Short-Cut VS Conventional Methods of Solving Quantitative Aptitude Questions

I have received numerous emails and messages asking the questions whether I should learn short-cut methods or should I invest my time in understanding the conventional methods of solving quantitative aptitude questions.

Well, I think almost every candidate have this confusion. This confusion creates more problem for the candidates who are new in competition exams. But today I will clear your confusion.

Short-Cut VS Conventional Methods of Solving Quantitative Aptitude Questions
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1. Short-Cut Methods

The methods of solving the quantitative aptitude questions using the special formula or technique which takes less time and energy. It helps you to solve large number of questions in less time.

Drawback: You can't apply these type of short-cut methods to every question. These short-cut methods only applicable to the questions which fulfil the conditions of the short-cut method. And if not, you will not be able to solve the question unless you know the concepts of the particular chapter.

2. Conventional Methods

The methods of solving the questions using the conventional formulas/algorithms like you did in schools/colleges etc. You can solve any question if you know the concept behind the question and full understanding of the chapter.

Drawback: The only drawback is sometimes the formula or the algorithm to solve the questions become lengthy and that also dangerous in a competition exams because speed is very important in any competition exam.

What is the solution 

You cannot totally rely on short-cut methods and even not on conventional methods because both of them have their advantage and limitations.

This confusion arises when you mix the things. It also arises when you try to complete the chapter without understanding it. When you try to do the things fast.

There is no use of short-cut rules unless you don't the concept and full understanding of the particular chapter. Learn the short-cuts but do not make them your weakness.

Understand the concept behind the chapter from every book you can arrange. Your first step should be to solve the questions from your understanding of the chapter. Try to understand, what you have learnt from the chapter and how you can apply that knowledge in solving the questions.

And after knowing all the things about the chapter try to reduce the time in solving the questions. And here short-cut methods will work because you can't reduce the time without using short-cut methods. 

And this whole procedure takes time. This is not something which you can learn in 2 or 3 months. The syllabus of SSC and Bank Exams is huge. Do not increase your speed if your preparation is 2 moths old.

Generally new candidates do this mistake. Like, they have started their preparation and it is only 1 or 2 months old and suddenly they try to find the alternatives to complete the chapters fast or some of their friend might told them to learn the short-cut methods.

You have to understand that without knowing the concept you can't apply the short-cut rule. Concepts develops the intelligence in making your own short-cut methods.

So, the question whether to learn the short-cut methods or conventional methods is itself a wrong question because you have to do both of them. And the actual question is which one to do first. And the answer I have given above in detail and in short-cut is:
  • Understand the chapter's concept.
  • And everything from it and related it from all the sources your can arrange.
  • Develop your understanding of the chapter, how you understand the chapter.
  • Develop your intelligence of the chapter.
  • Solve the questions from your understanding and that means using the conventional method.
  • Understand which are taking more time and understand whether you can reduce the time or not.
  • Reduce the time using short-cut methods.
  • The important thing is if you have complete understanding of the chapter you will develop your  own short-cut methods. 
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