In today's digital age, computer-based tests have become the norm for entrance exams and job interviews. While it has its advantages, it also requires a different approach to preparation. This blog will discuss the key points you should remember while preparing for a computer-based test, whether an entrance exam for a university or a job interview.
Know the exam format:
Knowing the computer-based test format (CBT) is essential to preparing for the exam. The exam pattern will give you a clear idea of the structure of the exam, the type of questions that will be asked, and the marking scheme. Understanding the format will help you to plan your preparation strategy accordingly.
The first thing you should do is find out the exam pattern for the CBT. Most exams are divided into sections with a set time limit for each section. Knowing each section's time limit will help you allocate your time accordingly. For example, if you have one hour to complete a section, you can plan to spend a certain amount of time on each question.
Practice with mock tests
Practice with mock tests is a crucial step in preparing for computer-based tests. Mock tests are practice tests that simulate the exam environment, including the exam format, question types, and time limits. These tests help you understand your preparation level, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies to manage your time effectively during the exam.
Many educational websites and coaching centres offer mock tests for different entrance exams, which can be accessed online. Taking as many mock tests as possible before the exam is advisable to get a feel of the exam environment and improve your speed and accuracy. Taking mock tests can also help you identify your areas of strength and weakness, enabling you to focus your preparation efforts accordingly.
Analyse Your Performance:
While analysing your performance, focus on the following aspects:
- Identify the types of questions that you found difficult or time-consuming
- Please review the questions that you got wrong, and understand the correct approach to solve them
- Analyse the areas where you are weak and need to work on
In addition to practising mock tests, you can adopt some time management techniques to help you during the exam. One such technique is the ‘two-minute rule’. According to this rule, you should spend no more than two minutes on a question. If you cannot answer the question within two minutes, move on to the next one and return to it later if you have time left.
Another effective time management technique is to attempt the more straightforward questions first. Starting with the easier questions would help you build momentum and confidence. It also gives you more time to focus on the difficult questions later. Additionally, avoiding spending too much time on a single question is essential. If you are stuck on a question, move on to the next one and return to it later.
Familiarise yourself with the software:
Familiarising yourself with the software can help you easily navigate the exam, boosting your confidence and saving you time. You don't want to spend precious time figuring out how to use the software or searching for features during the exam.
Moreover, some exams have specific rules regarding the software used, such as restrictions on accessing external sources or programs during the exam. Thus, understanding the software's features and limitations is crucial to avoid confusion during the exam.
Another advantage of practising with demo tests is that you can identify any technical glitches or issues with the software beforehand. Technical difficulties during the exam can be frustrating and might even affect your performance. Therefore, it is essential to report any issues faced during the demo test to the concerned authorities and resolve them before the exam.
Read the instructions carefully:
Reading and understanding the instructions before starting the exam is crucial. Here are a few reasons why:
Saves time: Reading the instructions beforehand would help you understand the exam pattern and the number of questions in each section. This knowledge would help you plan your time better and focus on answering the questions.
Helps in avoiding mistakes: Instructions may contain details about negative marking, which means that incorrect answers would lead to a deduction of marks. Reading the instructions carefully would help you avoid such mistakes and increase your chances of scoring better.
Clarifies doubts: If you have any doubts regarding the instructions, it is better to clarify them with the invigilator before starting the exam. This would ensure clarity and understanding during the exam.
Guessing should be avoided during a computer-based test as it can reduce your overall score. The computer-based test has a negative marking scheme, and guessing can result in a deduction of marks. Answer only the questions that you are confident about. It is better to leave a question unanswered than to guess the answer.
Also, guessing can cause anxiety and waste precious time, especially if you are unsure about the answer. Instead of guessing, please focus on the questions you are confident about and try to answer them to the best of your abilities. If you need clarification on a question, move on to the next one and return to it later if you have time. Remember that the goal is to maximise your score by answering the questions you know, not by guessing the answers to the questions you don't know.
Take Care of Your Health:
Your health plays an essential role in your preparation for a computer-based test. A healthy body and mind can help you in performing better. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet. It is also essential to take breaks during your preparation to relax your mind and avoid burnout.
Additionally, it is essential to stay hydrated and avoid consuming too much caffeine or energy drinks, as they can cause anxiety and restlessness. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle would help you perform better in the exam and reduce stress and anxiety. Therefore, caring for your physical and mental health is crucial while preparing for a computer-based test.
Stay Positive and Confident:
Lastly, staying positive and confident is crucial for success in a computer-based test. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Avoid negative thoughts and focus on your strengths. Visualise yourself performing well in the test. A positive attitude can help you in overcoming exam anxiety and perform better.