An analysis of the SNAP 2017 examination indicates that Quants and Verbal sections were easier
How the times change! After many generations of pen-and-paper testing, even in the most prestigious institutions, is nowadays online assessment played out on computer screens. The fact that the youth can adjust so well and so quickly is a great advantage. Almost everybody would agree regarding the mighty advantages of the online testing system. Would any authority recommend the return to the pen and paper mode?
In any case, when have you attempted examinations and not found surprises? Despite the transformation of Symbiosis International, Deemed University conducted SNAP to the online mode, one would have expected the format to be similar to the previous years. Held as a two-hour examination from 2 pm to 4 pm on 17 December 2017, all over India. MBA is big business nowadays with most students wishing to obtain such a degree to enter the fastest promotion professional arena of business management. MBA admissions are decided by the SNAP performance with the cut-off marks specific to gain admission to the fifteen Symbiosis business schools. Surprises were similarly found in CAT, IIFT, and MICAT too.
One of the surprises that examinations must bring was the Infographics in the Reasoning section. The Quants and Verbal sections were generally considered to be on a lower difficulty level in comparison to the previous years. Besides, Data Interpretation did not require excessive calculations.
The role of entrance examinations
They are nowadays taken more or less for granted. It is a certainty that you need to clear such examinations according to the required percentages to be eligible for admission. Is the system fair? Imagine the number of heartbreaks and failed attempts for those who do not succeed. Yet, no other viable system would provide the criteria for admission to the coveted highly competitive seats that like business management would lead to lustrous professional careers in good time. Some talk of the exam malpractices but one would expect online systems to be secure, though the results could be manipulated like lotteries are believed to be staged.
Since exams accompany students almost from the cradle to the grave, they need to be creative and innovative too, or the purpose falls apart. Even after college is completed, professions and life itself are full of dire tests and battles. No wonder that life is often equated to a battlefield. Perhaps an examination hall would be a better analogy but the fingertips have taken the place of pens and pencils.
Amidst a sea of controversies, the academic trend indicates creative innovation but surprise questions often take the students through bitter nightmares. Confidence is easily eroded when something unfamiliar is encountered in examinations. On the other hand, most students study blindly, reading a lot more than is necessary. The idea is the more the better! The result may be a waste of time, money, and energy. The best preparation involves understanding the question paper rubric well with model papers and preparing in a focused manner.
In terms of length, it is a longer paper this year. SNAP 2017 had 150 questions that had to be answered in 120 minutes. That effectively means students get less than a minute for each question. According to several student responses,
- The Reasoning section was longer in comparison to the other sections.
- Due to the increased length and difficulty level, more time was needed to submit the answers.
- The Current Affairs in GK should be considered rather difficult since it focused on the happenings during the two years of 2016 and 2017, but that was revealed earlier.
- In Speed, Logic, and Analytical Skills, 2017 stressed analytical skills since Infographics were introduced in Reasoning.
- Conversely, Quants and Verbal were reasonably easy but some questions were lengthy too.
- Data Interpretation did not present severe challenges for calculation with two easy sets that had to be solved.
- Logical Reasoning did not follow expected analytical patterns but had data analytics based on calendars and clocks. Infographics were a test of interpretation and analysis.
This year did not contain Verbal Reasoning questions but had Game theory questions. The scoring related to basic blood relations, coding-decoding, mathematical operations, and input-output based questions.
With an expected cut-off of around 65-70 for SIBM, 80-85 Questions should be considered effective enough.
According to another differing view, SNAP 2017 had a similar pattern to the 2016 version but the overall difficulty level was higher. Students found it convenient since there were no sectional cut-offs. Scores could be thus increased instead of struggling with difficult sections.
The bitter battle with admission exams continues into 2018. A negative marking was imposed on SNAP 2017 with a 0.25 marks penalty. The two direct passages were rather long with six questions each. The vocabulary was tested hard but grammar was no problem.