Cat Guroo : The Career Path

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The Career Path

Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude is a crucial section in many competitive exams, including the CAT (Common Admission Test) for management admissions in India.

Quantitative aptitude is an inseparable and an integral part of aptitude exams in India. It tests the quantitative skills along with logical and analytical skills. One can test their own number of handling techniques and problem-solving skills by solving these questions.

To know more about Govt Exams,  check at the linked article.

As the proverb goes “A stitch in time saves nine”, a well-planned preparation for these exams will help in saving more time during the examination.

On average, one minute per question is the time available to solve questions in the exams.

Here’s a comprehensive overview of what it entails and how to prepare effectively:

What is Quantitative Aptitude?

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) assesses your mathematical and problem-solving abilities. It typically includes topics such as:

  1. Arithmetic: This covers basic mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, averages, ratio and proportion, etc.

  2. Algebra: Involves solving equations, quadratic equations, inequalities, functions, sequences and series, and basic concepts of algebra.

  3. Geometry: Focuses on shapes, sizes, properties, and measurements of 2D and 3D figures, including triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, cubes, cylinders, cones, etc.

  4. Number System: Understanding properties and types of numbers, divisibility rules, factors and multiples, LCM (Least Common Multiple) and HCF (Highest Common Factor).

  5. Modern Mathematics: Includes topics like probability, permutations and combinations, progressions (AP, GP), set theory, etc.

Preparation Strategies:

  1. Understand Concepts Thoroughly: QA requires a strong foundation in basic mathematical concepts. Ensure clarity on formulas, rules, and problem-solving techniques.

  2. Practice Regularly: Practice is key to mastering QA. Solve a variety of problems from different topics and difficulty levels to build confidence and accuracy.

  3. Time Management: Develop strategies to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Practicing mock tests and timed exercises helps in improving speed and accuracy.

  4. Identify Weak Areas: Regular practice and mock tests will reveal your strengths and weaknesses. Focus more on weaker areas while maintaining proficiency in strong areas.

  5. Learn Tricks and Shortcuts: QA often includes questions where quick mental calculations or shortcut methods can save time. Familiarize yourself with such tricks.

  6. Review and Analyze: After solving problems, review your solutions. Understand mistakes and learn alternative methods or approaches to solve similar problems.

  7. Mock Tests: Take full-length mock tests regularly to simulate exam conditions. Analyze your performance to track progress and identify areas needing improvement.

  8. Stay Updated: Keep yourself updated with the latest exam patterns, types of questions, and changes in syllabus, if any.

Books and Resources:

  • NCERT Books: For building basic concepts and clarity.
  • Quantitative Aptitude by Arun Sharma: A popular book for CAT preparation.
  • Online Resources: Websites, forums, and mobile apps offer practice questions, quizzes, and study materials.

Tips for CAT QA Section:

  • Prioritize: Allocate time based on the weightage of topics and your proficiency.
  • Accuracy over Speed: While speed is important, accuracy should not be compromised. Practice to strike the right balance.
  • Revision: Revise regularly to reinforce concepts and formulas.

Quantitative Aptitude is a challenging yet manageable section with consistent practice and structured preparation. By adopting effective strategies and staying disciplined in your approach, you can excel in this section of the CAT exam and improve your overall performance.

Check the 10 Simple Maths Trick and Shortcuts to save time in solving the Quantitative Aptitude section for the upcoming Government exams.

Hence, along with gaining expertise in conceptual and analytical sections, one has to master the speed of solving questions also. Following is the list of topics under quantitative aptitude.

List of topics:

  1. Algebra
  2. Allegation and mixtures
  3. Area
  4. Problem on Age
  5. Averages, Mean, Median and Mode
  6. Boat Problems
  7. Chain rule
  8. Discount
  9. Data Interpretation
  10. Games and Races
  11. Heights and distances
  12. Inequalities
  13. Number series
  14. LCM and HCF
  15. Linear Equations
  16. Logarithms
  17. Number theory
  18. Number System – Fractions, Decimals
  19. Partnerships
  20. Percentage
  21. Permutation and Combinations
  22. Pipes and Cisterns
  23. Points, lines and angles
  24. Probability
  25. Profit and Loss
  26. Progressions
  27. Quadratic Equation
  28. Ratio and Proportions
  29. Remainder theorem and unit digit
  30. Sets and Venn Diagrams
  31. Simple and Compound Interest
  32. Simplification and Approximation
  33. Speed, Distance and time
  34. Stocks and shares
  35. Data Sufficiency
  36. Surds, Indices, Exponents, and Powers
  37. Surface area
  38. Time and Work
  39. Problem on Train
  40. Trigonometry
  41. Volumes
  42. Work and Wages

To explore various SBI Exams  at length, check at the linked article.

Listed below are the steps to solve Quantitative aptitude questions:

  1. Read and understand the information carefully.
  2. Analyze the critical information.
  3. Apply the concepts or formulae to the situation.
  4. Evaluate the answer in the required units.
  5. Verify the calculations and select the correct answer.

To explore more about SBI Clerk Syllabus, check at the linked article.

Following is the list of exams where one finds the questions from all the topics given above.

  1. CSAT
  2. RBI Exams
    1. RBI Grade – B
    2. RBI Assistant Stage I
    3. RBI Assistant Stage II
  3. SBI Exam
    1. SBI PO Prelims
    2. SBI PO Mains
    3. SBI Clerk Prelims
    4. SBI Clerk Mains
  4. IBPS Exams
    1. IBPS PO Prelims
    2. IBPS PO Mains
    3. IBPS Clerk Prelims
    4. IBPS Clerk Mains
    5. IBPS SO Prelims
    6. IBPS RRB Prelims (Office Assistants)
    7. IBPS RRB Mains (Office Assistants)
    8. IBPS RRB Prelims (Scale I Officers)
    9. IBPS RRB Mains (Scale I Officers)
    10. IBPS RRB General Banking Officers(Scale I)
    11. IBPS RRB Specialist Cadres (Scale II)
    12. IBPS RRB Scale III Officers
  5. SSC Exams
    1. SSC CGL Tier 1
    2. SSC JE Paper 1
    3. SSC GD
    4. SSC CPO Paper 1
  6. RBI Exams
    1. RRB JE-First Stage CBT
    2. RRB NTPC
    3. RRB ALP

Candidates can prepare themselves well for the government exams if they solve mock tests and previous year question papers on a regular basis.



Solving all these shall prove to be very useful for the candidates preparing for the quantitative aptitude section in bank exams.

All Government exam aspirants can also visit the Preparation Strategy for Competitive Exams  page to get the best tips to ace the upcoming examinations.

For any further assistance, candidates can turn to CAT GURU’S and get all the latest exam information, study material and preparation tips.

Frequently Asked Questions on Quantitative Aptitude


Q 1. What type of questions are asked in the quantitative aptitude section?

Ans. In the Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section of exams like CAT and other competitive exams, a wide range of questions are asked to assess candidates’ mathematical and problem-solving abilities.

Q 2. Is the quantitative aptitude section tough?


The difficulty level of the Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section can vary depending on the exam and individual strengths and weaknesses. Here are some factors to consider when assessing the difficulty of the QA section in exams like CAT and other competitive tests:

Factors Influencing Difficulty:

  1. Question Types and Complexity:

    • QA sections typically include a mix of straightforward arithmetic problems, algebraic equations, geometry questions, and more complex topics like number theory and data interpretation.
    • The complexity of questions can range from basic calculations to advanced problem-solving requiring application of multiple concepts.
  2. Time Constraints:

    • In timed exams like CAT, managing time efficiently while solving QA questions adds to the perceived difficulty.
    • Quick decision-making and prioritization of questions based on difficulty are crucial skills.
  3. Variability Across Exams:

    • The difficulty level of QA can vary from year to year and across different exam sessions. Some years may have more challenging questions or unexpected twists in question patterns.
  4. Candidate’s Preparation Level:

    • Individual preparation and familiarity with different types of questions significantly impact how tough the QA section appears.
    • Adequate practice and understanding of underlying concepts can make seemingly difficult questions more manageable.

Strategies to Handle QA Section:

  • Build Strong Fundamentals: Focus on understanding basic concepts and mastering foundational topics in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, etc.

  • Practice Regularly: Solve a variety of problems from different topics to improve problem-solving skills and familiarity with question patterns.

  • Time Management: Develop strategies to prioritize questions and manage time effectively during the exam.

  • Mock Tests: Take mock tests under timed conditions to simulate exam pressure and improve speed and accuracy.

Perception vs Reality:

  • Perception: The QA section is often perceived as tough due to the diversity of topics and the need for quick calculations and logical reasoning.

  • Reality: With systematic preparation, including thorough concept revision, practice, and mock tests, many aspirants find the QA section challenging yet manageable.


While the QA section of exams like CAT can be perceived as tough, it is manageable with the right preparation strategy and approach. Building a strong foundation in mathematical concepts, practicing consistently, and refining problem-solving skills are key to mastering this section and achieving a competitive score.


Q 3. Quantitative Aptitude is a part of what all Government exams?


Quantitative Aptitude (QA) is a fundamental part of several government exams conducted in India across various sectors. It tests candidates’ mathematical and analytical skills. Here are some of the prominent government exams that include a Quantitative Aptitude section:

  1. Bank Exams:

    • IBPS PO/Clerk: Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Probationary Officer/Clerk exams.
    • SBI PO/Clerk: State Bank of India Probationary Officer/Clerk exams.
    • RBI Grade B Officer: Reserve Bank of India Grade B Officer exam.
    • NABARD: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development exams.
    • Insurance Exams: Exams conducted by LIC, NIACL, UIIC, etc.
  2. SSC Exams:

    • SSC CGL: Staff Selection Commission Combined Graduate Level exam.
    • SSC CHSL: Staff Selection Commission Combined Higher Secondary Level exam.
    • SSC MTS: Staff Selection Commission Multi Tasking Staff exam.
    • SSC Stenographer: Staff Selection Commission Stenographer exam.
  3. Railway Exams:

    • RRB NTPC: Railway Recruitment Board Non-Technical Popular Categories exam.
    • RRB Group D: Railway Recruitment Board Group D exam.
    • RRB ALP: Railway Recruitment Board Assistant Loco Pilot exam.
  4. UPSC Civil Services Exam: Includes a Quantitative Aptitude section in the Preliminary exam.

  5. State Public Service Commission Exams: Most state PSC exams, such as UPSC State PSCs, also include a QA section.

  6. Other Exams: Various other exams conducted by government organizations, PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings), and institutions often include a QA section, such as:

    • LIC AAO/ADO: Life Insurance Corporation Assistant Administrative Officer/Apprentice Development Officer exams.
    • UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS): Includes a Mathematics paper with QA questions.
    • NDA/NA: National Defence Academy/Naval Academy exam includes a Mathematics paper.

Importance of Quantitative Aptitude:

Quantitative Aptitude is crucial in these exams as it assesses candidates’ ability to handle numerical calculations, data interpretation, and problem-solving under time constraints. It forms a significant part of the overall exam syllabus and contributes to determining candidates’ suitability for various government positions.

Preparing for the QA section involves mastering concepts from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number system, and other mathematical topics, as well as practicing extensively through mock tests and previous year papers.


Q 4. How to prepare for quantitative aptitude?


Preparing for quantitative aptitude (QA) requires a systematic approach to build proficiency in mathematical concepts and problem-solving skills. Here’s a detailed guide on how to prepare effectively for QA:

1. Understand the Syllabus and Exam Pattern:

  • Review the Syllabus: Understand the topics and sub-topics that are part of the QA section for the exam you are preparing for (e.g., CAT, SSC, Bank exams).
  • Exam Pattern: Familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam, including the number of questions, marking scheme, and time allotted for QA.

2. Build Fundamental Concepts:

  • Start with Basics: Strengthen your foundation in arithmetic (percentages, profit and loss, ratios, averages), algebra (linear equations, quadratic equations, inequalities), geometry (basic shapes, areas, volumes), and number system (LCM, HCF, divisibility rules).
  • Advanced Topics: Progress to more complex topics like data interpretation, permutation and combination, probability, and mensuration.

3. Select Quality Study Material:

  • Textbooks: Refer to standard textbooks such as NCERT books (for basics) and advanced books like those by Arun Sharma (for CAT) or RS Aggarwal (for general exams).
  • Online Resources: Utilize websites, educational apps, and online courses that offer QA practice questions, quizzes, tutorials, and study materials.

4. Practice Regularly:

  • Topic-wise Practice: Focus on one topic at a time and solve a variety of problems to understand different question types and improve your proficiency.
  • Mock Tests: Take regular mock tests to simulate exam conditions. Analyze your performance, identify weak areas, and work on improving them.
  • Previous Year Papers: Solve previous year question papers to get acquainted with the exam pattern, types of questions asked, and to improve time management skills.

5. Develop Problem-Solving Skills:

  • Understand Concepts: Read and understand the problem statement thoroughly to identify the concept or formula applicable.
  • Practice Mental Calculation: Improve your speed and accuracy in calculations through regular practice. Learn shortcuts and tricks for quick calculations.
  • Use Multiple Methods: Explore different approaches to solve problems and identify the most efficient method for each type of question.

6. Time Management:

  • Practice Timed Tests: Improve your speed without compromising accuracy. Allocate time to each question based on its complexity and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Section-wise Time Allocation: During practice sessions, practice allocating time to each section based on its weightage and difficulty level.

7. Revise and Reinforce:

  • Regular Revision: Periodically revise concepts, formulas, and problem-solving techniques to reinforce learning and retention.
  • Make Notes: Create concise notes summarizing important formulas, concepts, and shortcuts for quick revision before exams.

8. Seek Guidance and Clarification:

  • Clarify Doubts: Don’t hesitate to seek help from teachers, mentors, or online forums to clarify doubts and understand complex concepts.
  • Join Study Groups: Collaborate with peers or join online study groups to discuss problems, share study resources, and exchange tips and strategies.

9. Stay Motivated and Positive:

  • Set Goals: Establish achievable short-term and long-term goals to track progress and stay motivated throughout the preparation process.
  • Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate small achievements to maintain enthusiasm and positivity.

10. Analyze Performance and Improve:

  • Evaluate Mock Tests: After each mock test or practice session, analyze your performance. Identify strengths and weaknesses to focus on areas needing improvement.
  • Adapt Strategies: Modify your study plan based on feedback from mock tests and adjust strategies to optimize performance in QA.

By following these steps and maintaining consistency in your preparation, you can effectively enhance your quantitative aptitude skills and improve your performance in competitive exams. Remember, regular practice, thorough understanding of concepts, and strategic time management are key to success in QA.


Q 5. How many questions are asked in the quantitative aptitude section?


The number of questions asked in the Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section varies across different exams and depends on the specific exam pattern and structure. Here’s a general overview of the typical number of questions asked in QA for some common competitive exams:

  1. CAT (Common Admission Test):

    • CAT typically consists of 34 questions in the Quantitative Aptitude section.
    • These questions are divided into both Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs (where answers need to be typed).
  2. Bank Exams (IBPS PO, SBI PO, etc.):

    • The number of QA questions varies across different bank exams.
    • Generally, there are around 35-40 questions in the Quantitative Aptitude section for these exams.
  3. SSC Exams (CGL, CHSL, etc.):

    • SSC exams usually have 25-30 questions in the Quantitative Aptitude section.
    • The exact number can vary slightly depending on the specific exam and its tier (Tier 1, Tier 2, etc.).
  4. Railway Exams (RRB NTPC, RRB Group D, etc.):

    • Railway exams typically include around 30 questions in the Mathematics (Quantitative Aptitude) section.
    • The number can vary based on the specific exam and its notification.
  5. UPSC Civil Services Exam (Preliminary):

    • The UPSC Preliminary exam includes 20 questions in the General Studies Paper II (CSAT), which includes QA.
  6. Other Government Exams:

    • Various other government exams, such as those conducted by state public service commissions (UPSC State PSCs), PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings), and other institutions, also include a QA section with varying numbers of questions.

Importance of Knowing Question Numbers:

  • Knowing the number of questions in the QA section helps candidates plan their time effectively during the exam.
  • It allows candidates to allocate time appropriately to each question and manage time constraints, especially in exams with strict time limits.

Exam-Specific Preparation:

  • Tailor your preparation strategy based on the number of questions and the overall exam pattern.
  • Practice mock tests and previous year papers to familiarize yourself with the distribution of questions and improve your time management skills.

Understanding the number of questions and the structure of the QA section is crucial for optimizing your performance in competitive exams. Stay updated with the latest exam notifications and patterns to prepare effectively.