What is better: Make a Guess or Skip a question?

What is better: Make a Guess or Skip a CAT question?

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One single question in the CAT exam can make or break your career. What if you are stuck between yes and no to answer a certain question? This is one of the most common issues that CAT aspirants face.

Each Student is different but there are certain common lines that can be drawn to mark answer to a particular question specially, when you have reached upto 50-50 in choice. There are some methods that can be adopted in the following ways:-
Approximations: CAT, as any other competitive exam, demands solution in fixed timings. Solving sums with exact numbers would be time-consuming. Here the solutions usually come with approximations, to save time and increase the number of attempts. This method can be applied to mark an answer if we are relatively sure for two choices.
Trial and Error: This is done where no rule or shortcut technique applies. Usually, this is done while solving problems which have answers that are feasible to guess. It is a shot in the dark.

Type in the answer (TITA) type of questions is the change you need to look out for in CAT exams as it does not have negative marking. 30% of questions belong to TITA, thus making them the easiest question to score from.

Each student is different from another and so is their ability to solve a puzzle. So, don’t go by others. Their capacity to figure out the right answer is their capacity at the end of the day. As for you, your caliber is different from them. Here are the four categories of a question –

  1. It seems you can calculate the right answer and that too in less time then solve it right there.
  2. It seems a question is difficult yet can be solved though it will take time; keep it in the review zone. Solve it later.
  3. It seems that the question is too difficult, don’t touch it.
  4. While solving a question, if you feel caught at a certain point, keep the question in review zone. Solve it later.

The smart usage of time

  1. Attempt the section which you are confident at. So at least the possibly solvable questions do not remain undone.
  2. Then get the job done with the questions that you solve but they are believed to take a bit more time.
  3. Give two minutes to solve these questions but if it appears that the solution is still not on its way, leave the question.

A quick walkthrough –

  1. Read the question. Solve it if it appears easy.
  2. Keep the question in the review zone if you think it’s going to take a bit more time.
  3. If any question is too difficult for you, don’t waste your time on it.
  4. If you are not able to solve a question beyond a certain point, keep it in the review zone, come back later.
  5. And last but not the least – mark only when you know the answer with no scope of doubt.
  6. Do not make wild guesses.

CAT 2020 is just a few days away and aspirants should start preparing from now. The idea is to get the hang of answering the questions with accuracy. The other (last-minute) choice is to be able to guess an answer by:
• Understand what the question wants from you
• Examine the options provided
• Eliminate the far-fetched options
• Choose the better fit between the options left (if any)
• Fish out your answer from the question itself

When a candidate is stuck with a question, s/he tries to judge with the luck factor. Relying on guesswork isn’t advised as it may reduce your percentile. Remember about the negative marking i.e. one-third of marks are deducted for every wrong answer. Learning the art of choosing the best strategy to solve a management exam is essential.

The tips are based on comprehensive experience and views from test prep experts and students from Jaipuria Institute of Management, pursuing or completed PGDM programmes and from test prep experts.