How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability in 2024: Expert Tips & Strategies
How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability?- Before getting to how to prepare for CAT 2024, let us have a look at what it means. CAT is the Common Admission Test which is conducted by IIMs annually to facilitate admissions to B-schools, including IIMs to MBA and PGDM courses. Getting admission into IIMs is a dream for management aspirants. And it can be achieved with the right strategy and preparation plan. Read this article to know how to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT exam.
How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability?
For many IIM CAT 2024 candidates, though there are a lot of resources for CAT quantitative aptitude preparation online, one of the most challenging or difficult tasks is preparing for the CAT quantitative ability section. Most of the CAT toppers consider the QA section to be one of the most unpredictable and time-consuming as well. How to prepare for CAT quantity ability is like a hard nut to crack for non-engineering candidates with an educational background.
However, it is necessary to know the tips that can flip the page and bring new differences to the overall preparation. With effective CAT quantitative aptitude tips, preparing for the CAT 2024 can be a lot easier. Careers360 brings to you what QA is all about, major topics covered in the QA section, resources for CAT 2024 quantitative aptitude preparation online, topper tips on how to prepare for CAT quantitative ability, and much more.
CAT 2023 quantitative aptitude analysis
Having a good idea of the previous year’s CAT quantitative aptitude trends can be very beneficial for the candidates. This would help them to understand the most important CAT topics and structure their CAT 2023 quantitative aptitude preparation. Given below is the CAT quantitative aptitude analysis of 2023.
Slots | Total | MCQs | IITA | SPLIT |
Slot 1 | 22 | 15 | 7 | Arithmetic (7), Algebra (8), MM (2), Geometry (4), Numbers (1) |
Slot 2 | 22 | 15-16 | 6-7 | Arithmetic, Algebra, MM, Geometry, Numbers |
Slot 3 | 22 | 14 | 8 | Arithmetic, Algebra, MM, Geometry, Numbers |
Important Topics for CAT Quantitative Ability
Given below are the most important topics for CAT preparation based on the CAT previous year’s papers and recent trends.
Topics | Expected No. of Questions | Difficulty Level |
Number System, Basic Arithmetic | 5 to 10 Questions | Moderately difficult |
Algebra | 6 to 7 Questions | Moderately difficult |
Geometry & Mensuration | 7 to 8 Questions | Moderately difficult |
Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets | 1 to 3 Questions | Easy |
Time and Work | 1 to 2 Questions | Difficult |
Interests (SI, CI) | 1 to 2 Questions | Moderately difficult |
Time, Speed, and Distance | 1 to 2 Questions | Moderately difficult |
Probability | 1 to 2 Questions | Moderately difficult |
Permutation & Combination | 1 to 2 Questions | Easy |
Profit, loss, and Discounts | 1 to 2 Questions | Easy |
Number systems
The Number Systems topic in the CAT (Common Admission Test) exam often covers a variety of concepts. This section tests your understanding of numerical properties, divisibility rules, factors, multiples, and various number theories. Here are important CAT number systems questions.
1. How many three-digit numbers are greater than 100 and increase by 198, when the three digits are arranged in the reverse order?
70
65
72
75
Solution:
Let the numbers be of the form 100a + 10b + c, where a, b, and c represent single digits.
According to the question,
(100c + 10b + a) – (100a + 10b + c) = 198
⇒ 99c – 99a = 198
⇒ c – a = 2
So, the difference between the hundreds place digit and the units place digit is 2.
Now, a can take the values 1–7.
a cannot be zero as the initial number has 3 digits and cannot be 8 or 9 as then, c would not be a single-digit number.
Thus, there can be 7 cases.
We have 10 numbers for each combination.
b can take the value of any digit from 0–9, as it does not affect the answer.
Therefore Total cases will be 7 × 10 = 70
Hence, the correct answer is 70.
2. A basket of 2 apples, 4 oranges, and 6 mangoes costs the same as a basket of 1 apple, 4 oranges, and 8 mangoes, or a basket of 8 oranges and 7 mangoes. Then the number of mangoes in a basket of mangoes that has the same cost as the other baskets is:
11
13
10
12
Solution:
Let the cost of an apple, an orange, and a mango be a, o, and m, respectively.
Then it is given that:
2a + 4o + 6m = a + 4o + 8m
⇒ a = 2m
Also, a + 4o + 8m = 8o + 7m
⇒ 10m – 7m = 4o
⇒ 3m = 4o
We can now express the cost of a basket in terms of mangoes only:
2a + 4o + 6m = 4m + 3m + 6m = 13m
Hence, the correct answer is 13.
Algebra
Algebra is a significant component of the Quantitative Ability section in the CAT exam. It involves solving equations, understanding functions, and manipulating algebraic expressions. Here are a few examples of algebra questions you should focus on:
1. The largest real value of a for which the equation |x + a|+|x – 1| = 2 has an infinite number of solutions for x is:
–1
0
1
2
Solution:
In the question, it is given that the equation |x+a|+|x-1|=2 has an infinite number of solutions for any value of x. This is possible when x in |x + a| and x in |x - 1| cancel out.
Case 1:
x + a < 0, x ≥ 0
- a - x + x - 1 = 2
a = -3
Case 2:
x + a ≥ 0 and x - 1 < 0
x + a - x + 1 = 2
a = 1
The largest value of a is 1.
Hence, the correct answer is 1.
2. The quadratic polynomial whose zeros are 1 and –3 is:
Solution:
Let and
Sum of zeros
Product of zeros
So, the required polynomial is:
Hence, the correct answer is
Geometry & Mensuration
Geometry and Mensuration are essential topics in the Quantitative Ability section of the CAT exam. These topics test your understanding of shapes, sizes, properties of figures, and their spatial relationships.
1. The lengths of all four sides of a quadrilateral are integer valued. If three of its sides are of length 1 cm, 2 cm and 4 cm, then the total number of possible lengths of the fourth side is:
3
4
6
5
Solution:
Sum of the three sides of a quadrilateral is greater than the fourth side.
Therefore, let the fourth side be
1 + 2 + 4 > d or d < 7
1 + 2 + d > 4 or d > 1
Possible values of d are 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Hence, the correct answer is 5.
2. Suppose the medians BD and CE of a triangle ABC intersect at a point O. If area of triangle ABC is 108 sq. cm., then, the area of the triangle EOD, in sq. cm., is
9
7
4
5
Solution:
Area of ABD : Area of BDC =1: 1
Therefore, area of A B D=54
Area of A D E : Area of E D B=1: 1
Therefore, area of A D E=27
O is the centroid and it divides the medians in the ratio of 2:1
Area of BEO : Area of EOD =2: 1
Area of EOD =9
Most Important MCQs for CAT Exam Quant Syllabus 2024
CAT Parallel and a Transversal Lines - Practice Questions | CAT Important Theorem of Triangles - Practice Questions |
CAT Solving linear and quadratic inequalities - Practice Questions & MCQ | CAT Important Theorem of Triangles (Part 2) - Practice Questions & MCQ |
CAT Modulus inequalities - Practice Questions | CAT Similar Figures and Criteria for Similarity of Triangles - Practice Questions |
CAT Basic-Proportionality Theorem or Thales' Theorem - Practice Questions | CAT Pythagoras Theorem - Practice Questions & MCQ |
CAT Area of Equilateral and Isosceles Triangle - Practice Questions | CAT Area of a Triangle — by Heron’s Formula - Practice Questions |
CAT Introduction to Quadrilateral - Practice Questions | CAT Parallelogram and Area of Parallelogram - Practice Questions |
CAT The Mid-point Theorem - Practice Questions | CAT Polygon - Practice Questions & MCQ |
CAT Introduction to Circles - Practice Questions | CAT Important Definitions - Practice Questions |
CAT Angle Subtended by a Chord at a Point - Practice Questions | CAT Perpendicular from the Centre to a Chord - Practice Questions & MCQ |
CAT Circle through Three Points - Practice Questions | CAT Cyclic Quadrilaterals - Practice Questions & MCQ |
What is Quantitative Ability?
CAT 2024 is expected to be held on November 24, 2024 in an online mode. The quantitative ability section of CAT 2024 aims to test three things, namely- numerical ability, mathematical skills, and problem-solving skills. The quantitative ability or aptitude section is a part of almost all MBA entrance exams. In general, the questions in the quantitative ability section of the CAT exam are related to elementary mathematics.
In order to score good marks and clear the CAT cutoff, one needs to be completely acquainted with the fundamental concepts of solving questions. As per the exam pattern of CAT 2024, the quantitative ability is a separate section and will have 40 minutes of sectional timing to solve the related questions.
Major Topics Covered Under CAT Quantitative Ability
CAT Quantitative Ability | CAT Quantitative Ability | CAT Quantitative Ability |
Quadrilaterals | Polygons | Harmonic Progression |
Factorials | Shortcuts in Averages | Properties Of Ratio, Proportion |
Conditional Probability | Infinite Geometric Progression | Derangement |
Remainder Concept | Number System | Permutation |
Combination/Probability | Statistics | Weighted Average |
Quick Link -
- How to Prepare for CAT in 6 months
- CAT Sample Paper
How to prepare for CAT Arithmetic?
Preparing for CAT Arithmetic involves a few key strategies. Start by understanding the basics thoroughly, as a strong foundation is essential for tackling complex problems. Focus on topics like percentages, profit and loss, ratios, and time and work, as these are frequently tested. Practice regularly by solving a variety of problems to improve your speed and accuracy. Make sure to review and analyze your mistakes to learn from them. Use quality study materials and take mock tests to get a feel for the actual exam. Additionally, time management is crucial, so practice solving questions within a set time limit. This will help you manage your time effectively during the exam.
How to prepare for CAT Number System?
Preparing for the CAT Number System requires a systematic approach. Begin by understanding the basic concepts such as divisibility rules, prime numbers, factors, multiples, and remainders. Ensure you have a clear grasp of fundamental operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as they form the basis for more complex problems. Practice solving problems related to topics like HCF and LCM, integers, and rational and irrational numbers. Regular practice is key, so solve a variety of problems to build your confidence and speed. Use study materials that explain concepts clearly and provide ample practice questions. Take mock tests to simulate the exam environment and improve your time management skills. Review your mistakes and understand where you went wrong to avoid repeating them. Stay consistent with your preparation and revise regularly to retain the concepts.
How to prepare for CAT Geomtery?
Preparing for CAT Geometry requires a strategic approach. Begin by understanding the basic concepts and theorems related to lines, angles, triangles, circles, polygons, and coordinate geometry. Make sure you can apply these theorems to solve various types of problems. Practice drawing diagrams accurately, as visualizing the problem can often make it easier to solve. Work on a variety of problems to become familiar with different question types and improve your problem-solving skills. Use good study materials that offer clear explanations and plenty of practice questions. Take mock tests to get used to the exam format and improve your speed and accuracy. Analyze your performance in these tests to identify and work on your weak areas. Regular revision is important to keep concepts fresh in your mind. Stay consistent in your preparation and keep challenging yourself with tougher problems to build your confidence.
How to prepare for CAT Algebra?
Preparing for CAT Algebra involves building a strong understanding of fundamental concepts and practising regularly. Start with the basics such as linear equations, quadratic equations, inequalities, and functions. Ensure you grasp these core concepts well, as they form the foundation for more complex problems. Focus on understanding the underlying principles rather than just memorizing formulas. Practice a wide range of problems to become comfortable with different question types and improve your problem-solving skills.
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2024
CAT Topper Kumar Sai Vishnu, on how to prepare for CAT quantitative aptitude says that her approach was to practice a lot of basic arithmetic questions like percentage, profit, and loss. Along with that, geometry and number systems have been the key areas of focus for the CAT exam. Given below are some of the tips suggested by experts and toppers for preparing for CAT 2024. The following will be helpful in acing the CAT 2024 and scoring better.
Plan Preparation Schedule
Start With The Basics
Work on Shortcut Techniques
Focus on Weak Areas
Practice with sectional time
Solve Mock Tests and Previous Year Papers
Quick Links - |
CAT? - Expert Column by Director of Hitbullseye |
How to prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal and Reading Comprehension) |
How to prepare for CAT DI & LR |
Draw a Preparation Schedule
A solid preparation starts with a clear-cut timetable. So draw a timetable for CAT preparation and strictly follow it. When it comes to QA, try to devote at least three hours to this section. According to the previous toppers, it is good to start with the basics. Check out the previous year's question papers of CAT to know which topics are covered under the quantitative ability section. Do not make a monthly planner, as it will be difficult to follow in the beginning. So you better start with a weekly planner on how to prepare for quantitative ability, accompanied by CAT quantitative aptitude preparation online materials, and break it into a daily strategy.
Start With The Basics
Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”. This better applies here to CAT 2024 preparation. Candidates preparing for CAT 2024 should start with the basics instead of wasting time on complex topics. Once the conceptual clarity of each topic is there, candidates must start practicing and solving more and more questions. Solving simple examples at first and then gradually moving towards the difficult questions would be helpful.
The key to success in the QA section is getting your concepts right. Candidates who are preparing for CAT without coaching can consider CAT quantitative aptitude preparation online and make online study groups with like-minded people and put up their queries to find basic concepts clearly. The Quantitative Ability section is about how much time and practice candidates can put in. The more they practice, the better their chances of success. CAT quantitative aptitude preparation online gives them the freedom to access the group anytime from anywhere and get their doubts cleared.
Best Books on How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability Section:
Book Title | Author/Publisher |
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations | Abhijit Guha |
How to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT | Arun Sharma |
Work on Shortcut Techniques
On how to prepare for the CAT quantitative ability, the very first thing that comes to mind is how to solve the questions accurately within the given time. To better and more effective time management for CAT, candidates should focus on learning speed tricks. The online group for CAT quantitative aptitude preparation can be tremendously helpful in this regard. You will learn the formula to solve QA questions quickly and accurately. While preparing and solving questions in the QA section, it is not advisable to attempt too many questions based on guesswork due to negative marking.
Focus on Weak Areas
The thumb rule for CAT 2024 in the initial months of practice is to focus on the areas of improvement and overcome the mistakes with more practice. At the time of preparing the QA section, weaker sections must be given due weightage. However, if candidates start their preparation for CAT 2024 in 3 months, it is better to focus on the main areas rather than spending time on weaknesses. As per the toppers of CAT, a fairly good score can be obtained by answering even half a number of questions (correctly) in QA.
Practice with Sectional Time
As mentioned above, CAT 2024 will have a sectional time of 40 minutes to answer one section. As a solution to "How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)," candidates should try to solve the entire section by keeping an eye on the time. It is better to move ahead of time, as having a buffer time of a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes will leave room for revision on exam day. CAT toppers suggest that candidates should mark important questions and concepts in order to have a quick revision during the final leg.
Note: For questions in the QA section, candidates should follow and stick to the two-minute rule, i.e., if a question cannot be solved within two minutes of its duration, it is better to move on to the next one. Solving and practising a good number of questions will give results in the quantitative ability section.
Quick Links -
- Why Take Mock Tests Before CAT
- Why, When, and How to Take the CAT Mock Test
Solve Mock Tests and Previous Year's Papers
One of the strategies on how to prepare for quantitative aptitude CAT is to solve more and more CAT mock tests and CAT quantitative aptitude preparation online practice tests. To test where they stand initially, candidates can go for pre-mocks and get a sense of what to study. Once they are done with the practice and revision, they can go to post-mocks of CAT. To get a command over the QA section, it is better to practice it on a regular basis.
Take at least one mock exam a day as CAT 2024 gets near. Through CAT mock tests, candidates will encounter variations in questions, and this will help them improve themselves. Solving CAT 2024 mock tests and online practice tests for CAT quantitative aptitude preparation will also acquaint candidates with the simulated exam day ambience. IIMs also provide the facility for official mock tests. The previous year's CAT exam papers are very useful for analyzing the paper pattern and difficulty level of questions.