Common Admission Test (CAT) is a door through which aspirants enter prestigious IIMs and other leading B-schools. Limited seats and variable cut-offs make it challenging to crack. This often results in a feeling of anxiety, stress, and procrastination that could seriously affect an aspirant’s performance in the CAT exam. As the stakes are high, without effective stress management, the preparation for the CAT exam is incomplete. Stress and anxiety can reduce an aspirant’s concentration and interest in the exam. However, if stress management strategies are included in the preparation plan, the CAT aspirant can enjoy this phase and would remain focused until the goal is achieved.
To remain stress-free during the preparation, an aspirant should never stop believing in oneself. Instead of considering the CAT exam as the “toughest exam”, a positive perspective should be developed towards it. This would not only help in relieving stress but would instill confidence and positivity in the aspirant. Also, aspirants are advised to start an early preparation so that they have sufficient time to revise before the actual exam. Special attention should be given to those topics which the aspirant finds challenging. A haphazard preparation plan always creates trouble. Devoting some fixed hours for studying on a daily basis would go a long way in finishing the syllabus on time. Often, aspirants come across problems in some topics that they find difficult to understand. Instead of getting tensed about doubts, the aspirants should try to see help from experts or mentors, who could give the right guidance. Perhaps, technology can also play an important role in this regard. Through social media and educational websites, the CAT aspirant can get in touch with fellow aspirants and discuss doubts. This would augment the productivity of the aspirant and would keep up the motivation levels.
Having faith in oneself, persistent handwork and determination are some of the antidotes to stress and anxiety resulting from CAT exam preparation. Regular rest intervals, exercise, and proper nutrition and constant support from mentors, family members, and friends should be an important aspect of the preparation plan. If one wants to crack this exam, it is important to first crack the anxiety caused by it.
Asst. Professor, Management