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.
|Section||Attempts||Time (minutes)||Correct||Accuracy %||Marks per minute||Avg. time per Q|
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! 🙂