How to Get Maximum Benefits from Mocks?
Whenever you are preparing for SSC CGL or any other competitive exam for that matter, mock tests are of utmost importance to maximize your chances of selection. It provides you a great reality check while adding extra flavor in your preparations. In this article, I am going to explain how you can maximize your learning from mocks.
Things to Keep in Mind Before You Start Attempting a Mock Test for SSC-CGL
- Choose good quality sample papers. This is the first and the most important thing to consider when you decide to start attempting. There are a plethora of mock tests available in the market and it is not uncommon to get lost in this ocean of choices. Take feedback from already selected candidates or your mentor or your fellow aspirants before zeroing on sample papers of a particular platform.
- Try to reciprocate the exact conditions which you are going to encounter in the real exam. Attempt mock tests from laptop/PC if availability is not an issue. Apart from this, attempt mock while sitting on a table rather than half lying on your bed. These small things go a long way in refining your performance.
- Be honest with yourself. It’s very tempting to open a new tab and search answer for a question which you don’t know. Many candidates do this so as to score some extra marks or to compete with their peers or for reasons best known to them. You are betraying yourself if you are indulging in such activities.
- There is a pro tip for you. If you are attempting a mock of one-hour duration, treat it as a 55 minutes test. If the duration of your mock test is 2 hours then try to finish it in 1 hour and 50 minutes. In the actual exam, there will be some question or the other which is bound to get stuck. Either it will be very complex or very lengthy. If you practice with this reduced time duration then you are basically securing insurance for such questions.
- Do not pause your mock in between. Complete the mock in one sitting.
Things to Do After Attempting the Mock:-
Once you have completed the mock test, it’s so easy to just check your score and leave. If you score more than what you generally score, then you might feel on the seventh sky and if you score low then you might feel disappointed. Both these reactions are perfectly normal and are in line with human nature but do not leave your mock here. Once you have attempted a particular sample paper and checked your score, your actual work starts. You have to analyze your mock no matter how boring it feels.
Here I will explain section wise How to Analyze the Mock Tests:
- Reasoning:- First thing that you have to see is how much time did you take in solving reasoning section. In tier 1 exam, you can’t afford to give more than fifteen minutes to reasoning. If you are taking more time than it, then you need to practice more. After checking the duration, go through the solution of each and every question irrespective of whether you attempted it correctly or not. There might be some trick or another easier way to solve a particular question which you might not have known earlier. Your aim in this section should be to score around 46 at least. Scoring 40-42 is not that tough but each mark above that demands sheer hard work. After you have given a few mocks, you will notice a pattern of topics where you are consistently making mistakes. Those are basically your weak areas and you need to practice those topics. Whatever mistakes you make in mock test, either silly or conceptual, note it down in a separate notebook and revise it before the next mock test.
- General Awareness:- Just like reasoning, the first thing that you need to see is how much time you took to solve this section. Ideally, you should not take more than five minutes in this section. Go through each and every question one by one and note down or bookmark the questions which you couldn’t do. Revise those questions periodically and try not to commit the same mistakes in next mock tests. There will always be some questions that would be too trivial or something which you might feel too factual. Do not worry much about those questions and try to score well in scoring parts like Indian polity, history, physics etc. After a few mock tests, you will notice a pattern where you are making mistakes. That section where you are making the mistakes is the one which you need to revise or redo. Importance of mock test is not that great in this particular section.
- Quantitative aptitude:- This is the most important section as far as mocks are concerned. Just like previous sections, see how much time you devoted to this section. Ideally, you should be able to do this section in 20 minutes in tier 1. Scoring 35 in tier 1 in this section is not very difficult but you need to score 45+ to make a difference. After attempting the mock test, see the solution of each and every question irrespective of whether you attempted it correctly or not. There is always something to learn in the solution of even those questions which you have done correctly. Again there might be some pattern in topics where you might not be scoring on expected lines. Identify those topics and practice those from your reference books. Note down the questions, which you did wrong or were not able to solve at all, in a separate notebook. Even if you commit a silly mistake, note down it in a notebook and keep looking at it periodically. The mistake you committed in a particular test is going to be repeated by you in real exam too if you do not revise it. We usually shrug off those mistakes by categorizing them as “silly mistakes” or mistakes committed in “exam stress” but in reality, the seeds of these mistakes are sown in mock tests.
Do the same thing while analyzing tier 2 mocks.
- English:- Just like other sections, the first thing you need to look at is how much time you took to attempt this section. After that, go through each and every question. Questions based on error finding or sentence improvement are especially the ones that you need to look at carefully. Sometimes we make a guess in these questions and that works occasionally well. Sometimes we think of some error in some sentence and attempt it. Although that attempt might be correct sometimes there is a different error for the same questions in same part. We “accidentally” end up correctly attempting it. You need to be careful in those questions. Your main aim should be to learn rather than to score in this section. After that carefully go through vocabulary based questions i.e. synonyms, antonyms, one-word substitution, and idioms. Note down those which you were not able to do correctly.
There is no particular criterion for the marks that you need to score in mocks. Even if you are getting 120 in tier 1 mocks, you may clear the exam or you may not because no one can guess how tough your real exam would be. Despite normalization announced, there is still some luck factor in GS section. Does this mean you should leave everything to luck? NO. Even if you are scoring 165+, there is still some scope for improvement. If you are scoring 120-130, then there is obviously a lot of scope for improvement. So just keep improving. There is no one competing with anyone, it’s just you and only you whom you have to defeat. Give mocks, look at the score and then analyze questions properly. No matter what you score, you should always look to improve.
To know more about SSC-CGL, read these blogs.
- How to Prepare English for SSC-CGL Exam?
- How to Prepare Maths for SSC-CGL Exam?
- Backup Options for SSC-CGL Aspirant