CAT Percentile

Tips to Improve CAT Percentile for Admission to Top B-schools

It is not that hard to ‘bell the CAT’ when you have a right strategy in place to appear for one of the toughest MBA entrance exams of the country. All you need is a few tips and tricks that can do wonders for your CAT percentile if you are focused and dedicated to crack the CAT exam.

From the date when IIMs release CAT official notification till the D-day, an aspirant generally gets 4 months for preparation. Rummaging through the pages of reference books and magazines is just one part of the preparation plan. Another crucial factor is to grow your percentile over and over again in the last month of exam preparation.

In this blog we will share tips to improve your CAT percentile to crack the CAT exam and to secure a seat in the top B-schools of India:

Early Birds Make Best Results

Be organised and create a timetable to prepare for the exam. The earlier you start the better it is to cover maximum concepts expected in the MBA entrance exam. CAT exam covers wide-range of topics majorly from three sections namely Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), and Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI).

Plan of Action – For each section, allot at least 2-3 hours a day so that by the end of the 3 months, you have adequate time left to revise the concepts.

Strategize your Plan of Action

Taking a cue from the CAT exam’s marking scheme, for each correct answer +3 marks will be rewarded, however, for choosing the wrong option, one mark is deducted. Therefore, it is important to strategize ‘how to attempt the exam on the D-day’.

CAT exam comprises of both MCQ (objective question with 4 options) and Non-MCQs (TITA questions). As per the current CAT exam pattern, non-MCQs do not invite negative marking. Candidates are advised to focus their preparation to score well in non-MCQs to enhance their overall percentile score.

Plan of Action – It is advisable to avoid questions where you can invite negative marking and focus on the ones about which you are confident.

Don’t forget Previous Year Papers

Candidates should take help of the CAT previous year papers as they provide a sneak-peek of the expected level of difficulty, type of questions, and time required to attempt the exam. The CAT previous-year papers come with a solution guide and an answer key.

Plan of Action – Candidates can buy previous-year papers books from any well-known publisher to prepare for the exam as it serves as an excellent source of reference.

Attempt Several Mock Tests

Mock Tests are the best way to work on your ‘Speed and Accuracy’ which is the key to crack the CAT exam. There is a sectional time-limit to attempt each CAT exam section. Generally, a candidate gets 40 minutes to attempt each section. The trick is to effectively solve 64-65 questions in 120 minutes targeting a high percentile score.

Plan of Action – Candidates aiming to score 80+ percentile in the CAT exam, are advised to appear for at least 30-40 mock tests before the final exam day.

Last Moment Revision is a ‘Must’

Going by the books, the CAT exam revision plan should revolve around the number and type of questions expected in the exam.

CAT Exam Strategy
CAT Exam Sections No of Questions Expected Time Allotted Total Number of Questions
VARC 22-23 40 minutes 54 MCQs


22 non-MCQs

DILR 20-21 40 minutes
Quant 22-23 40 minutes

In the last week of preparation, aspirants should avoid learning new concepts and should rather focus on revising the ones learned previously.

Plan of Action – Remember, the CAT exam is the test of your overall aptitude, and therefore, revise all the concepts thoroughly before the D-day.

We wish you all the best for your CAT exam preparation!

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