‘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.


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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 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 experience..how 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 - https://bschool.careers360.com/exams/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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