Updated: May 4
I was very scared of the QA section. And I know that many of you who are non-engineers might be two. In this post I will share some tips to crack the QA section of CAT:
I feared the QA section because of two reasons:
I had been making silly mistakes all my life in Mathematics
I was going to compete with engineers and I feared they had a better QA (I was a commerce student and our courses had basic applications of mathematics: addition/subtraction)
Due to these reasons, I decided to self-prepare for 6 months focusing only on QA before I took coaching. In the six months, I did the following:
Purchased Arun Sharma’s “How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT” and solved its Level of Difficulty 1 (LOD 1) of all the chapters.
Created a formula book, in which I noted down all the important concepts and formulas chapter-wise (left some space after each chapter for later additions).
Started off with Arithmetic (profit and loss; percentages; time, distance and speed) followed by Algebra, concluded by Number System & Geometry.
After six months, I felt confident about the basics of QA. The coaching further helped me build on them. I regularly solved the coaching material to test whatever I had learned in those six months.
When I started appearing for the mocks, I was scoring around 85 percentile in the QA section with 15 attempts on an average and an accuracy rate of 80%. I knew that my attempt rate was low (one must attempt around 28–30 questions in the QA section).
In order to increase my attempt, I checked which chapters am I not attempting. Then, I started revisiting the concepts of those topics, solving their advance material (LOD 2) and giving their sectional tests to develop a comfort level.
After consistently working on each of the weak topics, I managed to raise my score to 95–97 percentile in the QA section in the mocks. Finally, I scored around 95 percentile in the CAT exam (committed silly errors due to the pressure carried over from the LRDI section).
Preparation for the QA section is laborious, especially if you are beginning from the scratch. So, you must learn to be patient.
Don’t set targets to study X number of hours a day. Instead, set targets to finish each chapter in Y number of days (depending upon the length).
Start with topics you feel comfortable in. Number System & Geometry, each have further 8–10 sub-topics, don’t begin with them.
Stay regular, even if you’re solving just 10–20 questions a day. Always refer to the solutions given at the end of the book to recheck your method.
Don’t let the pressure of one section get carried over to another section. I regret it to date, even though it cost me nothing in the hindsight :)
(This was a requested post, send me your query in case you also want it to be posted on the blog)
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