How to prepare for PSA?

  
          
     

Problem Solving Assessment

Problem Solving Assessment, an aptitude test introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), for preparing students for higher order thinking skills, does not follow a set course curriculum. It has been especially designed for students of Class IX and Class XI.

Apart from giving the names of the three sections and type of questions, the CBSE does not provide any hints as to the preparation of PSA. However, the three sections of PSA are similar to many other competitive exams such as SAT, CAT, GMAT, Bank PO etc.

Qualitative Reasoning

Qualitative Reasoning is a section that contains multiple-choice questions of one line or one paragraph. Some are passage-based multiple-choice questions detailing on various situations that need deduction abilities to come to the right answer. The following is the format of Qualitative Reasoning section of PSA-

Qualitative Reasoning Marks

Stand Alone MCQs

6

Passage-based MCQs Set#1

6

Passage-based MCQs Set#2

6

TOTAL WEIGHT

18

Sample question: Stand Alone Multiple-Choice Question -

Rahul is facing west. He turns 45° in the anti-clock-wise direction and then 180° in the clockwise direction. Which direction is he facing now?

a)  North    b)  North-East   c)  East    d)  South – East

How to prepare for PSA Qualitative Reasoning?

  • While practising questions, learn how to cull the most important information.
  • A practise of skimming will be very handy during the test.
  • Get as many questions as you can from old papers or PSA sample papers to master the section.
  • Catch hold of Finance and Economy related newspapers and magazines for a great practise of graph interpretations. The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Economic Times etc are full with graphical data.
  • Practise interpretation of the graphs or small passages in the given context. Compare your interpretations with those given in the news reports. If you are able to interpret exactly as them, you will have mastered this section.
  • The key to mastering qualitative reasoning questions is to follow a systematic approach: understanding the passage/situation, pre-thinking the answer choices and eliminating the incorrect options.
  • While practising, make sure you don’t start solving the question based on the answer choices. Learn to solve first and then choose the options.
  • These questions will require your ability to think in two different directions objectively.

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning section tests a lot of high-school Math. It also has stand alone as well as passage-based multiple-choice questions. This is how a Quantitative Reasoning section of PSA looks like-

Quantitative Reasoning Marks

Stand Alone MCQs

10

Passage-based MCQs Set#1

4

Passage-based MCQs Set#2

4

TOTAL WEIGHT

18

Sample question:

Teena did a Mathematics test with a different design.?Each correct answer scored 8 marks, and each incorrect answer reduced the score by 4 marks.?The test contained 30 questions, and after completing it Deepa had a score of zero.?How many questions did she answer correctly??

1) 8    2) 10    3) 12   4) 15

How to prepare for PSA Quantitative Reasoning?

Brush up your fundamentals of Math such as numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurements, data analysis, statistics and probability.

  • This section requires a student to juggle a lot of information, combine multiple types of math, and perform multi-step calculations. Practise accordingly.
  • These questions require out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving. Practise approaches to simplify the problems.
  • Practise different strategies and learn to make judgment of which strategy is applicable when.
  • Practise estimation. Often PSA questions don’t measure your computation skills but your approximation skills. For example, the fact that 11 goes into 56 a little more than 5 times means that 11/56 must be slightly less than 1/5, or 0.2.
  • Memorize exponent rules. Know what fractional exponents and negative exponents mean. Also, be ready to answer answers about quantities with absolute values less than 1 being raised to odd and even powers.
  • Learn to judge questions really well. If the question asks for the value of x and you cut the problem down to an equation like 305x = 2(500) – 10205, don’t waste your time solving for x! Remember, all linear one-variable equations have a unique solution, but quadratic equations—equations with an x^2 term—can have zero, one, or two solutions.

Language Conventions

This section is clearly about language, which is either Hindi or English depending on your choice. Language Convention section is a balance of theoretical and applied grammar; comprehension abilities through unseen passages and vocabulary. So you need to know the terms as much as you must know how to apply them. The following is the format of the section-

Language Conventions Marks

Grammar and usage MCQs

8

Vocabulary and context based MCQs

8

Passage-completion based MCQs

8

TOTAL WEIGHT

24

Sample Grammar English question-

He promised _________ in this matter.

a) helping   b) to help    c) help     d) helped

How to prepare for Language Convention?

  • Brush up your basics of grammar (English or Hindi), know the terms and what they mean and learn to identify them.
  • Study English concept-wise. Some major concepts are: Subject-Verb Agreement; Parallelism; Syntax and precision; Redundancy; Right placement of adverbs, adjectives; Tenses/timeframes; Noun-Pronoun agreement; Placement of prepositions; Use of co-relative conjunctions etc.
  • Learn skimming. This means learn to read more words at a time, skipping names, unimportant full forms and terminology. Skimming a passage means you know how to cull in only vital information from the English/Hindi piece that you read.
  • Learn faster comprehension by focusing on the Central Idea/Purpose of the author in the passage. This focus will help you get to the point of the passage more quickly, ultimately helping you to answer questions.
  • Practise 3-4 passages in a day and analyze them thoroughly. Find out reasons why certain questions went wrong. This would help you get to the crux of your problem.
  • Identify question types like: deductive; vocabulary-based; assumption-based, interpretative questions. Observe their correct option and find out how you can arrive at the right one every time.
  • Read a lot. Read fiction, newspapers, and magazines, almost anything you can lay your hands on.
  • Work on your vocabulary, especially how to know the meaning of word in a given context.
How to prepare for PSA?
How to prepare for PSA? - By | Date Published : 28-01-2015 | Category : Article |
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Problem Solving Assessment



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