CAT Exam Pattern & Preparation Tips

CAT Exam Pattern & Preparation Tips

What is CAT Exam

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CAT (Common Admission Test) exam is said to be one of the toughest exams in India. Admission to the top B-schools in India, i.e. IIMs is only possible through CAT. The CAT exam has a high level of difficulty when compared to other competitive MBA exams. The other exams like CET, NMAT, SNAP are speed-based exams.

The total number of questions: 100 questions

Duration of the CAT exam: 180 minutes, i.e. 3 hours

Sectional time limit: Yes

Mode of examination: CBT/ Online

The Medium of exam: English

Negative marking: Yes

CAT Exam

CAT exam pattern

The CAT exam comprises of 3 sections & 4 areas:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation (DI)
  3. Logical Reasoning (LR)
  4. Quantitative Ability (QA)

CAT Exam Pattern

*The LR & DI form a part of 1 section, making it a total of 3 sections.

100 questions are distributed amongst the three sections, out of which,

70-75 questions are MCQs

25-30 questions are non-MCQs, i.e. the TITA (Type in Type Out) questions where the student has to type in the answer.

  • No options are provided for this type of questions.
  • The correct answer is awarded with 3 marks each
  • The wrong answers get a negative marking of 1 mark each

(Applicable only for MCQ type questions)

Sections for CAT Exam

Let’s look at the sectional distribution of marks and time.

Sections for CAT Exam

VARC- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  • 34 questions – 60 minutes, 1 hour
  • Out of which, 7-10 questions are non-MCQ and 24-27 are MCQs

RC Based inquiries (All MCQs): 24

VA questions (Mix of MCQs and non-MCQs): 10

LOD: Moderate to Very troublesome

Segment Highlights:

No Grammar or vocabulary based inquiries since CAT 2015

Verbal Ability questions stay restricted to 3 subjects just – Jumbled section; Para outline; selecting an odd sentence from the muddled sentences.

DILR- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • 32 questions – 60 minutes, 1 hour
  • Out of the 32 questions, 6-8 questions are non-MCQ and 24-26 are MCQs

An offer of DI questions: 16

An offer of LR questions: 16

LOD: Moderate to troublesome

Area Highlights:

Inquiries show up in a set of 4

The time crunch is looked by test takers as inquiries are additional tedious

QA- Quantitative Ability

  • 34 questions – 60 minutes, 1 hour
  • And out of these 34 questions, 7-10 questions are non-MCQ and 24-27 are MCQs

LOD: Moderate to troublesome

Area Highlights:

More inquiries are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit and Loss, Time and speed, Work/days, Compound intrigue.

CAT Preparation

You have limited time to prepare each and every element of the CAT exam. Each and every day important for you that leads to the CAT examination. In addition, you need a clear practice plan to crack the CAT examination.

CAT Preparation

The preparation technique depends to a large extent on your educational qualifications, your current preparation plan and your experience. In the event that you give the CAT examination for the first time, you have to start with the fundamentals. For candidates who are acquainted with the CAT sample and have already given the CAT exam, it’s all about revision, practice, mock exams, time control and proper plan in order to improve.

Quick suggestions for CAT Preparation

  1. You must start by way of constructing your fundamentals about the CAT examination.
  2. After you are through with the syllabus and ideas, you have to exercise increasingly questions and first-rate tune your ideas.
  3. Finally, you need to try as many mock exams as you may. For the mock test, students can refer to
  4. Suppose there is sufficient time for the CAT exam. In that case you should be a part of a reputed CAT coaching institute. The other option is, Self-study with check collection of any reputed CAT coaching institute. Get together a Time table and follow it strictly.
  5. Practice as a whole lot as you may build your velocity and accuracy.
  6. First you should try all of the (easy) smooth questions.
  7. You should not waste time on hard questions. Also, you have got the most effective one hundred twenty minutes. So, utilize it wisely.


CAT Coaching – Should I join?

If you have ample time, you should be mindful of finding a renowned CAT training institute. It lets you regularize your studies. Plus, you get a pretty good practice that is required to crack the CAT exam.

CAT coaching

But, in case you ‘re in a process, self-examination would be a high-quality option for you. Most of the issues that can be asked for in the CAT exam have already been included in your faculty. The questions posed in the CAT are difficult for you to exercise. That’s it.

Examine your strengths and weaknesses

Take a look at Previous Year CAT Papers, you want to see your strengths and weaknesses. If you think you ‘re susceptible incomprehension, then you probably need to take more time to read.  When you are vulnerable to logical reasoning, then you should practice those questions. Therefore, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. You need to spend more time on your weak areas.

Importance of CAT study material

The importance of a proper look at the study material cannot be undermined in any examination. Whether or not you have joined a training institution or are getting ready by yourself, you need to take a close look at the material for the CAT exam.

CAT study material

You must at least have an e-book on each of the topics that could be requested for the CAT exam. Make a point of buying famous books. You should also become addicted to going through newspapers and magazines. It’s really important to develop your understanding of comprehension and your English skills.

Hope this article helped you learn about the CAT Exam Pattern & Preparation Tips.


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