CAT 2015 Strategy to secure 99 percentile: Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher
Updated on Nov 25, 2015 - 4:55 p.m. IST by Sreetama Datta
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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 for more news and updates on CAT 2015

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what good colleges can i apply at 84.63 ile in CAT 2019?

Shareef 27th Jan, 2020
Here are few colleges accepting 80% with a good ranking,
  • Amity university, Raipur
  • Alliance school of business, Bangalore
  • Amity international business school, Noida
  • Asia Pacific Institute of management, Delhi
  • Birla institute of management technology,Noida
  • Christ university, Bangalore
  • IBS business school, Gurgaon
  • Infinity business school, Gurgaon

What are the colleges one can look for if he/she scores 50 percentile in CAT

Sampriti Student Expert 27th Jan, 2020
With your percentile you can still check out some decent colleges like NDIM New Delhi and JIMS Rohini. They mostly select students on the basis of their performance in GD/PI rounds only. You'll just have to apply for them and appear for the process that take place in various cities throughout the country. These two would be the best options you can have. You can also check out colleges like
  • Krupanidhi School of Management
  • MS Ramaiah Bangalore
  • Bengal college of engineering and Technology
  • ASM's group of institutions
  • Shanti Business School and others

You can also wait for other exams like CMAT if you've applied for it. You can have good number of colleges there also.

Apart from that you can also apply for the written test of IBSAT and your final selection will be based on your performance in GD/PI rounds held in Hyderabad.

Good Luck

how can i apply pcb student in cat?

ayush mishra 27th Jan, 2020

Bhavesh, even if you are a PCB student, you can still apply for CAT as the eligibility criteria for the exam requires candidates holding a graduate degree or who are appearing in their final exam of graduation in any discipline from an institution recognised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India. So, it does not matter what discipline you graduate from, either engineering, medical, architecture anything, you can still apply for CAT.

If you want to know more about CAT2020, you can visit the link

Hope this helps


how many lvl 1& lvl2 questions will be there in cat in quant section out of 34

PALLAV TIRIYAR 27th Jan, 2020

There are two categories of questions asked in quantitative ability in CAT exam. There are 11 questions based on TITA and the remaining 23 are MCQs. The CAT exam comprises of 100 questions having four sections viz.,

Data interpretation and logical reasoning -34 questions
Verbal ability and reading comprehension - 32 questions
Quantitative ability - 34 questions

For more details you can refer to the link given below :

admission in MBA top iims in inda

Shareef 27th Jan, 2020
If you want to take admission in the IIM then you need to have atleast 98% in your cat examinination... Few of the IIMs need only 80% but, most of the IIMs prefer students with 95% above percentage...  Here is the list of top 5 IIMs in India,
  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Bangalore
  • IIM Calcutta
  • IIM Lucknow
  • IIM Bombay
All the IIMs in India, have the same value, every IIM provides same kind of facilities and quality of education.. You may opt any of it without any confusion.. Here is the link, you can check the Eligiblity and qualification criteria required of the IIM you want to go,
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