Home Competitive Exam Tips How to Crack the CAT Exam

How to Crack the CAT Exam

by Chetna Vasishth

This is a transcript of a video ChetChat with Arks Sreenivas, the national head for MBA at Career Launcher who tells us how to crack the CAT exam to do an MBA in India.

All 20 IIM’s and more than about 150 odd other MBA Institute’s accept take this as their entrance test e.g. the SP Jain Institute in Mumbai MDI in Gurgaon, IMT Ghaziabad, XIMB Bhuvaneshwar. The best thing about the cat exam is this exam one repairs for would be good enough for a host of aptitude exams.


  1. you have to be in the final year of your graduation. If you’re a degree engineering

student you need to be in the fourth year that is the final year typically if you have a five year degree you do need to be the fifth year.

  1. Anybody who is a graduate already is course eligible for this exam


This exam is conducted only in English language, and is possibly because the

language of instruction at these MBA institutions is English. I think it is useful if you put

in a little bit of effort over maybe about six months one year if you are not a native English speaker

Preparation Time

the CAT exam tests your ability of your 8th, 9th and 10th. But the competition is intense. I think a minimum of about 400 to 500 hours is required to prepare for this exam

There are three sections, each having roughly 20 chapters topics. Each of these will require maybe about 5 to 6 hours of work. So about 100 – 120 hours per section, multiply that by 3

300 to 260 hours. Plus practice time etc, so put together you’re talking about 500 hours.

If you have a year you can pace out your preparation, if you have six months you need to do it faster even you have three months you need to work about five six hours a day and still

closer to reaching the goal you can increase that.

The Paper

Three different sections

  1. verbal ability reading comprehension section has 34 questions 102 marks typically
  2. data interpretation and logical reasoning 32 questions 96 marks
  3. quantitative ability the third section is 34 questions and approx. 100 marks

Types of questions

  1. Verbal ability and reading comprehension – there are verbal questions verbal means English. It is not the synonym antonyms grammar variety in CAT they are looking at your reasoning. The kind of questions that come are para jumbles, you know there is a jumbled paragraph given to you and you need to unjumble it. Then there is a paragraph given with a complete line missing and you need to complete this paragraph. Or it could be a GMAT variety critical reasoning types where you are given questions and assumptions conclusions inferences


  1. Data interpretation logical reasoning has eight sets of four questions each so eight fours are 32 questions. So there are four of data interpretation type e.g. table, a bar chart a pie chart a line graph. Typically then you have four sets of logical reasoning questions, e.g. arrangements like five people on a row ABCDE a cannot sit to next to be C and we have to be together some such kind of arrangement puzzles Venn diagrams kind of thing so four sets of four questions of logical reasoning and four sets of data interpretation


  1. Quantitative ability has questions from arithmetic, basic percentages, profit and loss, simple interest, algebra, indices, logs, the quadratics series you know progressions such kind of things geometry mensuration and numbers and number theory.

Preparation material

there are a lot of online material free material available in fact one honest thing that I would recommend is Khan Academy which for all exams . You can buy books written by Mr. Gautam Puri . Since it is a competitive exam, I suggest that you should write the Mock’s, that way what’ll happen is one you will get a better strategy to more importantly you will also you know benchmark yourself against competition

If somebody has three months anything between 20 to 15 should be more than sufficient okay if you have a longer time let’s say you have six months I would go up to taking about 20-25 also are okay. But spend time analysing your mistakes and going back to the concept before taking a fresh mock test.

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