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How to prepare for Arithmetic section of RRB NTPC Mains

Vinay Kumar | January 4, 2017 at 1:22 pm

RRB NTPC Mains Arithmetic Preparation

With the announcement of results for Non Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) stage I exam, Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) has decided to conduct 2nd stage of NTPC exam on 17th – 19th January, 2017. In this small duration of time, you need to prepare your best so that you can secure your position as an Indian Railways employee. We have discussed exam strategy to clear Arithmetic section for 2nd stage of RRB NTPC which includes below topics:


RRB NTPC Mains Exam Format and Expected Cut off

Stage 2 of RRB NTPC will be an online Computer Based Test (CBT) consisting of 3 Subjects mentioned below-

  • 1 mark for each correct while penalty of 1/3rd marks for an incorrect answer.
S no Subject No of questions Duration
1 General Intelligence and Reasoning 35 90 Minutes
2 Arithmetic 35
3 General Awareness. 50
Total 120


  • RRB NTPC expected overall cut off for stage 2 is discussed below.
Post General (UR) OBC SC ST
Commercial Apprentice 97 85 85 60
Traffic Apprentice 90 79 77 71
ECRC 82 71 70 64
Goods Guard 95 87 85 65
Sr. Clerk 84 68 66 55
ASM 83 72 68 60

Due to this high cut off and huge competition, it is very important to sketch a study plan that gives you a thorough idea to clear the exam. In subsequent sections, you will get an exam strategy for RRB NTPC Mains exam and study plan to clear the cut off with a good score.


RRB NTPC Arithmetic Section

The Arithmetic test measures the numerical ability and accuracy in mathematical calculations of the candidates. The questions range from purely numeric calculations to problems of graph and table reading (Data Interpretation), Ratio, Percentage, proportions analysis etc.


Trend Analysis

Before you start preparing for RRB NTPC stage 2, first step is to trace the paper pattern of previous years and analyze expected trend for this year. Here is Expected number of questions for RRB NTPC Mains based on previous year papers of RRB NTPC.

Unit Topics No of Questions
2012 Expected
Algebra Formulas and Progressions 1 6
Formulating equations 2
Mensuration Circle, Rectangle, Triangle and Square 3 6
Cylinder, Cone, Cube, Sphere 2
Numerical Aptitude VBODMAS, Laws of exponents and Round off & approximations 3 6
Averages 1
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Bar Graph 3 5
Ratios & Percentage Compound Interest and Simple Interest 1 4
Profit & Loss, Discounts, 2
Mixtures and Partnership 1
Measurement & Rates Boats & Streams and Trains 1 4
Problems on Ages and Work 2
Trigonometry Height & Distance 2 4
Solving Equations 1
Total 25 35

This table gives an idea of different topics asked from various Units in RRB NTPC Arithmetic Paper, based on the RRB NTPC Stage 2 syllabus. All the topics mentioned here may or may not be repeated in stage 2 but we can assume that the trend will hold. Based on the trends and cut off marks, an exam strategy and detailed study plan to cover important topics under RRB NTPC stage 2 is as below.


Exam Strategy

If prepared well, Arithmetic is a scoring subject as it is based on appropriate calculations. So aspirants can follow the below given exam strategy to attempt most of the questions.

  • Time limits: You have 45 seconds per question as you have total 90 minutes for 120 questions.
  • First Target: Set your first target to solve at least 30 questions taking 50 seconds per question which gives you 25 minutes for Arithmetic section. Try to attempt these questions with 100% accuracy.
  • Second Target: After attempting 30 questions try to solve remaining questions in the time you are have with 90% accuracy. This will get you about 33 marks from this section.
  • It is suggested before you start, you should take mock papers of Arithmetic section for RRB NTPC Stage 2 so that you can easily point out your strongest and weakest points and work on them.


Study plan and Important Topics

To complete the syllabus on time follow the given detailed study plan which gives you an idea about types of questions asked from various topics from Arithmetic syllabus of RRB NTPC Stage 2.

S. No Unit Topics Remarks
1 Numerical Aptitude(Expected Questions: 6) Operations on Integers, Decimals and Fractions 1. Required in almost all Arithmetic problems so master your calculations first.2. Also learn squares and cubes of first 20 natural numbers to speed-up the calculations.
VBODMAS, Laws of exponents and Round off & approximations 1. Problems based on the order of operations in which they are carried out. 2. An expression containing numbers and operators between them is given. 3. Use of VBODMAS rule to find the missing value or to calculate result of the expression. 4. Sometimes it is also asked to take approximate values for calculations (e.g. 3.89 4).
Averages 1. Averages is another type which can be used in solving questions from some other chapters as well. 2. You need to understand the concept of averages and how it changes when some terms are increased or reduced.
2 Ratios & Percentage(Expected Questions: 4, Requires basic calculation, based on that questions are asked in Data Interpretation) Percentage 1. The concept of percentage is the most important topic from this chapter. 2. They are used in questions from across other chapters as well and also a high number of questions can be expected from its applications such as Discount, Profit & Loss, and Simple and Compound Interest.
Compound and Simple Interest
Profit & Loss, Discounts
Ratios and Proportions 1. Ratios and proportions have a few direct questions.Apart from this, these are used along with percentages in numerous settings. 2. The most important concept is to know the difference between a ratio and a proportion and which one to use in the question.
Partnership and Mixtures
3 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning(Expected Questions: 5) Table and Caselets
  1. Problems from Data Interpretation consists of a table or graph based on which there are certain questions that need to be answered.
  2. The questions may ask to calculate Average, Percentage, Ratios or any other operations to find the solution.
  3. Requires faster and accurate calculations.
Line, Pie, Bar Graphs
Data Sufficiency
4 Algebra (Expected Number of questions: 6) Formulating and Solving Linear and Quadratic Equations 1. There can be a direct equation (Linear or Quadratic) is given or you need to formulate on based on the given problems. 2. It can be used to solve various other problems like work, speed, mensuration, Problems on ages etc.
Formulas 1. Problems containing expressions are given, which are solved using algebraic formulas. 2. Learn the basic formulas for solving squares and cubes of 2 variables.
5 Measurement & Rates(Expected Questions: 4) Boats & Streams 1. Some general questions based on time, distance and speed, Boats & Streams are asked. 2. Sometimes they also require conversions among the units (Speed form KM/h to M/Sec). 3. Formulate and solve an equation to solve the problem.
Problems on Ages and Work 1. Questions are based on Work done and Ages. 2. To solve them you need to formulate and solve linear equations.
6 Mensuration(Expected Questions: 6) 2 D Mensuration Based on area, perimeter and diagonal of rectangle, Triangle, circle and square.
3 D Mensuration Question from Concepts of Volume and surface area and their units (and conversion from one unit to another) for Cube, Cuboid, Sphere and Cylinder figure in the exam.
7 Trigonometry(Expected Questions: 4) Height & Distance 1. Problems based on height and distance of triangle are given. 2. To measure height and distance of different objects, trigonometric ratios are used.
Solving Equations 1. An expression containing trigonometric ratios are given and you need to solve the equations. 2. Learn the basic trigonometric formulas and ratios.

Above study plan is based on trends analysis of previous years papers of Arithmetic section of RRB NTPC Stage 2. You should refer detailed study materials for preparation of RRB NTPC Stage Mains. Also take online mock tests for RRB NTPC Stage 2 for practice and to assess the areas in which you need to prepare harder.


Points to Keep in Mind

Remember the fact that only marks of stage 2 consists of 70% weigtage in final merit list so, it is very important to clear this section with remarkable score. Also put your best efforts in preparing General Intelligence and Reasoning, and General Awareness sections. We hope above study plan will help you to complete the syllabus on time so that you try taking some full length mock papers for RRB NTPC stage 2. For that It is must to have a platform which is based on updated exam pattern. To accomplish this, login to and practice some tests for RRB NTPC Mains. Here you will get overall result to enhance your performance, all in one place.

Good Luck!!

Vinay Kumar


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