7 Rules to Excel in CAT QA
In this season of Mock CATs, most of the students struggle with the problem of low attempts (and low scores) in QA despite having good knowledge. Many students are unable to choose the right questions while attempting the paper and end up attempting difficult questions that not only take time but also get them negative marks.
However after the paper, while analyzing it or going through the solutions, you suddenly discover that there were many easy questions that you did not notice while attempting the paper. Over the years, watching so many make the same mistake I’ve realized that this usually happens because either you’re not aware of your strengths and weaknesses in different topics of QA or you’re just plain afraid of leaving questions!
When you’re taking a competitive exam like the CAT, it’s not important whether you know more than the others. How you attempt the paper makes all the difference. I’ve always achieved very high scores in QA and cleared many competitive tests due to the way I attempt the section. I have devised seven simple rules for myself – and they work every single time! Here’s how:
Rule 1. I believe that a paper is not a place for R&D; hence I attempt only those question types that I am familiar with. I do not want to attempt any new kind of question in the paper R&D has to be done at home and not inn the examination hall.
Rule 2. I believe in attempting the QA section in 3 Rounds starting with the easiest questions and am not afraid of leaving difficult questions unattempted.
Rule 3. In Round 1 (R1), I will go through the questions sequentially but will attempt only those questions:
a. That are from my area of interest or topics that I am comfortable with
b. That are not lengthy
c. That do
not confuse me in the first reading
d. That can be attempted in about 90 seconds
Rule 4. Lengthy or difficult questions from my area of interest will be marked in Round 1 and attempted only in Round 2 (R2).
Rule 5. If time is available, I will attempt remaining questions Round 3 (R3).
Rule 6. My attempt preference in the QA section is:
a. Number system and rest of Arithmetic
b. In Algebra, I am partial towards progressions, inequalities, quadratic equations, maxima-minima and operators.
c. In Algebra, I prefer solving questions by substitution of choices and avoid questions that have to be solved by the conventional methods.
d. Maxima – minima questions, I usually solve them by differentiation.
e. I attempt most of the Mensuration questions.
f. I avoid questions from Geometry and P & C in Round 1 unless I have solved a similar question earlier.
g. I attempt Probability questions that do not require fundas of P & C in Round 1, the ones that need P & C are usually attempted in Round 2.
h. I usually attempt Grouped questions in Round 2 since logic has be cracked in most cases which can be time consuming.
Ofcourse, this preference is based on my strengths and weaknesses and will differ for everyone.
Rule 7. I read the choices along with the question as it helps in deciding the amount of calculation, elimination of choices and in substitution.
What Next: Based on your strengths and weaknesses work out a similar set of rules for yourself and attempt a Mock CAT using them. In the video analysis of Mock CATs you would have seen me applying these rules. I will also upload a paper separately along with a write up on how I attempted the paper.
In the next blog-post, I will share with you my “7 Rules to Excel in VA”