Most of the students find the Quantitative Aptitude section very tough in the CAT examination. Most of them are not aware of where to start studying for Quantitative Aptitude. Students face problems like lack of accuracy, under-confidence, difficulties in understanding the concept, and much more. There are instances where students complain about every question that seems new. We are going to tackle all of these things one by one in this article.
If we talk about Quantitative Aptitude, I being a non-engineer struggled a lot in this particular section. As such, I am well aware of what kind of difficulties students face in quants. To make Quantitative Aptitude easy for all students, whether an engineer or a non-engineer, I have made my own tricks and patterns and created a whole new approach to tackle Quantitative Aptitude. This approach I’m going to tell you about this blog.
The approach is tried and tested as we have a lot of students who have found it very useful and have succeeded after trying this. The best part of this approach is that this works for everybody, no matter if you’re at the beginner level or a newbie, if you’re at the medium level, or if you are a Quant’s pro.
So, to begin with, remember that there are some things that you should absolutely avoid if you genuinely want any good to happen to you. If you come to me and say, “Ketan sir, I want to score 90 percentile in Quantitative Aptitude, and I’ll take care of DILR and Verbal myself. Just tell me how can I score 90 percentile in Quantitative Aptitude”. If you are one of those students, then read this article till the end.
The first thing is that the hype has been made up of the CAT exam, it’s not that much, to be very honest, if you see from my eyes and follow what I say, in this article, you’ll be able to resonate as to why I say this.
Accuracy will never be constant in Quantitative Aptitude (QA)-
Why CAT quants is difficult? The reason is, we’ve been told by our teachers, coaching institutes & other social media mentors that attempt 15-18-20 questions and attempt them with 70 to 80 percent accuracy, let’s leave them, I want to talk to you straightforwardly.
Just think logically and tell me, whenever you write a mock or if you write a CAT paper on actual D-day, can you give me a guarantee that my accuracy on D-day will be 80%? and the answer is going to be No! Nobody can give me the guarantee that on the D day, my accuracy will be 80 percent.
So if I tell you to attempt 20 questions with 80 percent accuracy, you’ll get 16 questions right and 4 questions wrong. By doing so, you’ll be able to fetch 44 marks which will account to approximately 99.50 percentile.
If I tell you to attempt 15 questions with 80% accuracy you may think this is very easy. But the thing is this accuracy will never be constant. So, the first thing you should keep in mind is that your accuracy will never be constant. It’ll be somewhere close to what you’ve targeted but it’ll never be constant. So, to not let yourself fall into false motivation is one thing you should always avoid.
Building belief system-
Now, if I talk about the 90 percentile you need 6-7 questions correct. And the next step is, you have to make your belief system strong. Fit this into your belief system: if I attempt 6-7 questions with 100 % accuracy, I’ll get 90 percentile easily.
If the LOD of the paper is high then it’ll come down to 5 questions, and if the LOD of the paper is lower it’ll get up to 9 questions. This minor difference can be managed on D-day.
So now, where students fall is, that they keep hearing from people to attempt 15-16 questions with 80 % accuracy repeatedly, and their brain starts training itself in that way. And this is what you do on D-day. You try to attempt 15 questions in 40 minutes which is wrong. However, if I tell you to target your best 5-6 questions in 40 minutes then your belief system will trigger you to find 6 easy questions and there are 100 percent chances that you’ll those 6 questions out of the 22 total questions. In every Quantitative Aptitude paper, you’ll find 6 to 8 easy, doable, and crackable questions. There is no doubt about it.
It’s a simple thing, if I’m an average student who struggles with 7 questions will I do this stupidity of attempting 15-16 questions? No. But If I’m a pro-level student and the paper is on the easier level and in the first 15 minutes I’ve solved 8 questions so the remaining time, I can use it to increase the number to 12 or 15 questions. But can I do this mind work spontaneously on the D-day? No! This can get through only by practice. So if you want to get into the 90 percentile bracket, it is mandatory to maintain this belief system.
As such, if you solve 6 questions in 10 minutes. Then it’s well and good. This means the LOD of the paper has reduced, paper is easy. And you’ve remained for 30 minutes. And if you solve 5 questions in this time your life will be sorted. But if you target 15 questions in the beginning, then you’ll have a problem and will trouble you from the beginning.
Now we’ll move forward and will talk about one more thing.
The Target Game-
Why don’t you have the confidence? and do you know what problem you’ve with your accuracy, the second lie that is being told to the students is that you should practice solving only 40-50 questions from each topic. Do 50-80 questions and you are done with the chapter.
Keep one thing in mind, whatever mentors or whatever the coaching institutes are saying, they are saying it from their point of view. Their main Target is that they have to finish the syllabus, which is common in every coaching. But to finish the syllabus is the target of coaching people and not of a student.
They say, if you can only complete Arithmetic in and out in the next 5 months, then you’ll surely get 90 percentile in CAT. Because in CAT, out of 22, 11 questions come from the Arithmetic topic, and on solving 11 questions, you’ll be at the 98 percentile.
But will coaching classes teach you only Arithmetic in 5 months? No! They’ve to cover Algebra and modern math. I run a coaching institute which is why I’m able to tell you these things straightforwardly, telling you the actual reality. No other mentor will tell you this.
So our target is different from yours. After doing 40-50 questions, the student thinks he has completed P&L, then he’ll think of completing another topic, say Circles, in another 40 questions, along with P&L.
Pen Drop! I want to ask genuinely all of you if you use your brain and think logically, do you think you’ll be done and dusted with the topic by doing just 40 questions? The answer is No!
The concept you’ve learned, it’ll be there but you will find variety in the questions. Quantitative Aptitude will be different in Slot 1, Slot 2, and Slot 3. In mocks, the questions do not repeat. then how it’ll in the cat exam? So they make us stupid by playing this Target Game. Practice 50 questions -70 questions -40 questions-90 questions and your chapter is done. Whether this will work? No, it will not. Now, you know, what’s the mistake in there?
If an average student whose Quantitative Aptitude is not good at all, if he practices 80 questions of profit and loss. Is there a guarantee that you’ll solve 80 questions and you’ll cover every type of question? There is no guarantee. Secondly, if you’ll do these 80 questions in the next 10 days, And after these 80 questions what’s the guarantee that after 2 months you’ll be able to solve these same 80 questions?
There is no guarantee because you’re not practicing it. And what’s the guarantee that these 80 questions from whichever source you’re doing these questions are the important questions of CAT? There is no guarantee.
So stop fooling yourself, and start consuming appropriate content then only you’ll be able to study appropriately. It’s logical, that whatever content you consume, your mind becomes accustomed to it and functions in a similar fashion. As such, if you consume nonsense things, your results will come similarly.
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude (QA)-
We don’t tell these things to our students at C2C, this nonsense of doing 40-50 questions and completing an entire topic. There’s a simple thing, that you need to do. You pick Profit and loss and first, tell me how many concepts you know in P&L. 1-2-3-4-5 concepts, 5 concepts, done and dusted, are you sure? You should be if you would have watched the last video on our Cat2Cet MENTORS.
So, let’s say there are a total of 5 concepts, and there will not be a single question based on any other concept. Now I’ll tell you the most important tip. Go and check the last 10 years’ CAT papers and only the Quantitative Aptitude section, and that too only profit and loss questions. You’ll get 90% of the questions based on these 5 concepts. The remaining 10% of questions will also be on these concepts but they will be on the higher level so they’ll seem different.
As such, the first thing is validation is very very important. What do they ask in this? There is a pattern in questions based on these concepts, viz. discounts, cheating traders, and profit percentages. Therefore. if you want to rote learn, you can rote learn these concepts but not the questions.
So, whenever you see questions based on these concepts, you can set the target that this question should be solved in this format. You’ll make notes and whenever you’ll come across any similar question in the mocks, any book, e-book, handout, cat paper, or any last year paper, you’ll know how to tackle it.
And how will you learn this? When you’ll practice a pattern or a format regularly, every month- every day. Eventually, you’ll gain mastery. And in order to gain mastery, you have to identify the pattern and excel in the concepts. Here, C2C handouts can help you. The handouts and content that we make are on this level only and we teach the students how to plan their approach and not how to complete the syllabus.
So, Your target should be to clear the concepts, first understand and then solve these 40-50-80 questions, and practice regularly till your CAT exam.
Now, tell me one thing, if you have a God-level command in any one of the concepts, let’s say, cheating traders, do you think you won’t be able to understand the question of cheating traders? The question will be new but the approach to solve the question will be the same, right? Are you getting my point?
So if you want to study Quantitative Aptitude, you have to study with this approach. You’ve to keep faith in the past year’s CAT papers. Be it Time, Speed and Distance, circle, or quadratic equations, or be it Arithmetic; remember the pro-tip that Your question types, concepts, or formats do repeat in CAT. And from this, we can easily identify the important concepts and the pattern therein. Accept it. Write it down. This will help you.
To conclude, I would like to say that in the end, one thing will matters, that is how much you know. If you know how to study, you’ll crack CAT. You don’t need any motivation. Things will start to fall into place the day when you’ll able to solve questions one by one, and eventually, the motivation will build up.
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