Sunday, September 13, 2009

Article frm a CET Topper!!

A lot of MBA aspirants taking CET are primarily CAT aspirants. So before discussing how to crack CET, it is important to understand difference between the two tests. CAT is a test designed to select only top 1-2 percent from a large pool of students. As a result, it is a conceptual test, which is a good mix of moderate to difficult questions and where selection of questions is crucial. On the contrary, CET is a test to have uniform distribution on both sides of normal curve. As a result, CET is designed as a speed-based test, which consists of easy to moderate questions. So attempting all of 200 questions in 150 minutes is a definitely achievable task, if not easy. Again, in CAT one has to perform across all sections covering various areas of expertise while in CET there is no sectional cut-offs. Randomly distributed questions make things difficult if you want to attempt your preferred area of expertise across the test.

* You should start taking practice tests (around 3 weeks before actual CET) only after you have learned most areas of testing. Realize that there is no selection of questions involved in CET.
* Visual reasoning is truly CET special: not only for its unique appearance in CET but also for making difference in the merit list. These 30-35 questions provide a perfect level playing ground to all candidates irrespective of their areas of expertise due to educational background. An engineer or a commerce/arts graduate has equal chance to excel.
* Unlike CAT, there is no selection of questions involved in CET. You are there to attempt all questions. If you get stuck with some questions, don't spend extra time on them; work by method of elimination; if you still don't arrive to one unique answer, mark one of the possible options and go ahead. You won't be coming back to such questions unless it is a set of questions.
* To avoid it, select 3-4 areas such that your flow of attempting questions on those sections is more or less same. Understand that though these areas are totally unrelated (e.g., group of verbal, quantitative and logical reasoning), difficulty level of questions is not high enough to warrant a lot of concentration.
* The next test should be taken only after you have analyzed your last test thoroughly. There should be some value addition after each test.
* The above process is repeated not more than 2-3 times. Avoid solving the same problem with other elements just to confirm your answer.

Target Setting

* Such a group covers around 120 questions, which should be solved not more than 80-85 minutes. Needless to say, time consuming and weaker sections are to be attempted last.
* Successes always follow high targets set by individuals for themselves. There are a few numbers of good institutes one can reach through CET. But the ultimate goal should be to get premier institutes through CET.
* Speed of attempting questions is bound to vary depending upon your areas of strengths. So first step towards it is to know your areas of expertise very well on the basis of accuracy as well as time.
* Solving 30-35 questions in 40 minutes with 80% accuracy is a good target setting.
* Selection of such groups varies according to your potential. For example, if a person reads slowly, then selecting RC in the group won't be appropriate, as it will cut the flow. Or a person who is not very good at math should keep it out as generally math questions are single and demand different approach for each question.
* Practice tests taken should be of appropriate difficulty: neither too simple nor too difficult. It should not happen that nobody taking the test is able to finish all questions. Practice tests are mean to give you the realistic feel for the test.
* One should try to solve VR questions by method of elimination rather than by deriving a proper solution.
* One can also form such groups on the basis whether questions are in sets of five questions or individual. Typically in set questions (especially logical reasoning), once you get the logic for one the rest can be done in almost no time.
* Normally if you look for questions on a particular area (e.g. verbal) in a test like CET, you lose on time and more importantly it breaks your flow too frequently to concentrate to your highest level.

Important before taking practice tests for CET

* If you are able to arrive at two (or rarely three) possible options by using above procedure, mark one of them and go ahead without spending any extra time on it. Anyways, you will not get the right answer on solving it again as in most of such cases you work with different logic than the examiner.

I am sure most of you know what the CET is about. For the uninitiated: the CET is the Common Entrance Test for Management Institutes in Maharashtra. There are a lot of CET exams but we will be only dealing with the CET mentioned earlier. This examination is an aptitude test held either in May or Feb. It comprises 200 questions covered across various areas like verbal ability/logic, reading comprehension, quantitative ability, data interpretation, logical reasoning and last but definitely not the least visual reasoning. The test is for 150 minutes has multiple options (exactly five) and no negative marking.

How to Crack CET

Now that the CAT percentiles and calls are out, you must have an idea by now as to how you have done and what are your target institutes. You would have also decided on other exams like XAT. So this is the time for state level common entrance test (CET) as well.

* Concentrate on the movement of only one element or movement at only one corner at a time and then eliminate options.

CET Special: Visual Reasoning

CET aspirants just can't forget the fact that CET is a speed-based test. So flow of attempting questions is the most important thing in CET and reasonable speed needs to be maintained.


But definitely VR demands a balance between time and accuracy. Generally solving a visual reasoning question is tedious job and may take around 3 minutes per question. Multiple logics involved for different elements of the same element make job difficult and a little uncertain. And this makes CET a little difficult to crack.

All the best!!! Get cracking!!!

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