Cracking the IBA Admission Mathematics Section: Book List, Resources, and Guidelines

In the second blog of our IBA Series, we will be offering you the book list, useful resources and guidelines to ace the IBA Admission Mathematics Section.

In our last blog, we made sure that you ticked right on all the IBA Admission Requirements. We will be getting right into the action in this one. Brace yourselves, as we bust myths revolving the IBA Admission Mathematics section, guide you to a treasure of books and resources, and finally, reveal exam hacks and secrets that the older generations passed on to us.

Pardon the rhetoric. Let’s get started then!   

Busting Myths Around IBA Admission Mathematics Section

Myth 1: “Mentors Question Bank পড়লেই হয় ”

If I had a penny for every time I came across a random person who proudly declared,  “আমার তো Question Bank already ৪-৫ বার শেষ” and ends up not getting into IBA. I strongly recommend you NOT to become that person.

Contrary to popular opinions, question banks are ideally the last items to explore in your IBA admission preparation schedule. Here is why. 

Firstly, the questions in the Mentors’ Question bank are the same or almost similar to the ones that appear in the mock tests. Hence, you are more likely to perform unrealistically well in the mocks, given that you finish the Q bank multiple times. However, such results inflate your confidence to the point that it becomes toxic.

As you might have rightfully assumed, these conclusions are derived from my personal experience. The unfortunate story of my admission exam day is thus stored for another blog, hopefully. 

Secondly, solving real-life questions before building your foundation in mathematics is the worst strategy ever. Simply put, you are a tree without its roots. However, the question bank can be your ultimate weapon, only if you know how to use it.

Read to the end to learn more about how to use the Question Bank effectively.

Myth 2: “IBA Maths একেবারে Easy”

In a sense, the myth is true. However, the sentence delivered alone fails to explain the context and thus, misleads the examinees. 

As rightfully pointed out in our last blog (Read if you haven’t already), IBA admission exams do NOT test your knowledge. Instead, it is a pure aptitude exam. Aptitude exams test how well you adapt to the situation and the pressure.

Therefore, the problems that you need to solve in the exam are absolute child’s play if not for the time pressure. So, here are my two cents on this issue.

Your ultimate goal is not to solve a problem;
Rather, it is to solve it the fastest and the most efficient way.

Types of Questions You Should Expect in the IBA Admission Mathematics Section

Pay close attention because, at this point, we will be introducing a list of jargon that will help you to understand better what type of questions to expect in the exam. The following are the broad categories of topics.  

1. Root Topics:

Let’s draw a quick analogy. When was the last time you were asked to write the alphabet in your English exam? Duh, roughly 15-20 years ago. Nonetheless, the knowledge has and will continue to have an indirect contribution to everything you do.  

Likewise, root topics set the foundation for more advanced topics. A clear foundational knowledge of these topics is crucial to ace the other topics. They don’t appear in the questions in their truest forms. Examples include basics properties of numbers, divisibility rules, angles, etc.

2. Trunk Topics:

The most frequent and advanced topics fall under this category. By frequency, we are referring to an estimate of how many times these topics had appeared in the previous IBA Admission Test. Examples of trunk topics include profit and loss, average, triangles, etc.

3. Branch Topics:

Questions under this category have the lowest frequency. Nonetheless, it is crucial to pay heed to these topics as well, since each item has its own distinct set of rules and methods. For instance, ratio and mixture is an example of a branch topic.

To further clarify:

iba admission mathematics question categories
TOPICS UNDER ARITHmetic and algebra in Iba admission test
topics under geometry

We are no fortune teller, but the only thing we are sure of is that you should ALWAYS expect questions from the geometry section.

So, make sure that you are well-equipped. We recommend that you dedicate a considerable portion of your schedule to understanding the core concepts of geometry.

How to Prepare for IBA From HSC or A-Levels

I was in class 10 when Ayman Sadiq bhaiya came to our school for an activation program. I loved the session so much that I converted myself into a die-hard IBA enthusiast.

Nonetheless, as much as I wanted to prepare for IBA during my HSC days, I had nobody to guide me. Relatable?

So I went to Nilkhet and bought whatever books had “IBA” written on it. Yeah, laugh away! Finally, after a series of trial and error, I came up with a list of resources and strategies for HSC or A-Levels students to prepare themselves for the IBA Admission Test.

I learned lessons the hard way, so that you don’t have to.

I understand that it is tough to accommodate time for admission preparation in your already jam-packed schedule. Hence, here are a list of YouTube channels I watched during my HSC days to get ahead on the topics.

1. Mahendra Guru

Remember the memes about an “Indian dude on Youtube” who seems to have a solution to everything? Sometimes, I wonder if they were referring to Mahendra Guru.

Apparently, the mathematics syllabus for Indian government exams and IBA admission are almost the same. So, if you understand Hindi because your mother watches Indian serials, then Mahendra Guru is your ideal YouTube Channel for IBA Mathematics Preparation. However, as some of my students pointed out, which video should you watch among thousands of playlists?

How to Select Videos from Mahendra Guru

  • Select the topics you wish to watch videos for. For instance, you need to understand the fundamentals of Profit and Loss.
  • Search on Youtube using the following queries, “Mahendra Guru Profit and Loss”.
  • Almost hundreds of videos will pop up. However, watch the first and second videos only. If required, move on to the third. The bottom line is to keep on watching videos unless you thoroughly understand the topic.
youtube search
youtube search

What if you don’t understand Hindi?


Fresher’s World is another alternative to Mahendra Guru. The only difference is that the videos are in English and relatively shorter.   

youtube channel interface

The Pros & Cons of these Channels

These channels are great for refining your arithmetic fundamentals. However, they come with a unique set of challenges.

  • The lessons are tailored to the needs of Indian audiences.
  • You will not find videos on every topic, especially on root topics and geometry.
  • Some of the videos are designed for higher-level candidates, and thus, feature unnecessary topics and problems that you should not expect in the IBA Admission Test.

So, What’s the Solution?

We wanted to come up with a one-stop solution to all your admission needs and finally launched Tickright.

What Tickright Already Has

  • Custom-designed test for you to practice as much as you want.
  • Access to previous IBA Admission Questions.
  • Test simulations to give you a real-life exam experience.
  • Progress Review to understand where you stand right now.
  • Analytics board so that you can improve continuously.

For more details, you can watch how Tickright Student Dashboard works.

What We are Working On

Halfway through our project, we came to realize that you need much more than just test simulations. Hence, we are coming up with Guided Online Admission Courses. Along with the existing features, the course will further have:

  • Detailed learning modules on each topic.
  • Each learning module will be supported by short video lessons prepared by IBA toppers.
  • On-demand live classes for our students.
  • Advanced analytics based on data-driven methods.
  • Live consultancy (in progress).

At this point, do you feel like we are advertising our platform too much? BUSTED!

Nonetheless, we swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So, stick with us for the most amazing admission experience and killer study tips.

Additional Practice Websites You can Follow

1. Indiabix

This is a website I stumbled across in my search for great aptitude math problems. The biggest disadvantage of this platform is that they have a limited number of questions, only 15 to 20, on each topic. Nonetheless, the quality of the questions is truly amazing. Moreover, the website also features a discussion forum that comes in handy from time to time.

2. Lofoya

I discovered this website 1 month before my IBA Admission Exam. Lofoya excels in what Indiabix lacks in. They have a wide range of questions under different difficulty levels. However, watch out for topics and questions unrelated to IBA Admission syllabus. Otherwise, you will end up wasting a lot of time and energy.

Books to Read for IBA Admission Mathematics Section

1. Mentors’ Question Bank

Time to reveal the secret as to how to use the Mentors’ Q Bank effectively. The answer is to use the book as a catalog in your initial preparation days and as a practice element in your final preparation days. Let me explain.

The Question Bank is a great medium to identify the types of questions to expect in the actual test. Hence, before you start solving, take the time to watch videos on each section and practice them on Tickright or the websites that we mentioned earlier.

Now that your fundamentals are solid as a rock, it’s finally time to solve the Question Bank. Do it slow the first time. Understand each step of the solution. Keep on asking questions till there is nothing to ask. Simply put, dig to the core concepts of the questions and look for shortcuts and alternatives.

Set timer while solving the Question Bank the second time. The maximum time allocated for each problem is 1 minute or less. If a problem seems too complicated, skip to the next. In this regard, let me introduce you to ‘Quicksand’ questions.

A Quicksand Question is a dead-end question. At first look, you are confident that you can solve it. However, the more you attempt, the more complicated it gets, and the more time you waste.

Beware of such questions and skip at the first sight.

2. Patronus Math Smart Book

Patronus is a new name in the IBA admission field. However, it has created some truly remarkable resources on IBA Admission. One unique feature about the official Mathematics book is that the authors provided useful hacks and shortcuts for solving the IBA Mathematics Section, unlike in the Mentors’ Question Bank.

The book also dedicates a detailed section to solving each question in an efficient manner. The only disadvantage that I find with the book is its price, BDT 550. Nonetheless, I still believe that the book is worth checking out.

3. The Official Guide for GMAT Review

While most IBAites will recommend this book for IBA Analytical Ability Preparation, in my opinion, the Mathematics section is great for solving problems on Advanced Numbers. It’s not mandatory but you can skim through the questions if you have additional time for preparation.

Pro-Bangali Tip: Booksellers at Nilkhet know this book by the name “সবুজ রঙের GMAT Review”. Don’t go overboard and blurt out the full name. As many versions of this book exist in Nilkhet Book Market, make sure you buy the 2018 or after edition.


Brace yourselves. In our next blog, we will be giving you the key to our years of wisdom (2 years to be exact) on how to master the IBA Admission English Section.

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