# Tips on Quantitative Aptitude Preparation

- 24/04/2024
- Posted by: Yashita
- Category: CAT Preparation

**CAT Quantitative Aptitude**

^{rd}of the total marks. Each question carries 3 marks and the penalty is -1 for each incorrect answer. Since most of the top B-schools consider your sectional percentile, it is essential to pay attention to each section well. Though the topics of this section are based on the fundamental mathematics, the questions are tricky and complex enough to baffle anyone.

Quant section carries the major chunk of CAT preparation. With a very vast syllabus ranging from percentages to algebra, CAT always keeps testing your fundamentals. A sound knowledge of the basics is very much needed to handle questions in all of these topics. This is the section that involves the maximum number of topics (the theory-intensive part of CAT Prep) and so we have broken this into a number of sub-sections.

We have categorized these as:

**1. Arithmetic topics.**

**2. Number Systems and Modern Math.**

**3. Geometry and Allied Topics.**

**4. Algebra and Miscellaneous.**

## Quantitative aptitude for CAT – Highlights at a glance

- Total no of questions: 22
- Marks awarded: +3
- Negative marking: -1
- Total Marks: 66
- Time limit: 40 minutes
- Target Marks for 99%tile: 40+
- No of questions attempts: 18-19 (Allows for a 10-15% error rate)
- Required accuracy level: 85-90%
- Time taken per question: 2 Minutes
- Topics required to cover to get 99% marks: Arithmetic (Choose from 8-10 Questions), Algebra (5-8 questions), Geometry (3-5 Questions)
- Book to study from: How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

## How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Exam

Quant preparation of CAT involves a proper strategy and this three step process helps you to prepare for each topic in a systematic way. For each topic under quants, this process will help in understanding the basics and escalate oneself to benchmark CAT questions. Learning the basics is a vital part along with proper amount of drill. CAT is an exhaustive exam which requires automatic way of solving to cater the time crunch so it is very important to work with a variety of sums to get a grip of the topic before moving to CAT level sums. The three distinct steps involved are Learning, Drill/Practice and CAT level Questions by going back to basics.

## CAT quantitative aptitude – Paper pattern

The 22 questions in this section are divided into two parts – the MCQs with negative markings and the non-MCQ questions with no negative markings. Most of the questions in this section will come from Arithmetic, followed by Algebra and Geometry. A few questions also come from Modern Math.

Ever since 2015, when IIM Ahmedabad separated Data Interpretation from the quant section, this section has become easier to deal with. Now, this section primarily tests your numerical ability, mathematical skills, and problem-solving skills. You have 40 minutes to solve elementary math questions. Based on a fair assumption that most students will need 2 minutes per question, it is best to choose the right questions to answer. There is no point either attempting all the questions or getting stuck on one for more than 2 minutes.

**CAT Quantitative Aptitude: Syllabus**

Topics | Chapters | Number of Expected Questions in CAT |

Arithmetic | Number System, Ratio & Proportion, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Mixtures, Averages | 11-14 |

Algebra | Linear Equations, Simultaneous Equations, Quadratic Equations, Time-Speed-Distance, Time-Work | 3-6 |

Advanced/Modern Mathematics | Probability, Permutations & Combinations, Logarithms, Functions, Set Theory, Series | 8-10 |

Geometry | Lines-Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals & Higher Polygons, Circles, 3-D Figures, Trigonometry, Coordinate Geometry | 3-4 |

**CAT Quantitative Aptitude: Preparation Strategy**

**Build your concepts:**

It is the first and foremost requirement to ace the quantitative aptitude section. Unless you gain enough conceptual clarity, there is not much use of practicing questions. Strengthen your fundamental concepts taking one chapter at a time.

**Practice from Easy to Difficult:**

After every chapter, practice the related questions starting from easy ones first and moving on to tough ones. Invest sufficient time in practicing the individual question types with special emphasis on your weak areas.

**Shortcuts and Tricks:**

Even though you will be provided with a calculator, the importance of mental calculations cannot be underestimated. Make yourself proficient with advanced calculative techniques. Also, learn the shortcuts, formulae and tricks to solve the time-consuming questions.

**Mock Tests and Previous Year Papers:**

Once you are through with the basic concepts and techniques to solve various question types, start practicing in actual exam conditions. Solve previous year CAT papers and mock tests and monitor your progress in a regular manner.

As can be seen from the data above, the quant section accounts for a third of the total questions and marks possible. Students usually aim to breach 40 marks to get a reasonable percentile and call from leading IIMs. But to score 40 marks, you’ll need to cover all the major topics and attempt most of the questions with a searing accuracy rate of 90%. The good thing about this section is that it is easy to score well if your basic concepts are clear and you can recall the required formulae under pressure. But if your practice is lacking, your accuracy will fall.