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Even though most of you have your Quantitative Aptitude fundamentals right in place, you may find yourself struggling to hit your maximum potential score in a mock test or an exam. In fact, this is one of the most common afflictions when it comes to quantitative aptitude: we are so good when it comes to basic level exercises and we completely fluff things up when challenged with something advanced.

There is one common demon operating behind this: the impact of time pressure on your performance.

So, in order to help you shoot your score, I am listing down some of the very obvious but absolute important pointers that should be followed. Remember these are pointers to increase your EXAM EFFICIENCY. The purpose of this blog is to make you perform better with the same set of knowledge that you have currently.

So, let’s get started with the GYAAN/ADVICE.


  1. Do not attach yourself to any question for more than 1.5 minutes.

If you cannot understand where and how to start after reading the question for more than once, quickly give it a shot with not spending more than 90 seconds on it. The point is not to get entangled in the question and lose the track of your time.

Please realize that not every question is going to get you your marks. There are easy questions lying in pockets in the entire test and your target is to hunt those down first.


  1. Double-check while solving (to reduce errors and use this in formula-based questions)

When you have decided your formula and approach, just before you insert the numbers from the question statement, verify the substitutions. This will reduce the chances of any silly mistakes that you might commit during the steps. Remember, this might seem like investing an extra minute where you can probably save some time but reducing mistakes is one way to increase scores. Double check where you can.


  1. How to decide that when it is the right time to leave the question? 

Following are some strong indicators that might help you decide between carrying on with the current question or moving on to the next: when your equations begin to get bigger and messier when you have made no real progress in 2-3 minutes of laying hands on the question, when you feel the need to go back to read the question several times when are blocked in a particular part of the solution and none of the answer substitution or elimination tricks appear to work and lastly, when after putting in a couple of minutes the answer doesn’t match any of the options, with no change even after a quick review.

If you do find yourself in such a situation, identify early when to give up and move on to the next question. This might hurt your ego a bit, but it is definitely not worse than leaving questions un-attempted towards the end. Remember, do not let your emotions play havoc with your question paper. Do not get emotionally invested in a question: there is always another one waiting for you.


  1. Strength areas: these are the ones that serve you well in the exam!

During the mock tests, identify your key strength topics that contribute the maximum towards your score and build a habit of solving those topics first, especially when you encounter an easy-medium problem.

Do not waste time in the initial half of the hour in testing yourself on any untouched topics or weak areas that have not got you any marks in the past. Save such ground-breaking rare chances for the last when you have set time for it. The first 40 minutes of the allotted time should be spent on hunting and striking down easy-medium questions to boost your score and confidence early in the game.


  1. Keep the performances of sections independent of each other.

If Quant is not the first section that appears on your screen (as has been the case for the past few years) and you have arrived on it after another section that has not met your expectations, please remember to calm yourself and not let the thoughts break you. Start the section with a fresh mind without feeling too nervous about your previous performance. Just remember you can always balance out your performance till the clock is ticking!

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