How to manage stress while CAT preparation

Stress and anxiety and two major deterrents which lead us into making wrong decisions. It is a feeling of anger, irritability or restlessness which may cause restlessness or trouble sleeping. Belling the CAT examination is akin to taking a major decision in life, the anticipation of the D-day and preparation for it are two major stressful situations. There can be many situations which may put you under a lot of pressure and cause your stress levels to increase. We often may not have a lot of control over the outcome of a situation but it is important to keep calm and find the best solution to it. If MBA is the professional line you have opted for then there are several hurdles you have to overcome to reach your desired goal.

Always be prepared with a contingency plan in mind and it is better to not quit your job to prepare for CAT especially if it’s the first attempt. Your job keeps you busy when you are preparing for an MBA and prevents any negative or pessimistic thoughts to enter your mind. Try to look at the bigger picture and plan your way in case of any mishaps. Be structured in your approach towards life and prepare a timetable which needs to be followed. The following ways can help control your anxiety and reduce stress: 

  • Prepare a timetable and include a fixed time to cover all topics for CAT in which you are weak
  • Practise lots of sample papers and past year question papers of CAT and other MBA exams
  • Have a positive attitude and accept events you cannot control
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or tai-chi for stress management
  • Follow a hobby to destress
  • It is very important to exercise well and stay healthy
  • Eat a well-balanced diet to stay nourished and it also helps control your mood swings
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
  • It is important to take a break once in a while
  • Talk about any problems you are facing with your mentor or friends and family
  • Sleep well as it helps your body to repair and restore mental well being

Following the ways, to destressing, yourself may seem like a herculean task but it is all about taking control of the situation and finding out the optimum strategy. Take as many MOCKs as your schedule permits. It is not just important to take mocks but also analyse them and understand what mistakes you made and in which sections. Prepare a better plan for your next mock test and try not to repeat the same mistakes in the next exam. Read the newspaper daily to stay updated on news articles and read international news as well. This practice will boost your reading speed as well and will be extremely helpful for your MBA exams. Articles from the New York Times, The Guardian and Aon news have appeared several times in Reading Comprehension passages of CAT exam. 

On the day of the exam, there may be many things which may go wrong but stay calm as getting anxious will lead to stress and you will lead to bad decisions. Make a list of things-to-do before the day of the exam and stick to the checklist to avoid mishaps at the last moment. Read all instructions carefully on the official CAT website before the examination day. If any unforeseen situation presents itself, try to take help of the invigilators or authorities at your examination centre. Divide time equally for all three sections of the CAT examination. Go through each section well and attempt the easy questions first and go for the moderate or difficult questions later. Divide time well and put in use the strategy made while giving your latest mocks.

Following the above points will not only help you in your CAT preparation but will also help on the day of the exam. Always try to share your problems with someone who can understand you well and may guide you like a mentor. It will not only help you relieve your stress but will also aid you in making an informed decision. Spend time with those who you enjoy and avoid negative or pessimistic people. Follow someone in life whom you look up to, it can be some celebrity, your teacher, your friend or your parents. See motivational videos of people who succeeded in life/CAT toppers as you will be more encouraged to come out of tricky situations which may cause stress for you. Believe in the process of learning through making mistakes, so forget your stress, own your decisions and take a different approach in case you fail.

Many celebrities have a success mantra which they follow to avoid stress and take wise decisions as any decision taken under duress will never be a good one. Warren Buffet believes “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” So, stay positive and lead a stress-free life and take each moment as it comes.

Finally, I will leave you with a rumination from India’s favourite fiction writer Chetan Bhagat, who did his mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi and completed an MBA at IIM Ahmedabad. “Don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to have a balanced, successful life. I used the word balanced before successful. Balanced means your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order. Life is not meant to be taken seriously as we all are temporary here. We are like a prepaid card with a limited warranty. Don’t be serious, be sincere”. 

On this note leave your stress behind and work doubly hard to “bell the CAT”.

 

Words From Our Students

Nihar Mehta
Nihar Mehta
Calls from IIMs, SPJIMR & MDI
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I joined the classroom coaching programme at MBA Pathshala for my CAT preparation. Since the very beginning, Abhijit Sir & Haider Sir guided me in terms of the strategy & the approach required in order to fare well in the exam. They not only stressed on the academics but also pushed me to build my profile aligned with my interests. Post CAT, they gave me ample practice for my GD & PI preparations with sufficient number of mock interviews & regular feedback for improvement. I managed to get calls from IIMs, SPJIMR & MDI. A huge part in this goes to the team at MBAP and I am cannot thank them enough for their contribution.
Ishan Rathod
Ishan Rathod
Calls from IIM I, S, and all New And Baby IIM's.
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MBAP is great place to preparing for MBA-CET,CAT,CMAT and faculty are unbeatable. They are very helpful best part is they give personal attention to each and every students. Most of faculty...who are alumni of IIM and JBIMS. There is more one to one interaction which helped me get better as the exams approached and helped me get calls from IIM I, S, and all New And Baby IIM's. The interview sessions proved to be of great learning helped me convert IIM S
Sanskriti Reja
Sanskriti Reja
Calls from IIMs, XLRI, XIMB
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MBA Pathshala was my first choice for MBA coaching and I'm happy that joined it. The faculty here is great.. they are really good in what they do. They supported me and motivated me during my journey of clearingthe entrances. They are always available for the doubts, extra lectures. they helped me get through my GD-PIs too after the exams. I am thankful to MBAP for helping me to crack CAT and other entrance exams. I got calls from XLRI, XIMB, IIMs, among others. I have converted colleges like KJ Somaiya, TAPMI, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Sirmaur.
Parth Kanakia
Parth Kanakia
Converted SPJIMR
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I joined MBAP for GD, WAT & PI preparation. Received very good training from Abhijit Singh, Haider and other MBAP faculty. Starting from very basics, good knowledge was provided. Mock interviews were conducted on regular basis. I converted SPJIMR and I would definitely recommend students to join MBAP.
Ronit jaiswal
Ronit jaiswal
Calls from IIM-A/B/C & SNAP 98.12%ile
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I wanted to join a coaching where I can get personalised attention and competitive environment. I got both in MBAP. All the preparation was so rigorous that I eventually started giving my best. They conducted mock interviews/GD/WAT with anonymous panels and trust me it was such a confidence booster. I got a call from SCMHRD (SNAP-98.12) However I always wanted to go for IIM and Abhijeet sir felt that and he convinced me to try again and aim for IIM-A/B/C. Here I am back under his mentorship again. In short give your best and they will bring the best out of you. P.S- I'm a working individual. If I can do it then anybody can. Thank you for being such a great mentors.
Maitreya Khanapurkar
Maitreya Khanapurkar
Calls From IIMs
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Best learning experience.Faculties are good and you will get a good support from them till you get admission into a B-School.The shortcut techniques taught will be of great help for you. Doubts will be solved anytime you want. If planning for CAT CET or any entrance exam go for MBA Pathshala. It was of tutors at MBAP I received a call from IMT Ghaziabad.
Yash Dandavate
GMAT Score - 660
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I joined MBAP for GMAT prep and my experience with them was really amazing, from the first day itself the faculties gave personal attention to each student and made sure each student had their own personalised GMAT and CAT prep plans. The Verbal faculty Rohan Kulkarni Sir was amazing, I was very weak in English and verbal section, but through his guidance I scored a V38 (85th percentile) in my GMAT exam. The Quant faculties Abhijeet and Haider Sir helped me develop strategies and short cuts to approach GMAT problems and we're always available for my doubts. Overall it was a great experience and I would reccomend MBAP to everyone for GMAT and CAT prep
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