CAT 2019 Quant Preparation Tips: Traditionally, CAT tests the aspirants on four basic aptitude skills: Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, and Verbal Ability. Quantitative Aptitude has been occupying 1/3rd of the CAT paper, year after year. The syllabus for the Quantitative Aptitude section in CAT might seem vast at first, and quite daunting especially for those from a non-engineering background. With the exception of CAT 2018, this section has been easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. And there is no doubt this section is a major contributor to your overall CAT percentile. So, how does one go about preparing for this section? Perhaps the following CAT 2019 Quant Preparation Strategies could help.
CAT Topper Rachit scored a 99.04%ile in CAT 2018 and shares his Quant preparation strategy. Rachit explains how weak he was in Quant and how he improved and cracked this section. Rachit said “I was scoring really low in Quant section and I realized that the problem was not with my concepts but with my accuracy. I joined an Online CAT Coaching. I learned some unconventional techniques and started being selective with the questions. The entire strategy here circled around selecting the right questions. Once I was done with my conceptual basics, I picked up my first couple of mocks and analyzed them to see whether I was wasting time on the tough nuts. I devised my strategy in a way that allowed me to go through all the questions in the test while solving only those that I was confident about.”
CAT Quant Section: Composition and Question Pattern
|Quant Section||Composition of Quantitative Aptitude Questions|
|Total questions in Quant section||34|
|Type of Quant questions||24-27 MCQs with negative marking
7-10 Non-MCQs without negative marking
|Quant 2019 sectional time||60 Minutes|
|Marks for each correct answer||+3|
|Negative marks for each wrong answer||-1|
|Difficulty level of Quantitative Ability questions||Moderate to High|
CAT 2019 Quant Preparation Tips
CAT is not about how much an aspirant knows, but about how much can he apply in the given time limit with the given constraints of sectional partitions. Some of the points to be taken care of are as follows:
Practice chapter by chapter: Know the basic theories and varieties of problems in all chapters. One can also join an Online CAT Quant Course and understand the basics. There is a difference between being able to solve a problem and solving the same problem effortlessly. Depending on the difficulty level of the paper, 15 to 25 questions should be of easy to moderate level. Practicing the easy to moderate questions in all the chapters would enable an aspirant to sail through the questions easily.
|Topics||Number of questions||Type of questions|
|Arithmetic: Speed-Distance, Time-Work-Days, Ratio, Percentage, P&L, Interest, etc.||9-10||MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking; 1-2 Non-MCQ|
|Number System, Permutations & Combinations||2-4||MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking|
|Algebra||3-4||MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking; 1 Non-MCQ|
|Geometry||3-4||MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking; 1 Non-MCQ|
|Modern Math||3-4||MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking; 1 Non-MCQ|
|Probability, Series & Sequence, Integers, Mensuration, and others||8-14||MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking; 3-4 Non-MCQs|
Leave no concept unturned: It is important that once you list down all the topics, you understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Do not make the mistake of spending too much time on your strong topics and neglect the weak ones. Each topic in this section is a different ball game altogether, so it goes without saying that one must be above average in all topics and great at few, in order to succeed. Finish going through all the concepts and solve as many questions as possible. This would mean, you will need to devote an hour and solve at least 30 questions on a daily basis. Maintain notes for all the concepts and revisit them during weekends.
Short methods and group studies: Nothing boosts the confidence of a candidate more than a question which he can solve without lifting the pen in an ongoing test. More such questions, better the score. This can be achieved by improving the mental calculation and by discussing unconventional methods with a focused study group. Many times it involves the use of options to get the correct answer.
Building stamina: Quant is the last section of the test paper. That means aspirants would reach this part of the paper in the 121st minute of the test. An aspirant who hasn’t developed stamina for the last hour would be challenged to deliver his regular performance. Study for 3-4 hours at a stretch while doing practice and this would help you in increasing your productivity.
Mental calculation: CAT will offer basic calculator to all the test takers. But this will not reduce the importance of mental calculation. Since it’s an on-screen calculator, the mental calculation will win against the calculator in time consumption in most cases. Do enough practice of the basic summation, subtraction, tables, and fractions. Remember, solving the chapters for the first time teaches you Mathematics. The second time, it brings speed in solving. Aspirants are advised to solve all the chapters twice to get the advantage of speed and accuracy in the exam.
Accuracy: There are three elements to securing a good percentile in Quant: Accuracy, Selection, and Speed. The key to accuracy is selection. Do not spend more than 30 seconds on a question at first glance. If you think a question is going to take more than 60 seconds for you to solve, mark for review and move on. You can come back and solve it once you have glanced through all the questions at least once. Attempt all the easy questions at first, move on to moderate questions during your second round and keep difficult questions for the end. One of the most important advantages of CAT, as opposed to GMAT, is the freedom to revisit questions. Make use of it. This applies to all sections, not just Quant.
More mock tests: The best advice anyone can give would be to give as many mocks as possible before attempting the CAT. Practice as much as you can. For QA, sectional tests by any of the coaching institutes would be the right way to go about it. Keep a track of your attempts and accuracy in each CAT Mock Test. Analyze the mocks to diagnose the reasons behind your accuracy. Analyze the mocks even if you have secured good marks in this section. It is always good to know alternate and faster methods to solve any problem. The key to scoring more is owning your mistakes and improving. You cannot expect to score more if you do not rectify your mistakes. I hope these tips will help you in your preparation for the CAT 2019. All the best!