How To Prepare For CAT: Expert Tips For CAT 2023 Success

Preparing for the Common Admission Test (CAT) can feel like a daunting task. As an essential determinant for admission to the top management colleges in India, this exam tests your basics at primary school level.

This guide will unravel expert strategies to help you crack CAT with ease and confidence. Let’s embark on this journey to conquer one of India’s most challenging exams successfully!

Key Takeaways

  • The CAT exam consists of three sections: Quantitative Aptitude, DILR, and Verbal Ability. Each section requires specific skills and preparation strategies.
  • Coaching can help you prepare for the CAT exam by providing expert guidance, tips, and practice materials.
  • Self – study is also an effective way to prepare for CAT with a clear schedule, practicing a large number of questions, and taking mock tests regularly.
  • To excel in the VARC section, focus on reading widely and regularly to improve vocabulary and comprehension skills. Practice solving grammar-related questions and reading comprehension passages.
  • For the DILR section, practice solving different types of data interpretation and logical reasoning questions to enhance your skills. Take mock tests to get familiar with the format.
  • Prepare for the Quantitative Aptitude section by building basic math skills from grades VIII-X. Practice solving quantitative questions using various problem-solving techniques.
  • Taking sample papers and mock tests helps you become familiar with the format and difficulty level of the CAT exam. It improves time management skills and identifies areas for improvement.
  • Utilize previous year’s question papers in PDF format to understand the exam pattern better and practice different types of questions.
  • Top tips from successful candidates include starting early, understanding the exam pattern, taking mock tests regularly, analyzing mistakes, focusing on time management,
  1. Taking plenty of mock tests is essential for CAT preparation
  2. Planning a mock CAT schedule & analyzing mocks are important aspects
  3. CAT papers from years 2000 to 2008 are available (with solutions) inside ‘2IIM Online Course’.

Understanding the CAT Exam

The CAT Exam consists of three sections: Quantitative Aptitude, DILR, and Verbal Ability. Each section requires different skills and preparation strategies.

CAT Quantitative Aptitude

The CAT Quantitative Aptitude section tests your basic math skills. These are things you learned in grades eight, nine, and ten. You need to solve problems with speed and accuracy.

Practice hard to get better at this part of the test. Lots of practice can make this task easier for you. Make sure you know all your tables, squares, cubes and basic formulas by heart.

This will help a lot when you take the test.


The CAT DILR section tests your skill to make sense of data. This part can be hard. It has more and more tough questions each year. You need to know a lot about data interpretation and logical reasoning for this part of the CAT exam.

To do well in CAT DILR, you must practice a lot with different types of graphs, charts, and puzzles. Also, try to keep calm when things look complex!

Verbal Ability for CAT

Verbal Ability is a part of the CAT exam. This section tests simple thinking skills like you use in eighth, ninth, and tenth grade. Reading helps a lot to do well here! Books can give good practice for this part of the test.

The Verbal Ability section checks how well you understand what you read. It has parts about reading and understanding texts, putting sentences in order, sentence removal, reasoned thinking, word use, and fixing mistakes in sentences.

To score high here, being right counts more than being fast. Be careful with your answers!

Expert Tips for CAT 2023 Preparation

A organized stack of CAT preparation books surrounded by study materials.

Prepare for CAT 2023 with these expert tips to increase your chances of success.

Preparation Through Coaching

Coaching can help you get ready for the CAT Exam. You learn how to crack the exam from experts. They show you key tips and guide your study. This makes sure you understand all parts of the syllabus.

Plus, coaching is great for practice! It gives a lot of questions to solve. This helps to get used to the style of CAT questions in each section: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), or Quantitative Aptitude section.

Most importantly, coaching hosts mock tests so you know what it feels like on exam day!

Self-Study Preparation

If you’re planning to prepare for the CAT exam on your own, there are some important things you need to know. Self-study preparation is all about learning from the basics and understanding the syllabus of the exam.

It’s important to practice and solve a large number of questions to improve your skills. Taking plenty of mock tests will also help you assess your progress and get familiar with the exam format.

To stay on track, it’s crucial to have a clear schedule and plan in place. With dedication and consistency, self-study can be an effective way to prepare for CAT and increase your chances of success.

Preparation for VARC

To prepare for CAT’s Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section, there are a few important strategies you can follow. First, reading is key. Make sure to read widely and regularly to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Next, practice solving a variety of questions related to grammar, vocabulary-based questions, and reading comprehension passages. This will help you become familiar with the types of questions asked in the VARC section.

Finally, take as many mock tests as possible to simulate the exam environment and assess your progress. By following these steps and considering online coaching for a structured approach, you’ll be well-prepared for success in VARC on the CAT exam!

Preparation for DILR

To prepare for the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) section of the CAT exam, it is important to practice solving different types of questions. This section has become more challenging in recent years, so practicing regularly will help you improve your skills.

Focus on understanding key concepts and strategies for solving DILR problems efficiently. Take mock tests to get familiar with the exam format and time constraints. By practicing consistently and analyzing your performance, you can enhance your DILR skills and increase your chances of success in the CAT exam.

Preparation for Quantitative Aptitude

To prepare for the Quantitative Aptitude section of the CAT exam, job seekers should focus on building their basic math skills. This section tests your ability to solve mathematical problems using concepts from classes VIII, IX, and X.

Key topics include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and number systems. It’s important to practice solving a variety of quantitative questions to become comfortable with different problem-solving techniques.

Taking mock tests regularly will help you track your progress and improve your speed and accuracy in solving these questions.

The Role of Sample Papers and Mock Tests in CAT Preparation

An open book with study materials and photography equipment on a table.

Taking sample papers and mock tests plays a critical role in CAT preparation. These practice tests allow you to get familiar with the format and difficulty level of the exam. By solving sample papers, you can assess your strengths and weaknesses in different sections like Quantitative Aptitude, DILR, and VARC.

Mock tests provide a simulation of the actual exam, helping you improve your time management skills and build endurance for the three-hour marathon. Additionally, they give you an opportunity to identify areas where you may need more practice or understanding.

Analyzing your performance in mock tests allows you to gauge your progress over time and make necessary adjustments to your study plan. It is important to note that taking plenty of mock tests increases your chances of success in the CAT exam.

1. Taking plenty of mock tests is essential for CAT preparation.

4. Planning a mock CAT schedule and analyzing mock CATs are important aspects of CAT preparation.

5.CAT papers from years 2000 to 2008 are available for free (with solutions) inside the 2IIM Online Course

Utilizing Previous Year CAT Question Papers

A stack of CAT question papers surrounded by study materials and a timer.

Utilizing previous year CAT question papers is a valuable strategy for effective preparation. By downloading and solving PDFs, candidates can gain insights into the exam pattern and practice different types of questions.

This helps in improving time management skills and familiarizing oneself with the level of difficulty. Read on to discover the top tips from successful CAT candidates!

Downloading and Solving PDFs

You can enhance your CAT preparation by downloading and solving PDFs. Here are some tips to make the most out of this resource:

  1. Access Past Year Question Papers: Download and solve previous year CAT question papers in PDF format. This will familiarize you with the exam pattern, difficulty level, and types of questions asked.
  2. Practice Section-Wise PDFs: Look for PDFs that specifically focus on each section of the CAT exam – Quantitative Aptitude, DILR, and VARC. Solve practice questions regularly to improve your speed and accuracy.
  3. Solve Mock Tests in PDF Format: Many coaching institutes provide mock tests in PDF format. These tests simulate the actual CAT exam environment and help you assess your performance. Identify your strengths and weaknesses through mock tests and work on improving them.
  4. Find Study Material in PDF Format: Look for study material like concept notes, formula sheets, vocabulary lists, and grammar rules in PDF format. These materials can be easily downloaded and used for self-study.
  5. Make a Personalized Study Plan: Create a study plan based on the topics covered in the downloaded PDFs. Allocate sufficient time for each section and track your progress regularly.
  6. Analyze Your Performance: After solving the PDFs, carefully analyze each question to understand the concepts involved and identify areas where you need improvement. Repeat this process for every set of questions you solve.
  7. Utilize Online Resources: Alongside downloadable PDFs, explore online resources like video tutorials, interactive quizzes, and forums to supplement your preparation.

Top CAT Preparation Tips from Successful Candidates

Successful candidates who have cracked the CAT exam have shared some valuable tips for preparation. Here are their top tips:.

1. Start early: Begin your CAT preparation as soon as possible, ideally around August or September, to give yourself enough time to cover all the subjects and practice.

2. Understand the exam pattern: Familiarize yourself with the CAT exam pattern and syllabus. Focus on strengthening your weak areas while also practicing regularly in all sections.

3. Take mock tests: Mock tests are crucial for assessing your progress and identifying areas that need improvement. Take plenty of them to get comfortable with the format and timing of the exam.

4. Analyze your mistakes: After each mock test, analyze your mistakes and understand how you can avoid them in future exams. This will help you improve gradually over time.

5. Time management is key: Practice solving questions within a specific time frame to improve your speed and accuracy during the actual exam.

6. Focus on building conceptual clarity: Develop a strong foundation in each subject by understanding fundamental concepts thoroughly before moving on to more complex topics.

Remember, cracking the CAT exam requires consistent effort, discipline, and perseverance throughout your preparation journey!

FAQs on CAT Preparation

Get answers to your frequently asked questions about CAT preparation, from the ideal time to start preparing to tips for managing exam stress. Read on to find out more and prepare for success in the CAT exam!

Ideal Time for CAT preparation

To ensure success in CAT, it’s important to start your preparation well in advance. With CAT 2023 just around the corner, you have approximately 4 months left to get ready. The ideal time for CAT preparation is now! Remember that the CAT exam is conducted once a year, so it’s crucial to make the most of this time.

Start by understanding the exam syllabus and key topics in each section – quantitative aptitude, data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR), and verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC).

Then, create a clear schedule and plan for your preparation. Take plenty of mock tests to practice your skills and gauge your progress. By starting early and having a structured approach, you’ll be better prepared for the CAT exam come test day.

Time Management Tips for CAT Preparation

Managing your time effectively is crucial for successful CAT preparation. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your study time:.

1. Create a Study Schedule: Plan your daily and weekly study sessions in advance. Allocate specific time slots for each section of the CAT exam, such as Quantitative Aptitude, DI LR, and VARC.

2. Prioritize Your Study Material: Identify the topics that require more attention and focus on them first. This will ensure that you cover all the important areas thoroughly.

3. Set Realistic Goals: Break down your study goals into smaller, achievable targets. This will help you stay motivated and track your progress effectively.

4. Practice Time Management Techniques: Use techniques like Pomodoro Technique (working in short bursts with short breaks) or Timeboxing (allocating fixed time for each task). These methods can improve productivity and prevent procrastination.

5. Eliminate Distractions: Find a quiet place to study where you won’t be easily distracted by noise or interruptions from others. Put away any distractions like phones or social media during designated study periods.

Preparing for CAT while Working

Preparing for CAT while working can be a challenging task, but with the right strategy and dedication, it is definitely possible. First and foremost, time management is crucial. Create a study schedule that fits around your work commitments and stick to it.

Utilize weekends and any free time you have during the day to focus on CAT preparation. Secondly, make efficient use of resources such as online study materials, coaching institutes or self-study groups.

These resources can provide guidance and help you stay motivated throughout your preparation journey. Lastly, practice regularly with mock tests to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and improve your speed and accuracy.

CAT Preparation in 2 Months

If you only have 2 months to prepare for the CAT exam, don’t worry! With a focused study plan and dedication, it is possible to achieve good results. Start by understanding the exam pattern and syllabus.

The CAT exam consists of sections on Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC).

Divide your time wisely between these three sections based on your strengths and weaknesses. Allocate specific hours each day for studying each section. Practice regularly with mock tests and previous year question papers to get comfortable with the format and difficulty level of the exam.

During these two months, focus on concept clarity rather than covering every topic in depth. Identify important topics within each section that carry more weightage in the exam, based on previous years’ trends.

Refine your problem-solving skills by solving practice questions from reliable sources.

Best CAT Preparation Apps

If you’re preparing for the CAT exam and looking for the best apps to help you, here are some recommendations. One popular app is “2IIM Online CAT Coaching,” which offers comprehensive coaching materials and practice sessions.

Another great option is “CAT Mock Test Series,” which provides a series of mock tests to help you assess your preparation level. Additionally, there are various apps available that offer study materials, previous year question papers, and expert strategies for success in the CAT exam.

These apps can be a convenient and effective way to enhance your preparation efforts on the go.

Tips for GDPI Round in CAT Preparation

The GDPI (Group Discussion and Personal Interview) round is an important part of CAT preparation. It assesses a candidate’s communication skills, leadership abilities, and overall personality.

To ace this round, job seekers should focus on improving their communication skills and staying updated on current affairs. Practicing mock GDPI sessions can also help them prepare for the actual GDPI round.

Remember to be confident, articulate your thoughts clearly, and maintain a positive attitude during the interview process. Good luck!

Reducing Exam Stress During CAT Preparation

Preparing for the CAT exam can be stressful, but there are ways to reduce that stress and stay focused. One important strategy is to create a study schedule that allows for breaks and downtime.

Taking regular breaks helps prevent burnout and allows your brain to recharge. Another helpful tip is to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, when you start feeling overwhelmed.

These techniques can help calm your mind and keep anxiety at bay. Additionally, it’s important to take care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and exercising regularly.

Additional Resources

Explore the best books, online resources, and YouTube channels for CAT preparation to enhance your study materials.

Best Books for CAT Preparation

If you’re preparing for the CAT exam, here are some of the best books that can help you succeed:

  1. “How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT” by Arun Sharma: This book covers all the key topics in quantitative aptitude and provides practice exercises to improve your problem-solving skills.
  2. “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis: This book is a great resource for strengthening your vocabulary, which is essential for the verbal ability section of CAT.
  3. “Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT” by Nishit K. Sinha: This book focuses on improving your logical reasoning and data interpretation skills, which are crucial for the DILR section of CAT.
  4. “The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT” by Nishit K. Sinha: This comprehensive guide covers both verbal ability and logical reasoning, providing ample practice questions and strategies.
  5. “How to Prepare for VARC for CAT” by Sujit Kumar: For those looking to excel in the VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section, this book offers tips, techniques, and practice exercises.

Online CAT Preparation

Online CAT preparation can be a valuable resource for job seekers who are looking to crack the CAT exam. With the availability of online coaching, you can access expert guidance and study materials from the comfort of your own home.

Online coaching provides a structured approach to CAT preparation, helping you cover all the necessary topics and practice extensively through mock tests. You can also find additional resources such as sample papers and previous year question papers online, which are crucial for understanding the pattern and level of difficulty of the exam.

By starting your preparation in August or September, you will have ample time to learn concepts, practice regularly, and improve your performance before the exam. So make use of online platforms for CAT preparation and increase your chances of success in this competitive MBA entrance exam.

YouTube Video Analysis

The YouTube video analysis is an additional resource that can help you with your CAT preparation. In this video, experts provide insights and tips on how to prepare for the exam effectively.

They analyze previous year question papers, discuss important topics and chapters, and share strategies for success. The video also covers section-wise study tips and highlights the importance of mock tests in your preparation.

By watching this analysis, you can gain valuable information and guidance to enhance your CAT exam readiness.

FAQs: How to Prepare for CAT Exam

1. What is the best way to prepare for the CAT at home?

To prepare for the CAT exam at home, you need a good study schedule and make use of online study groups or apps for MBA entrance exam preparation.

2. How can I prepare for the CAT without coaching?

You can prepare on your own using CAT preparation study materials, practice with previous years’ papers of CAT, and take part in mock tests which are often available on 2IIM’s teaching philosophy website.

3. What should I focus on when preparing for each section of the CAT exam?

For each part of the test such as VARC or LRDI sections, aim to learn from basics to tackle increasing levels of difficulty and do not ignore any important topics mentioned in your syllabus while preparing.

4. Are there resources that making my experience preparing fun?

Yes! Many websites offer enjoyable ways to help you get ready like games related only to Quantitative Aptitude Preparation or Verbal Reading lists with exciting books.

5. Can someone predict their percentile score before taking the actual exam?

Yes! You could use tools like a ‘CAT percentile predictor’ based on how well you perform during mocks but remember it does not guarantee an exact result.

6. Is there specific guidance available if I am struggling?

Certainly! Take advantage of expert tips found in blogs made by past “99+ percentilers” about strategies they used, check through guides covering detailed plans down till DILR Sequencing strategies and don’t forget YouTube Channels dedicated just for this cause.


In conclusion, preparing for the CAT exam requires a solid understanding of the exam structure and syllabus. Whether through coaching or self-study, practicing with sample papers and mock tests is crucial for success.

Remember to focus on each section – Quantitative Aptitude, DILR, and VARC – and allocate time accordingly. By following expert tips and putting in consistent effort, you can increase your chances of achieving a high score in the CAT exam.