Online CAT: The countdown begins

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On the day of the exam

The candidate should reach the exam centre at least two hours before the reporting time. In all likelihood, there will be quite a few students at the exam centre — do not get intimidated by them.

You may also see some students referring to books or discussing questions. Just ignore them. Before you enter the examination hall, use the rest room if need be. In general, once the test starts, you will not be allowed to leave the examination hall until the test is over — it takes close to four hours from the reporting time.

Do not approach the examination with any expectation about the pattern of the test, the composition of the sections or about the models of questions that are likely to appear. Any such speculation will only heighten your anxiety.

If the table/chair/monitor/keyboard are not proper, please ask for a replacement or a change in the position before the exam starts — once the exam starts, the invigilator may not entertain such requests.
Keep proper track of the passage of time — make sure that you keep looking at the timer on the screen regularly throughout the test. Go through the 15-minute tutorial carefully and make a note of the number of questions in each section, number of choices and the marking scheme and negative marking. Remember that the test duration is 135 minutes (2 hours and 15minutes).

Once the test starts, scan through the paper for the first two to three minutes using the REVIEW button. Depending on how the test is organised, distribute the time over various sections — and adhere to the time limits that you set for yourself. Remember, that there will be easy questions in all sections — your focus should be on attempting all the easy questions before you decide to attempt the difficult or the more time-consuming ones.
Do not worry if the test is difficult. Remember that all the other students appearing for the CAT that day will be taking the same test on that day.

Avoid blind-guessing and marking answers indiscriminately. However, if you are able to eliminate 2/3 choices (out of the 4-5) on a proper basis, then, it is not advisable to leave out such a question even if you do not know how to solve it — it may be worth selecting one of the other two choices as your answer. However, this should be done only after making a sincere attempt at solving the question properly.

As soon as you solve a question, make sure that you mark your answer on the screen (by clicking the appropriate oval/circle/box). Do not jot down the answers on the scratch pad with the intention of marking them on the screen later on. While answering the test, do not waste your time counting the number of questions that you have answered.
Points to remember, two days before the exam

* Work towards reducing the pressure on yourself
* No serious preparation – just browse through what you have already worked on
* Do a recce of the test venue to acquaint yourself with the route and get an idea about the time it takes to get there
* Carry all relevant documents including the CAT2010 Admit card, Photo ID and SC/ST certificate (if applicable)
* Do not expect any pattern or cut-offs for the paper
* Scan the paper using the REVIEW button and distribute the time over various sections
* Do not worry about the difficulty level of the paper – focus on locating easy questions and answering them
* Mark your answers on the screen for each question as soon as you solve it
* Keep track of time
* Do not lose heart if one section goes bad, it may be the same with everyone else
* No blind guessing of answers

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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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