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CAT 2017 Preparation Tips by Manish Panda

Last Updated - September 02, 2017

Manish Panda 94.2 percentile in CAT 2014 shared his experience about preparation strategies he followed and how his efforts land him to IIFM, Bhopal. His strategies are worth sharing with all the aspirants those who want to crack CAT 2017. CAT topper Mansh Panda suggests a smart way of CAT preparation instead of going for zig-zag preparation path. With his consistent efforts deployed in right direction, Manish Panda shares the best CAT preparation tips for CAT 2017 to get an edge over your peers.

CAT 2017 Preparation Tips

Here is the questionnaire we had with him:

Ques. How many GD/PIs did you take part in?

Ans. I took part in 3 GD/PIs.

Ques. How was the interview? Share some of the questions.  

Ans. The interview was good. Faculty asked me basic questions like - Why you want to join IIFM?, About academics, About my Work Experience, About Hobbies, interests, etc.

Ques. The institutes that offered you admissions?

Ans. I was offered admission in IMT Nagpur, K J Somaiya, and IIFM Bhopal. 

Ques. Apart from CAT which exams do you appear?

Ans. Apart from CAT, I also appeared for XAT. 

Ques. What was your mode of CAT preparation?      

Ans. I opted for self-study.

Ques. How did you manage CAT preparation schedule along graduation studies/working hours?

Ans. I did studies on weekends at home. Also took subject wise online mock tests frequently and all this undoubtedly helped me to get better CAT Result.  

Ques. What is your five point rule to excel CAT 2017?


  • Aim
  • Aspire
  • Focus
  • Determination
  • Hardwork

Ques. Which mock papers did you take?

Ans. Old IMS test papers and time mock papers.

Ques. What were your strong and weak areas? How did you prepare and what special efforts did you put for improving your weak areas?      

Ans. My strong area was Data Interpretation and the weak area was Quantitative Analysis.

For Quant, I just practiced more and more this subject and practiced more CAT sample papers in this subject.

Ques. What are the websites you followed regularly to practice free sample papers or to get updates?

Ans. I followed

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Quantitative Aptitude section.         

Ans. It was my weak area so for this I solved more problems in this subject and gave more mock tests.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Data Interpretation section.

Ans. I followed online resources and IMS material for DI section.               

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Data Interpretation section.

Ans. It was my strong area therefore I practiced and I was ready for this section.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for the Quantitative Aptitude section.

Ans. I followed online resources fpr Quantitative Aptitude section.  

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Logical Reasoning section.  

Ans. It was my strong area so simple practice was enough

Ques. List the name of books you followed for the Logical Reasoning section.            

Ans. Online resources and IMS material

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Verbal Ability section.

Ans. Reading newspapers and magazine.                     

Ques. What should be the strategy for someone who is starting just two months before the exam?

Ans. If basics are strong and you have practiced important questions from the CAT Syllabus, then 2 months are enough to have a crack at CAT. Only give as many mock papers so that time management does not become an issue in the exam.         

Ques. How would you rate the following preparation strategy in terms of their efficiency in your story?

Coaching ClassesNCERT Text BooksOnline Study MaterialCoaching Printed Study MaterialMock & Sample Test PapersStudy GroupsSelf Study
ModerateLowHighModerateVery HighNot ApplicableHigh

Ques. What will be your prescription for students in the last phase of their preparation for CAT 2017?     

Ans. Relax and don’t take extra stress.Subjects in CAT are not something that can be mugged up. I would like to share a few more tips for the last stage of CAT preparation:

  1.  Study in three-hour session: Although it is not easy to sit continuously for three hours and study, but you need to do this by training your mind and body because we all know that competition in CAT is very tough. Three-hour session are important as they make giving CAT exam much easier. If you are not putting in enough three-hour sessions, then you may get a nasty surprise during the exam. You might spend a few crucial minutes fantasizing about super powers of stopping time, which might prove costly during the exam. So, this is the first tip that you should train your mind and body rigorously and be habitual of writing the three-hour exam.  
  2. Take adequate breaks: A very few students become obsessed with CAT preparation, which is more with students who take a month’s leave from work for preparation. I have seen students feel guilty and suffer from it if they are not studying continuously in this so called ‘study break’. I agree that it is important to wisely use your time but at the same time, it is also important that students do not over burden themselves. If you enjoy some sports, there is nothing like it. That will be the best kind of break one can have. A movie outing might also work. But most importantly, one must remember that I would not put spending time on ‘social media’ under the category of break as the breaks. Breaks that students need to take is physical in nature. If you are in any place other than Delhi, taking a walk outside once a day might be a good idea.
  3. Eat healthy and drink a lot of water: Nothing can kill productivity other than any physical ailment. it might sound very repetitive, but eating healthy, drinking a lot of water and getting adequate sleep is very important. I know that you are not running a marathon or something, but avoiding dal makhani or butter chicken or fried food for a month and eating healthy, instead will surely help.
  1. Schedule CAT preparation in the last month: I would strongly recommend students to touch upon every topic during this period and thoroughly revise all the formulae. 
  • Attempt 2 Logical Reasoning sets daily.
  • Attempt 2 Data Interpretation sets daily.
  • Attempt 2 Reading Comprehension passages daily.
  • Attempt 10-15 questions on Parajumbles / Critical Reasoning / Verbal Ability every alternate day.
  • Attempt 10-15 questions on Geometry / Algebra / Arithmetic every alternate day.
  • Attempt 10-15 questions on Number System / Modern Math every alternate day.



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