Quant and Data Interpretation section.
  • If you are strong at any area, it has to be attempted efficiently and faster. You can leave the weaker areas for contemplation in the remaining time.

Make sure that you have a strong knowledge of grammar portion. You can call it the backbone of reading comprehension section. Spend more time in practice of grammar if you feel that it is your weakness. Focus more and more on the areas covered and start using them in general life. This will develop a sense of understanding in you. Most of the candidates make a mistake of attempting all the questions which is never necessary. The toppers are those who clear the exam with whatever they have answered. This requires accuracy which depends on your preparation. Many of the CAT toppers have admitted that Reading Comprehension is one such section where they had to struggle a little as compared to other sections. So, in order to save time and effort, practice all the most common and frequently used words and phrases.

When there was no sectional time limit in CAT some years back, candidates would end up wasting time in adjusting time to the new section without even answering the questions which would lead them to get confused with several balls in the air. Now, while many candidates may have problem with this system, but sectional time limit is a benefit for the candidates. Now you will have around one hour to answer 30+ questions which will have both easy and not so easy questions. And you will spend good time on every question. The time limit of sections will balance your attempts and will help you maximize the score. This way, you will not have to worry regarding any lapsed time. Spending around 2 minutes on each question is good enough and you can score anything between 98 to 99 percentiles easily. Attempting easy section/questions first will help you complete the section before the sectional time limit, let’s say if you are able to complete a section in 50 to 55 minutes, you will have enough time for revision to check if you have left any question.

Poor time distribution will lead to unattempted questions or questions attempted in hurry which may be wrong. This is directly going to affect your CAT score. Hence, learning time management skills is very important for every MBA aspirants who are planning to make it to IIMs. Effective time management strategy will help you to make it to the IIMs. As you can see, you won’t receive a call from these institutions on the basis of your preparation only, it’s time to take a step ahead to develop a strong time management skill to attempt the exam correctly within the time limit.

Brace yourself now for the exam. Stay confident and motivated for the exam. Take enough rest and prepare well. We wish you all the best. 

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