Paper Solving Strategies for Speed Based Exams

Paper Solving Strategies for Speed Based Exams

Paper Solving Strategies for Speed Based Exams

Last Updated on Nov 1, 2020

Whether you are a student or a career aspirant, you must be preparing for some or the other speed based competitive exams. Entrance exams like CAT, IIT-JEE or professional exams like UPSC, Bank PO are conducted every year to select the crème de-la crème among aspirants. Here we are providing paper solving strategies for speed based exams.

The competition to reach the top is intense as every year more than 2 million aspirants appear for 50 + national exams and 500+ regional or university exams for their degrees or job applications. The pass rate or selection percentage to these exams is a mere 0.1% to maximum 10%, which means less than 1 out of 10 students pass through these exams and the most aspirants don’t get into their dream college or dream job.

So how can you beat the rest and be in the top percentile? The clue lies in target exam preparation and solving maximum questions with the minimum error rate. Target preparation includes practicing in a disciplined schedule, reading expert tips and following exam guides.

So, here are the Strategies you can follow to ace speed based exams:
  1. Practice previous year papers online: If you have not attempted any practice papers before the main exam, you might take a longer time to adjust to the main paper. Solving Previous Year Question Papers gives you an upper edge with your comfort areas (which take the minimum time to solve); the paper pattern, marking and sectional based solving approach. You can start your practice by attempting real time papers on Exambazaar for free, where 50+ exams for last 10 years have been complied for your practice.
  2. Allot time to sections: Your attempts and analysis of previous papers and mock tests play a significant role here; based on them you should be able to divide your time between sections. Many papers come with their own sectional cut-offs for final selections. You would not want to miss on that.
  3. Read every question carefully: In most speed based exams, you’ll have to select the answer from a range of MCQ’s. Before you do that, take a deep breath, read every question and select them carefully. You may miss out on simple questions because it’s been confusingly-worded. Once you’ve chosen a question, make sure you read it carefully, misreading a question and answering can spell disaster.
  4. Begin with a section that is your strong area: If your paper allows you to attempt different sections at will, begin with your strong area that you can solve quickly with least errors. Follow this strategy by attempting your 2nd best, 3rd best section and so on. Comprehensive previous paper and mock test analysis during the preparation phase will guide you to know your favourite topic, or questions you know you can nail and feel confident to attempt the rest of the paper.
  5. Be prepared with all types of questions: Familiarize yourself with all types of questions expected in the examination by attempting maximum mocks and previous year papers. Getting acquainted with all types of questions would help you manage your time better in the live exam scenario.
  6. Attempt each question with an unbiased approach: Attempt each question on its own merit, never be affected by any of the earlier questions you have attempted. A zero based problem solving with an unbiased approach lets you mark the (correct) answers with confidence.
  7. Try solving block questions instead of attempting the individual ones: Questions on seating arrangement, blood relations, data interpretation and reading comprehension fall under group block questions. Getting the concept correct will give you an opportunity to score in multiple associated questions in a single go.
  8. Avoid paper calculations: You may lose precious time writing numbers and calculating, instead use mental maths which is quicker. Try to master Vedic maths in your preparations as it is swift and accurate, and a boon when you attempt a speed based exam.
  9. Time your watch: Be accurate in time management, do not stick to one problem for long, if you are stuck at any point, leave the question and move ahead. Time your watch to attempt each section.
  10. Avoid silly mistakes: Silly mistakes happen if you don’t read the question carefully, or mark answers in a rush. Guess work is an absolute no-no; negative marking on your guesses can take you overall score down.
  11. Don’t exit early: The temptation to leave the exam hall early can be irresistible to many, as an escape from the palpable tension and stress around. If you have that habit, resist it. Sit and revise or try attempting questions you have left. The exam hours are precious! You’ll never get it back, but you willhave endless time to relax and catch up with friends after the exams are over.
  12. Have self-confidence: Even if you get a few questions wrong, or get stuck in any of them, have a strong belief in yourself and your rigorous preparation spanning months or even years. Self-confidence is the key to success in all the speed based competitive performance.


    Exams are testing times, for you and for all those who stand supportive of you during those crucial times. Don’t let minor hiccups like infrastructural snags at exam hall, or the constant stress of the un-attempted questions affect your performance. Solve with a calm and relaxed mind.

    Taking few sips of water will release the stress and keep you alert. These few initiatives and believe in your self will go a long way to make your name appear in the list of shortlisted candidates. For any further assistance feel free to write to us at for any assistance you need.

    About the Author

    Kamalika Some is Editor at Exambazaar Blog which provides resources, tips & material to help you ace in your exam preparation. Exambazaar is India's largest education discovery platform which provides comprehensive information for test preparation for entrance exams, colleges, courses, universities and career options in India.

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