What to do the day before CAT?

The simple answer to this is ‘Nothing’. The more elaborate answer is “Nothing much”. But since I cannot pass off two words as an article, I am going to do the MBA-thing. Say lot of words that convey the same point.

Don’t let lack of sleep get to you.
Everyone is going to tell you that you should sleep a lot the day before the exam. But if you have prepared with any amount of intensity, you will find falling asleep tough. Acknowledge that. Keep in mind that the adrenaline on the day of the exam will drown out any fatigue from sleep-deprivation. If you can get 8 hours of the good stuff, great. But if you manage only 4 hours of it, the worst thing to do is to go into the exam beating yourself about this “mere 4 hours”. 4 hours is more than enough. Sachin Tendulkar has slept less than that and scored centuries the next day. Going into a critical exam, it is likely that you are too switched on and cannot sleep that easily. Dont worry about this.

Do something that you enjoy, but do not overdo it
Watch a movie, play football, watch youtube videos of Lionel Messi, take a nice ride/drive. Do whatever it is that puts you at ease, but dont do this at 2 am.

Get the small details right
Fuel your vehicle, check the hall ticket, verify if the photograph is the same, set aside your favourite pen etc.

Don’t fret about preparation, now is not the time to regret the long weekend you took to goof off
However well you might have prepared, give your best shot with that. Do not go in feeling that you are under-cooked. The last day is to gee yourself up, so focus all your attention on conning yourself into believing.

Fly off the blocks, let adrenaline do its thing
In the minutes before the exam, bin all thoughts of percentiles, formulae, strategy, cut-offs and other nonsense. Simplify. Think what Usain Bolt would be thinking before  a 100m dash. He might have prepared his entire adult life for the race. But on the eve of the race, he is going to operate with a simple framework “Hear starting gun, run for 10 seconds”. Solving questions is the best way to relax yourself. The least you can do is give yourself a chance.

Remember, this is not such a big deal.
Anyone who does well in the exam has to be reasonably sharp; while the converse is not true. This exam is but one outlet to showcase your mettle. Nothing more, nothing less.

Best wishes from the entire 2IIM team for CAT 2015.

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