Sailing Through Unchartered Waters

Sailing through Unchartered Waters

Before giving my first mock test , I was nervous. Nervous, for I realized that from now, I am going to start a new innings of my CAT preparation. I am going to sail in unchartered  waters, entering a new phase. A phase, that would mandate extraordinary amount of patience, self-motivation and management skills.

In  my first mock, I could not attempt pre-decided number of questions. But, I was able to maintain an above average accuracy rate. I analyzed the mock and I got to know that the reason I could not score well was- I was unable to keep myself calm. In unchartered waters, that was my first setback.

But, I consoled myself, “ This is only my first mock test. I  cannot perform as a 99 percentiler in the first mock itself”

In the next two weeks, before the second mock, I was ready as to what should ideally be done. With having ‘ The Strategy’ in place, I was ready to take the second mock.  The mock was easy, and I did a good job. The number of attempts increased from 35 to 55. Overall, the experience was satisfactory. The third mock was almost the same as the second one.  My performance in the last two mocks made me feel complacent.

I gave my forth test, not with confidence, but with overconfidence.  The result was obvious, a  meager score of 70s. This streak of low marks continued in the next two mocks. In these two weeks, I felt disheartened. Whenever there was vacuum in my mind, I used to ponder about what went wrong?...How could the mistakes be corrected?... How the learnings received from mock analysis can be converted into actual performance?

It was during that time that I realized that case selection in DILR and a slow speed in QA alongwith devoting more time to one question, thus leaving the questions in the end was the problem.

Case selection problem was solved  in the next two days, when I figured out that out of 60 minutes, the first 7-10 minutes must be spent in reading each case and deciding the order of cases, in which they must be solved. In this way, after four mock tests, I got a technique to approach the DILR section.

In the next mock test, my score rocketed. This was primarily because of the strategy which I applied in the DILR section. I felt ecstatic. Ecstatic, about how with patience and precise analysis, I could tackle the frustrating situation.

In the next mock, my score dipped again. The problem was implementation of a predetermined strategy. The issue of implementation haunted me for the next  two months. In that period, I gave about 8-9 mocks, and the average marks came out to be 70-80 marks.

Mock after mock, the frustration level kept on increasing. Every low score blurred my dream of getting into my dream b-school.

During that two months, I felt upset. I had to suffer from a negative mindset, which forced me ask myself, “ What if I repeat the same performance in actual exam?”.

But, at the same time, every mock was an opportunity to learn from the mistakes. It was a ray of hope, that whispered in my ears-“ Next mock can be better”

It was when I knew  what the problem was, but did not have a solution. This made me feel really helpless.  Negativity started looming in that what if I fail in the actual exam?  Such thoughts started taking a toll on me. Nevertheless, I continued giving mock tests and religiously analyzing them. During that phase I got to know the real meaning of the saying given in Bhagwad Geeta , that is “Karm karo, fal ki chinta mat karo “

After two months of struggle,  I intermittently started getting satisfactory marks. I thought that my forbearance have started producing results and the worst is over.

In the next two months, I encountered marks and moods that resembled to waves making crests and troughs. That was the time, when I felt like a warrior, combating nervousness and excitement alike. It was the time to be as stable as still water.

Till then, I had very often heard the poem- Koshish karne walo ki kabhi haar nahi hoti. But during that six months phase,  I got the real essence of that poem.