CAT 2018: Tips and Tricks for Quant, DI&LR, VRC by 99 percentilers
Sreetama Datta, 06 Jul 2018, #CAT
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Tips and Tricks for Quant, VRC and DI & LR - As experts suggest, CAT is a test of aptitude, rather than knowledge. The aptitude that candidates need to showcase around three areas, namely, Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. While it is not about the theoretical knowledge that is sufficient to secure a high percentile, it's the Tips and strategies that one has to devise in order to secure above 90 percentile. In this article of CAT preparation series, Careers360 brings tips and tricks for CAT 2018 Quant, VRC and DI & LR by 99 percentilers. In order to get a high percentile in CAT 2018, test takers have to ensure a uniform level of performance in all the three sections of the test. As per the scoring scheme levied by the IIMs, a skewed performance won't lead to an overall high percentile. 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. Let us take a look at the CAT 2018 Tips & Tricks for QA, VARC and DI & LR by 99 percentilers.

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CAT 2018 will be held on November 25, 2018, in computer-based mode by IIM Calcutta. To help aspirants in building the section wise strategy, here are a few section wise Tips from CAT 99 percentilers which they followed in the exam

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CAT 2018: Tips and Tricks for Quant, DI&LR, VRC by 99 percentilers


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 2018, will have a total of 34 questions to be answered by the candidates, mostly dealing with arithmetic progression and modern mathematics.

Learning some mathematical Tips will support you in cracking QA section with ease, saving you time and mental pressure. Soumyajeet Ghosh, CAT 2017 topper who took admission in IIM Bangalore says, "QA was my strongest part and I kept improvising on it. I learned quick Tips to save time and practised a lot to increase my speed and to reduce errors.”


Sharing her preparation strategy, Mayank Raj, who secured 100 percentile, says, " In QA, a lot of it depends upon remembering the formulas. So, I wrote the formulas on a board which I would see every day when I wake up or enter my room. By seeing them every day, I learnt them in the process." 


On following a few Tips 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 Tips 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 Tips pertaining to quants, speed maths holds a greater influence.

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

CAT VARC Tips and Tricks by 99 percentilers


This section can be the most scoring, which may result in an improvised sectional as well as overall score. The Tips for VARC section must be divided topic wise, as each topic requires different techniques to learn. Another CAT 2017 topper with 100 percentile, Madhur Gupta, shares his strategy for VARC. "Verbal was a challenge for me and even after preparation, I was not improving in this area. I was quite upset and I self-analysed it for four days straight and came upon the solution to use elimination rather than selection for the verbal section. I used to overthink and used to fumble between the options which used to take a lot of time. I started eliminating the wrong options to help me decide the right one. This helped me later."


Mayank Raj, who faced major challenge in this section shares, "For improving my verbal ability I started reading newspaper, novels, etc. This helped me increase my reading speed and also in developing an understanding of the passages I was reading."  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."


CAT DI & LR Tips and 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. “ I find Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning the toughest so I used to give separate time to this section. I solved puzzle books to improve Logical Reasoning sections.” says Shubham Abrol, CAT 2017 99.78 percentiler.


Shikhar Sachdeva, 99.98 percentiler in CAT 2017 shares that going through all sets before choosing the questions to attempt was his way of tacking this section, which was the toughest in last year's CAT. "I focused my attention solely on my weak zone (LRDI) and developed my own unique strategies that helped me counter it, one of which was to go through all the sets, before I attempted even one question. This helped me prioritise on which question I felt comfortable, and which I wanted to leave," he saif. 


Sharing the exam day strategy, Sai Praneeth Reddy, another CAT 2017 topper with 100 percentiler mentions, "I started with DILR but I found that first few questions were really tough and time-taking. So, I skipped first four questions. Gradually, I realised that skipping questions won’t lead me anywhere. Then I started from the last question and started solving followed by whatever I could answer first."


Further, 99 percentilers spend most of their time in analysing their mock tests. Thorough analysis would be the best technique to crack CAT successfully. With the help of the CAT QA, VARC and DI & LR Tips by 99 percentilers or above, aspirants for CAT 2018 would get guidelines to approach towards each section, irrespective of their strengths and weaknesses. 

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