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Tips to increase speed for clearing the Competitive Exams

Speed can only be increased by more practice and deeper concentration.

To know, how can you improve your speed, you first need to know your average speed of solving a question today. If you do not know your current speed, how can you improve it ? So the first step of improvement is realization. Speed means the average time you take to solve a question. Let us understand the definition with the help of an example.

Physics Chemistry Mathematics Total
Total No. of Questions 60 60 60 180
Questions Attempted 52 58 54 164
Correct Answers 46 36 48 130
Wrong Answers 06 22 06 34

Speed would be = Total time spend ( In seconds ) / Total questions attempted

So the overall speed as per the table above = (180 x 60 )/ 164 = 66 sec (approx.) per question.

Speed building can be generated through the following techniques:

♦  Memorizing land mark problems i.e., remembering standard formula, concepts so that you can apply them directly

♦Being strong in mental calculations. Never use calculator during your entire preparation, try to do first and second level of calculations mentally. As vocalization reduces reading speed similarly doing calculations on paper reduces calculation speed. Tools for solving numerical problems faster can be : memorizing tables till 30, knowing the values of fractions like 2/3 = 66.66 %,  knowing squares & cubes till 40.

♦ Working with choices : It means to check all the options and do not go for last digit accuracy unless required by the problem.

When you are doing subjectwise exercises, you can calculate speed subjectwise. For e.g., In the above table, the speed is highest in Chemistry (assuming equal time was given to all subjects) but many of the questions attempted are wrong. So the better way of measuring speed would be average speed of solving one question correctly and we call this speed as Effective Average Speed.

So Effective Average Speed = Total time spend ( In seconds ) / Total correct questions

So, the overall Effective Average Speed for the whole paper = ( 180 x 60)/ 130 = 83 sec (approx ) per question

After finding out your current speed, do each exercise and every question under a time limit. Allocate time for an exercise keeping your existing speed in mind. Lets say, your current average speed of solving a question is 60 seconds and you want to improve it to 40 seconds. While doing the exercise, allocate time slightly less than your current speed, say 50 seconds per question. This will put you under time pressure and hence would gradually help in improving your speed.

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