How to prepare for BITSAT 2018?
The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani is a well-known engineering college in India. The Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT) 2018, the engineering entrance exam to BITS Pilani campuses in Pilani, Goa and Hydrabad, will be conducted online from 14 May to 29 May, 2018 at dedicated exam centres in numerous cities across the country. It is one of the most competitive exams where on an average, 68 aspirants compete for one seat. If you are wondering how to prepare for BITSAT 2018, then read on to find details and tips.
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BITSAT 2018 exam pattern - How to tackle each section
The examination contains 150 multiple choice questions spread across five segments - Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (or Biology for B.Pharm applicants), Logical Reasoning and English. The total time available to complete these is 3 hours or 180 minutes. A student has 72 seconds on an average, to complete each question. Only students who have passed the 12th standard in 2013 with above 60 percent marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics and have a good command over the English language are eligible for BITSAT 2018. In the examination, each correct answer gives 3 marks and each incorrect answer deducts 1 mark.
Physics has 40 questions worth 120 marks in the examination. Heat and thermodynamics have the highest weightage, followed by magnetic effect of current. The other topics in Physics such as current electricity, gravitation, fluids and rotational motion have more or less the same weightage. All of these topics need to be studied thoroughly and extensively before attempting the exam. BITSAT generally has a lot of numericals so make sure to practice enough ti increase your speed.
Chemistry also has 40 questions worth 120 marks. Here chemical bonding has the highest weightage, followed by atomic structure. Special attention should be given to these while also thoroughly going through the remaining topics such as biomolecules, p-block elements or electrochemistry.
Mathematics has 45 questions worth 135 marks. This is the largest segment in the paper and one with the highest scoring. Calculus, circles and trigonometry are vital topics, but this doesn't mean that the other topics have any lesser value than these.
English has 15 questions worth 45 marks. This segment is important because it may be a section with easily gained marks. Be familiar with synonyms, antonyms and grammar. The best way to do this is to improve your vocabulary either by reading or solving sample questions.
Logical Reasoning has 10 questions worth 30 marks. Figure formation and analysis and figure matrices are the most important topics here. Other topics such as analogy tests must also be given adequate attention.
"Apart from the usual PCM questions, BITSAT has 25 questions on English and Logical Reasoning, which I found really scoring and these are areas where everyone should be able to score at least 90 percent marks and the best thing is that they take less time. I preferred doing these sections first - it helps boost your confidence for the rest of the paper," says Ramnani about his BITSAT experience.
Bonus Questions in BITSAT
If you will finish the entire test in less than 180 minutes time without skipping any question; your machine will give you 12 more questions (maximum) to answer. You will be given the choices to attempt these questions or skip.
The extra questions will be asked from Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. This is the additional feature of BITSAT Computer Based Test to score as per your ability.
"Attempt those extra 12 questions only after weighing your risk: benefit ratio. Those extra questions are not exactly easy (and not hard either, but you never know.) Go for them only if you're confident enough, otherwise it’s better to play it safe and avoid the negative marking," advises Chirag.
Preparing for the test
Below are some preparation tips for BITSAT 2018:
BITSAT is one of the toughest engineering entrance exams in India. Cracking it can require dedication and tenacity. Reading and re-reading the topics until everything is clear is absolutely necessary. Manage time and answers efficiently. Don't dwell on a question for too long.
"Whatever be the format of exam, the concepts for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics remain the same and the preparation should be more or less similar as for other engineering entrance exams like JEE Main and VITEEE. BITSAT focuses more on the basics and is a high scoring exam with cut offs going as high as 60% of the maximum marks," says Chirag.
Make a plan for how you're going to study. If you have time on your hands, divide the segments equally and start going through them thoroughly. Try to improve your grasp on weaker topics before moving on to easier ones. If you are short on time, just focus on the ones that you know the best. Trying to cram in too much information will only have a negative effect. You can also make flash cards for formulae and theorems. Keep track of your syllabus completion and go through according to the plan you've devised. Chirag, who successfully cleared BITSAT in 2010 advises, "Revise your concepts thoroughly once and practice applying the learnt concepts. Once you've done a certain amount of practice, you'll realize which topics you need to work on. Plan and practice accordingly."
- Negative Marking
Beware of negative marking. Since the number of questions are more (150) you'll be tempted to guess.If you really want to make guess for some questions, try it on not more than 5 questions. Only try to "guess intelligently" i.e. guess the answer if you have some idea about what the correct answer could be answer (this happens a lot in Chemistry.)
There is no substitute for hard work, so solve as many questions as possible. BITSAT is generally considered to be easier than JEE Main (AIEEE) and JEE Advanced). But the catch in BITSAT is that you have to solve 150 questions in 180 minutes and this is what makes it difficult! You need to strategise on your speed, decide which questions to tackle first and finish the paper in time so that you can attempt the 12 bonus questions (which are an extremely important component). Only by practising regularly can you master the exam-taking technique. And Chirag agrees, "Speed and accuracy play a crucial role in cracking BITSAT."
- Take online mock tests
Since BITSAT is a computer based test, all test questions need to be answered with the click of a mouse. Don't let this bother you too much; you need not be computer savvy. Practice enough sample tests online so that you're comfortable taking a test in this manner. You may also attempt the sample BITSAT available at www.bitsadmission.com. It will help you get accustomed to the actual BITSAT examination. You can take this sample BITSAT test as many times as you want.
- Choose the right books and sample tests
NCERT books serve as a good base for preparation especially for Chemistry, according to Ramnani. After completing the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books, you can consult H.C. Verma for physics; O.P. Agarwal and R.C. Mukherjee for physical chemistry; K.C. Sinha for algebra and calculus and S.L. Loney for trigonometry and co-ordinates. Arihant for BITSAT and MTG Explorer for BITSAT are popular and widely recommended books/ CDs. Chirag Ramnani who cracked BITSAT 2010 says, "I used MTG BITSAT explorer, which has a pretty decent collection questions and it comes with a CD that contains mock online tests. It’s difficult to claim if they match the difficulty level of BITSAT as BITSAT questions are not officially released, but using these papers one can get used to take online exams!"
- Finding time to relax
Find time to relax and manage stress efficiently.
- During the exam
"During the exam it is very important to keep your cool, decide the order in which you're going to attempt the paper. Don't waste time on questions you're not confident of, you can always come back to them. Just mark them to be reviewed later. Don't worry about what the other person is doing, don't waste time on counting how many questions you've attempted or how much you will score. Just fight with the paper till the last minute, remain focused and make sure you don't take your score down by earning any negative marking," advises Chirag.
Salient Features OF BITSAT 2018
- The candidate takes the test on the computer, submits his answers through the use of key board or mouse.
- The computer is connected to the server, which delivers the test, in real time through a reliable connectivity.
- The online tests are conducted at several centers in India, during May-June every year.
- Candidate can choose the center, the date, and time of the test, as per his/her convenience, while applying for the tests.
- The advertisement calling for applications are normally released in December.
- The score is made available to the candidate on the screen immediately after the test, thus it is designed to be transparent.
- The test will have Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, English Proficiency, and Logical reasoning parts, and it is of 3 hours duration.
- All questions are of objective type (multiple choice questions) and based on NCERT syllabus.
- The test is so designed that it doesn't require the candidate to have any special computer skilsl.
- A sample test is made available for the registered candidates at the BITS Website on which he/she can practice as many times as desired.
- The questions are selected at random from a large question bank. Different candidates will get different question sets, but of the same difficulty level and content.
- BITSAT uses latest technologies for security and test delivery. The architecture uses high end servers, Microsoft software platform, firewalls, and Virtual private networks.
Problem Solving in BITSAT:
- Read the question carefully. (Generally a question contains certain set of rules, or variables, or logic, or analogies, or a set of these.)
- If a question is theoretical type, think of the rules, or logic, or analogies involved in the statement.
- Think how the given statement(s) relates to some theory or law and if the relation gives some yields or the desired answer.
- Check if the statement(s) given relates to a theory which leads to answer you require or further lead to some theory which in turn yields desired answer.
- Write in short, all the given quantities on paper. For example if a questions’ first line reads ‘Velocity of a projectile in x direction is 6.5 m/s then write vx = 6.5 m/s, instead of writing full statement Velocity of a Projectile in x direction is (vx) = 6.5 m/s.
- Write the quantity that has been asked.
- Think of the rules, and logic sets involved in the given question.
- Sketch a free hand diagram, if required.
- Find the relationship between given quantities, if they are related.
- Identify the constants that you require to establish relationship between given quantities.
- Think of the formulae or set of rules that you require relating the quantities (using required constant) in question.
- Observe if all the quantities (including constants) are in same system of units, if not convert them using conversion rules. For example; if time is expressed in hour and you are required to find acceleration in m/s2 convert the hour into seconds.
- Now, establish the relationship among given quantities with the help of some constant etc; solving it may give a direct answer required or will give a quantity which may lead to the desired quantity.
- If you have established some equations with the given set of quantities (using constants etc), then try to establish the relation between equations which may give you the required results.
- Mark the correct answer on the computer screen. And move to the next question or next section as required.
"Brochure from BITS Pilani containing admission information," BITS Pilani, http://www.bitsadmission.com/bitsat/BITSAT2013_brochure.htm
Times of India, May 2012: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-05-10/india/31654798_1_lakh-students-iits-aieee