How has Quantitative Ability in CAT changed over the years?
The CAT exam is a computer-based exam in India for admission into the MBA programs of various management institutes of the country such as IIM’s, FMS, DMS, , etc. CAT is organized by one of the IIM’s on a rotational basis and consequently, it is notorious for changing the exam schedule or pattern on a regular basis.
Currently, CAT is divided into three sections namely Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR). Each of these sections has undergone some changes over the past years with even these 3 current sections having been created only in 2015. So this article deals with all the Changes that have occurred in Quantitative Ability in CAT over the years such as the changes in emphasis on different topics, the introduction of TITA questions, etc.
Change in Questions for Different Sections of Quantitative Ability
Quantitative Ability contains 5 major topics in CAT namely, Number System, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry & Mensuration as well as Modern Maths. It is perhaps one of the most important sections in CAT because if done properly, it also helps in the Data Interpretation section. Also, 34 questions out of a total of 100 are asked from this section alone in CAT these days so it is essential that you don’t neglect it.
A graph that demonstrates the number of questions for all the topics in Quantitative Ability over the past three years is given below:
Some of the important patterns that can be observed for Quantitative Ability are given below. These may be essential for your preparation strategy for CAT 2019.
- The CAT exam is provided in two slots over a single day. This pattern was started in CAT 2015 and so the Quantitative Ability questions in the graph are divided according to the slots.
- A total of 34 questions are asked from Quantitative Ability in CAT out of 100 questions. This pattern was also established in CAT 2015 and it has remained steady over the years.
- The most important section in Quantitative Ability is Arithmetic with the majority questions each year. This pattern has not changed over the past 3 years but the Arithmetic questions have only increased.
- Apart from Arithmetic, Geometry and Mensuration, as well as Modern Maths, are quite important with most of the questions coming from these categories. Compared to these, Number System is not that popular with only 2 to 3 questions each year.
Change in TITA Questions for Quantitative Ability
TITA questions or Type in the Answer Questions are non-MCQ questions that were introduced in CAT from 2015. TITA questions don’t have any options and you have to submit the answer on a virtual keyboard using a mouse. One advantage of TITA questions is that they don’t have any negative marking unlike MCQ questions and so it is best to attempt all of them
A graph that demonstrates the number of TITA questions in Quantitative Ability over the past three years is given below:
Some of the important patterns that can be observed for TITA questions in Quantitative Ability are given below. These may be essential for your preparation strategy for CAT 2019.
- TITA questions in Quantitative Ability are steadily increasing with 7 in CAT 2016, 11 in CAT 2017 and 12 in CAT 2018. So it stands to reason that they are becoming more and more important with time and may also feature heavily in CAT 2019.
- Most of the TITA questions in Quantitative Ability are asked from Arithmetic, Algebra and Number System. Also, they are comparatively easier than the MCQ’s in QA so it is important to thoroughly prepare for these so that you can attempt all of them.
How to Prepare for Quantitative Ability in CAT?
It is obvious from the above sections that Quantitative Ability is a very important section in CAT and consequently it requires thorough preparation. Some of the steps for Quantitative Ability preparation are given as follows:
- The first step in preparing for Quantitative Ability is to understand and practice all the questions that are a part of this section including both MCQ’s and TITA questions. So you should devote at least 2 hours daily for practice so that eventually you can solve most of the questions under 2-2.5 minutes each.
- To solve the questions this fast, it is important to improve your calculations and also learn all the important formulas. To do this, you can make a cheat sheet so that all the formulas you learn for CAT are available in the same place. Then revise all the important formulae on this cheat sheet daily so that you can eventually by-heart them.
- The most important step in preparing for Quantitative Ability is to give sectional mock tests. They are essential tools to analyze your preparation level and understand your strengths and weaknesses. After completing the mock tests, analyze the questions you have solved and revisit the topics that are your weak areas until you strengthen them.
To help you prepare effectively for the Quantitative Ability and the entirety of the CAT exam, GeeksforGeeks has created the CAT Preparation Course 2019 which is a FREE course with 1500 questions on all three sections of the CAT exam along with 27 Sectional Mock Tests and 3 Full-length Mock Tests.
This course has dedicated tracks for all the topics in CAT syllabus including Quantitative Ability which provide the relevant theory for each topic so that you can learn all the concepts and formulas and it also provides subjective quizzes and contests so that you can understand all the aspects of a particular topic thoroughly. Also, after the content competition, a detailed explanation is provided so that you can analyze your performance and understand your strengths and weaknesses better.
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