How to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018
Aditi Garg, 05 Sep 2018, #CAT
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How to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018 - The journey of CAT preparation for every aspirant starts with the dream of securing a high percentile which eventually leads to the hallowed portals of a top B-School. Of course, hitting the mark of 100 percentile in CAT is quite attainable, but you most definitely need a strategy for that. So if you are an aspirant seeking an answer to this strategy, then read this article on ‘How to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018’.

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Most certainly, there are several things that CAT 100 percentilers do differently from the rest of the crowd. Last year, two women students and three non-engineers were amongst the 20 candidates who secured the perfect percenile in CAT 2017.  With the help of proven methods, and inputs from previous toppers and experts, this article of Careers360 will reveal all those things to do to get 100 percentile in CAT. Read on to know more about them.

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How to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018

Every year lakhs of students appear for Common Admissions Test (CAT), but only some of them do wonders by getting a perfect 100 percentile. With each passing year, the number of students getting 100 percentile in CAT increases, thereby suggesting an increase in the level of competition. We tracked some of the top scorers and asked them to share all the factors of how to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018. Let’s read them below:


Keep a check on the net correct attempts

Let’s begin by understanding the marking scheme of CAT. Each correct answer is awarded +3 marks, zero for every unattempted question and one mark is deducted for each incorrect answer (depending on whether it is an MCQ or a non-MCQ question).

Now let’s understand the term ‘net correct’ with the help of an example. Say a candidate attempts 85 questions out of which she gets 65 correct and 15 incorrect. As per the marking scheme, s/he will score 65x3 = 195 for correct answers. Additionally, 15 marks (-1 for each of the 15 wrong answers) will be deducted from this score. Since the number of unattempted questions do not have any effect, the net score of the candidate will be 195-15=180, and her net correct attempts would be considered 60.


Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher, suggests that if we assume the same level of difficulty in CAT 2018 as that of 2017, the estimated correct attempts and score required for a 99 percentile is as below:

  • QA - net score of 70-75 (23-25 attempts out of 34)

  • DI & LR - net score of 65-70 (22-24 attempts out of 32)

  • VARC - net score of 55-60 (20-22 attempts out of 34)

  • Overall - net score of around 175

Hence, it is possible to score 100 percentile if one gets atleast 61-62 questions right out of the 100 questions in CAT 2018. Additionally, take a look at the scorecard of Chhavi Gupta, one out of the two female candidates who bagged 100 percentile in CAT 2017. Looking at the score card, one can get an idea of the section-wise scores to be obtained to secure 100 percentile.


How the Scorecard of a 100 Percentiler Looks





Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Data interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Ability

Scaled Score


Scaled Score


Scaled Score


Overall Scaled Score

Overall Percentile









Vishal Bohra, another 100 percentiler in CAT 2017 secured 98.9 percentile in Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, 100 in Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and 99.99 in Quantitative Ability.


Develop a Preparation Strategy

The first question that might pop up in every aspirant’s mind would be – When and how to start preparation for CAT. To answer this, you need to first understand the CAT exam pattern and plan how to cover the entire syllabus of CAT. You need to figure out if you want to take the coaching route or wish to opt for self-study. Another important decision you need to take at this time would be to decide if you are an early morning bird or a night owl. Choose the time to study during which you are most comfortable and your focus is at its maximum.

Citing examples of past 100 percentilers of CAT, topper Meet Agrawal believes that “It is about making your own strategy and getting comfortable with the pattern of the exam.” Breaking the myth that coaching is pertinent for cracking CAT, both Arvind Menon and Mayank Raj, aced the exam in their first attempt with a perfect 100 while they were still in final year of graduation at IIT Bombay.

Similarly, Chhavi Gupta said she could prepare for CAT only during the weekends due to her office schedule. She sailed past it with coaching from T.I.M.E. and worked on her basic concepts, controlling distractions, working through practice tests and critical self-analysis.


Basics First

Having a solid hold on the fundamental concepts is the biggest asset any CAT aspirant can have. Topper Meet shares, “In the first six months, I just used to revise, clear my basics, and took regular mocks."

With the help of strong basics, you can solve even the toughest of questions without any difficulty. Make sure you have the best books and study material for CAT in place so that all that you require for studying is by your side. 


Mocks and analysis

CAT mock tests are one of the most crucial ingredients of the success recipes of all toppers. It is advisable to take mocks alongside preparations as they will help you identify the stage your preparation is in, discern your areas of strengths and weaknesses, and benchmark yourself across other aspirants.

Mayank Raj says “As a strategy to figure out my weak areas and to work on them, I took a lot of mocks and kept analysing my performance alongside. For example in QA, a lot of it depends upon remembering the formulas. So, I wrote the formulas on a board which I would see every day when I wake up or enter my room. By seeing them every day, I learnt them in the process.”

Sharing his mock-taking strategy, Meet says he enrolled in test series conducted by T.I.M.E. and IMS Learning. In the first six months, he revised, cleared his basics, and took regular mocks. In the last two months, he started taking two mocks every day.


Play to your strengths

Taking mocks will help you master your strong areas and concentrate on your weak areas. In an exam like CAT, it is critical to play to your strengths, in other words grab all the ‘low-hanging fruits’. With whatever time you have remaining in hand, work on your getting a strong grip on all the topics with practice and revision. Even if one is done with the complete syllabus, never stop practising, as this will build confidence, which is much needed for test day. Solve as many CAT sample papers, take mock tests, and go through previous year question papers. Remember, CAT is a test of your strengths, and not of your weaknesses.


Accuracy and speed

To secure 100 percentile, one needs to strike the perfect balance between the number of accurate attempts and time. Sharing her time management strategy for each of the three sections, Chhavi Gupta says, “Selection of the questions was the first thing I indulged in and devoted five to seven minutes for doing the same. I had answered 24 questions in RC and spent 42-45 minutes as my accuracy level was very high. In general, the accuracy in VA questions was low, so for rest of the VA questions (Jumbled sentences and Fill in the Blanks), I spent nearly 15-20 minutes.

For DI& LR, I gave five to seven minutes to plan and select the order of the sets. As I could not comprehend the first two sets, just skipped and solved rest of the sets.

Finally, for the QA section, I gave 30 minutes each to the two sets of 17 questions.

I religiously followed my preparation pattern and did not change my strategy on the test day. It is important to let go of a question if it is costing more time.”

This sums up the things that one needs to do to get 100 percentile in CAT 2018. For more insights on how to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018, read the toppers’ preparation tips and strategies which made them stand at the apex of success.


About CAT 2018

Gateway to India's premier management institutes like the IIMs and other top B-schools which accept CAT score, the computer-based examination evaluates skills in English, Mathematics and Logical Reasoning. This year, IIM Calcutta will conduct CAT for almost two lakh candidates who are expected to appear for the test on November 25, 2018.


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