CAT Preparation: How to Crack Common Admission Test?

By Universitykart Team, Posted on Nov 03, 2022
CAT Preparation: How to Crack Common Admission Test?

Step-by-step procedure for preparing for the CAT exam for aspirants.

CAT Exam Preparation: Generally, aspirants commit 3-6 months to study for the CAT test regardless of whether they are graduating students or professionals working. This timeframe must be divided into stages, that will take you through the basic steps to learning advanced techniques and then, constructing an exam plan.

The legendary Antoine de Saint-Exupery once remarked, "A goal without any plan is just an idea."

If you're trying to pass one of the more difficult entrance exams, you should have a well-planned preparation plan and a strategy. It is conducted in November each year, the CAT opens the door to the top MBA institutes like IIMs, FMS, MDI, and many more. Although various experts advocate various strategies to prepare for the test We have compiled the most straightforward and efficient method for preparing for the CAT.


The CAT test is computer-based with a length of two hours. The exam is designed to assess your ability to learn management and the skills required for the professional world. Before you begin your preparations, you should be aware of the examination pattern of the CAT. Here's a look at the anticipated exam pattern for the CAT, which is following the same pattern as this year:

Expected CAT Exam Pattern

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
MCQ - 19
TITA - 5
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
MCQ - 15
TITA - 5
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
MCQ - 15
TITA - 7
Total No. of Questions

CAT Preparation: Stepwise Guide to Prepare for CAT Exam

The following are the most important actions to follow to perform well in the CAT exam:

1. Know the CAT Exam Pattern

Common Admission Test or CAT the way it is known, has three major sections Quantitative Aptitude (QA) as well as Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) as well as Verbal Abilities and Reading Comprehension (VARC)'. The CAT exam, as shown above, 2021 included 24 questions on VARC, 20 in DILR as well as 22 questions for the QA. Below are the most important characteristics of the most recent exam format:

Expected CAT: Key Features

Exam Window
Three sessions in one day
120 minutes (two hours)
Verbal ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA)
Total Marks
Marking Scheme
Correct Answer: (+3)
Incorrect Answer: (-1)
No negative marking for Non-MCQs
There is no penalty for not answering questions.

2. Study the Syllabus for CAT

Before you begin preparing for the CAT it is important to know the syllabus. While IIMs do not have a common syllabus for CAT however, we have listed the essential topics following the format that has been in place for the past few years.

i.                    CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

VARC has questions that range from intermediate to advanced difficulty. After studying the CAT exam papers, we have compiled the most crucial areas of VARC in the following list:

Reading Comprehension is an essential component of the CAT test, and has more than 70% of the weightage VARC the exam has 4 RC passages on the exam, with 3 to 5 questions each.

Abstract Paragraph: This portion examines the student's reasoning as well as analytical abilities. Questions that are related to this subject are likely to be found in the CAT.

Para-jumbles and Misfit Sentences A different area that is vital to VARC This subject can be very time-consuming since the sentences may be lengthy, and the process of arranging them requires effort and practice.

The miscellaneous subjects of VARC are as follows:

·         Sentence Completion

·         Verbal Reasoning (Fact & Judgment)

·         Grammar and Usage (including questions that are based on common Grammar mistakes and sentence Correction Confusing Words and Phrasal Verbs).

·         Vocabulary-based questions (mainly Fill in the blanks and Synonym-Antonym-based questions Cloze Passage Analogies and so on.).

Questions that are based on grammar usually need you to be conversant in the common guidelines and rules of the English language, as well as the questions that assess your proficiency in this field.

ii.                  CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

DILR-related questions are presented in CAT as sets of 2-6 questions per. The subjects of logic and data interpretation are given nearly equal weightage in this section. Below is a list of subjects that you need to master for CAT DI and LRT:

Caselets Tables, Caselets and Tables, Caselets, Graphs, Column Graphs Line Charts and Venn Diagrams, and Pie Charts A combination of more than one type that is linked to one another. Games and Tournaments, Letter and Number Series, Calendars, Clocks, Cubes, Venn Diagrams, and Binary Logic Seating Arrangement Syllogism Logical Sequence Blood Relations.

iii.                CAT Quantitative Ability

The most difficult section of CAT, Quant Section generally includes questions relating to geometric, arithmetic as well as algebra (in the order of decreasing weightage). While the concepts seem fundamental in their nature but the majority of associated questions are difficult to be solved. The following are the most significant questions in CATQA:

Number Systems; LCM and HCF; Profit, Loss and Discount; Percentages; Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; Simple and Compound Interest; Ratio and Proportion; Averages; Quadratic Equations; Linear Equations; Complex Numbers; Logarithm; Binomial Theorem; Sequences and Series; Surds and Indices; Inequalities; Probability; Permutation and Combination; Set Theory; Functions; Geometry; Mixtures and Alligations; Trigonometry; Coordinate Geometry; and Menstruation.

Did you know that from 2009 until 2013 Prometric, an American firm Prometric was the one responsible for carrying out the CAT exam. However, from 2014 onwards the CAT test has been administered in the hands of TCS (Tata Consultant Services).

3. Build your foundations

CAT preparation should start by learning the fundamentals of the most important subjects. After you've completed your syllabus as well as the test patterns begin working on the basic concepts of each section. If you are able to conceptualize the concepts clearly you will be able to gain more precision in a shorter amount of time. While reading regularly is crucial for mastering the verbal ability section the other two sections require that you put in a substantial amount of time practicing. Once you've learned the basics, begin solving chapter-specific and topic-related questions.

4. Provide CAT Mock Tests frequently

CAT preparation is viewed as insufficient when you take mock tests. The mock tests that simulate mock tests or CAT test tests and papers are designed to help familiarize students with the requirements of the exam. Furthermore, the results of the mock tests provide a clear picture of the aspirant's strengths and weaknesses in the various subjects. It is imperative to enhance your weak areas as well as strengthen your strongest areas in order to score higher.

5. Study your Mock Tests thoroughly and Adopt the correct strategy

This is an aspect that the majority of applicants for the CAT fail to complete in their quest for the entrance test. This test of evaluating the mocks can give an understanding of where you stand and will give you a framework for determining your exam strategy. It is important to consider the significance of each of the sections and their significance for the exam when making your study strategy. Keep in mind that every candidate needs the use a specific strategy in line with their strengths and weak points. Therefore, as you take many test-taking scenarios, you'll discover which strategies and techniques will work for you. Additionally, you'll have to develop a specific approach for all types of questions and sections.

Final Tips for CAT Preparation

When you are preparing for your test keep these points in your mind:

1.       Review the previous CAT exams to get a better understanding of the pattern and the difficulty of the paper.

2.       Take note of the most significant topics that are subject-specific. It will show you the time you will need to dedicate to each topic.

3.       To understand the RC section it is suggested to read from a variety of areas, with a particular focus on comprehending the content.

4.       General awareness is one of the areas that students are lacking in. So, you should begin to read newspapers, and articles and watch debates that can assist you to understand the issues. While there isn't a GK area in CAT it's vital to be aware of recent events to prepare for the next screening tests (GD/PI/WAT). Additionally, having a good reading routine will assist you in completing the verbal portion.

5.       Try to score more on each exam you attempt.

Last but not least "focused effort is secret in achieving success."

Best of luck with your test examination!

FAQs Regarding CAT Preparation

1. How much preparation is needed in order to pass the CAT?

Ideally, a period of six months is the ideal time to prepare for CAT. With that much time, you will be able to breeze through the prelim phase and progress to the advanced level. But, you could also be successful in the preparation within a few months' time, if you are more diligent and remain concentrated and well-organized when practicing and studying to be ready for D-day.

2. Do you find it difficult to prepare for CAT?

It isn't very difficult when you adhere to the right schedule and follow a strict method. With a solid study plan you'll be able progress step-by-step and then master the most important aspects of the CAT.

3. Can a student who isn't a top performer get the CAT?

A below-average student can get CAT outstanding scores. All kinds of academic backgrounds and grades pass the CAT. The only thing you require to pass the CAT exam is a sharp mind and intelligent work.

4. Is CAT more durable than NEET?

The CAT is essentially an aptitude test, which can be taken regardless of educational background. However, NEET is a test on the knowledge of the candidate in specific areas. NEET questions do not assess the general logical abilities of the applicant. In general, CAT is more competitive and harder to pass, especially when you consider the plethora of applicants and the limited IIMs seats.

5. What is the maths level being asked in CAT?

The maths level in CAT is similar to the 9th and 10th classes only. That is, it is only necessary to work with a lot of focus on the concepts that you've already learned in high school.

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