IBPS-PO Prelims 2017 is approaching and it is high-time you know the tricks and shortcuts for Quantitative aptitude section. A majority of the candidates face difficulties in the Quant since the questions are difficult and the calculations are complex.

In order to assist the candidates to excel in the Quantitative Aptitude section, we have compiled this article which would bring forth the shortcuts and tricks for the Quantitative Aptitude section of IBPS-PO Prelims. These will hopefully prove as time savers and help boost your overall score:


Quantitative Aptitude Tricks

We are listing topic-wise shortcuts and tricks for the Quantitative Aptitude section:

I. IBPS-PO Shortcuts for Data Interpretation

Data Interpretation questions appear in two sets carrying a weight age of minimum 10 marks.

Trick 1: Rely on Visual Approximation for Elimination

You can rely on visual clues for questions based on line graphs and bar graphs. Before commencing calculation, you must try to eliminate a few options based on visual clues. This would help you to arrive at correct solutions without putting in much effort.

Trick 2: Catch hold of the Correct Data & Interpret the Data Before Commencing Calculation

Before commencing calculation, you must read & interpret each and every statement carefully and make sure not spend time on unnecessary calculations. Also, make sure to copy the numbers correctly onto the sheet while solving the question.

More shortcuts here: Data Interpretation Tricks, Shortcuts and Techniques

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II. IBPS PO Quant Tricks for Problem on Ages

Method of solving:

If the present age of S is ‘x’ years, then

‘n’ years hence, Age of S would be = (x + n) years

‘n’ years ago, Age of S would be = (x - n) years

Super Tip: You don’t need to always start forming equations from where the question starts.

To understand this trick, read the list of shortcuts for problems on ages that you must know.


III. IBPS-PO Quant Shortcuts for Profit & Loss

List of important formulae:

Profit = S.P. – C.P.

Loss = C.P. – S.P.                                  

Profit% = [(SP - CP)/CP] x 100       

Loss% = [(CP - SP)/CP] x 100

S.P. = C.P. x [(100 + profit%) / 100]

S.P. = C.P. x [(100 - loss%) / 100]

Trick 1: In profit and loss questions, if you have most of the information given in the form of percentages in the question, start by assuming CP = 100.

Trick 2: Do not confuse selling price and marked price. Discount is usually given on marked price. Hence, in this case, the marked price will be higher than the final selling price.


IV. IBPS PO Quant Tricks for Simple and Compound Interest

Trick 1: Formula for calculating simple interest is simple.

S.I. = PTR/100

What if the rate is R1, R2 and R3 in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year. In this case, the amount after 3 years would be:

A = P (1 +R1/100) (1 + R2/100) (1 + R3/100)


Trick 2: Formula for calculating compound interest is a little more complex.

A = P [1+ r/100]t

This formula applies when interest is compounded annually.

When interest is compounded half yearly, rate = 2r

compounded quarterly, rate = 4r

compounded monthly, rate = 12r


Trick 3: When rate of interest is not equal every year:

A = P [1+ r1/100]t1 [1+ r2/100]t2 .... and so on

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V. IBPS PO Quant Shortcuts for Time and Work

If a person ‘X’ can complete a piece of work in ‘Y’ days, then

Work Done by X in 1 day = 1/Y

If ‘A’ can complete a piece of work in ‘X’ days and B can complete a piece of work in ‘Y’ days, then

Work done by A and B together in 1 day = +

Trick 1: If A can do a work in D1 days and B can do the same work in D2 days then A and B together can do the same work in (D1 x D2)/ (D1 + D2)

Trick 2: Sometimes the work done is dependent on the number of days worked and efficiency of each worker. Let's see how the formula changes in this case:

  • If person P1 can do the work in D1 days and M2 persons can do the same work in D2 days then we can say M1.D1 = M2.D2
  • If the persons work T1 and T2 hours per day respectively then the equation gets modified to M1.D1.T1 = M2.D2.T2
  • If the persons has efficiency of E1 and E2 respectively then: M1.D1.T1.E1 = M2.D2.T2.E2


VI. SBI PO Quant Tricks for Pipes & Cisterns

Trick: If a pipe A can fill a tank in ‘x’ hours and Pipe B can fill a tank in ‘y’ hours, then

Time Taken by both the pipes to fill the tank together = xy/(x+y)


VII. IBPS PO Quant Tricks for Time, Speed and Distance

Trick 1: Speed = Distance/ Time and the unit of Speed is Km/hr or m/s

Trick 2: If an object covers a certain distance with a speed of ‘p’ Km/hr and again cover the same distance with a speed of ‘q’ Km/hr, then

Average Speed for the Entire Journey = 2 pq/(p+q)


VIII. IBPS PO Quant Tricks for Boats and Streams

Trick: If the speed of stream is ‘p’ Km/hr and the speed of boat in still water is ‘q’ Km/hr, then

Speed of Boat Downstream = (p + q) Km/hr

Speed of Boat Upstream = (q - p) Km/hr


IX. IBPS PO Quant Shortcuts for Mixtures and Alligations

These questions seem confusing but are very scoring if you practice the 2-3 varieties of questions asked in this:

Trick 1: When two different commodities are mixed such that one is cheaper than the other, then:

Here Mean Price is CP of mixture per unit quantity.

Above rule can be written as,



Cheaper Quantity : Costlier Quantity = (D – M) : (M – C)


Trick 2: When x amount of commodity 1 is replaced with commodity 2 of y quantity n times, then:

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X. IBPS PO Shortcuts for Quadratic Equations

The most standard form of a quadratic equation is: ax2 + bx + c = 0.

Questions in IBPS-PO and Clerk exam are usually based on finding the relationship between roots (roots means values of x that satisfy the equation) of two equations:

ax2 + bx + c = 0.

py2 + qy + c = 0


Trick 1:

Sum of roots = -b/a

Product of roots = c/a


Trick 2: A quadratic equation ax2 + bx + c = 0 will have reciprocal roots when a = c


XI. IBPS-PO Shortcuts for Approximation

If you haven’t read our detailed list of shortcuts for simplification and approximation questions then here are 2 tricks from the top:

Trick 1: Use the BODMAS rule to solve the simplification questions. This is the basis of simplification questions.

Trick 2: Round of decimal numbers to the nearest whole numbers to get the approximate value of the equation.


XII. IBPS PO Shortcuts for Number Series

The only difficult part about solving questions on number and alphabet series is determining the pattern. Once you practice 40-50 questions on this topic, you will be aware of 90% of the possible pattern. A shortcut is to read the tricks on solving series questions. Some of them are highlighted here:

Trick 1: Calculate the difference between the immediate or alternate numbers and observe the pattern in the differences.

Trick 2: Observe the sequence for Prime Number series

Trick 3: Observe the sequence for Geometric series, Perfect Squares/Cubes.


General IBPS-PO Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Shortcuts

  • Learn tables upto 20
  • Learn squares upto 20
  • Learn cubes upto 10
  • Learn fractions upto 1/20 to ease your calculations in the exam.
  • Work on Speed and Accuracy as these two factors crucially impact overall performance in the IBPS PO Prelims exam.

Refer to this link: How to improve your speed in Quant section?


These tricks for Quantitative Aptitude section of IBPS-PO will prove helpful only with ample practice. Pick up one topic at a time and start practicing. Your speed of solving questions will gradually go up.

Good luck!

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