MBAP logo

CAT Questions | Arithmetic CAT Questions: Time and Work

Time & work is a very integral part of Arithmetic. In this topic, a student has to calculate time taken to complete the following task by a group of people. This topic holds great importance in the Quantitative Aptitude section of various entrance examinations like CAT, XAT, NMAT, CMAT, SNAP etc. Due to an increase in the number of Arithmetic questions in the CAT exam, the number of Time & Work questions has also increased. A total of 5-6 questions are set on Arithmetic. Out of these, questions on Time & Work range from 2 to 3. The questions are tricky and usually demands a good hold on concepts.

CAT Quantitative Aptitude questions | CAT Arithmetic: Time and Work

Following Time & work Questions have been asked recently in past CAT papers:

1. John takes twice as much time as Jack to finish a job. Jack and Jim together take one-thirds of the time to finish the job than John takes working alone. Moreover, in order to finish the job, John takes three days more than that taken by three of them working together. In how many days will Jim finish the job working alone? ____________  [CAT 2020]


1. Answer

John = x units/day

Jack = 2x units/day

Jim = x units/day (1/3rd of John does = 3x units, out of which jack does 2x)

Total = 4x units/day

John’s time taken = x(n+3) = 4x × n

Then n = 1 day for 4x units

For x units, Jim will take 4 days

2. Anil alone can do a job in 20 days while Sunil alone can do it in 40 days. Anil starts the job, and after 3 days, Sunil joins him. Again, after a few more days, Bimal joins them and they together finish the job. If Bimal has done 10% of the job, then in how many days was the job done? [CAT-2019]


2. Answer

In 3 days, Anil does 3/20 of work

Let a and s work for x days, 

then total work done = 3x/40 

So, 3/20 + 3x/40 = 9/10 15/20 = 3x/40 X = 10 

So, total no. of days = 13

3. John gets Rs 57 per hour of regular work and Rs 114 per hour of overtime work. He works altogether 172 hours and his income from overtime hours is 15% of his income from regular hours. Then, for how many hours did he work overtime? [CAT-2019]


3. Answer

let the number of overtime hours for john = x

So no regular hours = 172 –x

Income from overtime hours = (x)*114 

Income from regular hours = (172-x)*57 

Total income = 114x + (172 –x)*57 = 172*57 + 57x 

As per question 15% of (172 – x) *57 = 114x 

15/100 (172 +x)= 2x 

15*172* – 15x = 200x 

215x = 15*172 

x = 12

4. At their usual efficiency levels, A and B together finish a task in 12 days. If A had worked half as efficiently as she usually does, and B had worked thrice as efficiently as he usually does, the task would have been completed in 9 days. How many days would A take to finish the task if she works alone at her usual efficiency?        [CAT 2019]

A. 18       B. 12      C. 36       D. 24


4. Answer

Let usual efficiency of A = 2a and that of B = b

So total work = 12*(2a+b) = 24a+12b————1)

In 2nd case when efficiency of A is halved and efficiency of B get tripled , new efficiency of A = 2a/2 = a

New efficiency of B = b*3 =3b

Total work = 9(a+3b) = 9a+27b ——————-2)

From eq 1) and 2)

24a+12b = 9a + 27b

15a = 15b

Or a=b

So total work = 24a+12b = 24a+12a = 36a

Time taken by A alone to complete the work = 36a/2a = 18 days

Time and Work Concepts

There are some set concepts or types on which questions are framed. A thorough understanding of each type of problem would help in tackling the exam. Time & Work questions in CAT, XAT, SNAP, NMAT, etc. are of the following types:

1. Simple formula-based

2. Time and Work problems based on Equation: Questions are based on forming equations based on given data and solving them

3. Time and work Efficiency Concept: In this type, the efficiency of a person in comparison to another person, will be given. For example, Ram is twice as efficient as Shyam, Shyam finishes the work in 16 days, in how many days will they together complete the task?

4. Efficiency percentage is given, calculate the time: In this type of question, mostly the time taken by one person is given and the efficiency of the second person is also given, you are supposed to find the time taken by them together

5. Calculate Time when workers join/ leave in between tasks: Questions based on calculating the time taken by workers to finish a specific job when new workers join, or some workers leave the task in between

6. Negative work concept

7. Pipes and Cistern based: Time and work CAT question based on this type are very common; inlet and outlet pipes are kept open in a tank, and the time required to fill the tank has to be calculated. These questions can be a little tricky.

How to deal with Time and Work preparation

Preparing any topic from the scratch requires patience, hard work, and above all commitment. To prepare for Time & Work, here are some Level-wise preparatory guidelines to follow:

Level – 1

1. Learn Speed calculation: For an effective and quick calculation, be thorough with tables till 20, memorize squares till 30, and cubes till 15

2. Fraction – Percentage relation: Ratios, Fractions, and Percentage interchange help in solving Time and work difficult problems in a very small amount of time. Keeping them on tip of your finger will help you save time during the exam. Memorize the fraction-percentage interrelation. For example, 1/2 is 50%, 1/3 is 33.33%, and so on

3. Note down all the time and work formula in this chapter and keep revising them

4. Practice Time and work basic questions  on Efficiency based problems, Pipes and Cisterns, and Capital division based on work done from MBAP CAT E Book (Concept Theory). You can also listen to Live Lecture Recording (Basic) on basic concept and MBAP lecture Assignment.  

5. Questions on Pipes and Cisterns are asked quite frequently in CAT and XAT, so the basic should be clear

Level – 2

1. Practice conceptual questions on time and work from MBAP CAT E Book (Practice Questions)

2. Move on to more complex problems, attempt beginner and intermediate level mock on conceptual problems based on time & work from MBAP CAT Advance E books.

• Solve previous year questions on Time & Work from MBAP Previous Year CAT paper and MBAP Topic wise Previous Year CAT Questions.

• and keep a watch on time. These questions are easy but take a lot of time if not attempted properly. 

3. Keep attempting mocks to check your performance

4. Topic-wise mocks, provided by MBAP, can be utilized to enhance your performance

Level – 3

1. For advanced level preparation, start practicing Time and work aptitude questions from Arun Sharma

2. Problem on time and work in Arun Sharma are categorized into Level of Difficulty (LOD), based upon your preparation level, start attempting 3 or 4 questions daily.

Details on This Page

Counselling Session
By IIM Mentor

Words From Our Students

Nihar Mehta
Nihar Mehta
Calls from IIMs, SPJIMR & MDI
Read More
During my CAT preparation, I enrolled at MBA Pathshala for classroom coaching. Abhijit Sir & Haider Sir guided me through the process of planning & executing the strategies I had to use to succeed in the test. I received regular feedback on my progress during the GD and PI preparations after CAT. I received calls from IIMs, SPJIMR, and MDI. MBAP played a huge role in this, and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts.
Ishan Rathod
Ishan Rathod
Calls from IIM I, S, and all New And Baby IIM's.
Read More
MBAP is a great place to prepare for MBA-CET, CAT, and CMAT, and the faculty are unbeatable. Most importantly, they pay personal attention to each student. Most faculty members come from IIMs. One-on-one interaction helped me improve as the exams approached, as well as get calls from IIMs I, S, and all New and Baby IIMs. Interview sessions were very beneficial for me to convert IIM S.
Sanskriti Reja
Sanskriti Reja
Calls from IIMs, XLRI, XIMB
Read More
I am glad I chose MBA Pathshala for my MBA coaching. The faculty here is excellent and very competent. If I had any questions or needed extra classes, they always gave me one. I got through my GD-PIs too after the exams with their help. Thanks to MBAP, I was able to pass CAT and other entrance exams. Among others, I received calls from XLRI, XIMB, and IIMs. A few of the colleges I've converted are KJ Somaiya, TAPMI, IIM Sambalpur, and IIM Sirmaur.
Parth Kanakia
Parth Kanakia
Converted SPJIMR
Read More
MBAP prepared me for GD, WAT, and PI. Abhijit Singh, Haider, and other MBAP faculty provided excellent training. Good knowledge was imparted from the very beginning. Regular mock interviews were conducted. As a former SPJIMR, I would recommend students to join MBAP.
Ronit jaiswal
Ronit jaiswal
Calls from IIM-A/B/C & SNAP 98.12%ile
Read More
Coaching offers me personalized attention and a competitive environment. Because the preparation was so rigorous, I eventually began to perform at my best. The mock interviews/GD/WATs were conducted by anonymous panels, and it really boosted my confidence. Although I got a call from SCMHRD (SNAP-98.12), Abhijeet sir felt that I should try again and aim for IIM-A/B/C. It has been your pleasure to have been your mentor.
Maitreya Khanapurkar
Maitreya Khanapurkar
Calls From IIMs
Read More
You will get good support from the faculty until you get into a B-School. The shortcut techniques you will learn will be extremely useful. You will be able to resolve doubts at any time. If you plan on taking CAT CET or any other entrance exam, go for MBA Pathshala. With the help of MBAP tutors, I received a call from IMT Ghaziabad.
Yash Dandavate
GMAT Score - 660
Read More
GMAT prep with MBAP was the best I've ever experienced. With Rohan Kulkarni Sir's Verbal Guidance, I scored 85th percentile in my GMAT exam as I was very weak in English. I always found Haider Sir and Abhijeet to answer my questions and to develop strategies and shortcuts to tackle GMAT problems for me. MBAP is a great option for GMAT and CAT prep.

CAT Quantitative Aptitude


CAT Verbal Ability

Reach Us

primary Menu

Inspiring Education… Assuring Success!!
Ⓒ 2020 – All Rights Are Reserved

Free Content !!!
Signup now to get the All recent CAT Exam Paper with Solution... Subscribe below with your Email ID
Free Content !!!
Signup now to get the All recent CAT Exam Paper with Solution... Subscribe below with your Email ID