December 6, 2021
The CBS Post

THE VOICE OF CBS

Covid Killed the Cat, Agility Brought it Back.

By this time, the Corona Virus needs no introduction. The havoc it has created is unprecedented, and has spared no one, including our dear friend – the CAT.

Studying/working from home is the new normal now, but we all agree that it gets to us sometimes, and that is when you really need to pull yourself up, remind yourself of your goal and work towards it. COVID has brought in a few key changes in the lives of aspirants. First of all, coaching is now online, so is it worth joining or should you just study on your own? 

Well, from my personal experience, the quality of virtual classes was definitely not at par with the scenario otherwise, but one advantage was that all the material and lectures were readily available on the portal, which is really helpful as it lets you take control of when to study what. Barring this factor, whether or not to enroll for coaching depends on where you currently stand. We’ve all taken the DUJAT, and CAT is just it’s elder brother. So, when you make up your mind about taking CAT, take a mock test first and check your level; and what goes in your mind during that mock will help you decide what to do. It’s like how when you’re in a dilemma and you flip a coin, while it’s in the air, you start hoping that it lands on a certain side – that’s your decision.  

Whether you take coaching or not, be sure to enroll for mock test series – from multiple institutes if possible. Taking mocks is a solution to 99% of your issues during preparation, because they expose you to questions from all topics and all levels of difficulties, acquaints you with the pattern of the test, and forces you to work under gruesome time pressure. However, simply taking a mock isn’t worth a plugged nickel. It will bear fruit only if it is followed by a detailed analysis, where you understand your areas of strengths and weaknesses. Identify the questions which you left, and ask yourself why. The most dangerous category of questions is those which you attempted, spent precious minutes on, and still got them wrong. Practice more questions like those. Either add them to your strength areas for the next mock, or if the difficulty persists, feed into your brain that such a question has to be left at the first glance. For me, Games and Tournaments in Logical Reasoning belonged to this category. 

It is true that studying from home has its own set of issues – from internet connectivity to lack of motivation and the struggle to concentrate, but COVID has also been a blessing in disguise for the aspirants. The new 2-hour pattern has pulled up scores, and even though the time available per question has gone down, it is now easier for the test-takers to focus on the exam for a shorter time period. Additionally, being at home means one has more time to prepare. Do you think you would have been able to spare the same amount of time if you had classes in college till 5pm in the evening? No way!

There is no doubt that the phase we are in today is certainly troublesome, but at the end of the day, it all depends on how we choose to see it. Preparing for the CAT is a long, difficult journey, and sometimes, more than anything else, you need to fight with yourself and keep going. To help you navigate the rough seas, I’ve launched a website called ‘Bell the CAT’, which includes a plethora of tips and tricks for CAT, GDPI preparation and much more, all based on my personal experiences and learnings, and that will hopefully aid you in belling the CAT for real! Check out the website here or search for bellthecat.info on Instagram or LinkedIn for all the information!

Even if you make it or not, in the end you should be able to tell yourself that you tried with all your might, and a mere two hours cannot decide your worth. Whether you’re through with the syllabus or are yet to start, whether you’ve taken umpteen mocks or aren’t sure what to do – today is the day. Remember, the darkest hour is before dawn, and dawn is just around the corner, even if you can’t see it. 

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