‘Two Heads are better than one’, the old English proverb perfectly describes the importance of receiving better outcome when two brains work upon the same problem. The fact is well acknowledged that sharing skills and resources compared to working alone yield better results, thus, the advantages of Group Studies.

As the MBA admission season triggers off with the announcement of a few top MBA entrance exam like IIFT, IBSAT, NMAT by GMAC and some like CAT and SNAP to be announced soon,  it is high time that the aspirants gear up with the preparations to be able to crack CAT and other MBA entrance exams. Careers360 presents the importance of Group Studies to crack such national level management entrance exams for admissions to Top B-schools and IIMs. We bring you the advantages, strategies and outcomes of group studies that will benefit you at your initial level of MBA entrance exam preparations.


Check CAT 2016 IIM notification updates


We have seen the power of groups in offices and meetings, where the resources from each department brainstorm about a situation and plan about getting desired results. The strategy of ‘Group’ can be used not only professionally but also academically in the form of ‘Group Study. A Study Group comprise of four to six students who belong to the same class or aim to crack the same exams. The study group environment provides students an opportunity to engage in a more in-depth discussion, share information, and knowledge about a course or exam they are collectively enrolled in.


Group studies strive to make the members academically successful. CAT Topper Neha Manglik in an interview with Careers360 describes the advantages of group studies. She says, “Preparation can be done through group studies with friends, reading online or popular study materials etc, all these works as an advantage for your preparations”.

Let’s start with ‘How to start with a Group Study for CAT and other MBA exams’

  • Select four to six students who share similar interest. They may be the ones who are preparing for the same entrance exam as you are.

  • Make sure the people in your group are those who are active, take notes, and are diligent in studies.

  • Do not exceed the limit of 6 students in a group otherwise, it leads to ‘more people more distractions’. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth.

  • Study on the regular basis, share as much information and knowledge as you can. Also, share what you have learned in your coaching. It helps in a better bond and leads to a better study environment.

CAT 2016: Know if you are eligible or not


How to utilize Group Studies for CAT?

So, now when you are ready with the group, move forward with ‘Defining Principles’

  • The most important principle must be to share the knowledge and information you have with the group

  • Question each other about various topics, discuss latest news and happenings, and support each other in learning.

  • Take turns in ‘teaching’ each other the topics and subjects in which you are strong but the other member is weak and vice versa. A development researcher, Arthur Chickering said, “Most important teacher is another student. If you have to teach a concept, you really have to know that concept, so you are not only helping the other group members, but also you are reinforcing your own knowledge.”

  • Make and compare notes. Take weekly tests and discuss each other’s’ performance and weak areas.

  • Take a few minutes at the end of the session to evaluate what you have done during the study session and how much productive the session was.

The Advantages of Group Studies

  1. Different Perspectives: A group study lets you share new and different perspectives on various topics. Studying on your own limits the boundaries of knowledge, whereas in a group you may receive various viewpoints which can assist you in bringing more clarity to the concepts. Each group member has different ideas to offer, and listening to different people provides more food for thought.

  2. Reduces Exam Anxiety: Anxiety or stress occurs to most of the students, both before and after the exam. But being a part of the study group, where all of you are in the same boat, each member motivates the others and supports while preparing for the exam, hence, reduces the anxiety level.

  3. Bridge Learning Gap: Group study is the best way to avoid and bridge gaps between your notes or preparations. It happens that most of the time, due to stress or lack of adequate time we forget to study certain topics. But if you are a part of group study, these chances are reduced to zero, as one or the other member reminds you of various topics which are yet to be prepared. At least you will have the basic idea about the topic with the help of which you can at least attempt the questions on that area.

  4. Makes you an Efficient Learner: The fact that classroom learning is important for a student symbolizes that students tend to learn faster in a group rather than studying alone. Group study provides a similar platform to the aspirant where they learn along with others, by asking questions, discussing and analyzing.

  5. Breaks Monotony: At times, studying by yourself gets boring, and to break the monotony it is recommended that you study with other meticulous students and prepare for the exam you are aiming for.

Below is a brief on the top MBA entrance exams:

1. CAT 2016: Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most coveted national level entrance exam for admissions to management programme at 20 IIMs for around 3750 seats and other 100 B-schools. This year the test is being conducted by IIM Bangalore. CAT 2016 is an online test having a dynamic exam pattern, which changes every year.  As per the last year's pattern, the test  is divided into three sections namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC). The total duration of the exam is 180 minutes with 60 minutes to answer each section.


QA and VRC have 34 questions each, and DI & LR have 32 questions. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type, instead, candidates have to type direct answers on the screen. Candidates will also be allowed to use the basic on-screen calculator for calculations.


2. IIFT 2016: IIFT is a national level post-graduation entrance examination, conducted by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. The institute offers two years full-time MBA in International Business, at two of the IIFT campuses- IIFT Delhi and Kolkata.  As per the exam pattern, the test is an objective type conducted in paper pencil format. The sections of the exam are English Comprehension, General Knowledge and Awareness and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis.


Read more on IIFT 2016


4. SNAP 2016: Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) is a national level post graduate entrance examination conducted by the Symbiosis International University (SIU) for admissions into the MBA programme of institutes under this university. SNAP is an objective type paper-pen based exam, with a total duration of 120 minutes. Each question has 4 responses and candidate have to select the right response.

Read more on SNAP 2016

5. NMAT By GMAC 2017:
NMAT by GMAC is the MBA entrance exam conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The scores are accepted by NMIMS University and 16 other B-schools across India. The test is a multiple choice objective type computer based exam with 2 hours of duration. The overall exam is divided into three sections, Quantitative Skills, Language Skills and Logical Reasoning. 

Read more on NMAT by GMAC 2017

Besides Group Studies, it is also important for the candidates who aspire to appear for the management entrance exams to refer to exam related books, prepare section wise and take expert guidance.

Also Read:

CAT Topper Interview

What if I don’t take coaching? Can I still crack CAT?

CAT 2016: When and how to start preparations

CAT 2016: Know if you are eligible or not

Must read books for CAT


 Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8300 out of 8300 Questions

I have 76% in 10th, 88% in 12th and 80% in graduation. Addition to that i have a 2 years work experience. How MUCH percentile do i need to score in cat to get a call from IIM ABC ?

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 30th Mar, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

As per the details provided, you have decent academic record and its really good that you have 2 years of work experience. It'll give you an edge in selection process. Also, if you belong to general category, then to get a call from IIM A,B,C you should focus on getting a minimum of 98 percentile in cat.

All the best


Hlo....mam or sir! Im Rajlaxmi frm Odisha.. How to preparation for CAT ... during bba 2nd yr... how to crack CATexam ..

Prateek Sinha 30th Mar, 2020

Prepare for the syllabus according to the weight age of each section.  Give mock tests and improve upon your timing skills. if you join a coaching class it would be good as you will get a clearer idea.


why these exams are conducting

Aniket Sharma 29th Mar, 2020

hi lramprasad,

CAT is commencing on 25th November in 2020. So it does not need to get postponed/cancel due to corona virus. The situation should get better till November. So, we can't argue why CAT is conducting.

Please elaborate your query and provide more details so that we can help you better!!



Can i apply for MBA at JK Lakhmipat University if i have not given CAT?

Megha 29th Mar, 2020

Hello Abhishek !

Yes ,you can apply at JK Lakhmipat University if you have not given CAT , because as per their eligibility criteria for getting admission their the candidates must have appeared in CAT/MAT/ATMA/XAT/CMAT or any other national level entrance test.

In case the candidate has not appeared for any of the mentioned tests, they will have to appear in the JKLU Management Entrance Test (MET) to qualify for the programme.

So, you can apply there by appearing in their Entrance test.

Hope it helps !


What is the CAT exam pattern ?

Aashima Puri 29th Mar, 2020

Hello aspirant, hope you are doing well!

CAT ( Common admission test) is a very reputed entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admissions into various colleges for MBA. The duration of the exam is 3 hours for all the categories and 4 hours for the PwD category. The sectional duration for each section is 60 minutes each whereas it is 80 minutes for the candidates of the PwD category.

The total number of questions asked in the entrance exam are 100. It is a computer based examination.

Candidates lose 1 mark for each incorrect answer and gain 3 marks for every correct answer. No marks are deducted for the questions which the candidate didn't attempt.

The examination consists of 3 sections namely - Quantitative ability , Data interpretation & logical reasoning and Verbal ability and reading comprehension. These sections consists of 34,32 and 34 questions each respectively.

The candidates are not allowed to switch between the sections. He/she can move to the next section only after attempting the previous section which he/she was completing. Though, the candidates are allowed to switch between questions within the same section.

These were some of the main points to be kept in mind for the CAT exam.

Further you can go through this link to know everything about CAT exam. https://www.google.com/amp/s/bschool.careers360.com/articles/cat-exam-pattern/amp

Hope it helps! All the very best for your future endeavours!

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