How to prepare for CAT 2020
Updated on Jan 27, 2020 - 10:48 a.m. IST by Mahima Bahl
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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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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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More like CAT

Questions related to CAT

Showing 8148 out of 8148 Questions

MY NEET PG 2020 rank is 9590. I am general cat student. Is there any possibility of getting a Derma seat at this rank?

Animesh Vats Student Expert 21st Feb, 2020


I would like to tell you that you might get a seat and there are chances but obviously more chances would be if you participate in state quota counseling and choose dermatology there as your field of study in any one of your state government medical college.

I hope my answer helps.

All the best.


best coaching centers for CAT ecam

hrithik jain 21st Feb, 2020


The best coaching centres for CAT are as follows (it will be better if you specify your city requirement as every tier 1 city has good coaching centers for CAT):

1. Career Launcher


3. IMS

4. Endeavor

5. Bulls eye

6. PT education

I would suggest you to go and contact the students if it feasible to get a better idea. It will help you to get a better review of the Institute.


my air is 6348 gen cat.Can i get MS obg in Andhra Govt colleges.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 21st Feb, 2020

Going by previous All India cut offs and your rank, you may decent chances in Medical Colleges like:

Andhra Medical College: Anaesthesiology

Guntur Medical College: Opthamology

Rajiv Gandhi Institue of Medical Sciences: ENT

Obstetrics and Gynaecology is tad difficult with this rank. Having said that, this is 2019 data and cut offs change every year depending on various factors such as no.of Candidates appearing for the exam, no.of Candidates qualified, difficulty of the exam, and no.of seats available for each specialisation. Please try our College predictor to check the possibility of other specialisations with you rank across India:


my rank in neet Pg 2020 general cat 32k nd in OBC it is 11k is there any chance of getting clinical subject in gov. colleges?

Nihal Kumar Gupta Student Expert 21st Feb, 2020

Hi Nasrin ,

First of all congratulations on securing average rank in NEET PG 2020. As per your rank and previous year cutoff, you will get private colleges with this rank. The colleges you will get in clinical branch are:


KIMS Hyderabad

Rural medical college, Loni

LHMC Delhi

GMCH Chandigarh

There is a list of medical you will get as per your rank. Hope this helps!! You can also go through our college predictor link:


Is it possible to get a call from IIM Ahmedabad with 93% in 10th, 95% in 12th, 85% in B.Tech from Tier 3 college without any internships and extra curricular activities and 99%tile in CAT?

Anshu Saini 20th Feb, 2020
Hi aspirant,
IIMs are known to raise their bars of the expected percentile in the examination. The general bracket of the accepted CAT percentile ranges from 95 to a 99.98 percentile so as to get you a PI, that is, a Personal Interview call from the IIM institutes. In regard to this they also consider 12 and 10 class marks and grade them. With your score you have fair chances of getting a call from IIM ahemdabad but you have to clear analytical written test (AWT) and personal interview for admission. Follow this link for more details-
Hope this helps.
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