Tips to crack CAT

Last Updated 25 September 2013, 15:49 IST

The removal of common errors is the fastest way to improve your scores- and that should be one of your principal focal points for the last month leading upto CAT. Obviously, when it comes to silly errors each of the three areas of testing in the CAT have their own categories.

When solving a question in English, if at the end of reading the question you do not have an answer, there could be two principal reasons for it:

* The question may be completely beating you and out of your ability and analysis level - in which case, obviously you need to bypass the question.

* Many a time, if you do not get an immediate answer to the question, a closer reading of the question/options might help.

It is this question category, which force you into silly errors that you should focus on in the coming month in order to help you develop your score in the verbal section of the CAT.

One needs to check the following categories of silly errors while preparing for CAT;
n Misreading the question: Many a time, it has been seen that test takers have a tendency to miss out on the exact question - hence resulting in making an error of solving the question they think was asked rather than the question that was actually asked.

For instance, a question like, “Based on the information contained in the passage all of the following is true except,” is misunderstood as trying to find the true option rather than what is actually asked- which is the false option.

Similarly questions like, “Which of the following is not untrue?” uses a double negative to ask for what is true rather than what is false.

n Misreading the options: This is the second most common error in English tests, wherein test takers tend to misread what is given in the options. A close reading of the options will show that one can clearly distinguish between what each of the options tell – hence understanding the context in which the question is asked, and making the answer clear.
Also notice how various options use similar words to confuse the reader about their true meaning- and if your sentence comprehension ability is good, you should have no problems in identifying the difference between each of the options.

Ideally the way to solve any question is to read the question properly- get a fix on what is being asked – and then prephrase the answer to the question in your mind before you go to the options. That is how a good solver of verbal questions approaches questions in this section. Unfortunately, most test takers focus on going directly to the options and trying to choose between them, rather than fixing the answer in their mind before reading the options. This leads to secondary silly errors like getting a fixation on one of the wrong options and justifying it in your mind- leading to a mistake.

Our suggestion would be that you should analyse closely, all the questions you have solved in your verbal and reading comprehension preparation. Do an option comparison to get aware of the different types of errors you are made to fall into while solving questions from this section – so that you do not fall into the same traps on the D-Day.

(Published 25 September 2013, 15:49 IST)

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