150 Days to CAT 2015 - Tips and strategies by toppers and experts
Sreetama Datta, 06 Jul 2015, #CAT
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Although the date for CAT 2015 exam has not been announced yet, going by the past years’ trend, we can say that there are approximately 150 days left for CAT 2015. Although as per the information shared by CAT 2015 Convenor Prof. Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, the exam pattern will undergo change. But that should not deter your spirit of preparation as the overall syllabus and areas will be same.

If you have started preparing for the exam, you will definitely reap the fruits of being an early bird. In case you have not, here we bring to you the strategy to adapt for in the next 150 days. Here we bring to you the guidance from experts and past years’ CAT toppers which will help you strategize cracking the most coveted MBA entrance exam.

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Go through the past years’ CAT Pattern – Getting a good grip over the exam pattern and the syllabus is the first step towards preparation. Go through the past 10 years of CAT analysis to know the question types and the syllabus. The topics to study are diverse and the patterns have also changed over years. Hence, going through the previous years’ detailed analysis will give you the idea of which topics to give higher preference on. Talking about the importance of going through past years’ paper, Reeju Guha, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay second year student says, “Focus on the past 10 years question papers, which can give insights about the types of questions being covered in CAT exam.” Reeju had obtained 99.72 percentile in CAT 2013.

Take mock test to check your level of preparedness – Before starting your full fledged preparation, take a mock test to determine your strategy for preparation. As you will be able to identify your areas of strength and weaknesses, the initial approach should be to spend majority of your preparation schedule to study your weak areas. Vinayak Kudva, Head, PG India & Mumbai Region, IMS Learning, shares, “The first step is to identify your current level of performance by taking a mock test in a proctored environment or at home.  After taking the test, analyse your performance to identify where you stand with respect to the above table. The remaining months from now until your actual test must be equally divided to improve your performance from one stage to the next.”  After you build some confidence on the areas, focus on the strong areas as well as complete neglect might convert your strengths into weaknesses.

Decide coaching or self study – It is not a thumb rule to go for coaching in order to crack CAT. You can go for self study as well. If this is your second or third CAT attempt, going for self study is a better option since you already have the study materials. Even if you don’t go for coaching, it is suggested that you enroll for a mock test series so that you are in constant practice. If you decide to go for coaching, then undoubtedly you will get the required guidance, but don’t forget to do self study as well. Speaking about the importance of coaching and self study, Varun Pratap Singh, CAT 2013 99.67 percentiler and IIM Rohtak student says, “I personally think that the mock tests conducted by coaching institutes are of more importance than classroom coaching they provide. Self-study is of utmost importance. A mentor guides you throughout your preparation, motivates you and suggests you to follow a pattern or strategy to tackle the exam, which is also important.”

Prepare time management strategy – Managing time for CAT preparation is the most important aspect. If you are studying or working, you have to decide on the preparation schedule accordingly. Ensure that you stick to the timing of you study and make it your routine. The more you stick to the time table, more you will be able to focus. Sandeep Manudhane, Chairman, PT Education states, “Make a micro plan splitting your effort into weeks and days. Write down that plan, and stick to it religiously. Remember that a weekly revision across test areas must be a key part of the plan.”


It is not necessary that you have to put major hours of the day for CAT preparation, at least at the initial stage. Ensure that along with the number of hours, you also pay full attention and focus to the subjects. “CAT does not require extensive study sessions as long as your basics are strong. At around 140 minutes per week from your study and work schedule are enough to let individual focus on CAT preparation and achieve a great score,” says Soumik Biswas, CAT 2013 99.94 percentiler and IIM Indore student.

Focus on basics – Having the fundamental concepts clarified is the biggest asset any CAT aspirant can have. If you have conceptual clarity, you can solve any tough problem. Get the right study materials like NCERT books of Class X level, your coaching study material or the popular CAT preparation books by authors like Arun Sharma to start with before moving into more advanced level books. Solve questions or take sectional mock tests to check your preparation level. After completing basics, you can go for higher level problems in the upcoming days. “First solidify the basics for all the four sections and then deep-dive into each one of them. Go for an exhaustive numerical practice and individual topic tests for each section,” advices Tanya Gupta, 99.47 percentiler in CAT 2013 and IIM Kozhikode student.


Manage your strengths and weaknesses – After taking the trial mock test, you must have identified your strengths and weaknesses. Now you have to manage the sections accordingly. For the initial preparation days, put more hours on your weaknesses. However, make sure that the other areas i.e. your strength areas are not totally ignored. For the weak sections, start with the basics and move to the next level. Now that you have around 4 months, you need not rush and take one topic at a time. If you find some topics to be too tough and not at all comprehendible, you can leave out some of them based on their importance or weight given at the CAT over the years. But leaving out an important topic should be your last resort. TanyaofIIM Kozhikode says, “Divide time judiciously between your strengths and weaknesses. Build theoretical knowledge first, and then move on to extensive practice. Move to writing mock tests about 1.5-2 months from the exam, and devote at least 4-5 hours after each test to understand your weaknesses.” 


Take regular mocks after completing basics – After completing the basic preparation, take mock tests in regular interval. Take at least 2 mock tests in a week and get your performance analyzed in between by the experts and seniors. Implement the analysis in your further preparation and mock tests. Also try to identify the type of mistakes you are committing. If the mistakes are due to lack of knowledge, you have to spend more time on building the basic knowledge. If it is mere silly mistake, you need to increase your focus and concentration level. “Take lot of Mock Tests for CAT. Identify and rectify on your weak areas, and once you have prepared entirely just relax and have confidence,” shares Kumar Pratik, 99.7 percentiler in CAT 2013 and IIM Calcutta student.


Also Read

CAT IIM Toppers Success Strategies

CAT 2013 Toppers from top B-schools Share Success Strategies


Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more on CAT 2015 preparation.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7502 out of 7503 Questions
1 View

I have 75% in xth ,65% in 12th and 79% in B.TECH so, What should be the minimum cat percentile for me to get call from IIM and please provide me the list of IIM and other top private colleges?

Sanjanaleekha 9th Dec, 2019

Hi there,

In 2018 the overall CAT percentile cut off for IIM Ahmedabad was 80, it highly depends on several factors such as the difficulty level of paper ,no of people appearing etc, for your reference i have attached a link to the previous year CAT cut off for various IIM's here, https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/cat-cutoff

Also i have attached the list of top MBA colleges in India here, https://www.bschool.careers360.com/colleges/ranking


Can I give cat exam in my 4th year 1st sem... Now m in 3rd year..

Atharv Mungikar 9th Dec, 2019


Most of the students from B. Tech sit for CAT exam in their final year. You will be considered as a fresher and most of the questions asked in the interview will be done from your B. Tech field. But according to my knowledge, students having some experience are preferred more in the colleges. I recommend that you start gaining experience from the 7th SEM and register and then give your CAT exam before your 8th SEM because after the interviews colleges generally ask for graduation certificate for a proof that you have graduated. Some interviews also require you to show the pre-final year notice (a letter from UG should work)

I hope this helped.

All the best.


I have completed my 10(210) and +2 in (2012) and my ug got delayed due to personal reasons and I finished my UG 2019. Is there any issue in this. Am I eligible for CAT? Am very confused. Please help me out

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 9th Dec, 2019


see there is no age age limit for applying in cat exam, and there is no mention of maximum year gap. the basic eligibility criteria for appearing in cat exam is you need to have graduation degree in any discipline with 50% marks in graduation. however some top institute like iims, sp jain, fms delhi and top bschool has gd and  interview session after clearing cutoff score of entrance test. so you may asked to explain the year gap. thats why be prepared for it. however you are definitely eligible for cat.


Top Institutes for MBA through CAT?

niharika cherry 7th Dec, 2019

Hello rajendra, for pursuing MBA, any one of the IIM's would be preferable, mostly the IIM ahmedabad would be excellent. So , now I tell you the top insititutes which offer MBA through CAT are-

  • IIM- Ahmedabad,Banglore,Kolkota, Lucknow,Indore,Kozhikode
  • Management Development Institute- Gurgaon
  • Faculty of Management Studies, university of delhi- Delhi

Hope this helps.

Thank you.

1 View

CAT exam and MBA information??

Bhaskar Nakkina Student Expert 7th Dec, 2019

CAT is a National level Common Entrance test to pursue MBA in IIM's and Business Schools. To write CAT exam one  must have passed graduation from a recognised Board of University. Final year graduation students are also allowed to write the CAT exam. If you do MBA in an IIM or Top B school, the career and placement opportunities are excellent. As a fresher one can earn minimum 5-10 lakhs after MBA.

In addition to that CAT exam is of 3 hours duration comprising of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude.

All the best.,

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