“I am dreading the thought of what might be in store for me on CAT Day!!”
“Will I be able to replicate my mock test performances in the actual CAT?”
“What if I don’t do well in the test this year? I don’t think I can wait for 1 more year!!”
“How do I keep calm under pressure? What if I forget all I know because of all the tension!!”
I am sure a whole lot of students are feeling pretty anxious about the test or rather about how they will perform in the test. The pressure is unyielding and the mind is overworked – and the result is a whole lot of stress leading to the test. So, read on to find out how you could quell some of it and stay calm and composed before the test, and more importantly, while taking it.
- Believe in yourself: Focus on the positives and mentally convince yourself that you can do this. Remember that you’ve done all you can to get a good score and that you have prepared enough to ace the CAT.
- Have the right perspective: Do you believe that it is a make-or-break scenario for you? And that you have to crack this test to be successful in life? I think, you need to change your perspective. Yes, the test is important and a good performance in the same can secure you a great future – but a bad performance in the same does not mean you cannot be successful in life. I know of enough students who haven’t done well in the CAT but have gone on to succeed in life – the journey might have been a bit rough, but their attitude has always been POSITIVE.
- Be in the driver’s seat: You need to be in control of the situation – make a prep-plan for the days leading to the test. The plan should be realistically achievable and have measurable goals. Stick to the plan and ensure you execute it to the best of your ability. Whether you are doing well or not – DO NOT plan to take too many tests at this stage.
- Avoid negative thoughts, negative people and social networks: “Have you studied functions? I have heard this year’s test is going to be very difficult!! Non-engineers don’t make it anyways!!” – All of your positivity can get wiped out when you are surrounded by anxious, negative and cynical people. Avoid such people and even if you come across them, learn how to not get affected by their preaching (or just tell them – “Is it, I don’t think so:-).Avoid going to social network sites where self-proclaimed experts are busy posting their opinions and scaring the hell out of mortals like you.
- Do not give too much importance to your last mock performance (especially if it was bad). If you have not done too well in the last mock test(s), don’t get too disheartened. Just go back to your best mock test ever and do a quick round-up of the questions therein. Who knows the CAT may just turn out to be similar to that test or simpler.
- Do not stress yourself with unnecessary thoughts: One of the common questions in the last few days has been – “ How much do I need to score to get a XX percentile”. I simply don’t understand how does it help to have such a number in mind? If the paper is simple will you stop after solving that magic number of questions and if the paper is tough will you get perturbed by your inability to solve that many? Focus on maximizing your attempts on the test day, and in every section – without worrying too much about the outcome.
- Indulge in stress-busters: Take out time for yourself to reduce your stress levels – watch movies or sitcoms, play your favourite game, listen to music or do just about anything that helps you take off your mind from the CAT for some time every day. Avoid any studies on the previous day of the test – especially something like taking 3 back to back tests. You would rather give your mind some relaxation before the D-day.
- Stay healthy: Take steps to ensure that your body is going to perform well on the D-Day. So, have a proper diet – don’t over-eat or under-eat. Sleep well every night and especially the night before the CAT. You need to have a fresh mind on the day of the CAT.
- Make all arrangements for the test day in advance – like find out the test venue, arranging all documents that need to be carried etc.
On the test day
- Arrange to reach the test-centre on time. Carry all documents that you need. If you are superstitious, you could wear your lucky outfit – the outfit that you wore when you scored the highest during your mock tests or any other test of your life. (Wear a new outfit if you never scored well) Basically do anything that makes you more confident to take on the CAT.
- Do not discuss what to expect in the test with anyone – does not matter whether they are friends, foes, teachers, relatives, siblings or parents.
- Before starting the test, keep telling yourself “I will do well, I can do this, I can remain calm and confident”
- While taking the test, do not worry about the outcome even if you feel things are not going your way. Just tell yourself – “I am doing my best – if the test is difficult it must be so for everyone. My best performance may just be sufficient for me to achieve my goals”
- After the test, tell yourself “I have done my best, even if I feel I could have done better, it is only natural to feel this way after any test”
- Do not discuss your test performance or answers to questions – it will do no good to your confidence for future tests to know some questions went wrong, if at all.
- Treat yourself after the test – after all you have earned a break. Suggestions include (but not limited to) going for a movie or a dinner outing or a long drive or a short trip to the nearby hill-station.
All the Best and Stay Relaxed!!