Pratyush Singh, IIIT Allahabad writes:
Guessing in JEE is an art. There are a lot of small tricks that can help. Before I begin, let me clarify that blind guessing is never going to help. Which is why negative marking is added to discourage students.
- Learn to judge question difficulty : Before you go for a guess, you should have some idea about the difficulty level of the question. This can be learnt through rigorous practice. Most coaching institutes present a paper analysis after every monthly or phase test. Sit and go through the paper and difficulty analysis. This will help you learn. Knowing this helps since you can choose how loose a guess are you ready to risk.
- Don’t be Bob : Bob is your average student. He gets all of the easy questions correct; he gets some of the medium questions correct; he gets all of the hard questions wrong. Bob is predictable. He gets all of the easy questions right because the choices that look correct are correct. He gets all of the hard questions wrong because the choices that look correct are wrong. If you know what Bob will do, you can make better decisions! If you’re working on an easy question, the answer that seems right probably is. If you’re working on a hard question, the answer that seems right is always wrong. Use this strategy to help you eliminate choices for difficult questions.
- POE – Process of elimination : Don’t know the right answer? No problem! It happens. But if you know which choices are definitely wrong, you will significantly improve your chances of getting the question right. Each question has 4 possible choices. Eliminate one or more possibilities, and your chances of guessing correctly are 25% or better. An incorrect guess will cost you a point, a correct guess will get you 4. Let’s say there are 8 questions where you eliminate 1 choice and guess among the remaining 3 choices. Statistically, you will guess correctly 2 times and incorrectly 6 times (25% success rate). You are rewarded 8 points and penalized 6 points. You just earned 2 points from guessing. Congrats–you’ve improved your rank!This guessing strategy with just 3 choices is better than leaving all those 8 questions.
- The Fault in our stars : In theory, the above process sounds great. There is a serious flaw in this strategy, however: The method assumes that you are guessing randomly. Randomness is a difficult concept to grasp. Random guessing means that if you are presented with 3 answer choices, you will pick one answer choice without any prejudice, partiality, or predisposition. But that isn’t how any student “guesses” in JEE. Your guess is always biased in some way, because you have an inclination to one answer choice and an aversion to others. What makes matters even worse is that the CBSE and JEE are really, really, really good at making wrong answer choices look appealing to unsure students, especially on difficult JEE questions. If you remove randomness from the equation, your chance of guessing the correct answer actually becomes less than 25 percent.
- More POE : If you are not sure about the strategy above then go one step ahead for a particular or more questions. If you can eliminate at least two answer choices on a question, you should guess with as little bias as possible from the remaining answer choices. If you cannot eliminate at least two incorrect answer choices, you should leave the question blank. Eliminate bias from guessing as much as you can. If you think that the answer to a particular question cannot be (B) because you have filled in (B) for the last three questions, you are not eliminating bias. If you think that the answer to a particular math question is (C) because it is easily derivable from the numbers in the question, you are not eliminating bias. To eliminate bias, let your pencil land on a random letter and choose that answer.
- Check the Dimensions : This technique is very handy in Physics paper, where we can filter options by looking at their dimension. Let’s say, we are to find the speed, then we can safely filter out options whose dimension does not equal m/sec. Believe me, it will save a lot of your time.
- Method of Assumption : This is another important method. In some of the questions, some unknown quantities will be given. Here, we assign some values to these quantities without changing the conditions given. This is almost similar to the method of substitution.
- Reverse engineering : Reverse engineering, taking a step backwards. Instead of solving a complete equation, we just apply value in the equation to see if it solves it.
- Discard highest and lowest outliers : Outliers mean choices having extreme values. If your test paper has any question which has answers in numerical values, discard the extremes. In 60% of cases, the highest and lowest values are not right. So, be very careful while choosing the answer. They have a high probability of being wrong. So candidates can safely stay away from this unfamiliar zone.
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