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Hacks to Score 99 percentile in QA Section
April 28 2024

When it comes to top MBA colleges, every MBA aspirant hopes to gain admission to an Indian Institute of Management (IIM). The majority of newcomers in this field are unaware that most IIMs consider sectional cut-offs in addition to the overall CAT cut-off for admission. But every aspirant wonders what strategy should be used to score well in every section of the CAT exam. So, here's a strategy for scoring 99.5+ on the CAT's QA section.


 The Quant section of the CAT consists of 34 questions that must be answered in 60 minutes. Time management is essential for any entrance exam. So, learning is important for getting higher marks in the QA section. Enrol for Best CAT course

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section

Important Quant Topics Number of Questions (Tentative)
Number System 10-14
Arithmetic 8-10
Algebra 6-8
Geometry and Mensuration 8-10
Modern Maths 5-6



 Here are two strategies you can use while taking the QA section:

Strategy 1: Apply the 40-20 rule.

This rule states that students must take this section of the CAT twice. In the first round, only answer questions that can be answered in less than or equal to two minutes, i.e. questions on topics where you excel. This allows one to easily solve 18-20 questions, or at the very least 15 (minimum), in 40 minutes. Every QA exam consists of 15 simple questions. They present the first five-eight questions as difficult so that students become stuck in those questions and waste their valuable time. So, the first lesson is to avoid getting stuck on any question.

 This way, in 40 minutes, one can score 45 points (or 41 points with 14 correct answers and 1 incorrect answer). Six questions can now be easily solved in the remaining 20 minutes, allowing you to score 18 more points. Furthermore, you will end up with a CAT (QA) score of 60/102, which is 99+ percentile for a moderate paper.

 Also read: Guide for QA section

Strategy 2: Start with what you know.

We will solve questions in a single round, keeping in mind that no question should be left unanswered for more than three minutes. If the questions at the beginning appear difficult, begin solving from the last question because questions at the end are easier. By doing so, you can easily attempt over 27 questions and score over 60. Many students use this strategy, but they cannot stick to their time constraints and end up wasting their time.

 In fact, more than 80% of the students are unable to see all 34 questions. So, instead of focusing on one question, look at all of them. In your mocks, try both of these strategies and stick with the one that you are most comfortable with. You will notice a difference in your scores after implementing these. Also read: CAT exam preparation guide

Remember the following:

  • At any cost, do not spend more than three minutes on any question.
  • Don't let anyone poke fun at your ego. For example, if you have spent a lot of time practicing 'Remainders,' but your answer in the exam differs from the options available. Students waste time by repeatedly answering such questions. On the contrary, we should leave such questions immediately and return to them once we have completed the entire question paper.
  • Avoid silly mistakes by solving neatly. Remember that each mistake costs you money and can reduce your QA score by two to three percentiles.
  • Take QA sectional tests on a regular basis, and make it a habit to take one every two days. You can also do it another way. Give it at least 2.5 hours per day (1 hour of test and 1.5 hours of analysis)
  • Make it a habit to go over your notes before each mock. This will elevate your mind and help you score 99 percentile in the QA section.
  • Write down and revise every new concept you learn from any source (mocks, sectionals, class, WhatsApp groups, etc.).
  • After a while, you'll notice that more than 95% of the questions are from your notes.

Also read: CAT Study Guide


 Here are some pointers to help you ace your Quant preparation:

  1. Concentrate on Accuracy

Increasing your problem-solving accuracy puts you ahead of your peers. You should now spend more time practicing old topics and less time learning new ones. Practicing mock tests and topic-specific questions on a daily basis can significantly improve your accuracy.

  1. Scale Down the Solution Time

One of the most important aspects of CAT preparation is time management. If your accuracy is good, the time it takes to solve each problem will automatically decrease. Concentrating on calculation tricks and mental math can help you improve your speed and solve QA questions.

    3. Master the Shortcuts When you know the fundamentals well, quick shortcut tips come in handy. Learning Shortcuts can assist you in answering quantitative questions more accurately in less time.

  1. Dedicated Learning Resources

While studying for the CAT 2021 exam, students frequently consult multiple books. Different books, however, use different techniques to solve a problem, causing confusion. Endeavor Careers' Quant Booster is the ultimate guide for ramping up your Quant preparation. It includes all of the videos, theories, and mocks, as well as dedicated doubt resolution channels.

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CAT 2023
Anisha Mukhija

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