What are the most important topics for CAT Quantitative Aptitude

Over the recent years, CAT has lowered the overall difficulty level of quantitative aptitude section and also standardized the number of questions from the topics.

Both these changes should help the average students to make this section as there scoring section. Below is the distribution of questions topic wise in quant section

CAT 2018 Exam QA pattern

On going though the above graph, it is evident that arithmetic and algebra are the two key areas from which bulk of the questions appear. This is followed by geometry with 6-7 questions.

From the above analysis it is clear that one can get 99+ percentile in quant section by just going through the 70% of the CAT quant syllabus.

Here is the list of important topics one must focus for CAT 2020 Quant preparation

Important topics on CAT Arithmetic:

  • Percentages

Key concepts: Basic of percentage change, conversion of percentage to ratio and vise versa.

  • Profit loss and discount

Key concepts: Practice elementary questions wherein we need to use the relationship between C.P., S.P. and M.P. involving profits and discounts.

  • Averages, mixtures and alligation

Key concepts: apart from basic questions on averages, one must learn the criss cross method of alligation and practice all types of questions which involve replacements of mixtures.

  • Ratio and proportion

Key concepts: elementary knowledge of ratio and proportion is sufficient

  • Time and work &Pipes and cisterns:

Key concepts: If you go by the formula, then you need to remember at least 20 of them. The smartest way is to use the basic concepts of ratio and proportion and apply the method of LCM, which is often preferred over formulas to get to the answer quickly.

  • Time speed and distance

Key concepts: The topic is quite vast and is favourite of test setters. The questions from the topics like average speed, relative speed, meeting points, and boats and streams get preference over rest of the topics like circular races and escalators.

Important topics on CAT Algebra

  • Linear and quadratic equations

Key Concepts: Concepts on the fundamentals of quadratic equations, nature of roots, and integral solutions.

  • Logarithms

Key concepts: Recent CAT paper saw the maximum number of questions from logarithm. Most of the questions are in the form of equations. Elementary properties of the logarithm in addition to the basic formula on algebra are commonly used to arrive at the answers.

  • Progression and series

Key concepts: Usually, the questions are on arithmetic and geometric progressions. At times, questions on the summation of series too have been seen. Working with formulas on the number of terms and sum of AP and GP series and knowledge of their means are sufficient.

  • Functions and graphs

Key Concepts: Basic definition and understanding of functions, working with composite functions are a must. Understanding of graphs of some functions like modulus, greatest integer, log, etc gives an extra edge.

  • Maxima and minima

Key concepts: In the past, we have seen three types of questions based on

1. AM-GM Concept

2. Polynomials

3. Functions / graphs.

Specific methods of solving all three types of questions are used

Important topics on CAT Geometry

  • Triangles

Key concepts: Pythagoras theorem, special triangles like 30-60-90, isosceles, equilateral mass point geometry etc., important Theorems on triangles, and concepts of similar triangles.

  • Circles

Key concepts: Elementary theorems on the circle. Formulas for areas of the sector, segment etc. Tangent circles concepts

  • Quadrilaterals and polygons

Key concepts: Questions on Rectangles, parallelogram, trapezium and squares are more popular. Formulas of perimeters and areas of various quadrilateral figures. Basic formulas of interior angles, and exterior angles. Some shortcut formulas on the hexagon Direct Formula of number of diagonals in a polygon

  • Solid geometry

Key concepts: Area and Volume formulas for Cylinder, Cone, Cuboid, Cube, Sphere etc.

  • Coordinate geometry

Key concepts: Just remembering few formulas of basics of coordinate geometry is sufficient. You can completely ignore the conic section

The other two areas – number system and Modern maths may not be important in terms of the questions asked in exam but one must go through the basics of these topics as there are vital in solving many questions from Algebra.

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