This is my third and the last attempt at recording the test while attempting it and sharing the video recording share my thought process while attempting the paper. The reason for me not taking any more papers is simple, I feel that after 3 papers I will be repeating myself and will not be adding value to the students. The series “How I took Mock CAT 2014 – Mock CAT XX” will however continue with other CL faculty members taking the subsequent Mock CATs. There are different ways of taking a paper and while my style of taking the paper will work for some of you it will not work for many others and to ensure that we expose you to different styles of attempting the paper. There is no right or wrong way of taking the paper, choose the style or the method that works best for you.

All these Mocks will be taken (and recorded live) by those who can take the complete paper and not by subject experts who can handle only one part of the paper. After all you too have to attempt the complete paper and not a section. The next paper in this series – Mock CAT 13, will be attempted by Gejo and I am sure you will gain a lot from the way he attempts the paper.

Coming back to the new pattern Mock CAT 12, the recording of my attempt was uploaded on 13th Oct and is available in the analysis section of SIS, it can also be accessed by clicking here. The write up for the benefit of those who do not have the patience of going through the 3 hour video is given below.

Scan the paper: Approximately 3 minutes

I went through the paper (the printout) to understand the structure of the paper and found that the paper had a slightly different structure as compared to the earlier Mock CATs. It had lesser DI, just a couple of questions of DS and more QA questions. In the VALR section there were only 3 RC passages which was not a problem. The breakup of the paper was:

  1. 2 questions of DS
  2. 15 questions of DI in 4 data sets
  3. 33 questions of QA
  4. 14 questions of LR in 4 data sets
  5. 12 questions of RC in 4 passages
  6. 24 questions of Verbal logic and English usage.

With the paper by and large sticking to the standard pattern, I decided to continue with my standard time allocation of 80 minutes to VALR and 90 minutes to QADI and also did not see any reason to change the sequence of attempting the sections as given below:

  1. Verbal Logic and English usage
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Logical Reasoning
  4. QA Round 1 Questions
  5. DI
  6. QA Round 2 Question
  7. QA Round 3 Questions

However with fewer RC passages I was a prepared for attempting more LR questions. Also I was not very happy with the first set of DI (Q5-8) as with its huge amount of data it appeared to be calculation intensive.

I was not very comfortable while attempting this paper and the speed build up did not happen at any time during the paper, on the contrary I ended up wasting time in a few questions. After the paper I did not feel happy with my effort and it was only during the analysis that I realized that while there were some big misses (in LR and QADI), on the whole it was not a bad attempt but could have been better had I not wasted time in a few questions.

VALR Round 1: 40 minutes for 20 attempts

In this round I attempted 20 out of 24 questions from Verbal Logic and English Usage. I also identification of the RC passages and LR sets to be attempted.

40 minutes for this round and total time elapsed 43 minutes.

Attempted: Q 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 79, 80, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99 & 100

Answer not marked as I was not sure: Q 63, 65 88 & 97.

Noted the following on my rough sheet for RC passages and LR sets:

LR Sets:

Q57-59, 3 questions on circular arrangement, can be attempted

Q67-70, 4 questions, exam marks difference, mathematical set, can be considered

Q81-83, 3 questions logical set, 4 friends true/false, can be considered

Q89-92, 4 questions, selection/arrangement

RC Passages:

Q71-74, 4 questions, not sure about the topic but is readable, 2.5 slides, can be attempted

Q75-78, 4 questions, Art, 2.5 slides, can be considered if others are not easy

Q84-87, 4 questions, Critics, 3 slides, easy to read, to be attempted

VALR Round 2: 14 minutes for 8 attempts

RC passages, 8 attempts from 2 passages with 8 questions in 14 minutes.

Total attempts 28 and total time elapsed 57 minutes.

I started with the passage on “Critics” and followed it with the passage on “Ravens”. I did not consider attempting the third passage (Art) since in my initial analysis I did not feel comfortable with it.

Q84-87 the passage was easy to read and attempted all 4 questions in about 7 minutes.

Q71-74, I was earlier not able to identify the subject of this passage but was able to gauge that it was not difficult to read hence I choose to attempt this passage over the one on Art. This passage too was easy to read and comprehend and I was able to attempt all 4 questions. This passage also took me around 7 minutes.

VALR Round 3: 29 minutes for 9 attempts

LR sets, 9 attempts from 3 sets with 11 questions

Total attempts 36 and total time elapsed 86 minutes.

This is the place where I goofed up. I was either not able to any set completely or get all questions correct, also I took a long time to solve each of the three set that I attempted.

I started with Q57-59, the data set on circular arrangement of 8 friends. While I was able to correctly arrange the 8 people and correctly identified the favourite dishes it took me 10.5 minutes and also I incorrectly read Q58 and marked the wrong answer.

Next I moved to Q89-92, the data set on selection and solved the first three questions correctly, did not attempt the last one (Q92) as I felt that it would be time consuming. This set took me 11.5 minutes.

With almost 80 minutes gone I was tempted to move to QADI but not satisfied with my attempt in LR I decided to go for another LR set. Hence I Q67-70, the data set in which the difference in marks of 8 students was given with some missing data, attempted the two easy questions (Q 67 & 70) in 7 minutes and left the other two.

Thus in 83 minutes of VALR I had attempted 36 questions and since the initial 3 minutes had been used for scanning the paper I had about 84 minutes for QADI.

QADI Round 1: 50 minutes 22 attempts

Normally I attempt only QA questions that can be solved in about 2 minutes and identify DI sets that can be attempted in R2 but there was such an easy set of DI (Q 39-42) that I attempted it in this Round itself. I also attempted the 2 DS questions in this round.

Total QADI attempts 22

Time taken for this Round 50 minutes, time left after this Round 34 minutes

Attempted: Q1, 2, 4, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 28, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44 & 45

Applied SQC technique in: Q4, 16, 17 & 45

Time wasted in Q 16, 19 & 36 (about 4 minutes)

Noted the following on my rough sheet for DI sets:

Q5-8, 4 questions, Marks PCM, Large data, fill in the blanks, not to be attempted

Q25-27, 3 questions, Transportation, easy data, to be attempted

Q46-49, 4 questions, mathematical set, could be difficult

QADI Round 2A: 7 minutes 3 attempts

One DI set for 3 attempts. Total QADI attempts – 25

Time taken for this Round 7 minutes, time left after this Round 27 minutes

Having already attempted one DI set in R1, I decided to attempt only 1 more DI set and choose to go for the one on transportation cost (Q25-27) and solved it in about 7 minutes and then moved on to the unattempted QA questions.

QADI Round 2B: 27 minutes 7 attempts

In this Round I attempted 7 questions. Total QADI attempts – 32

Time taken for this Round 27 minutes

Started this Round by trying Q1 (Geometry) but was not sure of how to solve and hence decided to move on after spending about a minute. Went on to Q2 and then sequentially attempted the questions that I had marked for R2. In this round I had lapse of concentration in made mistakes in Q7, 16 and 40 but fortunately was able to identify the errors and corrected the error, but this meant I had to spend more time in each of these three questions.

Attempted: Q 3, 9, 10, 13, 22, 30 & 12

Attempted by SQC: Q 9 & 22

Time wasted in Q 3 (about 7 minutes)

Overall performance in QADI is 32 attempts in 84 minutes and a total of 68 attempts in the paper.