Exams Prep Master | Updated On - Apr 27, 2021
CAT Quantitative Aptitude section is considered to be one of the hardest sections of the CAT Exam. The Quant section comprises topics like Algebra, Number Systems, Geometry, and Modern Maths. Candidates are awarded 3 marks for each correct answer while one mark is deducted for every incorrect response. This section also carries the highest weightage of all the sections in the CAT exam, at 102 marks. Check CAT Exam Pattern
The questions will be of two types - MCQs and TITA (non-MCQ). CAT QA Section can be the most decisive subject when it comes to deciding the CAT Cut off, which ranges from 70-85 percentile in the Quantitative Aptitude Section. Read the article to know more about CAT Quantitative aptitude pattern, syllabus, important topics, study notes, and much more. Also Check CAT Practice Papers
Table of Contents |
CAT Quantitative Aptitude Highlights
Here are all the necessary details candidates need to know about CAT QA Exam Pattern:
Pattern | Details |
---|---|
Total Questions in CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section | 34 |
Total Marks in Quantitative Aptitude For CAT Section | 102 |
Type of Questions in Quantitative Section | MCQs and TITA (non-MCQ) |
Total MCQs in Quant for CAT Section | 24-26 |
Total Non-MCQs (TITA) in QA Section | 8-10 |
Difficulty in Quantitative Aptitude For CAT Section | Moderate |
CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus
CAT Aspirants must be perfectly acquainted with CAT quantitative aptitude syllabus which has been determined on the basis of the past years question papers. This is crucial for preparation, so here is the CAT QA Highlights:
CAT QA Syllabus | ||
---|---|---|
Coordinate Geometry | Mensuration | LCM & HCF |
Set theory & Function | Probability | Quadratic and Linear Equations |
Number System | Averages | Complex Numbers |
Ratio, Proportion & Variation | Speed, Time and Distance | Geometry |
Compound Interest | Profit, Loss and Discount | Algebra |
Trigonometry | Permutation and Combination | Progressions and Series |
Quantitative Aptitude Questions | Quantitative Aptitude Shortcut Techniques for CAT | Number System Shortcut for CAT |
Shortcuts in Averages | Remainder Concepts | Circles |
Factorials | Power Cycle | Relatives Speed |
Arithmetic Progression | Polygons | Harmonic Progression |
Quadrilaterals | Points, Lines and Planes | Circles |
Angles | Geometric Progression | Weighted Average |
Graphical Division Geometry | Similar Triangles | Derangement |
Applications of Averages | Conditional probability | Application of Power Cycle |
Constant Product Rule | Laws in Set Theory | Properties of Ratio |
Triangles | Boats and Streams for CAT | Escalator Questions for CAT |
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Topic Wise Syllabus for CAT QA
Topic | Description |
---|---|
Percentages | Expect questions mostly from change in percentage; increase or decrease. Go through the basic percent formula. |
Profit, Loss, and Discount | This section simply revolves on the topic of percentages. Questions are mainly from profit, loss, cost price, selling price, discount, and market price. You can also expect questions from false wights. Learn all the formulas for profit and loss along with tricks for shortcuts. |
Simple and Compound Interest | The number of questions from this section has been mostly low. the one might expect mostly calculation based questions. Basic formulas of Simple and Compound Interest are adequate. Questions related to the rate of increase of population are not to be missed. |
Ratio and Proportion | A wide variety of questions based on multiple and fundamental concepts are important. You will find the basic concepts handy in solving questions time, work, time speed, distance, mixtures, allegation, geometry, and more. |
Averages, Mixtures, Allegation | This topic is quite important in CAT. questions such as “which two elements are mixed together in different proportions to get a new mixture”. This topic combines other topics like ratio and proportion, averages, and percentages. |
Time and Work | There can be more than one hundred varieties of questions from this section. Pipes and cisterns, which make the core concept are also included. The method of LCM is recommended over formulas as there are over 20 of them. |
Time, Speed, and Distance | Expect questions from average and relative speed, meeting points, boats, streams, are important. Proper knowledge of relative speed and shortcut on meeting points should suffice. |
Equations | Stress on questions from quadratic equations. Don't miss out on topics like integral solutions for variables. Learn the concepts of nature of roots, quadratic equations, and integral solutions. |
Progression | stress on arithmetic and geometric progressions. Do not miss out on summation of series. Put effort on formulas from areas like number of terms, cum of AP and GP series, and their means. |
Functions and Graphs | Mostly questions are on functions of simplification. Other sections like modulus functions and graphs have also occurred frequently. Trying to understand the graphs of a few functions such as modulus, log, greatest integer, is helpful. Do not miss out on functions and composite functions. |
Maxima Minima | Mostly 3 types of questions (maximum in equation form); AM-GM concept, polynomials, functions/graphs. Learn the method for solving each of these problems. |
Properties of Numbers | Expect questions from topics such as perfect squares, prime numbers, fractions, integers. Learn the elementary concepts along with the properties of numbers. Level of difficulty of questions is moderate to hard. |
Divisibility Rules | Questions from this topic are expected to be pretty to the point. Expect problems based on divisibility rules on the initial sets of natural numbers. Learn the divisibility rules of these numbers - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ,7 ,8, 9, 11, 12, and 13. |
Remainders | Difficulty level of questions from this topic are mostly easy to moderate. This is not a very important topic as over the past few years, questions from this section were not set. Learn the basic concepts like remainders and negative remainders. |
Factors, HCM & LCM | This too is not a very important topic. Previous CAT papers featured questions from factors and remainders. Focus on prime factorization and the approaches involved in finding integral solutions. |
Factorials | Not an important topic, problems are mostly based on finding the number of zeros that are trailing. |
Unit and Last Two Digits | Questions are based on finding the last or second last digit in the expansion from a single digit number raised to exponent is given. Learn power cycles and last 2 digit tricks. |
Base System | Not an important topic. Learn the fundamental concepts of the base system. Questions are based on the method of converting numbers from a given base to another. Learning fundamental concepts of the base system should suffice. |
Triangles | Questions from this topic mostly test the fundamentals theorems of triangles. This is an important topic and candidates should focus on pythagoras theorem, various degrees of triangles like isosceles, equilateral, and mass point geometry. |
Circles | Another important topic in geometry, you can expect questions which test the basic concepts, problems involving multiple circles, tangent is important. Focus on learning the theorems, formulas, segments, and tangent circles. |
Quadrilaterals | Expect questions mostly from parallelogram, trapezium, squares, and rectangles. Learn the formulas of areas for all quadrilateral figures and their perimeters. |
Polygons | Not an important topic. You can expect questions on hexagon. Shortcut tricks and direct formulas hexagon diagonals should suffice. |
3D mensuration | This topic is now quite frequent in CAT. learning the formula for area and volume of cones, cylinders, cube, cuboid, spheres, and cylinders should do the trick. |
Coordinate Geometry | Not at all an important topic: learn the basics of coordinate geometry. The conic section can be ignored. |
Permutations and Combinations | Moderately important topic. You can expect questions mainly from committee formation, arrangements, and counting. You should learn the elementary formulas for this topic. Do not ignore the fundamental principles of counting. |
Probability | You can ignore this topic completely as problems from probability have stopped coming altogether. |
Set Theory | Variable venn diagram problems that include minima and maxima are important. Get a working knowledge of venn diagram concepts. |
Numerous candidates face difficulty and get confused during preparation of the CAT Quant test, because the CAT exam does not have a predefined syllabus. But it should be noted that the questions are generally asked from a few repeating concepts every year. So, candidates are suggested to check the past year question trends and get well versed with the related information and prepare accordingly. Some of the topics are expected to repeat in CAT 2021 on the basis of previous year question paper analysis.
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CAT 2021 Exam Pattern
Before going to the CAT QA Exam Pattern, it is necessary to check out the exam pattern for the other subjects. Here is the CAT Exam Pattern:
Section in CAT exam | Total questions | Total MCQs (Negative marking) | Total Non-MCQs (No negative marking) |
---|---|---|---|
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) | 26 | 18 | 8 |
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) | 24 | 18 | 6 |
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA) | 26 | 18 | 8 |
Total | 76 | 54 | 22 |
Want to know the detailed CAT Exam Pattern? Click here
Weightage and Number of Questions in CAT QA
It should be noted that the topics mentioned above are not the only topics required for CAT exams. So, the Candidates are suggested to have a thorough knowledge of broader topics related to quantitative section. This section is very crucial for CAT since almost 34 questions are asked from this section which involves a wide range of numerical topics. Since Quant 2021 will test you on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Modern Math among other important topics, the most important of the Quantitative Aptitude Tricks is to strengthen your basics followed by Quantitative Aptitude Practice Questions for CAT. Some of the most important topics in this section include:
Topic Name | Expected No. of Questions | Difficulty Level |
---|---|---|
Number System, Basic Arithmetic | 5-10 Questions | Moderate |
Geometry & Mensuration | 7-8 Questions | Moderately Difficult |
Algebra | 6-7 Questions | Moderate |
Permutation & Combination | 1-2 Questions | Easy |
Probability | 1-2 Questions | Moderate |
Time, Speed, and Distance | 1-2 Questions | Moderately Difficult |
Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets | 1-3 Questions | Easy |
Profit, loss, and Discounts | 1-2 Questions | Moderately Easy |
Interests (SI, CI) | 1-2 Questions | Moderately Difficult |
Time and Work | 1-2 Questions | Difficult |
Study Notes on CAT Quantitative Aptitude
Important Topics with Definitions & Sample Questions | |
---|---|
Study Notes on CAT Arithmetic | Study Notes on CAT Algebra |
Study Notes on CAT Geometry | Study Notes on Trigonometry |
Study Notes on Mensuration | Shortcut Methods for CAT QA |
How to Schedule Preparation for CAT QA?
Session No. | Topic | Time (Hours) |
---|---|---|
Session 1 | Averages | 2 |
Session 2 | Percentages | 2 |
Session 3 | Profit & Loss | 2 |
Session 4 | Linear & Quadratic Equations | 2 |
Session 5 | Ratio Proportion | 2.5 |
Session 6 | Mixtures | 1.5 |
Session 7 | Speed, Time & Distance | 2.5 |
Session 8 | Races | 1.5 |
Session 9 | Pipes & Cisterns | 2 |
Session 10 | Simple & Compound Interest | 2 |
Total | 20 |
Session No. | Topic | Time (Hours) |
---|---|---|
Session 1 | Factors and Multiples | 3 |
Session 2 | Remainders | 2.5 |
Session 3 | Number Theory - Miscellaneous | 2.5 |
Session 4 | Number Theory - Different | 2.5 |
Session 5 | Combinatorics - Basics | 3 |
Session 6 | Combinatorics - Probability | 2 |
Session 7 | Combinatorics - Tougher Concepts | 2 |
Session 8 | Set Theory | 3 |
Total | 20.5 |
- It is advised to focus more on the Number system and geometry topics as they hold the maximum weightages Not only in CAT, but other Management colleges/universities also cover most of these topics from the QA section. When candidates are done with the basic concepts, they should pick up past year question papers and practice them.
- To acquaint with the test pattern and timing and to get the real exam scenario solving CAT Mock Tests are very crucial and it helps to analyze the preparation level. By going through the previous year papers helpfully to analyze the question pattern and its difficulty level.
- As numerous MBA aspirants are registering for CAT every year, so the competition is very high over the years. So, well-focused and dedicated candidates for the exam with sincere preparation, are able to solve the question easily and score good percentile to get the admission in the IIMs or any other prestigious B-School.
- To get more than 95 percentile in this subject, the candidate is advised to answer perfectly more than 25 questions.
Best Books and Resources for CAT Quantitative Aptitude
In fact, the best books for the CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section should be of the latest edition carrying the latest features as per the current CAT exam pattern with Quantitative Aptitude Questions and Answers.
Now the question is- which is the best book for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT. Out of 35 odd CAT preparation books on Quant preparation, in the opinion of CAT toppers and experts is Quantitative Aptitude Book by Arun Sharma. Other best books for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT are:
Name of the Book | Name of the Author |
---|---|
NCERT Mathematics Books (Class 6 to 10) | NCERT |
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT | Arun Sharma |
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT | Sarvesh Sharma |
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations | Abhijit Guha |
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT | Nishit Sinha |
Best Study Material for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2021
In case a candidate is preparing for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT with the help of a coaching centres, or wish to go for a mix of coaching supported preparation and self preparation to get the best of both in CAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation, along with the best book for Quant 2021 preparation, he will be getting the best study material with more Quantitative Aptitude Practice Questions for CAT.
Best Coaching Institutes like TIME, CL, and IMS study materials for quantitative aptitude could be very helpful to prepare Quantitative Aptitude for CAT. Because the study material on Quant Preparation for CAT of top coaching centres is updated as per the latest and expected changes in CAT exam pattern and also consist of Quantitative Aptitude Tips & Tricks by CAT experts.
The preparation material will contain the following apart from other key features:
- Quant 2021 study material to strengthen fundamentals with CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Tips
- Quantitative Aptitude Questions for CAT with Solutions
- Quantitative Aptitude Tricks by experts on how to solve the questions faster with accuracy
- Quantitative Aptitude Practice Questions for CAT of varying difficulty level
With the help of this preparation material you will be able to develop your own Quantitative Aptitude tricks to crack the Quant 2021 questions quickly.
Common Mistakes to avoid while attempting Quant Section
As per CAT experts and Toppers’ statement following common mistakes are done usually made by candidates while attempting CAT aptitude test.
- Do not attach to any question for more than 1.5 minutes
If one cannot understand where and how to start after reading the question for more than once, quickly give it a shot with not spending more than 90 seconds on it. The point is not to get entangled in the question and lose the track of your time.
- Double-check while solving (to reduce errors and use this in formula-based questions)
When one has decided his formula and approach, just before he inserts the numbers from the question statement, verify the substitutions. This will reduce the chances of any silly mistakes that one might commit during the steps. Double check where one can.
- Not able to decide when it is the right time to leave the question?
Identify early when to give up and move on to the next question. This might hurt ONE’s sentiment and ego a bit, but it is definitely not worse than leaving questions un-attempted towards the end. Do not let his emotions play havoc with his question paper. Do not get emotionally invested in a question: there is always another one waiting for him..
- Not able to identify strength and weak areas
During the mock tests, identify one’s key strength topics that contribute the maximum towards one’s score and build a habit of solving those topics first. Do not waste time in the initial half of the hour in testing one’s ability on any untouched topics or weak areas that have not given any marks in the past. The first 40 minutes of the allotted time should be spent on hunting and striking down easy-medium questions to boost one’s score and confidence early in the test.
- Keep the performances of sections independent of each other
If Quant is not the first section that appears on the screen (as has been the case for the past few years) please remain calm and composed and one should not be worried. Start the section with a fresh mind without feeling too nervous about the previous performance.
Topper Tips to Attempt CAT QA Section
The Quantitative Ability is usually the crucial section for candidates without a technical, engineering or commerce background, but a strongest section for technical background candidates. With 34 questions, the QA section is also very important for candidates. Generally, most toppers remark that they focused on making their concepts of the section stronger.
- Rahul Manglik who obtained 100 percentile in CAT 2019, remarks, “I learnt some Vedic maths tricks to speed up my calculations. I think that that extra speed helped me gain an edge over and above the normal preparation.” Read More
- Rishikesh Manchanda advises CAT aspirants to make the concepts strong as the concept of a Quant topic matters a lot. Read More
- Soumyajeet Ghosh (2018, topper) says – “QA section demands a lot of practice and to save time for practicing more, one should adopt all small and simple tactics to increase his practice and reduce his errors.”
- Ankit Desai got 99.91 percentile in CAT 2019, he shared his experience to handle Quant section, Ankit says- I was weak in Geometry and Numbers. So, first I revised all the formulas and wrote them down. After that, I solved around 50 questions more on these topics to understand the concepts better.
The general advice of most candidates securing 99+ percentile is to attempt as many mocks as possible. After attempting mocks, analyse what questions went wrong for you. Identify your weak sections and devote your time to practice the questions.
CAT Quantitative Aptitude Cutoff for IIM
IIMs | QA | Overall |
---|---|---|
IIM Ahmedabad | 70 | 80 |
IIM Bangalore | 75 | 85 |
IIM Calcutta | 80 | 85 |
IIM Kozhikode | 75 | 85 |
IIM Shillong | 75 | 80 |
IIM Lucknow | 85 | 90 |
IIM Raipur | 80 | 95 |
IIM Rohtak | 70 | 95 |
IIM Kashipur | 80 | 90 |
IIM Ranchi | 80 | 90 |
IIM Indore | 80 | 90 |
IIM Tiruchirappalli | 80 | 95 |
IIM Udaipur | 80 | 90 |
IIM Bodh Gaya | 80 | 90 |
IIM Amritsar | 75 | 80 |
IIM Nagpur | 72 | 85 |
IIM Jammu | 80 | 90 |
IIM Visakhapatnam | 80 | 90 |
IIM Sambalpur | 80 | 95 |
IIM Sirmaur | 80 | 95 |
CAT 2020 QA Paper Analysis
CAT 2020 QA was moderate in difficulty and was considered tougher than 2019. The topics with the highest weightage were Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry. Here is the detailed breakup of CAT QA Paper Analysis:
Question Breakup of CAT 2020 QA - Slot 1
Topic | No of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) | Ideal Attempts |
---|---|---|
Number System | 5 | 3-4 |
Algebra | 8 | 5-6 |
Arithmetic | 10 | 7-8 |
Modern Math | - | - |
Geometry & Mensuration | 3 | 1-2 |
Question Breakup of CAT 2020 QA - Slot 2
Topic | No. of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) | Ideal Attempt |
---|---|---|
Number System | 3 | 2 |
Algebra | 7 | 4 |
Arithmetic | 10 | 6-7 |
Modern Math | 2 | 1 |
Geometry & Mensuration | 4 | 2-3 |
Question Breakup of CAT 2020 QA - Slot 3
Topic | No. of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) | Ideal Attempt |
---|---|---|
Number System | 3 | 2 |
Algebra | 5 | 3 |
Arithmetic | 10 | 6-7 |
Geometry & Mensuration | 5 | 2-3 |
Coordinate Geometry | 3 | 2 |
Quick Links:
CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude FAQs
Ques: What comprises CAT Quantitative Aptitude section?
Ans: CAT Quantitative Aptitude simply means the ability of an individual to solve numerical and mathematical calculations in a limited time. It assesses the capability of playing with numbers in a logical manner. This is very often required in most of the competitive exams.
Ques: How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2021?
Ans: Quantitative Aptitude demands a lot of practice and to save time for practicing more, one should adopt all small and simple tactics to increase his practice and reduce his errors.”He should given frequent mock tests and strengthen the fundamental concept and basics by going through different study materials and different Quantitative Aptitude books.
Ques: What are the topics covered in the Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Syllabus?
Ans: Following are the most crucial topics to prepare for CAT quantitative Aptitude Test. Permutations and Combination
- Percentages
- Profit and loss
- Probability
- Time and work
- Simple and compound interest
- Time, speed and distance
- Number systems
- Ages
- Averages
- Calendar and clock (not too imp)
Ques: What are the important CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Tips to crack the exam?
Ans: CAT is not having any defined syllabus. So, candidates are required to prepare from various topics and more or less rely on previous year question sets of CAT. Thus, to solve this dilemma, they should follow the toppers trick and the expert opinion. Simultaneously a candidate should try to appear in frequent mock tests available online.
Ques: Which are the best CAT experts Quantitative Aptitude Tips & Tricks to score high in Quant 2021?
Ans: Weightage of each topic must be checked by candidates in order to decide how much time they wish to devote to that particular topic. It is recommended that candidates should focus more on the basic topics number system and geometry as they hold the good amount of weightage in CAT entrance exam. Not only in CAT, but other top business institutes who also cover most of these topics from the QA section. When candidates are done with the basic concepts, they should pick up past year question papers and practice them.
Ques: Which are the best books for the CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section?
Ans: Previous years papers are the best to practice and check your preparation. Practice and practice because it will make you perfect . You can refer to some of the best books like NCERT , ARUN SHARMA , ABHIJEET GUHA ETC .
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.