How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) - It is said that Mathematics in a certain way is a poetry of logical ideas. This syncs perfectly with the QA section of CAT, wherein the mathematical questions are based on logic and theories. Solving QA section can be quite challenging for the test takers as the difficulty level of this section, based on past years trend, has mostly been of difficult to moderate level. In this feature by Careers360, we bring a guide for CAT 2019 aspirants on ‘How to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability’ section, which is said to be the most important section of the test. Since you have to be clear about not only the overall but the sectional cutoff as well to get an IIM call, you must perform well in this particular section. Quantitative Ability or QA, as per the exam pattern of CAT 2019, will have around 34 questions to be answered by the candidates, mostly dealing with arithmetic progression and modern mathematics. Registration for CAT 2019 has been closed, correction window was available from September 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM onward.
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How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)


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Students, especially from non-engineering backgrounds, who are not too comfortable in QA, must focus on this section to improve their sectional cutoff in CAT 2019. Hence, the question that baffles them is "How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)." As CAT exam has a sectional limit of 60 minutes, it is important to strategically attempt each section of the test to score an overall high percentile. Konreddy Varun Kumar Reddy, CAT Topper from MDI Gurgaon supports by saying, “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."

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Despite being weak in Quantitative Ability, Commerce graduate Saakshi Goel cracked CAT with 99.57 percentile and secured admission in SPJIMR Mumbai. She says, “For me, QA 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 DILR.”

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)

Let’s start with the quote of one of the CAT 2017 Toppers, Dinesh Reddy, who is currently studying at IIM Shillong, on how to prepare for CAT quantitative aptitude. He says, "The more you practice, the more you can remember the formulae, and the faster you can solve. This section is all about practice and solving different models."

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To understand how to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability section(most important part for CAT 2019 syllabus), aspiring candidates need to follow the tips given below.

Start with the basics

Getting your concepts clear is the key to successfully solving quantitative ability questions. It is important for the candidates to start by learning the concepts which are used to solve questions in this section. Vatsalya Kumar Srivastava, who secured 99.76 percentile in CAT 2016 shares, “QA is difficult to master since the range of questions is so varied that you can’t keep track of time sometimes.”

When you know the basic concepts, you must practice by solving more and more questions. It is important to follow the concepts learnt and practice each concept by solving simple examples first, and gradually moving towards the difficult ones.

Aniket Upadhyay, CAT Topper from IIM Shillong, mentions, "I feel QA is totally about how much time and practice you can put in. After understanding the basic formulae, I used to only practice questions from study material and appear for mocks."

To prepare for Quant section of CAT books are the best source to learn the concepts and enhance your knowledge on a topic. Subhrajyoti Saha, CAT 2016 Topper and IIM Shillong student prepared from books and practised from the practice papers available in the books. He says, “I practised a lot of questions from the book and also from online resources. I referred to Arun Sharma books on Quantitative Aptitude and study materials from my coaching institute.”

See video on How to Prepare for CAT Exam

Best Books to prepare for CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section

The QA section tests the problem-solving approach of the aspirants. QA covers topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Number System, Modern Mathematics and other questions related to Higher Maths. It is important to check the books from where the candidates can prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT. Here is the list of best books to prepare for this section of CAT:

  • Arun Sharma’s ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT’, published by Tata McGraw Hill. The book follows the latest pattern of CAT with a focus on one of the most important components of the CAT exam is Quantitative Aptitude.

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha (Tata McGraw-Hill) has a comprehensive step-by-step problem-solving guide.

  • How to Prepare for the CAT Common Admissions Test by Muhamed Muneer, published by Om Books, is another book that is simple and easy to understand, and has mock tests and solved CAT papers from previous years.

  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams by Trishna Knowledge Systems (Pearson) has many practice exercises in increasing difficulty for a gradual transition.

  • Arun Sharma’s The Complete CAT Digest, by Tata McGraw-Hill, is a must-have for any CAT aspirant.

Plan your preparation schedule

A clear cut time table holds the key to crack CAT. When one is wondering as to how to "How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)," then in such a scenario a realistic time table is very important. Candidates, after going through the syllabus and exam pattern, should assess how much time they will need to prepare for each topic and ensure that one does not leave any topic uncovered. One of the important strategies to cover each topic is to make a Day-wise preparation plan and schedule some number of days to prepare for that topic. Allot the following number of days to the below given quant topics,

  • Number System: Five days

  • Algebra: Eight Days

  • Geometry: Eight Days

  • Permutation & Combination/Probability: Five Days

  • Miscellaneous Topics: Five Days

Take sectional Mock Tests on QA

Mock Test for CAT 2019 is part of the strategy of "How to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability" and is an essential part of preparation as it helps the candidates to familiarise themselves with the type of questions that are asked. After taking a mock test, a candidate can evaluate his performance and check in which areas he or she requires to work hard. The same applies for CAT 2019, where mock test plays a vital role to determine the level of preparation for the actual test.

IIM Kashipur student Adarsh Anand says, “Mock tests played a very crucial role in my success. Join at least two institutes for mock tests. Two mock tests per week are good enough. Analyse your weak and strong points both and work on them accordingly.”

Adding to the importance of analysis of Mock Test for Quant, Adarsh mentions, “First analysis should be done by the experts after which self-analysis is necessary. self-analysis should be done by an individual question wise, topic wise and section-wise. And then work on the areas which are lagging behind.”

It is important for a candidate to put all his focus on his weak topics in QA and take mock tests to prepare for the same. Whether, you take coaching or not, practicing from test series and sectional Mocks will go a long way in securing a high percentile in Quant section.

Practice with sectional time

Since CAT 2019 has a sectional time limit of 60 minutes to answer one section, as part of "How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)," candidates must aim to solve the entire section ahead of the scheduled time. Keeping a buffer time of minimum of 10 minutes to complete one section while taking mock tests will let you complete the exam beforehand and will ensure that you have adequate time to revise. However, candidates will be able to save time in a section, only if they follow the same strategy on the D-Day.

Konreddy Varun allocated two minutes per Quant question, which according to him is enough time to decide whether the question is doable or not. He 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.”

Focus on Weak Areas

The thumb rule of a great preparation is to focus on the weak areas and overcome the mistakes that one is making. During the course of preparation, one must focus on learning, practicing and revising the QA topics in which they are weak.

Sakshi, whose weakest area was Quantitative Ability, shares her strategy, “in the QA section, I focused on understanding concepts rather than tricks to solve the questions. Solving even half a number 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.”

Tips for CAT 2019 Expected Quantitative Ability Topics

Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind mentions, "There is no syllabus prescribed for CAT. Given this reality, it is almost foolhardy to predict any particular topic or area that may be important for CAT. However, given the history of CAT, the areas in Quant that one needs to be thorough is are Numbers and Geometry & Mensuration. One-third of the questions in the Quant section could be from these two areas alone!"

QA Topics and Subtopics


topic-with-area

Topic wise Preparation Strategy

QA Topics

Tips and Strategy

Number System

Ensure that you are clear with the basic concepts of this topic.

Arithmetic

Though Arithmetic has a vast number of sub-topics, in the last 3 years, only a couple of questions have featured from this topic

Algebra

Considering this has been one of the most dominant topics in CAT in the last three years, it makes a lot of sense to place extra emphasis on this topic

Geometry

Another topic which has featured quite a lot in the last 3 years

Permutation & Combination/Probability

This is another topic that contributes around 1 to 2 questions to the exam

Miscellaneous Topics

This includes Set Theory, Trigonometry, and Logarithms

CAT 2019 was conducted on November 24, 2019, Sunday, in online mode. The official notification for the exam was announced on July 28, 2019. More than 2. 4 lakh registered for CAT 2019. The registration for CAT 2019 has been closed on September 25, 2019 at 5:00 PM, correction window is available from September 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM onward.

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9 Views

10th -70% 12th -56% (Science) bcom - 80% (SC candidate), if I get 100 percentile in CAT, would have I got call from IIM A or C ??

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020

Hii Biton,

Yes, there is a possibility for you as you belong to the SC category. But still there are  alot of factors taken into consideration while accessing your profile for giving a call for interviews bu top Business schools of India. You have a good chance provided you work on your communication skills and other skills. Also try doing internships and building your profile as these things will affect and may decide if you will be getting a call or not.

Hope it helps,

Thanks.

16 Views

How to start preparing for CAT 2020 from basics? Which are the books to refer from? Will self study be enough? I need an answer that can clear all my doubts and motivate me to start my preparation. Each answer will be appreciated, thanks.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020
Almost all books available in the market are very similar in the nature of their content of study material but the important thing is what you make of it.

Here I can give you the list of books for each section that can help you accelerate your preparation to ace the tests.

CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.


Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.

There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.
49 Views

if i obtain 80 marks in quantitative aptitude 80 marks in data interpection and 80 marks in verbal reasoning what is my total percentile of cat because my 10th and 12 marks is low ?

Ankit Dahiya Student Expert 6th Apr, 2020
Hello,
Your CAT percentile has nothing to do with class X and XII marks.
The percentile indicates your performance relative to the other candidates. For example if you get 80 percentile it means your score is more than 80% of the appearing students.
The percentipe is calculated as:
P=(R/N) 100
where R=Rank of student and N=Number of students who appeared.

Follow this link for more information
https://www.google.com/amp/s/bschool.careers360.com/articles/how-calculate-cat-percentile/amp

Good luck
94 Views

I have 96% in 10th 94 %in 12th and 7 3 cgpa in btech and around 18 months of work experience..how much do I need to score in CAT 2020 to get a call from IIMA/B /C or FMS ?

Prakarsh Kaushik 5th Apr, 2020

Hello,

For getting in top B-schools of India like IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, FMS Delhi etc. you need good marks not only in in CAT but also in Class 10th, 12th and your graduation. If you have some work experience then it gives you more advantages.

There is no specific cutoff of percentile on which you can get into top IIMs. Since your marks in 10th, 12th is above 90% and in graduation above 7 CGPA with work experience, you can expect a call from IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C if you have at least 99 percentile in CAT .

For FMS also you should aim for 99+ percentile in CAT and also keep in mind that if you score 95+ percentile in VARC Section it will increase your chances of getting in.

Click at this link to know more about CAT - https://bschool.careers360.com/exams/cat

Hope this was helpful

70 Views

which is the best book for cat self study to crack cat examination

KUNAL LANJEWAR 5th Apr, 2020

Hello,

Given below are the best books to refer for preparing for CAT examination:

1. For Quantitative Aptitude:

  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT 2019 by Sarvesh K Sharma

2. For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation :

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit K Sinha

3. For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension :

  • Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis
  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

Best Wishes.

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