Generally, from mid-may, aspirants start taking mocks regularly. This is this time when every aspirant starts searching for the best mock test series for CAT. Since there are so many options available in the market, students find it confusing as to which one they should buy. So, in this article, I will share my experience with mocks with a hope that it will help you decide the mock test series for CAT.
Criteria for choosing the mock test series:
I feel one should consider the following points while choosing the mock test series.
- The number of CAT aspirants subscribed to the particular mock test series.
- How closely the mocks resemble the actual CAT exam.
Which is the best mock test series for CAT?
In 2017, I took both TIME and IMS. I didn’t take CL mocks, so I won’t be able to comment on that.
From my experience with mocks, what I felt was:
Time mocks are a little harder than the actual CAT. IMS mocks are very close to the actual CAT level. But in IMS, there were only ten sectional tests for each section. However, there were many practice questions available that were again very close to the actual CAT level. TIME had many topic-wise and sectional tests which were helpful. Besides, the overall user experience with the IMS platform was smoother than the TIME platform.
So, if you have to take only one mock test series, go for IMS, otherwise, I feel you should take TIME + IMS.
How often should I take mocks?
By May-end, I had completed most of the topics of each section. From that time around, I took one mock per week for around four months. In the last two months, I took around two mocks per week. In total, I took 30+ mocks. To begin with, you can take one mock per week once you have completed around 70% of your syllabus.
Can I predict my CAT percentile from mock test results?
I feel it is not a good idea to judge your expected CAT percentile by your mock percentiles.
Firstly, the number of students taking a particular mock is way less than the actual CAT exam. For example, I remember, in 2017, around 20,000 aspirants would take IMS mocks, but in the actual CAT exam, the number was around two lacs. So, the percentile may vary significantly.
Secondly, the purpose of taking mocks should be getting exposed to the variety of questions that can appear in the CAT exam, identifying and working on your strong and weak areas, learning to choose the right question to attempt, and honing the great art of leaving questions.
Let me back my point by sharing my mock scores. I never scored more than 120 marks in any of the mock tests. I just kept analyzing the mocks and learning from my mistakes. Eventually, in the CAT 2017, I scored 160 marks. An increase of 40 marks and this was substantial.
And in terms of percentile also, when I took the first mock, I got 80 percentile. There were mocks in which I scored around 65 percentile as well. And in the CAT exam, I ended up scoring 97.85 percentile.
So, we should not judge our potential based on our CAT mock results. Just be consistent in your efforts. And don’t get bogged down by the low mock scores. Learn from the mocks and move on.
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