# How to Attempt Quant Section in CAT 2020? - Rounds Technique Explained [used by CAT toppers]

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Since CAT 2020 preparation is ongoing and most aspirants are already taking the mocks, I thought it's the right time to share the **Attempt Strategy for Quant Section of CAT. **Please note that this post will cover 'how to attempt the QA section' and not focus on the __QA preparation tips__.

**Quant Attempt Strategy**

__Basics__

There are two important points:

Even if you

**haven't covered your Quant basics**, you must start taking mocks. If you haven't already begun, I'd suggest you to follow this__mock timeline__.Each person has a unique attempt strategy. You should read as many as you can, test them during the mocks but eventually go with

**what works the best for you**.

__Sources__

The attempt strategies that I'm referring to can be learnt from mock attempt videos on **YouTube** or **Quora **answers by the CAT toppers. I used both of them to create the strategy that I'm about to share.

**The Rounds Technique**

I. INTRODUCTION

Time and again, CAT toppers have used and recommended the Rounds Technique. Before we discuss what it is, let us first see who can make use of it.

__Use Cases__

If you're already taking mocks and not scoring well in the QA section, then there can only be two reasons:

Low attempts

Low accuracy rate

If low accuracy rate is the main concern, then you need to revisit the basics and practice more. But if low attempts is the issue, then there are two further possibilities.

You're not done with basics

**You are attempting the wrong questions**

**The Rounds Technique **is a solution to problem 2.2 i.e. you are attempting the wrong questions.

__Rationale__

Since the CAT Quants section has 34 questions and each question carries equal marks, it doesn't matter whether you are able to attempt the difficult questions or not. In other words, the key to cracking this section boils down to your ability to **attempt the right questions**!

__What are those questions__?

There are three kinds and they come with an overlap between them:

**Easy**(formulae based)**Short**(one-liners)**Familiar**(you know the trick)

The objective behind the Rounds Technique is to **hunt these questions**, which would ultimately result in more attempts, more score and optimum utilization of time.

II. IMPLEMENTATION

Now, I will share how this strategy is used. The idea in simple words is to solve the QA section of CAT in multiple rounds - the number of rounds and the time spent on each round varies from person to person.

I used** 3 Rounds** and spent **15, 35, 10 mins** on round 1 (R1), round 2 (R2) and round 3 (R3) respectively.

__ROUND 1__**- 15 Mins**

In this round, we hunt for the **easy questions** i.e. the questions based on formulas and core concepts. The rules that I defined for myself in this round (and you can make alterations for yourself) were:

Begin from

**Question 1**and read questions in the same sequence.Spend max.

**10 seconds**on reading each question. If the question is too lengthy, skip it.For the questions that seem easy, attempt and solve in no more than

**1 minute**.

By the time this round ends, which is approx. after 15-16 minutes, you will have:

Read all the questions.

**Time Taken**= 10 secs*34 questions =**6 minutes**.Attempted the easy questions. I was often able to find 8-10 such questions.

**Time Taken**= 1 minute*10 questions =**10 minutes**.

So, **R1 **should end with **10 easy questions** attempted in **15 minutes **with all other questions read. Along with that, you must also mark some questions for review while reading them. These questions are:

Easy but couldn't solve

Familiar but lengthy

If the thought that is crossing your mind is how can someone read **34 questions in 6 minutes**, then you should read the __secret why IIM students have fast comprehension skills__. Moreover, you need not fix the 10 seconds limit initially. This is what I ended up with. You can begin with 20-30 seconds and improve it on the way.

__ROUND 2__**- 35 Mins**

In this round, the idea is to solve the **familiar or lengthy** questions. You should begin with the questions you marked for review in the first round i.e. easy but couldn't solve and familiar but lengthy. Now, students often make this mistake of randomly choosing the questions.

If you begin with an easy question you couldn't solve, which is probably towards the end of the paper, then you might fall into what I call the **Ego Trap**. "How can I not solve this, I've done it so many times before, what is the mistake that I'm making" Sounds familiar?

This is the reason I always began afresh. I started from the beginning but chose the questions marked for review with the rules to:

Try each question for no more than

**30 seconds**.If know how to solve, attempt till

**1.5 minutes**more. If not close, skip it.**Note down the question numbers**(on rough sheets) which were very close at 2 minutes yet couldn't be solved due to the inability to recall the formula or error somewhere.

By the time this round ends, which is approx. after 35 minutes, you will have:

Tried all the remaining questions.

**Time Taken**= 30 secs*24 questions =**12 minutes**.Attempted the familiar or lengthy questions. I was often able to find 15 such questions.

**Time Taken**= 1.5 minutes*15 questions =**23 minutes**.

So, **R2 **should end with **25 easy, familiar or lengthy questions** attempted in **50 minutes**. Now, you will be left with about 10 minutes and 9 difficult, unfamiliar or unable to solve questions.

__ROUND 3 __- **10 Mins**

This round aims at **grabbing extra marks** through the questions that you were close to solving but couldn't or the ones that appeared difficult to you in the first go.

You should begin with the **questions you noted down** from R2:

close enough to be solved

error in calculation somewhere

By the end of this round, I often got **2-3 more questions** making my average attempt in this section around **28.**

In a nutshell, what I've said essentially gets captured in this picture: