By Shravan Sriram (RBU)
A few years ago, I remember taking a metro on a fine Sunday afternoon to reach old Delhi and start looking for second hand book stores to buy Quant material for less than half its price. That material would help me land in one of the best B-Schools in our country. The size of those books was so huge that all my motivation and energy to prepare for CAT would drain out in just carrying them back home. It was also challenging to carry them around so that I could prepare during my free time. All I knew was that I had to prepare and it had to be done in one way or the other.
This is where affordable high speed internet turned out to be a game changer. I spend almost 2 hours every day commuting to office, which I could now conveniently use to prepare for my exam. I used this time to watch video tutorials and develop my concepts. I did not have to carry all my material around with me anymore. All I needed was a smart phone and internet connection.
Giving a number of Mock tests has proven helpful for my preparation. Now that most of the exams are being conducted online, it only made sense that mock tests were conducted online. Every time I gave an online mock test (OMT) I would get the real feel of giving the final exam. Unlike the offline exam, where I had to wait for days together after the exam, for the results to be declared; in case of OMTs I could get the results instantly. This gave me an opportunity to evaluate on my performance immediately and check where my shortfalls were.
Since all the mock tests were being conducted online, all my past OMTs were also available at one place. This was particularly useful because I could compare my current performance with my earlier performance and pinpoint the areas of strength and weakness. The energy that I would have otherwise spent equally on all topics, could now be directed in a focussed manner on the right areas, thereby increasing my productivity.
All the final exams are timed and time management is vital for every aspirant. Having the right strategy for attempting the exam is decisive, because everyone has the same 3 hours for the exam; the person who can make the most of this time comes out with flying colours. I had several strategies on how to make the most of the 3 hours at hand. But I was confused in picking the best one that suited me. Giving several OMTs and analysing them frequently gave me an opportunity to try out different tactics. I could revisit my mocks and check how each tactic had worked out and select the best one for the D-day.
Online preparation also helped revise before the exam. I used to bookmark the questions which I felt were central to a topic and by solving those few questions I could brush up the whole topic. This was a feature that was completely unavailable in offline preparation.
In a generation of growing competition, it is necessary to revamp our preparation strategy to stand out from the common. I think technology is the key to this change and one should make the most of this resource. As far as my personal experience is concerned, I have given two attempts at CAT, where first attempt was with offline preparation and the second was with online and I have seen an increase in 10 percentile points in my final results.
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