Problem Solving Techniques
This new post is intended to pass-on some tips as how to approach a numerical problem to improve the efficiency while attempting an exam.
The biggest mistake that students commit while attempting any problem may it be theoretical or numerical are the presumptions that they have about a problem, these presumptions are based on huge database of problems that you solve while preparing for the exams. As we know GATE exam always has some surprises and these presumptions can have a negative impact on your performance.
So the first step while sitting in an exam room is to have a clear head while reading the question statement as it may have some tweaks from the standard case. I will take an example here, this time in the GATE exam which i gave, i encountered an aptitude problem which was very simple and based on discount concept but additional discount was given on the total amount whereas in real life we encounter discounts like “10%+5%” which is not “15%” but “14.5%” actually so i used this concept and the answer that i got was wrong.
So these sort of mistakes keep happening all the time but you can avoid them if you spare some time to read the problem statement carefully and that will help you a lot and you will also realize the same thing once you start the test series as that time you will see that you are losing marks because of these small mistakes and these mistakes hurt more than the questions that you did not know exactly as the mantra while going about an exam should be “Don’t commit mistakes in the questions that you know well“.
Also, in a GATE exam you must keep an open mind as sometimes the problem may not be what it may appear like in this year GATE one problem was based on Inverters from Power Electronics but it was actually from Signals and Systems as we just needed to find the fundamental component of a waveform given.
The next tip is that while attempting a numerical problem is you should clearly list down the data given in the question to avoid any kind of misunderstanding and also be clear as to what formulas you need to apply to calculate the parameters required as this all will take a short time may be 20sec or so but it will clear your mind about the approach you need to follow and will reduce the calculation time and effort.
So at last i would like to conclude by saying that you must keep a calm mind while attempting any problem and also be clear in your head because most of the time the pressure can get the better of you.