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How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) 2023 - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

Sukriti Vajpayee
Sukriti VajpayeeUpdated On: September 15, 2023 01:11 pm IST | CAT

Looking for tips on how to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability? Check the best CAT 2023 QA preparation tips provided here by MBA experts!

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability

How to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability 2023 is one of the most common concerns of MBA aspirants since this section carries the major chunk of CAT preparation. With a very vast syllabus ranging from Arithmetic to Percentages and Algebra, CAT Quantitative Ability tests a candidate's numerical aptitude, Mathematical prowess, and problem-solving abilities. Thus, one must fully comprehend the fundamental concepts of solving problems to achieve high scores and meet the cutoff for selection into IIMs.

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CAT 2023 exam Quantitative Ability section will likely have 22 questions on topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration, and Calculus, which students have to attempt in 40 minutes of sectional time. In an attempt to help test-takers crack this QA successfully, we have provided here some of the most useful tips on how to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability 2023.

Also Read: 

CAT 2023 Notification

CAT Registration 2023
CAT Syllabus 2023

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability 2023?

How to prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability? The answer to this question varies from person to person. Some candidates will have to devote more time to the section due to the absence of Mathematics in their education at the graduation or school level while for some candidates, QA is their strong point for CAT. In any case, what is required the most is the continuous and consistent practice of the entire syllabus. All CAT 2023 candidates can follow the guidelines mentioned below in order to streamline their Quantitative Ability preparation for the CAT exam.

1. Strengthen the Basics

In time, we all tend to lose touch with basic mathematics and simple calculations. It is extremely important for candidates preparing for CAT to brush up on their basic mathematics and gradually strengthen it. The essence of mathematics lies totally in its basics and if some student does not understand maths at the grass-roots level, it will become highly difficult for him/ her to solve equations and questions.

2. Gauge the Weak Points

Every candidate must be aware of his/ her strengths and weaknesses in the Quantitative Ability section. This will make it clear to him/ her the topics that need more attention. The applicants must make it a point to work extra hard on those topics and practice more questions pertaining to them.

3. Plan a Schedule

Studying haphazardly might be in favor of some students but it does not prove to be beneficial overall. The candidates must come up with a schedule regarding their Quantitative Ability preparation. It is important to chalk out a study plan keeping in mind the areas of weakness and leaving some time for revision too. Sticking to this plan will ensure that the candidate practices questions regularly and it will lead him/ her to finish the Quantitative Ability syllabus soon.

4. Practise Chapter by Chapter

Candidates should focus on one chapter at a time and must not try to mix questions. This way, they will understand each chapter in great depth and understand the nitty-gritty of it too. Preparing haphazardly will not help you much and make you confused.

5. Enhance Mental Calculations and Short Methods

Performing well in the Quantitative Ability section of CAT requires the candidate to give correct answers in optimum time. Short methods and strong mental calculation abilities will assist the candidate in saving time on many questions. In this case, the online CAT quantitative aptitude preparation group might be of great benefit. You will be able to learn the formula for quickly and accurately answering QA questions. Due to the negative marking, it is not wise to attempt too many questions that require guesswork when preparing for and answering QA section questions.

Also ReadHow to Prepare for CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

6. Employ Sectional Time to Improve Preparation

Sectional timing for CAT 2023 will be 40 minutes for each segment. Candidates should make an effort to finish the portion while keeping an eye on the clock. It is preferable to move ahead of time because having a buffer time of at least 5 to 10 minutes will allow time for revision on test day. Students must highlight crucial questions and ideas so they may quickly review them during the last phase. Candidates should adhere to the two-minute rule for questions in the QA portion, i.e. It is preferable to move on to the next question if a question cannot be answered within the allotted two minutes.

6. Practice Mock Tests

Taking more and more CAT practice tests and CAT quantitative aptitude preparation online practice exams is one of the best methods for improving one's CAT quantitative abilities. Candidates may take part in pre-mock exams to gauge their early performance and obtain an understanding of the topics they should study. They can go to post-mock CAT exams when they have finished practicing and revising. Regular practice is preferable if you want to master the QA segment. As CAT 2023 gets nearer, take at least one mock exam each day. Candidates will learn more about the variety of questions asked from each segment through CAT sample examinations, which will help them improve their preparation level.

Also ReadHow to Prepare for CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

CAT Quant Topic-Wise Preparation Tips

While preparing for CAT Quantitative Aptitude, you may need different strategies for different topics. The tricks and formulas you apply to Arithmetic might not be helpful while solving Algebra questions. Thus, we have provided here tips to prepare for various topics in the CAT Quant section.

1. Geometry and Mensuration

There are around 6–8 problems in the CAT on geometry, along with trigonometry, mensuration, and co-geometry. One can better understand certain concepts in geometry by visualizing them, and asking oneself probing questions. From a starting point, a student advances to coordinate geometry, trigonometry, and 3D geometry. The key to answering any Geometry question on the CAT exam is comprehending which concept to apply. All the frequently used formulas, such as those for area, volume, etc., should be memorized and noted. When completing the segment, it is important to keep symmetry in mind because, in some circumstances, it can literally cut the time required in half. By examining the dimensions or values, some choices can be immediately ruled out.

2. Arithmetic

Since principles of arithmetic are built upon one another, the order in which the topics are covered simplifies the preparation. For instance: Compound interest is a series of percentage increases, while simple interest is merely an increase in percentage. This is how one should approach mathematical topics. The topic of Alligations and Mixtures can be studied independently or in combination with other topics like profit and loss. This topic's fundamental idea is that it involves mixing two or more elements or products, and questions on it are typically phrased to inquire how much of each should be added to a mixture in order to achieve a specific ratio. Questions on Profit and Loss involve mentioning the cost of each material and the cost of the alloy.

3. Number System

There are 1-3 questions on the Number System on the CAT exam. Number Systems covers a wide range of topics, including Factors and Multiples, HCF and LCM, Factorials, Base Systems, Remainders, and Other topics. There are no special methods, tricks, or shortcuts needed to solve problems on the number system; one simply needs to comprehend the fundamental concepts, such as factors, multiples, etc. It is important to know every rule and answer enough practice questions.

4. Algebra

After Arithmetic, CAT Algebra is the second-most important topic. Working with variables, the x's and y's, and other mathematical concepts must be mastered in order to succeed in CAT Algebra. Linear & Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Functions, Progressions, and Algebraic Expressions to Polynomials are the topics covered in CAT Algebra. Although algebra is a fascinating subject that should be prepared for with enjoyment, students often find themselves unsure of where to begin.

5. Sequence and Series

The arithmetic progression, the geometric progression, and the harmonic progression are the three fundamental areas covered under the topic of sequence and series. Alligation and mixture are two examples of topics that can be asked as standalone questions or in combination with other topics, but the latter is quite uncommon.

6. Trigonometry

Trigonometry is a supplementary subject that is applied in geometry, time, speed, and distance calculations as well as on its own. Every student taking the CAT should be familiar with the fundamental trigonometric formulas because they are frequently employed.

Also ReadImportance of Vedic Maths in CAT 2023

Best Books for Quantitative Ability (QA) Preparation for CAT 2023

Some of the books that candidates can consult while preparing for the Quantitative Ability section of CAT are given below.



How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Arun Sharma

Quantum CAT

Sarvesh K Verma

Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT

Nishit K. Sinha

Quantitative Aptitude

R. S. Aggarwal

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination

Abhijit Guha

Also Read: CAT Predicted Question Paper 2023

Quantitative Ability (QA) Syllabus for CAT 2023

The syllabus for the Quantitative Ability (QA) section of CAT 2023 is provided here. It is imperative for all candidates appearing for CAT 2023 to be aware of the Quantitative Ability syllabus so that they can prepare accordingly. All the questions that will be asked in the QA section of CAT 2023 will come from these topics.




Number Systems, Number Theory, Rules of Divisibility, Complex Numbers, etc.


Percentage, Profit and Loss, Ratio and Proportion, Simple and Compound Interest, Time and Distance, Time and Work, Averages, Mixtures, Partnership, LCM and HCF, Speed


Angles, Lines, Triangles, Polygon, Quadrilaterals, Circles, Area, Volume, Co-ordinate Geometry, Height and Distance, Basic Trigonometry, Mensuration


Linear Equations, Inequations, Quadratic Equations, Special Equations

Modern Maths

Permutation and Combination, Probability, Statistics


Mixtures and Alligations, Set Theory, Venn Diagrams, Logarithms, Progressions, Surds and Indices, Binomial Theorem, Puzzles, Logical Questions

Also ReadHow to Prepare for CAT for Working Professionals

How to Schedule Preparation for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Since Quantitative Aptitude is one of the important sections in the CAT examination, you are advised to schedule your preparation in such a way that all important topics are getting enough preparation time. Two of the most important topics of the Quantitative Aptitude of CAT are numbers and geometry. Both topics require at least 2 weeks of preparation. You can divide your preparation time into two or three minor parts, the first part consisting of these topics and the rest of the section for all remaining topics. 

CAT 2023 Components: Quantitative Ability Weightage

Apart from Quantitative Aptitude, CAT 2023 exam will comprise Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). Quantitative Ability is one section of CAT that is considered to be difficult by a majority of the CAT test-takers. The candidates who belong to engineering backgrounds find this section relatively easier and hence, have an upper hand when it comes to Quantitative Ability questions. However, students who come from those streams or backgrounds in which they were not familiarised with mathematics much or whose courses had no use of basic maths and calculations find it difficult to cope with the pressure. Undoubtedly, Quantitative Analysis is a section to which the applicant needs to give a lot of attention and practice. To begin with the preparation for QA, it is important to know the Quantitative Analysis pattern in CAT.




Quantitative Analysis (QA)

Total Questions


Total Marks


Total MCQ-type Questions


Total Non-MCQ type Questions


Time Allotted

40 Minutes

Marking Scheme

+3 for every correct answer, 0 for unattempted questions, -1 for every wrong answer

Before candidates could consider taking the test, one of the most important concerns they had to address was how to plan their QA preparation. Today, however, we have a number of online resources at our disposal to begin our planning immediately. However, it is challenging to match the competitiveness of classroom coaching in QA programs because it provides the most equal ground for candidates, whereas VA and DILR benefit those who may already possess a natural aptitude for it.

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For admission-related guidance, fill out our Common Application Form or call on our toll-free number 1800-572-9877. If you have any other doubts regarding the CAT exam, you can ask them on our QnA zone. We wish you all the best for the CAT exam! 


Is CAT Quant very difficult?

Yes, CAT Quant is quite difficult. The questions asked in this section are based on Mathematical concepts which involve heavy calculations. In CAT 2022, a total of 22 questions were asked in this section and the overall difficulty level was moderate to difficult. This year too, students can expect this section to be quite tough; thus, it’s important to prepare well to score well.

What are the best books for CAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation?

Some of the best books for CAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation are-

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantum CAT by Sarvesh K Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R. S. Aggarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by Abhijit Guha

How to score 99 percentile in CAT Quantitative Aptitude?

To score 99 percentile in CAT Quantitative Aptitude, candidates must leave no stone unturned during the preparation. It is important to get a grasp of all the basic Mathematical concepts and learn the formulas and shortcuts to attempt questions. Learning time management is also crucial since QA is a calculation-based section and candidates have just 40 minutes to attempt around 22 questions.

What are the important topics for CAT Quantitative Aptitude?

Some of the important topics for CAT Quantitative Aptitude are Number System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distances, Theory of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series, Angles, Lines, Triangles, Circles, Areas and Volumes – Rectangles, Squares, Triangles, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes & Cistern, Maxima and Minima, Function, Trigonometric Ratios, Heights, and Distances.

How to prepare for CAT Quantitative Aptitude?

To prepare for CAT Quantitative Aptitude, candidates must know the basic Mathematical concepts, memorize the formulas, solve previous year question papers, practice mock tests, and work on time management. Since QA is a calculation-based section, it is important to work on numerical aptitude, Mathematical prowess, and problem-solving abilities.

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