I know what you are thinking right now but it is not that.😉
It is the mantra that you have to adhere to if you wanna do well in the LR-DI section of CAT. And it will certainly help if you keep this mantra in mind while starting your prep for all the three sections but especially the LRDI section.
I realised it after getting around 80th percentile in my first attempt in 2018. So, I want you all to keep this in mind from the earliest stage.
When I started my preparation, I used to think that I have to finish every lrdi set that I have started and since I have already invested five to seven minutes of my time, I should see this through even though deep down I knew that I might not be able to solve this. That’s when your ego kicks in and it is a trap that I would say 85-90% people fall into while attempting lrdi sets. You throw out all the logic from the Logical reasoning section of this exam and stop getting rational and that is when blunders happen.
So, when I realised it, I stopped attempting a set further if after 5 minutes, I don’t see myself solving it. CAT is a game of time invested and getting the return out of it. It just doesn’t make sense to invest your time in something you don’t see getting any value out of or in this case you can say marks. But it is a habit you don’t form over two or three mocks but over 10-12 sectional and full-length mocks. And it is a habit you would better be holding onto in all the sections to nail this exam.
You will start seeing return of following this strategy in your mocks when you are actually attempting more questions and cutting down on those negative marks which can take down your percentile considerably. Generally, an extra mark means one extra percentile and it doesn’t matter whether you are getting it from attempting more correct questions or not attempting those wrong questions.
As I told you guys earlier, I got around 80th percentile in my first attempt in 2018. So, you guys might be thinking what this fella got in his next CAT. I am a bit proud to tell you guys that the number appeared on my 2019 CAT scorecard was 99.5 in the lrdi section. So was it easy to go from 80 to 99.5th percentile?
There were various other things I followed apart from one of the most important things I have talked about earlier. So, the other thing was to realise what sort of sets are your strengths and what sets are you better off not attempting. For example, sets on Venn diagrams were something I started leaving when I analysed that I am not getting them right 80% of the time and it is actually taking a lot of my time and dragging my score down considerably.
How do you figure out what your strengths are and where your weaknesses lie?
A cliché but it doesn’t mean it’s not true. You have to literally attempt at least 150-200 sets before the D-day. Because only then you will be able to realise what sets you are generally comfortable with and those sets will be the ones to look out for on D-day.
Practice is one thing but the real value comes out when you analyse what worked for you and more importantly what did not. Do remember one thing, you are better off not attempting a question than attempting it wrong.
How do you analyse. Everyone has a different method, what I used to do is to attempt every wrong set and unattempted sets again and try to figure out whether I could have attempted them without time constraint and whether there was any easy set that I missed out on due to spending time on more difficult sets and make note of it when I am set out to attempt my next mock.
After that I used to look at the attempt video of the faculty and try to see whether the sets that I attempted has a batter way or did I attempt it perfectly. Only then I started getting a good accuracy on attempting the right sets according to my strengths. Attempting the right sets is the utmost important thing if you wanna do well in this section.
Another trap people fall into is to go into the exam with a preconceived notion that they have to attempt 5 sets or 6 sets in order to do well and this is one of the worst strategies to follow. You have to figure out the difficulty level of the section and sets before zeroing in on number of sets you wanna attempt and that you will figure out but only after giving around 12-15 mocks. Just play it by ear and you will do well was something I told myself when I was attempting the lrdi section of 2019 CAT. If I hadn’t done that, my target would have been to attempt 3 sets as over the years 3 correct sets generally mean around 95th percentile and that’s what I did in 2018 and ended up solving 2 sets only but in 2019 I didn’t go with that mindset and just started solving sets and by the 45th minute mark I was able to solve 4 sets and with 15 mins remaining I was able to solve one and a half set more and that happened because I didn’t go with any notion that I have to do a certain no of sets.
The gist of what I wanted to tell future aspirants was although everyone has a different prep strategy, it is better to keep things like
- Figure out your strengths and equally importantly your weaknesses.
- Let go of a set if you don’t see yourself solving that set and do not take things on your ego.
- Keep a flexible mindset about number of sets you can attempt in a mock on a particular day.
Embedding these things in your mindset will take time but as they say, focus on the process and results will follow.
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Good luck 😊