# A guide to scoring well in quantitative aptitude of B-school entrance exams In fact, there is still a general notion in the world

of MBA wannabes that there are two kinds of MBA aspirants. Those who are poor at quant and those who are very poor at quant. People who are good at quant and DI stay on Mars. However, I dare to make a tall claim that this notion is a misconception and an over-hyped phobia. Mastering quantitative aptitude is just another task, which can be fulfilled with focused strategy in preparation and sustained hard work. Since I have made this loud declaration that quant may be wild but is definitely tamable I ought to substantiate it. For this, I need you to look at the quant section (CAT 2006 notwithstanding) of B-school admission tests as divided into the following two functional categories: Quant that appears in CAT or XAT Quant that appears in other exams (SNAP, IRMA, MAT, NMIMS, etc) However, the so called ‘syllabus’ for both types of tests remains the same, and roughly comprises of the following: Questions on properties of numbers, divisibility, LCM, HCF, remainder theorem and their applications. Basic arithmetic and its applications like calculating simple and compound interest, ratio and proportion, profit, loss and discount, mixtures and work-time or time-speed based problems, essentially commercial mathematics. Basic algebra and its applications like simple and quadratic equations, series, exponents, polynomials, functions. Geometry and mensuration. Comprising of primarily two dimensional figures, and application of basic theorems. Modern maths: Set theory, Venn diagrams, permutation, combination and probability. Although the syllabus and breadth of areas remain the same in both types of exams, there is a huge difference in types of questions that are asked and hence the approach to prepare and attempt questions also varies. Let us look at quant in non-CAT exams. The quant in these exams (SNAP, IRMA, etc) is what could be primarily called a Speed and Accuracy Test. The number of questions is large, but most of the questions are either direct formula-based questions or direct application of a basic concept. The premium is on speed. Those who can solve questions quickly rule the roost. Consider few sample questions: A trader bought two watches for Rs 2,000 each. One he sold at 5 per cent profit and the second at 7 per cent loss. Calculate net profit/loss. This is a simple question of calculating a percentage (2 per cent) on Rs 2,000, which is 40. Consider another question. If today a father is four times as old as his son and five years ago he was five times as old as his son, find their present ages. This again is a simple application of algebra, or substituting the given options. For this type of quantitative aptitude (non-CAT), the following preparation strategy is suggested: 1. Leave no area unprepared, as coverage is more important than depth. Even dreaded topics like probability and permutation and combinations should not be left.

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