CET 2020: Last minute tips

CET 2020, the test that all of you have been preparing for, is just around the corner. In this article, I’ve penned down my thoughts on the preparation strategy and test psychology. Let’s get started!


In the remaining days, don’t worry about areas/topics that you are not comfortable with or haven’t been able to improve. In most of the areas, it is not possible to improve content in this short span of time available to us. If you have not studied permutation and combination, this is not the time to start. If you haven’t been able to do it in the last six months, the chance of you doing it now is low. Instead of worrying about such topics, capitalize on your strengths. Figure out the topics that you’re good at and work on getting maximum possible accuracy there.

Analysis of past SimCETs

Go through your past SimCETs if you haven’t done it already. Pay attention to the time that you’re spending on each section and the returns that you’re getting on the invested time. I met a student today and saw that she had consistently poor returns in the quant section which was her third section in her attempt order. Logical reasoning, on the other hand, was offering her better returns but was fourth in the attempt order. I suggested changing the attempt order in the next mock or sticking to current order and shifting ten minutes from quant to LR.

Another student I met last week had consistently low scores in VARC as he was leaving the entire Reading Comprehension. As he was spending nearly 70 minutes on LR solving all possible arrangement questions, I suggested cutting the section short and solving RCs in the next mock. Do this analysis from the performance overview available to you in your dashboard. Learn from the mistakes that you have made in the past and improve your performance.

How many mocks to take before CET?

If you’ve your test on Saturday, you can take a mock on Wednesday and Thursday. If you’ve your test on Sunday, you can take a mock on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Avoid taking a mock the day before your test as that might make you a little anxious. You can review your past SimCETs or solve area wise tests. Ideally, take all the remaining mocks in the same time slot. Replicate test conditions by taking minimum number of A4 size rough sheets, a ball point pen, and sitting idle in front of your computer for 30 minutes before you begin a mock.

Test hygiene factors: Download the hall ticket. Check your slot, test venue, and plan your travel. Keep 15 minutes as buffer time. Don’t reach the test venue too early as you might get bored. Don’t go too late as it might lead to unnecessary stress. Sleep well before the test (7-8 hours), keep yourself hydrated, and avoid eating junk/outside food 24 hours before the test.

Avoid making assumptions/over analyzing: If you’ve the second slot on Saturday or any of the slots on Sunday, you will end up watching/reading reviews of the previous slots. It is better to simply ignore or take these reviews with a pinch of salt. Just because slot 1 was easy/difficult doesn’t mean your slot will be similar. Go through the review to find out if there were any surprises, but don’t over analyze these reviews.

What’s the secret?

There is no secret. If you’ve come this far and managed to be in the right mindset, I think you’ve done enough. What separates a topper from the rest is the ability to maintain composure in the middle of chaos. A topper doesn’t care about the difficulty as he/she knows that if it’s difficult for him/her, it’s terrifying for others. A topper doesn’t give up before or during the test. A topper knows that what happens during the test is the outcome of the endless hours of efforts spent in improving the art and the craft. A topper knows the outcome before even he/she starts the test.

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

Jacob A. Riis

Don’t give up!

It’s easier said than done. but don’t give up at this stage. More than content, it’s the mindset during the test that makes a difference. Do something fun to take the pressure off but don’t give up. When scores don’t improve, one is bound to get stressed. But don’t let if affect your inner strength. Don’t make the test larger than what it is. Give it the respect that it deserves, but don’t be afraid of facing it. If you take care of the mindset, I am sure something great will work out.

One of my absolute favorites is the movie Warrior (2011) where Frank Campana imparts priceless wisdom to Brendan Conlon during a fight. The line ‘You don’t knock him out, you don’t have a home‘ has stayed with me since then. Watch it here:

Don’t be hard on yourself

Having gone through the highs and the lows of various tests, I don’t let the success go to my head and I don’t punish myself if I don’t do well. Go with all your strength at it, but don’t let the outcome hurt you in any way. If you do well in CET, great! But if you don’t, that’s not the end of the world. You will have enough opportunities available in the form of converts or calls from institutes offering PGDM programs.

“Whatever deity may guide my life, dear lord don’t let me die tonight. But if I shall before I wake, I’d accept my fate.”

Roadblock, G.I. Joe: Retaliation

I hope you’ve found these 16 odd articles useful. Hope the interaction that you had with me through this forum was pleasant and I sincerely wish you the best! May you all crack the test and get into your dream institute! 🙂

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