What about exams like CAT, GMAT? Are they not all about speed and accuracy ?

Syllabus-wise, these exams seem to require school Math upto just class 8-9 (except a very few topics like permutation, combination from class 11). So many people assume that then it must be all about speed and accuracy! Their perception is further reinforced when they hear about the section on ‘Data-Interpretation’ which seems to test nothing but the ability for cumbersome calculations!

But look closer, or ask anyone who has appeared for these exams…

They will tell you that it is more about comprehension, ability to think logically, ability to modify your approach/ formulae according to the situation in the problem….that ‘Data-Interpretation’ requires comprehension of the data; approximation and estimation ability more than anything else.

What are the options for? Use them to your advantage! In fact, actually calculating (unless absolutely essential) would work to one’s detriment!

Many-a-times students with high procedural fluency ‘solve’ a problem, get a numerical result but don’t know how to interpret it!

They may correctly find the ‘HCF’ in a given problem, but are at a loss to conclude whether it represents the side of the tile or the number of tiles required!

The sound understanding of Math ideas and concepts is of paramount importance here. How else would you be flexible in your approach to problem-solving?