With the Common Admission Test (CAT) around the corner, students have buck up with their studies and last minute preparations. The MBA entrance exam, CAT 2014 will be conducted in a two day window on November 16 and 22, 2014, for admissions in all the 19 IIMs, conducted this year by TCS.

In these last crucial days, it is important for every student to follow a well structured study plan, appear for mock tests and develop few tricks and strategies which helps to crack CAT with a high percentile.

Careers360 brings to you the CAT Toppers from Top IIMs sharing their success mantra for cracking CAT with a high percentile. Know ‘How to crack CAT’ by the toppers, which is the best way to prepare for the CAT exam in the last days.


Tanya-GuptaIIM Kozhikode- Tanya Gupta


Tanya Gupta achieved a high percentile of 99.47 in CAT 2013 and secured admission in IIM Kozhikode. Tanya, who worked with JP Morgan in Investment Banking Division prior to her admission into IIM, aims to become a financial market expert post her management course at the IIM K. Tanya shares how she strategically prepared for the CAT exam by practicing extensively for all the four sections of the CAT paper.

Key Strategy: Start preparing for CAT five months in advance. The strategy is to 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.


Sectional tips: For Quantitative section, practice numerals as much as you can. Read newspaper editorials, and other online material regularly to help you with grammar and also your reading comprehension ability for Verbal section.


Exam Day Formula: 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. Practice more questions to deal with these points. On the day of the exam, remember to keep your calm, a positive frame of mind will always yield better results than a nervous one.

Click Here to read the entire interview of the CAT Topper


IIM Indore- Soumik BiswasIIM Indore- Soumik Biswas


Soumik Biswas scored an admirable 99.94 percentile in CAT and secured admission in one of the top B-schools of India- IIM Indore. The ex-IBM India employee shares the right strategy to be followed by the CAT aspirants, which can support them in scoring a high percentile.

Success Mantra: CAT does not require extensive study sessions as long as your basics are strong. The main concern is to develop speed which automatically comes if you are able to systemize your mock test. 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.


Section Wise Strategy: ForQuantitative Ability & Data Interpretation stress on 3 points- speed, technique and choices. A positive approach and reading all the questions in the stipulated time are very important for answering the questions correctly.


In Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning, students can score maximum marks. For this section the focus should be on increasing the reading and vocabulary capabilities.

Exam Day Tip: Time Management is the key. Plan your time perfectly for each section. Winning over time will let you win.


Click Here to read the entire interview of the CAT Topper


IIM Calcutta- Arijit Kumar GoraiIIM Calcutta- Arijit Kumar Gorai


Arijit Kumar Gorai cracked IIM Calcutta PGDM admissions with his high CAT percentile of 99.87. He had worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers before joining his MBA programme at IIM Calcutta. A strong believer of practice and time management, Arijit shares his success mantra for CAT.

Preparation Strategy: Theprimary focus should be on accuracy rather than maximizing the number of attempts.  Analyzing the mock exams is a major help and should be meticulously done.


Sectional Tips: If your verbal section is weak, pay extra attention to topics like para-jumbles, comprehensions. Try to increase your speed along with accuracy. Practice by reading newspapers or magazines with an aim to learn new words.


Exam Day Formula: Time management is very important in the actual CAT paper. The focus must be on accuracy. Be sure that you spent around 2 minutes on each problem. It is important to let go off problems if you are stuck in a questions. Wasting time on one question is a huge disadvantage. It is important to go through all the questions since the last 5 questions of a section might have some really simple problems which are very scoring and should not be missed.

Click Here to read the entire interview of the CAT Topper

IIM Udaipur- Sneha MittalIIM Udaipur- Sneha Mittal


An Engineering graduate, Sneha Mittal prepared for CAT while working for Cognizant Technology. She cracked CAT with 97.91 percentile and got admission in IIM Udaipur. Sneha’s entrepreneurial ambitions motivated her to join an MBA programme.

Key Strategy: Regular study, practice, self-analysis and adaptability to tricks are the main stakes for preparation. Traditional methods may seem to be easy but always use the tricks to solve the CAT questions with speed and accuracy. And lastly practice even before the exam day.


Sectional Plan: Quant & DI: The most important point to keep in mind is to stay calm and focused. While solving the QA & DI section, browse through the entire paper once. Attempt easier questions first, and do not waste a lot of time solving the difficult ones. This strategy helped me achieve a score of 98.23 percentile in QA&DI section.


VA & LR: For the VA & LR section, solve the LR questions first. With the VA section, if you don’t know the answer, do not mark anything. This saves you from negative marking and would let you maintain your percentile.


Exam day Tips: CAT is not a difficult exam. The right strategy paired with a lot of practice will guarantee you a good percentile in the CAT examination. 


Click Here to read the entire interview of the CAT Topper

IIM Rohtak- Gagandeep Singh PannuIIM Rohtak- Gagandeep Singh Pannu


Gagandeep Singh Pannu achieved a high percentile of 99.97 in CAT and secured admission in IIM Rohtak. An Engineer by education, Gagandeep aims to become a finance market expert post his management course at the IIM. He also talks on his Time Management strategy which led him to crack CAT with high percentile despite his hectic work schedules.


Key Advice: One word: Practice. You must practice in your full capacity. At the end of the day, just practice what you have done and learned.


Sectional Strategy: Learn basic Quantitative concepts, self-preparation would suffice. The focus should be more on brushing concepts and later switching to higher level questions.


VA and LR require speed to read and answer correctly. For this section, focus on increasing your reading abilities.


Exam Day Tip:  On the day of exam, first go through the entire questions and then attempt formula based questions first. Keep a target of 15 Questions in 15 minutes.


Click Here to read the entire interview of the CAT Topper

Also read:

2 weeks to CAT 2014: Preparation Strategy for Last Lap

CAT 2014 - Time Management Strategy for the Exam Day

CAT 2014: Get the section wise preparations strategy

Why mock tests are important to crack CAT

10 weeks to CAT 2014: How to crack IIM and top B-school admissions



Other Feature Stories on B-School and MBA:

Life @ B-School Campus

Changes in CAT 2014

CAT Topper Interviews

MBA Internship Series

B-School Placements


Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8312 out of 8312 Questions

How to know the 2019 cutoff for mtech admisssions for EWS cat in various iits/nits?

Aman Raj Student Expert 3rd Apr, 2020

Hello Veeru

Gate Cutoffs varies from branches to branches and Categories to Categories.

As you have not mentioned an hence i am attaching a link of our Article which will give you the information about each and every IIT's. and NIT's.



Hi there! Im doing engineering in B. Tech Food technology and currently in 6th semester. Which career portion will be good for me , I should go for GATE Or CAT exam.

Aditi Amrendra Student Expert 2nd Apr, 2020

See, no course is good or bad.Both the courses are equally good and can enhance your chances if etting good jobs in future but you its you who has decide what you actually want to do,where your interest lies.MBA is about business,finance,sales,marketing,different types of management jobs etc. On the other hand if you work further in technology field or research/teaching then you should go with GATE.
Both will reward you good jobs in future if you are hardworking and determined.

Good Luck

My class 10th cgpa is 9.4,whereas my class 12th percentage is 94.6 and, graduation (b tech) Cgpa is 7.6. I am planning to appear for CAT in next exam. Is there any chance that i can get good IIMs Or any other good management clg, if I do well in my CAT exam.

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 2nd Apr, 2020

Hi Shivam,

Yes, absolutely. You have good academic scores apart from your graduation score. You can get call from some of the top colleges/universities like FMS, IIM Calcutta, Kozhikode, Shillong and other cap IIMs. Older IIMs are still a bit dicey in the matter and all the admissions will be mainly based on your CAT score. Given you are a Btech student then you should target a score of 99+ percentile to get a call from these B-school.

You can follow the link below for more information https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/iim-admission-criteria

You can reach out to us for more information regarding admissions entrance tests etc.

Hope it helps.



I scored 93% in 10th (CBSE), 74.2 % in 12th (Science) (CBSE). Im in my final year of BA and would finally score somewhere between 70-75% though from a reputed distance university. Do I stand any chance to get into IIM A/B and what should be the score I should be aiming for in CAT?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 1st Apr, 2020


see iim evaluated your academic score besides your cat score and there is also separate percentiles to clear like quant, verbal, reasoning. since you have already graduated right now you need to focus on your cat exam, need to work on your communications skills, the cutoff score is comes different for different category of students. I suggest you to regular practice. previous years IIM ahmedabad overall cutoff percentile was as follows,

general- 80




iim bangalore:

general- 85




for more details you may follow the below link,



is droping a year after BBA for preparation of CAT is good option.

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 1st Apr, 2020

Hi Isha,

Don't take a complete drop instead work part-time/full time and prepare alongside for the Common Admissions test - CAT. Prepare step by step or get yourself enrolled for a weekends program with a good coaching institute depending on your preparation level. This will not only give you an edge over other freshers who will be applying but also will give you an idea on the stream/domain in which you want to pursue your MBA in.

For starters appear for a mock test or do a sample paper and access your preparation level as of now and then decide.

For more information on eligibility/entrance test/admission you can reach out to us.

Hope it helps,


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