Clearing CAT is a dream for almost all MBA aspirants. Acing it with a reasonably good percentile could help an aspirant to gain admission in one of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other well-reputed top-tier institutions in India and globally. Most of the students start with their preparations for CAT in their final year of graduation due to the high level of competition.
There are however a number of myths surrounding CAT that often plague students’ minds and are detrimental towards their ultimate goal of achieving a good score and gaining admission in a prestigious business school. The myths range from absolutely senseless ones such as women are incapable of solving the quantitative section in CAT, to serious ones such as, experienced professionals have a competitive advantage over fresh graduates when it comes to getting admission in IIMs through CAT, or the top tier colleges in the country.
In this article, we will try to debunk some of the myths doing the rounds and hindering candidates from achieving their potential.
- CAT is solely meant for Engineering graduates
A well-believed myth about the exam is that CAT exam pattern and syllabus prescribed for it are designed keeping in mind engineers, and therefore, engineers are the best-suited candidates to crack the test. It is believed that students of other disciplines are incapable of cracking it because their backgrounds do not match with that of the kind of questions asked in CAT.
It is, however, a wrong belief that the exam is solely made for engineers. A person having studied in any discipline can crack the test with the right preparation and the right mindset. Even students who have historically been weak in Mathematics can easily brush up their basics over time and eventually be at par with everyone else when it comes to CAT preparation. All that is required to crack the test is a persistent effort in eliminating the weaknesses a student has and converting those into strengths.
If you do not clear CAT in the first attempt, you can never do it.
It is an unreasonable fear in the mind of many students that if you cannot crack the examination in one attempt you are most likely to never make it through. While it is true that there is no other joy in accomplishment than facing a tough examination such as CAT in one clean attempt, it is a false belief that such a perfect situation would occur in everyone’s case. Many students, in fact, keep attempting the test for years without losing heart until they have made it. It is ultimately about grit and determination that would take a student to where he or she wants to go and giving up on a dream after one failure is foolish and self-sabotaging.
Candidates preparing over a long period of time have higher chances of clearing CAT
While preparing properly for CAT will take some time, if you want to do well in the examination and clear it in a few attempts, it is not true that the longer someone slogs over CAT preparation materials, the better chances they have in cracking the test. All that is required for a proper attempt at CAT is focused study by keeping in mind the entire syllabus, regular practice and self-assessment, and solving questions like there’s no tomorrow.
Students who prepare in a focused and determined manner have a better grasp of the subject matter of the test and a good overall understanding of what exactly is expected from them in the examination. It requires all senses to be alert and at peak performance so that whatever information is required at the moment is at the tip of one’s fingers precisely when needed. The longer you spend time over the materials, the less alert you sometimes might become because everything becomes all too familiar and the alertness slowly fades away. Rigorous preparation for a shorter time span would yield better results than spending years over the material without a proper direction.
Scoring a good percentile is equal to admission in an IIM
Scoring a great percentile is a big advantage over other candidates. However, scoring well does not automatically ensure admission to an IIM. A management student is expected to be smart, persuasive, alert, equipped with quick decision-making skills and practical know-how. The tests succeeding the entrance examination would seek to assess these qualities in a student.
Group discussions and personal interviews are conducted to precisely understand how well a person presents himself outside theoretical knowledge which has already been tested in the entrance examination. Therefore, making yourself presentable and comfortable in speaking publicly while honing certain skills needed for an MBA student to succeed is of utmost importance if you really want to make it to one of the top management colleges.
These are a few myths that we have sought to debunk with the objective of helping aspiring CAT applicants. There are many more misconceptions regarding the examination. What a student must keep in mind is that ultimately nothing else matters other than a thorough preparation to crack the examination, and anyone can make it through if they are determined to. Good Luck!