CAT 14 Strat – Series or Parallel?

An important question to ponder is “should I attempt one section completely and then move to the other? Or should I switch between sections?” To decide this, once again, let’s do an experiment: first take 2 section tests each in QA and VA. Do two QA first and then 2 VA. Then take another set of 2 section tests each and do 1 QA, 1VA, 1QA, 1VA.

 If the score in the latter experiment is significantly lower than in the former, then you probably have a “switching problem” as in your mind takes time to get into top gear when you switch from QA to VA and vice versa. If the two performances are comparable, then your mind is probably adept at shifting from one section to another without requiring a warm-up time.

Another way to recognise this is if you find you do better within a section when you do all question of a given type one after the other; say all RCs or all VA or all LR – your analysis when writing Sim tests should help you to recognise this kind of pattern if it exists.

 If you do have a switching problem, do ensure that you do not make frequent shifts just because the option is provided. Decide on which section to do first (as discussed above) and allot a certain minimum amount of time to be given to that section; once that time is done, move to the other section and stick with it. Towards the end, perhaps, you can return to the earlier section if you have budgeted some time for it, or if you feel absolutely confident that you would have cleared any reasonable cut-off in the second section.

 If, however, you find that switching is not a problem per se, then you can be fairly flexible in how you attack the paper. You might choose to, for example, do all the quick-shot singleton questions first, then do all the sets (DI, LR, RC) then if time permits attack the rest of the questions. Or you might choose to first attack certain pre-decided question types (say “vocabulary, parajumbles, arithmetic, logs, LR”) and leave the rest for later.

 Either way, another question which should arise is, how do I divide the time across sections? My next post will address that.



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