Quantitative aptitude is one of the 3 sections of CAT. It accounts for 34% of the total marks that the paper carries. Also, quants has become one of the most scoring sections in the recent years. In this article, let us see how to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT exam.
Online preparation for CAT can help aspirants to save a great amount of preparation time. Going through previous year papers of CAT will help aspirants to gauge the level of the exam. Also, taking free CAT online mock tests will help aspirants to ensure that their preparation is on track.
How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT ?
Quantitative aptitude is one of the easiest topics to prepare for. The time one requires to develop a decent understanding of the topics under quants is far less than the other 2 sections. We can classify the topics under quantitative aptitude into 4 broad categories.
1. Number systems and progressions
2. Unitary methods and Algebra
3. Geometry and Mensuration
4. Modern Maths
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Number systems and progressions:
This is one of the most fundamental topics in the quants section. Mastering this topic provides the basic framework for understanding other topics. The emphasis on the section has been declining over the past few years in CAT. However, aspirants must avoid moving on to other topics before completing this topic.
Unitary methods and Algebra:
Off late, the topics under unitary methods have been appearing predominantly in the CAT exam. Time and work, time-speed-distance, pipes and cisterns, profit and loss, interests, percentages and all other basic arithmetic topics come under the ambit of this topic. Needless to say, it is imperative for aspirants to be thorough with these topics.
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Geometry and Mensuration:
The weightage of this topic has been fluctuating wildly over the last few years. However, aspirants can expect at least 5-6 questions from these topics to appear in the exam. 2D- geometry, 3D- geometry and coordinate geometry are the 3 major topics that come under this section.
PnC and probability are collectively called modern maths. These topics also account for at least 4 questions every year. Aspirants can try reading CAT syllabus to know about the subtopics under each of the topics in detail.
Now, let us move on to how to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT. The first step must be framing a study plan. Aspirants can take a diagnostic mock test to know their areas of strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to prepare an effective CAT study plan.
Stages of preparation:
Aspirants must spend the first few months on building the basics. The focus of aspirants till June must be to acquire conceptual clarity. Aspirants must avoid rushing through the basics at all costs. Even if an aspirant is extremely comfortable with the topics, he must spend at least a week refreshing the concepts.
After June, the focus must be on building intensity. Even in a tough paper, more than 15 questions will be of the template type. Just solving these questions correctly can place an aspirant ahead of 90 percent of the test takers. Therefore, the focus during this phase must be to ensure that aspirants do not let go of such low hanging fruits. Solving a large number of problems can help aspirants to spot such questions with ease. Pattern recognition can help big time in solving tough quant questions. Hence, aspirants must acquaint themselves with as many types of questions as possible.
As aspirants move closer to CAT, they must practise solving questions under time limits. This will help them to spot the questions that must be left in the exam at a glance. Question selection is an important skill and hence, aspirants must try to solve a question within 2 minutes. Also, aspirants must note down alternate methods of solving a problem. Practising tricks like putting values and option checking can help aspirants to arrive at the answer in a much shorter time.
After August, aspirants must start analysing the mocks to know about their knowledge gaps. If a topic proves to be troublesome, aspirants must not hesitate to go back to the basics. Even if an aspirant is not comfortable with a topic, he must avoid completely brushing aside the topic. As we never know how CAT might turn out to be, knowing the basics of all the major topics is necessary.
Complete CAT Quant Revision Part-1:
Complete CAT Quant Revision Part-2: