CAT tests your time management skills intensively. After building your fundamentals, you should be looking to increase solving speed and developing an intuitive approach to the questions. How do you increase your speed of solving in Quant and DILR?
The Secret to Increase Solving Speed
There are a bunch of tricks that you can learn, but the first and most important one is to recognize that there isn’t a solid trick! There is no magic wand that you can use.
Back when I was in Class 9, I used to fancy myself as a don in math (I’m not blind to the meta humour here!). There were guys who I thought I was much quicker than in terms of solving who ended up beating me to answers in quadratic equations, leaving me perplexed.
My grasp of fundamentals and the ability to think beyond the question didn’t seem to faze them.
I was competitive enough to go and enquire about their almost magical method of spitting out answers. They said, “We’ve done these numbers before.”
I realised that they didn’t need to split the middle terms because they were familiar with the patterns of various questions due to intensive practice.
He showed me his tuition notebook where his “tuition miss” had given him 150 questions of raw quadratic equations spread over 50 pages.
Subsequently, I went and picked up a couple of books and solved around 100 questions. I was surprised at the simplicity of the solution.
A Final Note
Everyone gets comfortable with speed and solving at their own pace. It may take just 30 questions for someone, and for someone else, it could take perhaps a 100. The goal is to automate your solving process and train your mind to pick up question patterns and numbers.
I assure you that this is one foolproof way to increase solving speed. Seize it, get into “drill” mode after building your fundamentals. 2IIM’s Test Dojo is a great place to start your Drill Preparation. Happy solving!
Have a strong grasp on your fundamentals. Remember, all those speedy solvers have more practice points than you, not IQ points. Do not get disheartened and start practising now. Just aim for 100 percentile and calibrate your preparation accordingly.
Stay Safe and Best Wishes for CAT Preparation!
Rajesh Balasubramanian takes the CAT every year and is a 4-time CAT 100 percentiler. He likes few things more than teaching Math and insists to this day that he is a better teacher than exam-taker.