If you are a final year student, placements season would surely be an overwhelming time which requires a rigorous approach to improve your Aptitude skills for the job opprtunities.
Tell me something about yourself! Would probably start come in your dreams. Making and remaking CV, getting dressed up in formals every day, rounds of the placement department, attending pre placement talks, giving multiple tests a day would become the new normal. And just one wish, I get placed in this company so that I can enjoy what is left of my college time!
A lot of companies visit college campuses to recruit students every year.
The campus placement procedure of any company usually comprises of 3-5 rounds. The first screening round is the Aptitude or Written test. It is followed by 1-2 coding rounds for an IT company. For a non-IT company, there are 1-2 Group Discussion (GD) rounds. And finally, there is the Personal Interview Round (Tech and or HR).
This article talks about the first round of placements- The often-ignored Aptitude Round!
Whether you are preparing for an IT job, government job or even for higher studies (MBA, MS, GATE etc), getting through the aptitude test is almost always the first step. A lot of engineering students tend to ignore the aptitude test considering the level and type of questions is high school. What they forget is that competition is relative! You have to compete with people of similar intellectual level as yours. No matter how good you are with the technical/coding part, if you do not get through the aptitude round, you are out of the race.
QUICK TIPS FROM STARTING YOUR PREPARATION TO YOUR EXAM DAY
- Know the Syllabus: Before you start preparing for any examination, you should keep a copy of detailed syllabus with yourself. It is to familiarise yourself with the length and breadth of the syllabus to be covered before starting. Also, having the syllabus, you will spend time and energy only on relevant topics.
- Go through Previous Year Question Papers: Again, keep a book/ printed copy of previous year papers. It will give you an idea of the type of questions in the exam and help you gauge their difficulty level. It will give you a reality check of the exam you are up against. Solving the previous year questions would build confidence like nothing else will.
- Keep your Fundamentals Strong: Having strong fundamentals goes without saying in an aptitude exam. Build a strong understanding of all the topics in the syllabus. Do not try to mug up formulas or find short cuts without understanding. Try to visualise the problems in real-time and see if you can apply them, which is only possible after having clear fundamentals.
- Practice, Practice & Practice: After you have gone through al the topics once, keep practising questions. The more you practice, the better will be your speed, accuracy and confidence level.
- Focus on Important Topics: After going through the Previous Year Questions and Syllabus, you will get an idea of the important topics and average weightage of every topic asked in the exam. Prioritise your preparation accordingly and focus on important topics. Cover them first, spend more time on them and revise them more often.
- Keep your Resources Limited: In this day and age, there are innumerable preparation resources at your disposal. You will have multiple books and websites where you can prepare from. Students spend a lot of time browsing through them and hobbling from one resource to another and end up wasting a lot of time and energy in this. Select one or two quality and comprehensive resources out of them before starting your preparation and then stick to them. Some resources you can refer to are given in the next section.
- Revision: Maintain a formulas list/notes. Stick one copy of it in your room and keep one in your bag. You can look at it every now and then for revision. Remember the more you revise the better you will get!
- Keep Stress at Bay: As the exams approach, it is natural to get anxious and stressed. To overcome anxiety and stress, be well prepared in time. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. Most importantly, take a good night’s sleep before the exam.
- During the Exam: Don’t try new ways, just stick to your strategy. It is usually advisable to start with your forte, the section you are strongest at. Read all questions twice before solving to avoid any silly mistakes. If you are not able to solve a question in the first go, don’t stick to it. You can always come back to it in the end if time permits.
MATERIAL FOR PREPARATION:
You need to look no further because we have a special course designed specifically for Aptitude Preparation. It is taught by the industry doyens of Aptitude Preparation by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay.
Listed below for your reference are some common books and websites for placements and aptitude preparation.
Aptitude tests usually consist of four major sections- quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning and verbal ability and data interpretation. The important topics for aptitude test are listed below sections:
Quantitative Aptitude: In Quantitative Aptitude section specifically, read the question twice before answering to avoid silly mistakes. The common topics of this section are as follows:
Logical Reasoning: While solving Logical Reasoning questions, remember to never make any assumptions of your own unless specifically asked in the question. Also, make it a habit to write all given information and data before starting to solve the question. The common topics of the Logical Reasoning sections are given below.
For acing the Verbal Reasoning section, it is best to develop reading skills. Make it a habit to spend some time reading good books, magazines and newspapers. This will help you improve your reading skills, vocabulary, grammar along with your ability to make logical inferences.
Data interpretation: In Data Interpretation questions, as the name suggests the questions are based on making sense out of processed data. The data can be organised in the following formats.
THINGS ONE TENDS TO MISS OUT
No matter how good your technical knowledge is, projects are, the score is, CV is- If you don’t get through the aptitude test, you won’t get to show them off. So, DO NOT take the Aptitude Test for granted and practice adequately for it.
Timed Tests: It is not just about solving the questions, or knowing the solution to the question. The game is to solve maximum questions accurately in the set time limit. For an engineering graduate sitting for an IT job, the difficulty level of questions is not a concern. The concern is time. You need to practice giving timed tests and solving maximum questions in the given time limit to make it through.
Acquaint yourself to the Test Environment: Check out beforehand, the mode of the examination, the number and types of questions asked, the cut-off percentage etc. To acquaint yourself with the environment, give ample mock tests and check out previous year question papers of the company online.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the aptitude test or be overconfident. Just keep practising and you will sail through!
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