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The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani is a top ranking institute in India for undergraduate engineering programmes with campuses in Pilani, Hyderabad, Goa and Dubai. For admissions the candidate has to take the Computer based Online Test conducted by BITS, Pilani: The Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test, or commonly known as BITSAT.

For the examination, around 2 Lakh students appear each year making it a hard-earned seat. Therefore, I insist that you give it separate attention, not only in terms of strengthening the extra concepts it demands outside the JEE syllabus but also in solving sample papers. This article is an attempt to show the necessity of the latter.

The sample papers for BITSAT are easily available through online and offline channels. The package provided by Arihant is well curated with a huge bank of questions designed to match the level of the actual examination. I recommend that you dedicate sufficient time in solving these papers, and as many of them as possible. It would do you good if you practise in the correct time limit, i.e., three hours without a break.

Solving papers may at the first look like a tedious task with nothing to learn or gain from it. But you’ll be surprised to know how much you can learn from mistakes and re-attempts.

First is, of course, a familiarity with the devil. There are many innately sharp students I know who have crystal clarity in concepts and accuracy in solving, but manage time poorly. When you attempt a question at home our main aim is to understand the concept lying behind it and apply that in appropriate form to solve the question, and you are in no hurry. But when suddenly 150 questions (, with a chance of 12 bonus questions if you have time to spare,) pop up before to be solved in 180 minutes, you lose your cool and commit mistakes which are foolish and unnecessary. Also since the paper is Online and not the traditional pen-and-paper kind, its better to adapt yourselves accordingly.

By simulating the atmosphere of the examination at home, and repeating until its familiar, you are creating for you a position of ease and comfort. In a few attempts you’ll identify for yourself that you are wasting time on unnecessary tasks and creating avoidable pressure. Checking the clock every two minutes, shuffling between half solved questions and making silly calculation or marking mistakes are examples of things that go wrong when the mind is not at peace. (It would make you really angry to lose out on marks because you solved a question correctly but marked it wrong !) Once you are familiar with the mechanics of solving a paper, you really can calm down and dedicate all of your time and mental energy to the important tasks: thinking and solving.

Solving sample papers will also give you an insight of the style of questions that the examiner has in mind for you. Compared to JEE, the questions in BITSAT are usually quicker to solve but demand an absolute clarity in concept and accuracy in solution. In this respect the wrong attempts will teach you better than the right ones.

Since the questions are chosen from a large question bank and everybody gets a different paper, there are high chances of old familiar questions popping up again. Many questions are straight forward where you need to remember your formulae and apply simply without mistakes. The more you practise these, the better will be the retention in the exam.

After solving paper, sit down and analyse it, going over each question, taking your time. If the mistakes were conceptual, its better to get that clarified right now than perform the same

again in an exam. In these last days of preparations you might not have enough time for going over the entire syllabus again. It’s better if you identify your weak points and work on them instead. Also, there are variations in the syllabus of BITSAT and other examinations and it’s a good way to revisit those concepts.

A proper analysis should also include an identification of the human errors you commit and how you can avoid them. Try to rewind and see where you went wrong. Did you have a sense of dividing time between the subjects or the sensibility of not wasting too much time on one question? Try also to see what style of solving comforts you. The best thing about a genuine feedback is that it leaves you better off than before; always.

My teacher said that your success is directly proportional to the amount of ink on your scratchpad. No one can stress the importance of practise and re-learning enough. I hope you improve by solving papers and perform to your best capabilities in the examination.

Best of luck for your future. Hope you have a great one.

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