Well, no explanation needed with respect to the intent and purpose of this article: this article is going to provide you guidelines with respect to what you should do in these vital two months. Remember, the next 60 days can be definitive for you in terms of your preparation and can be the difference between an average and an excellent score.
We will approach this strategy article in a slightly different way. The strategy for preparation needs to vary according to your current preparation levels and the best indicator for this are your mock scores. So, I am going to divide my advice based on these scores. There are three segments in which I have divided students and based on these, I will recommend the action points to you.
Let’s get started with the strategy then.
Percentile Group-1: Percentile scores above 90
Purely in terms of percentile points, this is where the scope of improvement is limited. You cannot make big jumps in percentile scores but there Is on this you can do here: with subtle improvements, you can make sure you those extra 2 to 3 questions right in each section and make sure you achieve your desired percentile.
A. Fine tune your conceptual knowledge
If you are achieving scores above 90, it means that in terms of conceptual knowledge, you are doing fairly well. Now the thing you need to do is identify the gaps in conceptual knowledge. The next 30 days offer you a window of opportunity to identify where you can improve. You need to identify these areas and this is where mock analysis comes into the picture. Analyse mocks and make sure you identify the areas you are lagging in. Also, intrinsically you should know the areas you struggle with. In the next 30 days, target concepts for these areas (based on the number of topics, you can divide your time).
B. The power of your strong section
Do remember this that a single section can take you from the early 90s to the high 90s in terms of percentile score. Make sure you keep working on your strength areas. Strength areas should never be neglected. We often make this mistake of not giving sufficient attention to our strong sections; make sure you are not making this mistake.
C. Build a quick revision cycle for topics
Since your scores are decent in the first place, make sure you revise concepts for topics in a fairly robust manner. Barring a few topics which pose your problems, you should make sure you revise the other topics quickly.
Percentile Group-2: Percentile scores between 75 to 90
This is the group where you can make the major leap. If you score is in the high 70s or early 80s, do remember that with some effort over the next few weeks, you can make the big leap into the next category.
A. Identify areas you are going to attack
Scoring in this range shows that there is some conceptual knowledge but the gaps are significant. Considering this, you need to be very wise and selective at this stage. The time has finally come when you give up on a few topics (especially in QA) and do not invest time and energy on topics where the scope for improvement is minimal. Identify areas where you are miserable (this is mainly applicable for QA, LR, and DI) and remove these topics from your preparation strategy. Remember, these topics should not be a substantial portion of your preparation. Eliminate only the ones where you simply don’t get anything. For some topics, you will have a medium level of understanding. You need to attack these topics for sure.
B. Fine tune your exam strategy
You need to make sure you get your exam strategy sorted. Look out for problem areas in mock; understand where you are wasting time in the exam; and understand how you can improve your question selection in the exam.
Percentile Group-3: Percentile scores below 75
I will be honest and direct with you. This is a problem area. You need to be very smart at this stage and make sure you set realistic targets for yourself. It is easy to lose motivation at this stage and feel disheartened but you have to remember something, there is only one direction in which you can head from here and that direction is going up the percentile charts. Every small improvement you make will lead to drastic improvements in your score. How does this happen? Well, the competition is that much harder at higher scores. At lower percentile scores, getting 2 more questions right will give you a bigger boost in percentiles than what happens at higher percentiles (this is logical as well: the scope for jumping up is that much higher). Considering this, it makes a lot of sense to be extremely focused at this stage and look for micro-improvements.
What do I mean by micro-improvements?
Well, change the narrative for yourself: your simple target now is to make sure that in every section, you improve your attempt by 6 to 8 questions; that is all. Your target is not solving all the questions in the section; your target is not to be a wizard. Your target is to make sure you improve your scores in certain areas of every section. Identify these areas and get to work. This is what your strategy has to be for the next 60 days.
Common Advice for All:
A. How to divide your time between Revision and Concept-building?
This is applicable for those who are still left with some concepts. Out of the next 60 days, devote a maximum of 40 days to concept building and devote the remaining to revision. Remember, there has to be a cut-off date beyond which you should not study anything new.
B. Identify your silly mistakes in mocks and define your exam strategy
I know this is basic common sense but do remember that a couple of questions here or there can lead to a massive difference in scores. So, make sure you identify your silly mistakes in mock and also identify how good are you at question selection. It is vital to make sure you select the right questions in the exam and the only of doing is to experiment in mocks right now. Remember, mock scores don’t count. So, experiment as much as possible and identify what works for you. A few screwed-up mocks don’t really matter in the long run.
C. One section champions need to up their game
You might be awesome in one section of the exam but then this is the time to up your game in the other sections. At the end of the day, you have to clear all three sections. So, if any particular section is bothering you, make sure you attack it right now. The next 30 days are the best time to improve in particular areas. Do not leave it for too late.
To sum it up:
Intrinsically, we all know what is the right thing to do at this stage. The question is whether you are doing this or not. Make sure you ask yourself this question honestly and identify the key areas where you need to up your game. Remember, in the larger picture, 60 days is not a long period of time and if you can use this time wisely, you can at least be happy with yourself that you did your absolute best.