Tips for improving accuracy in different sections of CAT

  • Improving your accuracy in different sections of CAT can involve different methods. But one common feature that can be adopted across sections is to identify the cause of the answer being wrong. Once you have identified the cause, see how you can rectify it.

    Verbal Section : Majority of the questions in the Verbal section is RCs. The most common error that happens is due to not understanding the central idea of the passage. Two of the most common errors out here are incorrect reading habit and reading for details instead of the central idea.

    Incorrect reading habit - It is usually seen that students either read too fast or too slow due to which they are not able to comprehend. Reading too fast loses the focus on main plot and reading too slow leads to mind wavering to other topics and not being able to concentrate on the topic at hand. Find the right speed you should read to able to comprehend the passage. This could vary from person to person based on his or her reading habit.

    Reading for details - If your focus of reading is to grasp every small detail in the passage there is a high chance that you may miss out on the central idea of the passage. Ensure that you read the first few lines and the last few lines carefully as that is where the crux of the passage is. For the rest of the passage you can focus on the central idea.

    For the other type of questions in Verbal section it makes sense to make a book where you write down your errors and go through it regularly. This will ensure that you are aware of it and may help you to reduce the errors over a period of time.

    Maths : Identify why the error is occurring. One of the common errors is due to the fact that the student has misread the question. The cause is the time pressure, and in a hurry to solve a sum, students generally do not interpret the question properly. One of the ways to avoid this is to read what is exactly asked (need not be the whole question) twice.

    Other common errors are calculation mistakes, marking wrong answers, not considering negative values, etc. Identify the common mistakes and try to correct it. A couple of silly mistakes in a test is fine and everyone is prone to it. Anything more than that needs to be corrected.

    Another source of error is focusing on TITA questions. Students tend to attempt TITA questions even if they are difficult. The thought process is that there is nothing to lose as there are no negative marks. But while attempting tough TITA questions, you end up losing time which is important resource in CAT. Idea of solving the paper should be to pick up easiest of the questions, TITA or not.

    Logic : Common mistake that happens in logic section is because we do not take into consideration all data that is given. We miss out on a small information. It is important that we mark the data we are considering while solving a logic sum and are aware of what data we have not considered while solving it. Reread the data that you have not considered and see if that makes a difference to the solution at hand.

    Another common error is not considering alternate solutions. Once we get a solution we start solving the sum. Be careful for alternate solutions especially if there is ‘If’ in the question or the option has ‘cannot be determined’.

    DI : Common errors in DI could be calculation mistakes. After the mock go back and analyse your DI question and identify what are the causes for your mistakes and at what stage do they occur.

    Trying to rectify your mistakes is a very common way to improve your scores. But if you are over cautious the result could be that you may attempt only a few questions that will decrease your marks. Balance between accuracy and speed. I generally say that if your accuracy is above 80%, you can focus on speed. But if your accuracy is below 65%, then you need to improve your accuracy.

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