Failing forward- Analysis of mistakes

Best NEET Coaching in Pune

‘ Failing Forward ‘ is a wonderful novel that I read a long ago.  Best NEET Coaching in Pune It’s a promising read, where the author Maxwell tells how mistakes are the perfect stepping stones for moving forward and how scientific analysis of mistakes unlocks the secret potential to achieve success ..  And hence the title for this write-up!!

Now that test papers and mock tests will make a significant part of your preparation, you have to really make sure, it’s ‘ significant importance ‘.

Especially in a high-scoring subject like Biology, one must look upon the test as an absolute mirror .. yes a plain mirror, where the image is same size and left-right inverted. What does this mean? Your performance is exactly the size of your preparation, neither diminished, nor magnified. The mistakes made in the test should be the starting point for planning the further studies. So how can we analyse our mistakes?

Mistakes should be categorized into 4 categories-

  1. Insufficient Data – it’s the most common mistake . The student just didn’t remember the answer and hence left it . Or , got it wrong as the memory failed . The information is printed clearly in the textbook, he also knows it’s there , but didn’t recollect it . Most times , the student says –‘ I just got confused . I just blanked out.’ All these are mistakes due to insufficient, incomplete , inaccurate preparation. The earlier you accept it , it’s better for the student . This is the most easily correctable mistake as you know , why and what you missed and where it is in the book . NEET Preparation in Pune

The remedial measures for this is nothing but enough, robust preparation. The program should also be well strategized. Repeated short revisions, making lists for quicker revisions, short repeated takes ups – all this should be included in your study. So your daily timetable should include a time reserved for revisions apart from fresh study. Reinforcing the data and storing it in your drive is the key. Ideally, at the time of exam, answers should be at the tip of the tongue. It should not be ‘ Remember and Choose and Mark ‘  … but ‘ Choose and  Confirm and Mark  ‘. I always tell students, it’s not about getting 360/360 in Biology. It’s about the denominator- Time. In how many minutes, you managed the high score will decide how well and confidently you can tackle Physics and Chemistry. 99 percent of Biology paper is directly from the NCERT textbook as line picks, statements, fill in the blanks or match the following. So this genre of mistakes can be completely avoided if you know your textbook well.

  •  Conceptual Mistakes –These mistakes happen as the student has not understood the topic . Or mostly , the student thinks he has understood but there is a patchy or incomplete understanding. Such mistakes may be less common in Biology . Also understanding and application based questions , though common in earlier class tests are rare in final NEET . Nevertheless it is extremely important that all concepts are understood and comprehended with utmost crystal clarity . If even a small sub topic is left unattended, it can cause trouble. So be doubly sure , that each and every of smallest of concept  is well understood . Simple concepts like – Family , Orders , Species , Division are ‘assumed’  to be understood . But probably , you have not checked if you really have .Chapters like Genetics , Biotechnology, Plant Physiology also have a lot of new concepts and deserve a status of checking if you are on the same page with all concepts . These are newer topics never covered in school and hence all the more tough on your cortical neurons .
  • Misinterpretation of question –  these are questions where the purpose of the paper setter is to set the question in such a way , where the student is bound to get tricked . The common method to trick a student is to use ‘ qualifier ‘ or ‘ disqualifier ‘ words in the question itself or use such words in the Answer options which qualify them as an answer or not . I will like to state an example here – The question is – The pectoral girdle has how many bones ? The student tends to quickly mark the answer as 2 ( as he knows that it’s scapula and clavicle) . But if you carefully read the NCERT book , it say that – Each half of Pectoral Girdle –consists of 2 bones . So obviously , the answer is not 2 , but 4 .

There are many many such questions, and with practice, you will master the art of fishing out these tricky words. As you go on solving such Mock Tests, you will develop the inherent knack of outwitting your examiner.

  • Silly mistakes – Students and parents happily call them as errors and make their life simple . In fact , I call these mistakes as ‘ Blunders ‘. They are simply unforgivable. The only way to not make these mistakes is to anticipate them . The awareness and knowledge that you are bound to make this mistake and then with this background, to avoid it , is the only way to negate them . The mis reading of questions and answer options can be avoided by underlining of all important words in the question . The phrases like – which of the following feature is not a characteristic of … so in the above notis a qualifier word , which will decide the answer. The other common silly mistake is lack of communication between brain and eye . The eye will only see what the mind is thinking . So if your mind is thinking of dog , it will choose dog instead of cat . But your brain actually has the knowledge and information too that – Not dog , but cat belongs to Family Felidae . So having a check on whether  your Subconscious thought , your conscious knowledgable brain and what is actually printed on the paper is same  – is very important .

Who said, rough work is not important in biology? Do pen down points from memory, make ticks,  make crosses and carefully choose the right answer. Transfer mistakes have now become common because of the 10 /15 questions of last 15 that you have to chose. So making ticks after you transfer the ones you have attempted, bold crosses against the ones you have left and leaving the corresponding on OMR sheet should be practiced in offline tests on a regular basis. Academy for medical entrance examinations

To all parents – please analyse and categorise the mistakes into above 4  categories after every test and accordingly steer the student’s further preparation. It’s a 5 min exercise. You sit down with your child and see what, why and where he has gone wrong.