How to Tackle Maths?


By : Yashashree Mahajan

Maths is either your best friend or your worst enemy. You either love it or hate it; there is no other away about it. But sadly for all those who wish to make into the top three law schools, you have to strike a deal with it; otherwise you might be in a bit of a trouble.

So now the question is how to tame this dragon and the answer is fairly simple- practice, unless you are a Mensa club member with a super high IQ, you need to work for it. You have to find a way to incorporate maths in your daily life so that it doesn’t become a burden. The plus point in clat is that it is multiple choice exam, hence the burden on you is not to find the perfect answer but to mark the answer that is the best. For clat you don’t need to get answer right to the last decimal, you just have to find the answer in the nearest range and thats good enough. And luckily the options given are far apart for you to strike half of them out without doing a single step. Working from the options is the best way to solve maths questions. This way first you have narrower answer margin and have a higher probability of getting the answer right when you have to do inny, minny, miiny, mo.

What you need is 30 min a day dedicated to maths esp. for those who are bad at it. And this should increase to 1 hour once boards are over. You might think that, why to work so hard for it, as it carries only 10% weightage. The reason is that maths is not something you can build in a day it needs constant practice over a period of time and other thing is that it’s something you don’t need to revise, so once you are thorough with, you can be at peace . As then you will be able to solve any sum anytime.

You can’t afford to give too much time for solving maths sums during clat. Ideally you should take 12- 15 minutes to solve 20 question. Hence you have to forget using the long winding methods we learn at school and try to solve as much as you can in your head. With minimum steps on paper as possible and never more than 3 steps. So you need to cut down the steps and solve the sums as fast as possible.

What is important to remember about maths is that it is extended logic. So the first step to solve a maths problem is to apply logic, before formulae. This way you are able to strike out the options,.

So if you are given a sum like 5 apples and 4 pears cost as much as 7 pears and 3 apples , then what is the ration of cost of 1 apple to 1 pear. The options are 3:1, 3:2 , 2:3, 4:5. Here as we see it takes more no of pears are needed (7) when you reduce the no of apples by 1. Hence the cost of apples is going to be higher than that of pears. So the ratios of 2:3 and 4:5, get crossed out , without even the need to solve the sum.

Next step is the follows the English saying.. look before you leap and think before you tick. For example, if you read a offer that says buy stuff worth 2000 and get stuff worth 1000 free, and then you are asked what is the discount you are given, the first number that will come to your mind is 50% as 1000 is half of 2000 and so thats what the answer is, and this is where you need to slow down, the answer to the question is 33.33% as the discount of 1000 you are getting is on 3000 not 2000 and hence the answer. And the clat paper is full of such googlies, so it is very important that you watch out for them.

These are few of tips you need to keep in your mind along with regular practice and maths worries will be a thing of the past. So pull up your socks, sharpen your pencils and happy solving.


  1. Sir, I agree with whatever u say…..If u could give us some shortcuts ( i mean logical shortcuts) chapterwise, it would be very helpful to us….SIr pls give some shortcuts and tips…

  2. @Adarsh – say Maám, not sir, she’s Yashashree. And, as Vishal very correctly said, shortcuts are more helpful when you make them yourself. He echoed my Maths prof.!
    But still, we’ll see if we could put some really important formulae etc. up
    @Premangsu – Glad to hear that!

  3. @ karthik thanks for covering most of what i wanted to say. =)
    and @adarsh, i will put up some shortcuts chapterwise soon, but for logical approach it is something you would have to develop on your own, its not something that can be taught, but something oyou have to develop on your own.. =)

    • We aren’t recommending any books for Maths. Maths will be based on Logic and not Formulae or Equations. Just ask the students to do all the previous papers. And also, it’ll be good if they time themselves. 40 Seconds for each question is what an average student should take.
      Maths in CLAT 2011 will be more or less like CLAT 2008 or NLU Delhi 2010.

      And regarding the book you gave, None of us have used it. So, we don’t know what its like.

      • this book is really useful and helpful because I have it and I practice it. It has many shortcuts which are helpful for CLAT. 🙂

  4. @shrishti for improving speed you need to practise.
    for squares and cubes you need to learn by heart squares till 30 and cubes till 20 by heart, and also remember the what number will be their in unit place of a square or cube if number has a certain digit in unit place
    as if a number end with 2 then its square will always end in 4
    eg 2*2=4
    also remember a square of number cant end with 2,3,7 and 8
    find out such tricks and most of your problems will be solved

  5. uum,could somebody tell me what topics il have to cover in math?
    i mean,other than logical math questions,what do we need to know?

  6. will mensuration and permutations and combinations be a part of CLAT 2011?because it is given students will be tested only on elementary mathematics (upto class 10) and geometry is excluded.

  7. Hey, i saw a couple of those calender sums in the previous years papers.
    Like, if jan 3rd 2003 is a tuesday what day is March 4th 2005 etc.
    How can we tackle these?

    • @Rishika: The ‘calenders’ chapter from LST module clears the concept in 2 pages. Get it xeroxed if possible 🙂

  8. I liked the point in the beginning “If you are a Mensa Club member with super high IQ”. Maths is very simple. I mean everyday in life we tackle so many unexpected situations successfully but maths is plain and simple with everything in a well defined set of formulas

  9. Sir the info given above is highly appreciable. I am giving the CLAT exam next year..:) I really SUCK at maths..and that is the only hinderance coming in the way of my accomplishing the exam:( I searched for some books and I have shortlisted 2 books for my preperation. 1. Objective quantitative aptitude by S.chand

    2. MB Tyra book on quicker math..Are these books helpful?

  10. I can solve the questions in all other sections but maths. When it comes to maths section, I freeze. I cannot even solve one question. Help.

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