Published on www.PaGaLGuY.com | August 17, 2009

New Quant‐DI, New Strategy
By TCYonline.com

“There is no need to panic, guys; CAT 2009 is no different from any past CAT as regards Quant & DI.”
As a serious CAT‐09 aspirant, do you completely agree to it?    Although  there  is  no  need  to  panic,  CAT  2009  is  certainly  different  from  the  past  CAT  as  regards  the  right  ways  to  approach it. We have been assured many times through official notifications about CAT 2009 that IIMs are trying to keep  the  test  as  close  to  the  old‐paper‐pencil‐based  pattern  as  possible.  The  freedom  offered  in  a  Linear‐Computer‐Based  format supports their claim. However, the fact that it will be held on a computer screen is strong enough to make us re‐ visit our test taking strategies. The need to reduce or counter‐balance the time‐wastage‐per‐question, which seems to  be  a  certain  outcome  of  reading  the  data  from  computer  screen,  cannot  be  over  emphasized.  This,  together  with  the  fact  that  CAT  Quant  &  DI  are  getting  more  reasoning  oriented,  would  prove  our  excessive  dependence  on  the  quick‐ calculation‐faculties a mere  illusion.  This  mirage,  if not dealt with carefully today, will anyhow disappear in November  end. Nevertheless, today’s mistakes would be tomorrow’s blunders.

THE LOGIC PREVAILS
Past few years have proven to each serious MBA aspirant that a 99.99 Percentile in CAT is beyond quick calculations and  Vedic Math. Though these skills are essential to set the mood, they hardly have helped a CAT taker who does not know  how to logically approach a Quant or DI problem. Probably, that’s the reason why test makers are turning towards more  logical problems and less calculation‐thirsty sitters. Your MOCK Online CAT scores stand witness to the hard fact that as  the  Quant  and  DI  problems  turn  more  logical  the  time  per  question  is  bound  to  increase.  This  is  because  a  logical  problem needs a logical solution and to break the code you must spend time analyzing the given data. Hence, there is a  need to curb this time‐flu before it causes major damage.

3. Concentration  Challenge…  which  is  the  root  cause  of  “having  to  RE‐RE‐RE‐Read”  a  question  statement  /  answer choices / a chart / an equation in order to unlock the relevant information in it. if ignored.  So. They are:  1. E.  we can reach the so called Holy‐grail strategy for CAT‐09  Quant and DI. move to answer Choice 1 – “doesn’t fit”.  Sometimes  the  question  statements  are  either  very  lengthy  or  involve  a  lot  of  ambiguous data which otherwise can be simplified on the scratch paper simply by  . 3rd & 5th as they are on the computer screen. All choices scanned. now you must have looked at 2nd and 4th only and saved a lot of time but  you could not strike off 1st.  Choice  3  is  “weird”.  can  challenge our capability to stay consistent with a single unit of the data – especially the one used in the answer  choices. You read the question and draw  a framework on the rough paper.  1  CHALLENGE  Concentration  EXAMPLES  Think of a question based on logical arrangement.   ×    2    ×    4    ×        in this case. the moment you come back.  Actually. you decide to look  at the framework (from your notes) again. Choice  2  seems  “closer”. Now. Challenge  of  Interpretation…  which  is  caused  by  many  statements  which  are  difficult  to  retain  in  mind  (because you cannot highlight any of them).  it  can  be  easily  translated  into  specifics as follows:   NO.  you  have  forgotten  which  were  closer  and  which  could  be  skipped  now.A HOLISTIC APPROACH    If we analytically assess the challenges a computer can pose.  2.    And  there  is  only  one  way  to  meet  these  challenges  –  “Common‐sense”.  Then how  should you save time?    Simply by writing the important ones on the scratch paper. Challenge of Relevance… which.   4. Challenge  of  Consistency…  which  although  a  by‐product  of  poor  concentration  on  computer  screen. you’d consider only 2nd & 4th. may push us into the data‐ware‐house‐of‐the‐chart or graph.  Choice  4  “can  also  be  the  answer”  and  Choice 5 can “never be the answer”. Now by the time you come‐back to the  choices.g.  5.  However. Optical‐Illusion Challenge… which leads us to assume the “Not‐otherwise‐givens” thereby deviating from the  logic and falling into the set trap. The analysis by TCYonline experts broadly exposes 5 major challenges a CAT 09 Quant or DI problem can  pose.

An example below (from past CATs) explains optical illusion. You may  very  easily  fall  into  the  trap  if  you  do  not  re‐draw  it  as  a  scalene  /  isosceles  (whatever the given data suggests) on your scratch paper.  And  we fell into the  trap. MP etc.  Sometimes  these units are  kept different  in both  graphs.  it  has  been  seen  that  a  consistent‐formulation  of  a  problem  on  the  rough paper can un‐lock all the variables and constants in order to reach multiple  answers. smaller angles are deliberately shown bigger in size making  us fell into the trap.  m.  a  triangle  may  look  exactly  like  a  Right  Angled  Triangle and it would not be clearly mentioned in the question statement. we  just  estimate  the  answer  based  on  an  angle  that  looks  bigger  (or  smaller)  as  per  the figure.  Production of Rice.   This has been explained in an example from CAT 2003 below. Many times. another test administered b Prometric.   This has been explained in an example from CAT 2007 below.formulating the problem in steps as you read it.  doing  this  on  computer  screen  consume  even  more time because of “low concentration problem”.  it  has  been  seen  that  a  graph  or  a  chart  in  DI  contain  a  lot  of  information or sometimes student will have to refer two charts to answer a set of  questions. Hence.  Here  we  should  specifically  notice  units  (cm.g. Here. U. Wheat.   Additionally.  We know that the figures in the  Geometry problems  have angles.  This has been explained in an example from past CATs below. That  is.  This  is  especially  through  in  case  of  problems  involving  logical  arrangement of the data or those involving Venn‐Diagrams. We try to  understand every piece where as in some questions some items are not covered or  stated.  2  Optical‐Illusion  Remember  that  diagrams  in  the  questions  are  NEVER  drawn  to  scale  (unless  specified  otherwise).  Hence.    4  Consistency  Sometimes  there  are  2  graphs  to  be  referred  to  in  one  Question‐set.  3  Relevance  Many  a  time.P.  To  add  to  the  confusion. what we generally do is that we start understanding the complete  stuff  and  the  relation  of  all  the  parameters  with  respect  to  one  another  E. Punjab.  km)  of  measurement  in  both  the  graphs.  . approach in DI should  be  Question  centric  and  NOT  data  centric  especially  in  the  Round  1  of  your  attempt. Such kind of illusions are  very common in GRE. in one  graph all  distances are given in  m  while in other  they are given in  km. Pulses in Maharashtra. Sometimes..

if we  start formulating the problem on the scratch paper as we read. with n > 5. T2 & T3. the answer is nk – n = n (k– 1)..    For instance. How many players are participating in the  tournament. life gets easier.. k>3.    So. The              Solution 1:  following pairs of teams have one player in common:  T1 & T2. …….Tn. However.. Tn – 1 & Tn and Tn & T1  No other pair of teams has any player in common. considering all the n teams together?  (1) n(k – 1)  (4) k(n – 2)      (2) k(n – 1)    (3) n(k – 2)      (CAT 2007)  (5) (n – 1)(k – 1)   Such question statements demand good concentration. Our notes go something like this:  There are “n” teams   “k” players in each team  “n” pairs (the confusing part was this simple) of teams have 1 player in common. Each team consists of k players. Here.5  Interpretation  In  many  DI  questions  involving  logical  arrangement  of  data. . there are n teams T1. the given pairs confuse us.  the  proper  interpretation  of  the  data  in  the  form  of  tables  and  flowcharts  helps  a  lot  in  reaching the correct answer.  This has been explained in an example from past CATs below    Here are a few examples from past CATs:  Concentration  Question  1     In a tournament.. T2.    Answer (1)        .

in order to accurately reach the solution. However. in the figure.  Optical‐Illusion  Question  2  In the figure.      If we put A = 15. we have to proceed with the given data and NOT  according to the given figure.    Make adjustments in your assumptions by keeping in mind that the sum of angles of the big triangle  must be 180o     You will find that only 25o comes as the result. these sides do not seem to be  equal. Hence.  Answer (4)    (1) 15 o                    (2) 20   o (3) 30            o (4) 25     o ( CAT 2000)  .    Work from the choices. AB = BC = CD = DE = EF = FG = GA. then C = 15 (isosceles) and then keep calculating the angles further we can reach the  solution fast (for this you must have drawn the figure on to the scratch paper). Then  DAE is approximately:                    Solution 2:         It is given that AB = BC = CD = DE = EF = FG = GA.

Just concentrate on the required data to solve this question. It was known that 20 of them took all three rides.  roller  coaster. we don’t  at all require  the first chart. remember – the more you read without referring to the question.)  Production and export of Tea (Chaidesh) 207 189 209 215 220 0 200 400 600 421 561 587 645 660 800 Export (million kg) Production (million kg)   In which year during the period 1996–99 was Chaidesh’s export of tea. isn’t it?  But if you really  refer to the question first you will find that in order to answer it.  the highest?             (1) 1996  A lot of data. the more you’ll get confused  (and therefore waste time). as a proportion of tea produced.  Relevance  Question 3                                          Solution 3  1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Per Capita Availability of Tea (gms) in Chaidesh 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 487 464 510 544 566 1995 1996 1997 Year 1998 1999     (Note: Availability is defined as production less export.    Hence.   From second chart we can say that it is highest in 1997. and 55 of them took at least  . and Ferris wheel.  (2) 1997  (3) 1998  (4) 1999  (CAT 2003)  Consistency  Directions    Eighty  five  children  went  to  an  amusement  park  where  they  could  ride  on  the  merry‐go‐round.

Question 4      Question 5      Solution 4  & 5:  two of the three rides. if we put all the given information in a consistent way. Each ride cost Re 1.    (2) 10      (3) 15     (4) 20  (1) 5    (2) 10       (3) 15       (4) 20  Children who have taken 3 rides   Children who have taken 2 rides   Children who have taken 1 ride    Children who have taken 0 rides     Therefore.    . and the total receipt of the amusement park was Rs 145. we can answer both the questions  together.    How many children did not try any of the rides?       How many children took exactly one ride?  .              (1) 5     Total children         = 85  = 20  = 55 – 20 = 35  = 145 – (20 × 3 + 35 × 2 ) = 15  = 85 – ( 20 + 35 + 15) = 15.

66    Would you take the chance to write all the data on the paper again???  Hey! You have got to work smart here!   Just put the given information in the required format.    A  ‐ 20  + 90  ‐ 10          B    C    D  (2) C. B. The chemical is  being pumped from one tank to another as follows:                          From A to B @ 20 liters/ minute  From C to A @ 90 liters/ minute  From A to D @ 10 liters/ minute  From C to D @ 50 liters/ minute  From B to C @ 100 liters/ minute  From D to B @ 110 liters/ minute             + 20                        ‐ 90                  + 10              + 50            ‐ 50           + 100               ‐ 100           + 110             ‐ 110  50  liters  is  going  away  from  tank  D  every  minute. 16. 20     (3) D.  Hence  it  will  get  emptied  first  and  in  1000/  50  =  20  minutes.  Interpretation  Question 6                        Solution 6    Which tank gets emptied first and how does it take (in minutes) to get emptied after pumping starts?  (1) A. 20  (4) D.    Answer (3)          . each containing 1000 liters of a chemical. 25     (CAT 2005)   A chemical plant has four tanks (A. C and D).

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