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Written by Guest Author Friday, 30 September 2011 12:42 - Last Updated Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:23

An important change in this year's CAT that is being discussed by CAT aspirants is the merging of Quant and DI sections. So, the extent of math based questions, which for so many years was two-third, has been reduced to just half. While this brings cheer to many students without a strong background in mathematics, there is a section of students, namely engineers, who have not taken this change too well. In fact, this is one of the measures, among others, (eg. awarding extra marks to non-engineers) that the IIMs intend to initiate to ensure a level playing field for non-engineers. The big question that is left unanswered is: what will be the break-up of the questions in Quant and DI in this section of 30 questions? In a two part series we will be analysing this section of the CAT by studying the Quant and DI sections of the past CAT papers.

With the CAT just around the corner, suggesting a strategy for quant at this juncture would only of mere academic purpose and may not really help to make a major difference to your quant score. However, by simply being aware of some typical question types that have been regularly asked in the CAT earlier, you can plan your revision in the last few days and hence reduce anxiety. The confidence that you have revised most of the important topics of quant can help you make all the difference in the manner you approach the quant section of your CAT paper. If you are able to achieve this self confidence, it can make your last minute preparation worthwhile. So, what are the topics that you must definitely touch upon in these last few days: Number System: Historically, Number System is a topic that has been the CAT examiners favourite. Questions based on divisibility of numbers, finding the last few digits of an expression, finding the remainder when two numbers are divided have been commonly asked in the CAT.

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Written by Guest Author Friday, 30 September 2011 12:42 - Last Updated Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:23

Let us take the typical question types that you must revise: 1. What are the last two digits of 7 2008 ? (CAT 2008) (1) 21 (2) 61 (3) 01 (4) 41 (5) 81 This is just an extension of the age old CAT question that was based on finding the last digit of a number. You would know that in order to find the last digit, you need to find a pattern when the last digit of the base is raised to successive powers. This is also called as the cyclicity. If the last digit of your answer depends on the last digit of the base, then the last two digits of your answer depends on the last two digits of the base. In other words, 7 2008 can also be written as 1004 or 2401 502 . If you 49 realize, because the last of digits of your base is '01', you multiply it any number of times to itself, the last digit would still remain '01'. Hence the answer is option (3). The above question could also have been asked in the form: What is the remainder when 7 2008 is divided by 100? Based on the above, you may try the following question: 2. The right-most non-zero digit of the number 30 2720 is _____. (CAT 2005) (1) 1 (2) 3 (3) 7 (4) 9 (Hint: Split 30 as 3 × 10) Another category of questions that are asked quiet often are those pertaining to divisibility. 3. The number of common terms in the two sequences 17, 21, 25, . . . ., 417 and 16, 21, 26, . . . . , 466 is (CAT 2008) (1) 78 (2) 19 (3) 20 (4) 77 (5) 22 Now, at the outset, the above question might seem like a sequence and series question. But on careful observation you would realize that it is a number system question. The first series is a set of all those numbers that when divided by 4 give a remainder of 1, while the second series is a set of all those numbers that when divided by 5 give a remainder of 1. Hence the terms that would be common to both series would be those which when divided by 20 (LCM of 4 and 5) give a remainder of 1. We can see that these will start from 21 and go all the way till 401 i.e. from first multiple of 20 till the twentieth multiple, hence the answer is option (3). Here are some more questions on the same lines: 4. Suppose, the seed of any number is defined as follows: seed(n) = n, if n (1) 39 (2) 72 (3) 81 (4) 108 (5) 55 (Hint: Any number having a seed of 9 would be a multiple of 9) 5. Consider four digit numbers for which the first two digits are equal and the last two digits are also equal. How many such numbers are perfect squares? (CAT 2007) (1) 3 (2) 2 (3) 4 (4) 0 (5) 1

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Written by Guest Author Friday, 30 September 2011 12:42 - Last Updated Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:23

(Hint: The number would be two digit multiple of 11) 6. Let S be a set of positive integers such that every element n of S satisfies the conditions (a) 1000 (1) 9 (2) 10 (3) 11 (4) 12 (Hint: All numbers would have first two digits 11 and sum of the digits a multiple of 3) Algebra: Algebra accounts for highest number of questions in quant section of the CAT. This includes questions based on Linear/Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Functions, Graphs and Maxima Minima. The questions on these topics are a night mare to any student because of the sheer variety of questions asked also the depth of the concepts required to crack these. Here is a sample of the algebra questions that have appeared in the past: 1. If the roots of the equation x 3 – ax 2 + bx – c = 0 are three consecutive integers, then what is the smallest possible value of b? (CAT 2008) (1) -1/ sqrt 3 (2) –1 (3) 0 (4) 1 (5) 1/sqrt 3 The above question requires you to know the concept that in the given equation, 'b' indicates the sum of the roots of the equation taking two roots at a time i.e. if α, β, γ are the roots of the equation, then b = αβ + αγ + βγ. Also we know that α, β, γ are three consecutive integers. The signs of these three could hence be (+, +, +) or (0, +, +) or (–,–,–) or (–, –, 0) or (–, 0, +). In all the above cases, 'b' would be positive, except when the signs of the roots are (–, 0, +). This is possible when the roots are –1, 0 and +1. In this case the value of 'b' would be –1. Hence the correct answer is option (2). Here are some more questions on Equations and Inequalities: 2. The number of solutions of the equation 2x + y = 40 where both x and y are positive integers and x (1) 7 (2) 13 (3) 14 (4) 18 (5) 20 (Hint: Express the equation as y = 40 – 2x)

3. What values of x satisfy x 2/3 + x 1/3 - 2 (1) –8 (Hint: Replace as x 1/3 as y)

In recent years, questions on functions, maxima-minima and graphs have increased in the CAT. Here are some examples of the same. 4. Let f(x) be a function satisfying f(x)f(y) = f(xy) for all real x, y. If f(2) = 4, then what is the value of f(1/2)? (CAT 2008) (1) 0 (2) 1/4 (3) 1/2 (4)1 (5) Cannot be determined If you look at the above function carefully, by substituting either x or y by 1, it is easy to figure

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Written by Guest Author Friday, 30 September 2011 12:42 - Last Updated Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:23

out that f(1) = 1. Thus, f(1) = f(a x 1/a) = f(a) f(1/a) = 1. This is only possible if f(a) and f(1/a) are reciprocal of each other. Thus if f(2) = 4, then f(1/2) will be 1/4. Hence the correct answer is option (2). 5. Let f(x) = max(2x + 1; 3 – 4x), where x is any real number. Then the minimum possible value of f(x) is: (CAT 2006) (1) 1/3 (2) 1/2 (3) 2/3 (4) 4/3 (5) 5/3 (Hint: Substitute some small values of x and find the pattern or draw the graph of the function) 6. If f(x) = x 3 – 4x + p, and f (0) and f(1) are of opposite signs, then which of the following is necessarily true? (CAT 2004) (1) –1 Apart from Number System and Algebra, it would make sense to revise all the important concepts of Geometry and solve the geometry questions from the last few year's CAT papers. Also, brushing up some fundamentals of Permutation Combination would make sense. CAT 2008 saw a sudden spurt in permutation combination questions, and we feel this may continue in CAT 2011 as well. You would find that the Permutation Combination questions that have been asked in CAT are very easy and elementary. If a couple of days dedicated to this topic can earn you some easy marks, then it is worth the effort. Apart from the above topics, there are some categories of questions that are very common in the CAT. Let us have a look at these: Pattern Based Questions: In these questions you are required to generate a pattern of behaviour, which can be extrapolated to get the answer. It is impossible to compute the answer manually without generating the pattern. 1. The integers 1, 2, 3, . . . ., 40 are written on the board. The following operation is then repeated 39 times: In each operation any two numbers, say a and b, currently on the board are erased and a new number a + b – 1 is written. What will be the number left on the board at the end? (CAT 2008) (1) 820 (2) 821 (3) 781 (4) 819 (5) 780 The key here is to understand that if we erase two numbers a and b, the sum of the numbers on the board would decrease by (a + b). Now, if were to replace it by a new number (a + b – 1), then the sum would again increase by this much amount. In other words, every operation would result in the sum getting reduced by 1. So, if we perform the operation 39, the sum of the numbers would reduce by 39. In other words, the number that would remain would be 39 less than the sum of the first 40 integers. Hence the answer is option (3). Here are some more questions that would require you generate such patterns: 2. A function 1 satisfies f(1)= 3600, and f(1)+f(2) + ... +f(n) = n 2 f(n), for all positive integers n > 1. What is the value of f(9)? (CAT 2007)

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Written by Guest Author Friday, 30 September 2011 12:42 - Last Updated Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:23

(1) 80 (2) 240 (3) 200 (4) 100 (5) 120 Hint: Try to express f(2), f(3), f(4) in terms of f(1) and generate the pattern. 3. Consider a sequence where the nth term t n = n/(n+2), for n = 1, 2, ... The value of t 3 x t 4 x t 5 ... x t

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equals: (CAT 2006) (1) 2/495 (2) 2/477 (3) 12/55 (4) 1/1485 (5) 1/2970 (Hint: Find the value for initial few terms and see the pattern in which cancellation of terms happen. Alternately, t n has (n + 2) in the denominator, which will be the numerator of t n+2 . So denominator of any fraction will get cancelled with the numerator of the second fraction after that). Simulation Based Questions: These questions require you to compute the value of an expression or an equation containing big values. However you can solve these questions easily by simulating the same question and in the same form but using smaller values. At times you may also have use the answer options judiciously. Here are a few examples of these:

1. If R = 30 65 - 29 65 / 30 64 - 29 64 , then: (CAT 2005) (1) 0 (Hint: Substitute smaller values instead of 30, 29, 65, 64 by keeping the nature of number i.e. odd/even same) 2. Let n! = 1 × 2× 3× . . . . × n for integer n ≥ 1. If p = 1! + (2 × 2!) + (3 × 3!) + . . . . . + (10 × 10!), then, p + 2 when divided by 11! leaves a remainder of ___ : (CAT 2005) (1) 10 (2) 0 (3) 7 (4) 1 (Hint: If the series is till 10 × 10!, then (p + 2) is divided by 11!. What if the series was till 1× 1!?) 3. If a 1 = 1 and a n+1 – 3a n + 2 = 4n, for every positive integer n, then a 100 equals _____: (CAT 2005) (1) 3 99 – 200 (2) 3 99 + 200 (3) 3 100 – 200 (4) 3 100 + 200 (Hint: The answer options are given for a 100 . What would the options be for a 1 ?). In addition to the above question types, our suggestion is that you go through the quant section of the CAT papers from 2001 to 2008 (after 2008, CAT was not available in print format). There have been instances in the past where the CAT questions have got repeated. In the light of this, being familiar with the questions, values and the answer options may just prove vital to earn brownie points in this section.

The author Professor Manish Salian is a senior faculty with CPLC India.

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Written by Guest Author Friday, 30 September 2011 12:42 - Last Updated Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:23

If you have any doubts or suggestions related to CAT 2011 feel free to write to us at editor@gyancentral.com

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