CAT 2019: 10 key points to know while attempting exam
Shruti.garg, 2 days ago, #CAT
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CAT 2019: 10 key points to know while attempting exam - With only few hours left for CAT 2019 to take place, 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 was 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: IIM Kozhikode has activated the tab for objection to CAT Answer Key 2019. Candidates can raise objection till December 6, 2019.

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CAT 2019: 10 Key Points to Know While Attempting Exam

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.”

Don’t Stick to Particular Question for Long

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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.

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.”

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.

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.

Focus on your screen; Don’t be distracted

Make sure before you appear for CAT 2019, practice through CAT mock test 2019 which released 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.”

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.

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)

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.

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

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I have got 84 marks in CAT 2019. Which are the best colleges i can apply for?

Yashu Shrivastava 6th Dec, 2019

Hello Rohit

There are many colleges where you can get admission if you got 80-85 percentile in CAT.

I am mentioning some best college where you can go with this score-

  • SP Jain Institute Of Research And Management,Mumbai
  • Xavier Institute Of Management And Entrepreneurship,Bangalore
  • Institute Of Financial And International Management,Bangalore
  • Institute Of Management Studies,Banaras Hindu University,Varanasi
  • Institute Of Financial Management And Research,Changambakkam

Here's the top 5 college where you can get admission if you varies between 80-85 percentile,also you can check more information about some other colleges here

Hope This Helps

Good Luck For Your Future!

1 View

I just appeared for the CAT 2020 and my projected percentile is around 88. I have CGPA 8.4 for 10th grade, 76.8 for 12th, and 6.78 CGPA for Graduation. I have 1 year of Work Experience as well. I would like to know if it is worth it to apply for XIMB. Usually the cutoff is around 90 percentile? 5th Dec, 2019

Hello there. Hope you are doing good. The cutoff for XIMB goes around 90 percentile every year. It could be high or low depending on the cutoff scores that varies every year. Since your score is near to 90 percentile and if you have a work experience that is worth considering for admission into MBA program. Then you can at least give it a try. You never know what will be the exact situation in the upcoming admission processes.

So, my suggest for you is to definitely give it a try.

I hope you found this answer helpful. Good luck for your future.

1 View

What is the cutoff for OBC in CAT & XAT for IRMA ? What is the good percentile to get converted in IRMA for OBC NCL? 5th Dec, 2019

Hello there. Hope you are doing good. I would like to tell you that the cutoff varies every year. There are several factors determining the cutoff such as:-

  • Number of candidates appearing in IRMASAT 2020 exam.
  • Level of difficulty of  IRMASAT exam.
  • Number of candidates passing IRMASAT 2020

However, based on previous years cutoffs, it is expected that the Cat and XAT cutoff for OBC NCL candidates will be somewhere around 70 percentile. For your reference, I am sharing a link with you which consists of all the necessary information of the exam along with the expected cutoff.

I hope you found this answer helpful. God luck for your future.


Does Nirma University, Ahmedabad, consider CAT scores for admission in MBA?

Harshita Gupta 5th Dec, 2019
Yes, they do consider CAT score for admissions.
For admissions, CAT score has a weightage of 60%, PI 20% and TDP 10% and academic performance 10%.
The last date for application is 26 December 2019.
Shortlisting of candidates will be done in February 2020.
You must have a graduate degree from a recognised university with aggregate score of 50%.

For more details, Check the link below:

Hope this helps!

what may be the expected percentile on 35marks on cat exam

Hello Nimesh,
Hope you are doing well.

You may get here CAT 2019 score vs percentile analysis:

I hope this will help you.
Wish you good luck for your future.
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