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Simplifying Quants for Non Engineers
April 11 2024

The quantitative ability measures the numerical ability and mathematical accuracy quantitative ability covers the major part of many quantitative exams like CAT, XAT, GMAT, GRE, NMAT, etc. Questions differ from purely numerical to the problem of Graphs percentages analysis etc.

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT is divided into 5 parts:

  1. Arithmetic (Includes Percentages, Simple-Compound Interest, Profit-loss discount, Ratios, proportions, mixtures allegations, time-speed-distance & time-work)
  2. Algebra (Includes linear & quadratic equations, functions, logs, etc)
  3. Geometry (Lines, angles, triangles, polygons, mensuration, 3D geo, etc)
  4. Number System (includes classifications, surds, simplifications, remainders, cyclicity)
  5. Modern Maths (Permutations, Combinations & Probability)

   The Quantitative section is the one that most non-mathematics students fear not to mention the scores of engineers.

Then how should a Non-engineer prepare for Quants?

CAT is one of the biggest and most reputed management entrance test held in India. According to myths, the candidates from humanities, arts and commerce streams (non-engineers) have a disadvantage against the candidates from an engineering background. These candidates from non-engineering backgrounds generally lose their touch with the mathematics and the quantitative section of CAT contains basic questions that are taught in the first year of engineering classes. However, the preparation strategy for both engineers and non-engineers are the same. If the candidates prepare wholeheartedly, then the stream of the candidate won’t matter. To crack the CAT test and ace it, the candidates (non-engineers) must follow a strict plan and make sure that everything goes accordingly. A plan should involve the following:

  1. a) Students should revise the basics across all chapters. This is recommended because CAT has over the years tested students on their ability to comprehend basics rather than the ability to tackle advanced problems.
  2. b) The next two weeks should be spent on working out the advanced material from the study material given. The focus should not be on time taken to solve the question but rather on the understanding of the method used to solve and the principle involved.
  3. c) The remaining days in the run-up to CAT should be spent working out the questions from the Mocks that one has taken over the past few months. The Mocks have a standard of questions that is very close to the actual CAT and the learning that one can derive by working them out would be immense. 

1.Study plan

 Candidates should build a concise study plan ensuring adequate time for each section. Depending on one’s strength, they can give more weightage to the sections that need more focus. It is important for all the candidates to make sure that they are comfortable with the foundation steps. Try to understand the topics clearly instead of mugging up the formula and covering the chapters. Most questions in CAT are from algebra, geometry, arithmetic, mensuration, and number system.

2.Brush up the basics

It is important for candidates from a non-engineering background to understand the foundation. One of the easiest ways to do this is to brush up on their mathematics from the syllabus of classes 6 to 10. After revising the formulas from algebra, geometry, arithmetic and number system, you can switch to solving problems.

3.Mock tests

Take CAT mock tests and analyze your performance. This will help you identify your weak areas. Depending on the analysis, you can then focus on solving more questions from the weaker sections in order to master each concept well before the exam. Time-bound tests help in improving the problem-solving speed.

4. Avoid guess-work

Last but not least, candidates should focus on accuracy. As there is negative marking in CAT, it is a must do to avoid guesswork and to answer accurately. Candidates should spend adequate time in understanding each question in order to avoid faulty answers. Rest assured that by making the best of the preparation time, non-engineers can definitely crack the CAT with a high percentile.


Rahul Singh

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