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Why do students get demotivated while preparing for CAT

Hello to all the CAT aspirants. My name is Brijesh Pandey and I have been teaching Verbal Aptitude and have been mentoring students for CAT for the past 8 years. Today, in this article, I will discuss why many CAT aspirants get demotivated during their CAT prep.

I would like to share with you all an observation of mine. Every year the no of students writing mocks is the highest in the month of September. But surprisingly the no of students writing mocks from October onwards starts declining, touching the lowest figure in the month of November. I have always been intrigued by this strange pattern.

In fact, we all expect that as the exam date comes closer more and more students should write the mocks, but every year the exact opposite of this happens. The reason is for this is simple: students getting badly demotivated by their mock scores.

As a teacher and mentor, I have pondered over this, trying to figure out the most common reasons of the students giving up on CAT right at the most critical time of their preparation. Here are some of these reasons:

There is no fighting spirit

Most of the students who give up on CAT preparation give up not because they lack in aptitude but because they want to hit the target right from the first mock. We all have the tendency to earn as much as possible by working as little as possible. After all, labour, whether physical or mental, is not much desirable. The same is true of CAT prep. Students want to score 98 percentile effortlessly.

This is indeed possible only for those who are exceptionally good in one or two sections. But the reality is that only 2 percent of the test takers are inherently capable of that; the others will have to sweat and bleed to achieve that level.

They will have to put in more efforts to achieve the same level of proficiency. Statistically, the majority of the students who go to the best B-schools are from this category. So if you are averse to working hard, then it would be very difficult for you survive in the race for too long.

 Not willing to face their weaknesses

This is more of a psychological cum temperamental problem. Not many of us would like to face the dark side of our nature. To have a close look at the mocks in which you have fared miserably needs courage. It is going to be a painful process. But it is in this very pain that you shall find the path of redemption. Few students take an in-depth look at the mistakes they made.

The poor souls keep on writing mock after mock, thinking that one fine day they will indeed get the desired score. The reality is that the performance worsens by every passing mock. The right step would be to scrutinize every mock, looking for the reasons as to why you did not fare well, work on those areas and only after going through the corrective measures should you plan to take the next mock.

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Please understand that writing mock after mock relentlessly is not the right solution. Instead, you will reinforce the wrong methods until you reach a point where it would be very difficult for you to overcome those wrong habits.

 Not yet ready for mocks

I have seen students writing mocks even when they are not completely prepared for it. By not being completely prepared I mean that they are not clear with the concepts, don’t have any specific strategy and approach, and have not taken enough sectional tests that builds in them the stamina to write the mocks.

Let’s take the example of a knock-out cricket tournament. What do the players do before the tournament starts? They play a good no of practice matches. But to perform well in those practice matches, they spend a lot of time in the nets, batting, bowling and fielding at hours at a stretch, under the observation of a good coach, who technically corrects them all the while.

A similar thing must happen with your CAT preparation as well. The actual CAT paper is the first match of the knock-out cricket tournament. The practice matches are the mocks, and the net practice is the sectional sets and the general study work that you do before you take the mocks.

To give your best performance in the practice matches, you must ensure that you have gone through rigorous net practice.  Similarly, to do well in the mocks, you must work on every minute area, under the guidance of a mentor who closely monitors your performance. Writing mocks without complete preparation is detrimental to your chances of doing well, something that will result in a psychological set back from which it would be very difficult for you to bounce back.


In conclusion, I would like to say that you should write mocks when you feel that you are ready for it. Furthermore, you should carry out in-depth analysis and ensure that you work on all the pain areas before you set out to write another mock. You must closely monitor the changes that you see in every mock. Finally, you should be willing to put in the right amount of hard work to reach the desired score.

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