CAT Shortcut Techniques

Being conducted by IIMs every year, the CAT exam is taken by numerous MBA aspirants every year from across the country. As the exam is extremely competitive, the candidates need to have proper preparation to ace the exam. One of the most important strategies for a proper CAT Preparation is getting acquainted with the shortcut techniques.


To know some shortcut techniques for the CAT exam, click on the below link.

Useful Shortcut Techniques For CAT

Importance Of Shortcut Techniques For CAT:

Considering the fact that only a few of the applicants make it to the best IIMs, it can be said that CAT is the most competitive exam in the country.It is known that the CAT syllabus includes topics like Algebra, Geometry, Percentages, etc. which candidates have already covered as a part of their high school academics. Hence, it can be said that the exam is so challenging only because of its limited time. Thus, efficient Time Management is the biggest challenge faced by candidates during CAT Exam.

The two things which result in efficient time management are Speed and Accuracy. One of the key observations that might throw light on CAT cracking methodologies is, in most cases, students spend about 60% of the time in the CAT Quantitative and DI section. One needs to realize that, if the calculation speed is accelerated, it will make a substantial difference to the chances of getting into an IIM. After all, a difference of 0.25 marks could make a commendable difference in the CAT percentile.


Quantitative Aptitude Shortcut Techniques :

Let’s have a look at a few shortcut techniques for Quantitative Aptitude section of the CAT paper:

1.To Find Square of a 3-Digit Number

Let the number be XYZ


a. Last digit = Last digit of Square (Z)
b. Second last digit = 2*Y*Z + any carryover from STEP 1
c. Third last digit 2*X*Z+ Square(Y) + any carryover from STEP 2
d. Fourth last digit is 2*X*Y + any carryover from STEP 3
e. Beginning of result will be Square(X) + any carryover from Step 4


Find the square of 431

a. Last digit = Last digit of Square (1) = 1
b. Second last digit = 2*3*1 + any carryover from STEP 1=6+0=6
c. Third last digit 2*4*1+ Square(3) + any carryover from STEP 2 = 8+9+0 = 17 i.e. 7 with carryover of 1
d. Fourth last digit is 2*4*3 + any carryover from STEP 3 = 24+1 = 25 i.e. 5 with carryover of 2
e. Beginning of result will be Square(4) + any carryover from Step 4 = 16+2 = 18

Thus, (431)² = 185761.

2.To find out the sum of 3-digit nos. formed with a set of given digits

This is given by (sum of digits) * (no. of digits-1)! * 1111…1 (i.e. based on the no. of digits)


Find the sum of all 3-digit nos. formed using the digits 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8.
Sum = (2+3+5+7+8) * (5-1)! * 11111 (since 5 digits are there)
= 25 * 24 * 11111

These are a few examples of the kind of shortcut techniques for quants, which when applied to the CAT questions will result in much higher accuracy and speed on the Quants section.

Also Check: CAT quantitative aptitude shortcuts

Shortcut Techniques For Verbal Ability:

As a part of the Reading Comprehension section of the CAT exam, candidates have to read a passage and based on the information presented in the passage, the questions need to be answered. Here, the challenge posed is: Candidates have to attempt 34 questions in 60 minutes. Hence, the need to read quickly and effectively is extremely important. Let’s discuss a few shortcut techniques for Verbal Ability which can help a candidate enhance his/her performance in this section.

Use of Skimming and Scanning techniques of quick and efficient reading can be done. When applied, these techniques have proven to increase one’s reading speed by 4 times.


Going back to school time learning is required wherein the students were taught how to write an essay. The five-paragraph basics – Introduction paragraph, three main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. These five paragraphs are interlinked to each other with certain transition sentences. Hence, the transition sentences are generally the first and last line of each paragraph. Plus, each paragraph has certain terms or phrases that are central to the main theme/subject of the passage.

  • During the CAT exam, instead of looking at individual sentences, focus on the first and last sentence of each paragraph of the Reading Comprehension section.
  • While reading the first and last sentences, also look at the important and crucial words in the passage. This will help you identify the key ideas of the passage.

On the basis of the above steps, form a quick summary of the passage.



Scanning is effective when you go back to the passage to scout for information or answers. There is an ideal approach for this:

STEP 1: Identify the key terms/idea/concept in the questions asked.
STEP 2: Go back to the passage and look for those terms in the text. Also look for words related to the key term in the passage

On the basis of the above steps, you’ll be able to quickly reply to the questions. It shoudl be remembered that the CAT aspirants are always suggested to study smart rather than hard. With proper preparation strategies, the preparation becomes more effective and the questions can be solved quickly in the exam.


The candidates are suggested to honestly prepare and practice different variations of the questions to be able to solve the CAT questions more efficiently. Taking different CAT Mock Tests and solving CAT previous year papers is very crucial to get acquainted with the questions pattern and difficulty.


Stay tuned with BYJU’S to get various other shortcut techniques to effectively prepare for the CAT exam. BYJU’S also provide with the latest CAT syllabus and pattern to acquaint the candidates with the exam. Check the video below to learn the shortcut to find the Last Two Digits of Any Power Expression.