Many will keep iterating that 'Engineer hai to quant acha hoga hi' and many such remarks when it comes to this section. However, it is true to a certain level but anybody can score better here as the syllabus is limited to X std. Now, you may think then why aspirants think that this section is difficult for them?
Looking at the CAT 2015 and CAT 2016 quantitative section, one thing is very clear that section focuses on the strong application of basics. Before discussing any strategies and resources, I would like aspirants to muster some information about topics under quant such as numbers, equations, alligation and mixtures, percentages, ratio and proportion, logarithms, SICI etc. After preparing with some basics on a majority of these topics, check which topics are comfortable to you. This will ensure that preparation on these topics will give you the confidence to sit in mocks with limited preparation at the earlier stages.
Now, the things that you are comfortable with are looked upon. What about the topics where you are unable to score upto the mark? Again the plan goes same, you need to develop interest and start loving those topics as you loved your strengths. When you start hating something then that thing will go very far off your hands. One of the most important aspect to score well in this section is the right selection of questions in quick time and solving them with awesome ease.
Starting with preparation, I would like aspirants to follow a daily plan to solve certain topics which will ensure that they are in touch with the things. Prepare a formula book for arithmetic-algebra and a different section for geometry. The simple reason to do this is that if you follow geometry with single focus then all properties and applications of shortcuts will strike your mind during exam time. Refer formula book every day for 5-10 minutes for initial preparation phase which will make you ready with strong fundamentals.
Resources for the preparation could be any of the material available to you. Pick any institute's modules and start solving them. Once you've completed some basics and their question types, take sectional tests so as to know whether you are able to solve them under time limit or not. For this, you can take some online tests on websites which are free to use like wordpandit, cracku, 2IIM and others. Moreover, these websites also give some basic tips and formulas pertaining to certain cases where things can work straight more of a shortcut kind.
One of the best resources that helped me a lot in clearing the basics is takshzila shikshak videos on youtube. Try watching them and prepare notes from the same. They are of good help in many possible ways.
- Know your strengths inside out and work accordingly in mocks. Do not jump to a question which is new to you. This will eat your time and you will make unnecessary mistakes in solving other questions due to frustration.
- Take a rounds approach by filtering easy questions and solving them first. After easy, pick moderate questions where application will be little extended rather than direct. At the end, difficult and very difficult questions should be prioritised.
- Do not get stuck at a single question and waste your time in getting lured by the length of the question. CAT challenges in this way and filters out smart candidates from the rest.
- Pay huge attention to minute details here because a single word can change the answer. For example , increased by x% and increased to x% are solely different things.
- If your reading speed is good then again it will add to your strength here. Since some questions would be 3+ lines long and reading them quickly with ease will save your considerable time.
- If you know the complete path of solving any particular question, then only touch such questions in the first attempt. If you will waste first 8-10 minutes in half solved things , you will get frustrated.
- Do not attempt with blind guess just because your intuition says that particular option is an answer. More the incorrect answers, you will lessen your score. Be smart and answer the question with logic rather than intuition.
- Take more mocks and ensure some good figure of attempts according to the difficulty level of the section.
Easy-moderate - 25+ attempts with 90% accuracy
Moderate-difficult - 18-20+ attempts with 90% accuracy
Such figures should be there once you have taken n number of mocks. Every paper has to be tackled with different strategy and refrain from getting a rigid mindset. Stay flexible and calm during the exam. Things will fall in place if mind is focused.
ALL THE BEST!