It's high time when there only a few days left for the D-Day and preparations are at their best. So ask yourself a few questions, how many mocks have you given till now? What are the scores you are getting? How much have you increased your percentile from that first mock? Are your scores plateauing, or are your scores going yo-yo (fluctuating between two levels)? If that is the case, then this article might be of some use to you.
One thing which I tell my fellow aspirants again and again is, if you want to reach someplace good, you have to become good and you have to raise your level to the level of that place. So, you people are going to become managers, so think like one and behave like one. Strategise your every move, and back it up with data. Because data is what backs up your intuition and tells you if you have chosen the right thing.
With this let me begin on how you should analyse your mocks. You guys must be doing the basics -
- Analyse the questions which you got wrong. (if it were a silly mistake, practice more of those questions and if they are a conceptual mistake, work on the concepts again)
- See questions on which you spend time but couldn’t solve because you did not seem to remember that formula or rule to be followed while solving these questions. (go back to basics, work on the concepts and practice more and more)
- The questions don’t click to you at all. (read the solution and remember this type of question for the next time you encounter this)
Broadly speaking these three will include all of your questions in a paper. Apart from this what you need to do to ensure that your scores are not plateauing. To check on that we have two parameters, which are directly given at the end of each mock analysis. They are -
- Number of attempts and
The best way to monitor is to use an excel sheet for your mock scores, where you can enter the accuracy, the number of attempts, percentile obtained, expected percentile etc. for tracking your progress, and at the end come up with a graph of this sort. Also, you can play as much as you want with graphs, they provide wonderful insights into the data which cannot be obtained by merely looking at the data. Here the bars represent the number of attempts and the blue line represents my percentile and the orange line the accuracy. Looking at this graph on test number 7 you can see that even though the number of attempts was low, but the accuracy was an all-time high, which helped me achieve a high percentile. So the ideal strategy for the next test, test 8 should be to try and keep the same accuracy with a slight increase in number of attempts, alas that didn’t happen in my case :)
Similarly, if you look at my tests 4, 7 and 10, you will realise that whenever I had the number of attempts lower I maintained higher accuracy. This I realised was my style of giving the mocks, keep the attempts lower and accuracy higher. Now if you look at test 6, 8, 12 and 14 you will see that my number of attempts were high, but accuracy was low; thus overall percentile was lower.
Consider a hypothetical case where you attempt 60 questions with an accuracy of 75%, you will score on and around 45*3-15=120 marks. And if you attempt 80 questions with 60% accuracy you will score 48*3-32=112 marks. So you can see how increasing your attempts without an increase in accuracy is of no use. The ideal way to do this is to break this section wise, in VA you should aim for 30+ questions with an accuracy of 70-75% accuracy. For DI/LR and QA your accuracy should be at least 80-85% accuracy, so that with a nominal 23+ attempt and 30+ attempts in DI/LR and QA should give you a decent score of 99.5+%ile. Again this all is assuming the same difficulty level as last year. The attempt number can go down according to the difficulty level of the paper. However the idea is to have a command over your accuracy, you should be able to judge after giving your paper how many marks you are going to get. This will ensure you stay confident in your last days, and also you won’t have anxiety attacks post CAT.
At the end, this is what I did for analysis of mocks, I found it useful, and it may happen that you may find it completely useless. The trick is to find the right strategy for you, which suits you, to bell the CAT.