CAT 2022: How to crack CAT in less than 3 Months – 7 Point Preparation Guide; Check exam Structure, Type of Questions and Other Key Facts

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September 13, 2022
Very short time is left to prepare for CAT 2022 and unless you know well about CAT 2022, its structure, content, time duration, important do’s and don’ts, you may not win the race and get into your dream IIM in 2023 as the exam has earned the reputation of throwing surprises every year. With IIM Bangalore convening the CAT 2022 you may expect more changes. Check below the key facts about CAT 2022 and key points in preparation
CAT 2022: 7 Point Preparation Guide

IIM Bangalore, the convener of CAT 2022 is one of the 6 IIMs that are awarded the responsibility to convene Common Admission Test (CAT) on yearly rotation. Apart from IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode conduct CAT exam by rotation.  

While IIM Indore and IIM Ahmedabad modified and revamped CAT structure and pattern when they conducted it second time only, now it is IIM Bangalore which is convening CAT for the second time after 5 years. Going by the historical data, you should expect more changes in CAT 2022.

Key Facts about CAT Exam
The key facts below reveal how important is CAT 2022 for the MBA aspirants seeking admission in 2023 in top MBA colleges of India

CAT 2022: Admission test for 20 IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI & others
CAT is a yearly examination conducted by Indian Institutes of Management. CAT 2022 will also be conducted for admission to MBA programs offered by 20 IIMs and other top management institutes in India like FMS Delhi, IMI Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad, JBIMS Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, NITIE Mumbai, Management departments of IITs, SPJIMR Mumbai, TAPMI Manipal and other more than 500 B-schools.

More than 2.30+ lakh candidates apply for CAT every year. This number may increase this year as Covid – 19 pandemic is subsiding now. IIMs and other top B-schools along offer admission to more than 30000 students in their different management programmes. Read more about CAT 2022

Largest MBA Entrance Exam with Relaxations in Eligibility Criteria
CAT 2022 is the largest MBA Entrance exam in India with more than 2.30 lakh candidates applying for CAT and 2 lakh candidates appearing in the exam for MBA admission. CAT also offers MBA admission opportunity at more than 20000 seats in top colleges. So, if you are planning to pursue MBA from one of the top MBA colleges in India and also want to appear in only the best admission test for the best management institutes, Common Admission Test (CAT) 2022 is the answer.

MBA colleges in India accepting CAT score include low fee high RoI management institutes where you can explore MBA admission opportunity only through CAT exam score. Besides, CAT exam over the years has become moderate difficulty exam with short duration and a graduate with only 50% marks can appear in the exam.

CAT Preparation Guide: Carefully craft plan to crack CAT 2022
CAT exam has earned the reputation of throwing surprises every year. So, it is of utmost importance that you must know the key facts about CAT 2022 to avoid any misleading information while preparing with right stuff for the exam.

In the first instance, if you are a fresher and is in your final year of bachelor’s degree, you may not be aware what are the major constituents of CAT exam, how to prepare, what to study, can there be any well defined syllabus, where to begin and number of FAQs would hover your mind. Also, sometimes you do not even find anyone to answer your queries. When you begin your preparation, it appears that you have entered an unorganized thick and large forest where it is difficult to locate which way to go. This is the juncture wherefrom you start your preparation journey for CAT 2022. So it is always good enough to have clarity about the CAT exam, its recently revamped exam pattern and where to begin. In case you continue beating about the bush, you may end up without scoring required percentile prescribed by different IIMs to get shortlisted for final admission round.

Revised exam pattern of CAT 2022
The changes and surprises which CAT exam brings with it every year are more than in any other exam. But despite all the structural and content level changes brought during last two years of CAT 2020 and CAT 2021, following 4 will remain the key components of CAT 2022. Number of questions and their type may change.

  • Section-1: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: 24 questions
  • Section-2: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: 20 questions
  • Section-3: Quantitative Aptitude: 22 questions

Read about the CAT exam pattern, changes over the years and number of questions in each section

Type of questions in CAT 2022
Till 2014 CAT used to consist of only objective type Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), but with effect from 2015, CAT has started including Non-MCQs also in each section. The biggest advantage to attempt Non-MCQ type of questions is that it does not impose any penalty for wrong answer which is applicable at 1/3 to MCQ type of questions. The ratio of MCQs and non-MCQs in each section is as under-

Section Name
No. of MCQs
No. of Non-MCQs
Total questions
Sectional Time limit in minutes
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Data Interpretation & Logical reasoning
Quantitative Aptitude
Source: CAT 2021 exam

Read the detailed CAT exam analysis

CAT 2022 Scoring Pattern
CAT 2022 as in earlier years will award +3 marks for each correct answer. A penalty of -1 mark for each wrong answer for an MCQs is imposed in the exam. There is no penalty of negative marking to wrong answers for non-MCQs. As such the candidates can get double benefit if they attempt all the Non-MCQs. If the answer is correct for Non-MCQ you will get full 3 marks and in case the answer is wrong, no penalty of negative marking will be imposed on you. These scores are then converted to percentile score with equated scoring pattern mechanism.

Score that You need for IIMs?
All the 20 IIMs need a balanced high sectional percentile between 70 to 100 in each section of CAT exam to shortlist the candidates for next stage of admission round. Interestingly IIM Ahmedabad, the top ranked among B-schools of India has the low minimum 70 sectional percentile required by it. It implies if you have scored 99 in VARC, 99 in Quant but 69 in DILR in CAT 2022, you will not be shortlisted by IIM Ahmedabad. Similarly if you score even slightly below the prescribed percentile in any section for any IIM, you may not be shortlisted by other IIMs also including IIM Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong and even any of the 13 new and newest IIMs.

The reason is that the above score might award you a percentile score as high as 98 or 99 but you need to qualify on the minimum sectional score prescribed by the respective IIMs in each of the 3 sections.

Accordingly, in spite of scoring a high overall percentile in CAT 2022, there are no chances to get shortlisted by any IIM whereas a candidate with uniformly high balanced sectional percentile score of 90-94 can expect to be shortlisted by many IIMs. Required CAT score and shortlisting at IIMs

So when you begin your preparation do not think that high score in 2 sections will compensate for low score in remaining 1 section. Your aim should be to maximise your scores in each section if you wish to pursue Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in Management in 2023-25 batch at an IIM.

CAT 2022 Preparation: 100 Days Plan
The CAT 2022 preparation plan for next 100 days beginning form August include your judiciously divided preparation hours and everything related to CAT preparation like coaching classes, at least 30 minutes of daily reading of newspapers, attending expert sessions on CAT preparation, your practice sessions, doubt solving sessions and all other preparation related steps.

In next 100 days, you have close to 3000 hours available with you. It is expected to spend 15 to 20% of available hours out of 24 hours per day on CAT preparation. In last 2-3 months obviously you have more speed, will go for more practice sessions and so will spend more time on CAT preparation. Accordingly you have to spend about 700 hours during next 100 days on CAT preparation and divide the same on Scanning the CAT Syllabus and divide it into sections for study; Choose Time Lines to complete the task one after another as follows:

  • First 50 Days: Clear the Concepts & their Applications, Go for Tests. By the end of 50 days, you will know the topics, type of questions, that are asked in CAT VARC, LR, QA sections, their key concepts, how to answer
  • Next 25 Days: Devise Strategy and Take Mocks, Sectional tests
  • Last 25 Days: Go for revision and frame final strategy

Make a Section wise Plan
Where to start, what to study, what is the step by step process to prepare for CAT 2022 – all is detailed below:

During August and part of September, devote 350 hours minimum to strengthen your concepts on the topics as per CAT syllabus and get complete clarity with attempting exercise questions on each concept simultaneously. This will help you to revise and understand how strong your basics have become and where you need further study of concepts.

VARC Preparation Plan
Focus both on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. You can very well prepare for VARC section in 100 Hours in following manner

Verbal Ability (Vocab)/ Grammar
15 min per day
Reading Comprehension
30 min per day
Total Hours for VA and RC practice
50 hours
Classes (10)
20 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (100 Tests)
30 hours
Total for Next 100 days
100 hours

DILR Preparation Plan
Apart from clarity on concepts, you need to practice more on problems based on Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. With your judiciously planned CAT preparation you need 120 hours to prepare well for DILR

Total Classes you need (10-15)
30 hours
Revision of Classes you will need
20 hours
Daily Practice of DI and LR sets (30 minutes per day)
50 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (50 Tests)
20 hours
Total for Next 100 days
120 hours

Quantitative Ability Preparation Plan
Even if you are not from Mathematics back ground, you can prepare well for CAT Quantitative Ability section in 130 hours. The plan should be

QA Classes on different topics (30)
30 hours
Revision of Classes & Exercises
70 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (100 tests)
30 hours
Total for Next 100 days
130 hours

Take Mocks for CAT 2022 from August
Attempting maximum number of Mocks for CAT and analysing each of them is as important as appearing in actual CAT 2022 exam. Check below the suggested CAT 2022 Mock taking strategy by experts and how many mocks you need to attempt

  • Spend Exact 2 Hours to Attempt 1 Mock Test: Each Mock is of 2 hours duration and you not only have to attempt the mock but also have to maximise your attempts with accuracy
  • Devote 3 hours to Analyse a Mock Test: After completing your CAT mock test in 2 hours, next 3 hours should be devoted to its analysis so that you may understand where you have gone wrong. Identifying your errors and rectifying them, will consistently improve your test taking strategy.
  • 45 to 50 Mocks Before the Exam: You should take not less than 45 Mock tests to get ready for CAT day. Besides, take sectional practice tests to strengthen your preparation.
  • Solve all Previous Actual CAT Question Papers: Since 2017 IIMs have started releasing the CAT exam papers for all the slots with answers. There are total 12 CAT question papers available so far, that you need to go through, solve and analyse 

Read complete CAT Preparation Strategy for CAT 2022

When and how to apply for CAT 2022?
The registration/application process for CAT 2022 has started from August 3 and is the online process. Last date to apply is September 14 and the CAT registration fee is Rs.2300/-. candidates can register at the official website 

Read more about the CAT 2022 registration

CAT experts and toppers are of the view that CAT is not a very difficult exam but needs some smart and timely preparation to crack it with high score and as such to score 99 percentile in CAT, instead of cramming the heads with intensive knowledge based preparation, the need is to follow a smart IQ based preparation. A student with bachelor’s degree in any discipline with 50% marks or appearing in the final year of bachelor’s degree can apply for CAT 2022.

The CAT 2022 exam date is November 27, 2022 and since there is no change in CAT 2022 testing window, you will have to appear in CAT 2022 in any one of the three sessions of 2 hours each.

Stay tuned to for more updates on CAT 2022

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