How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT: Syllabus for the Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

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As we all know that CAT is the most difficult exam in the World, and it is taken as section wise. The most difficult section of the CAT is Quantitative Aptitude section. To crack this section the proper preparation and the mental ability should be high. Proper preparation tips should be followed by the candidates who are appearing for the first time for CAT exam.

Syllabus for the Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Quant section carries the major chunk of CAT preparation. With a very vast syllabus ranging from percentages to algebra, CAT always keeps testing your fundamentals. A sound knowledge of the basics is very much needed to handle questions in all of these topics. This is the section that involves the maximum number of topics (the theory-intensive part of CAT Prep) and so we have broken this into a number of sub-sections.

We have categorized these as:

  • Arithmetic topics.

  • Number Systems and Modern Math.

  • Geometry and Allied Topics.

  • Algebra and Miscellaneous.

Schedule for CAT Preparation

Now here is the schedule of Quant section including the sub-sections and its chapters-

We have broken the schedule into 4 components:

  • Quant

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • Verbal Ability and

  • Overall.

Quantitative Ability Schedule

This is the section that involves the maximum number of topics (the theory-intensive part of CAT Prep) and so we have broken this into a number of sub-sections.

We have categorized these as:

  • Basics

  • Number System and counting

  • Geometry and Allied topics and

  • Algebra and Miscellaneous

We would recommend covering the basic ideas first as these include simpler ideas of equation framing and solving and the building blocks for all Quant. Post this, a student can choose any of the other three components to build on. There is no defined order among these sub-topics. However, we would recommend that, within each sub-topic students approach topics in the order outlined in them. For instance, in the sub-topic Geometry, we have classes on Trigonometry and Geometry: Triangles. Trigonometry appears after all the Geometry classes. We would strongly recommend that a student complete all bits of Geometry before progressing to Trigonometry.

CAT Basics

CAT Basics

CAT Basics

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There are 10 classes in this sub-section. As you can see, these are predominantly the building blocks for Math. Unless one has an ability to solve linear quadratic equations or handle ratios, all other topics become tougher. So, start this, master these basic topics before going to the trickier modules.

Number Systems and Counting

Number Systems and Counting

Number Systems and Counting

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  • This module comprises Number System basics and Permutation and Probability. Within these two, Permutation & Probability is the tougher topic, but is less tested in CAT.

  • Number Systems is a heavily tested topic and is a topic that is learnt iteratively. As in, one should learn the theory, solve a bunch of questions and then revisit the theory all over again before solving the rest of the more questions.

  • Once again, bear in mind that the suggested timing is only a broad benchmark and you should prepare till you get comfortable with the topic. The time suggested does NOT include the time one would take to practice questions from the topics.

Algebra and Misc. Arithmetic

Algebra and Misc. Arithmetic

Algebra and Misc. Arithmetic

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In many ways, this section builds on from what we might have learnt from Linear and Quadratic Equations. It is essential to get comfortable with the language of β€˜x’ and β€˜y’ and we focus on that detail in this sub-section. By the time you complete this topic, you should be as comfortable with the idea of extrapolating to a general case from a specific case. As in, we might start with saying Pipe A fills a tank in 10 hours and pipe B in 20 hours. Soon enough you should be able to approach questions where we say, pipe A fills in β€˜m’ hours and pipe B in β€˜n’ hours.

Geometry and More

Geometry and More

Geometry and More

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Two things to keep in mind in this topic - 1) Geometry is also learnt iteratively. Learn, practice, revisit, practice again, go through the theory with proofs and then practice again. 2) Prepare for Geometry really well (a little more than required for this exam, perhaps) and then (only then) move to the other components. Cogeo, Trigonometry and Mensuration are extensions of Geometry. So, do not try to crack them before getting a handle on Geometry.

Data Interpretation Schedule

Data Interpretation Schedule

Data Interpretation Schedule

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Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning are underestimated components of CAT preparation. Each constitutes one-sixth of the exam but does not take up more than 5% of the total preparation time usually.

For DI, we have outlined all possible data types in the theory. This section is heavily practice dependent. One can complete the β€˜theory’ component of DI in a few hours. There is only so much one can learn about percentage growth, CAGR and market share. The practice component makes one comfortable with the idea of wrapping your head around data sets. So, practice relentlessly for DI.

Logical Reasoning Schedule

Logical Reasoning Schedule

Logical Reasoning Schedule

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Logical Reasoning is similar to Data interpretation. One can learn approaches to different types of puzzles, like grid puzzle, seating arrangements, blood relations, tournaments and sequences. The more one invests in practicing, better one can get with Logical reasoning.

There is a school of that states that since each LR set is different, there is not much value in practicing for LR. This is humbug. This is similar to saying since each RC passage is different; there is no value in building the reading habit. Practicing aggressively trains the mind to spot patterns. So, keep at it.