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3 Key Time Management Tips for Acing General Ability

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Out of the 3 multiple-choice exams, General Ability (or GA for short) has the lowest time-per-question ratio. With an average of 40 seconds per question, students tend to feel that GA is a race against time, and often make silly mistakes as a result of rushing. As the 2020 Selective exam draws nearer, it is becoming more and more important to ensure that your exam technique is effective.


So, how can you manage time efficiently and maximise your marks in General Ability? Here are 3 simple techniques to keep in mind:


1. Know and understand your question types


At 300 Selective, we divide these questions into 7 distinct types:

  • i) Vocabulary

  • ii) Letter Patterns

  • iii) Number Patterns

  • iv) Shape Patterns

  • v) Verbal Logic

  • vi) Non Verbal Logic

  • vii) Numerical Problems

It’s important to be able to recognise question types as soon as you read them. Most questions will be quite distinct - for example, Vocabulary questions have the phrase: (“Which of the following is a SYNONYM/ANTONYM of…”).


Even if you have only done a couple of practice papers, you will start to recognise different question types quite quickly. But it is important to consciously pay attention to exactly what category each question belongs to because it will help you allocate enough time for each question.


2. Allocate a time limit for each question type


Every question type should have different amounts of time allocated to it depending on its difficulty. Let’s compare two examples:

Question 1. Which of the following is an ANTONYM of the word ‘treason’?
A. logic B. betrayal C. disagreement D. mediocrity

This is a simple Vocabulary question which should take no more than 20 seconds to complete. If you know the word’s meaning, then great - pick the answer and move on. If you don’t know the word, this is not one of those questions where spending more time is going to get you any closer to the answer. So, once again, us