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CAT 2016: Last Minute Tips for Quantitative Ability

Last Updated - December 02, 2016

Winter is here!

Yes, December 04, 2016 is just round the corner. This date will decide the future of a lot of candidates sitting for CAT 2016. Sure, the preparation for one of the toughest exam to crack is on the roll, yet there is always some extra room for more preparation.

The CAT 2016 Exam will be conducted in two sessions on December 04, 2016. The Exam will be divided into 3 sections viz. Quantitative Ability, Logical Reasoning & Verbal Ability. Ace of all the sections, Quantitative Ability is debated to be the hardest section of all. Feared by the most, this is what makes this the deciding factor in cracking CAT Exam.

We know you have given everything you got in the CAT Preparation. Well, you do deserve some cheat codes now.

Important Topics to Revisit

Major AreasChaptersExpected number of Questions*
ArithmeticNumbers, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership13 to 15
AlgebraLinear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Logarithm, Surd- Indices, Functions6 to 8
Advance MathematicsPermutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series4 to 6
GeometryLine, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Co-ordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry6 to 9

Mantra for successfully cracking CAT Quantitative Ability

1.Practice chapter by chapter

There is a difference between being able to solve a problem and solving the same problem effortlessly. Depending on the difficulty level of the test paper, 15 to 25 questions should be of easy to moderate level. Practice of easy to medium Questions of all the chapters would enable an aspirant to sail through the questions easily.

Our Advice: Know basic theories and varieties of problems of all chapters. 

2.Short methods and Group Studies

Nothing boosts confidence of an aspirant 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 mental calculation and by discussing unconventional methods with a focused study group. Many times it involves use of options to get the correct answer.

Our Advice: Two is more than one. Three is even better. Do a regular discussion of short methods among your focused study group.

3.Building Stamina

Quant should be the last section of the test paper. That means aspirants would reach this part of the paper in 121st minute of the test. An aspirant who hasn’t developed stamina for the last hour would be challenged to deliver his regular performance.

Our Advice: Study for 3-4 hours at a stretch while doing practice.

3.Testing Skills Development

Having 10 to 30% of the problems as speed-breakers is an expected situation in a Quant section of CAT 2016. Being able to find them without wasting time in solving them is the key. It’s a skill which can be achieved by sufficient practice of huge number of problems and by going through sufficient number of mock papers.

Our Advice: Plan to write approximately 20-25 Mock CAT papers.

4.Mental Calculation

CAT 2016 will offer Basic Calculator to all the test takers. This will still not reduce the importance of mental calculation. Since it’s an on-screen calculator, mental calculation will win against the calculator in time consumption in most of the cases.


Strategy for Attempting CAT 2016

1. Give Priority to Questions you know

Attempting questions you know not only ensures you marks but also gives you sufficient time to solve the ones you don’t. After you have solved everything you know in the Quantitative Aptitude Section of CAT 2016, you have secured your deserved share of marks in the Section. After that comes the fight with unknowns and the ones you are confused about. And for that my friend, you need to focus.

2. Leave the Questions you are not sure about

Yes, don’t. Take lessons from life. Don’t start something you can’t finish. We know how much you crave for those extra marks, but don’t attempt that question unless you are sure about your answer. If you do attempt such questions, Mark them for review and come back after finishing up the section to recheck your answer.

3. Keep track of the Countdown

There will be a countdown timer on the top right side of your screen. No, it is not there to freak you out. Keep track of the countdown and ensure that you are not spending way too much on a particular question. If you have started a question that’s taking too much time. Mark it for review and come back to revisit later if you have time.

4. Don’t be a supercomputer

No doubt you could be the next Pythagoras or who knows, even better than him. But CAT 2016 is not the best time to prove it. Solve what you know. Don’t what you can’t. Period.

IIM Bangalore will announce CAT 2016 Results in the month of January, 2017. Followed by the results, IIMs and other participating Institutes will call the shorlisted candidates for next level of selection process. The Selection Process includes Group Discussion and Personal Interview where candidates are judged of their Speaking and communication skills.


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