CAT 2022 Testing Room Strategy: How to add 20 Percentile? Check & Follow 10 Simple Tips by Experts and Toppers

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
November 22, 2022
CAT 2022 exam date is Nov 27 and the exam is scheduled in 3 slots of 2 hours each. A cautious and careful testing room approach can save you from losing your marks which you deserve but lose due to a little carelessness. Each answer marked in CAT 2022 testing room will either push your percentile up by 4-5 or pull it down by 7-9. Check these simple tips from experts and toppers that can be your CAT percentile booster
CAT 2022 Testing Room Strategy: How to add 20 Percentile?

Each answer marked in CAT 2022 Testing Room will either push your percentile up by 4-5 or pull it down by 7-9. CAT 2022 exam date is November 27, 2022 and the exam will be conducted in three slots – Morning, Afternoon and Evening with each slot of 2 hours duration. Know the tips from Experts and CAT toppers on testing room strategy – how to add 20 percentile in your CAT 2022 by being a little cautious.

But before moving further, be well aware of the revised CAT pattern 2022 as shared by IIM Bangalore in the official CAT Mock test released a few days ago:

CAT 2022 pattern: Sectional composition
CAT 2022 will have exam sectional order from Section-1 to Section-3, number and type of questions in each section, questions with and without negative marking and total maximum marks available for each section are shared below:

CAT 2021 exam components
Total questions
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Highlights
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
24
19
5
4 RC Passages with MCQs; VA Non MCQs divided into Para jumbles, Para Summary, and Out of Context Sentences
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
20
15
5
LR – 10 Ques
DI – 10 Ques
All in Sets of 3 & 4 Qs
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)
22
14
8
High on Arithmetic. Other on Log, Geometry, Roots, Algebra
Total
66
 48
18
 --

Source: MBAUniverse.com analysis 

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CAT 2022

10 Simple Tips to Add 20 Percentile in CAT
The Ten simple tips from experts and toppers are shared below to help you improve your percentile by 20 points in CAT 2022

  1. Well Begun is Half Done: Key to Success
  2. Understand the Direction to attempt the question
  3. Attempt Non MCQs (TITA Questions) First
  4. Mark the Response with Appropriate Navigation Tool
  5. Don’t get Stuck
  6. Time Management
  7. Have confidence
  8. Learn the Art of Skipping a Question
  9. Tricks & shortcuts: Use them
  10. CAT Toppers’ Testing Room Strategy

Let us understand each of the 10 CAT test taking tips in detail

1. ‘Well Begun is Half Done’: Key to Success
CAT experts, mentors and toppers are unanimous on the point that ‘Well begun is half done.’ It is true not only to improve your score but also to boost your confidence level and keep you motivated throughout the exam. In the CAT testing room, Candidates in their anxiety to attempt more number of questions usually skip small points while reading the questions, their answer options, using navigating tools and the like. A cautious and careful testing room approach while remembering the small things can save you from losing your marks which you deserve but lose due to a little carelessness.

So, what are the key small things that can help you add minimum 20 percentile? Check below

2. Understand the Direction to attempt the question
Questions in CAT 2022 would begin with the direction which explains what is expected from the test taker. For example a question on picking the out of context sentence from a group of jumbled sentences requires you to pick out only the odd sentence out, reflecting a different idea but does not ask you to place all the sentences in a coherent order. Accordingly, the idea is not to waste time in placing all the jumbled sentences as a coherent paragraph. On the contrary you are required to find out the similarities among all the sentences which contain one sentence reflecting a different idea.

For example if you are reading all the 5 sentences, you will find that 4 are about execution of certain policy decisions and one is talking about the policy itself. This sentence is odd one.

Similarly, an RC passage may be followed by a question to explain the meaning of the phrase as used in the passage. The passage might have used the phrase in a different manner than its dictionary meaning. So, despite knowing the dictionary meaning of the phrase, you are supposed to pick the answer option that explains the contextual meaning. So what to do? Follow the tips below:

  • Correct Reading: Correct reading and understanding the direction of the question is very important. It  will not only save your time but will also keep you away from any confusion
  • May Take only Few Seconds More: Correctly reading a question and what is expected as answer will save your loss of core 3 marks plus 1 penalty mark due to negative marking.
  • Save 10 Percentile: The loss, if incurred will also get multiplied in the process of score normalization which will have a net negative effect of around 10 percentile.
  • So No Hurry: The loss of marks is incurred not because of ignorance but because of hurrying up the process without ensuring its implications.

3. Attempt Non MCQs (TITA Questions) First
CAT 2022 will have sectional time constraint of 40 minutes for each section. But there are Non-MCQs without any penalty for wrong answer. Most of the Non-MCQs are placed in the latter part of the section.

  • How to Proceed?: Within the overall sectional time limit of 40 minutes, it will be better to begin with the Non-MCQ type questions after viewing the questions in the section.
  • Check the Non-MCQ Location & Attempt First: Out of 5-8 Non-MCQs in the section, you may leave many of them un-attempted. In this situation you may lose the opportunity to improve your score as attempting no-penalty questions is safer than attempting the MCQs carrying negative marking with them. It is therefore better to begin with Non-MCQ and move on to MCQs.
  • Choose Your Favourite: You can choose any question from the section. Due to time constraint, it is very much possible that you may not reach the Non-MCQs once you start answering MCQs
  • Don’t Leave Any Non-MCQ-No Risk is There: It is suggested not to leave any Non-MCQ un-attempted, even if you do not know how to solve it. In case you happen to key in its correct answer, you gain 3 marks and higher percentile. If you write a wrong answer, you lose nothing as it is a no-penalty question.
  • Move from Easy to Difficult: Beginning with the easy ones and going up to difficult ones is the key to success and scoring high percentile in CAT 2022.When the test begins, you may begin with the preferred part in the section. There is no need to think more where you plan to go. Begin with the preferred one and move on.

4. Mark the Response with Appropriate Navigation Tool
CAT 2022 allows to mark your answer and come back for review also, if you feel so. You can very well select an answer for an MCQ or Non-MCQ by clicking on the bubble placed before the 4 choices in the form of radio buttons (o). 

Use ‘Mark for Review & Next Option: A better option to answer the question exists in CAT 2022 test navigation tools. The option is to click on ‘Mark for Review & Next’ after marking your answer. You save your answer for the current question and also mark it for review, and then go to the next question. If you find the answer correct, you need not do anything to it. This option will get your answer to be considered for evaluation unless you modify the status of the answer. 

Avoid ‘Save & Next’: Although you can change your answer for a Non-MCQ, even if you have clicked on ‘Save & Next’ but if you click on this answering marking tool for an MCQ, you may not be able to change your answer later. A loss of percentile will again trouble you, although now you know the right answer and have time to mark it. 

Please note that your answer for the current question will not be saved, if you navigate to another question directly by clicking on a question number without saving the answer to the previous question. It is therefore mandatory that to avoid loss of score use the option -  ‘Mark for Review & Next’.

5. Don’t get Stuck

  • All the questions in CAT 2022 carry equal marks.
  • If there is a simple and easy question attempt it first.
  • If you can solve 2 questions during the time supposed to be consumed by one question, it is better to solve the 2 and score more instead of losing a percentile due to wrong answer clubbed with penalty of negative marking.

6. Time Management is Most Important

  • Sectional time constraint exists in CAT 2022. You have to be careful about the time consumed on questions in each section.
  • If you spend too much time only on RC questions, you may miss the other Non MCQ questions on Verbal Ability although you may have prepared well on Jumbled paragraphs, para summary and picking the odd sentence out.
  • 40 minutes is not a too much of time to solve 24 questions. So move on and continue with the strategy to solve all the doable questions from the section in first 2 attempts.
  • Watch the timer on the computer screen to judiciously divide your time.

7. Have confidence

  • Have confidence in yourself and maintain your cool throughout CAT 2022 exam.
  • If the test is difficult, it is difficult for all. Give your best shot without losing your cool or becoming panicky.
  • If the test is easy, it is easy for all.
  • In the first case low score will be converted into high percentile and in the latter case the high scores will be converted to low percentiles. Hence take it easy.

8. Learn the Art of Skipping a Question

  • There is no need to fight with a particular question when the time is short
  • You should skip the time consuming question for now and come back, if time permits
  • Don’t take it as a challenge and waste time on it and move to next one

9. Tricks & shortcuts: Use them
You have always learned the tricks and short cuts to crack even the most difficult questions on various topics of Quant, DI, LR and Verbal Ability. It is high time that you utilized them in your favour during the CAT 2022 exam. You have less than 2 minutes per question to solve. If you can solve 8 to 15 questions in each section with 100% accuracy, it can prove to be a good achievement and a high percentile would be waiting for you. 

10. CAT Toppers’ Testing Room Strategy

Padmasandhya S, CAT 2021 Topper with 98.49%ile and IIM Ahmedabad student of 2022-24 batch advises, “CAT is more a strategy game than of knowledge. Knowing what questions to pick, which question to do first and how many to answer, are all you need to crack the exam.  More importantly, being calm and thinking straight even when the going isn’t great, is what would help with sailing through the test.”

Sumedha Srinivasan, CAT 2021 topper with 94.78 percentile and IIM Ahmedabad PGP 2022-24 student, said, “I assessed my time and resources and accordingly set my target score. I had limited time to prepare so my goal for to get a score just enough and let the rest of my profile pull the weight.”

Nandan Goel, CAT 2020 Topper with 99.95 %ile and IIM Calcutta student of 2021-23 batch shared, “I attempted all questions in serial order, except LRDI. Panic struck in when I saw a difficult LRDI section but I recovered from that state of mind by taking a 10-seconds pause and breathing deep. This helped me to sail through a very difficult section.”

Pragya Malik, CAT 2020 topper with 99.52%ile and Student of IIM Calcutta 2021-23 batch, said, “For VARC, I had the strategy of having a mix of attempting RCs first and then the VA part, going back to the RCs.  For LRDI, I picked up the sets I was most comfortable with and went on with solving them. For QA, I had the strategy of attempting questions sequentially and have a check on my no of attempts after every 10 mins and start skipping few questions if I am slower than the speed of 1 question per 1.5 minutes.”

All these small tips on testing taking strategy can help you add at least 20 to 30 percentile in your CAT score card, provided it is understood and followed. We hope you found this article helpful in devising your CAT 2022 test taking strategy

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more tips on CAT 2022