Algebra and Arithmetic

The key to mastering quants is practice, practice and practice. Practising simple and same type of problems will not help, you need to practise difficult and different problems. Quants carries 30 marks and you cannot avoid this section because RBI grade B has sectional cut offs. Stick to one book and after completing it take tests and solve previous year papers. Let’s take a look at the arithmetic and algebra questions.

The Arithmetic section includes topics such as profit and loss, percentage, ratio and proportion, interest, speed and distance, average, time and work, mixtures, etc. You can expect 10 questions from this section. These topics are generally easy and you should be able to solve 7-9 questions. The key for these questions is learning shortcuts and tricks to save time.

The Algebra section includes questions on quadratic equations which are generally hard to solve and take up time. Don’t get too stressed out trying to solve each and every question in exam, these questions have a low accuracy among candidates. 2-4 questions are asked every year. Leave this section for the end during the exam if it is not your forte.

One of the main reasons why majority students struggle with algebra is that they try to memorize, hence when the problem changes, students are left confused as the steps change too. Try to understand why you are solving each step and make sure that your basics are clear. When you are practicing these problems, it is important that you understand how you reached the solution, this will help you review errors. It is much better and rewarding in the long-run to focus on understanding the process and logic that is involved. Always remember the order BODMAS (Bracket Of Division Multiplication Addition and Subtraction) and approach each question accordingly. Get comfortable with negative numbers and alphabets, don’t let that tiny minus sign or variables beat you. Remember the expansion formulas and make sure you know that just memorizing the formula doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll know what to do with it. Be sure to know what each variable in the formula stands for so that you can decipher what number is assigned to which variable.

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