The Common Aptitude Test (CAT)is a national level entrance exam conducted by IIMs for post-graduation in management in various colleges of India. It is a computer-based test (not an Internet-based test), first held in the year 1998. The score obtained is valid for one year. The exam consists of three sections, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), and Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI).
The plus point of this entrance exam is that it doesn’t matter from which background you are, unless and until you have completed your graduation or are in the final year of that graduation. If you are willing to appear for CAT then you must have been graduated with 50% at least for General Category and NC-OBC caste students and 45% for SC/ST and differently-abled students. If you are from an engineering background but interested in the management field, then also you may go for CAT.
The CAT Syllabus is divided into 3 sections, namely Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR). Each of these sections has an individual time limit of 1 hour and a high score in all of them is required as the IIM’s shortlist on the basis of the CAT sectional score cut off as well.
Details about these sections are given as follows:
- Quantitative Ability
Quantitative Ability contains 5 major topics in CAT namely, Number System, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry & Mensuration as well as Modern Maths. It is perhaps one of the most important sections in CAT because if done properly, it also helps in the Data Interpretation section. Also, 34 questions out of a total of 100 are asked from this section alone so it is essential that you don’t neglect it.
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension contains topics such as Critical Reasoning, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Grammar Correction, etc. It forms a major part of the CAT exam with 34 questions out of the total 100. Also, developing good verbal and reading skills is critical not just for acing the CAT exam but also while doing your MBA.
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning contains questions relating to Tables, Graphical Representations, Charts, etc. Many problems of DILR require a lot of calculations as they deal with data, diagrams, puzzles, etc. Also, 32 questions out of a total of 100 are asked from this section so it is important to practice this thoroughly.
It is the first and essential thing to know about the pattern of the exam you are going to appear for.
The exam takes place in two different sessions, forenoon and afternoon. As you know there are three sections in CAT, so let’s see the number of questions, maximum marks, and time that is given for each section for CAT 2019.
Courses offered by Different Management Institutes
1. MBA in Health Care Management
2. MBA in Information Technology
3. MBA in Agribusiness Management
4. MBA in Supply Chain Management
5. MBA in Operations
6. MBA in Marketing
7. MBA in Finance
8. MBA in Rural Management
9. MBA in International Business (IB)
10. MBA in Human Resource Management
Institutes accepting CAT score with Percentile (min-max) Required for Them
Now, let’s see the institutes that accept the CAT score along with the percentile you need to get for admission.
Top B-Schools that take 98-100 percentile:
1) IIM Ahmedabad
2) IIM Bangalore
3) IIM Calcutta
4) IIM Lucknow
5) IIM Indore
6) IIM Kozhikode
7) MDI Gurgaon
8) XLRI Jamshedpur
Top B-schools that take 95-98 percentile:
1) IIM Shillong
2) IIM Ranchi
3) IIM Raipur
4) FMS Delhi
5) Jamnalal Bajaj IMS Mumbai
6) IIT Bombay SJMSoM
7) IMT Ghaziabad
8) IIFT Delhi
9) NITIE Mumbai
10) XIM Bhubaneshwar
11) IIT Delhi DoMS
12) Great Lakes, Chennai.
Top B-schools that take 90-95 percentile:
1) Tata Institute of Social Sciences
2) IRMA, Anand
3) Narsee Monjee IMS, Mumbai
4) Symbiosis Inst. of Business Management, Pune
5) Symbiosis Centre for Mgmt. HRD, Pune
6) LBS Institute of Mgmt., New Delhi
7) University Business School, Chandigarh
8) BIM, Trichy
9) IIT Kharagpur, VGSoM
10) Department of Financial Studies, DU
11) International Management Institute, New Delhi
12) MICA, Ahmedabad
13) KJ Somaiya IMR, Mumbai
14) Fore School of Management, New Delhi
15) IIT Kanpur, DIME
16) Goa Institute of Management
Top B-schools that take 85-90 percentile:
1) SP Jain IMR, Mumbai
2) T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal
3) IMT, Ghaziabad (HR)
4) Institute of Mgmt., Nirma Univ. Ahmedabad
5) IIT Madras DoMS
6) IIT Roorkee, DMS
7) IMT Nagpur
These were the top colleges you must target while preparing for the exam. You need to be consistent and hardworking if you want to take admission in the colleges listed above.
Daily Habits to Follow for CAT
Some of the daily habits you should follow while preparing for CAT are given below. Keep in mind that you can inculcate these habits based on your preferences and requirements in order to achieve the best result in the CAT exam.
1. Practice 2 Reading Comprehension’s (RC’s) Daily
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) forms a major part of the CAT exam with 34 questions out of the total 100. So you should make it a point to solve at least two RCs daily so much so that solving RC’s become a muscle memory by the time you finally sit for CAT.
2. Practice 2 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) Problems Daily
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning is one of the 3 sections in CAT, with a total of about 32 questions. Many problems of Data Interpretation require a lot of calculations as they deal with data, diagrams, puzzles, etc. So you should practice 2 problems of DI and LR every day to build a strong foundation in these topics.
3. Practice Quantitative Ability for 2 Hours Daily
Quantitative Ability is perhaps one of the most important sections in CAT because if done properly, it also helps in the Data Interpretation section. Also, 34 questions out of a total of 100 are asked from this section alone so it is essential that you don’t neglect it. Quantitative Ability contains 5 major topics in CAT namely, Number System, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry & Mensuration as well as Modern Maths. So you should devote at least 2 hours daily for practicing Quantitative Ability so that eventually you can solve most of the questions under 2-2.5 minutes each.
4. Read the Newspaper Daily
It is very important to read the newspaper daily while preparing for the CAT exam. Reading the newspaper improves your focus in the long run which is absolutely essential in CAT for Reading Comprehension. Also, the vocabulary and grammar used in the newspaper are quite good which is helpful in the verbal section of the CAT exam.
5. Revise all the Important Formulae Daily
While doing the initial CAT preparation, learn all the relevant formulas and also make a cheat sheet for them. Eventually, this will mean that all the formulas you learn for CAT are available in the same place. Then revise all the important formulae on this cheat sheet daily so that you can eventually by-heart them.