CAT 2018-19 (How to Prepare for CAT Exam) - Eligibility, Dates, Registration, Pattern & Syllabus

How to prepare for CAT exam

As to clear IIT Entrance is a dream of every aspirant who want to become an ace engineer, AIIMS entrance exam is for doctors, similarly CAT Exam is the dream of those who are keen to do Masters in Management. But actually, people are unfamiliar about how to prepare for CAT Exam. So, if you are also looking for the answer of same question ‘How to prepare for CAT Exam’ then this article is very advantageous for you.

Facts about CAT Exam

Every year, the organizer of CAT Exam will be changed actually different IIM conducts this prestigious exam and usually disclose its notification in the last week of July of every year, announce the test dates; which are conducted in the November month. The exam pattern of this computer-based test has been almost changed every year.

Last year 1,99,632 candidates appear for the CAT for admissions to various management programmes of IIMs and other B-schools. The 20 IIMs of the nation offers 3750 seats and apart from that around 100 B-schools accept CAT score.

How to prepare for CAT exam

How to prepare for CAT Exam

The one who are willing to do MBA from IIM or other top MBA colleges must qualify the CAT entrance exam, but the first question comes to their mind is ‘How to prepare for CAT Exam?’.  The better answer for how to prepare for CAT Exam is to understand CAT Exam pattern in well advance. Experts say about the key components for ‘how to prepare for CAT Exam’. The major feature of ‘how to prepare for CAT Exam’ is CAT preparation strategy and preparation time.

As the time passes on, the preparation time also reduces day by day and with this your procedure for how to prepare for CAT Exam will be keep changing accordingly. Like from how to prepare for CAT Exam to how to prepare for CAT Exam in 3 months, how to prepare for CAT Exam in 2 months, and so on.

After integrating the preparation time for CAT entrance, we are here with CAT preparation tips for beginners to understand how to prepare for CAT Exam at home. Self study is the best way to prepare for any exam unless you know right direction to do that. Likewise, how to prepare for CAT Exam by self study is with the help of right books, study material, and free online facility for more exposure for how to prepare for CAT Exam by CAT Exam quiz, CAT Mock Test. All these points help you for how to prepare for CAT Exam at home.

Accordingly, here is the tips which will guide you how to prepare for CAT exam at home, focused on following points when you start for your CAT 2018 exam preparation:

  1. CAT Pattern: You must be aware about the CAT 2018 exam pattern
  2. CAT 2018 Syllabus
  3. CAT Preparation Time
  4. How to start CAT preparation at home?
  5. How to prepare for CAT 2018 in 6 months?
  6. How to prepare for CAT 2018 in 3 months?
  7. How to prepare for CAT 2018 in 2 months?
  8. How to prepare for CAT without coaching and with self study?
  9. Books for CAT preparation
  10. CAT Preparation with Coaching
  11. CAT Mock Test 2018
  12. Strategy to score 95+ percentile in CAT 2018 

CAT Paper Pattern

To discern about how to prepare for CAT Exam, you must know about the CAT exam paper pattern. On the basis of the record, the structure of CAT Exam and its content has gone with noticeable changes since 2014. The paper pattern of CAT exam is expected to be announcing in the month of November/December 2018.

However, despite of numerous changes in the paper pattern of the CAT Exam in last 4 years, the basics of CAT Exam are still the same. The structure of CAT 2018 is also expected to be the same as last 3 years paper except few minor changes like number of questions, type of question, etc this will give you the clear picture of how to prepare for CAT Exam. So if you want to succeed in CAT Exam, you must start your preparation now without wasting any time for a high score.

As per the revised CAT exam pattern 2018, it will comprise of 100 questions divided into three sections. The time limit of each section is of 1 hour. There is a sectional cutoff in CAT Exam in IIMs for shortlisting, you need to ensure high score in each of the 3 sections. Below mentioned table help you to understand how to prepare for CAT Exam.

CAT Exam Pattern 2018

Section

No. of Questions

Total Marks

Duration

VA & RC

34

102

60 minutes

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

32

96

60 minutes

Quantitative Ability (QA)

34

102

60 minutes

Total

100

300

180

CAT 2018 Syllabus

After reading about the exam pattern, your query of how to prepare for CAT Exam must be solved at some extent, but to understand this in detail you should know other points of the exam also. So here we explain the complete CAT syllabus 2018 for you, so that you can easily prepare for your exam accordingly.

The main feature of CAT exam syllabus is that the questions asked in the CAT exam will not repeat although the difficulty level of the questions in CAT exam would not go out of CAT exam syllabus. The exam syllabus is based on the mentioned guidelines and current structure of CAT exam.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension

Different Categories of Passages

Writing Styles

Tone of Writing

Types of Questions

Reading Skills

Types of Passages

Accuracy in RC

RC – The Game of Thrones Way

The Articles – A, An, The

Grammar

Parts of Speech in English

Sentence Construction in English

Punctuations

Modifiers

Subject-Verb Agreement

Verbs Tenses

Sentence Correction

Word Usage

Verbal Reasoning

Logical Deduction

Statements & Assumptions

Courses of Action

Parajumbles (Basic Rules, Extra tips)

Para Completion

Sentence Exclusion

Fact Inference Judgment

Syllogism

Basic Assumption And Inference

Critical Reasoning

Strengthen and Weaken an Argument

Paragraph Summary

Method of Reasoning and Boldfaced

Flawed and Paradox

Parallel, Further Application, Evaluate

Fallacies and Strong Weak Arguments

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

Level 1 topics of CAT syllabus for LRDI section
  • Coding – Decoding
  • Number Series
  • Letter Series
  • Symbol Series
  • Symbol based Logic
  • Number & Alphabet Analogies
  • Odd one out
  • Direction Sense
  • Blood Relations and Family Tree
  • Cryptarithmetic (Verbal Arithmetic)
  • Inequalities and Conclusions – Coded Inequalities
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Approximation of Values
Level 2 topics of CAT syllabus for LRDI section
  • Bar Graphs
  • Pie Charts
  • Tables
  • True / False statements based questions (Binary Logic)
  • Pan Balance / Spring Balance
  • Linear and Circular Seating Arrangements
  • Matrix and Grid based Arrangements
  • Sequential Output / Input-Output
  • Logical Conditions (If this, then that)
  • Logical Grouping
  • Critical Path
  • Cubes based problems
  • Games and Tournaments
  • Matchstick / Coin picking based problems
  • Dice Related Problems
  • Order and Ranking
  • Quant Based LR Puzzles

Quantitative Aptitude

Number System
  • Basics of Numbers
  • Properties of Numbers
  • Divisibility Rules
  • Divisibility and Factors
  • HCF & LCM
  • Finding Out Last Digit
  • Finding Out Last Two Digits
  • Number of trailing zeroes
  • Highest Power in a prime, rightmost non zero digit
  • Finding out Remainders
  • Based on basic divisibility rules
  • Based on Binomial Theorem
  • Based on Simplifying the Dividend (Single and / or Multiple Divisors)
  • Fermat's Theorem
  • Euler's Theorem
  • Pattern Recognition and cyclicity of remainders
  • Wilson's Theorem
  • Base Systems
  • Conversion of Bases
  • Addition / subtraction / multiplication in different bases
Arithmetic

Part 1 – Basic concepts

  • Averages
  • Mean Median Mode
  • Percentages
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Simple and Compound Interest

Part 2 – High probability

  • Installments
  • Profit and Loss
  • Mixtures and Alligations
  • Time Speed and Distance
  • Basic Concepts
  • Linear and Circular Races
  • Boats and Stream
  • Relative Speed
  • Escalator Based Questions
  • Time and Work
  • Pipes and Cisterns

Part 3 – Concepts from CAT syllabus that you should know but are unlikely to be asked in the CAT

  • Calendars
  • Clocks
  • Stocks and Shares
Algebra
  • Basics Algebraic Formulae
  • Linear Equations
  • Problems on ages
  • Number of integer solutions
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Finding out roots
  • Maxima and Minima
  • Higher Degree Equations
  • Descartes Rule of Signs
  • Inequalities
  • Logarithm
  • Functions
  • Modifications of graphs
  • Smallest value in a maximum function
Geometry
  • Lines and Angles
  • Triangles – Basic Concepts
  • Area, Angles
  • Similar Triangles
  • Special Triangles (30-60-90, 45-45-90, 30-30,120)
  • Polygons
  • Circles
  • Solids / Mensuration – 3D Geometry
  • Co-ordinate Geometry
  • Trigonometry
Modern Math
  • Sequence and Series
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Set Theory
  • Venn Diagram based on 2 / 3 sets
  • Venn Diagram based on 4 sets
  • Maxima and Minima related to values in a set
  • 'At least n' type of problems
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Fundamental Principles of Counting
  • Distribution of Objects
  • Problems based on Grids
  • Rank of a word in a dictionary
  • Probability

CAT Preparation Time

For how to prepare for CAT Exam you should also know about the ideal CAT preparation time that could ensure a high percentile score in CAT 2018 exam? As per the toppers suggestion the CAT aspirants should remain calm and regular.

The time of groundwork for CAT can be divided into three slots for which preparation tips can be shared:

  1. How to start CAT preparation at home?
  2. How to prepare for CAT Exam in 6 months?
  3. How to prepare for CAT Exam in 3 months?
  4. How to prepare for CAT Exam in 2 months?
  5. How to prepare for CAT Exam without coaching and with self study? 

How to start CAT preparation at home?

Now you can start your preparation of CAT at home without waiting any further. According to the CAT topper Akhil Garg, who scored 99.73 percentile and a student of IIM Ahmedabad of 2017-19 batch, advises to start self preparation at home without being dependant on any coaching. Tips to start exam preparation at home are:

  • Go through the revised CAT exam pattern
  • Read thoroughly the CAT syllabus 2018
  • Work on your strong and weak areas in all the sections seperately
  • Gather the best books and preparation material for CAT 2018 preparation
  • Enhance your feeble areas and monitor the improvement regularly
  • Take as many CAT Mocks during your CAT 2018 preparation and do the analysis of each Mock. Without analysis of Mock, attempting a mock test may not be useful.
  • Read English novels, articles, communicate with your friends in English and even watching English TV series and movies to enhance your VARC section.
  • Every day learn 5-6 new words.
  • Data Interpretation (DI) is considered a bit more time consuming. Start practicing on DI questions. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.

How to prepare for CAT Exam in 6 months?

For newcomers and repeaters CAT preparation tips are not much different? To answer ‘How to prepare for CAT Exam in 6 months?’ is these six months are sufficient to crack the exam.  You should follow these points for a successful journey of how to prepare for CAT exam:

  • Firstly, go through and understand the exam pattern.
  • Know about the complete CAT exam syllabus and prepare on basis of that
  • Find out your weak and strong points
  • Must clear your concepts and fundamentals on the topics.
  • Doesn’t waste time on theory just clear your basics and you will be able to attempt CAT sectional quiz.
  • Don’t forget to practice after theory. Do periodical CAT Quiz, attempt Mock test, and also practice previous years question papers
  • Read the best material with best books.
  • Without wasting any time initiate your CAT preparation early so that you will get enough times to overcome your weaknesses.
  • Be confident throughout your preparation journey.
  • Self Preparation is best for CAT however time is also an essential factor. If a candidate gets stuck somewhere due to lack of clarity causes the wastage of time. In such situation, take a help from your mentor either online or offline as per your convenience.

How to prepare for CAT exam in 3 months?

The next question is how to prepare for CAT exam in 3 months? Well! The 3 months time is not less if you utilize it with at its best. All you need to do is, revise everything which you have prepared till now with the help of the various CAT preparation tools. Here we mention few points to intensify ‘how to prepare for CAT Exam’ strategy for three months:

  • You have achieved good clarity on fundamentals and have strengthened your basics
  • Along with going through the CAT preparation books, visit number of online CAT preparation material
  • Take CAT Mock test and analyze your errors and rectify them.
  • Instead of reading the theory again and again, now you should attempt the question and when you are stuck, visit the basics and clarify your point to clear the confusion
  • Solve previous year question papers of CAT
  • You can also join a good Test series for CAT preparation

How to prepare for CAT 2018 in 2 months? 

It sounds weird that how to prepare for CAT exam in 2 months, but as per the CAT toppers the time of two months for CAT preparation is good enough. But the only thing required for this is the sincerity and effective study of the student.

  • Focus more on CAT Exam Quiz, Mock tests, and other different types of questions as appeared in the exam
  • Don’t leave any CAT Mock Test without analyzing it
  • Ensure yourself by gone through all the sectional and overall quiz, books, study material, and practice tests papers .
  • Work on your weak areas and improve them. However, you should not waste more time on them. Instead focus more on your strong areas and improve them further.

How to prepare for CAT exam without coaching and with self study?

Self study is the best way to prepare for CAT Exam as per the experts which later you can combine with by taking help from coaching to avoid wastage of time.

  • Self Preparation is the best strategy for CAT until and unless you don’t get stuck on some questions due to lack of conceptual clarity as it will waste time.
  • Mostly candidates are from Engineering or other technical background who found Quant, DI and LR sections easily, but they stuck in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension part, so here they need an expert guidance.
  • CAT preparation also required enhancing your speed and accuracy as the time to solve per question is 1.8 minute per question. For Shortlisting, section wise score should also be high to become eligible for IIMs.

Books for how to prepare for CAT exam

Books and study material for CAT preparation online or offline play a major role in helping you score high in the CAT exam. Here is the list of few best books for CAT recommended by toppers  are:

Books for section-1: VARC

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Nishit K Sinha’s - ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Editorial and short articles published in English news papers
  • ‘Word Power Made Easy’ – by Norman Lewis
  • High School Wren & Martin 

Books for Section-2: DILR 

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • Nishit K Sinha - ‘Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)

Books for Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Arun Sharma - ‘How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT’
  • Nishit K.Sinha - ‘Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’
  • ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for competitive exams’

CAT Preparation with Coaching

Preparation of CAT helps you to overcome from many weak areas. For this, all you need to select for the best coaching for CAT preparation. Few best coaching for how to prepare for CAT Exam are TIME, CL, and IMS.

Online option for CAT coaching is perfect for those who are working professional and looking for regular classes. During the past few years CAT online coaching has gone up many times. In fact, doing online preparation cost less, consume less time and gives more time for practice.

CAT Mock Test

To enhancing your speed to solve the CAT exam question paper you need to practice more for which preparation tools should be required. For ‘how to prepare for CAT exam’ you need to take Mock Tests Previous Years Question Papers, exam quiz, and sectional quiz.

Strategy to score 95+ percentile in CAT 2018

It may be noted that, if you attempted half of the total questions correct you will fetch a percentile of 98-99. CAT preparation do not required round the clock study but actually it requires smart study. You should understand how to prepare for CAT Exam in less time to achieve high score.

The CAT Exam has been divided into five parts namely Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability, Reading comprehension and Logical Reasoning need a systematic study schedule. As we all know the level of difficulty of this exam is very high that’s why, it needs a thorough preparation of 6-7 months to crack this exam.

The Determining Factors of CAT cutoff

The percentile of exam is depends on various factors. Few factors which determine CAT cutoff are mentioned below:

  • Level of exam difficulty
  • Test takers appear for the exam
  • No. of candidates clear the next rounds
  • Availability of seats
  • Ranking of Institute

The old IIMs and number of top B-schools of the nation such as FMS, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, etc. crosses 99+ percentile. On other side, new IIMs including IIM Ranchi, IIM Sambalpur, etc. and other top B-schools have crossed the cutoff 90+ percentile. Finally, the cutoff for tier two to four range B-schools will be between 80 to 50 percentile.

Previous Year CAT Cutoff for IIMs

 Let’s have a look at the CAT cutoff for various B-schools and IIMs.

IIM Ahmedabad CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

70

70

70

80

NC-OBC cum Transgender

65

65

65

75

SC

60

60

60

70

ST

50

50

50

60

PWD

60

60

60

70 

IIM Bangalore CAT cutoff 2017

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

85

80

80

90

NC-OBC

75

70

70

80

SC

70

65

65

75

ST

60

60

60

75

DA

60

60

60

75

 IIM Calcutta CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

≥80

≥80

≥80

≥90

SC

≥65

≥65

≥65

≥70

ST

≥60

≥60

≥60

≥70

NC-OBC

≥75

≥75

≥75

≥85

PWD

≥60

≥60

≥60

≥70

 IIM Lucknow CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

PGP

PGP-ABM

PGP-SM

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

85

85

85

90

80

80

80

85

80

80

80

85

SC

55

55

55

70

55

55

55

65

55

55

55

65

ST

50

50

50

65

50

50

50

60

50

50

50

60

OBC-NC

77

77

77

82

72

72

72

77

72

72

72

77

PWD

50

50

50

65

50

50

50

60

50

50

50

60

IIM Kozhikode CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

80

80

80

90

SC

50

50

50

65

ST

40

40

40

55

NC-OBC

70

70

70

80

PWD

40

40

40

55

 IIM Indore CAT Cutoff 2017 

Category

QA Percentile Rank

DI & LR Percentile Rank

VARC Percentile Rank

Overall

General

80

80

80

90

OBC (NC)

70

70

70

80

SC

55

55

55

60

ST

45

45

45

50

PWD

45

45

45

50

 IIM Visakhapatnam CAT Cutoff 2017 

Category

Section 1 (VARC)

Section 2 (DI & LR)

Section 3 (QA)

Aggregate

General

85

80

80

90

NC-OBC

75

70

70

80

SC

60

60

60

75

ST

50

50

50

55

DA

50

50

50

55

 IIM Ranchi CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

Section 1 (VARC)

Section 2 (DI & LR)

Section 3 (QA)

Aggregate

General

80

80

80

90

NC-OBC

60

60

60

78

SC

50

50

50

60

ST

30

30

30

40

DA

30

30

30

40

 IIM Bodh Gaya CAT Cutoff 2017 

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

OPEN

>80

>80

>80

>90

NC-OBC

>55

>55

>55

>75

SC

>50

>50

>50

>55

ST

>30

>30

>30

>35

DA

>50

>50

>50

>65

 IIM Nagpur CAT Cutoff 2017 

Category

DILR

VARC

QA

Aggregate

General

72

72

72

90

NC-OBC

65

65

65

81

SC

50

50

50

65

ST

40

40

40

40

DAP

50

50

50

65

 IIM Sambalpur CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

DILR

Percentile >=

VARC

Percentile >=

QA

Percentile >=

Aggregate

General

80

80

80

90

NC-OBC

60

60

60

78

SC

50

50

50

60

ST

30

30

30

40

DAP

30

30

30

40

 IIM Kashipur CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

DILR

VARC

QA

Aggregate

General

80

80

80

90

NC-OBC

60

60

60

78

SC

50

50

50

60

ST

30

30

30

40

DAP

30

30

30

40

 IIM Raipur CAT Cutoff 2017

Category

DILR

VARC

QA

Aggregate

General

80

80

80

90

NC-OBC

72

72

72

81

SC

60

60

60

75

ST

50

50

50

65

DAP

50

50

50

65

CAT Cutoff for IIM Shillong

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

75

75

75

75

SC

60

60

60

60

ST

50

50

50

50

NC-OBC

75

75

75

75

PWD

50

50

50

50  

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Rohtak

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

80

80

80

85

SC

45

45

45

60

ST

40

40

40

60

NC-OBC

70

70

70

75

PWD

50

50

50

60

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Trichy

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

80

80

80

90

SC

60

60

60

75

ST

50

50

50

75

NC-OBC

72

72

72

81

PWD

50

50

50

65

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Udaipur

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

80

80

80

90

SC

60

60

60

75

ST

50

50

50

65

NC-OBC

72

72

72

81

PWD

50

50

50

65

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Kashipur

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

80

80

80

90

SC

60

60

60

75

ST

50

50

50

65

NC-OBC

72

72

72

81

PWD

50

50

50

65

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Sirmaur

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

75

75

75

80

SC

50

50

50

70

ST

45

45

45

65

NC-OBC

68

68

68

72

PWD

50

50

50

70

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Jammu

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

75

75

75

80

SC

50

50

50

65

ST

45

45

45

60

NC-OBC

68

68

68

72

PWD

50

50

50

70

 CAT Cutoff for IIM Amritsar

Category

VARC

DI & LR

QA

Overall

General

70

70

70

90

SC

50

50

50

55

ST

30

30

30

35

NC-OBC

55

55

55

70

PWD

30

30

30

35

CAT Cutoff for Various Colleges

B-School

CAT Cutoff (expected percentile)

Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi (FMS, DU)

98.20

DMS, IIT Delhi

98+

SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

99+

Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras

95+

Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon

95+

SP Jain Inst. of Mgmt. and Rsch. (SPJIMR) Mumbai

85+

Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB)

90+

IMT, Ghaziabad

90+

NITIE, Mumbai

95+

TAPMI, Manipal

85+

LIBA, Chennai

90+

 

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Student Discussion

  • Jeevan R Beri 2016-08-17 14:02:51

    IBM, Oracle, Hp, Dell, Samsung and you count it. almost major companies comes for the campus. Job opportunity is huge. you will not regret it. out of our batch 25/60 peoples were selected my knowledge till then.And the package they offer is considerable.

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