Tips to Crack Competitive Exams

6 minute read
Competitive Exams

Every year, thousands of candidates appear for various competitive exams like IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, RBI Grade-B, CAT, GMAT, TOEFL, NEET, SSC and many more. To winnow the wheat from the chaff, the difficulty level of all exams increases with passing years. As a result of this, only a few candidates make it to the top. It thus becomes important to devise a strategy in line with your strengths and weaknesses to stay ahead. In this blog, we will share some tips and tricks to solve different sections in competitive exams which might put you ahead in the game. 

How to Prepare for Competitive Exams

The general awareness is one of the most scoring and less time-consuming sections in competitive exams. It constitutes to be an important part of exams like RBI-Grade B, GATE, SSC, etc. Here are a few tips and tricks to crack this section: 

  1. Read Newspapers 

The first step to scoring well in competitive exams is to stay updated with events of national and international importance. This can be done by reading newspapers, current affairs based magazines, important reports and basic books like NCERTs. Pay extra attention to exam specific topics. For instance, if you are preparing for the RBI Grade-B exam then go through the Business and Economics sections well. 

2. Make Notes

The advantage of taking down notes on your own words is two-fold. It not only helps in retaining information for a longer duration but also helps you to revise the syllabus easily. 

3. Know Something of Everything

Your carry bag can hold only 10 apples. To avoid going to the market the next day, you buy 10 more apples and stuff them in the bag. The bag breaks and you lose many apples. Similarly, there is a limit to what you can remember. The syllabus of competitive exams is vast. If you start reading everything in-depth, you will not only end up cramming a lot of irrelevant information but will also find it difficult to recall important details. Thus, go through all the topics but make concise notes.

4. Revise and Give Mock Tests 

When it comes to the general awareness section of the competitive exams, Revision is the key to success. Make sure to devote at least 1-2 hours every day. To further strengthen the preparation, give current affairs based mock tests on a regular basis. This will help you in analyzing your weak sections. 

Verbal Ability for Competitive Exams

The verbal ability section is made a part of competitive exams to examine your basic English language skills. You can score well in this section by following these tips :

  • It is easy to memorize the meaning of an Idiom but difficult to frame a sentence using it. To get a hold over sentence structure and formation, you should read regularly.
  • Go through the questions before reading comprehension. This helps you in finding the answer easily. Thus, saves time.
  • Take mock tests regularly. It not only gives you a feel of real examination but also helps you in self-assessment.
  • Make notes of vocabulary words you come across in mock tests and revise them. 
  • Last but not least, practise as many varieties of questions as possible. 

Preparing Quantitative Section for Competitive Exams

Quantitative ability, one of the most dreaded sections of competitive exams analyses a candidate’s basic mathematical skills. You can follow these steps to score well in this section:

  • Practice previous year question papers. This will give you an idea about the exam pattern and will help you prepare accordingly. 
  • To enhance your speed and accuracy, Clear your basics, jot down all the important formulas, and go through them regularly. 
  • Have a good grasp of multiplication tables and cube roots to save time in the exam. Try to memorize the square and cube root values of numbers till 30 and remember the multiplication table till 25. 
  • Practice full-length mock papers.
  • Glance through the paper and start with the questions you are most comfortable with. 

Also Read: Tips to Master GMAT Quantitative Ability

Reasoning Ability in Competitive Exams 

Reasoning Ability is another popular section among competitive exams which challenges students to solve questions from topics like patterns, puzzles, analogy, pictographs, etc. Tips to ace this section are:

  • Analyze your weaknesses and pay more attention to such topics.
  • Skip the question if it is taking a lot of time.  
  • Start solving questions from easy topics like directions, and analogy and then move to complex topics like puzzles, coding-decoding, and syllogisms. 

How to Prepare for Competitive Exams with Job

Not everyone has an option to leave their jobs to prepare for competitive exams. So, here we will telling you how you can prepare for competitive exams while doing a job:

  • Weekends are your best friends. Focus on clearing your concepts and doing long-hour study during this time
  • Take support from your manager and ask them to reduce your daily work hours so you can focus on your studies
  • Study in the morning. Instead of waking up late and preparing at night in tiredness, it’s better that you study at least one hour in the morning by solving questions
  • Take coaching sessions on the weekend if needed. Since you have a lot going on, taking external support won’t be bad

Study Hacks for Competitive Exams

Now that you know how to prepare for these competitive exams, here are some study hacks that can help you improve your chances of learning better:

  • Focus on your weakness only if you have enough time to learn it completely. If you have a few days left, do not pick anything new
  • Rest, eat and exercise: This will help you break the monotony of your preparation and help you in keeping yourself calm 
  • Treat yourself once you are fully prepared for the exam. This will help you relax
  • Practise mock tests to boost your short-term memory

How to Prepare for Competitive Exams without Coaching

While many will make you believe that competitive exams are virtually impossible to crack without coaching, reality is that if you have a proper preparation strategy and stick to it, you will not only crack the exam, you stand a chance to learn better than others. So, here is how you can prepare for competitive exams without coaching:

  • Prepare a timetable for the exam  preparation
  • Start with understanding the core concepts and do not leave any important section
  • Since you don’t have a backup from a coaching centre, you should be open to taking help from other resources like family, friends and even youtube channels
  • Do multiple revisions
  • Mock exams are your best friends
  • Make a study group if that helps you

Some General Tips 

Listed below are a few tips and tricks which comes handy in preparing for competitive exams:

  • Go through the syllabus thoroughly. 
  • Invest more time in weaker sections.
  • Follow the timetable strictly.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Use flowcharts, tables, graphs, or other visual techniques to make notes.

Time Table for Competitive Exam Preparation 

If you are planning to successfully prepare for a competitive exam, you need a proper timetable that will ensure that you use your time wisely. The timetable will depend a lot on the duration left for the exam. 

  • Divide your hours into 45 minutes of studying and then a 15-minute break
  • Start by taking a test to see where your performance lies
  • Next, pick up those subjects that you are weak in 
  • Start by giving them half of your study hours
  • Choose the other half to improve on what you already know
  • Ensure that you take enough breaks and sleep

Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you nail competitive exams in the future. If you are still confused about which exam to take in order to apply for universities abroad, contact Leverage Edu experts. The counsellors will help you select the best exam and also in creating a perfect strategy to ace the same. 

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  1. I am amazed by this informational post and I would love to read more informational posts like this one.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion and opinion for the Tips to Crack Competitive Exams. It is very helpful to the aspiring students in getting an overview of it. Good Luck and keep on sharing with more insights.

    1. Hi, Jaya!
      For English: Word Power Made Easy by Normal Lewis.
      English Grammar & Composition by Wren and Martin.
      Descriptive General English by S P Bakshi and Richa Sharma.
      Objective English for Competitive Examinations by Hari Mohan Prasad, Uma Rani Sinha, Mcgraw Hill Education Publication.

      For Quants: Quantitative Aptitude by R.S Agarwal

      Aaap aur jaankari ke liye yeh padh saktein hain: Bank Exam Preparation Apps
      English for Bank Exams
      Books for Bank Exams

  1. I am amazed by this informational post and I would love to read more informational posts like this one.