August 26, 2011

CAT 2011 - Make Your Grip On Quantitative Ability

Quantitative Ability can be a nightmare for many CAT aspirants. But if you are really determined about your goal to study MBA in a top notch MBA institute, then a section should not hamper your chance.  For every MBA aspirant, there is one or the other area of weakness. In this article, you will get the tips on how to strengthen this weak section of yours.
As you are aware, Quantitative Ability tests your basic knowledge about mathematics, brushing up of the subject, which you had done in the classes VIII to X. The best way to start preparation is by starting with the NCERT books. You will not only feel familiar but will also get your basics brushed up. Before you know more about the preparation strategies, it is important to know about the topics of the Quantitative Ability that you will be facing.

Topics of Quantitative Ability

The topics which you will encounter in this section are Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Functions, Number System and Time, Speed and Distance. These are the most common topics that you will face in the CAT exam. Apart from these, the topics are Mensuration, Linear Equations, Ratio and Proportion, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Variable and Inconsistence.

These are the overall topics which you will focus in this section. As Anurag Goyal, who scored 99.56 percentile in CAT 2008 says, “The relative importance keeps changing. It is extremely important to be thoroughly prepared with the chapters that one is comfortable with and not waste time on the others.”

Books for Quantitative Ability

    The NCERT Maths Books of Class 8 to 10
    Any one of the following books by R.S. Agarwal: Objective Arithmetic, Mathematics for MBA, Quantitative Techniques
    ‘How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT’ by Arun Sharma
    ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ by Nishit Sinha
    ‘Quantum CAT’ by Sarvesh Kumar Verma
    ‘Quantitative Aptitude for MBA Entrance Examinations’ by Abhijit Guha

Preparation strategy

For preparing the Quantitative Ability section, practice is the best way. In Quantitative Ability if you are weak in all areas, you would need to solve and learn from around 5000 questions in order to match your skills with the best. Over a 150 day period this means 30 to 35 questions per day.

The method of learning by solving is also suggested by many experts. The more questions you solve, more idea you will have on the questions and the topics. “For Quant, focus on the learning you can extract out of every question.  If you can do so, then for CAT or for that matter any aptitude exam would ever hurt you in Quant over the next 10 years! Remember, Question based learning is the key.”

One more way to start is by starting with a particular chapter. Clearing the basic concepts, answering the questions and when you feel comfortable about it, move on to the next chapter. “Take one chapter at a time and solve as many questions as possible over a week or 10 days. The objective should be to master the chapter and develop a very high level of comfort and confidence should any question be asked from the chapter. Thereafter, move on to the next chapter,” experts say.

While you clear the basic concepts and solve the questions, you should also keep in mind the fact that speed is an important constraint of the CAT exam. Hence, maintaining speed and accuracy at the same time will be of utmost importance. CAT is about speed and you should plan your time towards solving each and every question very efficiently. Practice as many questions you can mainly from the previous papers because it gives you an idea about the variety of questions that has been asked before.
If mugging up formulae is not your forte, then practice will come to your rescue. Just practice a lot and you won’t need to mug any formula and any trick. Things will turn out eventually in your favor.


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