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CAT 2018 Preparation Tips: Road Map to Crack CAT Exam

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

CAT is the premier management entrance for admission to Postgraduate programs offered by IIMs and other prominent B-Schools in the country. Preparation for CAT focuses on fostering a comprehensive strategy and then executing all the necessary steps. This article covers all the nuances involved in CAT 2018 Preparation.

May 09: CAT 2018 Official Date released, exam to be held on November 25. Click Here

The difference between an average and an exceptional performance in CAT is knowing the key topics and thorough revision with mock tests. Candidates with right preparation strategy in the last two months that includes revision and mock tests can obtain a very good percentile score. CAT toppers who have been able to crack CAT scoring 99+ percentile even with the revised CAT Exam Pattern that contains 3 sections and 100 questions, have also adopted a similar strategy in last few months of preparation.

This article some preparation tips from CAT toppers who have managed to score 99 percentiles in CAT and even more. The toppers share key insights about the CAT exam preparation strategy and what tactics did make the difference.

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CAT (Common Admission Test) is scheduled for November 26 in online mode and IIM Calcutta is expected to organize CAT 2018. Besides 20 IIMs, a host of other management institutions, state and central universities also accept CAT Score for admission postgraduate management programs.

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Toppers preparation tips to CAT Aspirants

Mock tests are essential

According to Mukesh Goyal, CAT 2016 topper, “I prepared for CAT mainly through mocks. I used to write 1-2 mocks per weekend and then analyse those mocks and make changes to my approach accordingly. I used to prepare mainly through mocks, sectional and topic specific tests

Reading is Vital for Verbal Section

One of the most important sections of CAT Exam in the Verbal Ability section. This section tests your reading comprehension and vocabulary. Therefore,

Antriksh Johri, the 99.66 percentile in CAT 2016 says I read over 20 books, both fiction and non- fiction during my preparation. Another CAT topper Abhay Agarwal who scored 99.99 percentile in CAT 2015 says, “I read 4-5 novels in a span of 1-2 months. I read novels which were not at all interesting. This reading habit helped me greatly in focussing on the RCs.”

It also help in next rounds of CAT selection process. “I have been reading books and newspapers. I am trying to keep myself updated with latest happenings”, on being asked about his next rounds preparation, Antriksh added.
CAT 2018 Preparation Tips

Analyse your performance

Mukesh Goyal CAT 2016 topper says “Through proper analysis, one can know about his/her weak and strong areas and can work accordingly. Attempting the easy and doable questions first and leaving the difficult ones for the last is really important and one can learn about this through mocks.”

Coaching centres aren’t really necessary

I did not go for any offline coaching. I think apart from providing subject knowledge, coaching might help you in getting in regular touch with studies. It depends on the individual whether he/she needs coaching or not. Students have done well in CAT with coaching as well as without coaching”, says Mukesh Goyal CAT 2016 topper with a 100 percentile.

Preparing through Online Study Material

Prateek Bajpai, CAT 2015 toppers says he prepared for CAT  through online study material while staying in Algeria. Many coaching centers  provide their study materials online. Aspirants can take help from them.

Don’t Get affected by Change in CAT Exam Pattern

The conducting authority usually make amendments in existing exam pattern. Prateek advices candidates to do not get scared rather than use it as a challenge and start preparing as per the latest exam pattern released.

Lay emphasis on Self Preparation

Self Preparation is the key to score well in any competitive exam. Mukesh suggests that he participated in peer discussions through which he was able to analyse his strong and weak areas. He suggests the aspirants to have self confidence, don’t get deviated by what others tell you. Prepare as much you can and pen the ultimate day.

Do’s and don’ts for CAT Preparation

While preparing for any competitive exam, There are some Do’s and Don’ts which a candidate must follow for a good preparation strategy.

Do manage your time

It’s a good idea to time yourself while practicing the CAT 2016 Exam questions. This will help you increase your speed and solve problems quickly. The most important thing is to manage your time for each section, says Avidipto Chakraborty.

Do identify your weaknesses

By November 2015, I had identified and removed several of my weaknesses and had a dream run in the CAT exam, says Abhay Agarwal. Avidipto Chakraborty also says Identify your weak areas in every section and try to overcome them at the earliest.

Do focus on accuracy

“CAT is all about accuracy”, says Avidipto Chakraborty.

Do more mock tests

My Preparation was primarily based on several Mock Tests and their analysis. Says Abhay Agarwal.

Don’t stress

“Do not be tensed about the outcome. Focus on the efforts. There will be several demoralizing moments but you need to get past all that”, says Abhay Agarwal CAT 2015 topper.

Don’t learn new concepts or shortcuts right before exam

Do no try to learn new concepts or shortcuts right before your CAT 2016 Exam as there are high chances of you forgetting it.


Don’t lose focus

“The most important thing is to manage your time for each section and do not lose your focus at any stage of the preparation,” says Avidipto.

What he did differently to achieve this foot

Avidipto Chakraborty says, “I used to take a lot of mock tests and used to pick them up randomly. Some of them were very difficult, while others were quite easy.  I used to take two to three mocks every week and used to analyse the scores over the weekend.”

Mukesh Goyal says, “My strategy was to improve my weak areas and strengthen my strong areas. I focused on mocks as I think through Mocks, one can check his/her preparation level easily and can accordingly improve. Also, I used to have discussion with my friends who were preparing for CAT as well and that helped me a lot in my preparation.”

I started regular and serious preparation from January, 2015. I used to build up my content by attending weekend coaching and studying a lot on my own. I used to keep a check on my preparation by mock tests and used them to identify my weaknesses. Abhay Agarwal says.

Once you go through with above given preparation tips you must got success in the CAT 2018 Exam.

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