While preparing for entrance exams, one of the most important things that students do is give many mock test papers. Based on the pattern of the actual test that they are about to appear for, mock tests help students in analyzing their current level of preparation and also the strategy that they can use in the actual exam.
However, many students are prone to make a major mistake in this. While they give numerous mock tests, they fail to analyze the test after taking it. Giving a mock test and not analyzing it is one of the biggest blunders that students could commit. As I often tell my students, I would rather have the student give 5 tests and analyze them thoroughly rather than give 50 tests and not analyze a single one of them.
So, the million dollar question is, how does one go about analyzing a mock test paper.
Well, once the test is given and you have the answer key, this is how you proceed.
Every question in the paper would fall in one of the following categories:
Each of these categories requires careful analysis.
1. You attempted the questions and got it right.
When a student gets an answer correct, they simply move on to the next one, during the analysis phase. They fail to understand that even questions that were correctly attempted, need analysis. Ask yourself: did you attempt the question in the best possible way? Is it possible to answer the question using an easier method? A faster one? Was the time spent on the question, worth the marks?
2. You attempted the question and got it wrong
Why did you get it wrong? Did you have trouble in understanding or interpreting the question? Did you use the wrong formula or method? Did you make a silly mistake? Or the worst possible thing – did you get the right answer and mark the wrong one the answer sheet? Your analysis should reveal whether you need to brush up the fundamentals of a topic, whether you just need more practice, or whether you simply need to be more careful.
3. You tried the question but could not get an answer and hence did not mark it
Why could you not complete the question? Did you fall short of time? Did you get lost with the answer? Did you quit? Your analysis should reveal whether you need to practice more or whether you need to take a call and leave such questions in the future.
4. You did not attempt the question
Why? Did you not understand the question? Did you feel it was not worth investing time on it? Did you not feel confident with the solution? Did you fall short of time? Your analysis of such questions will reveal what strategy you need to build.
In any case, thorough analysis of each and every question of the mock paper is absolutely necessary. Don’t leave the questions you got right. Don’t be afraid of the questions that you got wrong or left unattempted.
In any case, remember what I said before: It is better to attempt and thoroughly analyze just 5 mock tests rather than attempt 50 and not attempt any.
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