How to utilize Group Studies to crack CAT and other MBA exams
Updated on Jul 27, 2016 - 6:28 p.m. IST by Urvashi Dalal
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‘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 for more news and updates

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More like CAT

Questions related to CAT

Showing 7946 out of 7946 Questions

is it possible to get admission for mba with 30 percentile in cat and above 60% in bba ib degree?

Apoorva Student Expert 19th Jan, 2020

Hello dear student,

You cannot take admission in  the colleges who ask for cat results to give admission for MBA . as these are very less percentile and these are not even valid to give admission to get admission in MBA . It equally means like not qualified. While you can search for the colleges who do not ask for the cat marks. And you can take admission in those MBA colleges

Best wishes


i havent mentioned in 12th boards that i belong to obc cat. so if i will mention it while filling mains form ,will i be eligible for obc cat.

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 19th Jan, 2020


yes if you have certain eligibility criteria and documents to support for obc category seat , you may apply as obc category student in entrance exam , make sure you have meet all the eligibility criteria and certifications relevant to the application form.

all the best for your exam.


What can be my expected rank( both CRL and cat) if my category is SC and jee main Jan score is 95 percentile.

ÑÍthesh 19th Jan, 2020
You may calculate your expected rank by using the formula :
Rank=(100-your total percentile score)* (869010/100) where, 100-your total percentile score is the percentage of people ahead of you. 869010 is the number of students appeared for exam. As it is difficult to predict your actual rank your expected rank is 43450..However, your score is great.. congrats for your success buddy!! So, You can check out for colleges based on your rank using our career360 college predictor and here is the link provided below just go through it:

Hope this helps you!!
Good luck!!

does NITIE has sectional cutoff for cat?

Sampriti Student Expert 19th Jan, 2020
NITIE considers only the overall CAT percentile and doesn't have any specific cutoff for each section. The shortlisting is strictly based on your performance in CAT. It requires a minimum of 97 percentile in CAT and 60 percent in graduation for general candidates. For reserved candidates it is 75 for OBC and 65 each for SC and ST. But even for reserved candidates it is always better to score more than 80 percentile to be on a safer side as NITIE is a tier 1 college and there's always a huge competition for that.

All the very best

94.2 in cat.93in10 _89in12 _65in mtech 36+ month job may i get call from iim

Sampriti Student Expert 18th Jan, 2020
You can definitely get a call from the newer IIMs like Ranchi, Trichy, Kashipur, Rohtak and others like Bodhgaya, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Jammu and Vishakhapattnam. You have an excellent profile and a very good CAT score hence you should also consider some older colleges which have a good reputation in industry and are highly trusted by recruiters.
Check out these colleges
  • Sailesh J Mehta IIT Bombay
  • VGSOM IIT Kharagpur
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • FORE School of Management
  • IMI Delhi
  • XIMB Bhubaneshwar
  • Great Lakes Chennai

They offer an excellent placement and considering your profile you'll be easily able to bag an average compensation package of 10-15 lakhs.

Good Luck
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