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Maths Shortcuts

# Maths Shortcuts

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Shortcuts, tips and tricks for CPT Mathematics courtesy of Catalyst
Shortcuts, tips and tricks for CPT Mathematics courtesy of Catalyst

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02/09/2014

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5
th
Floor, Room No. 30, Martin Burn House, 1, R. N. Mukherjee Road, Kolkata – 700001Mobile: 9051243067
Email:coaching.catalyst@gmail.com
CPT – Mathematics
Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks
CPT consists of two papers. Each is of 2 hours duration and has 100 questions. Thus astudent gets 120 minutes for solving 100 questions, i.e.
1.2 minutes per question
. Thissounds really difficult and challenging. However a student at Catalyst is trained to believethat this is achievable and is trained in the techniques to handle 100 questions in 120minutes. The trick to perform well in an exam like CPT lies in conquering the correctapproach, which Catalyst teaches you.Given below are some of the tricks which can help you save your valuable time duringthe exam and answer the questions correctly.
Example 1
The roots of the cubic equation
32
721270
xxx
+ =
are given by(a)

(-1,-3,-9) (b) (-1, 3, -9) (c) (1, -3, -9) (d) (1, 3,9)
An average student will take about 4 minutes to solve this question. A student at Catalystis taught the following approach:Substitute one of the values in place of
x
in the given equation. Among all the givenvalues
1
will be the easiest to substitute. Substituting
1
in place of
x
, we get the left handside as (1 + 7 – 21 – 27) which is
0 (right hand side). Hence
1
is not a root of thegiven equation. Thus we can eliminate the options (c) and (d) which contain
1
. Answerwill be one among the options (a) & (b).Thus, we have immediately eliminated 2 out of 4 options without spending much time.Now (a) & (b) both have
-1
&
-9
. So, we substitute
3
in place of
x
and get the left handside as
32
37*321*327
+
= 0 (right hand side). Hence
3
is a root of the equation.Thus the correct option is
(b).

5
th
Floor, Room No. 30, Martin Burn House, 1, R. N. Mukherjee Road, Kolkata – 700001Mobile: 9051243067
Email:coaching.catalyst@gmail.com
Thus, the question which normally takes 4 minutes to be solved has been solved in lessthan a minute. This gain of 3 minutes can be instrumental you are giving an exam likeCPT.
Example 2
Find the sum of the series
( )
21
1111.......333
n
+ + + +
(a)
13
(b)
23
(c)
32
(d) None of these
This is a geometric series of
n
terms with first term as
1
and common ratio13
.
Studentsuse the following formula to arrive at the answer:
( )
( )
11131.......1113
nn
a
= =
and soon.However, Catalyst advises its students to look at the options before proceeding to solve it.It does not require anything more than common sense to realize that the answer shouldcontain an
n
(since it is sum to
n
terms). None of options (a), (b) and (c) contains
n
.Hence the correct option is
(d)
.Thus the time taken to solve the question is equal to the time taken to read it. Thisillustrates the importance of looking at the options before solving the questions becausemany a times the question can be solved simply by playing with the options.
Example 3
Find the roots of the equation
2
241350
xx
+ =
(a) 9,6 (b) 9,15 (c) 3,15 (d) None of these

5
th
Floor, Room No. 30, Martin Burn House, 1, R. N. Mukherjee Road, Kolkata – 700001Mobile: 9051243067
Email:coaching.catalyst@gmail.com
As soon as a student sees this sum, he starts factorizing 135 and makes severalcombinations of the factors of 135 to find which of them gives
(-24)
as the sum. Thistakes several minutes. A student at Catalyst is taught to solve this question in thefollowing manner:Here the co-efficient of
2
x
is 1. Thus the sum of the roots

will be equal to
24
and theproduct of the roots

will be equal to
135
.[Remember the basic formula for a quadratic equation:x
2
– (sum of the roots)*x + (product of the roots) = 0 ]For option (a) Sum of the given values = 9 + 6 = 15
Incorrect option. Henceeliminated.For option (b) Sum of the given values = 9 + 15 =
24;
Product of the values = 9*15 =
135
Hence
(b)
is the correct option.This method takes less than 30 seconds to arrive at the correct option.
Example 4
In how many years will a sum of money double itself at 5% rate of interest, compounded annually?(a) 15 years 1 month (b) 14 years 2 months(c) 16 years 7 months (d) 16 years 3 months
A student will solve this question using the formula:
( )
110052110021.05
nnn
APPP
= +
= +
=
After this the student will have to find out log value of 2 and 1.05, and then solve thequestion.