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Ask anyone in any in any marks range they will say that they could get few more marks if they did not do silly mistake. So if we could minimize it then our marks and ranks could be slightly better.
Giving GATE for the 3rd time I knew I had done lot of silly mistakes in my previous attempts so I thought let’s analyze them and make sure I don’t repeat them in 2019. Few stats

2017 set 2 1 mark 2 mark
Attempt 25 28
Incorrect 6 12
Silly Mistake 3 6
Silly/Incorrect % age 50% 50%
Silly/Attempt % age 12% 21%


2018 1 mark 2 mark
Attempt 22 28
Incorrect 6 12
Silly Mistake 3 6
Silly/Incorrect % age 50% 50%
Silly/Attempt % age 13% 21%

So my $50$% of my mistakes were silly and could be corrected in examination hall, and is clear that in 2018 I did not learn from mistakes made in 2017, but this analysis is available only after exam is over.
Inside the examination hall I have knowledge about attempt only and I need to figure out those silly mistake from total questions with a chance of mistake as 13% for 1 marks and  21% for 2 marks based on my previous stats.

2019 1 mark 2 mark
Attempt 24 32
Incorrect 1 7
Silly Mistake 0 1
Silly/Incorrect % age 0% 14%
Silly/Attempt % age 0% 3%

So apart from improving my knowledge and accuracy I managed to reduce my silly mistakes also, so thought of sharing how I managed to do the same.

Pre requisites:

  1. Using Mark for Review and answered option effectively. (Mark for review option can also be used effectively to finish visiting all the questions in around 1 hour approx as discuss in the blog)
  2.  Maintaining the rough work clear and understandable (possibly in order) 
  3. Develop a habit of finishing the paper in $2:30$ hours: In every test and make an habit of having $30$ minutes for revision.
  4. Having at least $15$-$20$ minutes in the end for revision and having a habit of not chasing undone questions in that time.

Basically average attempt is around $50$ questions, so reviewing $50$ questions in $20$ minutes is very difficult if we can reduce the number of questions to review that would be of great help.

(Q) Which type of questions do we perform silly mistakes ?
Generally what I noticed in my attempt is that I perform silly mistakes in questions that involves calculation,  while silly mistakes in theoretical questions are less likely to happen (except those in which NOT TRUE or INCORRECT has been asked so for that read the question properly).
So the prime objective is to know which type of questions we need to revise in the last $20$ minutes.

(1) How I used is mark for review and answered option?
After answering a question having calculation I marked for it review instead of Save and Next and was shown as marked for review and answered.
So at the end in the last 20 minutes the paper looked something like this:

Image Source: Gate 2019 Mock Test
So basically at the end I had a clear idea of how many questions I need to review only around $17$ questions approx in the last $15$ minutes, so that’s a do able task.

(2) Now maintaining rough sheet in proper order( serial order or any proper order you like) will help in viewing the calculation of the question and reviewing it quickly instead of spending 1 minute searching for the solution.
In 2018 & 2019 we were provided a scribble pad of $24$ pages(considering both sides) and in my center were told specifically that under no circumstances they will provide any additional scribble pad and I had practiced with same so did not have any problem. I recommend you to solve previous years question paper as mock using a scribble pad of 20 pages(4 less) so you are habituated of doing it. Make it by diving an A4 paper in 2 half.

(3) If you are habituated to completing paper in $2$ hour $45$ minute or $3$ hours, speed up you will leave no time for revision.

In the last 20 minutes you need to take the tough call of revising vs the not answered/ not attempted questions. I will recommend revising and here’s why ?
I revised and found 3 silly mistakes in 2 marks questions(2 MOCQ, 1 NAT) that made a difference of $2*3 +0.67*2=7.33$ marks.
I scored $71.67$ and if I had not revise I might have ended up with $64.34$
or if I had managed to do 1-2 2 marks question then $66.34$ or $68.34$ or
making them wrong also and ending up with $63$.
You can figure out the rank difference in each case.
So clearly best case is revising the questions.
Even after this I had a silly mistake of 2 marks I could not eliminate silly mistake but I could clearly minimize it.
And even the popular tests series/coaching centers have made mistakes in their answer keys don’t key whether they are silly or conceptual :p

posted Feb 11, 2019 in Preparation Experience
retagged Apr 25, 2019 by


thank you

Thanks for this post, specially for "revising vs the not answered/ not attempted questions" part

very helpful bro....
Great job Brother! and congratulations...
first of all hearty congratulations from my side...

if this information provided before one or two days before the exam then it has more useful, but now it is useful for future aspirants !

i know most of the people believe or follow successful person tips or suggestions only-- may be this is one of your reason to do not post this blog before the exam !!
Can you also create post about your preparation during 3rd attempt. Whether you were doing it full time or with job. what exactly you did during 3rd attempt. I already read your both blogs and just want to know more

Thanks all
  I thought of posting it before exam but as you said-
most of the people believe or follow successful person tips or suggestions only and moreover I didn't had any data to support my logic which I have after Gate 2019.
Yeah I have that in mind will post it in coming blogs I have list of blogs to cover, by the way a short info I worked from aug 2017 to aug 2018 and from sep 2018 to jan 2019 studied without any job.

You have put up the analysis so beautifully Abhishek. Great job!
Even In 2019 my 16 questions goes for negative marking.And many of them are due to silly mistakes.I will remember ur advices and try to remove my mistakes this year

Thanks for your guidance
You sound like my Future Self 😵

Reading mistakes of someone is like reading an autobiography.