filter your searchallcollegesexamnews

CAT 2019 Preparation Tips, Study plan and Online Resources

Updated On - September 27th 2019 by AANCHAL THAKUR

CAT is one of the most competitive exams for admission in top B Schools in India. More than 2 lakh candidates compete for 4000 seats in 20 IIMs every year. The number of applicants increases each year. Hence the first step towards getting a good percentile is to have a comprehensive preparation strategy. 

CAT 2019 will be conducted by IIM Kozhikode on 24 November 2019. With few months left for the exam aspirants should gear up their preparation. Some key questions should be kept in mind before drafting a preparation strategy:

  • How much time is left for CAT 2019?
  • What is the pattern, syllabus and timeline of exam? Know Detailed Exam Pattern
  • Is coaching required or self study sufficient to prepare well?
  • How to prepare the time table to cover the complete syllabus?
  • What are the relevant books and material for CAT preparation? 
  • What is the importance of Mock Test.? Check CAT 2019 Model Paper prepared by Collegedunia.

NMAT Webinar

How to Prepare for CAT 2019?

Overall preparation plan can be divided into 2 phases:

Cover the CAT syllabus

  • Lay the foundation for 3 sections: verbal ability and reading comprehension, data interpretation and logical reasoning, quantitative aptitude
  • Do not ignore any section, there are sectional score weightage in selection.
  • Continuously revise the weak topics.

Learn  How to prepare Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Appear for Mock Test

  • Practice online mock test
  • Target to practice at least 25-30 Mock Test
  • Opt for sectional mock test
  • Analyse the mock results and improve the mistakes
  • Solve official mock test released by IIM.

Learn  How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude

When to Start Preparing for CAT?

For adequate preparation, CAT requires between 8-18 months. Bellow given time frame is required for CAT preparation. 

  • Learning concepts and laying the foundation- 2- 4 months
  • Practice without seriously attempting mocks tests- 3-8 months
  • Giving mocks and revising the entire course-3- 6 months.

To assess oneself in each field thoroughly and master the basics of every topic takes time. Identifying ones strong and weak areas needs studying each topic as well. Therefore, you need ample time to prepare for CAT well.

Learn  How to prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

6 Steps to Prepare for CAT

1.Follow CAT 2019 Exam Pattern and Syllabus

An initial step towards CAT preparation is to get hold of the syllabus and exam pattern, analyse the type of questions asked and the nature of the exam.

Pattern Detail
Total Number of Questions100
Total Marks300
Number of Sections3 (Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude)
Duration of Exam180 minutes (60 minutes per section)
Medium of ExamEnglish
Number of Answer Choices4
Mode of ExamOnline
CAT Marking Scheme+3 marks for the correct answer -1 mark for an incorrect answer
Questions with Negative MarkingMCQs-70 to 75
Questions without Negative MarkingNON-MCQs- 25 to 30

 CAT is not a test of intellect but management. It tests the following skills in a candidate- Time management, Balance between speed and accuracy, Presence of mind, Focus and concentration, Ability to deliver high performance under stress. These skills can only be acquired by regular practice for an appropriate amount of time. Hence, we have curated some expert CAT Preparation Tips to help you crack the exam like a pro.

Read more  CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals.

2.Check Preparation Level: Take Mocks and Solve Previous year paper

  • In order to develop the right strategy, candidates need to attempt mock tests at an initial level and solve previous year question papers.
  • Sectional and full length mock test should be given.
  • This will help to check the current preparation level and the amount of hard work required.

3.Decide the mode of preparation: Coaching or Self Study

  • Depending upon the level of candidates preparation and the amount of guidance needed, the mode of preparation should be decided.
  • If self study is opted, candidates have to be vigilant about the latest updates, right books and material and manage their time accordingly.
  • If preparation is done with the help of Coaching, choosing the right institute is of utmost importance.
  • Candidates can also opt for online coaching as a preparation tool. It is a beneficial option for working professionals who cannot find time to attend regular classes.

4.Schedule your Preparation: Make a Time Table

  • There is no thumb rule in order to prepare the time table. It depends on the candidates level of preparation, strong and weak areas and time needed to prepare each section.
  • The time table should keep on evolving depending on the time left for the main exam.
  • Some basic elements should be a part of your schedule-weekly and monthly mock test and revision.
  • Check the exclusive time table for CAT 2019 preparation provided down below.

Check  CAT 2019 Expected Cut Off

5.Break down the preparation: Section and Topic Wise

  • Smart way to prepare for CAT is to adopt a section wise strategy.
  • There are sectional scores cut offs, hence it is necessary to score well in all 3 sections.
  • Detailed section wise preparation tips are given down below.
CAT Sample Papers, CAT Practice Papers

CAT 2019: Preparation tips for Beginners

1. Focus on Graduation Marks

  • Candidates who start their preparation during graduation days , often compromise on their graduation marks.
  • Graduation scores are important parameters to get a call for WAT/GD/PI from IIMs and top B-Schools.
  • Try to improve graduation marks, it will help you in the long run.

2.Track the important dates

  • Keep a track of CAT 2019 registration and application process.
  • Schedule your preparation based on CAT timeline and your graduation exams.
CAT topper Manaswi Kumar

CAT 2019 Exclusive Study Plan

Verbal Ability & Reading ComprehensionData Interpretation & Logical ReasoningQuantitative Ability
TopicNumber of DaysTopicNumber of DaysTopicNumber of Days
English Usage/Grammar5Arrangements8Number System10
Sentence correction5Venn Diagrams4Averages4
Fill in the blanks5Set theory5Percentages3
Para completion10Selections & Ordering7Profit, loss & discount4
Jumbled paragraph10Networks & Routes3Simple & compound interest3
Odd sentence out10Games & Tournaments5TSD4
Para summary10DI based reasoning5Time & work2
Verbal reasoning4Tables5Mixtures & allegation2
Critical Reasoning4Graphs12Ratio & proportion2
Reading Comprehension14Charts9Linear equations2
--Caselets5Quadratic equations4
--Data Sufficiency4Logarithm2
----Surds & Indices2
----Coordinate geometry2

Time Required for Each Subject

The given time table can be modified and accommodated as per a candidate’s day to day schedule. One needs to invest a minimum of 3-4 hours daily for CAT 2019 preparation.

Day2 hours1-2 hours1 hour
SaturdayTake a Full-length Mock (3 Hours)
SundayMock Analysis( 2-3 Hours) and retaking the same mock (3 Hours) 

CAT topper rickshesh manchanda

CAT 2019 Preparation Strategy

  1. The first step is to collect all the relevant study material. Join a coaching center, as they can help immensely. Also, enroll in some test series.
  2. Start by learning the concepts of each topic. CAT syllabus includes Class X and XII level mathematics, logical reasoning, and English.
  3. Practice with a timer and do not use a calculator, especially while practicing Data Interpretation. 
  4. Practice each topic properly. This will help in assessing your strengths and weakness.
  5. Instead of solving 20 questions of one type, solve 4 questions of 5 types from each topic.
  6. Make a list of your strong and weak areas. In the initial stage, emphasize strengthening your weak areas.
  7. Start taking mocks as early as possible. Don’t be disheartened if you are scoreless. Mocks are for you to recognize the areas you need to put more efforts in.
  8. Analyze each mock you take. The more mocks you take, the better the strategy you will be able to form. It is recommended to take a minimum of 1 and maximum of 3 mocks in a week.
  9. Once you finish the entire syllabus, focus primarily on mocks and sectional tests.
  10. In the final 2 months, do not prepare for any new topics. Work on strengthening the ones you are good at.
  11. Attempt previous years’ CAT question papers. Question papers from 1990-2008 are readily available for the purpose.
  12. Take adequate breaks, and get enough sleep while preparing for CAT.

CAT 2019 Preparation Tips for Quantitative Ability

Quantitative Ability covers the following areas of mathematics:

  • Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Mensuration
  • Modern Mathematics

While preparing for QA, you can follow the tips mentioned below:

  1. Lay the foundation and brush up the concepts. If you don’t know the basics of any topic, you cannot solve for complex questions.
  2. Learn time-saving techniques like tables till 40, squares up to 30, cubes up to 20 and percentage equivalent of fractions till 25.
  3. Maintain a formula book. Note down all the essential and direct formulas and go through them regularly.
  4. Practice solving questions within 2 minutes. This is the average time you get to spend on each question in Quant.
  5. When you attempt QA in mocks, break the entire section into three parts as per the difficulty level of the question- easy, moderate, and difficult.
  6. You need to solve more questions in less time. It is better to solve 3 easy questions than 1 difficult question.
  7. Lastly, practice a lot. Only practice can help you master this section.

Check  QA Paper Analysis of CAT 

CAT 2019 Preparation Tips for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

For the past two years, DI/LR has proved to be the most difficult of three sections. Absence of a set syllabus makes preparing for this section difficult. Practice is the only way to ace this section. You can follow the tips mentioned below:

  1. Get familiar with all kinds of graphs and charts in DI and puzzles in LR.
  2. Practice quick calculation. Learn the percentage equivalent of fractions. They are a big time saver
  3. Learn to compare fractions in DI. This will help in your massive calculations
  4. Solve puzzles like Sudoku and crossword to sharpen your grey cells.
  5. Attempt 20 questions or 4 sets each of DI and LR daily. Each set usually takes 10-15 minutes to solve. Try to solve them within 8-12 minutes.

Check  DILR Paper Analysis of CAT

CAT 2019 Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is the section that scares a lot of aspirants. The section is designed to test your English skills in depth. It consists of the following types of questions-

TopicNumber of Questions
Reading Comprehension24
Sentence Correction3
Para Jumble4

Tips for VA/RC Section

  1. You need to read to get better at this section. Read fiction and non-fiction novels, newspapers, business magazines, etc.
  2. Learn the basics of grammar like articles, adjectives, tenses, modifiers, etc. and practice them as well.
  3. Prepare cue cards. Put down all the new words, you come across, along with its meaning. Revise these cards regularly.
  4. Get in the habit of reading questions first instead of passages. Just give a glance to these questions and get an idea of the difficulty level.
  5. Then sweep through the passage quickly and assess how easily you understand it.
  6. Make a combination of both. Attempt the ones with more straightforward questions first.
CAT topper siddhant dhawan

CAT 2019 Online Preparation 

With the growth of technology in education sector, online coaching classes have grown in popularity and candidates are opting for them for various competitive exams. Though Online Coaching Centre provide smart tips and preparation strategy, no less than an offline coaching institute, the difficulty lies in choosing a good online coaching learning centre.

Best Online Exam Coaching Institute for CAT are- IMS Learning, Oliveboard, Byju’s and Unacademy Plus.

Benifits of online coaching classes:

They are cost affective- offline coaching centres demand a handsome amount of money for the classes and material they provide. Online coachings provide the same amount of money in a reasonable package. The online classes price range is between 10,000 to 25,000 depending on the course. Whereas a candidate has to invest around 50,000 in offline traditional coaching institutes.

Ease of classes- since no commutation is required for online classes, candidates can take classes as per their schedule and routine. The cost and energy invested in commutation is also saved.

No physical presence required- as classes are held in online mode, candidates are not required to visit any centre for classes.

Suitable for working professionals- online classes are popular among management aspirants who are working professional. As online classses are held in several shifts throughout the day. They can match their timings acoordingly.

Matches the candidates learning pace- candidates in online classes like in self study go through topics and classes at their own pace, depending upon their methodology and learning speed.

Know more  Free Online Resources for CAT

Books and Study Material for CAT 2019

  • The best material to prepare for CAT 2019 is the one provided by coaching centers.
  • These can be acquired online on sites like OLX and Quikr. They contain all the relevant and topic-focused questions for practice.
  • For QA, it is recommended to prepare from Class X and XII NCERT books.
  • The best source to prepare for VA/RC is your daily reading material like novels, newspapers, magazines, etc. 
  • Go through the pages of the dictionary at random. This helps in learning new words.

Given below are additional reference material for each section of CAT:

Reference Books and Preparation Material for Quantitative Ability

  1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill.
  2. Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit Sinha, Publisher- Pearson.
  3. Quantum CAT: Quantitative Aptitude Common Admission Test for Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K Verma, Publisher- Arihant
  4. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination Tips, Techniques, and Short-cut Methods by Abhijit Guha.
  5. NCERT Mathematics books for class 8th, 9th, 10th and 10+2.

Reference Books and Preparation Material for Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

  1. Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for CAT by Nishit Sinha, Publisher- Pearson.
  2. How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill.
  3. How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill.

Reference Books and Preparation Material for Verbal and Reading Comprehension

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh, Publisher – Arihant.
  2. 3o Days to More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis, Publisher- Simon & Schuster.
  3. Wren and Martin English Grammar
  4. Business English and Communication by Clark Zimmer, Publisher- Mcgraw Hill Ryerson.

Read  Best Books for CAT Preparation 2019

CAT Mock Test 2019

The conducting IIM releases the official mock test is an outline of the pattern of the exam. Do not rely solely on it and take mock tests from the beginning of your preparation.

  • It is essential to join a good test series for mocks. They are available with coaching centers like T.I.M.E, Career Launcher, etc. as well as online on site like HundakaFunda, Pagalguy, etc.
  • Mocks tests help in eliminating most of the surprise elements.
  • The more mocks are attempted, the better speed and accuracy get.
  • CAT Mock Test help in identifying areas of strength and weakness.
  • They also help in accustoming your body to sit for a 3-hour extended test.

CAT is challenging to crack due to its level of competition. If you practice well and prepare smart, you can easily score high percentile in the test. Good luck!

Know  Management Colleges other than IIMs

CAT Preparation Tips FAQS

Ques.  How to prepare for CAT?

Ans. First of all understand the syllabus and pattern of exam, appear for a mock test and note down the weak and strong areas, gather the relevant books and study material, cover the syllabus section wise and then again practice mock test. Check Complete CAT Syllabus

Ques.  Is their any ideal preparation time for CAT?

Ans. There is no specific rule on time limit, going by strategies of CAT toppers 3 months are minimum required for a dedicated and serious preparation to gain good CAT percentile. 

Ques.  When will CAT 2019 take place?

Ans. IIM Kozhikode will conduct CAT 2019 on 24 November 2019. The application forms are available till 8 September 2019.

Ques.  Can i self-prepare for CAT 2019?

Ans. Yes, there are numerous candidates every year who score good in CAT by relying on self preparation. Start by gaining a good knowledge of syllabus and exam pattern, gather the relevant study material, prepare a time table, utilise the online sources available and test your preparation by giving mock tests.

Ques.  Which is the best institute to prepare for CAT 2019?

Ans. There are a lot of coaching institutes both online and offline. Candidates should decide in which mode they want to prepare and select the coachings as per their needs. Nowadays, online coaching options are very popular and user friendly. Check Best CAT Coaching Institutes.

Ques.  How many Mock Test are sufficient to take before the main exam?

Ans. As suggested by CAT topper’s 35-40 mock test should be given before the actual exam. The important point to remember while giving CAT is to analyse the test afterwards and work on mistakes and weak points. Download Now Practice Papers

Ques.  Can i start preparing for CAT 2019 now?

Ans. Yes, with just three months left for CAT 2019 to take place candidates should gear up their preparation. Make a preparation strategy and start working on it. There is still plenty of room left to score well.

Ques.  Is it compulsory to score 90% or above in 10th and 12th board to get admission in IIM?

Ans. No, there is no such rule to score 90% or above in boards to secure admissions in IIM. Overall weightage to CAT scores, graduation marks, class 10th and 12th boards and WAT/GD/PI scores is given by IIMs before offering admissions.

Ques.  What are the factors that affect the preparation of a student?

Ans. Factors like relying completely on coaching institutes and not focussing on self study, keeping yourself too mentally tired, lacking time management skills and dedication for the exam, not working on weak areas affect the preparation of CAT aspirants.

Ques.  What are some time management tips for CAT?

Ans. CAT test the accuracy and speed of candidates. Hence time management is the key required to excel in the exam. Remember, not to spend too much time on one question, start working on the section you are comfortable with, spare some time for revision. While preparing, time management skills can be acquired by giving Mock Test.

Ques.  Is there a limit on the number of attempts for the CAT exam?

Ans. No, there are no limits on the number of attempts for CAT. there is no restriction on age limit as well. The only restriction is the educational qualification, candidates have to be

Ques.  Is it required to have 5 to 7 books to study from when you sit to prepare for CAT?

Ans. Having a pile of books and a bunch of notes in addition to it will not help you. You can decide which book suits you best as a complete guide to all the sections will be enough. You can also have a book separately for each section but try to keep the number low as to 2 or 3 books to prepare.

Ques.  Is joining a Coaching Center a great investment in studies for CAT?

Ans. The benefit of joining a coaching institute is they provide proper study schedule and material, candidates just have to follow them. Coachings are suitable for candidates who can spare time for the classes. In case of working professionals online coaching websites or weekend classes are an option. Candidates can also opt for crash courses full time caching is not required.

Ques.  Is the Study Material provided by the coaching center reliable?

Ans. Coaching institutes provide updated study Material which is prepared on the basis of past data and can be very useful although there is no harm in referring to a new book if you have time. But candidates should not lose focus on self study despite coaching guidance.

Ques.  How can reading prove to help study for the CAT exam?

Ans. The key to excel in verbal ability and reading comprehension is to read a lot of books, newspaper editorials and improve your vocabulary and grammar. Being an expert in english is not required but cultivating a habit to read and write will also help in WAT/GD.PI sessions.

Ques.  How does a series of tests help ace CAT?

Ans. Test series are an essential part to score good percentile in CAT. It should be a weekly ritual while preparing. Writing at least 30 tests before giving the final exam will give you an idea of the level of questions and the way to solve them. Also, subscribing to a series of Mock Tests is helpful as it provides you an edge over the actual exam.

Ques.  How does having a great deal of General Knowledge helps in CAT exam?

Ans. General Knowledge questions are a part of WAT/GD/PI rounds. G.K might not be part of the exam but is still useful to be updated on recent national and international political and economic developments. Also, good G.K. helps build confidence in a person to face people and converse.

Ques.  How can i prepare Current Affairs for WAT/GD/PI round?

Ans. Read newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times, New York Times. Candidates can also refer to magazines like Frontline, Business Standard and The Week to prepare for current affairs.

Ques.  Does having a full-time job affects preparing for CAT exam?

Ans. With proper strategy in place having a full-time job will not affect your preparation but not to a great extent. CAT preparation can be done parallel to your work. But, you must build a schedule and stick to it to devote the required time for the preparation. Prior experience added in your CV can only benefit from getting the admission.

Ques.  Can preparing 2 sections of the exam thoroughly give an edge over the paper?

Ans. It is not advisable to leave any section while preparing. If you want to score well in your CAT exam, you need to prepare well enough for all the three sections of the paper. CAT score comprises of sectional cut-off which doesn’t leave you with many options.

Ques.  How many hours of study is enough for a candidate to prepare for CAT?

Ans. Candidates are advised to study for at least 2 to 3 hours daily for good preparation. This schedule will suit in cases where a candidate has enough time to prepare for CAT. It also depends upon the study habits of the candidate and the study hours can always go up relating to every individual’s study habits

Ques.  How do problem-solving methods help to prepare for the exam?

Ans. Candidates should make a note of the fact that they should constantly try solving the questions through more than one method with accuracy. Depending on their method of solving and mastering is more helpful than following tips from outside.

Ques.  What preparation pattern should a candidate follow to score well in the exam?

Ans. Starting by understanding the syllabus and exam pattern, candidates must pay more attention to concept building. Afterward, mock test and practice papers can be considered to analyse the preparation level.

It is also advised that a candidate should try to study 2 topics simultaneously with 1 easy topic and the other difficult which will save a lot of time for other topics.

Ques.  Does CAT preparation for candidates who are in their final year of graduation a difficult task?

Ans. Candidates can divide their study time and utilize them in the best possible way. It is advised to prepare for the CAT exam while completing the graduation simultaneously. Though graduation marks should never be compromised as they are considered in the final selection bt B Schools.

Ques.  How long should a candidate study in a day to get good grades in the entrance exam?

Ans. Regularity is important while preparing for CAT. Preparing a schedule that is convenient for you and helps you score better should be implemented Candidates should not over pressurize themselves by studying for many hours, but regularly studying should be in practice.

Ques.  What should a candidate do in case he/she has left mathematics as a subject in their 12th standard and is pursuing graduation in some other course?

Ans. Maths is important for Quantitative Aptitude section. Candidates in such case are advised to polish their 10th-grade mathematics as the basic concepts asked in CAT are up to 10th grade only. With a thorough revision of previous math questions can help them prepare well for the paper.

Ques.  Is CAT a tough exam to crack?

Ans. CAT is not difficult, it is just competitive. If you have your concepts clear and practice mocks regularly, you can easily score 90+ percentile in CAT.

Ques.  What is the syllabus for LR/DI? How do I prepare for it?

Ans. LR/DI is generally considered a tough section to attempt. There is no fixed syllabus for LR/DI. You can prepare for it by practicing previous year question papers and following the type of questions that came in LR/DI section.

Ques.  I am scared of Maths. How do I prepare for Quant?

Ans. Start with the basic concepts and refer to Arun Sharma for initial preparation. Develop a habit of solving questions regularly and prepare alternate solving techniques to them. If well practiced through Mocks and previous year question papers candidates can score a good percentile in Quant.

Ques.  My English is not very good. Can I still take a CAT?

Ans. CAT requires one to have a decent level of command on English. You can strengthen your English skills by reading books and watching grammar lectures on youtube and such sources.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


October 17, 2019CAT 2019

CAT Mock Test by IIM: Practi ..

IIM Kozhikode has released CAT 2019 mock test on O ...

October 09, 2019CAT 2019

SKEMA Business School Admissi ..

CAT or Common Aptitude Test is one the management ...

October 09, 2019CAT 2019

ESCP Europe Business School A ..

Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted by the In ...




Cf Patna

Great content shared !! I really appreciate the tips and guidelines shared for the aspirants.

09 Jan, 2019 10:09
Shadan Sadia

Can there be a 30 day plan for preparation of cat ?if yes pllz do suggest

25 Oct, 2018 23:30
Akansha Expert

Hi Shadan, Having a pile of books and a bunch of notes in addition to it will not help you. You can decide which book suits you best as a complete guide to all the sections will be enough. You can also have a book separately for each section but try to keep the number low as to 2 or 3 books to prepare.

26 Oct, 2018 13:27

- No more comments -