Common Admission Test (CAT) To Be Held

Common Admission Test (CAT) To Be Held

CAT comprises Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.


The Common Admission Test (CAT) for admission to MBA programs in Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), in the coming academic session, will be held on November 24. CAT is also considered as a pre-requisite for admission to MBA programs in many non-IIMs. It is a computer-based management aptitude test, which is held annually, to evaluate and shortlist candidates for admission to management postgraduate programs.

CAT comprises Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.

The exam will be held in two sessions on the same day. “In order to ensure fairness and equity in comparison of performances of candidates across different test sessions, the scores of candidates shall be subjected to a process of Normalisation,” reads the official notification.

IIM Kozhikode is the coordinating institute of the CAT 2019.

Admission to IIMs is through a rigorous selection process which comprises personal interview, written test or group discussions and scores obtained in the CAT.

There are 20 items in the country of which the two oldest ones, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta, were established in 1961. IIMs reserve 15% seats for SC candidates, 7.5% seats for ST candidates, 27% seats for NC-OBC candidates and up to 10% seats for EWS candidates.

The admit cards for the CAT were released in October.

CAT Preparation 2019: How to Prepare for CAT Exam, Tips, and Material
Updated on November 11, 2019

CAT preparation time is now reduced to less than 15 days. The 10-12 days countdown to CAT 2019 requires a different preparation strategy for the CAT exam. Your focused attention on CAT Preparation will switch to revisiting and strengthening what you have learned, more practice sessions, taking Mocks, identifying and improving upon your errors, removing your weaknesses and further strengthening your strong areas instead of conceptual clarity, strengthening of fundamentals.

The CAT 2019 exam, with a few changes in its pattern, will be held on November 24, 2019, in 156 test cities in the morning and afternoon slots as a computer-based test. 

To give a boost to your CAT preparation and make you prepare better, you have already got the CAT official Mock test released by CAT Center 2019 on October 16 with 100 questions. It gives a complete idea about the CAT exam difficulty level, type of questions and structure of the CAT exam. Accordingly, the more you practice on CAT official mock test, the more conversant you will become about the CAT exam pattern and how to prepare for CAT in the next 15 days.

To get ready for the CAT Exam day, now you must have also downloaded the CAT 2019 Admit card from the CAT website. The Admit card contains exam day instructions, do’s and don’ts for the CAT day. 

CAT 2019: Important Changes
CAT 2019 exam has brought number changes in this year exam pattern, Mock Test among others: 

  • IIM Kozhikode has changed the ratio of Non-MCQs in CAT exam
  • You can expect the number of Non-MCQs in QA section and fewer Non-MCQs in VARC section
  • Total Non-MCQs without negative marking are expected to remain between 26-28
  • The number of Test Cities for CAT 2019 has increased to 156 from 147 last year
  • An option to choose 4 out of 156 test cities remained available while applying for CAT 2019
  • Choice of 4 separate cities for Delhi NCR Candidates was available to select the test cities as against last year when all the ten cities if Delhi NCR were clubbed into one 
  • CAT 2019 Exam duration remains of 3 hours
  • CAT exam 2019 will be conducted in two separate sessions-Morning and Afternoon
  • CAT 2019 Exam will be divided into 72+ MCQs and 28 or less Non-MCQ type questions
  • Tutorials to understand the format of CAT 2019 Test and question pattern is available on the CAT website from October 16, 2019 
  • This year CAT Exam is conducted by IIM Kozhikode
  • CAT Exam 2019 Date is November 24, 2019  

IIM Kozhikode had confirmed to provide two most important documents in October for CAT 2019 to help you prepare for the CAT exam 2019 and to confirm your candidature for the CAT 2019 exam day. While the most important document – CAT 2019 Admit Card which entitles you to enter the CAT test center was released on October 23, the first document – CAT Mock Test 2019 with 100 questions was released on October 16.

CAT 2019 Admit Card: Your Passport to Take CAT Exam
IIM Kozhikode had confirmed to release the CAT 2019 Admit card at 5 PM. The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2019 Admit card download is available now from the CAT exam official website by login with your CAT Registered ID and Password. As the Admit card is made available one month before the CAT 2019 Exam date, you should check all the details and also take at least two prints of the CAT Hall ticket on A4 Size paper.

When to Download the CAT Admit card?
After its release by IIMs on October 23, thousands of the candidates will log in to the CAT website to download their CAT Admit card which can make the server go very slow or it may not respond. So, either download your CAT Admit Card immediately when it is released at 5 PM or after a few hours. Those who download the CAT Admit card early have the opportunity to get the Admit Card errors rectified timely from the CAT exam center by contacting the CAT help desk. Please note CAT Admit Card download process will remain available till November 24, 2019.

8 Important Details to Check-in CAT 2019 Admit Card
CAT Admit Card is the most important document on Exam Day. After completing the download process of Admit Card from CAT Website, you should check the following details:

  1. Name
  2. Registration Number
  3. Exam Date
  4. Time / Session
  5. PwD status
  6. Test city
  7. Test Center address
  8. Reference Number (To be used on CAT exam date only to locate your CAT exam seat & system)

3 Useful Changes in CAT Admit Card
CAT Hall Ticket has three important and aspirant friendly changes to help candidates.

1. Google Map Link
A Google Map Link to locate the CAT 2019 test center and its accessibility is made available individually on the electronic version of all the CAT Admit cards 

2. Emergency Contact
CAT 2019 Admit card has the emergency contact number. This is the candidate’s second contact number which is asked by IIMs while completing their application form. This was also asked in the past also but was not used in the CAT Admit card earlier.

3. CAT Reference Number to Find Testing Room

The CAT Reference Number is mentioned to save your time and help you to identify the floor/wing/testing room at the CAT test Centre on November 24, 2019. 

Do not forget to paste your identical passport size photo on the printed copy of the CAT hall ticket.

CAT Mock Test 2019 Released: Your Best CAT Preparation Tool
CAT 2019 official Mock test has been released by IIMs on October 16, 2019, with many changes expected in the CAT exam 2019. Official CAT Mock is the best source to prepare for the CAT exam. You should take the full-length CAT Official Mock Test by IIMs on the CAT website to understand the actual CAT Exam pattern, important changes in the CAT exam, scoring pattern and instructions on how to answer questions in CAT exam 2019. You cannot download CAT 2019 Mock Test as it is not a Pdf and have to attempt the questions on the CAT website.

Important Changes in CAT Mock Test
This year CAT official Mock test 2019 released by IIMs has come out with many changes and surprises including the sectional composition of questions, navigation process from one section to another. Five important changes in CAT Mock Test by IIMs are:

  • No Penalty Questions Reduced: Non-MCQ Questions have been reduced to 27
  • DILR with Fewer Questions: DILR Section has 28 Questions in total as against 32 last year
  • QA with More Questions: Quantitative Ability (QA) Section has 38 questions as against 34 last year
  • Individual Sectional Submission: You need to click on ‘Submit’ after completing each CAT section and confirm your action. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to move to the next section.
  • Not Allowed to Revisit the Section, Despite Time Availability: Once you submit the individual section, you will not be allowed to revisit the section even if sufficient time out of 60 minutes remains for the particular section  

How to Take Official CAT Mock Test?

  • Link is available on the official CAT 2019 website.
  • No Need to use CAT Login ID and Password
  • CAT official Mock Test is as per the exact CAT exam format  
  • Attempt the CAT official Mock Test 2019 with 100 questions divided into three sections
  • The Mock Test is divided into MCQs with 1/3rd negative marking and Non-MCQs with No negative marking
  • Solve the Non-MCQs before MCQs in each section in CAT Mock test
  • Answers & Solutions are not given by the IIMs for the questions, solve and answer the questions.
  • IIM CAT Official Mock Test has the same time duration of three hours as you find in CAT exam

CAT registration 2019 was closed on September 25, 2019. After the close of the CAT registration window, now the two most important things are to take the CAT Mock to prepare for the IIM CAT exam 2019 and download the CAT Admit Card from the CAT website before the CAT exam date. 

CAT 2019: Chronological Events & Key Dates
Below are the updated activities and events with salient features for CAT 2019 exam since the release of CAT notification in July:

DateActivitySalient features
28-Jul CAT Notification Released IIM Kozhikode to conduct CAT 2019 Exam
7-AugCAT Registraion OpensNo Change in Registraion Fee 
17-SepCAT Percentile Calculation Method ReleasedSectional & Overall Score Vs Percentile Calculation Formula 
25-SepCAT Registration Window Closed Extend From 18 September 
28-SepCAT Photo & Signature Edit option Opens Edit Photograph and  Signature Only & Reuloped 
30-SepCAT Error Correction Window Closed Only Once You could re-upload your photo & Signature 
16-Oct ( Available till CAT  Exam Date)CAT Offical Mock Test Released 100 Question ,Attempt at CAT Website ,NO Download Available 
23-Oct (Available till CAT Exam Date)CAT Admin Card Download Begins Download From CAT Website
24-NovCAT Exam Day In Morning and Afternoon Slots
29-November (Available for 3 Days)CAT Answer Key Released Only Actual Test Taker can Raise Objection 
7 Jan ,2020 (Available till Dec 2020)CAT Result OutDownload CAT Score Card From CAT Website

CAT 2019 Registration Trends
More than 2.44 lakh candidates have registered for CAT 2019 exam. The registration number is up by 3000 more candidates registered for CAT over last year. It signifies that this year you will have to compete with more candidates in the CAT exam and will need to score high to get shortlisted by the top three IIMs and other top MBA colleges.

The trends in CAT registrations since 2010 show a downward journey initially but since 2013 it has been showing a rising registration count reflecting the regaining trust of CAT aspirants and anticipation of better career opportunities after completing MBA/PGP from an IIM or other top B-school

                                                                                  CAT 2019 EXAM Pattern: Highlight 
Following are the salient Features of the CAT Exam :
CAT Full Foam Common admission Test ,Conducted on Yeraly basics for MBA by one of the 6 older IIMS
CAT 2019 Exam Date November,24 2019
CAT 2019 EXAM Session Conducted in 2 sessions – Morning & Afternoon on same day 
CAT 2019 Convening IIM IIM  Kozhikode
Type of CAT Exam CAT 2019 is Computer based exam But not an online exam 
Maximum age limit to for admission No,age limit ,Graduate  with 50 % Can apply for admission 
No of Questions in CAT 2019 100 Questions divided in 3 Section  
Time duration of CAT 2019 EXAM Three hours with individual time limit of 1 hour for 1 section 
No of Section and No of Questions VARC-34 Questions ,DILR 32 Question ,Quent 34 Question 
Difficulty Level of CAT 2019 EXAM Moderate to Difficult 
Order of section Pre fixed ,No changed Allowed
College Accepting CAT 2019 Exam For MBA Admission 20 IIMS,FMS,MDI,SPJIMR,IITs,IMI,JBIMS & 500 Other MBA College
CAT 2019 Application Fee & Process Rupees 1900/.Application Process Online only 
Application Fee For IIMsCAT 2019 Registraion Fee Covers Application Fee for all 20 IIMs

With the availability of CAT official practice test, now you need to ask yourself a few questions and then follow the most appropriate CAT Preparation strategy while going through your CAT preparation for CAT exam 2019:

  • How tough is the CAT exam? Am I on the right preparation track?
  • What changes have been introduced this year in the pattern and mode of the CAT Exam? What are the key topics to prepare now?
  • Do I need any last-minute coaching for CAT Exam? Is it necessarily required for CAT preparation?
  • How can I equip myself for CAT preparation at home without any coaching?
  • What are the most important things and CAT preparation material to move faster while preparing for CAT?
  • Do I have time enough for CAT preparation with offline coaching classes or I should go for online CAT preparation as offered by CL, T.I.M.E., IMS among others?
  • Now it the time to read CAT toppers’ advice as hardly 15 days are left for CAT preparation. How toppers prepared, what do they advise to complete your CAT preparation in 10-15 days? Whether this short time is enough for CAT preparation?
  • During the next 12-15 days, how should I divide my CAT preparation time to be well prepared for the CAT 2019 exam?

How to Prepare for CAT in 15 Days
Many CAT toppers studying in IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, FMS Delhi brushed up their preparation for CAT Exam within 15 days. The last 15 days to CAT are crucial for CAT preparation as by this time the candidates are well aware of the expected changes in CAT question paper, type of questions and their key strengths and weaknesses. During this period, according to CAT toppers, you need to follow the Step by Step CAT 2019 Preparation strategy:

  • Step 1: Scan the CAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus
  • Step 2: Focus more on your strong areas, revise the topics that you have learned and improve the weak areas, instead of going for building basics and bringing conceptual clarity
  • Step-3: Attempt more CAT Mock tests/previous test papers to figure out your strong and weak topics
  • Step 4: Make sure to devote a minimum of 3-4 hours a day for CAT preparation 
  • Step 5: Divide your time as per your skillset and requirement to identify your errors, rectify them and improve in each subsequent mock test through books, study material as per CAT Exam pattern & Syllabus
  • Step 6: Consistently work to improve upon your weak areas by allotting more preparation time
  • Step 7: Take sectional, as well as full length, Mocks with low to the high difficulty level
  • Step-8: Complete your CAT preparation 2-3 days before the CAT exam day. Don’t start anything new after that
  • Step 9: Be ready for the CAT exam day, treat actual CAT exam like another Mock Test

CAT Preparation Tips by Toppers: Learn from CAT 100 Percentilers
CAT preparation strategy as adopted by CAT toppers can give you the right preparation plan on how to prepare for CAT in the given timeline and expect the best result. The CAT exam preparation tips by toppers who were weak in VARC or DILR or Quant and how they overcame their weakness and scored high in the exam offer right preparation guidance. Here are some tips from more than 100 CAT Toppers interviewed by

  • Don’t waste too much time on theory. If you have understood the basics, attempt CAT sectional quiz.
  • Practice after theory is a must. Accordingly, take periodical CAT 2019 Quiz, attempt CAT previous years Mock test, CAT previous years question papers
  • Get the best CAT preparation material with the best books for CAT preparation.
  • Beginning your CAT preparation early will give you time to periodically assess yourself and overcome your weaknesses.
  • Remain confident right from the day one during your CAT preparation journey.
  • Self Preparation is the best preparation strategy for CAT 2019 however time is also an important factor.
  • If a candidate gets stuck on some question due to his/her lack of conceptual clarity, the wastage of time is more and depression begins to set in. It could be a small quant formula, LR logic, or Verbal usage clarity which might need a simple push to come out of the shallow waters. This help can be provided by your mentor online or offline depending upon your preference or a mix of both.. 

CAT Toppers’ Preparation Strategy and Advice

1.Amit Bikram: 100 Percentile in CAT 2018

Preparation Strategy:
Amit Started Self Preparation in May 2018. He spent the first two months in concept revision and strengthening the fundamentals and did not take coaching for the theory part. He started Taking Mock from August 2018 with one Mock per week and analyzed it for mistakes and improved.

Later he took one mock per day during the month before CAT 2018 exam day. In all attempted 30+ Mocks he was weak in VARC and DILR and consistently worked upon to improve on them and scored well.

2. Vishal Vohra: 100 percentile in CAT 2017

Self – Preparation Remains the Key to Success 
Vishal did not attend any regular coaching classes although he opted for the best Mock Tests Series. To crack CAT he opted for self-study and took need-based help wherever required. In his view, if one is confident and deploys sincere efforts in CAT preparation, it is possible to crack CAT with a high score with self – preparation. 

Key Preparation Tips by Vishal Vohra

  1. Identify first the Strengths and weaknesses section-wise
  2. Understand the Basics first and make your concepts and fundamentals clear
  3. Take as many Mocks as possible and analyze each mock to assess your performance
  4. Improve your Speed with Accuracy
  5. Coaching is not mandatory. Focus on self- preparation and opt for need-based coaching  

3. Mukesh Goyal: FMS Delhi Student & 100 Percentile in CAT 2016
CAT 2019 can be conquered with 100 percentile by the determined students from small towns and with their self- preparation,is the message from Mukesh Goyal, who was the student of MBA at FMS Delhi. was your preparation strategy for CAT 2016?

Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): 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 a discussion with my friends who were preparing for CAT as well and that helped me a lot in my preparation. Did you go to the offline coaching center? What role does a coaching center play?

Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): 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.

The answers on CAT preparation strategy well prepared by Experts and past CAT toppers to crack the CAT exam with high score and pursue your dream of doing MBA from one of the top IIMs are given here on each and every aspect of CAT preparation.

As you are well aware, CAT exam Preparation requires a well-planned approach with time management. The CAT exam preparation 2019 should be based on the following important aspects and must be completed at least a fortnight before the CAT 2019 exam day which is November 24, 2019.

  1. Understand CAT 2019 Exam Pattern & Syllabus
  2. Take Mocks to check your current CAT Exam Preparation Level
  3. CAT Exam Preparation without Coaching or Through Coaching? Make a choice
  4. CAT Toppers: Learn from CAT 100 Percentilers
  5. Prepare your CAT Exam Preparation Time Table
  6. Now, start your CAT Preparation 2019 for each section

Now let’s explore each aspect to help you design your own CAT exam preparation strategy.

1. Understand CAT 2019 Exam Pattern & Syllabus
Unless you are aware what are the key components and sections in CAT exam pattern, what are the topics on which questions are asked in CAT exam, it is like beating about the bush as you will not be able to know how to start CAT preparation nor it will be possible to collect the best CAT 2019 study material. Besides, your focused CAT preparation by section and CAT Self Study may not materialize till you go deep to know about the current CAT pattern.

CAT Exam Pattern 
Before moving on your CAT preparation 2019, it is very important to understand the CAT exam pattern which has gone with perceptible changes since 2014, not only in its structure but also in the content. Going by the tradition in changes in a different type of questions in CAT, you cannot rule out a different CAT exam 2019. The CAT exam is scheduled to be held on November 24, 2019. So, the coming months will be a crucial period to devise a well chalked out plan for your CAT preparation time table as per the current CAT exam pattern.

As per the revised CAT pattern, the CAT exam 2019 will consist of 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. Each section is timed with an individual time limit of 1 hour. Your plan for CAT preparation 2019 needs to ensure a high score in each of the 3 sections as there is also a CAT sectional score cut off in IIMs for shortlisting. Your CAT preparation 2019 has to be as per the revised CAT pattern which is as under:

CAT 2019 pattern

Section nameTotal questionsTotal MCQs (With negative marking)Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)Total maximum marks
DILR*32248  96

*VARC: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

*DILR: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

*Quant: Quantitative Ability

However, despite the number of changes brought about during the last four years in the CAT exam pattern, the basics of the CAT exam have not changed. CAT exam since 2015 has remained on the same lines. It is expected that CAT 2019 exam pattern is to remain as per the last 3 years pattern, although there could be some minor changes in number and type of questions and their sectional composition.   To make sure to bell the CAT 2019 with a high score you need to gather your CAT 2019 Study Material and begin your CAT preparation 2019 without waiting for any longer. 

CAT Syllabus 2019

  • Once you know about the CAT Pattern 2019, your next step for CAT preparation is to scan the CAT Preparation Syllabus. Following facts must be well understood about the CAT Exam Syllabus
  • CAT Syllabus does not have any boundaries
  • IIM entrance exam syllabus or CAT exam preparation 2019 is not pre-defined by IIMs nor the CAT syllabus was outlined earlier also
  • CAT exam syllabus is based on topics that appeared, added/deleted in past CAT exams
  • The type of CAT questions, their composition, format, and number may change in each subsequent CAT exam.
  • There is no repetition of CAT questions in any CAT exam although difficulty level of the questions in the CAT exam would not go out of the CAT exam syllabus. 
  • CAT exam syllabus for CAT exam preparation 2019 is based on the mentioned guidelines and current structure of the CAT exam.
  • Past tendencies reflect that CAT preparation syllabus and pattern overall covers all the major topics on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.
  • CAT exam Syllabus is further divided into sub-sections. 

2. Take Mocks to check your current CAT Exam Preparation Level
You now have to check your current level of CAT exam preparation by taking Previous Year Papers / Mock TestUnless you know which are your weak areas that need your more attention and which are your strong areas where you need to prepare less for CAT exam, it is difficult to start your CAT preparation 2019 and devise your CAT preparation strategy. To check your current level of CAT exam preparation, taking CAT Mock Tests sectional as well as full length can help you to identify your weak area. After that, you will be able to focus more on your weak areas in CAT exam preparation.

According to CAT toppers like Rohan Joshi, (99.63 %ile in CAT 2017); Sai Praneeth Reddy (100%ile in CAT 2017); Rachit Gupta, (99.83%ile in CAT 2016); Akhil Garg, 99.73%ile in CAT 2016) Mock tests help you gauge your preparation  and help you to improve and focus more in the desired direction. It is, therefore, very important to take CAT Mock tests and devise your CAT preparation strategy.

CAT Mock Test Series 2019: Importance
CAT 2019 Mock Tests and CAT Previous Years Question Papers are the major CAT exam preparation tools. Along with the CAT Mock tests, CAT exam quiz, CAT previous years Mock test, CAT sectional quiz will also play a major role in improving your speed and accuracy in CAT preparation 2019.

Ashish Jhunjhunwala, CAT topper with 99.90 percentile highlights the importance of CAT Mock tests and shares, “Solving mock tests and question banks helped me to identify my sectional strengths and weaknesses basis which I planned my preparation schedule” and adds further,  “I attempted a total of 40 mocks before taking the CAT exam. After every mock I took, I devoted a considerable amount of time to analyze each mock result to understand the errors. Regularly taking mock exams helped me practice well for the final exam by solving various types of possible questions within the given time constraints.”

Accordingly, CAT Practice test papers for CAT 2019, prepared by top experts and CAT toppers are a good tool to prepare for CAT and crack CAT exam. CAT sample papers are available as CAT online tests also. There is a number of CAT online mock tests comprising replica CAT exam questions to help in your CAT preparation. Don’t miss them.

You may enroll for the CAT test series at some good CAT Preparation Institute like TIME, CL, IMS, Bullseye among others. They will help you overcome many weak areas.

Benefits of CAT Test Series

  • Gives you the opportunity to improve upon your weak areas regularly
  • CAT Test Series helps to practice well on various LoD questions
  • Equips you to manage sectional time constraints in CAT
  • With the number of tests taken, the final CAT exam appears like another Mock
  • CAT Mock Tests help to get over the exam day anxiety and pressure
  • The pressure felt during each CAT Mock test helps in devising exam day strategy.

3. CAT Preparation without the Coaching Help or with Coaching? Make a choice
You always have a choice of CAT preparation without coaching or CAT preparation with coaching but it depends upon your requirements, availability of time, skills that you have and the areas you wish to improve among other factors. CAT Self Study with right CAT 2019 Study material or a mix of CAT preparation without coaching and opting for weekend CAT coaching can be decided now or later as per your requirement.

CAT Preparation Without Coaching
If you wish to opt for CAT self-study,  you need to understand first how to prepare for the CAT exam at home with the help of the right books for CAT exam preparation and other appropriate CAT 2019 study material.

Most of the CAT toppers have opted for CAT preparation without coaching. CAT toppers like Ashish Jhunjhunwala with 99.90 percentile in CAT 2017; Vipul Kukkar 99.99 percentile in CAT 2017 and IIM Calcutta students did self-study for CAT exam with the help of books and other CAT study material.

How to Start CAT Preparation without Coaching?
A big question, how to start CAT preparation without coaching, is answered well by CAT exam preparation experts. They are of the view that you can start CAT preparation 2019 without coaching with the help of best books for CAT Recommended by toppers, like CAT books by Arun Sharma, CAT exam book by Nishit Sinha, available good CAT exam preparation material, CAT Study material online, freely available CAT preparation online facility, CAT exam Quiz 2019, CAT Mock test 2019 that can hone your CAT preparation. All these will make you aware of how to prepare for CAT without coaching and are the best tools for CAT preparation.

Akhil Garg IIM Ahmedabad students and past CAT topper have advised starting CAT self-study at home without being dependent on any coaching.

Preparation Tips for CAT
CAT preparation tips on how to start CAT exam preparation without coaching are focused on the following points to guide you how and when you should start your CAT exam preparation 2019: 

  • Go through the revised CAT exam pattern
  • Read thoroughly the CAT syllabus 2019
  • Pick out your strong and weak areas in all the three sections
  • Gather the best books and CAT study material for CAT exam preparation 2019
  • Improve on your weak areas and monitor the improvement regularly
  • Take as many CAT Mocks during your CAT preparation online and do the analysis of each Mock.
  • Without analysis of Mock, attempting a mock test may not be useful.
  • If you are weak in VARC, reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies will be helpful.
  • Write down whatever new words you encounter after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day
  • Data Interpretation (DI) is considered a bit more time-consuming. Start practicing on DI questions. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.

Books for CAT Self Preparation
CAT preparation books and CAT preparation material online or offline play a major role in helping you in CAT self-preparation and score high in the CAT exam. A few of the best books for CAT recommended by toppers to prepare for CAT are:

CAT Books for VARC section

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha
  • Latest RC Passages and practice questions provided by Study centers like TIME, CL among others
  • Editorial and short articles published in English newspapers
  • ‘Word Power Made Easy’ – by Norman Lewis
  • ‘High School English Grammar & Composition’ – by Wren & Martin
  • Regularly solve the Verbal Ability questions from your study material especially on Para summary, Jumbled Paragraphs
  • There is also the number of CAT preparation books PDF free download available online for CAT 2019 aspirants
  • Use the study material of best online coaching for CAT 2019

CAT Books for DILR section

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha (Published by Pearson)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha (Published by Pearson)

CAT Books for Quantitative Ability section
Following books and study material have remained a good CAT preparation tool for Quant for the past many years:

  • ‘How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma, published by MGH Education
  • ‘Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ – by Nishit K.Sinha, Published by Pearson
  • ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for competitive exams’
  • Quant study modules by TIME, CL, IMS.

CAT Preparation Tips for Beginners
A second timer or third timer appearing in the CAT exam has already gone through various CAT preparation tips for beginners when he/she appeared for CAT exam the first time. However, for thousands of fresh graduates planning to do an MBA from top IIMs, below are shared the CAT preparation tips for beginners as suggested by CAT experts and toppers.

There is no substitute for CAT self-study in CAT exam preparation as it does not require any coaching until and unless you are stuck. Experts, therefore, recommend that you should start your CAT preparation without coaching and through self-study and later make it a mix of CAT self-study as well as help from coaching to avoid wastage of time.

  • CAT Self Preparation is the best preparation strategy for the CAT exam. However, time is also an important factor. If a candidate gets stuck on some question due to his/her lack of conceptual clarity, the wastage of time is more and depression begins to set in. It could be a small quant formula, LR logic, or Verbal usage clarity which might need a simple push to come out of the shallow waters. This help can be provided by your mentor online or offline depending upon your preference or a mix of both.  
  • Most of the candidates coming from Engineering or other technical background find it easy to get along well with Quant, DI, and LR but when it comes to Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, they find the section too difficult. It is where they need expert guidance.
  • CAT preparation 2019 needs improvement in your speed and accuracy as the time to solve per question is reduced now. Till a few years back, CAT test taker had 2.32 minutes per question to solve but since CAT 2014 the time is reduced to 1.8 minutes per question to solve. Ironically it will not be sufficient to score overall high in CAT 2019; your section-wise score should also be high to become eligible for shortlisting at IIMs.
  • CAT exam preparation 2019 should equip you with continuous sitting for more than 3 hours without break. To achieve this you are required to take more Mocks, CAT previous year test papers.

CAT Preparation with Coaching
If you wish to prepare with Coaching, it is important to find out the best coaching for the CAT exam. Even the best coaching institute for the CAT exam may have its drawbacks in regard to imparting coaching on certain topics. So along with your preparation through the coaching, you should find out an individual best coach for CAT preparation for the topics that need your greater attention.

Yogesh Taneja with 100 percentile in CAT 2017 and IIM Calcutta Student attended regular one-year coaching classes offered by TIME. In his view, “Since CAT has very limited guidance on syllabus and an even limited material to refer to from the past years, I decided to join the coaching to get a better insight regarding the exam and to be able to do the syllabus in a more structured way.”

There are many CAT preparation institutes in India and many individual CAT trainers also exist. While the city-wise coaching centers may have their own merits and demerits, the best coaching institutes in India offer a uniform preparation material for CAT based on the current and expected CAT exam pattern.

Benefits of CAT Preparation with Coaching
If you are able to choose the best CAT Preparation institute as per your requirements, it can turn out to be the appropriate CAT preparation experience. Some of the benefits of the good coaching are:

  • Faculty Interaction: Faculty can interact well during the session and clear your doubts
  • Peer Learning: Facility of good peer learning is available in coaching. Many of your doubts can be cleared with peer learning only
  • Syllabus Coverage: Complete CAT Syllabus is covered with a number of CAT replica tests to enable you to analyze your weakness
  • CAT Mock Series: You can get the opportunity to take different difficulty level Mock tests for CAT exam – sectional and full length.

Making a Choice of Coaching
There is no doubt that a good coaching institute may have high fee structure but apart from this you should look for the faculty, past results, students’ reviews about the coaching before taking a final decision of choosing a particular Coaching institute

CAT Online Preparation
CAT online preparation can be done through CAT online coaching as well as by taking CAT preparation material online. In fact, CAT online preparation is a good answer to the working professionals who find it difficult to attend regular classroom coaching for CAT. During the past few years, preference for CAT online coaching has gone up many times.

CAT online preparation is more cost-effective, less time consuming and offers you more time to practice CAT question papers and CAT exercises. 

4. Prepare your CAT Preparation Time Table
CAT Preparation Time Table is an important factor in CAT preparation. However, finalizing the CAT preparation time table depends upon your skillset also. How much CAT preparation you need? What your weak areas and how much time you need to improve upon them could differ from person to person.

One thing that CAT toppers have advised is ‘As the CAT preparation time goes on reducing month after month with every passing day, you need to revise your CAT preparation time table by revisiting your CAT preparation strategy to synchronize it with remaining CAT preparation Time.’

Yogesh Taneja, CAT topper with 100 percentile finalized his CAT preparation time table 6 months before the CAT exam day. According to him, “The time till the final exam day can be divided into two phases. First, when I spent most of the time learning new things each day, figuring out my weak spots and not worrying about the performance in mocks/test sheets, etc. In the second phase, along with practicing those concepts I used to constantly evaluate through mocks from different coaching institutes, sectionals, workshops and spent an equal amount of time analyzing my performance to find key areas that could help me improve.”

How to start CAT preparation
Step by Step CAT 2019 Preparation as recommended by CAT toppers should be:

  • Step 1: Scan the CAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus
  • Step 2: Attempt a few CAT Mock tests/previous test papers to figure out your strong and weak topics
  • Step 3: To begin with making sure to devote a minimum of 2-3 hours a day for CAT preparation 
  • Step 4: Divide your time as per your skill set and requirement to build your Basics and bring conceptual clarity through books, study material as per CAT Exam pattern & Syllabus
  • Step 5: Consistently work to improve upon your weak areas by allotting more preparation time
  • Step 6: Take as many Mocks as possible with low to high difficulty level, analyze errors and improve in the subsequent mock test
  • Step-5: Complete your CAT preparation 15 days before the CAT exam day. Don’t start anything new after that
  • Step 6: Be ready for the CAT exam day, treat actual CAT exam like another Mock Test

6. CAT Preparation by section
CAT 2019 exam will have 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. Each section is timed with an individual time limit of 1 hour. With your well-planned CAT preparation strategy, you need to plan CAT preparation by section to ensure high score in each of the three sections as there is also a sectional score cut off in IIMs.

Your CAT 2019 preparation should be smart enough. The best way to prepare for CAT 2019 exam is to know your sectional strengths and weakness and start working on them now. Since there is time to get over with your weakness and further strengthen your strong areas, you must devote around 3-4 hours a day from now on to crack CAT 2019 with a high score.

Reading Comprehension for CAT
CAT preparation by section should begin with VARC. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension in CAT 2019 exam would be the 1st section. Reading Comprehension part in The VARC section is considered as the more tricky as this section can get any composition of topics and different types of questions.

You need to prepare for Reading Comprehension by devoting much more time in practicing on a variety of RC passages and Verbal Ability questions.

Reading Comprehension: Composition & Preparation Tips
RC is the Key Component in Mission CAT preparation 2019. Reading Comprehension passages or RC passages in CAT command 24% share in overall CAT exam and 70% share in the VARC section.

Your mission to crack CAT 2019 should be to focus more on RC Passages in CAT. Past CAT toppers with 100 and 99 percentile share following tips to accomplish your Mission CAT 2019

  • Read Newspaper Editorials and Articles
  • After reading the passage, make a summary of it which should be one-third of the passage size
  • Check that all the key points are covered in the summary of RC passage
  • Frame questions and try to answer them
  • Improve your reading speed
  • Since 2017, IIMs have released CAT exam papers with answer keys, attempt the 10 RC passages from actual CAT test papers and answer questions on them
  • Monitor your time to attempt the CAT RC passages. One RC passage followed by 5-6 questions should not take more than 15 minutes to answer.

Verbal Ability for CAT
During the last few years, the Verbal Ability part in the VARC section has gone for substantial changes in CAT exams. Your preparation, therefore, has to be focused on the current trends. But another important feature of the CAT exam is that it suddenly asks questions of such type which have not been asked during the last many years. Your CAT preparation for Verbal Ability, therefore, has to combine the current as well as the past trends in CAT.

Sometimes you may find more questions on Grammar and Vocabulary and at other times the entire part on Grammar-based and vocabulary based questions may be missing in the CAT exam. The difficulty level of questions in the VARC section is from moderate to highly difficult.

At present, CAT asks 10 questions in MCQ format on Verbal Ability. You need to prepare the following three types of questions as per the current CAT syllabus. There are 3-4 questions on each of the three topics.

  • Making a summary of small para of 50-60 words in a single sentence
  • Putting the sentences in Jumbled paragraphs in a coherent order
  • Picking out the odd sentence from a jumbled paragraph. 

CAT DILR Preparation
Data Interpretation for CAT and Logical Reasoning for CAT are now clubbed together and form a new DILR section. In all, there are 32 questions in the DILR section divided into 16 questions for Data Interpretation and 16 questions for Logical Reasoning. Both sections are equally important in CAT preparation.

Data Interpretation for CAT
Data interpretation for the CAT syllabus is also a little more defined than other CAT sections. The Data Interpretation Study material like Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma; The Pearson Guide for logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation are the few of the best books for CAT 2019 preparation. DI questions for CAT with solutions are available online also.

Candidates who appear in IIMs Common Admission Test (CAT) find Data Interpretation as the most difficult and time-consuming section and are able to solve only a few questions which are in sets of 4 questions.

Preparing for Data Interpretation in CAT 2019 is an important part of overall CAT preparation. Scoring high in Data Interpretation can take you through the IIMs admission process.

Data Interpretation Preparation Tips for CAT  

  • DI questions are formed to test how candidates can interpret the given data and answer questions based on it.
  • Free download for DILR Practice questions for CAT with solutions are available online and should be practiced well.

Logical Reasoning for CAT
With the creation of a new section in CAT comprising only DILR questions, CAT has detached the LR & DI questions from their respective parent sections of Quant and Verbal. Now DILR is the 2nd section in CAT exam which requires a higher focus on Logical Reasoning preparation

The logical Reasoning study material for CAT 2019 is available online also which can help you in CAT 2019 DILR preparation and will also save your time also.

Logical Reasoning questions in CAT can be your score booster up to 48 core marks leading to an improvement of overall percentile by 20-25 in CAT 2019. LR in CAT constitutes a 50% share in the newly created Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation Comprehension (DILR) Section in CAT with 32 questions. As such, the goal of scoring high in CAT 2019 can be achieved with small but consistent efforts and time devoted to the DILR section.

CAT toppers with varying backgrounds, studying in IIM Ahmedabad, FMS Delhi, MDI, and other top MBA colleges found themselves less prepared for CAT Logical Reasoning when they started LR preparation for CAT. But with their consistent efforts, most of them ended up cracking the Logical Reasoning questions for CAT with 95+ percentile and above.

Logical Reasoning Preparation Tips for CAT

  • Read and practice various types of Logical Reasoning Questions for CAT with solutions  
  • One of the key CAT Logical Reasoning tricks by experts is ,to begin with LOD=1 and move to LOD-2 and finally to LOD=3 Logical Reasoning Questions.
  • Try to solve as many LR questions on all difficulty levels, as possible.  Never be shy of practice on LR.  Once it is done, you will develop the methodology and will come to know beforehand whether you will be able to solve a particular LR question set, when it appears in the examination or should skip that. 
  • Get Updated CAT  Logical Reasoning Preparation Material of Best Coaching Institutes
  • Read CAT toppers’ Logical Reasoning Preparation Strategy
  • Attempt more CAT Logical Reasoning Mocks and Analyse your errors after completing each one…

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT
Quantitative Aptitude in CAT 2019 carries a weight of 34% in the overall CAT 2019 exam. As per the trend in the CAT exam during the past 3 years, Quant in CAT exam 2019 will occupy the 3rd and last section. Quant in CAT is considered as the very tricky section as this section can get any composition of topics and different types of questions in MCQ or Non-MCQ format.

Since CAT 2019 test-takers will reach this section after spending 120 minutes on other 2 sections, CAT preparation experts and toppers share key CAT quant preparation tip to practice more on this section right from the beginning and prepare themselves to keep their cool till the end of the exam as this section is more calculation based

You need to concentrate more to prepare on Quant in CAT 2019 and therefore require a well-devised preparation plan to score high in CAT 2019 exam. Your own devised shortcuts to quickly solve the questions with accuracy will help more. It has become more crucial for aspirants to score high in the Quantitative Aptitude section in CAT 2019 without any support of questions from the DI part which could be attempted by not so proficient candidates in mathematics.

While it is difficult to determine the CAT syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude, it is advisable to prepare as per the changed CAT exam pattern. If you continue preparing as per the old pattern of CAT Quant Syllabus, you may end up with a low score. Although you cannot rule out the recurrence of questions on forgotten topics in Quantitative Aptitude section, the priority should be given to the current CAT pattern and on the current topics as per revised CAT syllabus

Taking Mocks and sample tests is very important to crack the Quantitative Aptitude section in CAT. This fact has been tested by the CAT toppers over a period of time. Taking more mocks on Quant 2019 will expose you to a vast variety of Quantitative Aptitude questions.

CAT Preparation FAQs
CAT preparation FAQs are answered by CAT experts and toppers on this page as above. However, the most important CAT preparation FAQs are here:

FAQ-1What is the ideal CAT preparation time?
Although there is no thumb rule on it, CAT toppers suggest the CAT 2019 aspirants remain steady and regular in their CAT preparation and always think that The CAT exam is round the corner.

FAQ-2: I wish to self-prepare for CAT. How do I start CAT preparation without coaching?
First, know the CAT exam pattern & syllabus and gather the best CAT preparation books, CAT study material and start your CAT preparation by section without leaving anything to chance.

FAQ-3: How many Mocks before the CAT exam are sufficient to take?
As detailed above, the CAT toppers have taken around 40 Mock tests before the CAT exam. To prepare for CAT, it is not only sufficient to take Mocks but more important is to analyze your mistakes in them and improve for the future.

FAQ-4: What is the role of RC in CAT? How can I improve on it?
Most CAT toppers found themselves weak in RC preparation but with consistent reading and practice, they scored the highest percentile in CAT. As suggested above, you should follow the RC preparation tips for CAT.

FAQ-5: Is there is sufficient time now to start CAT preparation 2019?   
Since CAT will be held on November 24, 2019, there is still good CAT preparation time which if fruitfully used, can turn the table in your favor.

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