CAT 2017: Tricks for Quant, DI&LR, VRC by 99 percentilers

Tricks for Quant, DI&LR, VRCTricks for Quant, DI&LR, VRC - If you want to get a high percentile in CAT 2017, ensure that you have equally good and uniform level of performance in all the three sections of the test. Since there is sectional cutoff in CAT, obtaining the cutoff score in each section is necessary to secure the overall cutoff. Hence, strategic attempt in each section will be the best move for you. This feature by Careers360 will guide you about the best tricks for CAT Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning sections used by the 99 percentilers.

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CAT 2017 will be held on November 26, 2017 in computer based mode. To help you in building the section wise strategy, here are a few section wise tricks from CAT 99 percentilers which they followed in CAT.

99 percentilers' strategies for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)


Solving QA section can be quite challenging for you as the difficulty level of this section, based on past years' trend, has mostly been of moderate to tough difficulty level. Quantitative Ability or QA, as per the exam pattern of CAT 2017, will have a total of 34 questions to be answered by the candidates, mostly dealing with arithmetic progression and modern mathematics.

Learning some mathematical tricks will support you in cracking QA section with ease, saving you time and mental pressure. Konreddy Varun Kumar, CAT 99.84 percentiler and MDI Gurgaon student says, "QA was my strength and I didn’t have any strategy as such. One thing I followed was to stick to the two minute rule. If you can’t solve a question within two minutes, move on to the next one. Practicing a lot of questions helps for Quant in the sense that it becomes easy to decide which question is doable and which one is not.”


Sharing her preparation strategy, Saakshi Goel, who secured 99.57 percentile, despite being from non-engineering background, says, "A was a challenge since I knew I had to compete with Engineers who are well versed with the subject. Hence, I dedicated 75 per cent of my time to QA and the rest of the time was devoted to practising VARC and DI & LR. I focused on understanding concepts rather than tricks to solve the questions. Solving even half the amount of questions (correctly) in QA can lead to a fairly good score (The amount of time is also such that not all the questions can be solved). So, I focused on the topics which were my strengths and did not give much time to those that I was struggling with." 


On following a few tricks for Quants, Shikhar Mathur, 99.68 percentiler in CAT shares the benefits, especially for non-engineer CAT aspirants. He shares that making a list of all important concepts/formulas while preparing, and revising them each day is a trick that never gets old. List of QA tricks by Quora writer Shikhar are:

  • Note down the weak areas in each topic (say it's Permutations and Combinations, or DI) after two to three tests. Pin-point the errors you made and also what kind of errors they were. Sometimes a lot of errors in the same topic are because of a pre-held mental fallacy which will be cleared after one reading, but sometimes it's a conceptual roadblock. Make sure you note down where and WHY you are going wrong.

  • Create another list where you write these things down and like before, revise at the beginning of every day.

  • A lot of times, rather than solving questions, it's possible to get the answer by plugging in the values given in the options than working out from the actual algorithm.

  • To look into some tricks pertaining to quants, speed maths holds a greater influence.

  • Never mug up the formulae, instead, understand the basic concepts and some tricks to solve quicker.

CAT VARC Tricks by 99 percentilers


This section can be the most scoring, which may result in an improvised sectional as well as overall score. The tricks for VARC section must be divided topic wise, as each topic requires different techniques to learn. Another CAT 2016 topper with 99.64 percentile, Shubhrajyoti Saha of IIM Shillong, shares his strategy for Reading Comprehension and English Usage parts of Verbal and Reading Comprehension section. Regarding Reading Comprehension, he says, "The most important part of VARC in CAT is RC. There were 25 questions from RC out of a total of 35 questions. So to score well in VARC one has to be good in RC. In the RC section, I practised a lot of questions from the book and also from online resources. One needs to develop an intuition to solve the questions because it is never possible to be sure of the answers of the RC questions except maybe two or three. Most of the questions were inference-based and a few were fact-based. Also, another strategy which I applied was option elimination which enabled me to narrow down my choices and made the job easier. I tried to solve all the 25 questions from RC and devoted around 45 minutes to 50 minutes to do so."



For the Verbal Ability or English Usage part, he suggests, "In the VA part, the questions were of non-MCQ type which made it little risky. I avoided the arrangement questions as it was impossible to get them correct. I focused on summary and sentence completion questions and tried to solve five of them in 10 to 15 minutes. In this way, I divided my time so that I could attempt 30 questions to a high accuracy level out of the 35 questions."


Talking about the importance of practice, Naman Singhal, 99.93 percentiler in CAT 2016 and FMS Delhi student mentions, " I solved RCs and para jumbles from TIME module and Arun Sharma’s ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension’ and could see significant improvement in my scores."


Apart from practice, reading is another important aspect which is necessary to improve your comprehension and vocabulary skills. Sreenath S Nair, a student of SPJIMR Mumbai and CAT 2016 99.42 percentiler shares how he overcame his weakness in this section and secured 94.11 percentile in this section. "The most challenging section I had to endure in CAT was the Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section. Although, the answers to the various problems may be simple, coming down to the right choices amongst the various options took some practice to get used to. Reading the newspapers and various blog articles on a daily basis helped me a great deal to overcome the issues I had faced with the comprehension part." 


CAT DI & LR Tricks by 99 percentilers


CAT assesses the logical thinking aptitude of the candidates, and the CAT Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR) section of the test is closest in resemblance to the kind of problems one might face as a manager. This section tests your decision-making ability and speed using limited input.


The more you practice the questions from DI & LR, better will you perform. Since there is no theoretical aspect in this section, you can only practice to excel the areas. “ Go for Coaching material and one can refer few books like Pearson but practice regularly. On the exam day, I skimmed through all the questions and solved the easy ones first. ” says Kartikey Tiwari, CAT 2016 99.01 percentiler and IIM Kashipur student.


Reflecting similar thoughts, Ankit Khandelwal, "For DI & LR, I solved as many sets as possible available on the internet. This cleared my basics and gave me an idea about the question being asked in the exam. Time was never the constraint in the starting of preparation. Accuracy was my aim while solving the sets. Test series of my coaching institute really helped in sailing this section."


Further, 99 percentilers spend most of their time in analysing their mock tests. Thorough analysis would be the best technique to crack CAT successfully.

Also Read:

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Must read books for CAT


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First Published On : 27 Oct 2016 04:27 PM IST

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Mang Varma 7 hours ago

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10th 91.09% 12th 79.50% b.e. 7.63 + 8 months work exp what will be its impact on my cat score.

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Akshay Kadam Expert 7 hours ago

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Mang, you have a decent profile of 9,7,7 which is gonna help you all throughout your MBA starting from selection procedure to the final placements. Unfortunately, 8 months work experience is not enoug...Read More
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Which colleges should I apply, I have scored 96.52 in CAT(VARC:75, QUANT:98.83, DILR: 95.12), Class 10 : 95% Class 12: 92%,Graduation: 8.11?

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Akshay Kadam Expert 7 hours ago

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Akshay KadamLast Seen: 6 hours 40 min agoJoined on: 03-Sep-2017
First of all Rohit congratulations for your excellent performance in CAT 2017!! With 96.52 percentile you will definitely get calls from all ultra new IIMs like IIM Sambalpur, IIM Nagpur, IIM Sir...Read More

Vybhav Shetty 12 hours ago

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Vybhav ShettyLast Seen: 1 hour 37 min agoJoined on: 26-Nov-2017

Suppose I find a question in CAT difficult and I skip it .Is is still possible for me to get 90% above marks even if I skip the questions.

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Monika Shruti Gupta Expert 10 hours ago

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Yes it is absolutely possible. In fact CAT is all about this. How well you strategize in those three hours. CAT is an aptitude test that tests how smartly you answer the questions. What I mean by smar...Read More

aman singh 15 hours ago

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Aman SinghLast Seen: 13 hours 35 min agoJoined on: 18-Jan-2018

I have 6.2 cgpa in 10th and 70% in 12th and i am persuing so after writing cat can i get into any top IIMs

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Harshit Tripathi 14 hours ago

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Harshit TripathiLast Seen: 12 hours 9 sec agoJoined on: 18-Jan-2018
Yeah ... surely you get ,but 10th and 12th marks matter a lot ... so you will have to get more marks in cat exam to cover those .
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ajay chidambaram 17 hours ago

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I am BE Mechanical final year student. I have 97.2%-10th, 96.17%-12th, BE - 74% , how much should i score in CAT to get iim's or non iims?

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Sreetama Datta 16 hours ago

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Sreetama DattaLast Seen: 13 hours 20 min agoJoined on: 24-May-2013
Hi Ajay! In order to get IIM calls, you should secure at least 90+ percentile. While old IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow and Indore calls candidates with 99+ percentile, for the ...Read More