[Strategy] The Art of Preparing for Aptitude Exams

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Unacademy Plus Mrunal Economy for Prelims and Mains UPSC!
  1. Rule #1: Maintain a Diary of Mistakes
  2. Rule #2: Get your hands “DIRTY”
  3. Rule #3: Know when to give up the fight.
  4. The Mock-test “SERIES” for CSAT
  5. Previous Articles on Aptitude

Rule #1: Maintain a Diary of Mistakes

Consider this equation
x-33=(17/2)
=>2x -33 =17
=>2x=17+33
=>2x=50 hence x=25.

Wrong! The Correct answer is 41.5.
What was the mistake? We multiplied 2 with x, but forgot to multiply 2 with 33.

This is a frequent calculation mistake made by many candidates, But in CSAT/CAT/IBPS, they’ll also give “25” as one of the four answers, so people happily tick “25”, come out of the exam hall and boast about how excellently they performed (mera paper toh bahot acchaa gayaa!).

  • Then waste 3 months in doing nothing but cut-off and result date speculation. Come August, enter your roll number in UPSC website and it says
  • “Sorry! your name doesn’t figure in the list of successful candidates!”
  • Dream is shattered, become Devdas for a few months, then again gather up courage to re-appear in the next prelims.
  • And this Cycle continues because you did not take follow the first rule of aptitude preparation, called “Maintaining The Diary of Mistakes
  • Whatever mistakes you make or tricks that you discover, while solving the sums at home, do note them down in your diary. Keep a track of your progress. Go through this diary before going in the exam hall.
  • You don’t need to write a lengthy formal note, just a crude line in your own mother-tongue, e.g. for above mistake:
  • “bracket mein multiplication jaroori”
  • (necessary to multiply in bracket)
  • In the same way, also check explanations given in the book and see if your method was faster and more convenient. Also note down such discoveries.

Here are few points from my Diary of Mistakes

  • In Data interpretation, do see its unit: lakhs and crores before ticking answer.
  • To type 1 to 300 on keyboard:· 100-300 got 201 numbers and to type every number, need 3x keystrokes.
  • 5/4 speed = 4/5 time. So 1-4/5= 1/5 of original minutes are saved.
  • 20% discount on stock, getting 15% on face value, yield always remains the same. 15/80=18.75, irrespective of investment.
  • Join midpts of rectangle= rhombus

^these may not make any sense to you, because this is my “personal” diary out of my “field-adventures”. You’ve to set out on your own adventurous journey and maintain a diary like this.

Rule #2: Get your hands “DIRTY”

  • To actually write a diary, you’ve to walk on a lengthy field trip. If you just “read” the solved-sums in the book, it is not going to help you.
  • “Reading” the sums will only help you memorize the formula and the procedure involved in solving the sum. It will by no means, save you from making silly mistakes in the actual exam.
  • You cannot know what type of silly mistakes you’ll make in the exam, unless you make them at home.
  • So, When you make mistake at home, don’t feel sad or guilty about it, take it in a positive sense:

Now I’m· less likely to make that mistake in the exam! So by making the mistake, I’ve increased y winning chances.

  • Aptitude cannot be learned by reading the books, you’ve to get your hands dirty by calculating the sums on your own.

Rule #3: Know when to give up the fight

  • You’re doing a sum on permutations, you do calculations, but your answer doesn’t match any of the 4 given options.
  • You recheck the multiplications, still no help. Then you start from scratch again, trying a different approach and logic to the same question.
  • In this process 7-10 minutes are wasted and you don’t even realize it.·
  • People get stuck in a sum, they don’t leave it, they keep fighting and calculating· again and again with different angles.
  • Always keep a wrist watch ready, because they don’t allow mobile phones in the exam hall, and you’ve to keep track of time!
  • If you’re not getting the answer, Just leave it for the end, keep moving forward.
  • The ‘arrangement’ questions are very notorious for this e.g. A is father of B and an engineer, B is mother of C who is a teacher and..
  • Such questions may eat up 10-12-15 minutes if you’re not very careful, because everytime you don’t get the answer, you’ve to read the entire paragraph one more time.
  • And there is ‘greed’ involved, since you’re unable to solve previous 20 mathematical sums in the exam, you’re under stress. You think you can solve this sum,· so out of the greed, you don’t give up and in the process you end up wasting precious time.
  • All this happens because you did not follow the two principles: you didnot maintain a diary and you didnot get your hands dirty.

Practice is essential.

The Mock-test “SERIES” for CSAT

  • March-April is “Diwali-season” for Delhi’s coaching classes.
  • It is their final chance to rob the aspirants, before preliminary exam.
  • People live in some myth that : One must join a “Mock Test Series” during this time.
  • They join the regular or postal test-series after paying Rs.1500 to 7000 depending on the reputation of the class.
  • Some request their Delhi-friends to get ‘fax’ the photocopies.
  • Some of them so naïve they think they’ll actually get questions from this in the UPSC exam.
  • So if Xyz “sir”‘s test-series asked about the number of countries sharing border with Burkina Faso, these people will actually mug up the answer, thinking that it’ll come in UPSC.
  • You should keep in mind that UPSC also keeps a track of such test-series and makes sure that no question comes out of this. Beside the level and style of UPSC question is just unique in its own way. It is beyond the aukaat of anybody to actually replicate the toughness and variety of questions of real-CSAT exam.
  • Besides UPSC has taken only one CSAT, so we don’t have enough authentic questions to build and speculate mock aptitude-questions. What these ‘test-series’ peolpe are doing? Just lifting and rephrasing the aptitude questions from earlier Bank PO, CDS/NDA exams, set up a ‘mock-test’ and rob 2000-5000 rupees.
  • Ofcourse such simulated mock tests have their benefits, they gear you up for the exam, they give you practice, you can know about your weak areas. But I don’t really see the logic in demanding 5000 rupees for such mock-tests, this is as absurd as Kalmadi’s overcharged sports equipments in CAG.
  • And I can cite a dozen+ names who cleared prelims earlier without even touching such series.
  • Anyways in any case, what is the ‘right time’ to appear for mock test? Only after you’ve completed the topic or the syllabus. Otherwise you won’t be able to solve many questions and it’ll only add to frustration. And there are enough mock-questions given at the end of your aptitude books: Arun Sharma, RS Agarwal, Pearson or any book you’re using- You’ve truckload of questions in them for practicing @home.

So get your hands dirty, maintain a diary and get crack the CSAT exam. Same advice for IBPS, CAPF, CDS, SSC all of them.

Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

93 Comments on “[Strategy] The Art of Preparing for Aptitude Exams”

  1. thanx a lor sir for ur fabulous guidance.

  2. Hello Sir,

    My age is about 26. I have through with CDS exam two times.When i just passed out my college. Both the time i couldn’t pass the GD. Then i came in Delhi i Kick off my Designing course.In the present i have a good Job in private sector, but still i wanna be join Govt job. I applied for 2013 bank PO exam. I am preparing for this. But, could you please let me know, can i prepare for this exam in two months, or there is still any chance to apply for UPSC exam. If it is let me know which exam is this. Thanks

  3. Sir,

    Thank you so much for maintaining a good website!

    This is Very useful for All Students !

  4. mrunal bhai,
    please give the logic of these 2 question it’s very confusing always making mistake

    Q1 A gentleman has 7 friends to invite.in how many ways can he send invitation cards to them,if he has three servants to carry the card??? ans::3^7

    Q2 in how many ways 3 prizes can be given away to 7 boys when each boy is eligible for any number of the prizes?? ans:: 7^3

    thanx how to get this bro???
    reply soon waitng

    1. nav

      i used to solve this problem like this
      q1)7cards so 7 possible permutations with repetition ,number of elements 3
      formula is n^r
      q2)3 prizes =3 possible permutations, n=7

      just look at the solutions, there is a trick to solve … find it out

    2. see the difference…”when each boy is eligible for any number of the prizes” i.e. even a single person can get all three prizes…while in Q1, 1 person will get only one invitation card…by any of three servent…i.e. Person A can get invitaion by servent1/2/3 total 3 ways….same with person B…and so on…so total ways…3*3*3*3…so on=3^7
      but in Q2. : A prize can be given in 7 differen ways..so the answer is 7*7*7=7^3
      hope its clear… :)

  5. mrunal bhai,
    please give the logic of these 2 question it’s very confusing always making mistake

    Q1 A gentleman has 7 friends to invite.in how many ways can he send invitation cards to them,if he has three servants to carry the card??? ans::3^7

    Q2 in how many ways 3 prizes can be given away to 7 boys when each boy is eligible for any number of the prizes?? ans:: 7^3

    thanx how to get this bro???
    reply soon waitng

  6. hats off to u sir…great job…

  7. nav

    i used to solve this problem like this
    q1)7cards so 7 possible permutations with repetition ,number of elements 3
    formula is n^r
    q2)3 prizes =3 possible permutations, n=7

    just look at the solutions, there is a trick to solve … find it out

  8. i . if we have a little mistakes so that i got the incorrect answer of the question. please suggest GOOD Book and Online Preparation.
    as i want to like this score of the exam. PLEASE SELF PRACTICES FOR ALL BANKING COMPETITION.

  9. its very useful.thank u sir

  10. Respected sir

    Pls i need material to study for the exam on 31st march 2013.

    Pls send to my mail id sir i need ssc study material and syllabus pls pls if u can forward me.

    Kindly pls forward sir
    Thanking you

    Regards
    D.arathi

  11. Nice strategy sir.It will help alot for my csat exam.Thank you very much…

    Regards
    Chalesh

  12. great job really helping to understand the things in the better way possible

  13. i am new in this site this is suberb
    you are best sir……………
    graet job..>>>
    please give some more ncrt or other files on political science

  14. thank you so much sir, plz give me detail information related to M.S.W.

  15. mrunal sir! u don’t even know that how many people’s life as well as career u have made,but u r still guiding us day by day;we all salute u!i am also aspirant jumped in this field just 3 months ago and ur site has helped me a lot,

  16. HEllO everyone……

  17. Thank you mrunal Sir, you are just like god for us…….. Thank you very much

  18. When ever I feel low during course of my preparation, your blog is of immense help both in terms of knowledge and motivation.

    God bless you for your great work….

  19. thanks mrunal i learnt many things from your article.

  20. hey mrunal,could you please suggest me some good practice paper book for csat paper-2?

  21. Doston ek quest hai jo bahut pareshan kar raha hai, agar kisi ko aata hai to soln de do yaar.

    Question on simple interest:

    Q. A sum of Rs 10 is lent to be returned in 11 monthly instalments of Re 1 each, interest being simple. Find the rate of interest.

    If anyone knows the soln plz provide the step by step soln with explanation.

    1. in 11 months total payment will be Rs 11. so total interest will be Rs (11-10)=1. total time is 11 months when it is converted in year will be 11/12 year, we know interest rate = (total_interest*100)/(principal*time)%, so here it will be = (1*100)/{10*(11/12)}%= approx.10.91%.

      1. Answer is approx 10.9%

        1. But after paying 1st installment, the principal has changed for 2nd month. Similarly for successive months,principal will keep on changing and after 11 months it will be equal to zero. Question isn’t that straightforward as it seems.

          1. BUT BUDDY SIMPLE INTEREST IS CALCULATED ON PRINCIPAL ONLY FOR COMPLTE TIME PERIOD AND C.I IS CALCULATED ON NEW PRINCIPAL AFTER ADDING INTEREST EACH TIME..
            SO CALCULAT IS SIMPLE ACC TO ME..

    2. Correct answer is 231/11..

      1. Correct answer is 240/11..

  22. hello sir
    please tell me about the strategy to prepare IBPS PO specially english & computer.

    WITH REGARDS,
    PANKAJ GAUTAM

  23. hello sir
    how can i prepare for reasoning for bank and other exam like AO, Assistant bcoz the pattern is changing day by day

  24. In the decision making section, is it required that your decision making must match the existing law, economics, or political systems or is it to test how good are you out of the box?

  25. hello sir.. i need shortcut method for maths.. because am very week in aptitute… how to prepare easily

  26. Sir please guide me which book should i buy? R S Aggarwal,pearson or arun sharma for CSAT

  27. Hello Sir , Plz Suggest us strategy for IBPS PP.

    Thank You very much.

  28. hello sir,
    I am looking for the upsc exam assistance commandend, please guide me

  29. well.. do u give any personal classes ?

  30. Sir i am in last year computer engineering. can i apply for IBPS xam before my graduation completes.? or will hav to wait till last year gets over??

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