How to Analyse Mock Test Papers to Crack Your CAT Exam?
Analysing mock test papers is the most important step after you have finished taking them. It’s like looking in the mirror to see what needs fixing. Evaluating your performance will help you identify your weak areas so you can get better into it. In this blog, we have developed a step-by-step guide on how to analyse your mock paper.
We are using one of our student’s mock test papers, specifically iCAT 30, to show why mock analysis is so crucial and how you can do the same effectively without too much fuss.
What are the Steps for Preparation for a Mock Test?
Step 1: Sound concept buildup
Students enroll in Coachify Institute and attend every class to get more clarity of each concept. In this way they develop strong fundamentals.
Step 2: Implementation of the concept
The students solve questions from modules provided by Coachify Institute to learn to implement the concept. For an average student, it is expected that the student solves at least 150–200 questions on each topic to gain a strong hold for each and every concept in detail.
Step 3: Test-Taking Strategy
So, the first two steps have been the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) oriented parts of the exam (learning concepts and solving modules), and now this step will cover the EQ (Emotional quotient) aspect of the training for this exam. Students often panic during exams due to concerns of completing the paper on time and varying difficulty levels of the questions. Their mind gets clouded with all sorts of negative thoughts and they lose rationality. In doing so, they may even miss easy questions they would otherwise solve correctly.
By attempting more and more mock papers, students find a vast improvement in their scores. Students are advised to attempt a minimum of 25+ mock tests. But their work simply does not end there. Analysing the mock questions is more important than writing them into confusion. Let’s assume the student’s understanding of concepts was clear, his implementation was good and he has solved questions from modules. Now, let us assess his mock paper iCAT 30 that he attempted and see the efficiency of the student in taking the exam. We will learn about shortcomings as well as possible areas of improvement. This will give you a clear idea about how you can analyse your Mock paper performance.
How to analyse your mock paper?
Step 1: Open the analysis report
After clicking “Report”, you will reach the summary page where you can see the sectional split.
|S.No.||Section||Total Questions||Correct Response (C)||Incorrect Response (I)||Un-attempted Response (U)||Accuracy (%)|
Moreover, accuracy is the percentage of correct answers out of the total number of attempted questions.
Here is the marking scheme you need to consider for each question:
|Question Categories||Correct Answers||Incorrect answers||Un-attempted||Duration|
To score in the 100 percentile, one needs to gain roughly a 70–75 percent score, making it crucial to attempt the paper selectively. Cut off marks are not there but the percentile is there.
So what is Percentile?
The percentile refers to the student’s position compared to the other candidates. So, if a student’s percentile is 99, it means 99% of the total number of students who appeared have scored lower than him or her in the exam, while 1% of the same have scored higher. Now that we have observed this, we will move to the next step.
Step 2: National Percentile
After clicking on the national percentile, you can see that this test-taker has ranked 13 out of 7698 students on the national level.
(This will allow you to evaluate your performance here in the real-time to understand what your standing in the PAN India Level is.)
Step 3: Overview of your present performance rank/status
If you scroll down further, the bar graph effectively indicates where the student stands among other candidates in overall and individual sections: VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension), DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning), and QA (Qualitative Aptitude). The bar chart presents a visual representation comparing the students’ scores with those of who got 99.5 and 99 percentiles, helping them to have a clear idea of where they need to improve.
But the most important part still remains like where are they lagging behind or where they need to improve. This brings us to the next step.
Step 4: Question Selection
Each question can be categorised as Easy, Moderate, and Difficult. By attempting a good number of mock questions, you will be able to figure out which question is easy, moderate, or difficult.
The student must solve the easy questions first since they are comparatively easier than most. In this mock paper, the student has left many easy questions un-attempted. However, he has rightly answered the questions he chose to answer, which means he understands the question selection process.
The graphs visually present the efficacy of the student’s question selection, both overall and section-wise.
Since this sample mock paper shows that most of the attempted questions are answered correctly, much of the student’s time and effort have been well spent. It means the student has adequate capacity for question selection.
(So if you closely analyse CAT scorers, you will discover those who achieve a perfect 100 percentile in CAT, their score is never 100%. It hovers around 70% – 75%. This itself proves that attempting the whole test paper is not the goal. The key is to attempt questions selectively. You need to attempt the ones you know you can answer correctly and not waste time on those that you know you cannot provide correct answers. We see that even if you do not attempt the difficult ones, but just the easy and the moderate questions, you will still be able to touch 99+ percentile without any difficulty).
On attempting 20-30 mock papers, your mind will get trained to identify these categories of questions.
To improve a student’s question selection, we at Coachify encourage them to take more topic and sectional tests. This helps them identify their weaker spots and where they need to give more attention.
Step 5: Time Allocation
The above pie chart represents the time taken by the student attempting the paper for each section. The student gets 40 minutes per section, resulting in a total time of 2 hours.
The bar chart shows how around 43 minutes of the paper had no positive impact on the score. If we see it individually, the VARC section was relatively good, DILR could have been better and lastly we can clearly see that QA was his weakest area in this paper. This means his scope of improvement was in QA, meaning this section was the game changer for him.
Step 6: Understanding the balance between speed and accuracy
The further chart will represent the balance between the speed and accuracy. Here, you will see that the average rate for QA questions is 1 minute 49 seconds, for VARC questions is 1 minute 40 seconds and for DILR questions it is 2 minutes. On the other hand, DILR accuracy is 100 %, which is really good. Then on the verbal ability it is 89% and 89% for QA. The QA could have been better. In this case, an accuracy of over 85% is considered good.
Now we will look into individual sections to get a closer look at questions where there was a scope of improvement.
In Overview, we will look at the questions in the QA section where the student has much scope for improvement.
Step 7: Overview of Questions with Area of Improvements in QA (Quantitative Aptitude)
As you can see, the lollipop represents an easy question, the mug is moderate, and the red chili indicates a difficult question.
So the first question, i.e. Q No. 45 was easy, but he ended up taking 3 minutes 10 seconds. So the time consumption was more here. The student took over 5 minutes 21 seconds for an easy question like Q. No. 47. Moreover, for Q. No. 66, the student has taken 8 minutes and 54 seconds. So out of 40 minutes, spending 14 minutes in 2 questions is a significant blunder. It is because the student cannot recognize that there are other questions they can attempt correctly without wasting as much time. This is why, in the end, he only got a little time and decided not to attempt many questions in only 3-5 seconds.
So here a very important question arises: After how many minutes should we decide to skip an answer if we are not unable to answer it?
In roughly 1.5–2 minutes, one should understand whether they can correctly answer the question. The advice is to go through the whole paper this way and then return to those questions they could not solve in the beginning within 2 minutes.
Reasons for not being able to solve a few easy ones might be:
- Because your concept in that area is not clear. To improve it solve more topic tests.
- Because you have made some error in the calculation. This is more likely to happen because you are trying to solve the paper at speed. To reduce these errors decrease your speed a bit.
So, it is evident that you take mock tests to improve your learning and identify your weak areas. As you discover your weak areas, you need to specifically target those types of questions when solving.
Step 8: Overview of Questions with Area of Improvements in DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) Section
At the same time, in the DILR section, there were complex arrangements, unconventional charts, numerical logic and logical puzzles. Q. No. 39, as you can see, was un-attempted which was an easy question. So here student should look into this question to find out what exactly happened in this question and it took 15 seconds to decide that he is going to skip it. The decision making here was surely a poor one. Q. No 43 is an example of good decision making as he took only 4 seconds to decide he is not going to attempt it and this was actually from a difficult level question.
As the student located and worked on his weak points, he improved and scored 104 out of 198 in the last mock test, where the accuracy level increased in the QA section. Moreover, his question selection skills improved since he successfully attempted many easy and moderate questions.
So, in the mock analysis, we can observe that his decision making in certain areas are really good whereas in other areas he still needs to work on. The student identifies and works on the unattempted questions that are easy for many others.
Step 9: Overview of Questions with Area of Improvements in VARC (Verbal and Reality Comprehension) Section
In the VARC section, the student has used the time effectively and to answer moderate level questions. We have observed one thing in English, in respect to jumbled sentences; there are 4 and 6 statement type questions that come in the CAT. If you pay attention, you will realise that CAT gives you TITA (Type in the Answer) form of jumbled questions. You would have to give your order in the form of input. So if it’s 4 statements, it means the question can be answered in 24 different ways out of which the probability of giving the correct answer is 1/24. This is considered to be very less. So in that case, it is advisable that you first attempt the whole paper and then if you have left with more time, you should attempt the Para jumbled questions or leave it un-attempted.
So this is an overall analysis of a mock paper of this particular student. Therefore, you can also conduct your mock analysis in this way to identify your weak points and scope for improvement.
Also, if you are seeking for an one-on-one mock analysis, we will advise you to reach out to us to get trained by Coachify expert mentors.