How to prepare for CAT 2021 along with other entrance exams
How to balance CAT preparation along with other entrance exams- Preparation for any management entrance test needs dedication as well as a planned strategy. And same goes with CAT preparation. The first choice of every MBA aspirant is to crack CAT in the very first attempt and get into an IIMs. This makes the Common Admission Test (CAT) most popular entrance exam of India, every year more than two lakh candidates appear for CAT and very few of them make into the IIMs of India. Rest of candidates either apply for those B-schools that accept the CAT scorecard or for other national-level management entrance exams such as MAT, CAT, CMAT or SNAP. Also, the syllabus and exam pattern for CAT and other exams are quite similar differing only in terms of difficulty level. So if you have filled multiple MBA entrance exams, then the question is how to balance CAT preparation along with other entrance exams? Careers360 presents you some tips on how to prepare for CAT along with other entrance exams.
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Ongoing MBA Admission 2021
CAT Exam Pattern 2021
Prior to setting any strategy for CAT 2021 or any other entrance exam, it is necessary to know the exam pattern of a particular exam. By knowing the exam pattern of CAT 2021, one will get aware of its marking scheme. Exam pattern of CAT and other MBA entrance tests varies in terms of marking scheme too. CAT 2021 entails a negative marking scheme implying there is no need to attempt all the questions. More focus must be on the accuracy of the questions answered. Let us check the detailed exam pattern of CAT 2021.
Exam pattern of CAT 2021
Total time duration of the exam
Sectional time duration
40 minutes for every section
Total number of questions
One can easily make a preparation strategy by understanding the exam pattern of CAT 2021. By knowing the total number of questions, nature of questions, time limit and marking scheme one can easily get to know how much time they should invest to complete a particular topic.
Know CAT evolution over the years
CAT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 2021
Comparison between CAT and Other MBA Entrance Tests' Pattern
After knowing the structure of the CAT question paper, one should compare it with the other management entrance exam test pattern and devise the strategy accordingly. For instance, we are going to compare the CAT and XAT exam pattern. The major difference in both exams is the number of sections, in CAT 2021 there are only three sections from where questions will be asked but in XAT there is an addition of one more section which is General Awareness. The time duration is the same for both the exams but, in CAT there is a sectional time limit that is, candidates (except PwD category) will have a total of 40 minutes to solve a particular section but in XAT there is no time limit to solve a section apart from General Awareness section (15 minutes). Check the major difference between CAT and other management entrance exam patterns.
Variation in Exam Pattern: CAT vs Other MBA Entrance Tests
Total number of questions
99 or 100 (Varies year to year)
Total time duration
2 Hours (160 Minutes)
3 Hours (180 Minutes)
3 Hours (180 Minutes)
Number of sections
99 (Varies year to year)
Also Check - How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability
CAT Syllabus 2021
It is also must to know all the topics from which questions will be asked in CAT 2021. Prior to starting the preparation one should go thoroughly with the syllabus of CAT 2021 so that one gets to know on which section they need to work hard and which topics they need to work less. Sections from which questions will be asked in CAT 2021 are- Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation and Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability.
Detailed syllabus of CAT 2021
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability
Know the difference between CAT and Other MBA entrance test syllabus
After knowing the syllabus of CAT and other MBA entrance exams, one should first check the common topics and keep them aside and make a different strategy for them. Suppose, a candidate is planning to appear both for CAT and XAT then they need to set a different strategy. For the QA and VARC section, there is no need for a different study plan but for the rest of the section, a different plan needs to be mapped out. In XAT there is a section, Decision Making and General Awareness, one will have to allot some time to them.
How to prepare for CAT 2021 along with other entrance exams?
As we know the popularity and difficulty level of CAT, it needs four to five hours of study daily but preparing for another management entrance test along with CAT makes the task tough. In that situation, one should need to know how they should allot equal time and attention to the preparation of the entrance test. If one gets to know all such tips then they can do their XAT, CMAT and MAT preparation along with CAT 2021 preparation. Know all the tips and tricks to balance CAT 2021 preparation with other entrance exams.
Related topic - How to prepare for VARC
Managing time efficiently
Time allocation is a must when candidates start preparing for management entrance tests. After going through the exam pattern and syllabus of CAT and other management entrance exams one should make a preparation table and try to rectify in which section they need more time. One needs to categorize such topics that need daily practice. Exams which have a General Awareness section, then one should include reading newspapers and magazines on a daily basis. For the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section, there is no need to prepare separately because this is the only section which is common in every management entrance exam. After doing such things one will get to know how many hours are needed to study daily for the preparation. Allot section-wise time accordingly and refer to the recommended books by experts.
As we mentioned above the difference between CAT and other MBA entrance exam patterns and syllabus. Candidates will have to divide their study hours accordingly for a few sections.
Take mock tests every day
Studying from recommended study material will make your base and concepts clear but, if a candidate wants to analyze their weekly performance then he or she must include taking mocks at the end of the week to analyze their strength and weakness. In the meantime of CAT preparation by taking mocks candidates can easily moderate their preparation strategy. Taking CAT mocks not only boosts a candidate's confidence level but also one can improve their speed and accuracy level. If a candidate took command over mocks then they will get to know how to manage time.
Se up a daily routine for practice
While drawing the schedule of CAT preparation along with other entrance exams, candidates should set a daily routine which they can follow easily. Prepare a daily routine by considering a few factors such as how much time you have left to prepare for CAT 2021 or for another entrance exam. How much sleep your body needs depends on what kind of diet one has to follow during the preparation period, take a note and past it on your wall. Take a look at the highlights of the daily study routine set up for CAT 2021.
Practice two Reading Comprehension (RC’s) daily
Practice two Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) questions daily
Practice Quantitative Ability daily for two hours
Read the Newspaper and Magazines daily
Revise all the formulas daily
Include solving sample & previous year papers in preparation strategy
Solving previous year question papers is always a boon for any entrance exam. If a candidate includes CAT past year question papers in their preparation strategy they will get familiar with the exam structure and marking scheme. Over the Internet all the sample papers of every entrance exam are available free of cost. Candidates should avail this facility and download such sample papers as needed and solve them on a daily basis. Solving the question papers of XAT, SNAP, MAT etc. will enable the candidates to increase their grip over all kinds of questions. They will be able to answer the questions with ease if on a regular basis the candidates answer the past years' question papers of different exams.
Also Read - MBA Entrance Exams 2021 in India
Make a habit for reading
Either its preparation for CAT, XAT, MAT or CMAT or any state or university level management entrance exam, making a habit of reading is a must. Do not take it lightly, many candidates think that reading is not mandatory but it is, if you are one of them then it is the right time to inculcate this habit. Reading habit will immensely help in Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation section but is also helpful for General knowledge section.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - How to prepare for CAT 2021 along with other entrance exams
Question: What is the difference between the sections syllabus in CAT and XAT?
In CAT questions are asked from Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability while in XAT questions are asked from Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and General Knowledge.
Question: What is the mode of CAT, XAT and CMAT exams?
All the three entrance tests, CAT, XAT and CMAT are conducted in an online mode.
Question: How many sections are there in CMAT examination?
There are four sections in CMAT namely- Quantitative Technique and Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, General Awareness and Language Comprehension
Question: How many questions are asked in CAT and CMAT?
Both in CAT and CMAT, a total of 100 questions are asked.
Question: What is the importance of solving previous year sample papers?
Solving the previous years' question papers and sample papers will enable the candidates to increase their grip over all kinds of questions. They will be able to answer the questions with ease.
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Questions related to CAT
sir i scored 518 marks in neet 2021 and i am obc B cat which college i can get seat
Based on previous year data, with 518 marks you may get a rank between 74929-82675. You can also predict your rank using NEET Rank Predictor https://medicine.careers360.com/neet-rank-predictor?utm_source=qna&utm_medium=neet_rp
According to your profile, you're from Andhra Pradesh. You may have a chance of getting a seat through Andhra Pradesh State Counseling under OBC quota in the following colleges -
- Viswabharati Medical College and Hospital
- Santhiram Medical College and Hospital
- PES Institute of Medical Sciences and Research
To know more about Andhra Pradesh cut off, check here https://medicine.careers360.com/articles/neet-cutoff-ap
To get a complete list of colleges in which you can get Mbbs/Bds seat, you can use NEET College Predictor https://medicine.careers360.com/neet-college-predictor?utm_source=qna&utm_medium=neet_cp
It is important to know that the above predictions are based on previous year data and cut offs and ranks vary every year depending on the difficulty level of the paper, the performance of the students and the number of seats available.
my air 71523 jeemain can i get iet lucknow cs branch cat.gen
First of all congratulations for your result.
As per previous year cutoff, It is difficult to get admission there, but you can try some other good top colleges also. You have to try hard to get seat in good college.
For CSE you need a rank under 1100 for general.
For IT around 2200 for general.
Hopefully this will help you.
Sir🙏 I have got 20000 ranking in veterinary . Can i get seat sir.I belongs to the Obc (2A cat) sir ..plz
Cutoff for vertenairy varies year to year as cutoff depends upon no. Of candidates appearing and the difficulty level of question paper. Yes, you can get it with this score
For previous year cutoff, do visit
Hi, I want to appear for CAT but i have a gap of 5 years between 12th and graduation. Will this gap create problem in selection for a college or while selecting for job after MBA? I have cleared CA intermediate in these 5 years and have a suitable experience of full time job in a good company.
Hi Vipul. No the 5 years gap won't be a problem in college selection or interview process or job placement . Those will be considered as educational gap since you have a genuine reason and good achievements like clearing CA intermediate, and good company job. Still to be on the safe side, try to get a good percentile , prepare for interview and build up your resume
Hlo,sir/mam recently I completed my graduation now I fill the form of CAT examination for 2021 .so please suggest me how I study or tricks to clear the exam in first attempt?
I hope you are doing well!
Last year, many changes in the CAT 2021 exam pattern and testing slots were made by IIM Indore. This year it is expected that CAT 2021 pattern will change again as IIM Ahmedabad which is conducting CAT 2021, may bring about more changes in CAT exam structure. CAT 2021 may go back to its earlier test structure and time slots. As per the regular pattern, CAT 2021 will be a computer based test of 3 hours with 100 questions divided in three sections. CAT preparation 2021 strategy also needs to be slightly changed from previous year.
How to Plan CAT Preparation 2021
With the expected changes in CAT 2021 pattern, the CAT 2021 preparation according to experts, should also be changed. Experts have advised following required changes in CAT preparation strategy:
Change in CAT Exam 2021
Required Change in CAT preparation
Number of questions to go up from 76 to 100
Test taking stratgey to be tweaked. Selection of questions becomes important
Increased Overall CAT duration to 3 hours and Sectional duration to 60 Minutes each
Students should focus on preparation. Exam could prove more beneficial with better scoring opportunity
Difficulty Level may go up
Improve your skills in each section, IIMs may decide to have stronger skilled students
Change in Mock Test Taking Strategy
Increase total number of questions and duration for your mock test. This will give you a real feel of new CAT pattern
CAT toppers and experts describe CAT preparation strategy in two words – ‘Smart Preparation’ and avoid the hard meaningless preparation that consumes lot of your time with lesser gain.
Since, IIMs do not require a professor or a deep learner in only one area, the CAT exam is designed to measure your aptitude and assess your analytical and communication skills in the areas of English language and usage, Analysis of a situation with data, Approach to arrive at the decision by using reasoning and the basic mathematical skills.
You always have a choice to prepare for CAT with or without coaching. However, it depends upon your requirements, availability of time, skills that you have and the areas you wish to improve among other factors. CAT Self Study with right CAT 2020 Study material or a mix of preparation without coaching and opting for weekend CAT coaching with test series option can be decided now or later as per your requirement.
If you wish to opt for CAT self study, you need to understand first how to prepare for CAT exam at home with the help of right books for CAT exam preparation and other appropriate CAT 2021 study material.
Most of the CAT toppers have opted for CAT preparation without coaching. CAT toppers like IIM Ahmedabad student of PGP 2020-22 batch, Rahul Gupta with 100 percentile in CAT 2019; Ashish Jhunjhunwala with 99.90 percentile in CAT 2017; Vipul Kukkar 99.99 percentile in CAT 2017 and IIM Calcutta students did self study for CAT exam with the help of books and other CAT study material.
Preparation tips on how to start CAT exam preparation without coaching are focused on following points to guide you how and when you should start your exam preparation 2021:
- Go through the revised CAT exam pattern & CAT syllabus 2021 and Pick out your strong and weak areas in all the three sections and work on improving them
- Gather the best books and CAT study material for preparation 2021
- Take as many CAT Mocks during your preparation online and do the analysis of each Mock. Without analysis of Mock, attempting a mock test may not be useful.
- If you are weak in VARC, reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies will be helpful. Write down whatever new words you encounter after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day
- Data Interpretation (DI) is considered a bit more time consuming. Start practicing on DI questions. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.