To effectively ace this section of CAT, let’s first understand in detail the structure and composition of Quantitative ability from the recent CAT paper and then lay out a plan to tackle it.

Pattern

Total number of questions = 34
Time allotted = 60 mins
Number of MCQ = 23
Number of non-MCQ = 11
Marks for each correct answer = +3
Marks deducted for wrong answer = -1

Topics

Arithmetic: with 40% of the total number of questions, this stands out to be the most important part of Quant. It comprises of questions from topics like percentages, averages, mixture and allegation, time and work, ratio and proportion, and time speed and distance.

Geometry: It has around 20-25% of the total questions with topics like triangles, circles, quadrilaterals and mensuration which can be solved with basic conceptual knowledge.

Algebra: makes up to 25% of the total questions with topics like linear and quadratic equations, progressions, logarithms, and functions etc.

Modern Mathematics: 1-3 questions appear from topics like permutation and combination, probability and set theory.

Number system: 1-2 question have been from this topic which deals with fundamental properties of numbers.

Strategies

1. Don’t skip out the basics

As evident from the above analysis focusing on Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry are the important topics that seem sufficient to crack CAT but the truth is all the problems in quant require concepts knowledge from multiple topics. So it is always advised to know the basics of all the aforementioned topics.

2. Practice

There is no alternate when it comes to quant. This is will not only build confidence on the concepts learnt but will help come up with different and simpler ways to solve a given problem when you practice a lot of questions from a given topic. More number of sectional tests is recommended to improve in this context.

3. Previous year papers

This gives you proper application of the concepts learned as the questions here will have multiple conditions that would require lot more thinking than just directly applying the formulas or the shortcuts. One should not lose hope while trying this out as you would eventually grasp hold of these application based problems.

4. Working from options

This is one of the time saving trick in quants and time is the vital factor of CAT. So it suggested to work backwards using the options given first whenever possible. This again can only be mastered with good amount of practice. Practice will instil in you the required confidence and all tricks and shortcuts one needs to know to ace this section. So get practicing!

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