Most Important Topics in Quantitative Aptitude

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Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section for any competitive exams may sound very simple (most of the student take it as Class 10 mathematics), but in real sense, it is most tricky part of any paper, and since its cut-off is low, it plays decisive role in overall marks. This is cases for all types of competition exams (like CAT, Bank PO, RBI grade B, Assistant, CSAT etc). In this article, we aims to highlight most important chapters/topics from Quantitative Aptitude(QA) section. There is generally an overlap between syllabus of Banking exams (Bank PO, RBI Grade B, SSC, Nabard etc)  or MBA entrance exams (CAT, XAT, IIFT etc) or General Aptitude (CSAT, NDA, CDS etc). So, we have divided exams classifications in 4 groups (according to difficulty level):

  • Easy: General Aptitude exams (Exams like UPSC CSAT, NDA, CDS, SSC Recruitments)
  • Moderately easy: Banking exams (Exams like IBPS, SBI PO, SSC-CGL, RBI Assistant, Nabard Grade A/B)
  • Moderately difficult: RBI Grade B
  • Difficult: CAT, XAT, FMS etc

We have done topic wise comparison, and shared in which exam you can expect what kind of questions.

Quantitative Aptitude important topics by exams

Questions to expect from Number System

Number System chapter contains mathematical operations on numbers, HCF and LCM, Square roots and Cube roots, Surds, divisibility tests, Remainder theorem.

Comparison of Number System topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Very High Divisibility test, Remainder Theorem
RBI Grade B Low HCF/LCM , Divisibility test, Remainder Theorem
Banking exams Medium HCF/LCM, Mathematical operations on numbers
General Aptitude exams Medium to High Mathematical operations on numbers, Square and Cube roots, Surds

Questions to expect from Number Series

Number Series chapter contains Missing numbers, Finding ODD one out (Pattern Finding), Arithmetic Progressions, Geometric Progressions, and Harmonic Progressions , Pattern (Cube)

Comparison of Number Series topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Low to Medium Arithmetic Progressions, Geometric Progressions, and Harmonic Progressions
RBI Grade B Medium to High Finding ODD one out (Pattern Finding), Arithmetic Progressions, Geometric Progressions
Banking exams High Missing numbers, Finding ODD one out (Pattern Finding), Pattern (Cube)
General Aptitude exams High Missing numbers, Finding ODD one out (Pattern Finding), Pattern (Cube)

Questions to expect from Averages in QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE

Averages chapter contains Mean(Average), Weighted Mean.

Comparison of Averages topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Low in Quantitative aptitutde paper, very high in DI paper Weighted Mean, Application in DI
RBI Grade B Very High Application in Data Interpretation
Banking exams Very High Mean(Average), Application in Data Interpretation
General Aptitude exams High Mean(Average)

Questions to expect from Mixture and Alligations

Mixture and Alligations chapter contains rules of alligations, alligation equation and mean quantity.

Comparison of Mixture and Alligations topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Medium to High Rules of Alligation, Mean Quantity
RBI Grade B High Rules of Alligation, Mean Quantity
Banking exams Medium Rules of Alligation, Mean Quantity
General Aptitude exams Low Mean Quantity

Questions to expect from Percentage in QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE

Percentage chapter contains Percentage concepts, Percent increase/decrease and concepts on Population. Just like Averages, it has more application in Data Interpretation(DI) part of the paper.

Comparison of Percentage topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Very Low in Quantitative aptitude, Very high in DI section DI Section
RBI Grade B Very High Application in DI questions, percent Increase/decrease
Banking exams Very High Application in DI questions, percent Increase/decrease, Population
General Aptitude exams High Percentage concepts, Percent increase/decrease and concepts on Population

Questions to expect from Profit and Loss

Profit and Loss chapter contains concepts of Cost Price, Selling Price, Marked Price, Discount, Gain/Loss, Gain Loss Percentage, Discount Percentage, and Error due to cheating/false weights

Comparison of Profit and Loss topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Medium to High Gain/Loss percentage, Marked Price, Discount, Error due to cheating
RBI Grade B Medium Gain/Loss percentage, Marked Price, Discount, Error due to cheating
Banking exams High Gain/Loss percentage, Marked Price, Discount, Error due to cheating
General Aptitude exams Medium to High Gain/loss

Questions to expect from Simple and Compound Interest

Simple and Compound Interest chapter contains concepts of Principal, Amount, Simple and Compound Interest, Half yearly, Quarterly compounded

Comparison of Simple and Compound Interest topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Low Compound Interest , Half yearly, Quarterly compounded
RBI Grade B Low Simple and Compound Interest, Half yearly, Quarterly compounded
Banking exams Medium Amount, Simple and Compound Interest, Half yearly, Quarterly compounded
General Aptitude exams Medium Principal, Amount, Simple and Compound Interest

Questions to expect from Ratio and Proportion

Ratio and Proportion chapter contains concepts of Ratio, Proportion, and Comparison of ratios. It has applications in DI and Data sufficiency section of the paper

Comparison of Ratio and Proportion topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Very Low in Quantitative Aptitude, High in DI and Data sufficiency Ratio, Proportion
RBI Grade B High Application in DI and Data sufficiency section
Banking exams High Application in DI and Data sufficiency section
General Aptitude exams Medium to High Comparison of ratio

Questions to expect from Time and Work in Quantitative APTITUDE

Time and Work chapter contains concepts in finding work rate, variable work rate, estimated and actual completion of work, Pipes and Cistern

Comparison of Time and Work topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams High Finding work rate, Variable work rate, estimated and actual completion of work, Pipes and Cistern
RBI Grade B Medium Finding work rate, Pipes and Cistern
Banking exams Medium to High Finding work rate, Pipes and Cistern
General Aptitude exams Medium Finding work rate

Questions to expect from Time, Speed and Distance

Time, Speed and Distance chapter contains concepts of Time, Speed, Distance, Problems on Trains, Relative Speed, Boats and Streams, Up and Down Stream problem. This chapter has application in DI based questions.

Comparison of Time, Speed and Distance topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Low Application in DI section, Relative Speed
RBI Grade B Low Relative speed, Boats and Streams
Banking exams Medium Trains, Boats and Streams, Relative Speed
General Aptitude exams Medium to High Time, Speed and Distance, Up and Down stream

Questions to expect from Geometry

Geometry chapter contains concepts of straight lines, triangles, circles, ellipse, other geometrical shapes , and problems on coordinate geometry

Comparison of Geometry topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams High Coordinate geometry, circle, triangle, lines and other spatial figures
RBI Grade B Low Triangle, circle, line
Banking exams Low Triangle, circle, line
General Aptitude exams Low Triangle, circle, line

Questions to expect from Mensuration(Area and Volume)

Mensuration (Area and Volume) chapter contains finding area and volume of the circle, square, rectangle, cube, cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone, sphere and hemisphere

Comparison of Mensuration (Area and Volume) topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Low 3-D shapes like cylinder, sphere, hemisphere, cone
RBI Grade B Low circle, square, rectangle, cube, cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone, sphere and hemisphere
Banking exams Medium circle, square, rectangle, cube, cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone, sphere and hemisphere
General Aptitude exams Medium circle, square, rectangle, cube, cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone, sphere and hemisphere

Questions to expect from Algebra

Number System chapter contains concepts of functions, inequalities, logarithm, quadratic equation

Comparison of Number System topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Very High Function, Inequalities, Quadratic equation
RBI Grade B Medium to High Inequalities in Data sufficiency section
Banking exams Medium Inequalities in Data sufficiency section
General Aptitude exams Very Low NA

Questions to expect from Permutation and Combination

Number System chapter contains concepts of events, permutation, and combination, circular permutation, with or without repetition.

Comparison of Number System topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams High Permutation, combination, circular permutation, with or without repetition.
RBI Grade B Low permutation, and combination, circular permutation
Banking exams Low permutation, and combination, circular permutation
General Aptitude exams Very Low permutation, and combination

Questions to expect from Probability

Number System chapter contains mathematical operations on probability (likelihood of events) and conditional probability.

Comparison of Number System topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams High Conditional Probability
RBI Grade B Low Probability
Banking exams Low Probability
General Aptitude exams Very Low Probability

Questions to expect from Data Interpretation

Number System chapter uses data sources in form of Tabular data, Pie Chart, Line Graph, Bar Graph and other form of data visualisation.  Questions are asked where concepts of averages, ratio and proportion, percentage, profit/lost are used.

Comparison of Number System topics with various competition exams

EXAM Importance of this chapter Most important topics in this chapter
MBA exams Low in Quantitative Aptitude, Very high in DI MBA tests has separate papers on DI
RBI Grade B Very High Complete Section. Questions uses concepts form averages, percentage etc
Banking exams Very High Complete Section. Questions are straight forward though.
General Aptitude exams Medium to High Complete Section. Questions are straight forward though

Summary of important topics in different competition exams

In general, we can summarize MBA entrance exams like CAT, XAT, FMS etc to be very difficult with more syllabus from Class 11-12 mathematics and more logical deduction problems. Sections to focus for these exams are Number System, Algebra, Coordinate Geometry

RBI Grade B and Nabard exams are moderately difficult with syllabus mostly upto Class 10 mathematics. They are more focussed on checked real time scenarios, hence more focused on Data Interpretation, Number Series questions.

Banking exams like IBPS PO, Clerk, SSC CGL etc are easier paper and syllabus is focussed only upto Class 10 mathematics. They are more concepts oriented problems, and understanding different chapters and formulas will help you score better for these exams.

General Aptitude exams like CSAT etc are very easier paper with syllabus focussed only upto Class 8-10. More emphasis is on finding logical deduction like odd number of out, cube problem and questions are straight forward with straight application of the formula.

f you are preparing smartly and selectively, you can definitely score high in quantitative aptitude section.