Number System and Arithmetic

CAT is a lot about logic and common sense, says Abhishek Gupta.

CAT is a lot about logic and common sense, says Abhishek Gupta.

Number System and Arithmetic are the two most basic, but extremely important, topics of Quantitative Aptitude. They make the foundation of one’s QA skills and go a long way in making one do well in MBA entrance exams. Let’s have a look at what these two topics consist of.

Number System: It is quite a vast topic and comprises questions from:

  • Properties of Numbers
  • Cyclicity
  • Base System
  • Remainders

    Apart from these topics, a lot of questions are based on basic aptitude and common sense. One must be well-versed with the basic concepts and properties of numbers to score well in this area.

    Arithmetic: The major areas from where questions appear in Arithmetic are:

  • Percentage and its applications
  • Ratio and Mixtures, and
  • Time, Speed & Distance and Work

    All these topics are linked closely to one another and require one to be very comfortable with the concepts such as:

  • Percentage-equivalent of Reciprocals
  • Multiplying Factor and
  • Ratio

    Most of the tricky questions in Arithmetic are asked from “Mixtures and Solutions” and “Time, Speed and Distance”, and one must make sure that his/her concepts in these two topics are absolutely clear.

    The beauty of both these topics is that a very simple question can be framed in such a way that it may look extremely intimidating at first glance. However, if one reads carefully and is able to comprehend the question, it will appear doable most of the times.

    Hence, it is extremely critical to do a careful reading of a question before deciding whether or not to attempt it. These two topics can be very scoring as one can get simple, direct, formula-based questions from them in the exam quite frequently.