CAT Preparation | Free tips for CAT Preparation 2024

CAT Preparation for CAT 2024 is something that aspirants devote a period of 3-6 months to prepare for. It includes aspirants regardless of being graduates or working professionals. This timeline needs to be strategically divided into distinct phases, commencing with the acquisition of fundamental knowledge and gradually progressing towards mastering advanced tricks and techniques. Finally, it results in the development of a comprehensive exam strategy, encompassing all the facets necessary for success in this rigorous examination.
The great Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once remarked, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
If you are determined to conquer one of the most daunting entrance tests, it is crucial to establish a comprehensive and strategic preparation plan. The Common Admission Test (CAT), held annually on the last Sunday in November, serves as the gateway to esteemed MBA institutes like IIMs, FMS, MDI, and many others. While various experts advocate different approaches to studying for the exam, allow us to present the simplest and smartest step-by-step approach for your CAT 2024 preparation journey. With meticulous attention to detail and a focused mindset, we will guide you towards success in this highly anticipated exam.
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CAT 2024
CAT is a computer-based test designed to evaluate your aptitude for management education and assess your potential for success in corporate professions. With a total time duration of 2 hours, this highly sought-after exam requires thorough preparation and a clear understanding of the CAT exam pattern 2024.
To help you get started, here is a glimpse of the expected exam pattern for CAT 2024, based on the pattern followed in the previous year. Familiarizing yourself with this pattern will give you a head start in your preparations, allowing you to strategize and approach the exam with confidence.
So, gear up and get ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the CAT exam 2024!
Expected CAT Exam Pattern 2024
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
MCQ - 21
TITA - 3
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
MCQ - 14
TITA - 6
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
MCQ - 14
TITA - 8
Total No. of Questions
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CAT Preparation 2024: Stepwise Guide to Prepare for CAT Exam
Explained below are the major steps to take in order to fare well in CAT 2024:
1. Know the CAT Exam Pattern 2024
Common Admission Test or CAT, as it is commonly known, comprises three major sections namely- ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)’. As illustrated above, CAT 2022 had 24 questions in VARC, 20 questions in DILR, and 22 questions in the QA. Given below are the important features of the latest exam pattern:
Expected CAT 2024: Key Features
Exam Window
3 sessions on 1 day
120 Minutes (2 hours)
Verbal ability and Reading Comprehension(VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA)
Total Marks
Marking Scheme
Correct Answer: (+3)
Incorrect Answer : (-1)
No negative marking for Non-MCQs
No penalty for unanswered questions

Prior to starting CAT preparation, it is crucial to be aware of the syllabus. Although IIMs do not provide any standard syllabus for CAT, we have listed down the important topics based on the pattern of the last few years.
i. CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
VARC carries questions of moderate to high difficulty levels. After analyzing the CAT question papers, we have shortlisted the most critical topics of VARC here:
  • Reading Comprehension: It is a major component in the CAT exam with over 70% weightage in VARC; there are 4-5 RC passages in the exam with 3-5 questions each.
  • Paragraph Summary: This part checks the student’s reasoning and analytical skills. Questions related to this topic surely appear in CAT.
  • Para-jumbles & Misfit Sentences: Another vital area of VARC, this topic can be time-consuming as the given sentences could be lengthy and arranging them calls for effort and practice.
Some of the miscellaneous topics of VARC are as follows:-
  • Sentence Completion
  • Verbal Reasoning (Fact & Judgment)
  • Grammar & Usage (including questions based on common Grammar errors, Sentence Correction, Confusing Words, & Phrasal Verbs).
  • Vocabulary-based questions (mainly Fill in the blanks, Synonym-Antonym based questions, Cloze Passage, Analogies, etc.).
Grammar-based questions mainly require you to be well-versed with the typical rules and conventions of the English language and the related questions check your proficiency in the area.
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ii. CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
DILR questions appear in CAT in the form of sets with 2-6 questions each. The topics of both data interpretation and logical reasoning are given almost equal weightage in the section. Mentioned below is the list of topics that you must study well for CAT DI and LR:
Caselets, Tables, Bar Graphs, Column Graphs, Line Charts, Venn Diagrams, Pie Charts, Combination of two or more types linked to each other Games & Tournaments, Number and Letter Series, Calendars; Cubes, Clocks, Venn Diagrams, Binary Logic, Seating Arrangement; Syllogism; Logical Sequence; Blood Relations.
iii. CAT Quantitative Ability:-
Known to be the most challenging part of CAT, the Quant section mostly includes questions from arithmetic, geometry, and algebra (in the decreasing order of weightage). While the concepts are apparently fundamental in nature, the majority of the related questions are complex to solve. The following are the most important topics of CAT QA:
Number Systems; LCM and HCF; Profit, Loss and Discount; Percentages; Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; Simple and Compound Interest; Ratio and Proportion; Averages; Quadratic Equations; Linear Equations; Complex Numbers; Logarithm; Binomial Theorem; Sequences and Series; Surds and Indices; Inequalities; Probability; Permutation and Combination; Set Theory; Functions; Geometry; Mixtures and Alligations; Trigonometry; Coordinate Geometry; and Menstruation.
Did you Know: From 2009 to 2013, the American firm Prometric had the responsibility of conducting the CAT test. But from 2014 onwards, CAT has been conducted by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services).
2. Study the Syllabus for CAT 2024:
It is important to understand the syllabus for CAT 2024 in order to score high marks. The topics covered under the CAT exam are Data Interpretation Logical Reasoning(DILR), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC). The topics under QA include Arithmetic, Algebra, and Number System.  The topics under VARC are Reading Comprehension, Grammar & Vocabulary and finally DILR comprises of Blood Relations, Syllogism, Directions, Clocks & Calendars, Logical Connectives and Sequences. Tables, Graphs, Charts and other forms of visualization are also a part of this section. All these topics should be studied thoroughly for a successful score in CAT 2024.
3. Strengthen your basics
CAT preparation should ideally begin with understanding the basics of all important topics. Once you have gone through the syllabus and exam pattern, start working on the fundamentals of all sections. With good conceptual clarity, you will gain greater accuracy in less time. While regular reading is essential to get a hold of the verbal ability section, the other two sections demand you to invest a good amount of time in practice. After getting yourself well-versed in the basics, start solving topic-wise and chapter-wise questions.
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4. Give CAT Mock Tests regularly
CAT preparation is considered incomplete with taking mock tests. These simulated C
AT mocks or CAT sample papers/ test series are designed to familiarise the students with the level of the paper. Moreover, the mock results give a clear indication of the CAT aspirant’s strengths and weaknesses as regards the different subject areas. It is incumbent that you improve your weak areas and simultaneously strengthen your strong areas to increase your score.
5. Analyze the Mock Tests thoroughly and Adopt a Proper Strategy
This is a step that most CAT aspirants skip in their journey of the entrance exam. This exercise of assessing the mocks will provide a clear picture as to where one stands and also give you a guideline to formulate your exam strategy. You should bear in mind the importance of each section and its relevance to the CAT exam while designing the study plan.
 Remember that every candidate requires a different strategy, as per his/her strong and weak areas. So, as you attempt more and more mock tests, you will get to know which techniques and tricks work best for you. Besides, you will need to have a distinct strategy for various question types and sections.
Final Tips for CAT Preparation
While preparing for your exam, bear the following things in mind:
  1. Go through CAT previous years’ papers to understand the pattern as well as the difficulty level of the paper.
  2. Make a note of important topics subject-wise. It will indicate to you the amount of time that you need to devote to each subject.
  3. To master the RC section, it is advised that you read from diverse areas with a focus on understanding the content.
  4. General awareness is one area where most students lag in. Therefore, start reading newspapers, and articles and listen to debates which will further help you in understanding the issues. Although there is no GK section in CAT, it is important to stay abreast of current events for further selection rounds (GD/PI/WAT). Besides, reading habits will help you ace the verbal section.
  5. Aim to score higher in every next mock test you take.
Last but not least “focused hard work is the key to success.”
All the best for your CAT preparation!
FAQs Regarding CAT Preparation 2024
  1. How much preparation is required for CAT?
  2. Ideally, six-month time is considered best for CAT preparation. With such sufficient time, you can easily sail through the basic prep phase to the advanced level. However, you can also ace the prep with 2-3 months' time, provided you spend more time and stay more than usual focussed and well-organized while studying and practising for D-day.
  3. Is preparing for CAT difficult?
  4. Preparing for CAT is not really difficult if you stick to a proper schedule in a disciplined manner. With a good study plan, you will be able to progress step-by-step and finally, ace all important areas of CAT.
  5. Can a below-average student crack CAT?
  6. Yes, even a below-average student can crack CAT with excellent scores. People from all sorts of academic backgrounds and scores take CAT. All you need to crack CAT is a focused mind and smart work.
  7. Is CAT tougher than NEET?
  8. CAT is basically an aptitude test, that can be given regardless of your educational background. On the other hand, NEET is a test of the candidate's knowledge of a specific field. NEET questions in no way test the general logical skills of the candidate. Overall, CAT is more competitive and tougher to crack, considering the lakhs of aspirants and limited IIMs seats.
  9. What level of maths is asked in CAT?
  10. The level of maths questions in CAT is that of classes 9th and 10th only. In other words, you just need to work strongly on concepts that you have already studied in school.
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