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How to prepare for Quantitative aptitude for CAT

With a less than 6 months left for CAT 2018 examination, many students already accelerated their pace of preparation with the aim to score good percentile. The Quant section is probably the most challenging section of the CAT examination as many might blame it for being time consuming and tricky. This article provide some valuable tips for CAT Quantitative Aptitude Preparation.

May 09: CAT 2018 Official Date released, exam to be held on November 25. Click Here

In 2015, CAT exam came up with a few significant changes.One of the major changes announced was the introduction of on-screen calculator thus, CAT 2018 aspirants have an option to solve problems quickly through calculators. 

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CAT 2018 comprise currently three sections- DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning), QA (Quantitative Aptitude) and VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension). With 100 MCQs in CAT question paper, the distribution of questions among sections is still unpredictable.


Preparation Tips for CAT Quantitative Aptitude

No New Strategy Required

The overall CAT test structure and format has changed many a times, but for any student that shouldn’t be a matter of concern. The student should continue with the preparation, but with a focus on the test taking strategy and should devise a plan for the sections which are now time bound.

Thus, channelize your energies in practicing the time limit allotted to the section rather than working upon new exam strategy.

On-Screen Calculator

The availability of on-screen calculator should not bother the aspirant as CAT is not a calculation-intensive exam. It was always a logic-based exam except for a few set of questions. Use calculator only when required. Don’t rely on it. Keep practicing through shortcuts and tricks.

Attempt all non-MCQ questions

The best part of non-MCQ questions is that there is no negative marking. So, do not leave these questions. These questions do not require guesswork but will be based on logical reasoning. So, focus on analytical and logical deduction to be able to answer these questions.

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Sectional & Mock Tests and Previous Year CAT Questions

Mock tests play a vital role in familiarizing the candidate with the new exam pattern and making them comfortable in attempting a three-hour long test. Some students might still be struggling with their weakness. So start attempting at least one sectional test every week. This will help increase speed and get into the mold of CAT exam. CAT 2018 official website will soon come up with the sample paper that will help aspirants prepare better before they take the exam.
CAT Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Tips

Shortcuts & Tricks

Even after availability of calculator in CAT exam, students are still required to learn shortcuts and tricks for quant section. This section is numerical and problem-based where students have to choose one out of four given options. Coaching centers or books teaches various shortcuts to get the correct answer faster than the normal way of solving it.

Books other than coaching classes material

Candidates following coaching center routine should get over with the materials provided on time. Thereafter practice from a few other important books and test from other resources. This will help strengthen the basics in quant and further improve skills.

Use answer options

Whenever and wherever you can use answer options to solve questions, kindly do that in order to place extra focus on your weak areas.

Work on Arithmetic

Arithmetic is one of those topics that you essentially covered in school. The basic nature of the topic can be misleading at times and you should be fully prepared for it. For basic levels concepts and problems, you can use books by Abhijit Guha and RS Aggarwal for this topic.

Use a planned and phase-wise approach

In general, try to adopt a planned approach, wherein you list the number of days you would be spending on a particular topic. Give sufficient time to each area in a phase-wise manner.

Build a small pocket diary of your learning

Whatever you learn, note it down in a small diary. These might be simple tricks or concept explanations, just keep noting these down and keep revising them.

Each one of us has his strength and weakness thus, a common prescriptive time schedule cannot be outlined for all as each individual would have different needs. Keeping that in mind, given below is time recommendation that can be followed without any problem.

    1. Number System: 20 days
    2. Arithmetic: 30 days
    3. Algebra: 30 Days
    4. Geometry: 20 Days
    5. Permutation & Combination/Probability: 10 Days
    6. Miscellaneous Topics: 10 Days

Above tips are essential to be kept in mind while starting your preparation for CAT 2018 Quant section and candidate who follows them by heart will definitely do well in the examination.

Wishing you all the best!


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