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CPT Attempt Strategy – Rahul Sharma

It is essential to acknowledge the fact that CPT being an MCQ pattern examination has no room for subjectivity with an answer either being right or wrong which has its own share of benefits and drawbacks. Hence, along with studying the concepts properly it is also important that you are well aware of an attempt strategy which would help you secure maximum marks.

It is of utmost importance that you go through the questions once and gauge the difficulty level of the questions before you start attempting the questions. Then you could follow the approach listed below:

  • Survive: It is of utmost importance that you secure at least 30% of the marks in each of the 4 sections to keep alive your hopes of passing the examination for which it is important that you identify questions you surely know the answer. Attempt those questions, and then count the number of questions attempted with complete accuracy. The number should at least be 40% of the number of questions in that section. Then proceed with caution with other questions as carelessly marking answers to questions you don’t know would lead to deduction in marks due to negative marking

  • Secure: The passing criteria is securing 50% marks and your next goal should be to try and secure 50% marks in each of the sections or the entire paper in totality. You need to be well aware of subjects on which you have a strong hold and that can compensate any shortfall in any other sections. The key is to secure at least 30% marks in each subject and balance out the remaining marks by scoring in your strong subjects. In worst case scenario, you should ideally aim for a 115/120 score which could possibly be reduced to close 100 given the effect of negative marking

  • Attack: If you are well prepared for the exam and are assured of passing, you should aim for a score of 140+ which is considered as distinction as per ICAI. Aim at attempting questions tactfully. Even making an educated guess of 4 questions could earn you a better score. To explain, if you attempt 8 questions (which otherwise you were expected to leave) , even if you get 2 questions right out of the 8, still your score will increase by 0.5 marks (6 x -0.25 + 2). But it should be a calculated guess. If you have zero knowledge about a question, try to avoid it. It is important that you make smart guesses like method of elimination and just do not mark answers blatantly

Points to remember:

  • Develop different markings (ticks, circles and dots) for questions you are sure about, questions to which you are confused between options and questions you don’t know answers to which would help you to understand which questions to attempt first and respectively

  • Do not waste time on one single question as every question no matter how difficult or easy has the same one mark
  • Try solving the Law section first in the first paper and Economics section in the second paper in as minimum time as possible to gain enough time to solve practical sections of Accounts and Mathematics respectively

  • Check that you are marking the correct option against the correct question number and each circle is darkened appropriately. You may use a ruler (scale) to ensure the same. Also, in case you change your answer ensure that you erase the wrong answer properly

  • Make use of the same calculator which you have used while preparing for the exams
  • Mark and check that you have darkened your seat number correctly

It is very important to realize the fact that the key to scoring good marks is conceptual understanding and proper revision and an attempt strategy would only help you to enhance your marks. Do not panic at any point during the exam, go through the questions you can answer correctly and proceed with caution.

Wish you all the very best for your exams!