It’s no secret that every aspiring IIM candidate needs to crack a 180-minute-long exam, which checks their Quantitative Ability (QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) as well as Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) across all topics.

CAT – one of the most difficult, but most reputed exams in India, is all about delivering results by using out of the box thinking and solutions rather than conventional methods. It is about using smart tricks and strategies, rather than taking the beaten down methods learnt from text books.

Keeping this in mind, it is a given that everyone has their own strategy when it comes to preparing for this exam. Starting to prepare months in advance, there is no right or wrong way to crack this test. Some may choose to learn through books and CAT tutorials available online, or opt for online CAT coaching classes.

However, while most candidates have a clear strategy for preparing, they often forget to consider what to do in last 7 days before the D-day. This last week can be extremely crucial and if not prepared properly, it can break your dreams of acing the CAT.

Here are some tricks that you can use in the last 7 days before attempting to take the CAT exam:

Focus on Time

Time management is an extremely important aspect when it comes to CAT. Due to the immense pressure on time, often candidates mark the wrong answer even when they know the right one. Hence, in the last few days, you should try to increase your speed of thinking and accuracy by attempting different questions in a time limit that is lesser than the limit in the actual exam.


Revision is the best strategy you can adopt in the last week before your exam. There is no point in learning something new as this may simply cause more confusion than actually teach you anything. Go through your notes and study materials and brush up on your basics and important theories you came across while preparing. These important pointers can also be found in various CAT test series. Be it mathematics formulas or vocabulary, revision is key.

One Last Mock

Taking mocks is one of the most important criteria if you want to ace the CAT. However, do not over do this in the last week. Do not take too much strain by following your previous tedious mock test schedule of taking three or four tests every week. In the last seven days, take just one test in the beginning of the week. Analyze this thoroughly and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Ensure that you make this test as similar as you can to the real one. Take it at the same time your exam is, complete it in the same duration and take the test in a quite environment, much like where you would be taking the real exam. This last mock will help you build the required momentum for the actual exam.

While these tips will help you prepare fully in the last seven days before the exam, here are a few dos and don’ts you should follow on the D-Day.


¬ Do eat a large protein-rich breakfast
¬ Do relaxing and fun activities to pass time until the test
¬ Do some light exercises to help burn off any anxiety
¬ Do carry a bottle of water for the exam



While you may be an over-achiever who has been taking CAT coaching for over a year, or a candidate who just wants to get by, there is one simple strategy everyone should follow on the test day – stay positive! At that point of the exam, a lot of things are out of your control. So don’t get diverted or carried away by that. Stay focused, control the controllable things with the right attitude, which will work wonders for you. Till then, happy studying!

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