CAT Here՚s the Schedule to Stay Calm and Study on and Basic Math՚s

Get top class preparation for CAT right from your home: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of CAT.


  • The CAT exam, or Common Admission Test, is an exam given annually by the Indian Institutes of Management. In fact, the exam՚s full name is actually the Indian Institutes of Management Common Admission Test, or the IIMCAT (David explains more about this here!) The 20 Indian Institutes of Management host the exam on a rotating basis, with one taking responsibility for the exam՚s administration that year.
  • Preparing for CAT English is not a straight-forward task, and you need expert guidance to help you along the way. Here is listed resources from all areas that form the core of the CAT English section and provided resources for those. The focus topics for the first month are Vocabulary, Reading, Basic Grammar and Usage.

The CAT exam contains three sections:

  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension (34 questions)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (32 questions)
  • Quantitative Ability (34 questions)

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 SC/ST and Differently Abled (DA) candidates, the percentage required is 45 % .

Suggested Study – How Many Hours Per Day One Needs to Prepare for CAT?

  • If one has prepared and written the CAT exam previously, then about 8 to 10 hours per week may be sufficient.
  • However, if one is starting the preparation for CAT now, then 16 to 20 hours per week may be required to be ready for the exam. Mind you, this is just about 10 % of the total hours available (168) in a week!
  • Before one starts prepping for the CAT (or any MBA entrance exam) , it is imperative to understand the exam and what marks/percentiles are required to get into an IIM or other institutes. The CAT pattern has remained same for the last four years (CAT 2015, CAT 2016, CAT 2017 and CAT2018) .
  • The student could attempt only one section at a time in the above given order. Once the student had finished one section, there was no provision to go back to that section again.
  • Each section consisted of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) as well as non-Multiple Choice Questions (non-MCQs) . Also, There were Negative marks (-1) for wrong answers for MCQ questions. For Non-MCQ questions, there were No negative marks.
  • For example, if in an exam, there are 100 students writing the same, and one gets a FIRST Rank (mind you, it is NOT the full marks, only the first rank with whatever marks compared to the rest of the students) , then there would be 99 students below this student. 99 students out of 100 (meaning 99 % of students) are below the student and hence the student will get 99 % ile in that exam.
  • In duration of June to August the objective in these 3 months would be to gain complete familiarity in the areas, topics, concepts and type of questions that the CAT exam has.
  • In the months of June, July and August, the focus should be in going through all the topics in all areas of CAT viz. , QA, DILR and VARC.
  • If you score 100 percentile in one section and 65 percentile in other section in CAT, it is as good as scoring ‘zero’ percentile in CAT since none of the IIMs would short list you. What you need is a balanced sectional percentile. So, you need to target a minimum sectional CAT percentile of 80 - 85 + to become eligible to get shortlisted by one or other IIM. Accordingly, if you are very strong in one section and very weak in other section, you need to improve your skills in the weak area to qualify the threshold sectional score qualifying criteria of IIMs.
  • So, make a smart CAT preparation plan for next 10 days with a target to crack each of the 3 sections with good scores. If you scored 60 percentile in CAT last year after regularly devoting 2 - 3 hours of study, don՚t think you can suddenly jump to score 99 percentile by making a 24 hours study plan for CAT. Instead be open to variety of questions without taking any one as a challenge.
  • Please note that CAT can be anticipated a tricky exam where your high or low overall percentile means nothing unless you have a balanced high sectional percentile. High score in CAT can be obtained by following tips and tricks and devising to the point study plan of limited hours. You may find many CAT aspirants who scored a high percentile even with less preparation, on the other hand there may be many candidates who could score a low percentile even after studying for full day and also quit their job to prepare for CAT.
  • If you begin believing right from the beginning that you cannot get into IIM A, B, C, you can never get one. You must prepare with a clear focus on CAT. Instead of more time spent, more concentrated and limited study hours can give you more confidence. Never think that you cannot and won՚t get into top 3 - 4 IIMs even if you are not scoring high in initial days of your preparation.
  • If your concepts are clear, practice the questions based on the concepts. Prof Nishit Sinha asks you to check it well. For example - if 2 and 3 are the roots of a quadratic equation ax2 + bx + c = 0, what is the value of (a + b + c) ?
  • Make a smart CAT preparation plan for next 10 days with a target to crack each of the 3 sections with good scores. If you scored 60 percentile in CAT last year after regularly devoting 2 - 3 hours of study, don՚t think you can suddenly jump to score 99 percentile by making a 24 hours study plan for CAT 2017. Instead be open to variety of questions without taking any one as a challenge.
  • The good part is that the types of questions asked in CAT are finite. A question is difficult only if you are seeing it for the first time. If you find a question difficult even if you are seeing it for the second time, ask yourself - Are you honest enough with your preparation? While spending full day in study, what was the real time spent on study? So, it is better to limit your study hours allowing more space for activities necessary in everyday life instead of getting confined to a room, quitting your job and gaining nothing even after 24 hours of study.

Vocabulary Builder for CAT

Word pandit has a range of Vocabulary resources, and it can get a little confusing at times for you to decide which area you need to begin with. We have that covered for you with this section. You get your daily vocabulary dose, in the form of word-poster list and flashcards sets listed here for you. All you need is to learn these words on a daily basis, and you are surely going to no issue with CAT vocabulary.

Basic Math՚s

Since this is the first month of the Prep-plan, it makes sense to focus on Basic Math՚s Skills. For this, we feature two types of content: Basic Math՚s Tests (these would remind you of school and are a check for how well you studied back then) and Puzzles (to help you develop your analytical skills) .

Some easy step to prepare CMAT:

  • Step 1: Know CMAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus
  • Step 2: Practice Through Sample Papers/Mock Test
  • Step 3: Thorough Revision
    • Plan Your Study
    • Solve Mock Tests
    • Distributive Learning
    • Revise Regularly
    • Make Basics your Strength
    • Practice last year question papers
    • Take Regular Breaks
    • Set a Finishing Date

Here is a list of some useful insights for the last few days to the D-Day:

  • Concentrate on Accuracy and Time-management
  • Rely on your set defined strategy
  • Brush up topics from self-made notes
  • Revise shortcut methods for complex calculations
  • Attempt Practice Papers and other Mock Tests
  • Read the Guidelines thoroughly before starting your Paper
  • Eat and rest well for the last few days