GATE 2018 is approaching and its’ high time you gather awareness of the shortcuts and tricks for the General Aptitude section.

General Aptitude section is undoubtedly the most scoring section of the GATE exam and learning some Effective Shortcuts and Tricks for this section could really help you to ace the General Aptitude section.

In order to assist you in your preparation of General Aptitude section, we bring forth this article which will acquaint you with Effective Shortcuts & Tricks for General Aptitude section of GATE.



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Here, we provide Topic-wise Shortcuts & Tricks for General Aptitude section of GATE 2018.


1. Shortcuts for Data Interpretation

 These are one of the most scoring set of questions.  


Trick 1: Use Visual Approximation for Elimination

For questions based on Line Graphs and Bar Graphs, you can rely on visual clues and eliminate a few options based on visual clues. This would help you to arrive at correct solutions without putting in much effort and at a faster pace.


Trick 2: Interpret the Data before Commencing Calculation & Catch Hold of the Correct Data

Prior to Commencing calculation, make sure to read and interpret each and every statement very cautiously and avoid spending time on unnecessary calculations.

Also, ensure to copy numbers correctly onto the sheet while solving the questions.


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2. Tricks for Problem on Ages


If the Present Age of P is x years


n years ago, Age of P would be

(x - n) years

n years hence, Age of P would be

(x + n) years


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3. Shortcuts for Profit & Loss


Important Formulae



S.P. – C.P.



C.P. – S.P.





[(SP - CP)/CP] x 100





[(CP - SP)/CP] x 100





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





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



Trick 1: In case most of the information is given in the form of percentages, start by assuming C.P. = 100

Trick 2: Do not get confused between Marked Price and Selling Price. Discount is generally given on the Marked Price. Therefore, in this case, Marked Price will be higher than the final Selling Price.


4. Shortcuts for Pipes & Cisterns




If Pipe A can fill a tank in

x hours

Pipe B can fill a tank in

y hours

Time Taken by both the Pipes to Fill the Tank Together




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 5. Tricks for Speed, Distance and Time



Trick 1

Speed = Distance/ Time


Unit of Speed is Km/hr or m/s



Trick 2


If an object travels a certain distance with ‘m’ Km/hr and again travels the same distance with ‘n’ Km/hr,


Average Speed for the Entire Journey =  2mn/(m + n)


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6. Shortcuts for Boats & Streams




If the Speed of Stream is ‘m’ Km/hr and Speed of Boat in Still Water is ‘n’ Km/hr,



Speed of Boat Upstream = (n - m) Km/hr


Speed of Boat Downstream = (m + n) Km/hr



 7. Tricks for Mixture & Alligation





When two different commodities are mixed in a way such that one is cheaper than the other,


 =  Quantity of cheaper / Quantity of costlier 

= (C.P of Costlier - Mean price) / ( Mean Price - C.P of cheaper)




8. Tricks for Quadratic Equations


The Standard form of a Quadratic Equation is

  ax2 + bx + c = 0

Majority of questions are usually based on finding the Relationship between the roots of two equations:





Sum of Roots = -b/a


Product of Roots = c/a




9. Tricks for Approximation


Trick 1: Always solve the Simplification Questions using the BODMAS rule

Trick 2

You must Round off Decimal numbers to the nearest Whole numbers in order to obtain approximate value of the equation.


10. Tricks for Simple & Compound Interest



Trick 1

Formula to Compute the Simple Interest


S.I. = PTR/100




Trick 2


If Rate of Interest is R1, R2, R3 in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year respectively, then,


Amount after 3 years =


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




 Must read : Sure Shot Questions Expected in Engineering Maths in GATE 2017


11. Shortcuts for Time & Work


If P can complete a piece of work in X days and Q can complete a piece of work in Y days, Then


Trick 1

Work Done by P & Q together in 1 day = (1/X + 1/Y)


Trick 2

Number of Days P and Q together take to complete the work


= XY/(X + Y)


12. Shortcuts for Number Series

The only difficulty which is being encountered in solving these questions is identifying the pattern.Practicing 40-50 questions on this topic would provide you awareness of 90% of the patterns.


Trick 1

Compute the differences between Immediate or Alternate numbers and analyze the Pattern in their Differences

Trick 2

Analyze the sequence for Prime Number Series

Trick 3

Analyze the Sequence for Geometric Series, Perfect Squares/Cubes


General Shortcuts


  • Learn Tables and Squares up to 20, Cubes up to 10 and fractions up to 1/20 in order to speed up your calculations in the exam.
  • Work on Speed and Accuracy by attempting Online Mock Test Series.


We are sure that the Valuable Tips listed above would surely help you to boost your score in General Aptitude section of GATE 2018.

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