Sectional Time Management Tips for CAT 2019
Aditi Garg, 13 Nov 2019, #CAT
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Sectional Time Management Tips for CAT 2019 - Time is precious, use it wisely, is an idiom which perfectly expresses the significance of time management for CAT 2019 aspirants. This year, CAT will be conducted by IIM Kozhikode on November 24, 2019, on a similar pattern as that of last year. For prospective aspirants, it is vital to know sectional time management tips for the CAT 2019 exam. This feature is a must read for the aspirants to learn the key factors for developing a sectional time management strategy for CAT 2019. With preparations in full swing, it is time to focus on preparation for CAT keeping in mind the sectional time limits. Admit card for CAT 2019 has been released by the authorities on October 23, 2019.
Latest: IIM Kozhikode has released the CAT Admit Card 2019 on October 23. CAT 2019 is scheduled to be held on November 24, 2019, work flow has been released by IIM Kozhikode.

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Let us first examine the CAT 2019 Exam Pattern. CAT comprises a total of 100 questions covering three sections, namely Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA), in that order. With exactly 60 minutes to answer each section, test takers will not be able to switch between sections. Since the sequence of attempting the sections and the time allotted to each is fixed, the only thing you can work on is using the time for each section to its fullest. This makes it all the more important to know sectional time management tips to efficiently manage time for each section in CAT 2019.

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Expert Gautam Puri, VC, Career Launcher, suggests “The sectional time limits might lead to higher sectional scores of 95 percentile and it is likely that candidates might save time in each section”. Keeping a buffer time of minimum 10 minutes to complete one section while taking mock tests will let you complete the exam beforehand, thus saving the time.

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Sectional Time Management Tips for CAT 2019

It is important to build accuracy and speed in a competitive exam like CAT. Take mock test for each section with time limit. Gautam Puri also suggests another way to manage time in the three sections for CAT 2019, "Try to attempt each section in three rounds. In the first round, pick the questions that you are sure about and can solve without wasting time. In round two, pick questions that are an opportunity for you, while in round three, pick the questions that you think you can solve but are time-consuming and ensure you answer all the non-MCQs as they do not have any negative marking."

The first round can go on for 30–35 minutes where you must try to attempt around 15–16 questions. Alongside, keep marking the questions which seem solvable but might take more time. Attempt the marked problems in round two. If there is still time left, go for another stab at the tough questions in round three.

The CAT 2018 topper and 100 percentiler Rickshesh Manchanda highlighted that the key to CAT preparation lies in mock tests. These tests help analyze one's potentional, strengths and weaknesses associated with the topics and types of questions which will appear in CAT. Additionally, mock tests help aspirants gauge areas which require further revision and practice in order to obtain a higher score. Rickshesh mentioned that it is always more important to focus on stronger areas and score higher in the same instead of struggling with weaker areas or sections during the exam.

CAT 2017 topper and 100 percentiler, Chhavi Gupta shares her detailed section-wise time management strategy for the exam, which seemed to work out well. She 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 DILR - 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.”

Time management tips for the CAT 2019 exam day

  • Don't spend much time on one question - Keep maximum two to three minutes for a question. If you are not able to figure out the way to solve it, move ahead to the next question. As Naman Singhal, 99.93 percentile in CAT 2016 and FMS Delhi student shares, "My strategy was not to spend much time on non-MCQs as these have a high probability of going wrong. I rather utilised the time in solving MCQs."
  • At times, test takers must tend to spend too much time on a time-consuming section like RC. Mayank Raj, CAT 2017 and 100 percentiler shares how he tackled this section. “On the day of the exam, for VARC, my strategy was to focus more on comprehension part than on non-comprehension part. I gave approximately 10 minutes to every passage in reading comprehension. After that I invested the last 10-15 minutes I had left in doing non-comprehension part” he says.
  • Start with your comfortable areas – The thumb rule of attempting any exam is to start with the comfortable questions as it is expected to be less time consuming.Yash Thakker, IIM Kashipur student with 99.37 percentile in CAT 2016 shares his strategy as, “First, I did the Reading Comprehension part in VA & RC sections as it was my strong point. I knew that I could finish RC quickly and move to VA. For Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), I recommend aspirants to target 15 correct questions if the paper is difficult. And for QA, mark easy questions and solve them first to save your time." Avinash Iyer, CAT 2017 topper and 99.61 percentiler shares his time management strategy which worked out well for him. “My strategy for solving the QA section was to skip questions that I knew but would take a long time; tried my hands on the unknown questions and completed the short questions. Then returned to solve the long unattempted questions. To solve the VARC section, I first took up all the reading comprehension, completed them as they take a substantial amount of time. Then I solved the fill in the blanks followed by jumbled paragraphs” he says.
  • The art of leaving – Learning the art of leaving is actually one of the most important tricks you should have up your sleeve to crack CAT. You have to let go of the rotten eggs (read: taxing questions) so you go to the golden ones which are easy to crack.
  • Save time for revision – Revision is equally important for ensuring a good percentile. After the completion of the test, revise the answers to ensure that there are no mistakes. Allot at least 10 minutes at the end of the test for the revision of each section. Tanya Gupta, an IIM Kozhikode student who obtained 99.47 percentile in CAT mentions, “I made sure that I attempted all the questions that I was sure of. After this, I revised my answers in whatever time I was left with.”
  • Go back to marked question in the buffer time - Mark the time-consuming questions for review and revisit them once you complete the section. After a thorough revision, try and solve those questions. "In the first step, I solved all the questions which I could do at one go till the end. In the second step, I attempted those questions which I thought I would be able to do after giving it a try. After attempting all such questions, if there was some time left, I attempted those which I thought were the hardest for me," mentions CAT topper Shubrajyoti Saha of IIM Shillong.

Also Read:

CAT Score Vs Percentile

How to prepare for CAT in 4 months

Why, When and How to crack CAT Mock Test

Note: Admit card of CAT 2019 has been released. CAT 2019 will held on November 24, 2019.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7384 out of 7385 Questions

how much percentile needed for this college in cat agribusiness management in vamnicom college business managw

N S Sethumadhavan 22nd Nov, 2019

Dear Raghu,

I n the year of 1964 Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Co-Operative Management, Pune was established . VAMNICOM Pune offers plethora of management programs like PGDCMB, PGDM-ABM, Diploma MCO and Executive PGDM.

  • VAMNICOM offers post graduate diploma in Co-Operative Management, Agri Business Management, Diploma in Management of Computer Operations and Post Graduate diploma (Executive) in Management.
  • The minimum eligibility to apply for PGD CBM is having a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3 years of experience in a managerial capacity.
  • Shortlisting of candidates for PGDM-ABM will be done on the basis of CAT ) / MAT / XAT  / ATMA /CMAT / GMAT scores with minimum aggregate of 50% marks in graduation.
  • Graduate and professionals can join the DMCO program with a minimum of 3 years of experience in the IT field.
  • Candidates applying for Executive PGDM program must have a minimum of 5 years of experience and have either of CAT / MAT / XAT / ATMA / CMAT  / GMAT test score.
  • The final selection in each program will be based upon scores in the entrance, group discussion as well as personal interview.
  • The online application fee for the program(s) is INR 500.

The number of available seats are 120. The course fee is INR 7,20,000 and the placement average CTC offered is 4.5 LPA and highest CTC is 7 LPA.


NCUI Scholarship of Rs. 40,000/- per annum is provided to six students as per the rules and regulations of National Cooperative Union of India.

IFFCO Scholarship of Rs. 15,000/- per annum is given to Two SC and One ST students on merit basis.

CICTAB Meritorious Award is awarded for selected two students of India & two students of Foreign Nationals.

Govt. of India, Ministry of Social Welfare/ Tibal Affairs ,Post Matric Scholarships for SC/ST students.

As part of an MoU between VAMNICOM and National Institute of Cooperative Development (NICD), Sri Lanka, selected two of the PGDM (ABM) students will get  an opportunity to do their Summer Internship in Sri Lanka. Under this agreement, VAMNICOM will provide a one -way air travel expenditure from Mumbai or to and fro air travel expenditure from Chennai/Bangalore. Lodging & boarding facilities are provided by NICD, Sri Lanka.

The CAT cutoff is 50+ percentile, XAT cutoff is 50+ percentile and MAT is 50+ percentile.

I do hope this helps you in not only knowing what is the cutoff percentile but also for you to understand the process and procedure for youto apply for the same. The course fee and placement CTC will help you evaluate your ROI based on which you can also plan your admission. Also, do note that many IIMs provide MBA in Agri and you can try to utilize those opportunities too.


if i not attempt any question in cat 19 then what percentile i will accept

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 21st Nov, 2019

Yasir, we shall try answering as to how are percentiles calculated in CAT. Now CAT has 3 sections. The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark. There are also Non MCQs which do not have negative marking. This answer is being written by taking QA sections as an example.

  • Calculating the no.of Candidates who appeared for CAT
  • Assigning ranks based on the CAT score
  • For example if 2 people scored 20 marks and got the rank 120, the next Candidate will get the rank 122
  • Calculate the percentile using the formula:  P = (N−r)/N × 100
  • And the percentile is rounded off to the nearest number

Now because CAT is an online exam, you cannot submit an empty or unanswered question paper. But because you have to answer atleast one question to submit the exam, lets say you attempted a non MCQ and it turned out to be a wrong question, it doesn't make any difference. And that means 0 marks. Now the truth is most students fail to score positive marks. Which means their score might be like -20, -10 so on and so forth. When compared to these marks, 0 is a better number. Statistics state that atleast 40-50% of Candidates fail to score positive score which means even if you do not score anything, but because 0 is better than -10 or -20, you still manage to get 40-50 percentile as your score.


sir .muze 2019 mai neet mai kam marks mile hai to muze 2020 mai neet .cat .exam deni hai to yah ho sakta hai

Ashish pal Student Expert 21st Nov, 2019

Hello Komal.

If unfortunately your Neet score of 2019 was low . Then yes you can surely apply for neet exam this year again and study hard to get some good marks . Solve previous year question papers and sample papers join test serieses and study as much as you can. Have believe in yourself you will surely succeed.

Good luck.


sir i have graduated fron kota open university, am i eligible for CAT exam

Tushar Sagar 21st Nov, 2019

Hello pintu yadav

Yes you are eligible for cat exam.

CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria

In order to give the CAT Exam, the candidates have to be eligible for it according to the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria of 2019. While the official criteria will be released along with the CAT 2019 Notification, the CAT Exam Eligibility 2019 is not expected to change too much from the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria of 2018 and CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria of 2018.

  • In order to be eligible for the CAT Exam, the candidate has to pass at least their Bachelor's degree with at least 50% (for General Category and for candidates from the NC-OBC caste). For SC/ST and Differently Abled (DA) candidates, the percentage required is 45%.
  • For the Degree to be counted, the University who has awarded the degree has to be recognized by the MHRD.
  • If the University awards grades or CGPA instead of marks, the conversion factor given by the University has to be used. If there is no conversion factor specified by the University, the CGPA has to be converted into percentage by direct conversion i.e. divide the CGPA received by the highest CGPA possible and multiply the result by 100.
  • Candidates who have completed their professional degrees with over 50% (45% for SC/ST/PwD) are also eligible for CAT.

Important points about the CAT exam pattern are as follows:

  • The paper is split between three sections
  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI-LR)
  3. Quantitative Ability (QA)
  • Total number of questions is 100 and these are in both MCQ and non-MCQ format
  • Time allotted is 180 minutes (3 hours) to answer these questions
  • There is a time limit of 60 minutes for each section
  • The exam is conducted in online mode


what is the syllabus of cat (common enterance exam)

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 21st Nov, 2019

Aparna, CAT is an online examination of 3 hours duration.The questions in the exam will be of MCQ and TITA type totaling 100 questions. MCQ are multiple choice questions, for which candidates get multiple answer choices. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark. However Type in the Answer questions are exempted from Negative Marking.

CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

There is no predefined syllabus for CAT. But based on the previous question papers, there is a fair idea of how the questions paper might be or what topics might be included. And go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months because even Rome wasnt built in a day

The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.

NCERT books will sharpen your basics and you need strong basics for preparing for any entrance examination. Once your basics are in place, because the time period for preparation is quite less, your preparation should be extensive and thorough.

Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.

Preparation tips:

Because this section involves mathematics and takes most of your time, your focus should be on solving the problems efficiently in the beginning. Even if it takes time, practise upto perfection. Practise as many questions as you can in the conventional way. As and when you get a grip on the subject, you can go for short cuts. Memorise tables, square roots, cube roots, conversion from percent to fraction, etc. Solve sample papers on Mathematics. In the beginning, do not worry about the time it takes. As you practise, you will get the hang of the subject and it will be easier for you.

In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.

Preparation tips:

Read articles from time to time. Follow newspapers, magazines, and watch the news channels and browse the internet to keep yourself updated. You will need a lot of reading to help you in the comprehension section. You will need speed to help you in this section and you can achieve that only by thorough practise and reading. Take time to understand the question because most answers are interlinked.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.

Preparation tips:

As this is the most tricky section, this needs a lot of practise. Solve as many sample papers as possible to get the hang of the section. Make notes when required. Regular practise can help you understand and solve the questions easily as time goes on.

Overall,once you know the syllabus, it's easier from there on.Go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months

We can recommend a few books for you:

  • NCERT books to cover the basics from 6th to 10th Class
  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Saxena
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum for CAT by Sarvesh Sharma
  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha

You can also download free downloadable e books at:

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