Updated: May 4
Today, a CAT aspirant shared with me how preparing for Quantitative Aptitude section can be so taxing that one loses motivation to continue.
I could totally relate with her because as a non-engineer, my mathematics was weak too. She asked me, "How to motivate oneself when one is unable to solve 3-4 questions in a row?"
This is what I told her:
I got bored of Quants all the time. So, I came up with some rules to solve QA -
I'll solve QA questions in multiple sittings (not all at one go). I had Arun Sharma's QA Book as well as TIME's coaching material for QA.
Each sitting will cater to only one chapter and only 20 questions of that chapter at a time (easy or moderate).
In each sitting, my motive will be to 'attempt' the questions and not 'solve' them.
I'll attempt the 20 questions at once and mark the ones I'm unable to solve (after spending 5 minutes/question)
I'll note down the reason for not being able to solve using a symbol - one circle means I have no clue how to solve it, two circles mean I know the formula but somehow I'm not getting the right answer.
After spending 20*5 = 100 minutes at max on one sitting, I will leave the book.
This used to be the first sitting.
Then came the second sitting after a break of at least half an hour, in which my only objective would be to look at the answers (given at the back) and understand the solution. I'd also see if my circle symbol was accurate - i.e. if I knew the formula or not. The second sitting would most likely take <100 minutes. And, I used to mark the important questions after looking at their solution.
My strategy was to always solve any chapter of QA in pair-wise sittings - one to attempt all the 20 questions, the other to solve the unsolved questions. This never dipped my motivation, even if I wasn't able to solve any question out of the 20.
We feel demotivated when we're unable to achieve our objective. Don't consider solving as your objective, consider attempting as your objective and you'll have no reason to feel low.
Learn from your mistakes, learn from the questions you were unable to solve but don't feel disheartened because of them. The question is not of capability, it's of perseverance.
Sooner or later, with practice, you will be able to. Just keep going.