CAT 2019: 10 key points to know while attempting exam
Shruti.garg, 5 days ago, #CAT
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CAT 2019: 10 key points to know while attempting exam - With a month left for CAT 2019, candidates must clear the decks and plan for the final D-day by knowing the 10 key points while attempting exam. Now is the time that you must strategize for your CAT 2019 and take mock tests. You must plan your day as per the 10 key points to know while attempting exam to avoid any silly mistakes or errors. CAT will be conducted on November 24, 2019 in a computer based mode. Read this article by Careers 360 to know about the 10 key points while attempting exam along with the suggestions and strategies adopted by CAT toppers. The admit card of CAT 2019 has been released by the authorities and is available on the official website.
Latest: Admit Card of CAT 2019 has been released on October 23. CAT 2019 is scheduled to held on November 24, 2019, kindly check the examination workflow released by IIM Kozhikode.

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CAT 2019: 10 Key Points to Know While Attempting Exam

  1. Sequencing of Questions

Before beginning with the exam, candidates must go through all the questions in the question paper by clicking on the tab ‘question paper’ on the top right side of the screen. Sequence the questions as per preference by solving the questions which you are confident about. As suggested by CAT 2018 topper, Manaswi says, “For DI & LR, I spent the first eight minutes selecting questions and arranging them according to their difficulty level. My strategy was clear, even if I am stuck on a puzzle which seems easier, I won't spend more than eight minutes. I may solve two questions that puzzles or three, I will move forward. By this way I attempted a fair number of questions with around 85 per cent accuracy, I got more than 97 percentile. This section was the biggest improvement as I had negative marks in DI & LR section of CAT 2017.

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For Quant, I realised very early that section was tougher than last year. I focused on accuracy and got 19 out of 22 attempted questions correct. I might have underperformed in this section when compared to mocks, but it gave me a percentile in excess of 99.”

  1. Don’t Stick to Particular Question for Long

While attempting CAT 2019, you are advised to set a particular time for each to solve. If in case you feel that a particular question is taking longer than usual to solve, then move to the next question. Don’t force yourself to solve the question if you are unable to drive to a solution and then rush at the eleventh hour! Skipping questions that are taking longer to solve will help in increasing the speed and the number of attempts. As rightly said, “time and tide wait for none” make sure you don’t stick to particular question you are not sure of. Don’t involve yourself into troublesome sets and don’t put much time in the questions which seemed less complex yet resulted to be tedious while solving.

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  1. Start with the questions of comfortable areas

After sequencing the questions, you must attempt the questions of your comfortable area. Solving questions from your comfortable area will help you solve the answers quicker and will boost your confidence. This helps in staying energetic throughout the paper. Niranjan, who bagged 100 percentile shares his exam day strategy that first he used to solve the questions that he is strong at during mock tests. Further he states, “I adopted the same strategy of going from easiest to toughest for VARC and DILR on exam day. For Quant, I went sequentially in order of the questions.

This scheme works for me, but for future aspirants, I suggest them to make their on strategy, as the same strategy may not work similarly for everyone.”

  1. Focus on accuracy, not attempts

Setting quantity as priority over quality means you are chasing a bouncing ball. One most important thing that you must focus is on “quality over quantity”. Focusing on the quality and accuracy of the answer will fetch more score over hastily attempting questions to increase the number of attempts. It is not necessary to attempt all the questions to score good marks in exam but one can enhance its score by following the precision-based approach.

  1. Perform detailed rough work/ make no wild guesses

While attempting Quantitative Aptitude questions, you are advised to make detailed and clear rough work on the sheet provided. It will help the examiner to know the way you derived at your answer and the strategy you have applied. Moreover, while attempting questions make sure you make no wild guesses. If you are not sure about the answer make a slight mark besides that answer and move to the next question. Re-analyse that answer once you have attempted all the questions you are strong at.

  1. Focus on your screen; Don’t be distracted

Make sure before you appear for CAT 2019, practice through CAT mock test 2019 which will release on October 16, 2019. Sit for three hours and try solving the full CAT mock test a week before the exam. This will help you to focus and make you less distracted. As one of the CAT 2018 toppers, Kaustubh, who scored 99.99 percentile shares his exam day experience, “Since my CAT 2018 slot was from 2.00 PM I made sure to practice mock tests at that time to make myself acquainted with the timing. This helped me a lot as it gave me a balance and did not drain me while I attempt the examination. I woke up only around 11 so I would not feel tired or burned out. I practised by sitting for three hours straight and took minimal breaks as possible to make myself comfortable on the day of the examination.”

  1. Carefully select the TITA questions

Type In The Answer questions, also known as TITA are the questions which are non-MCQs. TITA question would consist of total 25-30 of total questions. Since these questions have no negative marking, you must attempt all the questions as suggested by the experts of various prominent coaching institutes. Also, these questions have no option to chose from, this means you have to detail the solution which can be time consuming. In order to manage time efficiently, the TITA questions must be attempted after attempting all the MCQ questions.

  1. Manage Time

Every section in CAT 2019 will be given 60 minutes. Therefore, considering each section you will have to manage time accordingly. Jagesh, who scored 100 percentile shares his time management technique, stating, “ I divided the time as per the sections and questions. I took close to 45 minutes to complete the Verbal section. For QA I took the first 30 minutes to pick out all the arithmetic questions and solve them, the remaining 20 questions took me close to 35 minutes which was pretty much what I had planned.”

Also, CEO of VistaMind, Arks Srinivas suggests how you must divide time for each section:

  • VA - 18 min

  • LR - 30 min (7.5 min for each set)

  • DI - 30 min (7.5 min for each set)

  • RC - 40 min (8 min for each passage)

  • QA - Do it in two rounds (35 min and 23 min)


10 minutes for 6 Questions (60 min – 34 questions)

  1. Calculator usage

CAT is the only management entrance exam which provides candidate with online screen calculator facility. This help in solving quickly and easily. It is helpful for solving DI and questions involving lengthy calculations. You are advised to minimise the use of calculator for small calculations. For small calculations you must learn tables upto 25, cubes upto 20 and squares upto 30. Also, with vedic maths it helps in solving questions easily.

  1. Be patient; don’t stress

After attempting all the questions, at the end you will be left with the difficult questions or questions which are time consuming. Don’t stress yourself upon how to solve them, be patient and solve each question with proper concentration and have faith in your abilities. Rickshesh who scored 100 percentile, leaves a message for CAT 2019 aspirants, “Identify your problem and focus on sectional tests. Work on your strengths and follow the graph of effort vs improvement while dealing with your weakness. Finally, try preparing for CAT using varied approaches.”

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7361 out of 7362 Questions

i have got 50 percent marks in graduation..if i will get good percentile in CAT OR MAT. will i get admission in good college or should i stop dreaming of mba?

Shareef 19th Nov, 2019
No, Never give up. When there's a will, there is a way.
Now, getting admission into MBA is not based on your graduation marks, most of the Institutes only care about your performance in CAT/MAT examinination.
If you a good percentage in your entrance examination, then most of the Institutes don't consider your graduation percentage, where few Institutes need a minimum percentage in graduation.
Don't get tensed about your graduation percentage, you have a minimum percentage which is news for getting admission.
So, don't get tensed about it, just prepare best, and give your best. Best of luck

i m 34 yrs old, having work ex of 5 yrs as an Officer in Ministry of Defence. I wanted to do full time MBA from top IIM-A/B/C through CAT exam. M having poor academics record below 65%, also belongs to Reserve category. is thr any chance for me to get into TOP IIMs, nt interested in Exe-MBA.plz help

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 19th Nov, 2019
Mr. Gupta, each IIM has its own selection procedure. While CAT percentile remains the main criteria, there are other factors as well. Here we shall help you with the criteria, cut offs and the selection procedure. IIMs shortlist candidates for the interview stage based on their own criteria, which may be independent of each other. The process may include Written Ability Test, Group Discussion, and Personal Interviews. Performance in the CAT examination is an important component in the admission process. IIMs may additionally use other factors such as the previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience, gender and academic diversity and other similar inputs in shortlisting and ranking of candidates at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs.

IIM Ahmedabad:


General: 70 70 70 80
NC-OBC/Trans: 65 65 65 75
SC: 60 60 60 70
ST: 50 50 50 60
PwD-UR,OBC,SC: 60 60 60 70
PwD: ST: 50 50 50 60

10th Rating:

Percent score Rating Score

<= 55 1

> 55 and <= 60 2

> 60 and <= 70 3

> 70 and <= 80 5

> 80 and <= 90 8

> 90 10

The same rating score is used for 12th Science /Commerce Streams. For Arts/Humanities:

Percent score Rating Score

<= 45 1
> 45 and <= 50 2
> 50 and <= 60 3
> 60 and <= 70 5
> 70 and <= 85 8
> 85 10

Work Experience in Months as on July 31, 2019 Rating Score

< 12 months 0

> 36 months 5

Work-experience Multiplication Factor (MF) = 0.20

Minimum cut offs for Average percent of marks scores:
Stream in 12th UR NC- OBC/Trans SC ST PWD PWD -ST

Science 80 75 70 65 70 65

Commerce 77 72 67 62 67 62

Arts & Humanities 75 70 64 59 64 59

From each Academic sectors top 5% from each stream and each Category will be short listed. It might look like:

Category Upper Limit

General 100

NC-OBC-cum-transgender 57

SC 32

ST 16

PwD 6

After shortlisting the Candidates, the selected Candidates will have to go through WAT and PI rounds. Selection at this stage will strictly be based on the shortlisting of the candidates done separately for each Category on the basis of their Final Composite Score. . The numbers selected in different reservation categories will be in proportions mandated by law.

Personal Interview Multiplication Factor (PIF) = 0.50

AWT Multiplication Factor (AWTF) = 0.10

CAT Score Multiplication Factor for Final Composite Score (CATF_FCS) = 0.25

Application Rating Multiplication Factor for Final Composite Score (ARF_FCS) = 0.15

After the AWT & PI round, admission offers are made by IIMA to successful candidates. The final selection is based on a diverse set of attributes which includes performance in CAT, performance in AWT & PI, academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements, work experience, etc.

General: 80 80 85 90
NC-OBC: 70 70 75 80
SC: 65 65 70 75
ST: 60 60 60 70
PwD: 50 50 50 60
For all the Candidates shortlisted, the 10th and 12th board results are initially adjusted by dividing each such score by 90th percentile score of that board. And then an adjusted score is calculated for the Bachelor's degree for each of the candidates based on the final scores obtained by the candidate are used for the Bachelor's degree and professional degrees. For example,
CAT = 40
10th board = 20
12th board = 10
Bachelors = 20
Gender Diversity = 2
Work Experience = 8
The 40 points for CAT are derived from the performance in each of the three sections as follows:
Verbal & Reading Comprehension - 14 points
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning - 16 points Quantitative Aptitude - 10 points.

OPEN: 75 80 80 85
NC-OBC: 65 65 70 75
EWS: 65 65 70 75
SC: 60 60 65 70
ST: 55 55 55 65
PWD: 55 55 55 65

And the final selection is based on:
CAT 2019 Score 30
Personal Interview 48
Written Ability Test 10
Academic Diversity 04
Work Experience 08
Total 100

What IIMs also look for apart from Academics is the diversity factor. So with your work experience, that might actually work in your favour. So secure atleast 85-90 percentile and you can be shortlisted for any of the IIMs.

hii ths is jitesh, i jst want to make it clear tht i m t good in maths n bczx of ths i he fear of cat exam so can i do mba from abroad n wat are the examinations tio be gvn fr abroad ??/ plzz somone reply

Niveditha 19th Nov, 2019

Hi Jitesh...

Firstly do not be scared of maths just because of CAT exam. It is not just the mathematics which you do as your subject but it is an aptitude test test your mathematics skills obviously along with your thinking ability to solve the problem.

So coming to your question first thing you have to keep in mind when have to do MBA abroad is the minimum requirements to do MBA abroad.

The second thing is the exams that you must attend.

Firstly lets looks at the eligibility requirements where the candidate must must have minimum of 3 years of bachelor's degree of any discipline,

A masters or doctoral is also acceptable. Some colleges in abroad also accept distance or the education in correspondence.

Unlike the MBA colleges in India, the colleges abroad ask for minimum two years of work experience or the work exposure for pursuing MBA. The do not need your technical skills or the marks which you have scored , rather than that they need your managerial skills.

The exams that must be given for MBA abroad are GMAT or GRE.

GMAT score is highly predict your verbal and aptitude level to manage the strees and workload of MBA.

TOFEL for US, Canada

IELTS or PTE for UK,Australia,New Zealand

CAE or CPE for UK

CELPIP for Canada

TOFEL , IELTS is conducted to check the vocabulary and the English proficiency. This evaluates the listening, speaking,writing and reading skills of English.

Even the GRE and GMAT exams have a section similar to the quantitative ability which you are probably scared of .

The subject quantitative ability will not be for these competitive exams but also in your placements you attend after your education.

The foreign universities also assess your application on the basis of your achievements, experience, leadership qualities at work and other academic achievements.

MBA is not just learning theory in the class rooms, it is the application of the experience that you gain.

All the best!!!


I have 96% in 10th, 92.4% in 12th and 81.1% in Engineering. What percentile should I score in CAT to get calls from IIM Indore, Kozikhode and Trichy(NC- OBC Category)?

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 18th Nov, 2019


your score is good until now. You have did your best all the way. For CAT exam, IIM Consider 90% to get an admission.

For IIM Kozhikode:- 75% for CAT,Sectional Cutoff:- 65% for  10th:- 60% and for 12th 60%.

For IIM Trichy:- 78% for OBC-NC

for IIM Indore :- 80% for OBC-NC

for OBC category there will very less relaxation. But there is high competition but number of seats available is very less.

So you have to prepare accordingly and get an admission.

CAT exam score hold a 45-50 % weightage for admission at IIM Kozhikode. You have so good qualification in the rest. If you put more effort into it then you can get it.

Hope it helps!


when can I apply for CAT and when are the admissions for MBA open?

Ruchika Chauhan Expert 18th Nov, 2019


Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular national level management entrance exam. CAT 2019 application process has been completed and the exam is scheduled to be conducted on 24th November 2019.

Application forms were available from 07 Aug, 2019 - 25 Sep, 2019.

Aspirants seeking admission to the MBA course have to appear for entrance exams such as CAT/XAT/MAT/SNAP/etc. After the entrance test, candidates have to apply to colleges for admission.

Check the details about the CAT exam using the link below and do let us know if you have any other queries.

Good Luck!

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