We have stepped in the last week before CAT 2015. This is the right time to build your strategy and ensure that you secure a high percentile which can get you shortlisted for the IIMs and the top B-schools.

In his special column for Careers360, Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher shares the exam taking strategy on how to secure 99 percentile and above. He also shares tips on how to utilize the changes made in CAT 2015 in order to turn it to your advantage.

[Click here to Enroll Complete CAT 2015 Online Test Pack to get admission in Top IIM B-schools or call 011-40360360 to talk expert counsellors]


Read the column to know more.


The changes announced for the Common Admission Test 2015 may make this edition of CAT appear to be significantly different from CAT 2014 but in reality most of the changes are in the structure and will not affect a well prepared student at all. The point to be noted is that the kind of questions that will be asked has not changed.

Gautam-Puri_newsThe students should analyse each and every mock and sectional test that they take. This will help them ascertain what worked or did not work for them. The analysis basically is about finding the questions that were easy but were not attempted and about realizing why did a particular question wasn’t answered correctly.

Change in the Structure of CAT

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sections have been extracted from Section-1 and Section-2 respectively and have been combined to form a third section, DILR. Apart from anything else, it checks whether a student has equal competency in all the three sections or not. Freeing LR from VALR section and DI from the QADI section to create the new section means that the students good in Mathematics cannot hide behind LR and will have to do well in RC and Verbal to make it to the next stage. Similarly, those good in language cannot ignore DI or LR.

The correct strategy would be to not ignore any area and regularly practice all questions types. RC and DI which are routinely ignored will now become important and should be practiced daily.

Sectional Time Limit in CAT

Contrary to the popular belief, the introduction of the sectional time limits will have positive effects on the test taking of the students. Due to the restriction of switching between the sections a student does not have to worry about the time management.

Students should consider CAT 2015 as a string of 3 sectional tests of 1 hour each. Now a candidate should only be looking forward to maximize the number of attempts.

Non-MCQ in CAT
The non-MCQ questions should not be seen as a problem. The absence of choices might be inconvenient for some but whenever a new question type is introduced; the level of difficulty is low.

Since there will be no negative marking for these types of questions, a student should attempt each and every non-MCQ question in the exam.

On-screen Calculator in CAT
The on-screen calculator is another introduction in the CAT pattern for 2015. Over the years CAT has transformed itself to be a logic based paper and the calculations in the QA section are never very difficult or lengthy. Even in DI, the problem area for students is ‘what to calculate’ instead of ‘how to calculate’. However it might be a bit useful in this area. Introduction of the online calculator reflects the fact that IIMs require students who can interpret the data well and need not be great at calculations.

Although the calculations in CAT are never expected to be extremely difficult, a student should not refrain from using the calculator in times of dire need. Calculator might prove to be useful in DI questions with extremely close options.

The Exam Strategy for CAT
The students should analyse each and every mock and sectional test that they take. This will help them ascertain what worked or did not work for them. The analysis basically is about finding the questions that were easy but were not attempted and about realizing why did a particular question wasn’t answered correctly. All the difficult and important questions should be marked. These important questions should be revised once a week.


In terms of the pattern, CAT 2015 can be best compared with CAT 2014. As per CAT 2014 data, a 99%ile required 193 marks while 99.5%ile was at 205 marks out of a maximum of 300 marks. Assuming the same level of difficulty as CAT 2014, our initial estimate for the score required for a 99%ile in CAT 2015 is:


QA - net score of 70-75 (23-25 attempts out of 34).
DILR - net score of 65-70 (22-24 attempts out of 32).
VRC - net score of 55-60 (20-22 attempts out of 34).
Overall - net score of around 175.

Also Check:

CAT 2016

Last Minute Preparation Strategy for CAT 2015
CAT 2015 Exam Pattern

Expert Interview on CAT 2015

CAT 2014 Topper Strategies

CAT 2015 Preparation Series 

Other B-school Features:

MBA Internship experiences 2015

B-school Life @ Campus

B-school Placements Reports


Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates on CAT 2015

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8300 out of 8300 Questions

I have 76% in 10th, 88% in 12th and 80% in graduation. Addition to that i have a 2 years work experience. How MUCH percentile do i need to score in cat to get a call from IIM ABC ?

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 30th Mar, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

As per the details provided, you have decent academic record and its really good that you have 2 years of work experience. It'll give you an edge in selection process. Also, if you belong to general category, then to get a call from IIM A,B,C you should focus on getting a minimum of 98 percentile in cat.

All the best


Hlo....mam or sir! Im Rajlaxmi frm Odisha.. How to preparation for CAT ... during bba 2nd yr... how to crack CATexam ..

Prateek Sinha 30th Mar, 2020

Prepare for the syllabus according to the weight age of each section.  Give mock tests and improve upon your timing skills. if you join a coaching class it would be good as you will get a clearer idea.


why these exams are conducting

Aniket Sharma 29th Mar, 2020

hi lramprasad,

CAT is commencing on 25th November in 2020. So it does not need to get postponed/cancel due to corona virus. The situation should get better till November. So, we can't argue why CAT is conducting.

Please elaborate your query and provide more details so that we can help you better!!



Can i apply for MBA at JK Lakhmipat University if i have not given CAT?

Megha 29th Mar, 2020

Hello Abhishek !

Yes ,you can apply at JK Lakhmipat University if you have not given CAT , because as per their eligibility criteria for getting admission their the candidates must have appeared in CAT/MAT/ATMA/XAT/CMAT or any other national level entrance test.

In case the candidate has not appeared for any of the mentioned tests, they will have to appear in the JKLU Management Entrance Test (MET) to qualify for the programme.

So, you can apply there by appearing in their Entrance test.

Hope it helps !


What is the CAT exam pattern ?

Aashima Puri 29th Mar, 2020

Hello aspirant, hope you are doing well!

CAT ( Common admission test) is a very reputed entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admissions into various colleges for MBA. The duration of the exam is 3 hours for all the categories and 4 hours for the PwD category. The sectional duration for each section is 60 minutes each whereas it is 80 minutes for the candidates of the PwD category.

The total number of questions asked in the entrance exam are 100. It is a computer based examination.

Candidates lose 1 mark for each incorrect answer and gain 3 marks for every correct answer. No marks are deducted for the questions which the candidate didn't attempt.

The examination consists of 3 sections namely - Quantitative ability , Data interpretation & logical reasoning and Verbal ability and reading comprehension. These sections consists of 34,32 and 34 questions each respectively.

The candidates are not allowed to switch between the sections. He/she can move to the next section only after attempting the previous section which he/she was completing. Though, the candidates are allowed to switch between questions within the same section.

These were some of the main points to be kept in mind for the CAT exam.

Further you can go through this link to know everything about CAT exam. https://www.google.com/amp/s/bschool.careers360.com/articles/cat-exam-pattern/amp

Hope it helps! All the very best for your future endeavours!

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