Preparing for some entrance exam?
How nice would it be if someone give you a list of a few essential topics in Maths that can help you crack general aptitude entrance exams?
Read on to know the 7 Maths topics that any student must master to crack entrance exams.
At first sight, Maths may seem like a daunting subject with dozens of topics to master. However, they all boil down to certain fundamental concepts. Listed here are the top 7 topics that students must master to be able to solve basic questions in the Maths section of various Entrance Exams.
Additions and Multiplication form the core of any Maths questions. If you can add and multiply numbers quickly (orally), you save precious seconds in every question. This extra time can be used for solving more questions.
Learn your multiplication tables. Memorize the values of perfect squares till 20 and perfect cubes till 15. Learn the value of square roots and cube roots till at least 10. Learn the values of reciprocal percentages. i.e. The reciprocal of 2 is ½ which is 50%. Memorizing these values will help develop your ability to quickly identify patterns in numbers.
Properties of Numbers
Do you remember the divisibility rules? Do you know what happens when you add or multiply even numbers and odd numbers? Do you know, what is a prime number? Can you find the factors of any given number? How about its multiples? Are you familiar with concepts of the Highest Common Factor (HCF or GCD) and Least Common Multiple (LCM)?
If you know the basic properties of numbers, you can easily play around with your Maths problems and find short cuts to solve them. For example, a basic property of even numbers is that, when any number is multiplied with an even number, the resulting answer is always even. So, in a particular problem with multiple choices for answers, if you know that the final step of calculation involves multiplication with an even number and only 1 of the given 4 options is even, the other 3 are odd, you need not even perform the final calculation. The answer must be the even one.
Simple average, weighted average – they form a significant portion of questions asked in many entrance exams. Being handy with addition and division will also help you quickly solve questions of averages.
Problems asked under the topic of Mixtures and Solutions are nothing but practical application of the concepts of averages.
The concept of percentage calculation forms the base for many chapters in Maths. If you understand the calculations involving percentages, you just need to understand the theory and you will be proficient in chapters such as Simple Interest, Compound Interest, Profit Loss and Discount – to name a few.
Ratio and Proportion form a bulk of calculations in many Maths problems. This also includes the concepts of direct and indirect variations.
Understanding these concepts leads to proficiency in chapters such as Time Speed and Distance, Problems on Trains, Boats and Streams, Time and Work, Pipes and Cisterns – to name a few.
If performing quick calculations is one pillar of the foundation of Maths, the ability to frame and solve linear equations is the second pillar which helps in cracking problems.
The easiest way to master the ability to frame linear equations is to start forming them as soon as you start reading the problem. Don’t wait to read the entire problem. As and when you keep getting data, start forming the equations. By the time you reach the end of the problem, you should have formed most, if not all, relevant equations. Now it’s just a matter of solving them.
Do you understand the basic properties of lines? The properties associated with the angles and sides of triangles? Do you understand the basic fundamentals associated with different types of quadrilaterals, including parallelograms, rhombus, rectangles, squares and trapezium? Do you understand the properties associated with circles?
If yes, a large part of Geometry is covered.
Mensuration – the measurement of the perimeters, areas and volumes of objects – can be clubbed with this. Students fear mensuration. The reason is simple. They wrongly believe that mensuration is all about memorizing a whole bunch of formula. If learned the proper way, mensuration is just about understanding 3 – 4 fundamental concepts. A large bulk of formula need not be memorized. They can be created on the spot.
So, Maths is actually extremely simple as far as General Aptitude Entrance Exams (like CLAT, AILET, SET General, NCHMCT JEE, etc. are concerned.)
Students psyche themselves out by repeatedly parroting that they are bad at Maths. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Spend some time in understanding the core fundamentals. Don’t try to memorize formulae. Try to work them out logically. It may take some time to derive the formula all by yourself. However, once that is done, it is ingrained for ever in your memory.
Understand the concepts. Develop speed in calculations. Maths is a sure shot section to score marks in any exam!
Co-founder, Academic Director,
iQue ideas Pvt. Ltd.
(Alumnus – DoMS, IIT Madras)
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