In 2018, I was prepared much better than 2017 but scored less than 2017.
I couldn’t figure out even months after exam what went wrong that day?
I took the mock at home and was able to score much better.
Then finally on 1st Feb 2019 ( 2 days before Gate exam)
Few questions came to my mind, what went wrong on that day? All it matters is luck to get a good rank? What if I am out of luck again on 3rd Feb.
Surely there is something more than luck. I thought let’s analyze the paper with time take for each question excluding aptitude(yes i literally noted time for each problem, reading them and solving them). It simply can’t be luck there is something that I am missing.
So I wrote the time taken for each question in an excel and made a bar graph out of it.
No. of questions vs time take
The picture was pretty clear I started with a hard question of 2 marks on that day in 2018 and wasted time and eventually lost confidence with coming questions.
So I need to find easy questions first one could use the question paper button in the top and scroll and see all the questions and analyze it, but after giving TIFR and ACE CBT, I knew scroll won’t work in exam, (but works in mock test) and dragging and viewing the questions from question paper tab in exam is an overhead.
So what more does the Graph tell ?
More than $10$, $2$ marks questions can be solved within $2$ minutes.
Around $15$, $1$ mark questions can be solved around a minute.
So basically I could solve $25$ questions in $35$ minutes and being easy expecting an accuracy of 90%.
This is it I got my new strategy (yeah 2 days before exam I changed my attempt strategy)
I did attempt them in multiple pass, but revisiting same undone questions and reading them again $(55-10-15)$ those $30$ questions will cost at least $15$ minutes. Is it worth it?
I need to save the questions in my first pass that I want to visit in my second pass.
Mark for Review option came to rescue.
In my first attempt I needed to do one of the following for each question:
- Answer it -Confident revisit not required.
- Answer it and mark for review if has calculation and requires revisit.
- Mark for review.(Not answered)-2nd pass
- Not answered- If I get time
So I started with 1 mark questions after I was done with aptitude
$18$ questions done in $25$ minutes.
$9$ questions in $20$ minutes.
And at the end of $1$ hour my paper looked like something like this(I don’t remember exactly)
Now in the second pass I started with $2$ marks questions as I knew dedicating more time to $2$ marks questions is worthy than trying to solve $1$ mark question and proceeded with that.
Solving around $12$ questions took an hour. (Should have been a bit better than this around $15$)
If these $12$ questions appeared at the starting, it creates lot of problems or even 3 appearing at start is good to give you tension I had faced it in 2018.
So I was left with around 1 hour I knew, I need to wrap up fast in order to revise so I visited all questions and gave them attempt.
And was able to wrap it up within 2 hours and 45 minutes, leaving 15 minutes for revision. And Importance of revision could be found here
P.S. : Please don’t blindly copy it, test it , everyone has a different strategy that suits them best, solve all previous year and discover your best strategy. I have discussed with few others who got more than 70 marks and each of them had a different attempt strategy and probably the best for them.