SimCET Score (50-75): Issues?

In the next few articles, I will cover issues that are faced by students in a particular score range and the strategies to move to the next level.

The score in your first mock might come across as a shock. And that’s good in a way. Because it shatters this whole perception that students have about CET that the test is easy. Revelation: It’s not. The test is tiring, intimidating, and even boring for some. And that’s the feedback that I typically get from students: I couldn’t sit through, I was facing so many questions for the first time, I lost track of time, I sat on questions for too long, I didn’t realize when the time ran out and so on.

If you’ve successfully taken a mock or two without getting too tired or without giving up during the test, praise yourself. But the issue that you might be facing right now is the score. I happened to meet quite a few students who’ve scored between 50-75 in the first SimCET and are quite morose about it. It’s fair to be upset in such a situation, but the future isn’t bleak because all the issues that you’re facing can be fixed and you can get better from here.

I am using performance analysis of a student who took the first SimCET. I will highlight some issues that the student might be facing and offer my take on what can be done to get out of this situation.

SectionAttemptsTime (minutes)CorrectAccuracy %Marks per minuteAvg. time per Q
AR7/256342.860.510.84
LR40/75823382.500.42.06
QA12/5027325.000.112.27
VARC26/50351142.310.321.33
Total85/2001505058.820.331.77

Issue no. 1: Faulty time distribution

One of the issues with students stuck in a lower score range is distribution of time. If you go through the performance analysis shared above, her Quantitative and Verbal distribution looks neat, esp. time spent on the Verbal section. But her Logical Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning distribution is completely messed up. If she had spent 10-15 minutes extra on AR and reduced her LR time, she would have improved her score by 5-8 marks.

Pro Tip: Look at your performance analysis and see if you spot any imbalance. Decide the time for a particular section that you think will give you the best returns.


Issue no. 2: Speed and Attempts

CET is inherently a speed based test and someone who isn’t fast will probably struggle to cross a certain score. However, do you really need to be EXTREMELY fast? The answer is ‘No’. As long as you maintain a minute or less for a question on average, you should be fine. The important thing here is on average because a direct vocab question and a number series question don’t need the same amount of time to crack. At the same time, understand that you can’t improve speed overnight. You will be able to solve at a faster rate only if you have enough exposure and a good recall.

How do you improve exposure? Solve more questions.
How do you improve recall? Do periodic revision of concepts and shortcuts.

In the performance analysis, you will see that the student went considerably slow in Logical reasoning and Quantitative section. This must have put pressure on her during the test.

When you’re stuck in lower levels, you’re generally conservative and attempt fewer questions. Students tend to focus on solving questions methodically than finding smart ways to answer questions using either options or taking calculated risks. There is nothing wrong with solving methodically if you’re fast, however, if you don’t try to skip steps and get better, you will continue to struggle with attempts.

Pro Tip: Rough sheets don’t lie. Find out ways to reduce your rough work and go through the official explanation. Identify steps that you could have skipped. Ask yourself: How can I get to the answer in the shortest possible time? Find steps that you could have skipped.


Issue no. 3: Accuracy

The performance analysis shows that the student had a phenomenal accuracy in the Logical section which is near ideal accuracy (80-85%) in CET. But because of the issues discussed earlier, it didn’t help her much. If you have a choice between solving 5 questions of LR in 10 minutes and getting 4 correct, and solving 5 questions of Vocab in 5 minutes and getting 3 correct, it’s a no-brainer that you should go with the second choice as you can potentially solve more questions in the five minutes that you’ve saved. Though the accuracy in the first choice is better, it’s a terrible choice if you’re going slow to get that accuracy.

The student also had low accuracy in other areas and that pulled her overall score down. It’s pretty interesting that 2/3rd of her score can be attributed to one section which ideally should not be the case.

Pro Tip: Take area wise tests and find your general accuracy level in a section. The average will give you a good estimate of the attempts required to hit a certain target score.


Issue no. 4: Mindset

Finally, the most important issue is that of the mindset. It’s difficult to change the entire approach of looking at a test. Students who have a growth mindset tend to do better than those who have a fixed mindset. If I start a test with a negative mindset and baggage of my previous mock or other test scores, I won’t be able to do justice to the test. If things don’t go according to my plan, am I flexible enough to take control and correct my course? If I repeat some of the mistakes that I’ve made in the past, do I reflect on it enough to avoid them in the future? Do I consider SimCET a tool that I want to use to improve myself or do I consider it a boring exercise that I have to go through because I signed up for it?

Pro Tip: Don’t worry about your past performances. Learn from your mistakes and keep progressing towards your end goal.


If there are any queries, please leave them in the comments below and allow me a few days to get back. Share this with your friends and co-aspirants. Happy prepping! 🙂

34 thoughts on “SimCET Score (50-75): Issues?

  1. Jayesh

    Sir, I scored 81 in first Proctored mock.
    Sectionals AR/LR/QA/VARC – 6/25/21/29
    Marks per minute – 0.43/0.64/0.34/0.66 in same order as above.

    Sections attempted in order of QA -> VARC->LR->AR.

    Please can you help advise for ordering of the sections.

    I am a General category Maharashtra candidate and I really want to crack this year’s CET.
    Have failed at CAT and miserably at XAT for the third time. However CET will be my first attempt this year.

    As per my IT pay and profile today, I can only go for a CDC college listed by IMS.
    Don’t intend for NMIMS Bangalore (196 in NMAT).

    Please help advise.
    Many thanks in advance.

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Jayesh! Try changing your section order. Abstract is a much better choice in the beginning or in the middle of the test or keep dedicated 20 minutes for it in the end. If you’re good at VARC, you can start with VARC and try to attempt the entire section in 30-35 minutes.

      Also go through the questions that you couldn’t solve to figure out if your choice of questions was right. Trying different section orders + improving accuracy and question selection should create positive difference in your score. All the best!

      Like

    1. PS

      Hi Hela! I doubt if there is any other reliable source for something as tough as LR puzzles of SimCETs. If you take all the SimCETs, I think you’ll get enough practice.

      Like

  2. Rohit Kukreja

    I have scored 90 and 87 in IMS SIM CET Proctored Mock. Can’t find a way to break initially the 100 mark as sometimes the order I decide for a new mock sort of flips and I perform Poor. Any suggestions for this?

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Rohit. 90 and 87 isn’t too bad at this stage and you can definitely improve from here with roughly 45 days to go. You can experiment with order in the first 3-4 mocks (SimCETs or Take home tests). Post that, I think you should stick to the one that gives you the best result. One of the ways to reach 100 quickly is to do the sections in rounds. For example, 25 AR questions + 50 VA questions + 25 easy QADI + 25 non-arrangement LR questions will generally take 2 hours. If you maintain 80% accuracy, you will be at 100. The key is to reduce the time and maintain or push the accuracy up.

      Like

    1. PS

      Hi Sagar. (1) You need to be really good at calculations (reciprocals, percentage, averages, ratios, etc.) and even basic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. (2) If you look at the key elements of a set and are able to create the mental picture of the structure, you should do it. If you don’t get that or if you haven’t seen a similar set earlier, it’s better to stay away from it. Leave after 3-4 minutes if there is no breakthrough. Try and cover for the loss by solving other questions faster.

      Like

    1. PS

      Hi Prathamesh! If it’s completely new for you, better to avoid it. What’s the point? Might as well do something that you can solve. But make it a point to solve it post test and retain it. If it’s solvable, make an effort during the test but keep an eye on the time. For example, this particular question: If LAL = 19, RED = 122, what is the code for BLUE? or DOST + DOST = TOKYO where letters stand for unique digits? If you can’t spot it in a minute or so, better to mark something and move on.

      Like

  3. Malak Shah

    Do you have any plans to do more of this type of articles? Where student is in the 75-100 range &/or the 100-110/115 range? Please continue this post series

    Like

  4. SIMRAN

    HI SIR,
    I am unable to keep a track on time,please share some time management tips as well as how should we prepare for Quants section specially,like we should do just concept builder as well as smart cut workshop sheets.Is that enough or we need to look for other options
    kindly,help me out with my query!
    THANK YOU.

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Simran. Try taking area wise/sectional tests. As these tests push you to solve a minute per question, you learn how to manage your time better. As the pure quant questions cover a small chunk of the entire paper, it’s better to focus on high return topics that will also help you in DI.

      Like

  5. yashgandhii

    firstly thanks for the guide, it’s really helpfull
    i’m new to simcet and i got 45 in first, 55,60,68 in proctored CET
    can you give me suggestions, i take almost an hour just to do LR section and i don’t solve quant as it’s weak, i do mark all questions(so the marks which i said are high compared to actuall) please give me tips as hardly 35 days remaining, thanks

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Yash. The score graph is going up so that’s a good sign. Spending an hour on LR is fine if you’re making the best use of it by solving high accuracy questions. Also, as mentioned in my posts as well as CET strategy video, identify where you can save time. Typically, one hour should be enough for AR + VARC so check your time distribution for those two sections.

      Like

    1. PS

      Hi Rashi. I suggest genuine attempts only till the time you get a fair idea of your performance gaps. For example, I can decide to do it till may be 20th Feb or 25th Feb. Post that, I need to get used to marking all 200 questions. The last 7-8 mocks should definitely have all 200 attempts.

      Like

  6. Rohan

    HI,

    Without random marking, I am able to solve about 150/200 questions only
    Ab Logic: 18-20 mins
    Logic- 65-70 mins
    Quant: 40-45 min
    Verbal : 15 (Last section attempted)
    Please suggest any ways to manage the time better.

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Rohan! The way CET is structured, it won’t be possible to attempt all the questions anyway. The point is to solve as many questions as you can, as correctly as you can. The time distribution looks a little problematic because of 15 minutes given to Verbal section which generally tends to give better return over time invested. I can possibly take out 5-5 minutes from each LR and QADI and give it to Verbal. Even if I can score 10 marks on that 10 minute investment, that’s worth it.

      Like

    1. PS

      Technically, no. We still have about a month to go for CET and one should mark all the questions only in the last 8-10 mocks or 2-3 weeks. The problem with marking all the questions in mocks is that the scores don’t reflect the true reality.

      Like

  7. Rohan Garg

    Hello, I’ve scored 101 in SIMCET 4. My order of attempt is LR-VA-AR-QADI

    LR (44 marks) 82min
    VARC (25 marks) 27min
    AR (19 marks) 20min
    QADI (13 marks) 21min.

    I tend to waste approx 15 mins in LR section while attempting a couple of puzzles and arriving nowhere. I consider verbal as my strong section but I end up scoring only 25-27 marks because I waste a lot of time on RCs and I get only 4-5 correct while spending roughly 10 mins. I’m targeting to improve by 10 marks in SIMCET 5. Can you please suggest any strategy or modification? Please check my scores in the previous mocks (SIMCET1- 73, SIMCET2- 90, SIMCET 3- 99).

    Thank you! 🙂

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Rohan. I think attempting LR in the beginning isn’t a great idea as there can be difficult questions or surprises. Plus, the return on time invested isn’t that great. You have VARC and AR as two good sections. It makes sense to keep them in the beginning and get some momentum. All the best!

      Like

  8. GHANSHYAM

    I am around 95-100 what should i do.I try to get one section good and mess up in other one.
    Avg score section wise :
    1) LR – 40
    2) VARC – 20
    3) QA -20
    4) AR 20
    I m happy with my AR but not with other 3 sections.Last 5-6 mocks i m on same score even if i try doing better in 1 section score in remaining section brings me down.

    Like

    1. PS

      Hi Ghanshyam! The score in VA and QA looks pretty low. What I will need to help you in a better manner is the time that you’re spending to get these scores. Typically, it’s difficult to do justice to all the four sections. Identify which three sections you can crack and do it aggressively. The fourth section can be kept for the end where you solve only the easy ones and move on.

      Like

      1. GHANSHYAM

        35 mins for VA and 25 mins for AR.
        30 mins for QA and remaining time for LR ( approx 60 mins )

        sections sequence : VA, AR, QA, LR.

        Like

      2. PS

        Hi Ghanshyam! The time distribution looks pretty neat. In each section, figure out what’s giving you best return. Solve those questions first before moving to difficult ones. Broadly, you need to take care of three things: Speed, question selection or accuracy, section time. Your mock analysis should highlight things that you need to take care of.

        Like

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