How to prepare for CAT

Before you get into How to prepare for CAT. Let us dive into see what is CAT. Before preparation you should have an idea about CAT, Sections in CAT exam and how to prepare your strategy. Now let us see what is CAT.

What is CAT Exam?

To pursue a career in Management each other candidates appear for an entrance exam called CAT(Common Entrance Exam). The exam is conducted by IIMs(Indian Institute of Management). Each year an IIM prepare the exam and conduct it all over India. In 2020, the exam happened on 29th November across 453 cities and respective centers. CAT is the only exam that IIMs accept.

How to prepare for CAT


How to start CAT preparation?

To prepare for CAT you should first check the Exam Pattern and syllabus for CAT.Listen to the journey of the candidates who have scored 100 percentiles. You should have an idea what you are getting into and what all you will face and most importantly how to make your strategy. 

At Hamari Naukari, we recommend the candidates to break the preparation into 3 phases:

  • Working on Fundamentals: This is the basic and the most important part when you start to prepare for CAT. You might take some extra time But unless your concepts and basic knowledge is complete you should not move ahead. It will be utter wasting of your time which you will regret later.
  • Doing practice and running against the flowWhen you have worked on your concepts next step will be to start practicing them in problems. Practice and Practice, the key motto for your CAT preparation. The more you will practice, the more questions and concepts you will clear. MORE THE MERRIER.
  • Taking countless Mocks: Once you have gained confidence start giving mock tests. Take at least 40-50 mock tests. Different sectional mock tests. You will be able to analyze your mistakes and improve them before the exam.

Sections in CAT

Like already discussed, CAT happens once an year and is a computer based test. This year the exam was held on 29th November. This year, CAT changed the exam pattern and instead of 100 questions only 76 questions were asked with allotted time of 2 hours.

As CAT convener, told Hamari Nauakri,” CAT doesn’t reveal the type and number of questions to be asked. This is done so that the exam doesn’t become predictable.”

The sectional questions are given below:

How to prepare for CAT

The exam was conducted for 2 hours, with 40 minutes given to each section. 

Negative marking of -1 on any wrong attempt and +3 on every right answer. 

There are 3 sections in a CAT exam:

  1. Quantitative Ability(QA)
  2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  3.  Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC).

Each section have their own sectional cut off and overall cut off.  Depending on the number of correct questions and wrong questions a score is generated known as percentile.

When to start Preparing

To prepare for CAT you should have ample time and patience. Each year the exam is conducted in the month of October or November. One should give at least 8-9 months of good solid preparation and at least 8-10 hours a day 6 days a week. Divide the time to different sections and don’t over agonize over a particular section.

Taking extra difficult questions won’t help you. Because CAT plays with your mind. Mind boggling questions will be asked not lengthy questions.

So the ideal time to start preparing for CAT is by giving yourself at least 9 months.


We hope that we have covered all the details in this topic and have cleared your doubts on CAT. If you have any doubts or query do leave us a comment we will surely help you. Happy Learning.

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