CAT Preparation Plan for Quantitative Aptitude

The Quantitative Aptitude section of CAT exam is one of the most important sections, as a 100% score can be achieved in this section. Read through the CAT Preparation Plan for Quantitative Aptitude recommended by MBA experts.

CAT Preparation 

Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability are the four basic aptitude skills, CAT aspirants are generally tested in. 1/3 of the CAT test paper has been occupied by Quantitative aptitude questions. CAT 2020 will not be an exception in this regard. It is safe to assume that the Quant section would contain 33-34 questions among 100 questions in the paper. It is a little doubtful if the Quantitative Aptitude would be the last section of CAT 2020 also. Keeping all these points in mind we have tried to create a CAT preparation plan.

Also Check CAT Examination 2020 A Complete Guide

Let’s try to gain an understanding of this subject.

The IIMs have never officially published the CAT syllabus. But since the aspirants attempting the CAT exam come from diverse backgrounds, it is safe to assume that knowledge of Mathematics up to the 10th Standard is necessary. Barring an exception or two, the CAT question papers over the last ten years have followed this syllabus. 

CAT Syllabus: QA

The Quantitative Aptitude section of the CAT syllabus can be split into four segments:


Major AreasChaptersExpected number of Questions*
ArithmeticNumbers, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership13 to 15
AlgebraNumbers, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership6 to 8
Advance MathematicsPermutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series4 to 6
GeometryLine, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Co-ordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry6 to 9


*For a Quant section having 34 Questions.

Most of the chapters are theory-based. Therefore a good number of the questions are based on the application of this theory.

Also Check CAT 2020 Syllabus

Difficulty Level of Quant Section of CAT

If we look at the questions from the last ten years, the number of questions has varied from 20 to 50. CAT cut-offs for top IIMs have varied from 1/3rd of the section to more than 80% of the section. But by looking at the trends from the past two years, Quant should be more or less of a moderate difficulty level.

CAT 2020 Mock Test will help you to get an idea about the type of questions that will be asked, the exam pattern and marking scheme. After taking the test, you can immediately check your score. You can also download the Question Paper along with answers and their explanations for Free. Click below to start the free online test now.

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Mantra to successfully crack a Quant Section of CAT

A CAT paper does not test the aspirant’s knowledge, but the problem-solving abilities within the given time limits. Some of the points to be noted are:

A. Practice chapter by chapter: There is a difference between being able to solve a problem and solving the same problem with effortless ease. Based on the difficulty level, about 15 to 25 questions should be of an easy to moderate level. The practice of easy to medium questions of all the chapters would enable an aspirant to crack this section quite easily.

Our Advice: Know the basic theories and the different types of problems in each chapter 

B. Short Methods and Group Studies: Nothing boosts the confidence of an aspirant more than a question that he can solve using mental calculations. More the number of such questions, the better the score. This can be achieved by improving mental calculation skills and by discussing unconventional methods with a focused study group. A good analysis of the options given for each question can also lead to the right answer.

Our Advice: Two is more than one. Three is even better. Carry out regular discussions of short methods among your focused study group.

C. Building Stamina: Quant should be the last section of the test paper i.e. it starts at the third hour of the test. An aspirant who is not used to sitting for an exam for so long would find it difficult to deliver his regular performance.

Our Advice: Study for 3-4 hours at a stretch while practicing for the exam

D. Testing Skills Development: Having 10 to 30% of the problems as speed-breakers is an expected situation in the Quant section of CAT. Being able to identify these questions without wasting time is the key. It’s a skill which can be developed with sufficient practice and by going through sufficient number of mock papers.

Our Advice: Plan to attempt about 20-25 Mock CAT papers.

E. Mental Calculation: CAT 2020 will offer Basic Calculator to all the test takers. This will however not reduce the importance of mental calculation. Since it’s an on-screen calculator, the mental calculation will always be the winner against the onscreen calculator when it comes to problems that take a lot of time.

Our Advice: Practice plenty of basic summation, subtraction, tables and fractions.

Keep in mind that the first time you solve the chapters you learn Mathematics. Second time round, it is about the speed in solving. We recommend that all the chapters be solved twice so that you get faster at solving the problems.

All the best..!!

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