How to tackle special questions of SNAP 2018
Aditi Garg, 03 Oct 2018, #SNAP
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How to tackle special questions of SNAP 2018 – The exam structure of SNAP 2018 has been introduced with some new and interesting changes, in terms of section-wise questions, type of questions and also the scoring pattern. Symbiosis International (Deemed University) has remodelled the SNAP 2018 exam pattern along the lines of CAT exam. Just like non-MCQ questions in CAT, SNAP exam will have special questions wherein candidates have to enter the answer by typing on the virtual keyboard. To avoid getting caught offhanded in the exam, aspirants must know how to tackle the special questions in SNAP 2018. This article outlines the preparation tips and strategies for the new exam pattern of SNAP.

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As per the SNAP Important Dates, the exam will be held on Sunday, December 16, 2018, in computer-based mode. The duration of the exam will be two hours. SNAP Registrations will remain open till November 26, 2018. 

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Other changes in SNAP 2018 exam include-

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1. The total number of total questions has been reduced to 130 from the earlier total of 150 questions.

2. Change in sectional composition of questions.

3. Change in marking/scoring pattern. However, the maximum marks of SNAP 2018 will remain the same at 150 marks as that of last year.

4. Decrease in the number of SNAP 2018 exam centres from 102 in 2017 to 92 test centres in 2018.

Understanding the Exam Pattern

Our first and foremost step should be to understand the new SNAP 2018 exam pattern. It is essential to know that the structure of SNAP is quite different from other MBA entrance exams like CATXATIIFTGMATNMAT etc. This calls for the need to formulate an exam-taking strategy and devise a time management plan, specially tailored for SNAP. Let us take a look at the section-wise composition of questions- 

SNAP Exam Pattern

S.No.SectionsNormal QuestionsSpecial QuestionsTotal QuestionsTotal Marks
1General English: Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability3053540
2Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency3053540
3Analytical & Logical Reasoning3053540
4Current Affairs2052530
Total11020130150


Marking Scheme of SNAP 2018

Type of Question

Marks allotted

Negative Marking

Normal Questions

+1 Mark for Each Correct Answer of Normal Questions (110 MCQs)

-0.25 Mark for each wrong answer of Normal Question

Special Questions

+2 Marks for Each Correct Answer of Special Questions (20 Non 

-0.50 Mark for each wrong answer of Special Question


For the benefit of all aspirants, here is an example of a special question from the General Awareness section– 

Q.What is the capital of Australia?

A. Test takers will have to type in C-A-N-B-E-R-R-A in the answer space using the virtual keyboard on the computer screen which is enabled while attempting the special questions (Non-MCQ type).

Now with the introduction of all these changes, you will definitely need a little help in coming up with a strategy that works best to crack the new SNAP exam. So without further ado, let’s find out the basic preparation tips and how to prepare for special questions in SNAP 2018. 

Number of Attempts and Accuracy

Looking at the marking scheme of SNAP, we observe that as in the case of CAT exam which does not carry negative marking for Non-MCQs, SNAP will have 25 per cent negative marking for both MCQs and Non-MCQs. This means that test-takers must be careful while attempting the special questions in which there are no options given. After all, each incorrect response given to the special question could cost half a mark. Too many incorrect attempts in non-MCQ questions of SNAP will eventually result in the substantial amount of marks being deducted out of the 40 marks allotted to the special questions. 

So it is advisable to maintain a good number of accurate attempts and candidates must refrain from answering if they have no clue about the answer. 

Time management 

Generally, the non-MCQ questions can be time-consuming owing to the lack of options. According to experts, as in the case of CAT, the non-MCQs in Quant and DI sections are usually difficult to solve given the long calculations and an absence of elimination method, which is a core advantage of MCQs. There is a very low probability of any random answer turning out right, and that is the penalty in terms of time when it comes to an exam like SNAP. 

The key to achieving good results in a limited time frame is to manage your time well, to begin with. Special questions constitute almost 26 per cent of the total 150 marks in SNAP 2018. They can also prove to be very scoring if you get them right and boost your SNAP score. 

It is thus important to formulate a time management plan and execute it on test day for optimum results. This is where the role of mock tests comes into play. Aspirants must take a good number of mock tests and solve SNAP sample papers, especially the ones which include non-MCQ questions. By doing this, they will get acquainted with the look and feel of it and can figure out how much time to allot to the five special questions in each section of SNAP.

Guessing is a big no-no

One of the most popular methods utilised for MCQs is the ‘Theory of Elimination.’ It is sometimes possible to solve the question to a certain point and arrive at an answer which is close to the actual answer. This makes it possible to sometimes guess the right option out of the four given options. 

However, it is not so in the case of non-MCQs where test-takers have to solve the entire question and deduce the answer. This makes it time-consuming as well. 

Thus it is advisable to not indulge in any wild-guessing and type in the answer only after properly solving it. 

Keep the special questions for the end 

Sometimes, non-MCQs can be time-consuming and difficult to solve, and it is best to keep them for the last. Solve the MCQs and keep the lengthy non-MCQs for the end. If your assessment says that the question is easily solvable, you may attempt it then and there and bag those two marks right away! 

Types of Special questions from each section

The difficulty level of the non-MCQs can depend from section to section. They can be lengthy and tough for the Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC) sections, in comparison to the Quantitative Ability questions which could be easy in nature. Here is a rough idea of the types of SNAP questions that can be asked in the exam:

  • VARC – Parajumbles, Summary, Odd Sentence Out

  • DI & LR – Tables, Arrangements and Venn Diagrams

  • QA – Arithmetic, Algebra, Numbers

Section-wise strategy to attempt Special questions in SNAP 2018

Since non-MCQs in SNAP are expected to lie along the same lines as that of TITA (Type in the Answer) questions in CAT, we can assume that the same approach can be adopted for SNAP, For the section-wise strategy of special questions, let us borrow inputs from CAT toppers and experts on how to tackle the TITA questions in CAT

Sharing his strategy, Vinay Pahal of MDI Gurgaon says, “For TITA questions in CAT, you will have more chances of getting the accurate answer in QA than in VA. For VARC, try to solve RC first before moving to VA. For QA, the TITA questions most probably will be simpler than MCQs. Do not leave any non-MCQ. You may get lucky.”

Sreenath S Nair, who secured 99.42 percentile in CAT states “I avoided the non-MCQ questions in VA because it was my weakest section and I took a lot of time to come to the conclusion as the answers were always very subtle. Whereas, in DILR and QA section, I did not pay heed to the MCQ and non-MCQ types because I had gone about the questions depending on the difficulty of the exam.”

SNAP Topper Sourav Dutta shares “ I took a few mocks, apart from national level mocks conducted by coaching institutes, Coffee with SIBM mocks also help a lot. Manage time well and spend time in all the sections.”

Preparation material for SNAP Special Questions

Aspirants can use the following preparation material to study for SNAP Special Questions for each section-

a. Current Affairs – Latest events, business and economy, awards and honours, science, sports and other miscellaneous events need attention to prepare for this section. Do not waste time studying history as the focus will remain on the latest news and affairs only. One can utilise the following sources:

  • Latest GK Material of any coaching institute 

  • Manorama Yearbook, for major current events

  • Newspapers like The Hindu, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times etc. for Economy and Business Pages

  • General Knowledge Digest-Mani Ram Aggarwal (for static GK)

Writing all the important points is a good idea as it will aid in improvising your spellings, which is crucial to attempt non-MCQ questions in SNAP.

b. Quantitative Aptitude 

  • NCERT Math books 

  • RS Aggarwal’s Quantitative Aptitude book

  • Try to memorise tables, squares, cubes and decimal-fraction conversions. This will help in speedy calculations

  • Attempt mock tests to identify your strong and weak areas in Quant.

To prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for SNAP, one does not need to know any spellings as such, but regular practice of sectional tests is the key. 

c. Analytical & Logical Reasoning

Logical and Analytical Reasoning book By A. K. Gupta is a good book to prepare for this section.  It will be beneficial to practice without looking at the options. One must try to read and understand which trick to implement to get to the answers.

d. General English

This section covers topics such as Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning and Verbal Ability. The sub-topics include grammar concepts such as -

  • Verbs

  • Active-passive voice

  • Subject-verb agreement 

  • Antonyms and synonyms

Practice questions related to this through various online sites which provide worksheets for grammar.

Dhrumil Shah, 99.91 percentile in SNAP 2017 recommends the following study material for SNAP which proved to be highly useful in his preparation:

  • RC 99

  • Quantitative Aptitude by Arun Sharma

  • The great book of Puzzles and Teasers, George Summers

  • For General Reading- Live Mint, Inshorts, Magoosh for GRE, The Economist (Helped him build perspectives and gain reading speed).

For more insights on how to prepare for SNAP, aspirants must read experiences of SNAP toppers to know the tactics of preparation. Various public discussion platforms like Careers360’s QnA also welcome questions and discussion on MBA entrance exams like SNAP. Experts and aspirants regularly flock the platforms to answer, discuss and even exchange views on study material for SNAP. 

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