Since I had been on the move, all the Mock CATs that I had attempted so far were in the pen and paper mode and after taking the paper I would write down (based on memory) of how I attempted the paper. This I felt was insufficient because:

  1. I relied on my memory to reproduce my feelings which may not be accurate.
  2. It is difficult to convert all though processes in words.
  3. The fatigue of taking a Computer Based Tests is higher than that of a Paper Based Test.
  4. In a paper based test you can write down the calculation and do the rough work on the paper itself but in a computer based test you have to transfer almost all data (especially in DI and LR) on to the rough sheet which is a time consuming process.
  5. Reading speed is usually lower on a computer as compared to that on a paper.
  6. The overall attempts in a computer based test would typically be lower by 10 – 15% as compared to that in a paper based test.

With the above in mind I decided to attempt the Mock CAT 7 online and record the process. To ensure that the students would be able to understand my though process I decided to:

  1. Speak through the 2 hours 50 minutes and vocalize my thought process
  2. Use the tablet and write down all the calculations and the working on the computer itself as is done by me during the webinars.

However while testing we realized that the platform did not fully support the pen tablet and we would need to find an alternate process. Hence the paper was converted to a power point presentation with extra slides inserted for DI & LR and a timer was embedded in the presentation to ensure that I could keep track of the time. Since in the TCS platform the candidates can open a separate window and this is not possible in a power point presentation hence I kept a printout of the question paper with me.

The biggest challenge that I faced while taking the paper was speaking continuously for 170 minutes this was not only tiring but also slowed me down because reading speed falls when you speak while reading. Also speaking continuously hinders the thinking process.

However despite all the problems that I faced I think that this is a better process than taking the paper and writing down my experience. You can access the video in SIS along with the analysis of Mock CAT 2014 – 7 or by clicking here. It will be useful to go through the video only after you have taken this Mock CAT.

For those of you who do not have the time to go through the 170 minute video, I will summarize my attempt in the paper and also do an analysis of the performance in this write up. Let us now move to How I Attempted Mock CAT 2014 – 7.


Scan the paper: Approximately 2 minutes

I went through the paper (the printout) to understand the structure of the paper and found that the paper had:

  1. 4 DS question
  2. Approximately 15 questions of DI in 4 data sets
  3. Approximately 30 questions of QA
  4. Approximately 15 questions of LR in 4 data sets
  5. Approximately 15 questions of RC in 4 passages
  6. Approximately 20 questions of verbal logic and English usage.

Thus this paper has a standard format and my standard time allocation of 80 minutes to VALR and 90 minutes to QADI should be fine. In terms of sequence of attempts also I did not see any reason to change and decide to attempt the paper in my standard sequence:

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


VALR Round 1:

Verbal Logic and English Usage questions,15 attempts out of 19 questions and also identification of the RC passages and LR sets to be attempted.

31 minutes for this round and total time elapsed 33 minutes.

Attempted: Q 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 62, 63, 67, 68, 79, 80, 93. 95
Answer not marks as I was not sure: Q 54, 78, 94, 96.

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

RC Passages:

Q64-66, 3 questions, multitasking, 2.5 slides
Q73-77, 5 questions, contestedness, lengthy – 4 slides, difficult to read
Q81-85, 5 questions, Business/marketing, 3 slides
Q90-92, 3 questions, neuro science.

LR Sets:

Q59-61, 3 questions on selection/arrangement 8 people
Q69-72, 4 questions, mathematical set, buying and selling of books, possible
Q86-89, 4 questions on a tournament, 8 players
Q97-100, 4 questions, mathematical set, 4 friends

VALR Round 2:

RC passages, 7 attempts from 2 passages with 8 questions
15 minutes for this round and total time elapsed 48 minutes.

I have a preference for business and general passages and hence attempted the passages on multitasking and business. The passage on neuroscience was never in contention as I am not comfortable with the topic and the passage on contestedness appeared not only difficult to read but also was lengthy.

Q64-66, attempted all three questions. Initially was not sure of Q64 but was able to answer this question by combining it with Q65. This passage took me 6 minutes.

Q81-85, attempted 4 out of 5 questions of this passage. I left Q82 unmarked as I was not sure of the answer. This passage took me 9 minutes.

VALR Round 3:

LR sets passages, 8 attempts from 3 sets with 11 questions and 1 RC question (Q92)

30 minutes for this round and total time elapsed 78 minutes.

I decided to start with the mathematical set (Q97-100) since I am comfortable with this kind of data set. Was able to solve all four questions of this data set in 12 minutes

Next I moved to the set on tournament (Q86-89) because usually tournament data sets have 1- 2 questions that can be solved without too much of a problem. In 5 minutes I was able to solve the first two questions (Q 86 and 87) but could not make any headway for the remaining two questions and hence left them unmarked.

With 6 questions attempted I decided to go for the selection/arrangement set (Q59-61) since I felt that the set has individual questions and hence I will be able to solve them faster. Unfortunately this did not happen and I got stuck in Q61 and wasted time before leaving it uattttempted. The other 2 questions (Q59 & 60) were not a problem. This set took me 11 minutes and in hindsight I should have gone for the set on “Harry Potter books” since it was mathematical in nature and I would have been able to solve all four questions in the same amount of time.

With 76 minutes gone and just 4 minutes left before my scheduled time for QADI it was not possible to attempt the remaining DI set or the RC passages. Hence I decided to run through the questions of the remaining two RC passages to see if there was any direct or factual question that I could consider attempt I found that Q 92 belonged to this category and attempted it.

Thus in 76 minutes of VALR I had attempted 31 questions and since the initial 2 minutes had been used for scanning the paper I had 92 minutes for QADI.

QADI Round 1

QA questions that can be solved in less than 2 minutes and identification of DI sets to be  attempted in Round 2. I attempted a total of 14 questions in this Round.

Time taken for this Round 35 minutes, time left after this Round 57 minutes
Attempted: Q 2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14, 16, 21, 31, 40, 42, 48, 49, 50.
Applied SQC techniques:  Q 4, 5, 12, 16, 21, 48 & 49.

Q 49 did not read the question carefully and should have got it wrong but got the right answer by mistake.

Noted the following on my rough sheet for DI sets and DS:

Q7-10, 4 questions, percentages with easy numbers, criminals
Q17-20, 4 DS questions
Q27-30, 4 questions, Cricket
Q35-38, 4 questions, ratios, large data
Q44-46, 3 questions, 2 Pie charts of revenue

QADI Round 2A:

2 out of 4 DS questions and two sets of DI for 8 attempts. Total attempts – 10 out of 14
Time taken for this Round 27 minutes, time left after this Round 30 minutes

I started this Round with the 4 DS questions but did not attempt first two questions (Q17 & 18) since I felt that these two would be time consuming. Attempted the remaining 2 DS questions and spent a total of 7 minutes in DS.

After DS I moved to first DI in which my preference was not to attempt the set on ratios (Q35-38) because it had a huge amount of data. I started DI with the set on percentages (Q7-10) which had easy numbers and hence calculations would not be an issue. I attempted all 4 questions in about 9 minutes.

Then spent a minute in deciding whether to attempt the set on pie charts or the one on cricket? I decided to go for the one on cricket since it had 4 questions. It took me 10 minutes to solve the 4 questions of this set.

With two DI sets attempted I shifted my focus to the remaining QA questions with an understanding that I would come back to the DI set on pie charts if I had time. This was to ensure that I do not miss out on any easy QA questions.

QADI Round 2B:

In this Round I attempted 5 QA and 2 DI questions.
Time taken for this Round 30 minutes

Started this Round by attempting Q3 (TSD and then tried Q15 but was not sure of how to solve and the choices too were close hence left it quickly. After this I went to Q22 which was a wrong choice, given the complexity of language I should not have attempted the question.

Attempted: Q 3, 15, 22, 23, 24, 32, & 33
Did not mark the answer to Q 15 & 22 (time wastage)
Attempted by SQC: Q 23, 32, 33

Time taken for these 7 questions (5 marked and 2 time wastage) – 19 minutes

With 11 minutes left I searched for questions to attempt and came to Q 43 tried solving it but was unsuccessful and left it after 2 minutes.

With 9 minutes remaining I moved to the DI set on pie charts (Q44-46) and in 6 minutes attempted Q 44 and 46, did not attempt Q45 since I felt that it would be time consuming.

The last 3 minutes of the paper were wasted trying to search for a question to attempt and in trying to solve Q34 which should not have been tried at the fag end of the paper since it too had a complicated language and was lengthy.

In hind sight I should have tried Q1, 11, 18 & 47, these 4 questions were solvable. Attempting Q 43 and 34 led to wastage of around 5 minutes and I could have comfortably solved at least one out of these four questions.

Overall performance in QADI is 31 attempts in 92 minutes and a total of 62 attempts in the paper.

All the Best!