How to prepare for CAT 2020 - Common Admission Test commonly referred to as CAT is one of the top exams conducted by Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admitting candidates in B-Schools across India. CAT 2020 will tentatively be conducted either on last sunday of November, 2020 or first sunday of December, 2020. Careers360 brings to you expert advice on how to prepare for CAT 2020? Candidates willing to take admission in Top B-Schools for the academic year 2021-2023 must crack the toughest competitive exam i.e. CAT 2020. With an application intake of around two lakh per annum, candidates must know beforehand the basis and easy to go strategies for CAT 2020 preparation. Candidates must devise a proper strategy if they are planning to appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT). Read complete article on how to prepare for CAT 2020 as it highlights the important aspect that will help candidates to not only prepare but also score good marks.

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How to prepare for CAT 2020

Exam Pattern of CAT 2020

IIM will prescribe the CAT 2020 exam pattern for the academic year 2021-2023. Candidates willing who are planning to fill the CAT application form 2020 must check the exam pattern beforehand in order to prepare well.

CAT Exam Pattern 2020:





Exam Duration

Three hours for all categories except PwD


Total no. of questions



Mode of CAT 2020



Marking scheme

  • Three marks for correct answer will be awarded

  • One mark will be deducted for incorrect answer



Verbal ability and reading comprehension

Data interpretation & logical reasoning

Quantitative ability

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CAT 2020 Preparation: Sectional Strategy

Candidates who will be taking up CAT 2020 should know in advance the exam pattern and followed syllabus. Future candidates must start their preparation early and not wait for the last moment. Early beginners can refer to the following strategy according to the three sections that will be part of the CAT 2020.

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For Quantitative Ability:

  • Focus on enhancing your basics of mathematics.

  • Learn topics like profit and loss, number system, geometry as they will form key questions in CAT 2020.

  • Practice as much as you can and go for mock tests.

For Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension:

  • Reading as much as possible is the best way to crack this section and score good marks.

  • Go through newspapers, journals, blogs, articles, etc to enhance your reading skills.

  • Try solving questions based on comprehension, inferences and para jumbles. Candidates can join any private tuition or take CAT coaching and prepare from the foundational booklets provided to them.

For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation:

  • Considered to be one of the toughest section in CAT exam, needs a lot of hard work to be done from the candidate’s side.

  • Check the previous year question papers of CAT and try to re-attempt those questions.

  • Try to study basic topics like seating arrangements, blood relations, syllogisms, etc to grip hands on this section. Do no use a calculator while solving questions.

Basic and Easy to go Strategies on How to prepare for CAT 2020

Although there is no specific syllabus prescribed by IIMs for preparing common admission test (CAT), on the basis of past year’s analysis, given below are the major points that will help candidates score good marks. Some basic and easy to go strategies are -

CAT 2020 Preparation: Basic Guidelines


Time Management


Analyze and Understand


Reverse Action


Focus on Strengths & Goal Accomplishment


Attempt Mock Tests


Practice Everything

Time Management

With 60 minutes time allotted to each section, candidates must devise their strategy so they can answer all questions. Managing their time will help candidates turn their efforts to fruitful results. Divide your 24 hours in such a way that you practice each section daily. Speaking about time management, Lakshya, CAT 2019 topper told us that he considered time management as fourth section apart from the other three provided by IIMs. For candidates appearing in CAT for the first time, time management will provide them with the following benefits -

  1. Enhance your efficiency

  2. Increase your productivity

  3. Lower stress level

Sharing his personal experience CAT 2019 topper Somansh said, “I believe time management is much easier when you are passionate about what you are doing, so simply realizing that makes a lot of difference”.

Analyze and Understand

Before making any kind of strategy on how to prepare for CAT 2020, it is advisable that candidates first check the exam pattern of CAT 2020. Analyzing no. of sections, topics and sub-topics asked in previous years exam. Before taking up any kind of tests, analyze these points and try to figure out what your major areas are, which subjects require improvement, etc. AThe analysis is not only done prior to your preparation but can be in between and at the end of your preparation. CAT 2019 topper Ankit Desai, worked hard relentlessly, analyzed his mistakes and overcame them by scoring 99.91 percentile.

Focus on strengths & Goal Accomplishment

Rahul Manglik, CAT 2019 topper says, “Play your strengths and work on your weaknesses”. After analyzing which are your strong areas make them stronger by regular practice. Devise proper strategy on overcoming and correcting your areas of improvement. Whereas for CAT 2019 topper Ronit, “candidates must develop a concrete idea of their strengths as well as weaknesses”. In order to achieve good scores, candidates must capitalise on their strengths first and then move towards the lesser strong areas.

CAT 2019 topper Anumay said that his calm attitude and focused only on what was necessary. For cracking CAT with good percentile is not less than a challenge but everything is possible if you focus your mind on what you wish to achieve. CAT 2020 will be no different than previous exams.

Attempt Mock Test

Almost all the toppers accept that their success was somewhere dependent on the mock test they appeared for CAT exam. One of the best strategies for how to prepare for CAT 2020 is Mock tests as they give candidates a simulated environment of the exam. Benefits of mock test include self-assessment, time management, accuracy in answering the questions as well as understanding the exam day nervousness level.

Practice everything you studied

Experts of CAT advise candidates to practice what they preach. Regularly practising what you know will help you in accessing what more is required. Study each topic and then practise them on a weekly basis to keep them fresh in your mind. For CAT 2019 topper Rahul, “Regular practice and lot of mock tests helped him achieve his goals”.

Reverse Action

While solving the mock test or the actual CAT 2019 if you find yourself surrounded with questions getting little difficult, you may choose for the reverse action and scan the answers given first. Many times it happens that answers contain imperative clues that can help you solve the questions more accurately.

CAT 2019 Toppers

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) declared the CAT 2019 result in online mode on January 4. Around 2.09 lacs candidates appeared for CAT 2019 out of which some of them made their way to the list of CAT toppers 2019. To know the stories of how CAT 2019 toppers achieved that position and their advice for future aspirants on how to prepare for CAT 2020, read the complete article of toppers of CAT 2019.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8311 out of 8311 Questions

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

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,



hello everybody please help me i am from up obc category 1. should i get the benefits of state qouta in neet 2021 ?? 2. at least how many marks(rough idea ) i have to score to get government medical college mbbs in up ??

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 1st Apr, 2020

In 2019, under State Quota, 573 marks secured a seat in Bahraich Medical College under OBC Category. That was the cut off. This is in sharp contrast to 429 marks being the cut off in 2018. This is a proof that cut offs change every year. Cut offs change every year depending on various factors such as no.of Candidates appearing for the exam, no.of Candidates qualified, top NEET score and difficulty of the exam. So to be able to secure a seat in any GMC in UP, you need to score atleast 600 and above. Regarding reaping benefits of OBC benefits, if you have all the proof of documents in place, you are eligible for 27% of reservation by the virtue of belonging to OBC Category. To help you with your NEET preparation, we have NEET Knockout packages that you can check at: To help you during admission and counselling, we have

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