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Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

According to the recent CAT exam pattern, Quantitative Aptitude in CAT exam has 34 questions and carries 102 marks. Like the quantitative aptitude section of any other aptitude exam, the Quantitative Aptitude of CAT comprises of numerical questions which can be solved by applying the basic formulas and concepts of school-level mathematics.

The purpose of the quantitative section in CAT is to assess the candidates’ competencies of mathematical skills, accuracy, speed and decision making skills, competencies that are most desired in any manager.

Table of Content

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Pattern and Structure:

There are in total 34 questions in quantitative aptitude section in CAT exam.  Out of these 34 questions,  some of the questions are of MCQ (multiple choice question) type, and some are of  non-MCQ type. For each MCQ type question in quant, a correct answer fetches 3 marks, and a wrong answer attracts a penalty of -1 marks. There is no negative marking for an incorrect answer for non-MCQ type questions.

Below table gives the pattern and structure of CAT 2018 quant Section in a nutshell.

Number of Questions in Quant Section34
Total Marks in Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Section102
Types of Questions24 (MCQ)
10 (non-MCQ)
Section Time Duration60 minutes
Marks for each correct answer+3
Penalty Marks for each incorrect answer-1 (for MCQ). 0 (for non-MCQ)
The overall Difficulty level in Quantitative Aptitude section in CAT 2018Moderate to Difficult

From CAT 2016 onward, around 45% (14 out of 34 questions) of CAT quantitative aptitude questions have come from Arithmetic. CAT 2018 was not the exception. Here is the detail of topic wise weight age, i.e., number of questions from each topic which appeared in CAT 2018.

Quant TopicsNo. of Questions in CAT quant section in 2018
Number System3
Modern Math2
Geometry and Mensuration7

Difficulty Level of CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section:

From past few years, the Quant section has continuously thrown easy to moderate difficulty level questions. But in CAT 2018, the difficulty level of CAT quant Section was moderate to high.

The questions from arithmetic earlier used to be easy, but in CAT 2018, the difficulty level of arithmetic questions was moderate to difficult. This led to a decrease in the students’ overall attempts in this section.

Historically, the difficulty level of the quantitative aptitude section has varied a lot. Therefore, it is tough to make any prediction on the level of difficulty for any section in CAT. However, it is advisable to prepare for higher difficulty level in Quant to neutralize any changes due to uncertainty on the difficulty level.

Difficulty level also varies from topic to topic. Below is the detail of the difficulty level of Quant questions in CAT 2018 [SLOT-I].

TopicsNo. of Questions
Number System
Properties of numbers1
Divisibility Rules1
Ratio and Proportion1
Time and Work2
Pipes and Cisterns1
Mixtures and Alligation3
Time Speed and Distance3
Modern Maths
Set Theory2


Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus for CAT

Quantitative aptitude preparation for CAT starts with first understanding the syllabus of CAT quant section.  The IIMs have not officially declared any particular syllabus for CAT exam.  However,  CAT is an aptitude test; it is widely accepted that the syllabus for the quantitative aptitude covers all the mathematics topics till high school.

CAT Quant Syllabus can further be divided into five broad modules, and within each module, there are different topics.

  1. Number system
  1. Arithmetic
  1. Algebra
  1. Geometry and Mensuration
    • Basic Concepts of Geometry
    • Triangles
    • Circles
    • Quadrilaterals
    • Polygons
    • 3D Geometry
    • Coordinate Geometry
    • Trigonometry
  1. Modern Maths

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Questions and Answers

To learn Quantitative Aptitude, the aspirants start with understanding the basic concepts and formulas of essential topics. After that comes the actual challenge of applying the concepts in solving the Quant questions.

It is always a good idea to practice previous years quant questions from CAT exam. These past CAT quant questions give a good idea about the level of difficulty and the types of problems. Solving these quant questions also helps the aspirants in understanding how and when to apply shortcut tricks and formula.

To facilitate this learning, we have a separate page for all the past year CAT quant questions segregated topic wise. Along with this, there are several other CAT like Quantitative Aptitude Questions with Answer and Video Solutions.

Read Also: Quant questions for CAT exam

Preparation for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

There are different tested and proven strategies to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT. Which plan one should follow depends upon the following parameters:

  • Educational or academic background of the candidate
  • Time or duration left for the preparation
  • Current Aptitude LEVEL in Quant

Almost all the questions which appear in CAT can be solved by applying the concepts which we have studied during our high school days. The students who studied mathematics during their 11h and 12th class often are more comfortable to start the preparation for  Quantitative Aptitude. This is because of two reasons:

  1. They are directly or indirectly still in touch with mathematics, as it is still relevant to the subjects they are studying in graduation.
  2. Many a time the higher concepts which we learn during higher secondary class are used as shortcuts tricks to solve many varieties of questions in CAT exam.

The students who are not from mathematics background need not worry much. They need to have strong motivation and willingness to work hard in their CAT quant preparation. They need structured preparation by understanding the concepts followed by lots of practice of quant questions having varied difficulty levels. Once these initial teething troubles get over, they are at par with all other candidates.

Read Also: How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT

Recommended Books for CAT Quantitative Aptitude

There are several books available in the market for CAT Quantitative Aptitude. However, one should always purchase the book which is updated with the latest pattern and difficulty level.

In case you have joined any classroom coaching for CAT, the booklets provided by them are sufficient. Still, if you wish to practice more questions then below are a few books which will supplement your quant preparation.

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha

And if you are looking for online study material for CAT quantitative aptitude, you may have a look at our CAT quant online course which contains 200+ Theory videos and 1000+ Practice problems all with video solutions. To know more click here.

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