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CAT Preparation Tips by Topper Piyasi Das

Last Updated - September 11, 2018

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta has been released the official notification for CAT 2018 on July 29. CAT 2018 will be conducted on November 25 (Sunday) through computer based mode. Interested and eligible candidates can apply on the official website of exam from August 8 to September 19, 2018. As per CAT Eligibility, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks.

CAT 2018CAT RegistrationCAT Cut Off

Common Admission Test (CAT) is considered as one of the prestigious management exams in India. It is a gateway to all 20 IIMs and other top B-schools in India. More than 2 lac candidates are expected to take CAT 2018 Exam. 

Preparation Tips by Piyasi Das

Piyasi Das appeared for CAT in 2012 and scored 85 percentile marks. She was offered admission from many institutes but she finally chose Birla Institute of Management Technology, NOIDA. She says, only a good practice can lead to crack CAT. She also says, practice with a focused mind can make weak areas as the strong one so, practice die-hard to get selected in your dream institute. Given below is the questionnaire of her which can help you in CAT preparation. as she shares some of the best CAT Preparation Tips with CAT 2018 aspirants. 

CAT Preparation Tips

Ques. Name the institute where you took admission.

Ans. Birla Institute of Management Technology, NOIDA. 

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

Ans. 5

Ques. The institutes that offered you admissions? 

Ans. I was offered admission from following institutes-

  2. Christ University Institute of Management, Bengaluru
  3. Goa Institute of Management, Goa
  4. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bengaluru
  5. Delhi School of Management, Delhi
  6. ICFAI Business School, Tripura

Ques. What was your mode of CAT preparation? 

Ans. My mode of CAT Preparation was classroom coaching. 

Ques. Apart from CAT which exams did you appear for?


Ques. Name the Institute (online or classroom) from where you took coaching.

Ans. T.I.M.E

Ques. Review the coaching institutes. What was their role in your story?

Ans. I had a very good experience in this institute.The coaching process I had at the time of the exam, it was really very helpful for me. Coaching centers play a major part in CAT preparation or any other exam if have that willingness to do good is there. In coaching center, you will get a chance to practice all the topics from CAT Syllabus repeatedly as well as you can clarify your doubts easily. Coaching center will provide you some question sheet and also they took various exams for simply verify your knowledge and ability. They also make you practice a lot of CAT Sample 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. I am really dumb when the mathematical part comes in my way, so I tried to attempt full mathematical question papers every day, you will find on or online free test sites or in other sites, every day I used to saw many math practice videos on you tube, but the most important thing is to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Give full power on your weaknesses along with that practice hard to do well in your strong area as well. 

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

Ans. 99.99-CAT 2015, Prepare Online for CAT,, and Online CAT coaching undoubtedly helped me to get a better CAT Result.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Quantitative Aptitude section.

Ans. You already got to know that numbers horrifying for me. So I just started from the basics, my full concentration was on the fundamentals. I then started practicing every day. One of the most important things is to remember the shortcuts, formulae, tables and simple tricks, try to have a glance of that question answer before solving.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Vocabulary and Grammar section?

Ans. If you are very weak then English grammar book you will find everywhere, use YouTube, video games.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the DI section.

Ans. Practice hard, harder and the hardest one you can. That’s it. Try to have a conversation with your faculty or friends who are good in that, trust me, this helps you a lot.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Logical Reasoning section.

Ans. Spend most of your time seeking to understand what is being asked, rather than jumping in and working on the answer. Practice hard and also another way, you can easily find many apps for your android mobile/tab to practicing logical reasoning daily at any time any place.

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

Ans. How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma, How to Prepare For Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension for the CAT. Many are there you can find in google also. These are the chapter I followed specifically Reasoning Section, Logical and Verbal.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Vocabulary and Grammar.

Ans. No books actually, YouTube, video games helped me a lot, when I was free I tried to have a short conversation with my friends in English obviously.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Verbal Ability.

Ans. You can follow How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT Common Admission by Arun Sharma apart from this read, write English as much as you can. But trust me there’s no particular book you need to learn.

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

Ans. Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency by How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by our own Mr. Arun Sharma. These are the two books that I followed.

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

Ans. Every writer has their own style and process to share their knowledge's, anyway you can go for these books, but Arun Sharma is my favorite actually.

1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma

2. Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma

3. Quantitative Aptitude by R.S Agarwal is also a very good option. The chapter will be like Speed and Distance, Time and Work, Interest, Ratio, Proportion and Variation, Time, Speed and Distance and Applications of Time.

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

Ans. This is not a big deal, if you really want it to happen, you can make it happen. In the final year most of the students used to stop going colleges or else you will find us in the library. The college faculties also help you in your preparation. So don't worry try to use a max of your time and try to read at night as well, because a silent environment can help you to do things well. As you are in the final year try to make a schedule for your individual works as this is your peak time.

Ques. What is your five point rule to excel CAT 2018?

Ans. For CAT 2018, I would like to give following tips to aspirants:

1. Don't stick to a single section/question, just avoid going forward.
2. Avoid confusing questions/sections at earlier stage/time.
3. An attempt which is familiar to you and you are good on that (1st round).
4. Choose less time-consuming questions.
5. Try to not waste too much time before final round as these are quite tough ones.

Ques. Rate the role of your coaching institute (classroom or online) in cracking CAT?

Ans. 6

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

Ans. There is no time to think too much as you don't have such sufficient time, anyways just try to clear the basic fundamentals as early as possible, know the CAT Exam Pattern well, then to take mocks and fine tune your strategy. Try to solve various types of questions instead of same types of questions every day. Try to understand what is your strong area and work on that as well as give your full on your weak areas. But mostly try to remember the shortcuts and easy ways to solve problems in exams.

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 GroupsSubject Wise ClassesSelf-Study
ModerateModerateVery HighModerateHighVery HighModerateVery High

Ques. What will be your suggestion for students in the last phase of their preparation for CAT 2018?

Ans. I know it is a quite tough situation for students but you really need to calm down and should take rest and give rest to your body/brain. Don't think too much now, in this phase you just need to relax. Study consistently and keep revising. Do not go for marathon sessions while preparing. Keep your mind relaxed.

Ques. How was the interview? Share some of the questions which you were asked.

Ans. The interview was a bit tough for me, 4 rounds I have faced including GD, HR round, Director round and Technical round. Then only they selected me, the 1st round is like a casual interaction session with everyone, in the 2nd round I had to face 12 people including me in Group Discussion. After clearing that they provide us a lunch coupon and told me to come after 1 hour for the remaining rounds which were director, technical rounds. After the whole interview process, they confirmed contact number and told me that we will let me know soon.
Questions in the interview were like:
1. Tell me something about yourself?
2. Share some extra valuable qualities in you?
3. Why MBA?
4. What is marketing?
5. Hard work or Smart work?
6. Why do you want to join our college? What do you know about our college?
7. Whom do you admire most in your life?
8. Basic marketing questions (7p’s, 4p’s etc.).



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