March 1, 2021

CAT Preparation Tips and Strategy

CAT Preparation Tips And Tricks

MBA is one of the most lucrative and sought-after Post-Graduation courses for graduate students belonging to any stream. It is so famous because it is known to cut short the climbing of corporate ladder and makes an individual reach the top comparatively easily, since managerial skills are mostly required at top positions. Hence it is imperative that MBA (CAT -2020) is considered to be among the best career paths for management-aspiring students post graduation. Here we will explain you about CAT Preparation Tips , Tricks and Strategy.

The National Institutional Ranking Framework(NIRF) India Rankings 2020 for various categories was released by Ramesh Pokhriyal on June 11,2020. The rankings have been done amongst all the MBA colleges across India. The IIMs(Indian Institute of Managements) have always maintained top rankings in India in this regard.


First we need to know more about the CAT Exam before starting to CAT Preparation Tips and Strategy. According to latest updates, CAT is conducted by the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) once every year. Each year one IIM gets selected to prepare the question paper for CAT Examination and to conduct the exam procedure. In 2020 the exam will be conducted by IIM Indore, the date of examination has been fixed to November 29, 2020. (this date is only tentative and is liable to further future changes keeping in mind the current pandemic situation.)

Common Admission Test or CAT 2020 exam notification was announced on July 29 along with the exam schedule. The CAT exam is conducted by one of the IIMs on rotational basis and is a gateway to India’s top MBA institutes, the IIMs and over 1,200 other business schools.

Read More : Top MBA colleges in India


Exam date- CAT 2020 is scheduled to be held on the date of 29th November, 2020. Exams will be held across 156 cities all over India.

[Depending on COVID-19 situation, the schedule of Gate 2021 may be altered.]

Mode of Exam- CAT 2020 will be an entirely Computer Based Test(CBT), it will be  conducted in 3 slots, with 60 minutes allotted for each. The 3 sections test the following abilities of the aspiring candidates, namely, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC),Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) & Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

CAT Eligibility Criteria-

a)Candidates having a graduation degree with minimum 50 per cent aggregate or equivalent CGPA (45 per cent for Reserved category) can apply for CAT 2020

b)Candidates who have completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with minimum 50 per cent aggregate or equivalent (45 per cent for reserved category)

c)Candidates in their final year of graduation degree are also eligible to apply for CAT exam (provided all the other criterion are met).

Registration and Application process

CAT 2020 Registration is an online process where the candidates are required to fill an online application form and pay the requisite amount of fee money to register for the examination. Registration procedure for CAT 2020 have already started on 5th August, 2020. The last date to register is 16th September, 2020.

Given below is a detailed step-wise description of how to do the same.

  • Open CAT 2020 website
  • Click on ‘New Registrations’ as visible on the screen
  • Enter personal details such as the likes of name, nationality, gender, date of birth, mobile phone number and email ID
  • An OTP will be sent via email ID and SMS to the entered mobile number
  • Use that OTP to authenticate phone number and email ID. This is done for safety verification purposes
  • Upload scanned signature and image in prescribed dimension and make fee payment to complete the CAT registration process.


CAT Registration Fees:      


 CategoryCAT fees
General/NC-OBCINR 2,000



Declaration of CAT Result:     

Results for CAT 2020 are most likely to be announced in the second week of January, 2020. Following the announcement of result, IIMs will begin shortlisting of candidates for admission. There is no indication of change in schedule due to COVID-19 pandemic as of now.


 Exam Pattern:

CAT exam pattern: Highlights
Exam timingsSlot 1: 9 AM to 12 PM; Slot 2: 2 PM to 5 PM
Number of sectionsThree
Names of the sections
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
Duration of exam60 minutes per section (Total 180 minutes)
Language of question paperEnglish
Total number of questions100
Section-wise number of questions
  • VARC -34
  • DILR- 32
  • QA – 34
Number of answer choicesFour
Type of questionsMCQs and Non-MCQs
Section-wise difficulty level
  • VARC – Easy to moderate
  • DILR- Moderate to difficult
  • QA – Difficult
Total marks300
Marking Scheme
  • 3 marks for each right question
  • Negative marking of 1/3 for each wrong MCQ
  • No negative marking in non-MCQs


 Some tips and strategies to prepare for CAT 2020

Coming to CAT Preparation Tips and Strategy, there are several points that need to be kept in mind. The only things important to crack CAT and get a good rank, other than hard work, are perseverance and consistency.

CAT exam is usually considered easy for candidates with Engineering and Technology background and tough for candidates from Humanities and Arts background. This might be considered true as two out of the three sections of CAT exam are based on analytical ability. Those, who have studied Mathematics till graduation may find it easy to prepare as they will be well versed with QA and DI topics. However, if any student prepares well with full dedication, they can score well in the exam.

Given below are some CAT Preparation Tips and Strategy  that most teachers and mentors recommend.

  • An early start is essential- If you start early, then you will have enough time to fix a study schedule, and to go through the entire syllabus properly. In this way you can concentrate on each and every nook and cranny of the syllabus, leaving you with enough time to revisit the whole syllabus in the last few months before exam. Ideally, any aspirant should start CAT preparations nine months before exam, but it is possible to prepare for CAT in six months and perform well. In this way you can stay at the top of your game during CAT and can give the exam to your full potential.


  • Take mock tests at the same time as your CAT 2020 slot

CAT exam is conducted in two slots, first slot is from 9 am to 12 pm and the second slot is from 2 pm to 5 pm. Attempt at least 3-4 mock tests in the time duration same as your CAT exam slot. Follow the same routine for 2-3 days as you intent to follow on the exam day. This will help you in getting your mind and body aligned to the CAT exam and will help you get accustomed to the entire procedure.


  • Do not leave out any topic

Keep aside 15 days for revision of section-wise topics of CAT exam. Do not ignore any topic on the basis of previous years’ question papers as CAT is known for springing surprises in the exam. Also, topic-wise weightage of questions in the exam is not consistent. You may encounter more than expected number of questions on topic skipped. Do not take such chance.

  • Time Management

Quant and DI sections of CAT exam are often tough and require extra time.

A definite Preparation Tips and Strategy  for attempting the CAT 2020 is must. CAT preparation strategies are not planned overnight or implemented directly in the exam. Strategies are to be tested first. Then apply the best ones. Try to experiment with as many strategies as possible. This will help you discover your weak areas and strong areas. Thus, you can calculate how much time to devote on each section.

Following these tips and suggestions might help a candidate to secure an appreciable rank in CAT Examination so that he/she is able to pursue  MBA from an institution as prestigious as an IIM. Hope this helps. Thank You!

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x