Strategizing your exams to score like Virat Kohli

The strategy suggested here will be useful for any competitive exam which does not have sectional time limits. I am sure that most of what I share today is known to all of you, but as they say “Good things need reinforcement.” So here we are.

Now what’s cricket doing here? What is the similarity between cricket and your test taking technique?

Let’s see.

When a team bats first what is it supposed to do? – To post a formidable total according to the pitch. Biggest resource - limited balls.

What are you supposed to do in your exam? – to score a competitive score according to the paper. Biggest resource - limited time.

The whole strategy is divided into two parts:-

Part 1 - How to play each ball? (this part deals with what to do with individual questions.)

Batsman- To take big shots in bad deliveries.

You-To score in easy questions. Easy questions are those in which your speed and accuracy is high.

Batsman- To take singles and doubles in mediocre deliveries.

You - To score where you can in medium difficulty level questions and leave where you cannot.

Medium questions are of 2 types -

Where your speed is high and accuracy is low and

Where your speed is low and accuracy is high.

Batsman- To leave good deliveries and not try to be a superhero.

You- To leave difficult questions. Those questions in which you have low accuracy and low speed are difficult.

Batsman- To save wickets and move on i.e. forget past deliveries and look forward to the upcoming deliveries. It means a batsman will not fret if he misses an easy ball he would try to capitalise on the next ball.

You - To save time and move on. Leave questions you couldn’t do behind and take interest in solving the next set. Please remember time is the biggest resource so if a question which is familiar is taking more than required time please don’t hesitate to leave it.

Part 2:- How does one play a dream innings? (this part deals with overall strategy of the paper)

Dream 1:

Batsman- To know the score required for winning. This is not possible, it will be determined by the opponent team and the playing conditions.

You- To know the cut off before taking the exam. This is not possible, it will be determined by the competition and the level of paper. But please remember it really does not matter because if the paper is really difficult the cut offs would be low. So don’t try to second guess cut offs of your paper during the paper and try to strategise that way.

Dream 2:

Batsman- To get a chance to choose order of deliveries. What do you think a team would choose then? All easy deliveries first, then mediocre deliveries and lastly good deliveries. One of the biggest advantage here is the team put a decent score in the easy delivery ; their confidence is boosted and they score more than normal in medium deliveries; their confidence is boosted more and they score fearlessly in the good deliveries ending up with a much higher score than normal. But unfortunately in cricket this is not possible.

You - To get a chance to choose order of questions. Congratulations! It is possible. Let's see.

Do fast moving questions first i.e. GA and Computers (this would be either easy or medium-1 questions) . This should be done in the first 20-30 mins

By now you must have finalised a time limit for each section depending upon your mock experience. The thumb rule for setting sectional time in this paper should be that no section (apart from GA and Computers) should get less than 20 mins and more than 40 mins. Again, inside every section do easy questions first, medium-1 questions next and then if time and questions are remaining attempt medium-2 and difficult questions.

For example, in verbal, do fib, cloze test, synonyms, odd one out first and RCS later. In QA do arithmetic, simplification first and modern maths later. In IR do number series, blood relation, direction first and arrangement puzzles later. (Please note this is an indicatory list. Easy, medium and difficult level would different for different people. But whatever it is, it should be defined on the basis of speed and accuracy)

You would be surprised to find that when you choose before you do; you end up doing much more. Remember, time is the biggest resource.

So go forward , choose wisely, attempt within stipulated time, leave that cannot be attempted and most importantly enjoy your exam. Kohli’s score would just be a by product.