The quantitative ability portion is the most difficult for many CAT applicants to master, not to add, it is the most dreaded part among CAT candidates year after year. Students cannot perform successfully despite having a firm grasp of the essential concepts and hours of practice. Few reasons why students underperform in the quant section, range from poor time management, omitting topics, overstressing and panicking during tests.

There are numerous typical mistakes that aspirants make when preparing for and answering the quantitative ability part. Avoiding most of these pitfalls is simple, but you must first recognise them and work on them with a complete proof strategy.

What are traps in a test?

Traps are confusing trick questions. CAT is a high-level entrance test, and most aspirants find the QA or the Quant sections particularly daunting. While attempting the test, some questions and options tend to perplex the test-taker. Traps dishearten the candidates by eating away their time and enthusiasm. 

This article addresses some ways of working around the traps and tips to avoid falling prey to them. 

How do traps spoil the party?

When test-takers face traps, they lose focus on the preparation. Triumphing the CAT requires the candidate to answer twenty-six questions accurately in forty minutes. 

What traps do test-takers encounter while preparing for the QA section?

1. Not providing time for preparation.

Constructing the groundwork for anything calls for sufficient time. If not given the time required, the learning remains incomplete.

How much time is necessary for QA prep?

The time required varies for people at different levels of maths knowledge. Learning QA basics might take about two months for those who have not taken Maths in their 11th and 12th grades. The practice will last another two to three months. Regular and frequent taking of mock tests is the key to mastering the test.

2. Compromising on scrupulousness while learning the basics

While learning the concept, students must understand the basics thoroughly. Memorising the formulae will not help when most needed. Comprehension of the formula and its application is mandatory for grasping the topics. 

3. Conceding the solution while practising

Some candidates are tempted to view the solution before they solve a challenging problem. This practice compromises the student’s learning. One must make an effort to solve the problem before looking up the solution. The wise test-taker analyses the errors committed while solving to grasp the issue at hand.

4. Not taking mocks

CAT hundred percentilers swear by mocks. Taking mock tests is the most vital part of CAT readiness.

Mocks come in three levels:

  • Topic-wise tests
  • Sectional test
  • CAT tests

Every mock is crucial to the CAT lineup. Mock tests expose the candidate’s level in the topic/section. After each mock, the student must analyse the test and work on improving the flaws.

Mock tests teach candidates to gauge the difficulty level of questions and the approximate time required to solve them. The seasoned mock test taker knows which questions to target first, which ones to flag for later, and which questions to avoid.

5. Losing focus or giving up

Students tend to get demotivated when they do not see improvement in their mock test scores. One must pick up the courage and focus on what is going well. Targeting one weak area at a time, candidates can get help from experts in surmounting the glitches.

Who can avoid traps in the CAT? 

Candidates who possess attention to detail dodge traps. 

Learning and practising the topics is the first step towards thoroughness. It is crucial to avoid traps as both speed and accuracy are pivotal to tackling the QA section in the CAT. 

Fixing the common traps

One may encounter all the above traps while solving quant problems or taking proctored mock tests with timers. Working around the problem brings its resolution too.

What have CAT toppers done for Quant preparation?

Preparing for the QA section calls for a thorough understanding of the basics. Several books are available for learning math basics, besides practice books with exercises.

Study materials are available both online and in books.

Find out which books PaGaLGuY recommends for CAT Quant prep here.

People who have lost touch with quant basics must enrol for classes to learn the fundamentals. Most courses offer classroom sessions and provide proctored mocks and counselling on institute selection and preparation for interviews.

Solving the practice exercises in books and mocks sets the motion for marching toward the goal. Toppers have homed in on their question selection from the various mocks. This practice ensures they attempt sitters and the scoring questions first or leave tricky ones alone, thus staving off negative marks. Mocks also help the student to grasp his strengths and weaknesses. 

All the best!

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