Time to revisit high school mathematics

Last Updated : 15 September 2010, 10:43 IST
Last Updated : 15 September 2010, 10:43 IST

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The reasons are not hard to fathom. All mathematics that is learnt after the 10th std is pure maths whereas in class 8 , 9 and 10, the maths that is taught is arithmetic and a little of pure maths. Hence it is no surprise that many students would have forgotten the maths they learnt in high school.

Let’s look at what needs to be done at this juncture.  Divide the entire Quant section  into three parts: Arithmetic (Equations, Ratio Proportion, Variation, Percentages, Profit and Loss, Averages and Mixtures, Simple Interest, Compound Interest, Time and Work, Time and Distance); Pure Maths (Numbers, Functions and Graphs, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Progressions, Indices, Logs and Surds, Permutation and Combinations); and Misc (Geometry and other Misc questions). By clubbing them into three areas, the concentration will now shift to just three clusters than some 15 to 20 chapters that otherwise exist.

Technically, if one is good in either arithmetic or pure maths, one should be able to comfortably cross the cutoff for the IIMs.

Suppose you are taking the Mock CATs.  Each Mock CAT has around 20 to 25 questions from the Quantitative section.

* Take about 10 mock papers that you have already done. For one area: Mark all arithmetic questions from these mocks. They will be around 60 to 100 questions.

* Give yourself around around 2 to 3 hours for this work.

* Solve every question on your own without looking at the solutions.

* For all those questions that you could not solve, go back to the basics and learn the concept, and then try solving the problems. Your last resort is to see the solutions.

*Repeat the same exercise for the other two areas.

This way, over the next 10 days, you would have solved every important type of question that appears in CAT. Ensure that you spend about 3 to 4 hours on your weak areas/topics so as to reach a stage where you can solve easy to moderate level questions.

Remember that if you can get 50 per cent net marks in the section, then you would comfortably cross the cutoff of the IIMs, and will be in the reckoning for that much-awaited IIM call!

The writer is Director, TIME, Bangalore.

Published 15 September 2010, 10:43 IST

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