How to do time management for CAT 2019 - Expert column by T.I.M.E.
Sreetama Datta, 4 days ago, #CAT
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How to do time management for CAT 2019 - With less than a month to go for CAT 2019, it is high time that the candidates finalize their exam-taking strategy in terms of time management. As three hours is all that the candidate has got, a wise distribution and management of time is a must in order to crack CAT. To help MBA aspirants appearing for CAT 2019 ace the test, here we bring to you how to do time management for CAT 2019. In this special column, MBA expert Ankur Jain, Chief Knowledge Expert, T.I.M.E. Delhi shares the salient features of the exam and how to manage time in each section and questions.
Latest: CAT 2019 admit card has been released by the authorities on October 23, 2019. CAT 2019 will be held on November 24, 2019. Authorities has released the work flow for CAT 2019.

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How to do Time management for CAT 2019

Expert column by Ankur Jain on how to do time management for CAT 2019.

Is the CAT different from school/college exams?

The CAT is radically different from school and college exams. It features a large number of questions in insufficient time thus forcing the aspirant to choose which questions to do and which to leave. The questions’ marks and difficulty level do not correspond with each other which is not so in other exams. So if you spend more time doing difficult questions, you will lose marks. Thus, one must choose less time-consuming questions. Additionally, due to insufficient time, too much focus on accuracy or attempts means that one tends to lose marks. Focus on both simultaneously. The CAT is not a maximisation game, but one of optimisation.

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How should one manage time in the sections?

Before starting a section, spend some time scanning the questions. Scan each question or each set quickly and judge its level. A small button on the top right corner of the screen allows you to look at the entire section in a single go.

In the case of QA and VA, you can start attempting the easiest questions on the spot. Questions that are extremely lengthy or unsolvable should be left altogether. Questions that lie in the middle of these two extremes should be “marked for review”. Once you have scanned the entire section, go to the “review marked questions” option and attempt the marked questions. This will ensure that you have read the entire paper and not left any easy question and that you are not wasting your time on extremely difficult questions.

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In the case of RC, DI and LR, you will need to judge the set as a whole and not just a question. This should be done by focusing on the time required to solve the sets based on familiarity and question type. Scan question types to see which sets contain more of what you are comfortable with and is less time-consuming. In a set, feel free to leave a question out of a set of four questions if it is too time-consuming. Conversely, free to pick up one to two questions out of four in a set, if they are the only doable ones. Many people waste time by thinking that if they have picked up a set, they must finish it completely. They also lose opportunities by thinking that if they have not picked up a set, they must leave all the questions.

How should one manage time in the questions?

Before starting the examination, make sure that you have a clear idea of average time available per question/set in each section and have an exit-time for each question. E.g. if you have 1.5 minutes per question in the QA section, you can begin by devoting a minute initially and at the end of such time, see if you will be able to solve the question in 30 more seconds or not. If not, then drop the question and move forward without worrying. Alternatively, you can solve for 1.5 minutes and then check if you are close to solving. If yes, at most, 30 more seconds may be devoted but then you must drop the question if you are nowhere near solving the question. Having this “stop-loss” strategy, to borrow the terminology from the stock market, will make sure that you do not waste time over any one question. Since it is difficult and impractical to judge time for each question, you can divide the questions of the section and the time available in three to four parts and then devote not more than that time per part. This also ensures that time is not wasted.

For question types that you are good at, don’t have an unnecessary ego about them! Many aspirants tend to have an ego-battle with favourite question types and spend endless time solving them trying to prove to themselves that they can solve it! Move forward if you find a tough question, irrespective of your infatuation with that question type.

How do I manage the time for the TITA (Type-in-the-response) questions?

The TITA questions are attractive to aspirants because they have no negative marks. However, beware of Greeks bearing gifts! These questions have no options and hence these are much more time-consuming. Also because the probability of getting them right is much less, the common mistake is to spend way too much time on them and lose time while not gaining much. Ideally, attempt them towards the end of the section, so that time is not accidentally wasted.

How do I become better at the judgement?

This requires an extensive practice of questions and sets after you are clear with basic concepts. Such practice should be always under time pressure. That will replicate the paper pressure.

Best of luck!

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7358 out of 7359 Questions

I have 96% in 10th, 92.4% in 12th and 81.1% in Engineering. What percentile should I score in CAT to get calls from IIM Indore, Kozikhode and Trichy(NC- OBC Category)?

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 18th Nov, 2019


your score is good until now. You have did your best all the way. For CAT exam, IIM Consider 90% to get an admission.

For IIM Kozhikode:- 75% for CAT,Sectional Cutoff:- 65% for  10th:- 60% and for 12th 60%.

For IIM Trichy:- 78% for OBC-NC

for IIM Indore :- 80% for OBC-NC

for OBC category there will very less relaxation. But there is high competition but number of seats available is very less.

So you have to prepare accordingly and get an admission.

CAT exam score hold a 45-50 % weightage for admission at IIM Kozhikode. You have so good qualification in the rest. If you put more effort into it then you can get it.

Hope it helps!


when can I apply for CAT and when are the admissions for MBA open?

Ruchika Chauhan Expert 18th Nov, 2019


Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular national level management entrance exam. CAT 2019 application process has been completed and the exam is scheduled to be conducted on 24th November 2019.

Application forms were available from 07 Aug, 2019 - 25 Sep, 2019.

Aspirants seeking admission to the MBA course have to appear for entrance exams such as CAT/XAT/MAT/SNAP/etc. After the entrance test, candidates have to apply to colleges for admission.

Check the details about the CAT exam using the link below and do let us know if you have any other queries.

Good Luck!


what is the pass mark of cat exam

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019
There is no pass or fail marks for CAT. For example if you get 70 percentile, it means that ypu have done better than 70% of the Candidates who appeared for the exam.

How I crack CAT examinations for MBA to take admission in IIMs.. I also want to go abroad for further studies after completing my bcom degree but i am confused so much what path can I go for future if I want to earn good money ?? Please give me advice guys..

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019

Ayush, CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.

Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.

In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.

IIMs shortlist candidates for the interview stage based on their own criteria, which may be independent of each other. The process may include Written Ability Test, Group Discussion, and Personal Interviews. Performance in the CAT examination is an important component in the admission process. IIMs may additionally use other factors such as the previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience, gender and academic diversity and other similar inputs in shortlisting and ranking of candidates at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs. Now based on your Category, to be shortlisted for an IIM, you should score atleast 85 and more percentile.

Now the IIMs part has been cleared, you need to decide one among MBA in India via CAT or go abroad for higher studies. You cannot be double minded on this. You know your strengths and capabilities and so this should be completely your call.


Cat Application form correction course by mistake type BAA instead of BBA

Rehan Alam Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019

Dear Aspirant,

If you are planning to get your details corrected in the form of CAT 2019, then now you don't have any option as it is now too late. The exam is scheduled for 24th November, 2019 which is just a week away.

However, in the meantime you can ask on the helpline for any assistance if they can provide.

Hope this helps. Thank you.

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