How to avoid committing mistakes in paper

Published: 24 Aug 2017 | Last updated 24 August 2017

Hello friends !! Good morning !!

Today I am going to share my experiences about the types of mistakes which I committed and their possible solutions in context of GATE 2016 and GATE 2017 wherever I can cite examples which I attempted and secured 332 rank and 613 rank respectively [ a very rare occurence I think..:) bcoz I have seen numerous examples whose rank in prev attempt is around 2000 and then around 100 or even better in next attempt ]  due to some  mistakes..I had many hopes of excelling this year but unfortunately the D-day did not work for me..So let me tell about the potential mistakes that may be committed during exam..

Mistake type 1 :

The first mistake that I am referring is related to psychological state of a student during examination..Let we have a scenario in which a student consistently does well in tests that he/she gave in the different test series..Now it is possible that expectation factor comes into picture for a student in the exam that he/she need to attempt around 60 questions at any cost..This should not happen as it will create unnecessary pressure and may be responsible for commitment of many mistakes as the paper may be difficult and hence the questions need to be attempted accordingly as is the case of set 1 paper this time..One has to overcome the panic that may be possible in the initial minutes of attempting the paper ..In short one should have expectation but not during paper solving,,The questions should be solved on the basis of difficulty..Identification of difficulty level of a question is important..

Mistake type 2:

Misreading the question : Sometimes due to lack of concentration , what we do we misinterpret the question.The gate paper setters are very intelligent and they intentionally give such options such that the option corrresponding to misinterpretation will be there.As a result what happens we get wrong there.I used to do a lot of mistakes like that.

As an example , in a question it may say that "identify a false statement" .We do not read the entire question and understand that we have to pick the correct one thus leading to wrong result.

Mistake type 3 :

Having the default mindset regarding a question : Sometimes what happens that we have a default mindset regarding a concept or a fact being used in the question.This default or trivial  mindset often leads to error.As an example , in DBMS in normalisation , we may be asked weakest normal form of a table given the FDs of a relation.What is generally in our mind is that we have to choose the strongest i.e. the most appropriate and highest normal form which the FD set satisfies.But in question we are asked about the weakest so people may commit mistakes here.In fact this question came this year in gate,the link being:

Similarly we know about Dining Philosopher's Problem solution which is deadlock free and satisfies the criteria for proper synchronisation construct.But in exam just for name's sake it may be used but code used may suffer from problem .So we have to examine the code properly.


Mistake type 4:

Like question solved earlier : 

When we have similar or exact question which have solved earlier somewhere , beware of this.U have to think it as a new question and solve it properly.Some people gets overjoyed and hence commit mistakes.I did the same type of mistake on finding no of topological sort this year,

In all of the above scenarios , we should do the following :

a) We should read the whole question properly at least once , then ask to oneself what facts are given.Jot them in a piece of paper especially for numerical type questions.Else what happens is repeatedly we have to switch between paper and screen and hence time is also wasted and also one is not able to concentrate on the question.So all the important data should be mentioned like to calculate  throughput in CN we have to note down distance between stations , data size etc.

b) Then we should solve the question systematically following procedure in a proper way

c) Following answering we should verify and recheck it at least once is it the thing that is asked for.

d) Option elimination also plays an important role in some cases.Make the best use of that as it saves time.


Now coming to the ambiguous issue :

First of all there are 2 types of questions :

a) Conceptual and theoretical :

For this clear hold on subject is required so that u can decide whether the question is ambiguous or not within a short span of time.

b) Numerical :

Here actually there is hardly anything we can do.We have to solve after all.If after solving we find that no option is matching or more than 2 options are correct.Then we cannot do anything.Actually it rarely happens in gate , but if at all it happens , then normally marks are given to all for that.So no need to worry about that.

Sometimes from the question solving point of view setting counter example also helps.For example in problems where are we are given some statements about MST or Graph Traversals etc.There if we are able to set counter examples , it is very helpful.


Hope the points mentioned by me will prove to be helpful for you as well as all other GATE 2018 aspirants.Thank you..

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