KEAM 2023: Skip tough questions, utilise time judiciously; last-minute tips here

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Just a few days remain for the Kerala Engineering-Pharmacy Entrance Examination. Students are busy making the last-minute preparation for the all-important exam to be held on May 17.

The KEAM, as the entrance test is known, tests the confidence of a candidate besides analyzing their knowledge; it will assess their time and skill efficiencies as well. In short, a broad-brush approach won’t be sufficient to crack the exam.

The exam pattern

Paper 1 Physics & Chemistry will be held from 10 am to 12.30 noon, while Paper 2 Mathematics is scheduled from 2.30 pm to 5 pm on the day. That means a student should be mentally prepared to write the examination for five hours a day. Those applying for B Pharm need to take only the Physics-Chemistry paper.

Candidates should keep in their possession a print copy of the downloaded admit card. (It’s better to go for colour print, however the same is not mandatory).

They should also carry one of the following officially recognized documents with their photo imprinted on it: school Id card/Pan card/ Driving Licence/ Voter Id card/Passport/Aadhaar Card/Class 12 hall ticket/bank passbook. Candidates should reach the exam hall half an hour before the scheduled time.

Question booklet

The booklet will be provided five minutes before the start of the exam. Carefully read and understand all directions given in it. Break open the seal only when the teachers direct you the same.

There are four question booklet versions– A1 and A2; A3 and A4; B1 or B2; and B3 & B4. If your roll number ends in an odd number, you will get one out of the A1, A3, B1 and B3 versions.

If the same is an even number (including zero), you have to answer one from the versions A2; A4; B2; B4.

Though all four versions will have the same questions, their order of arrangement will be different.

Once you open the question booklet, ensure that all 120 questions are printed properly and readable. If there are any blank pages, you should immediately get the booklet replaced. Make sure you are getting the right set here, too.

Verify that the version code, given at the margin on top of the left side of the facing sheet of your question booklet, matches that of your admit card. If not, get it replaced with the right one then itself.

Make sure the booklet serial number is given on top of the right side of the facing sheet. Write down your name and roll number and put your signature in the specified boxes.

Answer sheets

• The model of the OMR answer sheet is given on the 206th page of the prospectus. You can practice how to mark answers correctly and quickly during preparation. In the exam hall, before writing down the answers, ensure to note down the question booklet version code in the box given at the top of the left portion of your answer sheet. This is very important.

• Write down the question booklet serial number in the specified box given in the answer sheet and darken the bubbles. Similarly, jot down your registration number at two places specified in the answer sheet and darken the bubbles once. You shouldn’t simply write from your memory. You should copy the exact roll number from your admit card.

• While answering questions, you should completely fill the bubbles, or the optical mark reader may fail to read them.

• The OMR sheet should be ungreased. Be careful that no sweat/oil/mud falls on the answer sheet. It’s good to place a handkerchief below your arms placed on the answer sheet. Don’t fold, tear, wrinkle, or staple the OMR sheet.

• Don’t tamper with the barcode in any manner. It’s a machine-readable secret code of the answer sheets.

• Don’t separate the paper given below the OMR sheet to copy down the answers marked by you. Remove it only after the exam gets completed.

• Don’t write your name or number or anything that reveals your identity on the right portion of the answer sheet. Similarly, rough works can be done only on the question paper.

Marking answers

The time allotted for each paper is 150 minutes to answer 120 questions. There will be five options A; B; C; D; E against each question. If a candidate picks up the right option or the one which is closest to the answer, he/she will be awarded four marks. One mark will be deducted for each wrong answer.

If a student gives two answers to one question, the same will be treated as a wrong answer. However, no mark will be deducted if they skip the question. Each paper is out of 480 marks (hence 960 marks in total for two papers combined). The number of questions for Maths, Physics, and Chemistry will be 120, 72, and 48, respectively.

Darken the bubbles only after giving a proper thought. You can’t rub the same and give another answer. There is no need to guess the answers you don’t know, lest there is a risk of you losing the marks you have earned through correct answers.

Spend an average of 75 seconds for each question. So avoid reading all the questions from the start to the end initially. It’s a waste of time. You can answer them by the order of the arrangement. If you feel any of them are tough, you can skip the same and come to the next question.

First, complete the first round of answering till the 120th question. Then you can go back to those questions that you skipped by their arrangement order. You can also skip extremely tough questions in this round. This way you can utilize the time judiciously.

While you skip a question and answer the next one, make sure you are darkening the bubble against the right question number. For instance, you are skipping question number 11 and jolting down the answer to the next question. Make sure you mark the bubble of the 12th question itself. You shouldn’t be careless.

Don't forget these

• Keep ready all exam day essentials on the eve of the exam day itself. Besides admit cards, two or three black/blue ball pens, watch, and kerchief, you can take a smooth cardboard or clipboard. They prove useful when you darken the bubbles on the answer sheet placed on desks with small holes.

• Things like pencils, rubber, correction fluid, calculator, logarithm tables, mobile phone, electronic equipment, etc are not permitted inside the examination hall.

• Students can take along with them the question booklet and the paper in which the OMR sheet answers marked by you are copied down for self-verification later.

• Students should stay cool, especially in the exam hall. This is not a life-or-death situation. If you commit some mistakes in the first paper, don’t be too bothered about it. Instead, focus on the second paper. During the lunch break, the parents should also keep this point in mind and back the student.

Tips for the coming week

• Revise the points and notes that you have already prepared. Write down the formulas and definitions, again and again, to assure yourself that you won’t commit mistakes.

• Use easy memorizing technique Mnemonics like VIBGYOR, the sequence of seven colours in a rainbow.

• Make sure you cover the entire syllabus while preparing for the entrance test. There is no choice of questions during the examination.

• Practice mental calculation of figures saves a lot of time. Calculators are not allowed inside the exam hall.

• Practice by solving previous years’ or sample papers, sticking within the time limit. This way, you can learn how to maintain speed and accuracy.

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