It is always said of the QA section, that you can use it to maximize your scores. But that works only when you try multiple strategies in your mocks and then carry the ones that works best for you to your CAT day. Today I'll discuss the QA mocks strategies that I used.
See all do once marking strategy : One of the greatest fears I initially used to have in the mocks was that I spent a lot of time over questions that appeared at the very beginning in the mocks. And what happened due to this was that I attempted the first 15 questions and ran out of time for the ones which appeared at the end. And most of the times during analysis, it came to light that the easiest questions were placed towards the end (or so I felt because I had left those out). Also you would see that in spite of the fact that you spent a lot of time over those questions, you could end up with poor attempts. This could be simply because the questions which were made to be left out were placed at the start in your mock version. So I adopted the see-all-do-once marking technique. I saw all the questions at one go, and marked them green if I knew I would later attempt them once I start attempting. This helped me to see each and every question possible on the paper, and I made sure I don't lose out on the easiest ones. Also, it did take about 5 minutes off me. But in return I knew exactly where my best bets lie.
6 question scan : Many a times, seeing all and doing at once becomes overwhelming. We can see the timer running, and could start thinking that we are spending crucial time just marking the questions. To pacify yourself, reduce the workload by breaking it into chunks. So at one run, I used to see just about 6 questions. And I had set a time limit of 10 minutes for getting over the block of 6 questions. Out of those 6, I could do at least the 3 easiest ones. And I could be pretty much sure that I have done the ones which would fetch me a score of +3. These helped me in not letting the timer frighten me, and again I would have ultimately seen all the questions and made a fair choice based on that.
Strong area first : As the popular opinion is, arithmetic (averages, percentages, profit and loss, time and distance, factors and multiples) is the easiest section on the QA part, and sections such as geometry and permutations and combinations confuse the students a lot. Also, arithmetic more or less comprises 50% of the paper. It makes absolute sense in that case, to see which is that one section which fetches us the most marks. In my case it happened to be arithmetic, so I ended up doing all arithmetic questions in about the first 25 minutes. Then in the rest 15 minutes, I could search my second best area and attempt questions from there. Also, if this strategy works out well for you, then though it may sound like a risk, but you can also consider skipping the sections which you would not attempt in the actual test. You should have a fair idea about all the sections, but you can pay more importance to the strong area and also try to prioritize it while taking mocks.
15 seconds Spot On : Hands down, the best strategy for me. No worries of marking, or selecting a strong area. And, also no worries of not being able to see all the questions But you need to know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses very well to use this strategy. So the 15 second scan, is like an elevator pitch, the question pitches to you in this case. You see the major pointers, how much data is already available, how long is the question (because 15 seconds is to think the solution and not just for reading out the question), how many options can you just rule out, and finally ask yourself that do you think you will get the answer, and if you get it, will it be the right answer? And after all this, ask to yourself if you would like to invest (time and energy) in that question, If yes, then solve it right there, and solve it right. If not, the very next elevator pitch awaits you.
Things to look out for :
1. Attempt only the ones you know you're getting right, no flukes please.
2. Do not rush, goal is to get maximize correct attempts, and not just maximize attempts.
3. The climb after hitting a 99 percentile score, is the most dangerous one, choose very wisely as your choices now will either make it, or break it.
My two cents : While devising a strategy is a good thing you should do, always remember the unpredictable nature of CAT. The single most important thing that will stand out is you being calm and adaptable to such a situation. Instead of following these strategies, you may also consider creating one tailor made strategy uniquely for yourself, as there is no one size fits all strategy here. And wear that for your D-day, it will give you confidence like none other.
Till then, stay true to the prep.
Considering we are in September now, its important to do a reality check of how well versed you are in QA section. We bring to you, a timely resource. Below are 15 QA sectional tests you can attempt and check how your accuracy levels are.
|QA Sectional Test 15||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 14||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 13||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 12||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 11||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 10||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 9||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 8||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 7||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 6||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 5||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 4||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 3||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 2||Click here|
|QA Sectional Test 1||Click here|