5 Ways to Turn Mistakes Into Valuable Lessons When Preparing for GATE/ASET Test

posted Jan 17, 2019, 12:03 AM by Adam Yu   [ updated Jan 22, 2019, 3:09 AM ]

In the previous post "Learn From Your Mistakes For GATE/ASET Test", we have listed out 4 categories of mistakes you could make when you prepare yourself for GATE/ASET test, they are:

Time Issue: You were pressed for time.

Question Comprehension Issue: The question was too complicated, you were not exactly sure what it was asking, or you were tricked by the question.

Procedural/Content Issue: You did not know how to find the answer to the question, or did not know the material the question covered.

Careless Error: A.k.a. careless mistakes, a.k.a. stupid mistakes, a.k.a. the most frustrating mistakes of all.

Okay, you know everything now about what you were doing wrong with your reviewing of missed questions. How can you make it more efficient (and effective) in the future?

There are a few tips:

1. When going through practice tests, always mark the questions you think you have a 3/4 or less chance of getting correct. Circling the numbers of the questions works well for me, because you can circle them lightly on your first time through the test, and circle ones you are still unsure of more heavily on your second time through. This way, you can review everything you were unsure about, even if you ended up getting them right. Knowing you have looked over everything you were unsure about, even if you ended up getting the question correct, will make you more confident you are choosing the right answer in the future, because you will have put in the time.

2. Just like a tooth with a cavity, the best way to get better is to...PRACTICE!

I have no regrets about this wordplay. I am also 100% serious. Practice makes perfect, and it does make answering the questions you have trouble with more routine, which in turn can get you closer to perfection. See also my earlier explanation for why you should structure your practice.

3. Do not immediately go back and try to re-do missed questions (or if you do, do not let that be the only time you re-do them). It is more helpful to let some time pass in between attempts - a day is usually good enough, but anywhere between few hours or a week can also work, depending on the person - because then you can try it again fresh.

4. Keep a notebook or computer record of questions you got wrong, sorted by subject and question subtype. Note for each question why you missed it and how you plan to remedy this in the future.

Reviewing questions you got wrong is integral to effective test prep. Learning from mistakes is not just a saying - it reflects the reality that can help you break through a score ceiling and drastically improve your score on the exam. The trick is to know not just where you are making mistakes, but to practice those same types of questions over and over until you have mastered them.

5. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

We say this in pretty much all of our GATE/ASET test advice posts, but the reason we repeat it so frequently is because the GATE/ASET test is one of those tests where the best preparation is the test itself. Second to that, practice tests are the most fool-proof preparation there is for a test that measures almost as much test-taking strategy as it does content and skill.

Start by taking practice tests, one section at a time. Identify your weaknesses and work to improve in those areas. Gradually, as your skills grow, begin to take each section of the test with time constraints. And finally, take a few complete practice tests under testing conditions as similar to test day as possible.