Algebra is basically 'word problems'. If you can understand the questions and visualize them, your problem will be solved.

Arithmetic and Algebra make the lion’s share of the Quantitative Ability section of CAT exam. If your weakest area in the Quantitative Ability section happens to be one or both of them, you need to give extra attention to these areas. We have already discussed the details of Arithmetic. In this article we will discuss about the components and preparation strategy for Algebra.

Algebra:-The component

Linear and quadratic equation, logarithm, progression, binomial theorem, inequalities, permutation and combination, probability, function, set theory etc. are the main components of Algebra.

The Algebra questions of CAT exam are heavily driven by formulae.

This particular part of the Quantitative Ability section is mostly formula driven word problems. Algebra is basically ‘word problems’. If you can understand the questions and visualize them, your problem will be solved..

Algebra preparation for CAT 2010

Algebra preparation is based on keeping the formula in mind and thorough practice. To start with, go through the previous years’ questions of CAT exam to get an idea what kind of questions are generally asked and what are the formulas you will mostly need. After that, take out your school level math books and learn all the algebraic formulae. Algebra depends heavily of usage of formulae. So you need to memorize them all by heart.

Though you can spend a considerable amount of time daily memorizing the formulae, but as long as you don’t practice them, you won’t be able to judge the proper usage. The basic idea is to see a question and remember which formulae/equation to be used here. Practice lot of unsolved questions in your preparation material.

Strategies for practice & solving questions

While solving the questions, you need to first read the question and understand what it is asking. Following that, you should be able to visualize the question and solve it. We would suggest that you read the question slowly, visualize the question (draw neat diagrams/flow charts) and then solve. Remember to solve faster, you need to comprehend better. To comprehend better you need to read slowly. If you read slowly, you would understand the problem better and you would solve faster. This is especially the case with Algebra.

To choose the right option in the questions, you need to follow the Process of Elimination (POE). Algebra is meant to be tackled through answer choices. Prefer the POE (Process of Elimination) to any other method. However, please note that sometimes putting numerical values help faster while in other cases you need to reach some formulated equation before trying the values. Preferred values are -3, -2, -1, 1, 2.

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