Acing the Quants Section Like a Boss!
(During the initial phase of preparation, I was scoring in the mid-70s in mocks. After analysing the mocks and following these strategies, my score went up to a solid 98.24 in CAT 2016.)
CAT Quantitative Aptitude – the most challenging, most fascinating, and a game-changing section of CAT examination. The sheer number of topics that need to be addressed overwhelms many CAT aspirants. A combination of accuracy and speed is required in order to master this section. Considering the nature of these skills, practice becomes imperative for any student. One needs to acquire a certain set of specialized skills and learn a few shortcuts to minimize the time spent on each question.
The Three Scan Approach
Scan 1: There will be around 8-10 sitters (questions that can be solved in less than 1 min). Sometimes they are placed towards the end, and most people don’t get time to attempt because they get caught in lengthy questions at the beginning.
Mark for review the questions which you know how to solve but might take time.
Scan 2: Now solve the questions marked for Review in Scan 1.
Scan 3: Once you’re done with easy to medium questions, you can have a go at tough questions. If you’re able to crack a few of them, then it will boost your sectional score.
Attempts v/s Accuracy
Your level of accuracy is a primary determinant of your final score. Any test with negative marking is not just about the number of questions you’ve attempted, but also about the number of questions you’ve got correct.
Let us assume that there will be 24 Questions this year in this section, and one candidate attempts 20 questions with an accuracy of 60%, he/she will end up with a score of 24 (12*3 – 8*1). But if another candidate attempts 15 questions with 80% precision, he/she will have a score of 33 (12*3 – 3*1). Once you get the hang of it, you can try to increase the number of attempts slowly.
Many a times, it happens that you become adamant in solving a particular question because it’s from one of the chapters which you feel is either your strong zone or favourite one. If you’re going to waste a good 7-8 minutes on a difficult issue, then it’s really hard to recover from that setback.
Hold Your Horses while solving Word Problems
You’ll find these types of tricky questions, mostly in Mixture and Alligation, where one or two words can dramatically change the meaning. So, it becomes critical to understand the concepts underlying the question. Even if the math seems fairly obvious, you’ll need to spend some time to translate the word problem into solvable equations.
Let Numbers Do the Magic
You’ll come across 2-3 questions in every Mock test (and in actual CAT exam as well) which can easily be solved in 30 seconds if you just plug in some Numbers (LCM of Time taken of two persons in Work and Time Questions)
Some Vedic Maths to Rescue
When you practise CAT Mocks, stop using a calculator unless you really need one. Most CAT Quant questions can be answered within 1-3 minutes without one. It is given for the CAT Exam but some valuable time is lost in opening it and performing the calculations (kind of act like a speed breaker). If you can develop a habit of doing mental calculations, you’ll have an edge over others. Learning tables up to 25, squares till 50 and cubes up to 20 would come in handy.
Stamina is Crucial
Quant is the last leg of a 3-hour long marathon. An aspirant who hasn’t developed stamina for the last hour would be challenged to deliver his regular performance. The key to building stamina is giving more and more mock tests.
To structure your CAT Preparation in an efficient way consider visiting iQuanta website and being a part of iQuanta CAT 21 Course at www.iQuanta.in.
You can also check out and be a part of their Facebook group for peer learning, doubt solving and free material. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Rockthecat
If you follow these tips, I’m sure you can ace this section like a boss.
Stay safe and All the best for CAT 2020!