CAT does not focus on theoretical knowledge but the application of basic concepts. This essentially means that your knowledge of basic arithmetic skills, proportionality tools, numbers, elementary combinatorics, algebra and geometry is more than enough to help you crack the test.
To excel in the IIM entrance exam — the Common Admission Test or CAT, a student must have conceptual knowledge in each test area and should also develop a strategy to face the exam. It is the right combination of knowledge, approach, and skill which can help a candidate to be ready for the exam.
QA being the most challenging section to crack in CAT is the general apprehension among most of the candidates . The reasons why quant can be the toughest section to crack are varied. Most students have good grasp of fundamentals but when an application based question comes they are all at sea. Most students also have a problem with time management. Some don’t have raw speed of formulation and calculation. Note that your percentile score is fully dependent upon your ability to segregate the doable questions as per your strength along with the optimization of speed and accuracy.
In CAT, you will find that there are few absolutely easy questions that even 8th or 9th standard students can solve. You may find the questions that are extremely tough in time bound scenario. This is not done to identify and select the math majors. The reason being there is a mix of questions of varying difficulty level is that it reflects real life situations. But, given that you have deadline, you must pick and target the lowest hanging fruits (easy questions).
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CAT does not focus on theoretical knowledge but application of basic concepts. This essentially means that your knowledge of basic arithmetic skills, proportionality tools, numbers, elementary combinatorics, algebra and geometry is more than enough to help you crack the test.
Basic mathematical skill is just one dimension of QA section and the other dimensions are more important. These are the ability to perform in a pressure situation, observation skill, decision making, adaptability/flexibility and finally an ability to comprehend the questions. Questions are normally cleverly framed to test conceptual clarity and smartness in approach.
Solving a CAT quant problem is a step wise process and the basic algorithm is:
Step-I: Comprehension of question,
Step-II: Interpretation i.e. what is given and what is required etc.
Step-III: Problem solving (if required).
Before moving to step -III, one must explore all the possibilities of answer option elimination through various approaches like observation or through finding out the range of guesstimate values after analysing the extreme cases. To inculcate the above set of skills, one needs to practice hard.
Time bound practices will help the students understand what concepts they require to revisit. Prepare a compendium of formulas and concept map topic-wise so that one can revise it on a regular basis.