Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular MBA entrance exam in India. Around 2.5 lakh students have registered for CAT 2016 that is scheduled to be held on 4th Dec. Conducted by IIMs, CAT exam is the gateway to the best management institutes in India. CAT percentile is accepted by many of the leading MBA colleges. As the number of seats available at IIMs and other premier management institutes is limited, CAT is counted among one of the most competitive exams in the country.

Preparing for CAT Exam

The thought of CAT exam preparations makes many students nervous. Many students worry about the overwhelming syllabus and simply don’t know where to start. To do well in CAT exam, one needs the right preparation strategy. Here are some useful tips that will make CAT preparation easier-

1. Understand the Exam Pattern

If you’re wondering how to prepare for CAT, the first step is to understand the exam pattern. A clear understanding of the pattern and syllabus is important to start the preparations on the right note. There are three sections in CAT exam-Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Data Interpretation & logical Reasoning (DI & LR). The exam will have a total of 100 questions, with 34 questions each in QA and VRC, and 32 questions in DI & LR. The time allotted for each section is 60 minutes. For every correct answer, 3 marks will be awarded, and for every incorrect answer, 1 mark will be deducted.


2. Identify your Strengths & Weaknesses

Every student has strengths and weaknesses. Are you good with numbers? Do you have a good vocabulary? It is important to identify your strengths as well as the areas that you’re lacking in. This will help you devise the right preparation strategy. It is important to do well in all the sections for a good score in CAT exam. Therefore, you should devote extra time to the areas you’re lacking in. At the same time, it is important to focus on your strengths and build on the same. CAT preparation material provided by coaching institutes can also prove to be very useful when it comes to helping you work on your strong and weak areas.


3. Practice Online Mock Tests

Practice is the key to success in CAT exam. And taking mock tests is one of the best ways to practice. Mock tests make you familiar with the actual test environment. These tests will help you understand the mode of tests and learn time management. It is important to analyse your performance in these tests properly. This will help you find out your mistakes and make it easier for you to ensure that you don’t repeat them in the real exam.


4. Time Management and Planning

Many students make the mistake of spending too much time on a few questions. This is not a wise strategy as it prevents you from attempting the maximum number of questions. If you’re unsure about a question, it’s better to leave it and proceed with the other questions, and later come back to it if time permits. Ideally, you should not spend more than 2 minutes on a question. To manage time properly, you need to balance speed with accuracy and manage the pressure well.


Keeping the above-mentioned tips in mind will make it easier for you to start your CAT preparations. Getting into top management colleges for MBA in India is not an easy task. However, with the right preparations, you can get a good score in CAT exam and realize your dream of studying in a premier management institute in India.