20 Nov 2019 17:03 IST

10 tips as you prepare for management entrance tests

Focus on maximising your score, look out for details in the questions, and have a clear strategy

It has been proved, time and again, that a degree from a recognised management institute can open many doors for any job-seeker, and is the main reason behind the rising popularity of such courses among students across the globe, and especially in India. Basic skills such as leadership, teamwork, crisis management and analytical ability, that are imbued into students during their training period in management colleges make them stand out in a crowd.

Naturally, every year, the number of examinees is increasing by leaps and bounds and, simultaneously, exams are getting tougher. This year, it won’t be any different either as 2.44 lakh students have applied for the CAT examination, which is the highest in the last nine years.

But, you do not need to panic. I would like to share a few steps which you may follow to get a seat in the coveted management college you have been dreaming about.

Study smart

There is no substitute for knowledge, but it is humanly impossible to know everything and even more difficult to remember what you have learned and apply it during the examination. So, you have to use your understanding and select what you need to learn and what you can skip.

Go through the previous years’ questions

Check out at least the last five years question papers to have a clear understanding of the various patterns of questions asked in such tests. You will find that some types of questions are repeated every couple of years. This will give you a fair idea about the questions for this year.

Stay updated

Reading current affairs can get you a long way in competitive examinations. Some questions will test your interest in recent events, which will also show how aware you are about your political and social environment.

Work on your concepts

It often happens that students rely on mugging the formulas rather than understanding them. As a result, if the question is put with a little twist, they fail to apply the very formula that they have been studying for the longest time. It is advised to have a deeper understanding of the application of the concepts, theories, and formulas.

Quality over quantity

Many students make a common mistake. While trying to attempt all the questions, they often oversee the smallest details and end up giving wrong answers. Speed is the second requirement for better results. First is always accuracy. It is always better to get ten right answers rather than attempting 15 questions and getting eight correct. Negative marking will further also reduce your score.

Read the questions carefully

Most of the questions are designed to trick you. An eye for detail can have a huge impact. . While answering, double check that you are not overseeing any information provided in the question. Giving enough time to read the questions can be a game-changer for you.

Do the math

As the tests are time-bound, you must allot a few minutes for each question to avoid a rush at the end of the exam. Most students forget this important step and end up panicking at the exam hall towards the end and make the maximum mistakes in the last half an hour. So, just work a little on your time management skills.

Mock tests

There are several mock tests available online. Try to complete 20 mock tests before your actual exam. Time yourself and check your score according to the rules. This will not only help prepare you for the final exam, but will also build your confidence.

Have a clear strategy

You need to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and also understand which sections you need to work hard on to get better results. It is all right to not have a full understanding of every subject. But find out which are necessary and which you can be better at with a little effort.

Health is wealth

We are all guilty of neglecting our health while studying. Endless cups of coffee, junk food, and irregular sleep patterns are things you should avoid during the preparation phase. You need to understand that physical fitness has a direct impact on your mental health and if you are not fit during the exam, your brain will start to give way.

Don’t panic

Don’t be anxious. It will not help you in any way. You must realise that there is always the next time. Though you should try to clear it at one go, it is also possible that you would not achieve the desired score. Negative thinking and losing your cool will only work against you. So, relax, take a deep breath and concentrate on getting the maximum correct answers, and the result will be taken care of.

(The author is Chairman, ASM Group of Institutes.)