CAT 2020: When and how to start preparation? - India’s top management institutes IIMs collectively conduct CAT entrance exam every year to provide admission in MBA courses. Name of the IIM that will be conducting CAT 2020 will be disclosed soon. Candidates who are aiming for the top B-Schools for the academic year 2021 should get on their toes and start preparing for CAT 2020 India’s top management exam. Every candidate who will appear for CAT 2020 wants to score high and get a place in IIMs. The question is when and how to start preparing for CAT 2020? The answer is NOW. Common Admission Test (CAT) being a national level management exam marks participating of more than 2 lacs candidates every year. To know about the preparation plan and timing, candidates must go through this complete article on CAT 2020 when and how to start preparation by careers360.

Latest: Know Your Chances, Eligibility & Required Cut-offs for getting Calls from IIMs & other Top MBA Colleges through CAT 2019 - CAT Pathfinder - IIM & Non-IIM MBA Call Predictor

Applications Open Now
Suryadatta Institute of Management, Pune
Alliance School of Business
CAT 2020: When and how to start preparation?

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Scoring good percentile will require extensive preparation of CAT 2020. For the academic year 2021-2023 admissions, the exam pattern of CAT 2020 will be prescribed by IIM. Candidates willing who will fill the CAT 2020 application form must check the exam pattern beforehand in order to prepare well. Exam pattern of CAT 2020 will be almost the same as CAT 2019. Given below is a tentative exam pattern of CAT 2020 and will be updated if any changes are brought in by IIM for CAT 2020.

CAT Pathfinder - IIM & Non-IIM MBA Call Predictor

Know Your Calling Chances from IIMs & other Top MBA Colleges, Eligibility & Cut-offs

Start Now

CAT Exam Pattern 2020 (Tentative):

S. No.




Exam Duration

3 hours


Total no. of questions

100 MCQs


Mode of CAT 2020

CBT i.e. computer-based


Marking scheme

  • A correct answer will carry three marks

  • For an incorrect answer, one mark will be deducted



Quantitative ability

Data interpretation & logical reasoning

Verbal ability and reading comprehension

Syllabus of CAT 2020

Along with the exam pattern, candidates must also have a know-how of the CAT 2020 syllabus to prepare in advance. According to some management experts, six months of committed preparation will push you forward towards your goal of being a CAT topper. Lakshya Kumar who cracked CAT 2019 with 99.99 percentile says “I started preparing for CAT in June 2020, like five to six months before the exam."

Applications Open Now
Globsyn Business School
Ranked among Top 5 B-schools in East India | 100% Placement Record
Lexicon M.I.L.E- PGDM Admissions 2020
PGDM Admissions 2020 Open | 14 LPA – Highest CTC

Based on past year CAT 2020 syllabus is likely to be same with not many changes. The overall question paper will be divided into three sections of Verbal ability and reading comprehension, Quantitative ability and Data interpretation & logical reasoning. Candidates will be required to solve 100 questions in total.

CAT 2020: When and How to Start Preparation?

Once aware of the syllabus, candidates must divide their preparation to answer the question of when to start preparing for CAT 2020? It is quite common for candidates to get confused even after knowing the exam pattern and syllabus and ending up wasting a lot of CAT 2020 precious time. Better scores than others will open your gateway to top B-Schools of Candidates can break their preparation into 3 stages as mentioned below-

Strategy Planning of When and How to Start CAT 2020 Preparation:

Month-wise Strategy Division

Target Points

6 Months

  • Time Management

  • Join Coaching/FB groups

  • Concept clarity with shortcuts

3 Months

  • Break preparation into sections

  • Work on areas of improvements

  • Practice sample paper/past years questions

1 Month

  • Mock tests

  • Focus on Strong Topics

CAT 2020 in 6 Months? Yes, Possible!

Most of the CAT 2019 toppers admitted that their major portion of preparation started when CAT was 6 months away. Below mentioned points can be referred by candidates if they are planning to start their CAT 2020 Preparation within 6 months of duration -

  1. Time Management - Lakshya Kumar CAT 2019 topper said, “Time management should be considered as the fourth section of the CAT examination. It is not just preparing Verbal Ability, Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability but preparing all these 3 and attempting them within 3 hours of the stipulated time”. Attempting questions with a time allotment of 60 minutes to each section itself makes CAT exams more difficult. To achieve fruitful results, candidates must try to divide their study time table such that within 24 hours, they practice each section daily.

  1. Join Coaching/FB groups - If some candidates feel that they will be unable to study and prepare for CAT 2020 on a self basis, then it is advisable to such candidates that they join some coaching institutes. Nowadays popular social media groups are in trend and help candidates to crack CAT and other management exams. Topper of CAT 2019, Ronit Banerjea told us that he joined the coaching institute and began preparing from their study material in order to learn new and efficient approaches to solving the questions.

  2. Concept clarity with shortcuts - In the initial 6 months to CAT 2020 preparation, candidates should only focus on clearing their concepts. One of the assets of CAT toppers is clarity of fundamental concepts. Most of the toppers believe that it is easy to guess what type of questions will form part of Data interpretation & logical reasoning and Quantitative ability section. But to even guess what will come in VARC i.e Verbal ability and reading comprehension is very challenging. In order to clear concepts, candidates must be aware of the exam pattern and syllabus of CAT 2020.

CAT 2020 in 3 Months? Yes, Possible!

Once done with the basic knowledge on CAT 2020, candidates will be more near to the exam day. Agitation and stress are the most common. Do not panic and follow the below-mentioned points-

1. Break preparation into sections- Keeping track of the past papers, mainly there are three sections in CAT. Candidates are advised to draw efficient section-wise strategy when CAT 2020 is almost near.

  • For Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: Candidates should start reading newspapers, journals, blogs, articles, etc to enhance skills. They should try to solve comprehension, inferences, Fill in the blanks with right vocabulary choice, and read passages. Try adding a new word each day to your vocabulary.
    For Quantitative Ability: Focus on building up mathematics basics. Candidates should focus on topics like profit and loss, number system, geometry as they might form key questions in the question paper of CAT 2020.
  • For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation: Try to study basic topics like seating arrangements, blood relations, syllogisms, etc to grip hands on this section. It is advisable for candidates to not use a calculator while solving questions from this section.

2. Work on areas of improvements

As for CAT 2020 about 90 days will be left, candidates can focus and try improving their areas in which they feel are not strong as compared to some others. Instead of being melancholy about what all new can be learned, candidates should take initiative to focus and enhance their preparation for weaker areas.

3. Practice sample paper/past years questions

Candidates are advised to check previous year question papers of CAT. After finishing the syllabus, candidates should try to revise at least 2-3 sample papers on a daily basis. It will help in improving speed as well as let candidates know about how accurate they are. While solving the questions papers or sample papers of CAT rigorously there will be a time when candidates will not find any question of new type.

CAT 2020 in 1 Month? Yes, Possible!

With almost a month left until CAT 2020, candidates will be required to keep calm and emphasize only on what is majorly required. Below mentioned points will help candidates in scoring great and most likely a call from any of the IIMs.

  1. Mock tests

CAT 2020 conducting IIM will release Mock Test paper for giving candidates a gist of the actual exam simulated environment. Solving the mock tests helps candidates to understand and access the difficulty level of CAT 2020. Lakshya the topper of CAT 2019 said that, “he was regular at testing myself via mock tests (once a week) from April. Post any mock he gave some time to analyze the test and figuring out what went wrong and then focused on that”. The most effective method of evaluating current preparation level is the mock test.

  1. Focus on Strong Topics

Starting any new topic will lead to confusion. So it is advisable to candidates to focus and improve their strong areas. Do not waste your time figuring out the new topics or trying to learn new concepts.

Know The Toppers of CAT 2019

Result of CAT 2019 was declared by IIM on January 4, 2020 in online mode. Around 2.09 lacs candidates appeared for the exam out of which many made their names to the CAT toppers 2019 list. To Know and read success stories of the toppers, when and how they started their CAT preparation as well as their message for future candidates, go through the complete article of CAT 2019 toppers.

Applications Open Now

ITM Business School
ITM Business School
Alliance School of Business
Alliance School of Business
Delhi School of Business (VIPS-TC)
Delhi School of Business (VIP...
Amity University MBA Admissions, Gurugram
Amity University MBA Admissio...
Asia Pacific Institute of Management
Asia Pacific Institute of Man...
Jaipuria Institute of Management | Deadline: 31 Mar 2020
Jaipuria Institute of Managem...
Brindavan College | MBA Admissions 2020
Brindavan College | MBA Admis...
View All Application Forms

Popular Degrees

784 Colleges
310 Colleges
33 Colleges
29 Colleges
17 Colleges

CAT Updates and Articles

Questions related to CAT

Showing 8325 out of 8325 Questions

I have 96% in 10th 94 %in 12th and 7 3 cgpa in btech and around 18 months of work much do I need to score in CAT 2020 to get a call from IIMA/B /C or FMS ?

Prakarsh Kaushik 5th Apr, 2020


For getting in top B-schools of India like IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, FMS Delhi etc. you need good marks not only in in CAT but also in Class 10th, 12th and your graduation. If you have some work experience then it gives you more advantages.

There is no specific cutoff of percentile on which you can get into top IIMs. Since your marks in 10th, 12th is above 90% and in graduation above 7 CGPA with work experience, you can expect a call from IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C if you have at least 99 percentile in CAT .

For FMS also you should aim for 99+ percentile in CAT and also keep in mind that if you score 95+ percentile in VARC Section it will increase your chances of getting in.

Click at this link to know more about CAT -

Hope this was helpful


which is the best book for cat self study to crack cat examination

KUNAL LANJEWAR 5th Apr, 2020


Given below are the best books to refer for preparing for CAT examination:

1. For Quantitative Aptitude:

  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT 2019 by Sarvesh K Sharma

2. For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation :

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit K Sinha

3. For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension :

  • Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis
  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

Best Wishes.


how should I crack cat examination

sushmitha M 5th Apr, 2020


Preparing in the right direction is very important for any competetive exams and mainly inportant for CAT. Firstly you need to know the syllabus for CAT and practice the topics that you are not unsure about and put more strss on them and then solve as many mock papers as possible and also go through the previous years papers of CAT and prepare in the right direction.

For sample papers of CAT please visit:

Hope this helps


How much percentile would be good in CAT to get admission in MBA from IIT Delhi for a general category participant?

anurag khanna 5th Apr, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

Till now IIT Delhi has not released its cut-off for CAT for admission to MBA courses. According to last year's trend you should score more than 90 percentile if you belongs to general category and want to pursue MBA from IIT Delhi.

For more details about cut-off for MBA program in IIT Delhi you should read this article .

I hope this answer helps you.

Good Luck!!


Im doing BBA LLB after this should I prepare for judiciary exam ( civil judge ) or for CAT? Which one would be mire practical and easy to clear?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 5th Apr, 2020


see no exam is easier to crack if you dont have enough of preparation. to become eligible for judiciary exam you must completed  an LLB or equivalent degree from an institute that is recognized by the Bar Council of India. and for cat exam eligibility criteria is graduation in any discipline with 50% marks in graduation. cat exam is admission for mba courses in finance, human resource, business analytics and many more stream. now it depends on you , you need to think which of the path you want to go, see in both of the ways you can earn a handsome salary, but you need to really dedicated and hard working for that.

hope you may understand.

The question have been saved in answer later, you can access it from your profile anytime. Access now

Download the Careers360 App on your Android phone

Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile

Careers360 App
150M+ Students
24,000+ Colleges
500+ Exams
1500+ E-books