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What makes Maths Section of CAT unique from other Management Tests?

What makes Maths Section of CAT unique from other Management Tests?

Common Admission Test, or the CAT 2018 is probably the most important name to remember for any management aspirant in India. CAT Registration process is over, and with less than 2 months remaining for the test, candidates are taking their preparation to the next level.

Although CAT 2018 has 3 sections, but the most overworked section is mostly the Quantitative Aptitude section. With its huge syllabus, and the general perception of its being a tough section, many candidates spend most of their time preparing for this section only.

Well, we will not say that it is an easy section. But there are many things about Maths section of CAT 2018 which make it a unique one. Today, we will be exploring some characteristics of this section which make it an entirely different section from other tests’ Maths section. Realizing these points will make it a little easier for you to strategize for this section of CAT 2018. So let’s not waste any more time and move straight into the matter: –

Non-MCQs Form an important part

Well, the first thing that makes the QA section of CAT 2018 a unique one is the presence of Non-MCQs. Touted as TITA (Type in the answer) questions, these do form a significant part of this section. Candidates can expect a minimum of 7 questions (out of 34) to be TITA questions, thus having more than 20% of the weightage in this section.

So now this section is not entirely dependent on tricks like elimination options or approximation. Candidates need to get the exact answer to get such a question correct.

Arithmetic is the most important topic

From at least past three years, CAT has moved its focus towards Arithmetic and thus had made it the important topic. In the past 3 years of CAT, around 11-12 questions in each slot have been from Arithmetic. Moreover, this section is also slightly easier than the others, which gives a bit relief to non-maths students.

Although Arithmetic has gained significant weightage in other exams too, but in CAT it comprises almost 1/3rd of the section. So prepare hard for topics like Ratios, Percentages, Averages, Profit & Loss, Interest, Time Speed Distance and Time & Work to ace the exam.

Unpredictability about weightage of topics

It might seem a bit contradictory the point we mentioned above, but CAT’s weightage of topics is actually unpredictable. Spare Arithmetic, which will have around 10-11 questions, and you don’t know how many questions will come from each topic.

Take CAT 2015 for an example, in one of the slots there was not even a single question on Number System, while it has not been the case in the following years. Therefore, relying on a limited number of chapters or skipping some chapters can backfire heavily. Everyone should have at least basic knowledge of all the topics.

There are a good amount sitters

Yes, in every CAT paper I of past 4-5 years, there have been a good number of easy questions. And spotting them (along with solving), becomes an important part of your success in the exam.

And this is why there is so much emphasis on basics. Because there will be a good number of questions which will just take 30 seconds or a minute to solve.

It is not as tough as you think

Yes, we would undeniably say that the Quants is not as tough as everyone thinks. It has huge syllabus, but if you see the type of questions being asked in past 3 years’ CAT, you would definitely say that it is not as tough as it looks. CAT 2016 was a bit tough, but 2015 and 2017 had as easy Maths as anyone could imagine. Even IIFT and XAT these days ask Maths questions much tougher than CAT.

But still, it doesn’t mean that you start taking this section for granted. Because here, the percentile matters. You have to outplay the competition.

 Strategy matters a lot

Just like every other section in CAT, strategy matters a lot in MAths sections too. 34 standalone questions and you have 1 hour to do. Mostly, 22 to 25 questions ensure a 99th percentile, and not all of them are of same difficulty level. So the way you attempt the section becomes pretty important.

The 3 round strategy is probably the best and works for most of the students. In the first 25 odd minutes, do easiest and familiar questions. Then move to moderate and lengthy questions, and then if you have the time, do tougher ones.

It will always surprise you

Yes, this is what makes CAT a beautiful exam. Maths section of CAT will always surprise you. It will always be something that you didn’t expect. It might get tougher, might get easier, may have the same level of difficulty but different type of questions and what not. But one thing we are sure of is that you will be fascinated by how it is designed.

And may this is the fact that makes CAT a tough exam. It is completely unpredictable, it always surprises you. So be ready, good luck for CAT 18.

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