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With the Common Admission Test, widely known as CAT, for the year 2017 on its way, candidates have started their rampage to prepare for the forthcoming exam. With over 2.3 lakh applicants in 2016, 2017 is expected to bring forth an even larger crowd. When solving 100 questions and negative marking coming into the picture, candidates tend to get frustrated and make hasty decisions eventually falling prey to negative marking. Let us look into a few tips and tricks which can stop you from getting negative marking and improve your overall percentile for CAT.

  • Do not hastily mark questions you do not know the answer to: If you do not know what the answer is to a question as you are going through the question paper, do not randomly mark any option which you think might be right. Chances that the option you pick is wrong, is 3 times the probability that the option you picked will be right.

  • Be careful with your calculations: While doing calculations to solve a problem, ensure that you write them down legibly and in a manner such that you do not get mixed up with the right option for the answer.

  • Understand the question properly: Take your time to grasp the question properly. You can only answer the question correctly if you completely understand what the answer is required for. Candidates have been regularly losing marks as they misinterpreted the question and accordingly gave a hasty answer which cost them with negative marking.

  • Time Management: With 100 questions to be solved in an overall time of 180 minutes, assign an average of 1 minute for each question. Save time on the simpler questions and use that spare time on the not-so-easy-to-crack questions. Effective time management will help you, not to make hasty decisions and give you time to make calculated decisions.

  • Keep yourself focused: The CAT Exam is not an exam where you ought to be wasting your time checking out the exam hall and what’s on the other side of the windows. Proper concentration is required as we can infer from the previous point, time that should be allotted for every question is short. Keeping yourself focused and away from distractions is key to an efficient performance for CAT.

  • Taking calculated risks: Making a guess now and then is fine, but it is never an option to depend upon to get you through the exam. Find a question with the odds in your favour and accordingly make a calculated risk. Cross check the answer with the question with the option you are choosing. There are some rare questions where the answer can be obtained by applying each answer to the question, verifying the answer in the process.

  • Keep away from last minute answering: With the CAT exam time running out, candidates have a habit of marking the unanswered questions with wild guesses, which more often than not, proves to be a bad decision.

  • Do not be a glutton for maximum questions: Go after maximum correct answers rather than 100 percent attempted questions. As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Do not throw away whatever marks you’ve earned through the questions you’ve answered right for an off chance that you might get a few more right.

We have now seen a few tips and tricks to optimize your performance for the CAT Exam. Knowing how and where you can lose marks will help you to perform better. As only practice makes perfect, solve sample papers and mock tests, get yourself accustomed to the exam structure and evaluate yourself regularly. There are more tips and tricks to how you can solve questions with more effective and quicker methods.

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