Management exams in 2020: tests with a twist

2020 has exposed us to unprecedented times. All walks of life are affected by the ongoing pandemic and there is no end in sight. This has brought in major changes in the management exams too! The duration of the exams has been reduced, slots have been added and even an option to take the exam from your home is now a possibility. How can you adapt yourself to these changes and get the best possible score, is what we will discuss in this article!

  • Starting with CAT, the duration of the exam has been reduced to 2 hours and hence, time management has become even more important now. The duration per section is now 40 minutes instead of the usual 60, hence choosing the correct questions which align with your strengths is pertinent. Do not waste time over questions you can not solve. The number of slots for taking the examination has also been increased to 3, instead of 2 slots till 2019.
    Try to get acclimatized with the test timings by aligning your body clock with the slot allotted. This can be done by writing all your practice tests in the same timings as your slot. For candidates who have a hard time getting up early in the morning, the 8:30 am slot can be a big problem. Hence get used to it and make sure that your mind is 100% fresh and working during the actual exam. The same thing can be done for other slots which are – 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Besides, since the duration of the test has been decreased, one can expect a reduction in the number of total questions in the examination.
    The total questions, however, have still not been revealed by the administration – hence the candidate should be ready for some surprises. And to top it all off, practice a lot. Write high-quality mock tests with the new test guidelines and prepare for the test to your best abilities. The XAT which has the same preparation as the CAT will have the decision-making section, the preparation of which should be included in the preparation.

  • Coming to SNAP, the duration of the exam has been reduced to an hour which makes time management even more key to cracking it especially with a percentile in the range of around 98-99. The one aspect where applicants can breathe a sigh of relief is that there are neither sectional timings nor sectional cutoffs and hence, students can play entirely on their strengths and manage the time accordingly.
    The first time opportunity of being able to attempt the exam twice makes it even more comforting for candidates but they shouldn’t take it for granted as who knows if the question paper level of the next attempt is high or you are not able to sit due to any unavoidable circumstances. Hence, the key is to try and give your best in the first attempt itself.

CAT exam

  • The best way to prepare for it is by taking regular mocks and doing a thorough analysis of the same. Try to appear for the mocks at the actual scheduled time of the paper which is from 11:00 am-12:00 pm so that your body gets used to being completely active at that point of time and you don’t feel lethargic. Start waking up early by around 8 am at max so that you get done with your morning stuff including a healthy breakfast and have ample amount of time at your disposal in case there is any delay for some reason. This will prevent you from panicking and keep you in a healthy mental space when you sit for the exam.
    Don’t let your mental health get affected in case you don’t manage to perform to the best of your abilities in any mock, rather try to find out if there are similar mistakes that you are repeating and work on that. If you find that you are constantly doing well in areas of your strength, try and work a bit on your weak areas to see if it can be improved even if it’s to a small extent because that can make a difference in the end.
    This is not exhaustive by any means and a lot depends on you and the situation, still, just a few tips which might come in handy.

  • NMAT is one of those entrance tests that can give you a run for your time. The test is spread over 2 hours with three sections namely, language skills, quantitative skills and logical reasoning. The time for each section is limited and divided unequally. There are sectional cutoffs as well for each question and hence it’s of utmost importance to pay equal attention to all three.
    This test is designed to test both speed and accuracy because there are 120 questions to be solved in 120 minutes. The best advantage of NMAT is NO NEGATIVE MARKING. Although there are no negative marks given for a wrong answer, the question paper of NMAT should be treated like every other entrance test. You should focus on solving the questions you know and keep moving forward maintaining speed.
    Once you are done with the questions you know, go ahead and mark answers for the questions you don’t base on your guesstimate in the last one and a half minute. The key to acing your NMAT exam is a thorough practice through mock tests.
    Take several mock tests and analyse the speed with which you are answering the questions. Also, it is important to note which questions are taking more time than required and if those questions should be skipped for last or done at the moment. This will only happen with a series of mock tests which will better prepare you for the final paper. While you are taking a mock test, treat it like your final assessment to get the best idea about your competitive position.
    To speed up your calculations, practice fast calculation techniques which you can easily find on the web. These will help you immensely in the quantitative and logical reasoning sections and keep your mind sharp. You can choose the date and time comfortable for you to take the test. Even though exams have been made online from home, do not become lethargic. Time constraints are stringent and the test will not give you an opportunity to lagger. Therefore treating practice tests like finals will help you better prepare for the final exam from home. May you perform to the best of your abilities. Good luck!

CAT exam