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CAT Preparation Tips: 2 Month Study Plan, Last Minute Preparation Tips & Online Resources

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Urvashi Singhal

Exams Prep Master

CAT Preparation is something every MBA Aspirant should give out their heart and soul for, as CAT 2021 is going to be one of the most competitive and challenging exams. One of the major factors is that CAT Preparation is not dependent upon memorization or rote learning, but it is completely dependent on the candidates hard work and consists of mostly application based questions. CAT measures the candidates aptitude in terms of analytical skills and verbal skills

However, sometimes the preparation would not be possible due to various factors, so here are some detailed CAT Preparation Tips, 2 Month Study Plan, Last Minute Preparation Tricks and Best Online Resources for CAT 2021. 

You can also check out the CAT Online Preparation for Extra Tips. 

CAT Preparation Tips Highlights

CAT Preparation Tips - Highlights

Here are some general things candidates need to know before going through the CAT Preparation Tips and 2 month study plan - 

  • CAT 2021 is going to take place in November 2021, tentatively. Check CAT Exam Dates
  • Is Coaching necessary or is self study enough for CAT 2021? 
  • CAT 2021 Exam Pattern will consist of three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning as well as Quantitative Aptitude. Check Detailed CAT. Exam Pattern.
  • CAT 2021 will have approximately 75 questions, and each correct answer will get you 4 marks whereas every wrong answer will cost you 1 Mark
  • Is it possible to cover every important topic?

Must Read Advantages of Final Year Students in CAT 2021

CAT 2021 Exclusive Study Plan

CAT 2021 Exclusive Study Plan - 1 Year

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Quantitative Ability
Topic Number of Days Topic Number of Days Topic Number of Days
English Usage/Grammar 8 Arrangements 11 Number System 15
Sentence correction 8 Venn Diagrams 6 Averages 6
Fill in the blanks 8 Set theory 8 Percentages 5
Para completion 20 Selections & Ordering 11 Profit, loss & discount 6
Jumbled paragraph 20 Networks & Routes 6 Simple & compound interest 5
Odd sentence out 20 Games & Tournaments 8 TSD 6
Para summary 20 DI based reasoning 8 Time & work 4
Verbal reasoning 6 Tables 8 Mixtures & allegation 4
Critical Reasoning 6 Graphs 19 Ratio & proportion 4
Reading Comprehension 24 Charts 14 Linear equations 4
- - Caselets 8 Quadratic equations 5
- - Combinations 6 Inequalities 4
- - Data Sufficiency 6 Logarithm 4
- - - - Progressions 4
- - - - Surds & Indices 4
- - - - P&C 9
- - - - Probability 5
- - - - Functions 4
- - - - Geometry 15
- - - - Coordinate geometry 3
- - - - Mensuration 8
Total 120 Total 120 Total 125

Time Required for Each Subject

For the candidates convenience, find a breakdown of the ideal time that should be devoted to each subject for each day. This timetable can be modified based on the candidates preference. 

Day 2 hours 1-2 hours 1 hour
Tuesday QA DI/LR VA/RC
Wednesday QA DI/LR VA/RC
Thursday QA DI/LR VA/RC
Saturday Take a Full-length Mock (3 Hours)
Sunday Mock Analysis( 2-3 Hours) and retaking the same mock (3 Hours) 

Get acquainted with CAT section wise Syllabus and Pattern

6 Month Preparation Plan

CAT 2021: 6 Month Preparation Plan

For month 3, your sole focus should be on making yourself comfortable with the exam pattern and working on efficiency and accuracy. Given below are the things that need to be done in the last months.

  • Start attempting mock tests, sample papers, or solving previous year papers.
  • Attempt 1 mock in 2-3 days.
  • After attempting mock, analyse the entire mock test. Check for other approaches that could have been used to save time and solve the questions where you got stuck.
  • Revise your weak areas. The areas where you get stuck while attempting mocks.
  • Read Hindu Editorials daily, and start reading in your leisure time. 

2 Month Preparation Plan

2 Month Preparation Plan for CAT 2021

The primary task is to start preparing for the CAT examination while keeping efficiency in mind. Follow the steps given below every week while preparing:

  • Your days should revolve around solving questions from each section every day. When you get bored of one section, try the next session. 
  • Keep 1 day to take a break and revise all the topics that you have done in the last week. 
  • Skip very difficult topics as they might confuse you and waste time during the exam and while preparing. 
  • Start reading newspapers regularly.
  • Attempt topic tests to help you prepare better. You can purchase online test series of reputed institutions for the same.
  • Read newspapers or books in your spare time, give up on fruitless activities such as binge watching for 2 months. 
  • Make short and summarized notes. Do not spend too much time writing down notes, instead read and condense your material in a few sentences.

Last Minute Preparation Tips

CAT 2021 Last Minute Preparation Tips

  • Overlook the entire CAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern to make sure you have not kept any topic completely unsupervised
  • Instead of strengthening the topics that you are already good at, focus on improving the areas in which you struggle
  • Make sure you have set aside a daily set period of 3-4 hours for regular preparation 
  • Set aside a major portion of your preparation time to work on improvement
  • Sit for timed sectional and full length mock tests that have different ranges of difficulty
  • Complete your full CAT preparation at least 10 days in advance so that you have time for revision
  • Treat your mock tests like the final CAT exam

Read more CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

Section-Wise Preparation Strategy

CAT 2021 Section-Wise Preparation Strategy

  • 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.
  • Start by learning the concepts of each topic. CAT syllabus includes Class X and XII level mathematics, logical reasoning, and English.
  • Practice with a timer and do not use a calculator, especially while practicing Data Interpretation. 
  • Instead of solving 20 questions of one type, solve 4 questions of 5 types from each topic.
  • Make a list of your strong and weak areas. In the initial stage, emphasize strengthening your weak areas.
  • Start taking mocks as early as possible. Don’t be disheartened if you score less. Mocks are for you to recognize the areas you need to put more efforts in.
  • 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.
  • Once you finish the entire syllabus, focus primarily on mocks and sectional tests.
  • Attempt previous years’ CAT question papers. Question papers from 1990-2008 are readily available for the purpose.

QA Preparation Tips

CAT 2021 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

  • Lay the foundation and brush up the concepts. If you don’t know the basics of any topic, you cannot solve complex questions.
  • Learn time-saving techniques like tables till 40, squares up to 30, cubes up to 20 and percentage equivalent of fractions till 25. 
  • Maintain a formula book. Note down all the essential and direct formulas and go through them regularly.
  • Practice solving questions within 2 minutes. This is the average time you get to spend on each question in Quant.
  • 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.
  • You need to solve more questions in less time. It is better to solve 3 easy questions than 1 difficult question.

Check How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude

DILR Preparation Tips

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

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:

  • Get familiar with all kinds of graphs and charts in DI and puzzles in LR.
  • Practice quick calculation. Learn the percentage equivalent of fractions. They are a big time saver
  • Learn to compare fractions in DI. This will help in your massive calculations.
  • Solve puzzles like Sudoku and crossword to sharpen your grey cells.
  • 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.

Read How to prepare for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

VARC Preparation Tips

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

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

Topic Number of Questions
Reading Comprehension 24
Sentence Correction 3
Summary 3
Para Jumble 4

Tips for VA/RC Section

  • You need to read to get better at this section. Read fiction and non-fiction novels, newspapers, business magazines, etc.
  • Learn the basics of grammar like articles, adjectives, tenses, modifiers, etc. and practice them as well.
  • Prepare cue cards. Put down all the new words, you come across, along with its meaning. Revise these cards regularly.
  • 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.

Imp. Topics and Answering Tips

CAT 2021 Section-Wise Important Topics and Answering Tips

Quantitative Ability

  • Candidates should begin revision with the Number System section and then follow it up with Algebra, Permutation and Combination and other topics 
  • Important topics in ‘Number System’: Elementary concepts of remainders, Divisibility rules, Concepts of Digits, Elementary Properties of Numbers, Factorization, HCF and LCM
  • Important topics in ‘Algebra’: Linear and Quadratic Equations, Logarithms, Progressions, Functions 
  • Important topics in ‘Geometry’: Similar triangles, Pythagoras Theorem, Fundamentals of Circles, Mensuration, Polygons
  • Important topics in ‘Arithmetic’: Percentage, TSD, Ratio, Profit and Loss 
  • Important topics in ‘Modern Maths’: Set Theory, Sequence and Series, Principles of Counting

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • Candidates need to be careful about terms that denote quantities such as “none”, “all”, or “some” when they’re answering questions.
  • Terms like “unless” and “only” also need to be paid special heed 
  • Positive and negative prefixes can also act as a significant “indicator” in a question. For e.g. “non”, “dis”, or “un”
  • Syllogism is a very scoring section and thus candidates should pay ample attention and use venn diagrams to solve important questions 
  • To solve questions that are formed on the basis of inequality, candidates should use the King, Soldier and Public Technique For questions that involve arrangements, candidates should start by solving questions that have a small amount of variables, and then gradually move up to questions that have more. For e.g. starting by solving questions that have only 5 variables and then moving to questions that have 7-8. 
  • Important topics in DI/LR include: Seating Arrangement, Blood Relations, Propositions, Syllogism, Data Arrangement, Puzzles , Statements and Assumptions
  • Candidates should re-read the questions multiple times in this section because it is easy to misinterpret questions that complex logic

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  • For unseen passages in the ‘Reading Comprehension’ section, candidates should select the questions and passages that they are comfortable with. Thus, if someone is comfortable with factual passages, they should try to avoid inferential questions that involve critical thinking
  • Candidate’s should not just apply guesswork or answer blindly in grammar related questions or in sentence correction sections that involve applied knowledge. Candidates need to make sure that at least an educated deduction is made on the basis of inference. If a question is too complex, the candidate should move on to the next question. 
  • Use a two step strategy. Divide the VARC section into one section that includes Reading Comprehension and include the rest in the second section. 
  • Due to the fact that para jumbles and deductive logic require logic, candidates can move to and fro between the questions in order to make the most accurate choice.For eg. in para jumbles, test takers can pinpoint the beginning and ending of a logical pair and remove the choice that does not seem to fit. 
  • When attempting the Reading Comprehensions section, read the questions before reading the passage. 
  • Candidates that are currently attaining above 85%ile should focus on the following: Vocabulary and Sentence Completion, Grammar , Deductive Logic , Para Jumbles,Critical Reasoning , Para-Completion, Summary Questions

Must Read News

Preparation Through Online Mode

CAT Preparation Through Online Mode

With the growth of technology in the 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.

Benefits of online coaching classes

They are cost effective- 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.

  1. 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.
  2. No physical presence required- as classes are held in online mode, candidates are not required to visit any centre for classes.
  3. Suitable for working professionals- online classes are popular among management aspirants who are working professionals. As online classes are held in several shifts throughout the day. They can match their timings accordingly.
  4. 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.

Check CAT Online Coaching

Join Online CAT Study Groups

There are numerous groups on Facebook and other community portals for CAT aspirants. It is beneficial to join these groups for doubt clearing sessions and practice. Discuss important topics, tricks and strategies by interacting with fellow aspirants. 

Personal whatsapp group with friends can also be created. There are certain moderated forums on Facebook like Handakafunda Facebook Group for like minded aspirants. In Addition 2IIM also has a FB forum. Discussion on a particular topic is quite an affair on these forums. 

To top on, there are a couple of quora threads like IIM preparation which is an interactive space for IIM alumni, CAT trainers students.

Books and Study Material

Books and Study Material for CAT 2021

  • For QA, it is recommended that candidates 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 for CAT Quantitative Ability

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

Reference Books for CAT Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

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

Reference Books for CAT Verbal and Reading Comprehension

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

Read Best Books for CAT Preparation 

Recommended Magazines for CAT 2021 Preparation

Here are the 5 magazines recommended for CAT and all other aspiring business students.

The Economist 

  • It is a fabulous publication sworn by many IIM students. The Economist prepares candidates for CAT, business schools and for the rest of their professional life.
  • It generally focuses on the world economy. It brings a sophisticated perspective to issues related to micro and macro economics.
  • The magazine also has articles on all kinds of international affairs like politics, culture, sports, art and books.
  • The magazine falls on the pricey side. However, students can read 3 articles per week free of cost.
  • The writing style is excellent and crisp articles with near perfect grammar are published in the magazine.
  • It is an essential instrument for a wholesome understanding of the various issues affecting the world.
  • The Economist’s articles on short words, Lexington and Bagehot columns are very insightful and something to watch out for.

Bloomberg Businessweek

  • This is a lighter and more entertaining version of The Economist. It is a perfect choice for CAT aspirants looking to get a regular dose of business news. 
  • It is a weekly magazine that provides articles on the latest events and trends in finance, technology, finance, management and entertainment.
  • It is a good magazine for introducing students to the business world whereas the Economist is for individuals who already know a lot about business.
  • Apart from in- depth coverage of the business world and events, it also provides financial news and stock advice.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek proves to be substantially worth the cost and effort to read. One of the added advantages is that it is also entertaining.

Outlook Business

  • This business magazine has articles which analyze information from all business sectors.
  • It covers a variety of ventures and enterprises– information through which individuals appearing for CAT 2021 can gain a sound understanding of business dynamics, decisions, and movements.
  • The key concepts covered in this magazine are enterprise, markets and strategy.
  • Outlook Business offers a detailed analysis of market trends, stock prices, and sales strategies of several business undertakings to its readers. It is one of the most popular business magazines in India. It covers the stories and perspectives of all the leading organizations and businessmen.
  • It is the fastest growing business magazine in India with a readership of more than 8 lakh and a fortnightly circulation of 1.41 lakh.


  • It is a fortnightly English magazine published by The Hindu group.
  • Like its parent newspaper, this is one of the most preferred magazines due to its rich content.
  • This magazine offers comprehensive articles that feature stories from all over the world. It provides thorough knowledge about issues prevalent in India as well as various policies undertaken by the government.
  • Frontline magazine can help a CAT applicant to build opinions regarding the events unfolding around him.
  • It is highly recommended for cracking the interview round.
  • One downside is that the magazine does entail heavy reading. It will surely build an individual’s vocabulary because of the usage of different words.

Business Today

  • It is a fortnightly magazine that was established as a solution to increased variations in business trends.
  • Business Today was one of the first magazines to cover management theories and their applications in current and relevant business scenarios.
  • It provides comprehensive reports on the effects of the Indian economy on business strategies and covers a plethora of industries so students preparing for CAT can take away many lessons from on- going stories.

CAT 2021 Quizzes

Previous Year CAT Topper Tips

  • Make sure you keep a record of how much time you spend completing each mock test as well as its distinct sections
  • Revise the formulas for Quantitative Ability before solving the questions
  • If you only have a couple of days left for the exam, do not start anything brand new
  • Keep practicing mock tests regularly and try to improve your timing and efficiency
  • Do not get stuck onto a question you cannot answer, come back to it later if required
  • Do not judge your entire capability and worth on the basis of the mock test results
  • Manage your time well during the examination, do not spend an excessive amount of time on one section
  • Make sure you have slept and eaten adequately before the exam so that you can give it with a cool mind

Preparation Through Mock Test

CAT 2021 Preparation Through Mock Test

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 HandakaFunda, 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 Tests help in identifying areas of strength and weakness.
  • They also help in accustoming your body to sit for a 3-hour extended test.

Know Management Colleges other than IIMs

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips FAQs

CAT 2021 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. Can i self-prepare for CAT 2020?

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 2020?

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 2020 now?

Ans.Yes, around 2 months are left for CAT 2020 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.

CAT 2020 : 14 answered questions


Ques. What is the selection procedure of IIM Lucknow?

● Top Answer By Shubham Gupta on 22 Feb 21

Ans. Based on a candidate’s CAT score and profile, he/she will receive a call for further processes. The further selection procedure is divided into three parts: WAT, GD, and PI. This usually takes place in the city as preferred by the candidate. WAT: The first round is Written Ability Test, whereby the candidate is given a topic to write about within 10 minutes. The topic can be anything between abstract, current affairs, and technical domain. Technical topics are usually rare but it is better to be prepared. GD: The second round is Group Discussion, whereby there will be a discussion about the same topic that was given to write. PI: After WAT and GD, the third round is a Personal Interview. The panel will interview the candidates on a one-on-one basis. Interviewers generally ask questions based on whatever a candidate writes on the form that is given to him to fill before starting the processes, which include, educational background, ECA, work experience (if any).  It is also important to know about current affairs. Lastly, a candidate can also be asked questions on the GD topic if he/she has mentioned some stark points.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Which is better, the CAT or GATE?

● Top Answer By Jyotshna Ranjan on 17 Feb 21

Ans. One of India's difficult entrance exams to crack are CAT and GATE. A good score in GATE is required to do masters in premier institutions such as IIT or other engineering institutes. Through GATE you can also apply for PSU jobs. While a good score in CAT is necessary for getting admissions to MBA at premier B schools. Both examinations require a great amount of effort and preparation.  Before you start preparing for any of these examinations, you should first decide in which field of work you want to be in the future.  CAT: CAT is an entrance exam for MBA that provides a gateway to 20 IIMs and other Business Schools in India for admission. More than 2 lakh candidates turn up for the CAT exam every year. The exam is conducted in two separate slots online.  The question paper comprises 100 MCQs from Verbal Skill & Comprehension of Reading, Data Analysis & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. GATE: GATE is an online national level exam conducted for students seeking to apply to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IITs), and other institutions/ universities across India for a Master of Engineering (ME), Masters of Technology (M. Tech) and direct Ph.D. admissions. Common Factor:  Analytical skills, Reasoning, and Logical Abilities are common requirements for GATE and CAT. The level of difficulty of these examinations varies with the candidate's basic perspective and viewpoint. Difference: The approach is significantly different for both of these exams. The candidates appearing for the GATE exam are asked questions relating to the basic topics of the engineering stream that you plan to pursue.  While for CAT, questions asked on subjects such as reasoning, Quantitative Analysis, Aptitude, Complex Reading Comprehension, and English. Competition: (CAT>GATE) Competitively speaking, competition for GATE is less than CAT.  Only engineering students can appear online for GATE exams. Students from various streams such as B.A,, BBA, and Engineering apply for CAT. Knowledge of Core Subjects - GATE: GATE requires a technical background. The syllabus has engineering core subjects such as Physics and Mathematics.  Applicants have to have good numerical and verbal skills. Memorizing alone does not work well, as it is very important to grasp concepts thoroughly. Difficulty Level: It is difficult to argue emphatically that the CAT exam is tough or GATE is easy. If you have a good command of English, CAT would be easy to crack. If you are good at technology-related subjects then GATE will seem relatively straightforward. There are many online apps available for the preparation of GATE and CAT. You can stay at home and learn via these apps to save time.Read more
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Ques. Can a person with 77% in class 12 be selected in IIM Ahmedabad?

● Top Answer By Praver Katyal on 15 Feb 21

Ans. What if the answer is no? Will that stop you from preparing for CAT? The hard work you put in the few months of preparation for CAT is going to determine whether you will be able to join the institution or not. Your past academic scores in 10th or 12th do not matter as much as CAT score. The weightage assigned to the 12th score is not that significant and you can offset it with a good CAT percentile.  Every IIM has different criteria for examination and it changes on a yearly basis. But usually, the CAT score carries the maximum weightage.  10th and 12th scores are in the past and you can’t do anything now to change that. But scoring well in CAT is completely in your hand. I know many people who are preparing for CAT, who have a 12th percentage lower than yours. There is no alternative to hard work. Figure out how much percentage you need to bell the CAT, and work towards it.  To give an objective answer to your question, yes, people with a lower score in 12th have secured admission at IIMA in the past.Read more
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Ques. How should I prepare myself so that I can get through IIM, Ahmedabad?

● Top Answer By Manoj Maurya on 12 Feb 21

Ans. First and foremost, you need to be clear on the future goal i.e. the career you want for yourself. You need to ask yourself, Why MBA? Why IIMA? Why not any other IIM such as IIMC or IIMB? You need to have an open conversation with an ex-student, one who has done MBA from IIMA or any other IIM to get a clearer view. This was the first step, the second step is preparation. For this, you need to run through these steps thoroughly, Revise the basics of Quantitative and English. Begin to work on the English. One can refer to Norman Lewis’ “Word Power Made Easy” as their study material. Develop the habit of going through The Hindu’s editorial section and economic times, daily. If certain business terms are incomprehensible, then one can use the One efficient way to prepare for the Math section is - daily puzzles. Solving them daily will not become monotonous, on the contrary, it will enhance the thinking capacity. Take a test every week. Solve the questions, just like the CAT paper. When in doubt, take any friend's advice who has experience in the CAT format. Keep a study group or a study friend on standby. Tough individual preparation won’t deliver results if a student isn’t updated with the latest information. Also, when a student is feeling low having a friend by his/her side is extremely good for morale-boosting. Practice every single day, this is the only key to success. The above-mentioned steps will help achieve a high percentile in the CAT exam. Then comes the third step i.e. selection procedure. There are three essential factors – High CAT percentage along with high 10th, 12th, and UG scores. These marks increase the chances of selection. Sports Quota/certificate like Ranji Trophy or any other co-curricular activity in which a student excels also enhances the profile. After clearing this round, next comes the most crucial round i.e. the interview. In this, you will be asked a thousand questions right from “Why MBA? Why IIM? “, and it can go in any direction, any topic whatsoever. You need to be mentally prepare yourself to face all the questions thrown at you. You should appear calm and composed during the interview, just go with the flow. After that, all you have to do is wait for the results. If you have managed to clear it, then it’s marvelous. This is the routine-set, often the most chosen one, to clear the admission procedure of IIM Ahmedabad. Good luck!Read more
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Ques. How many marks are required for BTech students to get IIM, Ahmedabad in the CAT exam?

● Top Answer By Muskan Sharma on 11 Feb 21

Ans. One of my friends appeared in CAT and he is a G.E.M. student ie. General category, Engineering. He scored 99.5+ percentile in the past three CAT exams and 99+ in the past five CAT exams and is still waiting for a call from IIM Ahmedabad.  Going by the statistics of recent years, a 100 percentile on the CAT may get the students a call from IIM Ahmedabad. Minimum Cutoffs of CAT 2020 Percentile Ranks are given below. Category Verbal & Reading Comprehension Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude Overall Percentage General 70 70 70 80 OBC 65 65 65 75 SC 60 60 60 70 ST 50 50 50 60 PWD (General, EWS, NC – OBC – cum - transgender, SC ) 60 60 60 70 PWD- ST 50 50 50 60 If you are a general category student with 100 percentile, there are chances that you may get a call from IIM Ahmedabad.Read more
1 Answer

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


What topics do I need to study in logical reasoning?

In the CAT exam, logical reasoning questions are asked along with Data Interpretation. The logical Reasoning (LR) section tests a candidate’s logical thinking and its application to everyday problems. This includes various topics like:

  1. Arrangements
  2. Prepositions
  3. Data Arrangement
  4. Puzzles
  5. Assumptions
  6. Statements
  7. Clock and Calendars
  8. Venn Diagram
  9. Logical Matching
  10. Logical Connectives
Can I use CAT score to take admission only in colleges in India?

Yes, there are some foreign Universities that accept the score of CAT exam to give admission in MBA programs to the students, like:

  1. Audencia Business School

  2. HEC Paris

  3. EDHEC Business School

  4. Emylon Business School

  5. SKEMA Business Management School

  6. Asian Institute of Management, Philippines

  7. Singapore Management University

ibashisha mukhim
For how long can I use my CAT score to take admission in management colleges?

Your CAT score remains valid only for one year after giving the exam. This means after clearing the CAT exam, you must take admission in the same year in any of the management colleges in India. If it doesn't happen, then you must give the exam again if you want to take admission in the next session.

shreya sarkar
How many marks does quantitative reasoning section carries?
abdul nazir

There will be total 3 sections including quantitative ability that carries a total of 96 marks. There will be 32 questions from the same. 3 marks is alloted to correct answer while there will be negative marking of 1 marks in case of objective questions. There will be no negative marking for subjective questions. Visit CAT 2021 exam pattern for details.

vikram dewan
What is the syllabus of verbal ability and reading comprehension?
abdul nazir

The syllabus mainly includes topics from middle school maths and english syllabus. Topic most commonly covered in verbal ability and reading comprehension are:

  • Unseen Passages
  • Analogies
  • Antonyms
  • Contextual usage
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Para Jumble
  • Para Completion
  • Fact Inference Judgement
  • Sentence Correction
  • Meaning/Usage match

Find other details at CAT syllabus 2021.

karan rathod
Where can I get topic wise practice questions?
abdul nazir

Section wise practise papers for previous year CAT exam will be available in pdf format to download easily. The exam is conducted in 2 slots. Along with the practise papers, it is important to solve maximum number of mock test series and previous year question papers. Click CAT 2021 question paper to download the papers.

How mnay questions are asked in the paper?
common admission test

Hii Priya, Greetings from collegedunia. Total 100 questions are asked in CAT exam from different sections. For more details visit:- CAT EXAM PATTERN

shatakshi patki
Is it necessary to take drop for the preparation of the exam?
common admission test

No, It's not necessary to take drop for Preparation it's depend on you wether you can clear CAT successfully in first attempt or not and if you think that I need break than its normal Many people in the past have taken a drop of 6 to 10 months for CAT Preparation and have made it successfully to top IIMs.

kashish tomar
How many questions in exam are asked on quantitative reasoning?
common admission test

Hii Kashish, Greetings from collegedunia. CAT quantitative aptitude section comprises of only numerical based questions from different maths topics. This section comprises of a total of 34 questions. For more details Click Here

What is the maximum age limit to give CAT?
common admission test

Hii Harssham, Greetings from collegedunia. There is no maximum age limit mentioned in the CAT form eligibility section. For more details visit:- CAT EXAM ELIGIBILITY

sheetal chib
Do I have to apply for counselling for each college separately?
abdul nazir

Hi Sheetal, Yes you need to apply separately for different colleges as CAT does not conduct centralised counselling process. After the declaration of exam results, participating colleges will release cut off individually and those who qualify with that cut off range will be called for WAT, GD/PI process. You need to apply on the official website of the respective college for counselling registration. To get more details visit CAT counselling.

bhagyashri kene
Is CAT tougher than GMAT?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, The GMAT has a very well defined syllabus and question types, thus it is easier to prepare for GMAT than the CAT. It is possible to score 700+ on the GMAT with 90 – 120 hours of dedicated preparation. The Quantitative section of the CAT is relatively more difficult than the GMAT. For more information, please refer, CAT Exam.

shreya sarkar
Is every question compulsory?
abdul nazir

Hi Shreya, It is not compulsory to attempt every question as there is negative marking applicable for the objective questions. There is however no negative marking for subjective questions. You will be awarded 3 marks for every correct answer. There will be total 100 questions with section wise time limit. To get more details visit CAT 2021.

Do I need to bring black pen for the exam?
abdul nazir

Hi Rashmi, No you don’t need to bring pen inside the center as stationery items are prohibited. You are require dto carry admit card, id proof, medical certificate for PwD, name change certificate, if applicable. The exam center and details will be mentioned on the admit card. Find more details at CAT exam.

dharshini rajendran
Will there be any interview for the selection?

Hi Dharshini

You will have a counselling procedure before you get selected for any college. They will conduct a personal interview. For more information visit on our official webiste of CAT Counselling.

gouri kumari
How many pictures shall I take with me to the center?

Hi Gouri

Take at least 2 passport size photograph with you and carry a valid ID proof and your admit card at the exam center. For more details visit on our official website of CAT EXAM CENTER.

tanishka shah
Can I applyinto this even if am belonging to any state?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, Yes, In order to be eligible for the CAT Exam, the candidate has to pass at least their Bachelor's degree with at least 50% (for General Category and for candidates from the NC-OBC caste). For SC/ST and Differently Abled (DA) candidates, the percentage required is 45%. For more information, please refer, CAT Exam Eligibility.

Even after doing BA ,can I give CAT?

Dear Sameer

Greetings from Collegedunia. You can appear in CAT Examination 2021 if you have passed Graduation with 50% marks and CAT scores to take admission in 20 IIMs in India. For more details, kindly go through this link – CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

What is the CAT cutoff for XISS Ranchi?
rakhisree chatterjee


CutOff 2019
Unreserved CAT Unreserved CMAT
HRM 66.36 73.31
RM 50 50
IT 45 50
shubham sharma
What is the validity of CAT Result?

Hi Shubham

The CAT Score is valid for only one year after that you need to take the next year CAT exam . You can only use your score to get admission in a good college for a year. No college will accept your CAT score once the validity gets over.