How to prepare for CAT 2021 - Common Admission Test commonly referred to as CAT is one of the top exams conducted by Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) on rotational basis for admitting candidates in B-Schools across India. CAT 2021 will be conducted tentatively on November 28 and those planning to appear for the exam are often confronted with the question as to how to prepare for CAT 2021. Careers360 brings to you expert advice on how to prepare for CAT ? Candidates willing to take admission in Top B-Schools must crack the toughest competitive exam. With an application intake of around two lakh per annum, candidates must know beforehand the basis and easy to go strategies for CAT 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 2021 and CAT preparation 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 2021

IIM will prescribe the CAT 2021 exam pattern for the academic year 2022-2024. Candidates willing who are planning to fill the CAT application form 2021 must check the exam pattern beforehand in order to start their CAT preparation.

CAT Exam Pattern 2021

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Exam Duration

2 hours for all categories


Total no. of questions



Mode of CAT 2021



Marking scheme

  • Three marks for the correct answer will be awarded

  • One mark will be deducted for an incorrect answer



Verbal ability and reading comprehension

Data interpretation & logical reasoning

Quantitative ability

How to prepare for CAT 2021: Sectional Strategy

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Candidates who will be taking up CAT 2021 should know in advance the exam pattern and followed syllabus. Future candidates must start their CAT 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 2021. Check section wise CAT 2021 exam tips.

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 2021.

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

Quick Link-
How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability

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.

Quick Link-
How to prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal and Reading Comprehension)

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.

Quick Link-
How to prepare for CAT DI & LR

Basic and Easy to go Strategies on How to prepare for CAT 2021

Although there is no specific syllabus prescribed by IIMs for CAT preparation, 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 2021 Preparation: Basic Guidelines


Time Management


Analyze and Understand


Reverse Action


Focus on Strengths & Goal Accomplishment


Attempt Mock Tests


Practice Everything

Also check, CAT 2021: When and how to start preparation to know when to start your preparation and what should be your strategy.

Time Management

With 40 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 the 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 at the time of CAT preparation-

  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”.

Quick Links-
How to do Time Management for CAT?
Sectional Time Management Tips for CAT 2021

Analyze and Understand

Before making any kind of strategy on how to prepare for CAT 2021, it is advisable that candidates first check the exam pattern of CAT 2021. 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. The analysis is not only done prior to your CAT preparation but can be in between and at the end of your CAT 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 2021 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 2021 is giving CAT 2021 Mock test as they give candidates a simulated environment of the exam. Benefits of the mock test include self-assessment, time management, accuracy in answering the questions as well as understanding the exam day nervousness level.

Quick Links-

Why Take Mock Tests Before CAT 2021
Why, When and How to take CAT Mock Test

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 at the time of CAT preparation. 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”. Know what other CAT 2019 toppers have to say on preparation.

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 2020 Toppers

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) declared the CAT 2020 result in online mode on January 2. Around 1.90 lakh candidates appeared for CAT 2020 out of which some of them made their way to the list of CAT toppers 2020. To know the stories of how CAT 2020 toppers achieved that position and their advice for future aspirants on how to prepare for CAT 2021 refer the table below:

CAT 2019 Toppers

Name of the Candidate Percentile Scored
Rahul Gupta 100
Rishi Mittal 100
Somansh Chordia 100
Lakshya Kumar 99.99
Rahul Manglik 99.99
Anumay Aashish 99.98
Ankit Desai 99.91
Ronit Banerjea 99.8
Sukumar Chowdary 99.03
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Questions related to CAT

Showing 9617 out of 9617 Questions

How does the scores in CAT matter? Will it matter sectionalwise or overall percentile?

aditya 18th Apr, 2021

Hello aadish.mehata

I hope you are doing good . I would glad to aware you the about evaluation of cat marks and their involvement in scores . For getting a good percentile , first thing is you have to clear sectional cutt offs in each section . You can get a good percentile or can clear cat without clearing the sectional cut off. However, for getting a call business schools overall percentile only matters. In short they all are interelated

Hope you found this answer helpful. Good luck for your future


Which is better, getting into IIM Indore through Ipmat exam after 12th or Getting into other IIMs through CAT exam ?

Atif Ali 14th Apr, 2021


Well it's totally depends upon that whether you want go for Five years integrated programme or want to go for 2 years PGDM programme after CAT exam.

But through IPMAT you are getting a chance to study in one of the most prestigious Institutions of India, So its not a bad deal. On the other hand CAT exam is very very tough exam, It's possible that you don't receive a call even from the baby IIMs if you fail to clear the sectional Cutoff of IIMs.

Have a look at the placement record after IPMAT-

Highest CTC offered- 50 lacs

Average CTC offered- 22 lacs

Number of Recruiters- 160

Now it's totally on you.

Good Luck.


tell about syllabus of cat exam for bsc agriculture students?

Manisha 14th Apr, 2021

Hello aspirant

Syllabus of CAT exam is same for aspiring students from  all streams.

CAT syllabus 2021 includes all important topics of Verbal ability and reading comprehension ( VARC),

Data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR)

(QA) Quantitative Aptitude

there is no standardized syllabus for CAT 2021, but questions are mostly based on middle school math and English topics.

CAT 2021 syllabus is very general and broad.

For detailed information please refer to link given below



I have got 55.92 percentile in feb 2021 i am sc cat which NIT get ECE I will apply?and how many rank in 55.92 percentile

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 13th Apr, 2021


see cutoff score fluctuate every year and it depends on certain factors like number of applicants, students category, choice of stream and som on. electronics and communication is the second most demanding stream after computer science. based on previous years statistics of cutoff , at this score you have less chances to secure seat in any of the nits in ece stream. so try to bring score above 95 percentile in next sessions exam, nits has 50% seat reserve for domicile candidates, remaining seats  fills by AIR rank.

To know about complete list of probable college name, based on your score, category please use Careers360 college predictor tool,



Im gen-EWS cat. JEE 2021 Stud. and also comes under PWD category. Due to covid, I was unable to make pwd certificate but yesterday, I registered online 4 PWD certificate nd got complete filled appli. form and Receipt also..if Ill nt gt my pwd cert. at tym of coun. wht Ill cnsidr as gen./gen-EWS

snigdha vig 13th Apr, 2021


Since you belong to General EWS category, you can update your category when the correction window for the next session will be active. As you must be aware, the correction window for JEE mains April session closed on 7th April, so nothing can be done for that session, but you can update the details when the correction window for the May session will be available.

You can change the following details:

personal details,


Academic Details

Change of Paper

Language of Examination

Name, State of Eligibility, and Date of Birth

For more details you can refer to this link: https://engineering.careers360.com/articles/jee-main-application-form-correction#JEE-Main-Application-Form-Correction-2021-Details-can-be-corrected

I hope this helped you.

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