There are three major areas of critical importance in the quant section: Algebra, Number systems and Geometry. Take one section at a time and revise it thoroughly. Revise all the fundamental concepts and identify and attempt as many types of questions as possible, in the given topic. This helps to build focus and understand the concepts of each section in detail. Make it a point to go through the last few years’ CAT papers.
Analyse on the trends and the kind of questions. So there may be topics like similarity of triangles, which come more or less each year. Avoid Silly Mistakes: Take a note of all different kind of mistakes you committed in the previous mock Test — things like Calculation Error (12+13=35). Unnecessary spending a lot of time in one particular question, didn’t scan the paper/section before started solving it etc. Do make it a point not to commit the same mistakes again.
With the number of questions in this section coming down to 25 in 2006 and 2007, the focus is no longer on speed as on comprehension and accuracy. Tackle the two groups in this section, namely English Usage — sentence correction, paragraph completion, parajumbles etc—and Reading Comprehension separately.
Next, choose the right questions (a mix of many easy questions with some difficult questions which are unavoidable would be appropriate) and attempt these questions. Use your knowledge of common idioms and grammar. Read sentences and try to identify if they read right or not often using your knowledge of everyday spoken English. This should go a long way in helping you tackle the easier questions in this section that you choose.
LR and DI
The division of time that you allow will be crucial. Ideally for Data Interpretation (DI) it should be slightly less than one-third of the total time, definitely not more than one-third time. Allow more time to English or quant so that you can maximise your score according to your ability and try to clear the cut-off for Logical Reasoning (LR) and DI.
The key in DI lies in choosing the set. Actually, no paper is tough, no paper is easy. There is a very clever mix of easy, difficult and tough questions in all CAT papers. Devote 10 minutes without bothering yourself, think of it as an investment, and read the sets thoroughly. If you do not invest those five to 10 minutes, actually you have no basis of a choice.
(courtesy: Shiva Kumar, director, R&D, Career Launcher; Gejo Sreenivasan, general manager, IMS; and Jaideep Singh Chowdhary, T.I.M.E.)