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CAT 2019 Preparation Strategy : How to Ace the CAT Exam in 4 Months

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The CAT exam is arguably the biggest and most important exam in India for students wanting to secure the coveted MBA seats in various management institutes of the country. The complexity of CAT is made obvious from the fact that over 2 lakh candidates competed for seats in 20 IIMs and other renowned institutes with only 11 securing 100 percentile in 2018. And the level of competition is only increasing each year.

However, achieving success in such a scenario is merely tough, not impossible! It just requires a well thought out preparation strategy focusing on the in-depth preparation of CAT syllabus along with a constant improvement of speed and precision skills. And that is why, with roughly 4 months remaining in CAT 2019, this article provides a focused preparation strategy that will help you Ace the CAT Exam in 4 Months.

Preparation Strategy for CAT 2019

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

And this is especially true in the case of the CAT exam as only meticulous preparation will yield successful results. So let’s focus on the preparation strategy to follow for CAT 2019.

1. Understand the CAT exam pattern

The first step in starting your CAT preparation is understanding the exam pattern. Some basic points that make this clear are as follows:

  • The CAT exam is a computer-based test with a total duration of 3 hours.
  • It has three sections i.e. Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), as well as Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and each of these sections, are for a duration of 1 hour each. You cannot switch between these sections while attempting the exam.
  • The number of questions asked in QA and VARC are 34 while in DILR are 32. Consequently, the maximum number of marks for QA and VARC are 102 while for DILR is 96.
  • Each correct answer results in awarding of +3 marks and each incorrect answer results in -1 marks.

2. Understand your strengths and weaknesses

After understanding the basic pattern of the CAT exam, it is best to start your preparation by taking a full-length mock-test to understand your strengths and weaknesses at the beginning itself. This test will provide a general idea of what to focus on and even help you in creating a customized study schedule. This will mean that you can give as much focus as needed to both your strengths and weaknesses so that you can perform at your best for the actual CAT exam.

3. Make a strict study schedule

Now that you know the basic pattern of the CAT exam, you need to create a strict study schedule for the 4 months ahead till CAT 2019. A sample study schedule is provided below but you may create your own according to your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Month 1 and Month 2
    After understanding the exam pattern and syllabus for CAT, it is important to start studying the theory and relevant formulas for all the topics. In Month 1 and Month 2, focus on learning all the topics by relentless practice. This can be done by first understanding and practicing a topic and then giving sectional mock tests based on it. These mock tests will help you understand your weak areas in the topic so that you can improve upon them. Also, create a formula list so that you can refer to all the important formulas in one place whenever needed.
  • Month 3
    You should be familiar with all the CAT topics by month 3. So in this month, start preparing for the entirety of the CAT exam by solving as many full-length mock tests as possible. After completing the mock tests, analyze the questions you have solved and revisit that topics that are your weak areas until you strengthen them. Also, try to reduce the time spent solving questions by using various shortcuts and tricks. In essence, you should use the 3rd month in your CAT preparation to fine-tune your strengths and remove as many of your weaknesses as possible.
  • Month 4
    In the last month before CAT, continue solving the full-length mock tests as well as previous year CAT papers as far back as at least 10 years. These will provide you with a good idea of what to expect in the actual exam. Also, read the formula list you created earlier at least once every day so that you thoroughly memorize all the formulae. However, don’t try to learn anything new this month as that will be detrimental rather than beneficial. Just continue practicing and improve your time and accuracy as much as possible before the exam.

4. Decide your CAT solving strategy in advance

It is important to have a strategy for solving the CAT exam so that you can score the maximum marks in spite of the pressure. After giving multiple mock tests during the CAT preparation, you can create a final strategy which fits your style. However, for general reference, a common strategy is attempting the exam in rounds. In the first round, you should attempt to answer the short questions that you are totally sure of and after that, the slightly lengthy questions. Also, attempt all the non-MCQ’s as they don’t have any negative marking but don’t try and attempt any MCQ’s you are unsure about as that will definitely harm your chances.

How to Implement this Preparation Strategy

The above preparation strategy can be utilized to prepare for the intricacies of the CAT exam and eventually ace it! To implement it even more efficiently, GeeksforGeeks brings you the CAT Preparation Course 2019. This is a FREE course comprising of over 1500 questions on all three sections of the CAT exam that will provide more than adequate support for your CAT preparation. To learn more about it, read on…

Course Overview

CAT Preparation Course 2019 is an online course that will help you get ready for India’s most coveted entrance exam for management. CAT has three sections namely Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). The CAT Preparation Course 2019 will help you prepare for each of these sections individually and with nearly 2.5 lakh aspirants appearing for CAT in 2019, it will definitely provide an edge to your preparation strategy.


CAT Preparation Course 2019 will help the CAT aspirants track and improve the preparation through questions of various difficulty levels. There will be 3 full-length mock tests covering the whole syllabus of CAT. Tracks will cover the theory and quizzes related to all the topics while the Sectional Contests will have time-bound questions on those topics. The explanations for all the questions will be provided at the end of each quiz and tests. There will be 27 Sectional Mock Tests and 3 full-length Contests.

You are just a click away to begin your CAT preparation journey. Register now for the CAT Preparation Course 2019 course by clicking on the button below.

Last Updated : 27 Nov, 2019
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