How to Prepare for CAT in 4 months? - Candidates who want to pursue a management program from IIM or from any other premier B-school of India, their first aim is to appear for CAT and crack it with a good percentile. Apart from other MBA entrance tests, CAT is the toughest one to crack. But as they say, one can climb Everest with preparation, commitment, approach and targeting. Same applies with the CAT preparation. Only four months seem like a short span of time to complete the preparation for CAT but with the right kind of strategy and planning one can score a high percentile in CAT 2020. If one has already started their preparation for CAT 2020 which means their basics are clear and now they need to focus on speed, accuracy, shortcuts, tips and tricks. However, those who are going to start their preparation from now on then this article belongs to them. In this article of Careers360 one will get to know “How to prepare for CAT 2020 in 4 months”. How one can draw their study plan so that they crack the exam without any difficulty and make their way to premier B-School of India. Read the full article to know “how to prepare for CAT in 4 months.”

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How to Prepare for CAT in 4 months?

How to Prepare for CAT in 4 months?

Before making any study plan or preparation strategy CAT 2020, one should get familiar with the exam pattern and its detailed syllabus. As per past year trend the exam pattern of CAT 2020 will consist of three sections, namely, Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). There will be 34 questions each for the QA and VARC section and DILR will consist of a total of 32 questions. While taking CAT 2020 candidates can not switch between the sections due to sectional time limit. Candidates will get 60 minutes for each section. The total time duration will be 3 hours for CAT 2020 which means candidates will have to manage their time accordingly so that one can avoid the hassle and anxiety.

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If one has only four months to prepare for CAT 2020, then they should divide their preparation plan stage wise. It will make their preparation easy and they will be able to handle the CAT preparation pressure with ease. Here are some tips to follow while preparing for CAT when only four months are left for the D-day.

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Spot yourself where you are standing

Before starting the CAT preparation, candidates need to check where they stand currently such as whether their basics are clear or not, did they know the basic formulas to solve Quantitative Aptitude questions, etc. After knowing this, candidates will get an idea about their strong and weak areas. If one is unable to assess their level of preparation, then moving forward will be a herculean task. After making a diagnosis report candidates can categorise in which sections they have a good accuracy rate and which are the ones where they need to work hard. It will hardly take 2 to 3 days to spot yourself where one is standing.

Understanding concepts and knowing their application

Once candidates have gone through with the exam pattern and syllabus of CAT 2020 they need to start working on the fundamentals of every topic during the four months of CAT preparation. Through this candidates can get conceptual clarity and they can strengthen their basics. While preparing for the Verbal Ability section one should do their reading on regular basic to get a hold on it. Apart from the VARC section, the other section demands a good amount of time to practice the concepts. When one is well versed with the basics then they should start their preparation chapter and section wise and at a swift pace.

Make a different strategy for Quantitative Aptitude section

The Quantitative aptitude section actually carries the major chunk of CAT preparation. Apart from other sections Quant has a very vast syllabus from algebra to percentages, basically Quant section tests the fundamentals of a candidate. It needs a proper strategy to prepare for each topic in a systematic way. Through this process candidates will understand the basics and can set a benchmark for CAT preparation. One can make the Quant section easy for them, they only need to include Learning and practice while preparing for CAT 2020.

DILR Section Demystified: Strategies for CAT 2020

There is no fixed syllabus for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning syllabus, which makes it a bit difficult as compared to other sections. Among the three sections, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section is the most crucial and challenging in the CAT 2020. If one is good at solving puzzles then they can tackle the Logical Reasoning section very easily. Those who are not familiar with DILR questions so they have to solve previous year papers and solve questions from standard templates, Einstein puzzles, the grid puzzle, etc.

Focus on Self-Study

Self study is very important when it comes to ace any exam. The best part of self study is one will get to know where he or she stands and anticipate accordingly. Sometimes, self study might be frustrating but this is the only way to achieve any goal. One can include the following factors while doing self study.

  • Read the textbook

  • Read the class notes

  • Make colorful and proper notes

  • Look up other online resources

  • Teach someone what you have learned

Mock test, its analysis and revision- An elixir

CAT preparation will be considered incomplete if one has not attempted the mocks. CAT mock test, test series or CAT sample paper are basically designed to make aspirants understand the structure and level of CAT entrance test. The result of the CAT mock test will indicate the candidates strength and weakness. Taking mocks in the beginning of preparation, candidates will have ample of time to improve their weak areas and simultaneously they can strengthen their strong portions.

Adapt yourself to the need of the CAT

Candidates should set a target to solve at least six past year papers in a week. After solving every paper, candidates should spend time to analyse it. See where you scored well as well as where you could goood and what are the main reasons for not doing better. This step should perform in the second last month of preparation. The main benefit to solving past years papers is, candidates will get to know whether they are making progress or not.

Hit the bull’s eye and get the victory

In the last 10 to 15 days of CAT preparation, do not explore any new topics. Only practice what you know and extract the maximum benefit. Just polish your strength and do revision of all sticky notes which you have made during exam preparation.

How to Prepare for CAT in 4 months? - Toppers Views and Tips

CAT 2019 topper Lakshya Kumar (99.99 Percentile) shared his preparation strategy. Lakshya says- To start my preparation, I took a CAT mock test to figure out my base level. This is how I learnt what my strengths and weaknesses were. I started by joining TIME and then focused on completing the foundational booklets. I was regular at testing myself via mock tests (once a week) from April. Post any mock I have some time to analyze the test and figuring out what went wrong and then focus on that.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8327 out of 8327 Questions

10th -70% 12th -56% (Science) bcom - 80% (SC candidate), if I get 100 percentile in CAT, would have I got call from IIM A or C ??

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020

Hii Biton,

Yes, there is a possibility for you as you belong to the SC category. But still there are  alot of factors taken into consideration while accessing your profile for giving a call for interviews bu top Business schools of India. You have a good chance provided you work on your communication skills and other skills. Also try doing internships and building your profile as these things will affect and may decide if you will be getting a call or not.

Hope it helps,



How to start preparing for CAT 2020 from basics? Which are the books to refer from? Will self study be enough? I need an answer that can clear all my doubts and motivate me to start my preparation. Each answer will be appreciated, thanks.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020
Almost all books available in the market are very similar in the nature of their content of study material but the important thing is what you make of it.

Here I can give you the list of books for each section that can help you accelerate your preparation to ace the tests.

CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.

Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.

There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.

if i obtain 80 marks in quantitative aptitude 80 marks in data interpection and 80 marks in verbal reasoning what is my total percentile of cat because my 10th and 12 marks is low ?

Ankit Dahiya Student Expert 6th Apr, 2020
Your CAT percentile has nothing to do with class X and XII marks.
The percentile indicates your performance relative to the other candidates. For example if you get 80 percentile it means your score is more than 80% of the appearing students.
The percentipe is calculated as:
P=(R/N) 100
where R=Rank of student and N=Number of students who appeared.

Follow this link for more information

Good luck

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.

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