Self Preparation for CAT 2024

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SK Agarwal
SK Agarwal
Editor, MBAUniverse.com
Updated on
May 10, 2024

CAT 2024 Self Preparation: How to Crack CAT with Self preparation - Books, Self Study with Coaching Study Material, Check 6 Month, 3 Month, 1 Month Self Study Plan for CAT Exam  

Common Admission Test (CAT) is the largest MBA entrance exam for admission in 21 IIMs and majority of other top B-schools. CAT is a computer based test of two hours duration and is divided into three sections: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning; Quantitative Ability. Below is the CAT Self preparation plan for CAT 2024 with self study and study material from coaching

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Latest Updates

  • CAT 2024 Exam Date: Sunday November 24, 2024
  • 2 Key Components to Check Before CAT Exam Self Study: Exam Pattern & Syllabus
  • Three Tools of CAT Self Preparation: Best Books & Study Material, Mocks, Time Management
  • Toppers’ Tips for CAT Preparation Without Coaching: Learn IIMs, FMS, MDI Students

Table of Contents

1. What is CAT Exam Pattern? Check CAT Question Paper Composition

2.  What is Self-Preparation for CAT 2024: Key Components & Strategy

3. How to Self Prepare for CAT 2024 without Coaching for Section-1: VARC

  • VARC Topics & Questions Appeared in CAT
  • CAT Syllabus for VARC
  • Toppers Tips for VARC Self Preparation
  • VARC Sample Questions with Answers
  • Best VARC Preparation Books for CAT 2024
  • VARC Preparation Tips by Experts 

4.  How to Self Prepare for CAT 2024 Without Coaching Section 2: DILR

  • DILR Topics & Questions Appeared in CAT
  • CAT Syllabus for DILR
  • Toppers Tips for DILR Self Preparation
  • DILR Sample Questions with Answers
  • Best DILR Preparation Books for CAT
  • Expert Tips for DILR Preparation

5. How to Self Prepare for CAT 2024 Without Coaching Section 3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Quantitative Ability Topics & Questions Appeared in CAT
  • CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Ability
  • Toppers Tips for QA Self Preparation
  • Quantitative Ability Sample Questions with Answers
  • Best QA Preparation Books for CAT
  • Expert Tips for QA Preparation

6. CAT Preparation Books by Arun Sharma

7. CAT Mocks: Best Preparation Tool

8. CAT Self Study Courses by Top CAT Coaching Centres

9. CAT 2024 Self Preparation Plan for 6 Months, 3 Months, 1 Month

10. How to Remain Motivated during Self Study Plan for CAT Exam

11. FAQs on CAT Self Preparation  

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1. What is CAT Exam Pattern? Check CAT Question Paper Composition

Before you move to start your journey to Crack CAT with Self Preparation, it is very important to know the CAT exam pattern and sectional composition. Unless you are aware what are the key components and sections in CAT exam pattern, what are the topics on which questions are asked in CAT exam, it is like beating about the bush as you will not be able to know where to begin your CAT preparation jpurney. So, before moving on your CAT self preparation path, it is very important to understand the CAT exam pattern as below:

CAT Exam Section
No of Questions
MCQ/ NMCQ
Sectional Time Limit (In Minutes)
Scoring Pattern (Negative Marking is only for MCQs)
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
 
24
19/5
40
+3 for Correct Answer
-1 for Incorrect Answer
0 for Not Attempted
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
20
15/5
40
+3 for Correct;
-1 for Incorrect;
0 for Not Attempted
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)
22
14/8
40
+3 for Correct;
-1 for Incorrect;
0 for Not Attempted
Total
66
66
120
198

2.  What is Self-Preparation for CAT 2024: Key Components & Strategy

Preparing for CAT with Self Study is very important. Since the CAT exam is designed to measure your aptitude and assess your analytical and communication skills in the areas of English language and usage, Analysis of a situation with data, Approach to arrive at the decision by using reasoning and the basic mathematical skills, CAT preparation strategy can be described in two words – ‘Smart Preparation.’ It should avoid the hard meaningless preparation that consumes lot of your time with lesser gain and should focus yourself on being accurate and fast in solving the problems.

2.1 Self Preparation for CAT 2024: Strategy

Now as you have made the choice to do self preparation for CAT at home, the step wise strategy is shared below for CAT exam self preparation 2024.

  • Check CAT 2024 Exam Pattern
  • Check CAT 2024 Sectional Syllabus & Type of Questions
  • Gather Best Books for CAT Exam Preparation at Home
  • Take CAT Mocks: Sectional & Overall
  • CAT 2024 Self Preparation Plan for 6 Months, 3 Months, 1 Month: Time Management
  • Remain Motivated during Self Study Plan for CAT Exam

3. How to Self Prepare for CAT 2024 without Coaching for Section-1: VARC

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) is the first section in CAT exam and has 36% weightage in the exam. You need to prepare on following key topics which have high percentage of  questions appearing in VARC section in CAT exam as shared below:

3.1 VARC Topics & Questions Appeared in CAT 

CAT VARC Topic

Type of Questions

Verbal Ability

Para Jumbles (2 Qs); Para Summary (2 Qs); Out of Context Sentence from jumbled Paragraph (2 Qs); Completion of Last Sentence of Paragraph (2 Qs)

Reading Comprehension

4 RC Passages followed by 4 Questions on True False Statement, Argument, Inference, Main Idea, Interpretation of Phrase as used in RC; Author’s Thought Process; Passage Title.

Passages were based on Second-hand Shopping and Fast Fashion; Translated Streaming on Netflix in Europe; Why Liberalism Failed (Book Review); What is Historical Fact.

3.2 CAT Syllabus for VARC

Once you know about the VARC CAT Pattern 2024, your next step for self preparation is to scan the CAT Syllabus. Please note that CAT exam VARC syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs and is based on latest topics that appeared in past CAT exams. 

CAT Syllabus for VARC Topics
Syllabus
No of Questions Appeared in CAT 2023  
Verbal Ability
Para Summary; Jumbled paragraphs; Out of Context Sentence; Error Correction in Sentences; Sequence of sentences; Fill in the blanks; Completion of Last Sentence of Paragraph; Analogies; Critical Reasoning; Sentence Completion
8
Reading Comprehension
RC Passages on Literature, Current Affairs, Social, Economic, Business issues followed by questions based on
Inferences, Statements, Arguments, Main idea in the RC Passage;  Author’s assumption; Synonyms-antonyms; Meaning of the phrase; Vocabulary usage
16

3.3 Toppers Tips for VARC Self Preparation

Topper Tips

“I started with 10 Books, a mix of fiction and notification books for VARC Preparation and then switched to CR practice over free resources like the GMAT club. Also, I enrolled for GEJO's VARC 1000 that helped me know the techniques or strategies I was missing” Ekansh Gupta, CAT Topper 99.91%; IIM Calcutta MBA 2021-23

 

“VARC is one section which requires existing acumen and little of current preparation” Nandan Goel, CAT Topper 99.95%, IIM Calcutta MBA 2021-23

 

“I used to give practice all the three sections consistently. I never skipped a particular section, say VARC, because I had to focus on Quants. Learning to strike a balance between three sections is really necessary.”

3.4 VARC Sample Questions with Answers

Q.1: There is a sentence that is missing in the paragraph below. Look at the paragraph and decide where (option 1, 2, 3, or 4) the following sentence would best fit.

Sentence: The discovery helps to explain archeological similarities between the Paleolithic peoples of China, Japan, and the Americas.

 

Paragraph: The researchers also uncovered an unexpected genetic link between Native Americans and Japanese people. ___(1)___. During the deglaciation period, another group branched out from northern coastal China and travelled to Japan.___(2)___. "We were surprised to find that this ancestral source also contributed to the Japanese gene pool, especially the indigenous Ainus," says Li. ___(3)___. They shared similarities in how they crafted stemmed projectile points for arrowheads and spears.___(4)___. "This suggests that the Pleistocene connection among the Americas, China, and Japan was not confined to culture but also to genetics," says senior author Qing-Peng Kong, an evolutionary geneticist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

 

Ans Options

1. Option 1

2. Option 3

3. Option 2

4. Option 4

Correct Answer: 3 

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Sample RC Passage followed by Questions & Answers

 

The passage below is accompanied by four questions. Based on the passage, choose thebest answer for each question.

Many human phenomena and characteristics – such as behaviours, beliefs, economies, genes, incomes, life expectancies, and other things – are influenced both by geographic factors and by non-geographic factors. Geographic factors mean physical and biological factors tied to geographic location, including climate, the distributions of wild plant and animal species, soils, and topography. Non-geographic factors include those factors subsumed under the term culture, other factors subsumed under the term history, and decisions by individual people. . . .

 

[T]he differences between the current economies of North and South Korea . . . cannot be attributed to the modest environmental differences between [them] . . . They are instead due entirely to the different [government] policies . . . At the opposite extreme, the Inuit and other traditional peoples living north of the Arctic Circle developed warm fur clothes but no agriculture, while equatorial lowland peoples around the world never developed warm fur clothes but often did develop agriculture. The explanation is straightforwardly geographic, rather than a cultural or historical quirk unrelated to geography. . . . Aboriginal Australia remained the sole continent occupied only by hunter/gatherers and with no indigenous farming or herding . . . [Here the] explanation is biogeographic: the Australian continent has no domestic able native animal species and few domestic able native plant species. Instead, the crops and domestic animals that now make Australia a food and wool exporter are all non-native (mainly Eurasian) species such as sheep, wheat, and grapes, brought to Australia by overseas colonists.

 

Today, no scholar would be silly enough to deny that culture, history, and individual choices play a big role in many human phenomena. Scholars don’t react to cultural, historical, and individual-agent explanations by denouncing “cultural determinism,” “historical determinism, “or “individual determinism,” and then thinking no further. But many scholars do react to any explanation invoking some geographic role, by denouncing “geographic determinism” . . .

Several reasons may underlie this widespread but nonsensical view. One reason is that some geographic explanations advanced a century ago were racist, thereby causing all geographic explanations to become tainted by racist associations in the minds of many scholars other than geographers. But many genetic, historical, psychological, and anthropological explanations advanced a century ago were also racist, yet the validity of newer non-racist genetic etc. explanations is widely accepted today.

 

Another reason for reflex rejection of geographic explanations is that historians have a tradition, in their discipline, of stressing the role of contingency (a favorite word among historians) based on individual decisions and chance. Often that view is warranted . . . But often, too, that view is unwarranted. The development of warm fur clothes among the Inuitliving north of the Arctic Circle was not because one influential Inuit leader persuaded other Inuit in 1783 to adopt warm fur clothes, for no good environmental reason.

 

A third reason is that geographic explanations usually depend on detailed technical facts of geography and other fields of scholarship . . . Most historians and economists don’t acquire that detailed knowledge as part of the professional training.

 

Q.1: The author criticises scholars who are not geographers for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

 

Ans. Options

1. The importance they place on the role of individual decisions when studying human phenomena.

2. Their labelling of geographic explanations as deterministic.

3. Their outdated interpretations of past cultural and historical phenomena.

4. Their rejection of the role of biogeographic factors in social and cultural phenomena.

Correct Answer: 3

 

Q.2: All of the following are advanced by the author as reasons why non-geographers disregard geographic influences on human phenomena EXCEPT their:

 

Ans Options

1. Dismissal of explanations that involve geographical causes for human behaviour.

2. Lingering impressions of past geographic analyses that were politically offensive.

3. Disciplinary training which typically does not include technical knowledge of geography.

4. Belief in the central role of humans, unrelated to physical surroundings, in influencing phenomena.

Correct Answer: 1

 

Q.3: The examples of the Inuit and Aboriginal Australians are offered in the passage to show:

 

Ans Options

1. Human resourcefulness across cultures in adapting to their surroundings.

2. That despite geographical isolation, traditional societies were self-sufficient and adaptive.

3. How environmental factors lead to comparatively divergent paths in livelihoods and development.

4. How physical circumstances can dictate human behaviour and cultures.

Correct Answer: 4

 

Q.4: All of the following can be inferred from the passage EXCEPT:

 

Ans Options

1. Agricultural practices changed drastically in the Australian continent after it was colonised.

2. While most human phenomena result from culture and individual choice, some havebio-geographic origins.

3. Several academic studies of human phenomena in the past involved racist interpretations.

4. Individual dictat and contingency were not the causal factors for the use of fur clothing in some very cold climates.

Correct Answer: 2

3.5 Best VARC Preparation Books for CAT Self Preparation

VARC Preparation books and CAT preparation material online or offline play a major role in helping you in CAT Self preparation and score high in the CAT exam. A few of the best VARC books for CAT are:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ - by Nishit K Sinha
  • Latest RC Passages and practice questions provided by Study centres like TIME, CL among others
  • Editorial and short articles published in English news papers
  • ‘Word Power Made Easy’ – by Norman Lewis
  • ‘High School English Grammar & Composition’ – by Wren & Martin
  • Regularly solve the Verbal Ability questions from your study material especially on Para summary, Jumbled Paragraphs
  • There is also number of CAT preparation books PDF free download available online for CAT 2024 aspirants
  • Use the study material of best online coaching for CAT 2024

3.6 CAT VARC Preparation Tips by Experts

You need to prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section in CAT with an attentive and focused strategy. Arun Sharma, the well known CAT mentor and founder of CAT Coaching Institute Mindworkzz, has recommended to work on building your skills to be able to understand complex passages, complex articles on complex topics and must learn how to catch hold of the idea in VARC even if it's slightly above the level.

 

VARC for CAT Exam: 4 Steps to Crack
One thing should however be remembered that Reading comprehension exercises are only expanded form of the Unseen Passages that you used to solve in your matriculation standard. Sharing the reading comprehension for CAT tips on how to prepare for Reading Comprehension questions, Experts and toppers suggest the four steps to crack the Reading Comprehension Test for CAT:

  • Understand the English vocabulary,
  • Continue with Consistent flow of thoughts in RC Passages,
  • Read between the lines to crack the meaning
  • Arrive at the correct and decisive answer option for the questions based on Reading Comprehension passages for CAT

4.  How to Self Prepare for CAT 2024 Without Coaching Section 2: DILR

Your CAT DILR preparation should be done with a clear understanding on How to Prepare for CAT Exam 2024, what CAT Study Material for Exam Preparation is required, how to do CAT Sectional Preparation, what are the tips on how to Prepare for CAT Exam, what are CAT Exam Preparation Tips & Tricks Related Resources, which are Best Online Videos for CAT Preparations, how to do CAT Exam Preparation with Last Years Exam Papers and Mocks among others. Now check below how to start and complete your CAT preparation 2024

4.1 DILR Topics & Questions Appeared in CAT

Following details on DILR section in CAT will help you to take the right path on your CAT preparation journey:

Topic
Type of Questions Appeared in CAT 2023
Data Interpretation (DI)
3 DI Problem sets of 5 questions on each problem set.
Questions in CAT 2023 were based on 5 firms raised funds in consecutive years; Drawing Competition; Nine Boxes puzzle of sudoku type; Two days average of Arrangement score; Company starting/closing years-Table on Missing Values; Grid Based problem set with 3x3 table (Mean, Mode, Median based questions)
Logical Reasoning (LR)
5 Questions on one problem set based on 3 friends visited a park, took many rides.

4.2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Syllabus for CAT

Once you know about the DILR question Pattern in CAT exam, your next step for preparation is to scan the CAT Syllabus for DILR section. Please note that CAT exam syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs and is based on latest topics that appeared in past CAT exams.

Topic
Syllabus
No of Questions Appeared in CAT 2023
Data Interpretation (DI)
Bar charts - Simple, Stacked, Composite Bar charts; Pie charts; Caselets; Data Analysis; Data comparison from Table; Graphs; Line Graphs; Data Sufficiency. Comparison of Data of various years, ages, classes, Groups; Decoding and finding out the data of missing period, taking clues, interpreting the missing links; Analysis of data and coming to conclusion, making future projections
15
Logical Reasoning (LR)
Direction sense, Team formation, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Clocks, Calendars, Binary logic, Logical Sequence, Assumption, Premise, Conclusion, Linear and matrix arrangement, Input-Output, Series, Syllogism, Cubes, Rows, Set Theory, Venn Diagrams. Seating arrangement, Ranks, different type of team formation, puzzles on words, letters, statements, arguments
5

FAQs

 

Q. Are the DILR based questions of MCQ or Non-MCQ type in CAT exam?

A. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning questions in CAT are both MCQ and Non-MCQ type

 

Q. What is the negative marking scheme for DILR based MCQ and Non MCQ type questions?

A: MCQs carry 1/3rd negative marking for each wrong answer while there is no negative marking for wrong answer for Non-MCQ type questions

 

Q. How many questions are based on Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning in CAT exam?

A. The number of DILR questions in CAT are 20. However, out of them DI questions go on changing between 10 to 15. In CAT 2022 there were two DI sets followed by 10 questions and in CAT 2023 there were 3 DI sets followed by 15 questions. Similarly, LR questions remain between 5 to 10

4.3 Toppers Tips for DILR Self Preparation

“For DILR, I completed the Arun Sharma book end to end. It really improved my way of tackling the sets. I used to get my doubts clarified if I couldn’t solve a set. Again, I practiced via sectional tests as well, as you need to monitor the time as well. DILR needs a lot of practice. You need to be able to formulate the right approach” - Srishti Yadav, CAT Topper 99.69%, IIM Kozhikode MBA 2023-25

 

“Out of 80 pager collation of all DILR cases covering different types of cases that can come up in CAT, I tried to solve them all. With this, I also understood which cases to select and which to avoid (really important as we typically end up solving 1-2 cases in DILR)” – Pooja Sudhakar, CAT Topper 99.11%, SPJIMR PGDM 2023-25

 

“My key focus areas in DILR preparation were Data Familiarity to get comfortable with different types of data sets and formats; Solved a variety of DILR sets from previous CAT papers; Focused on solving sets quickly while maintaining accuracy; Learned to classify and organize data effectively; Enhanced logical deduction skills for complex problems; Collaborated with peers to solve DILR sets together; Took full-length mock tests to simulate real exam conditions and Allocated time wisely to different sets based on difficulty levels” - Akshat Agarwal, CAT Topper 99.44%, IIT Delhi MBA 2023-25

4.4 DILR Sample Questions with Answers

Check below the DILR sample questions with answers 

 

Question Set-1  

Five restaurants, coded R1, R2, R3, R4 and R5 gave integer ratings to five gig workers –Ullas, Vasu, Waman, Xavier and Yusuf, on a scale of 1 to 5.

The means of the ratings given by R1, R2, R3, R4 and R5 were 3.4, 2.2, 3.8, 2.8 and 3.4respectively.

 

The summary statistics of these ratings for the five workers is given below.

-
Ullas
Vasu
Waman
Xavier
Yusuf
Mean rating
2.2
3.8
3.4
3.6
2.6
Median rating
2
4
4
4
3
Modal rating
2
4
5
5
1 and 4
Range of rating*
3
3
4
4
3

* Range of ratings is defined as the difference between the maximum and minimum ratingsawarded to a worker. 

The following is partial information about ratings of 1 and 5 awarded by the restaurants tothe workers.

(a) R1 awarded a rating of 5 to Waman, as did R2 to Xavier, R3 to Waman and Xavier, andR5 to Vasu.

(b) R1 awarded a rating of 1 to Ullas, as did R2 to Waman and Yusuf, and R3 to Yusuf. 

 

Q.1: How many individual ratings cannot be determined from the above information?

Case Sensitivity: No

Answer Type: Equal 

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Q.2: To how many workers did R2 give a rating of 4?

Case Sensitivity: No

Answer Type: Equal

 

Q.3: What rating did R1 give to Xavier?

Case Sensitivity: No

Answer Type: Equal

 

Q.4: What is the median of the ratings given by R3 to the five workers?

Case Sensitivity: No

Answer Type: Equal

 

Q.5: Which among the following restaurants gave its median rating to exactly one of the workers?

Ans Options

1. R3

2. R5

3. R2

4. R4

 

Answer Grid:

Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5
0 (Non MCQ)
0 (Non MCQ)
3 (Non MCQ)
4 (Non MCQ)
4 (MCQ)

Question Set-2

LR Sample Questions with Questions and Answers  

The schematic diagram below shows 12 rectangular houses in a housing complex. House numbers are mentioned in the rectangles representing the houses. The houses are located in six columns – Column-A through Column-F, and two rows – Row-1 and Row-2.The houses are divided into two blocks - Block XX and Block YY. The diagram also shows two roads, one passing in front of the houses in Row-2 and another between the two blocks.

Some of the houses are occupied. The remaining ones are vacant and are the only ones available for sale.

 

The road adjacency value of a house is the number of its sides adjacent to a road. For example, the road adjacency values of C2, F2, and B1 are 2, 1, and 0, respectively. The neighbour count of a house is the number of sides of that house adjacent to occupied houses in the same block. For example, E1 and C1 can have the maximum possible neighbour counts of 3 and 2, respectively.

 

The base price of a vacant house is Rs. 10 lakhs if the house does not have a parking space, and Rs. 12 lakhs if it does. The quoted price (in lakhs of Rs.) of a vacant house is calculated as (base price) + 5 × (road adjacency value) + 3 × (neighbour count).

 

The following information is also known.

1. The maximum quoted price of a house in Block XX is Rs. 24 lakhs. The minimum quoted price of a house in block YY is Rs. 15 lakhs, and one such house is in Column-E.

2. Row-1 has two occupied houses, one in each block.

3. Both houses in Column-E are vacant. Each of Column-D and Column-F has at least one occupied house.

4. There is only one house with parking space in Block YY.

 

Q.1: How many houses are vacant in Block XX?

Answer Type: Equal

Possible Answer: --

 

Q.2: Which of the following houses is definitely occupied?

Ans Options

1. D2

2. A1

3. F2

4. B1

 

Q.3: Which of the following options best describes the number of vacant houses in Row-2?

Ans Options

1. Exactly 3

2. Either 3 or 4

3. Exactly 2

4. Either 2 or 3

 

Q.4: What is the maximum possible quoted price (in lakhs of Rs.) for a vacant house inColumn-E?

Case Sensitivity: No

Answer Type: Equal

Possible Answer: --

 

Q.5: Which house in Block YY has parking space?

Ans Options

1. E2

2. E1

3. F2

4. F1

 

Answer Grid

Q 1
Q 2
Q 3
Q 4
Q 5
3 (Non MCQ)
4 (MCQ)
4 (MCQ)
21 (Non MCQ)
2 (MCQ)

4.5 Best DILR Preparation Books for CAT

The best books for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT are:

  • How to prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘Logical Reasoning and data Interpretation for the CAT’ - by Nishit K Sinha (Published by Pearson)
  • CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri
  • Preparation Material, practice questions of Best Coaching Institutes like TIME, CL, IMS could be very helpful to prepare Data Interpretation for CAT

Read more about the Best CAT Preparation Books 

4.6 Expert Tips for DILR Preparation

Expert Tips

“Start cutting down time once you start reaching a 12 to 15 minute timeline, and become a 10 minute solver on the problem set. Keep raising efficiencies after that just like a sportsman.” - Arun Sharma, CAT Expert and Founder of Mindworkzz

While the Quant and Verbal sections can be prepared by learning the formulae, concepts, grammar and vocabulary rules, DILR preparation for CAT requires different preparation strategy. Accordingly following are the most important CAT 2023 DILR preparation Tips and tricks by experts reflecting key points on how to prepare for DILR for CAT Exam:

  • The LR preparation for CAT is built on problem solving skills as there is no theory in this section nor there are any chapters. The more you practice on variety of LR questions the more skilled you will become.
  • Preparation for Logical Reasoning questions in CAT is based on your ability to arrive at good decisions by following a systematic thought process.
  • The questions are based on natural human instincts leading to arrive at right answer option by following the flow chart of Logical Reasoning.
  • Go from LOD=1 to LOD=3. The problem with DI questions is that they all need data comparison, data analysis and if you are correct in your analysis, you will hit the entire set of questions correct otherwise, you may lose your marks for entire set of 4 questions. If one goes wrong, all may go wrong.
  • Once the practice of variety of DI questions is done, you will develop the methodology and will come to know beforehand whether you will be able to solve a particular DI question, when it appears in the examination or should leave that and move ahead. 
  • Keep on attempting and searching for the Quality Questions which are NON-REPETITIVE in nature
  • Solve 4–5 sets Everyday (i.e. 20 questions) from the DI Book or Coaching study material.
  • Questions at Foundation, Moderate and Advanced levels with solutions and explanations in the books on DI and LR are available. After attempting the exercises, analyse your mistakes and make sure you do not repeat them. 
  • The good part is - types of questions asked in CAT are finite. A question is difficult only if you are seeing it for the first time. If you find a question difficult even if you are seeing it for the second time, ask yourself - Are you honest enough with your preparation?

5. How to Self Prepare for CAT 2024 Without Coaching Section 3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

Your CAT Quant preparation should be done with a clear understanding on How to Prepare for CAT by Self-Study, how to do CAT Exam Preparation with Last Years Exam Papers and Mocks among others. Now check below how to start and complete your CAT self preparation 2024

5.1 QA Topics & Questions Appeared in CAT 2023

The structure and content of Quantitative Ability section in CAT exam is shared below. Following details on QA section in CAT will help you to take the right path on your CAT preparation journey

Topic
Type of Questions Appeared  in CAT 2023
Arithmetic
  • Time Speed Distance- (2 Qs),
  • Time & Work (1Q);
  • Ratio (1Q);
  • Simple Interest/ Compound Interest (3Qs);
  • Profit & Loss (1Q);
  • Mixture (1Q);
  • Clock (1Q)
Algebra
 
  • Log (1Q);
  • Equations (3 Qs);
  • Surds (1Q);
  • Sequence & Series (2Qs)
Geometry/Mensuration
  • Triangle (1 Q);
  • Quadrilateral (1Q);
  • Circle (1Q)
Modern Math
  • Permutation & Combination (1 Q)

5.2 Quantitative Ability Syllabus for CAT

Once you know about the QA question Pattern in CAT exam, your next step for preparation is to scan the CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Ability section. Please note that CAT exam QA syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs and is based on latest topics that appeared in past CAT exams.

Topic
Syllabus
No of Questions Appeared
Arithmetic
Averages; Ratio & Proportion; Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; LCM and HCF; Percentages, Profit and Loss; Interest (Simple and Compound); Number System;
10
Algebra
 
Linear & Quadratic Equations; Inequalities; Functions; Progressions; Algebraic Expressions to Polynomials; Complex numbers; Sequences and series; Permutations and combinations
8
Geometry/
Mensuration
Triangles, Lines and Angles (Supplementary, Complementary, Obtuse, Acute, and Right), Quadrilaterals, Circles; Theorems (Pythagoras, Midpoint, Apollonius, Basic Proportionality, Internal and External Angular Bisector), Co-ordinate Geometry, Quadrant System, Areas of Hexagonal Polygon, Triangle, and Rectangle. Square, Rhombus, Trapezoid, Volume, Total Surface Area, and Lateral Surface Area of Different Solids like Cubes, Cuboids, Cylinders, Pyramids, Cones, Spheres, Hemispheres, and Frustum
3
Trigonometry
Trigonometric ratios, identities, and heights and distances, Sine, Cosine
0
Modern Math
Sequence and Series, Binomial Theorem, Set Theory, Probability, Permutation & Combination
1
FAQs
 
Q. How many total QA questions are in CAT exam?
A. Number of questions in Quantitative Ability section have remained 22 during last 3 years.
 
Q. How many QA questions are without negative marking?
A. Number of QA TITA or Non MCQ type questions without negative marking in CAT are 6 to 8
 
Q. What is the negative marking scheme for QA MCQ and Non MCQ type questions?
A: MCQs carry 1/3rd negative marking for each wrong answer while there is no negative marking for wrong answer for Non-MCQ type questions
 
Q. How many questions are based on Arithmetic in CAT exam?
A. The number of QA questions in CAT remain between 8 and 12 on Arithmetic. This can vary from slot to slot also. In CAT 2023 slot-1, there were 10 questions on Arithmetic, while in slot-2 this number was 12.

5.3 Toppers Tips for QA Self Preparation

Topper Tips
 
“For Quantitative Ability preparation, I worked on knowing my basic concepts and working on solving the questions that I already know would be solved quickly especially on the questions and concepts which became familiar to me. This built up my skills and strengths, improved speed and accuracy” – Kirti Goyal, CAT Topper 99.1%, IIM Kozhikode MBA 2023-25
 
“First of all, I brushed up all the topics in initial few months. Then appeared in mock tests. My strategy for this section was to keep myself cool and not to get influenced by the performance in other two sections, as this being the last section, there are chances of mishap easy questions if other two sections have not gone well. I was doing one after another from start in sequence. My confidence grew with each questions I could solve and I left a few, which were time consuming” – Soumik Banerjee, CAT Topper 99.95%, IIM Calcutta 2023-25
 
“For QA preparation, my focus areas were to build a strong foundation in math concepts, Solved a variety of math problems daily, Memorized key formulas and shortcuts, Took full-length mock tests to improve speed and accuracy, Managed time effectively during the QA section, Identified and leveraged strong math areas, Worked on improving weaker Math topics, Enhanced mental calculation skills for quicker solutions” - Akshat Agarwal, CAT Topper 99.44%, IIT Delhi MBA 2023-25

5.4 Best Quantitative Ability Preparation Books for CAT

The best books for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT preparation are:

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh K Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal

Study Material for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT from TIME, CL, IMS could be very helpful in QA preparation. The reason is that the study material of top coaching centres is updated as per the latest and expected changes in CAT exam pattern and also consists of Tips & Tricks by CAT experts.

Read more about the Best CAT Preparation Books 

5.5 CAT Quant Sample Questions and Answers

Sample QA based questions, previous question papers, QA Mock tests are the best tool to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT. Improving on QA Questions and Answers is important because if you do well in the Quantitative Ability section, you will score well in the exam. Below are shared some of the sample Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry QA questions followed by answers based on latest CAT exam question papers.

 

Q 1: Are positive real numbers such that logx (x2 + 12) = 4 and 3 logy x = 1, then x + y equals

 

Ans Options

1. 10

2. 10

3. 11

4. 68

 

Q 2: If x and y are real numbers such that x2 + (x - 2y - 1)2 = -4y(x + y), then the value x - 2y is

 

Ans Options

1. -1

2. 1

3. 0

4. 2

Answer Grid

Q
Ans
1
1 (MCQ)
2
2 (MCQ)

5.6 CAT QA Preparation Tips & Tricks by Experts 

 “To prepare for QA section in CAT all depends upon your Target and your Understanding of key topics from this section” Arun Sharma, CAT Expert and Author of Best Selling Book on Quant Preparation for CAT

Unlike other two sections which have 2 parts like Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude section in CAT consists of questions based only on Mathematics. Accordingly, it requires preparation strategy focused only on Quantitative Aptitude questions on different topics. Following are the important points to guide you on how to self prepare Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Exam:

 

A three dimensional approach is recommended on CAT Preparation for Quant section. Advising with the pace of Quant preparation for CAT, Arun Sharma said, “Remember that people make the mistake of trying to improve speed in the beginning itself but you should learn how to walk first before you learn to run. So, learn and practice first and then improve speed.” The key aspects of CAT Preparation for Quant section advised by experts are:

  • Strengthen your basics and formulae in Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Modern Math and allied topics
  • Practice on variety of questions of different difficulty level
  • Finally solve previous CAT papers and Mocks for each topic. The more you do it, the more expertise in Quant section for CAT, you will get.
  • Prepare as per latest trends on Quantitative Aptitude questions in CAT  

6. CAT Preparation Books by Arun Sharma

Following books by Arun Sharma have remained a good self preparation tool for past many years:

Author
Book Title
Price
Arun Sharma
How to Prepare for QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE for CAT 
10th Edition Paperback
(25 June 2022)
Rs 739.00
M.R.P.: Rs 1,050.00
Save: Rs 311.00 (30%)
Arun Sharma,
Meenakshi Upadhyay
How to Prepare for VERBAL ABILITY & READING COMPREHENSION for CAT
10th Edition | VARC Paperback
(27 May 2022)
Rs 729.00
M.R.P.: ₹1,020.00
Save: ₹291.00 (29%)
Arun Sharma
How to Prepare For DATA INTERPRETATION For CAT 
8th Edition Paperback
(17 May 2023)
Rs 669.00
MRP: Rs 845.00
Save: Rs 176.00 (21%)
Arun Sharma
How to Prepare For LOGICAL REASONING For CAT
7th Edition Paperback
(21 June 2023)
Rs 679.00
M.R.P.: ₹845.00
Save: ₹166.00 (20%)
Arun Sharma,
Meenakshi Upadhyay
Chapter Wise Solved Previous Years’ Papers for CAT
2nd Edition Paperback
(9 September 2022)
Rs 549.00
M.R.P.: ₹750.00
Save: ₹201.00 (27%)

Read More on CAT Preparation Books

7. CAT Mocks: Best Preparation Tool

You can check your current level of CAT exam preparation by taking Previous Year Papers / Mock TestUnless you know which are your weak areas that need your more attention and which are your strong areas where you need to prepare for CAT exam, it is difficult to complete your CAT preparation 2024 and devise your preparation strategy. According to CAT toppers the Mock tests help you gauge your preparation and help you to improve and focus more in the desired direction.

 

Alongwith the CAT Mock tests, CAT exam quiz, CAT previous years Mock test, CAT sectional quiz will also play a major role in improving your speed and accuracy in CAT preparation.

FAQs
 
Q: How many Mocks before CAT exam are sufficient to take?
A: You should take a minimum number of 40 Mock tests before CAT exam of different difficulty level. To prepare for CAT, it is not only sufficient to take Mocks but more important is to analyse your mistakes in them and improve for future.
Q: Where can I get online computer based CAT Mocks Free?
A: You can take Online computer based free CAT Mocks at MBAUniverse.com as well as other websites including the websites of coaching institutes
Toppers Tips
“The CAT Mocks were extremely insightful to understand the pattern of questions and for proper time management”
  • Kartik Sashank, CAT Topper, 99.90%; IIM Kozhikode PGP 2023-25 Batch
“I attempted around 50-60 mocks. Mock exams played a pivotal role in my CAT preparation journey. They offered a simulated exam environment, helping me acclimatize to time constraints and pressure”
  • Akshat Agarwal, CAT Topper 99.44%; IIT Delhi MBA 2023-25
Downloads

8. CAT Self Study Courses by Top CAT Coaching Centres

Top CAT coaching institutes including TIME, IMS, CL among others offer CAT self study plan with their well crafter latest CAT study material and practice papers to crack the exam with high score. This study material consists of Booklets, Videos, Mock papers and other material to help you to understand the test pattern and crack the CAT exam with ease. Besides, the cost of CAT coaching self study programme is also much lower as compared to Online of class room CAT coaching Below are shared the details and key highlights of various CAT Self Study coaching courses offered by top coaching institutes:

CAT Coaching Institute
Title of CAT Self Study Coaching Program 
Key Course Components & Highlights
CAT Coaching Self Study Course Fees
T.I.M.E.
T.I.M.E. Self Study course - CAT-2024
 
Offers Regular and Advanced self study courses with 21 to 27 Printed Books, 100 to 200 concept videos, 100 to 200 Online Tests, 12 to 14 MBA Ed & Careers magazines, AIMCAT discussion videos among other preparation material.
The price for Regular course is Rs.12,250; for Regular + 100 Videos is Rs.15,750; for Advanced the price is Rs.15,950 and for Advanced self study course with 200 videos is Rs.21,450
IMS Learning
CATapult Plus Self-Learning 2024
 
 
The course offers Pre-Class Videos & Quizzes, 30 ADMAT Masterclasses (Recorded), 20 CAT Masterclass, 40 SimCATs with Video Solutions, 3 One on One mentoring sessions, 95+Mocks for 12 Tests other than CAT, Comprehensive Courseware (Hard Copy), Topic-wise Benchmarking Test with Video Solutions
Rs.26,950
IMS Learning
CATapult Self-Learning 2024
 
Pre-Class Videos & Quizzes, Comprehensive Courseware (Hard Copy), 20 CAT Masterclass, 40 SimCATs with Video Solutions, 3 One on One mentoring sessions, Topic-wise Benchmarking Test with Video Solutions
Rs.23,950
Career Launcher
CAT 2024 Self-Prep Programme
 
Key features of the course are 250+ Recorded Lectures covering each CAT section, 20 Live Mentorship Sessions by CL Mentors, 12 Live Strategy Workshops by CL CAT experts, doubt-clearing Telegram Group, Race to 99 included
Rs.8999
2IIMs
Self-Paced CAT 2024 (With Books)
 
The course includes 100+ Pre-Recorded Classes on Quant, VARC & DILR; 8,000+ topic wise practice Questions with detailed analytics; 20+ Original High Quality mocks + 12 Previous year papers in Mock format; Revision Classes+ GDPI Preparation; Hard Copy Books
Rs.36,000
2IIMs
Self-Paced CAT 2024
The course includes 100+ Pre-Recorded Classes on Quant, VARC & DILR, 8,000+ Practice Questions, 20+ Original High Quality mocks + Previous year papers in Mock format, Revision Classes+ GDPI Preparation
Rs.32,000

9. CAT Self Preparation Plan 2024 for 6 Months, 3 Months, 1 Month

Self preparation plan for CAT 2024 for next 180 days beginning from March/April, include your judiciously divided preparation hours and everything related to CAT preparation CAT 2024 preparation through self-study with 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 180 days, you have close to 3600 hours available with you and according to CAT experts, you are expected to spend 15 to 20% of available hours out of 24 hours per day on CAT preparation. In last 3 months obviously, you will have more speed, will go for more practice sessions and so will spend more time on CAT preparation. Accordingly, you have to spend 800 hours during next 180 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. It includes your CAT 2024 Preparation using all the preparation tools as follows:

  • First 90 Days: Clear the Concepts & their Applications, Go for Tests. By the end of 85 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 60 Days: Devise Strategy and Take Mocks, Sectional tests
  • Last 30 Days: Go for revision and frame final strategy

9.1: 180 Days CAT 2024 Preparation: Section wise Plan

How to Prepare for CAT 2024: VARC; How to Prepare for CAT 2024: DILR; How to Prepare for CAT 2024: Quantitative Aptitude and how to start CAT Preparation, where to start, what to study, what is the step by step process to prepare for CAT 2024 in 180 days – all is detailed below:

 

9.1.1 CAT Preparation Study Plan: April, May, June, July
During March, April, May, June, July, devote 500 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.

9.2 How to Prepare for CAT 2024: VARC Preparation Plan

Focus both on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. You can very well prepare for VARC section in 150 Hours in following manner

Verbal Ability (Vocab)/ Grammar
30 min per day
Reading Comprehension
30 min per day
Total Hours for VA and RC practice
90 hours
Classes (10)
30 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (100 Tests)
30 hours
Total for Next 120 days
150 hours

9.3 How to Prepare for CAT 2024: 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 130 hours to prepare well for DILR

Total Classes you need (10-15)
30 hours
Revision of Classes you will need
30 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
130 hours

9.3.1 DILR Topics to Study

Topics & Problems on Data Interpretation
Topics & Problems on Logical Reasoning
Tables – Calculation based
Arrangements - Linear
Tables – non-Calculation
Arrangements – Circular
Bar Charts
Grouping and Distribution
Pie Charts
Selection
Line Graphs
Networks and Routes
Spider Graphs
Venn Diagrams
Triangle Graphs
Binary Logic
Scatter Diagrams
Cubes
Caselets
Games and Tournaments
Miscellaneous
Other Puzzles

9.4 How to Prepare for CAT 2024: Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Plan
Even if you are not from Mathematics back ground, you can prepare well for Quantitative Ability section in CAT in 180 hours. The plan should be

QA Classes on different topics (30)
30 hours
Revision of Classes & Exercises
90 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (100 tests)
30 hours
Total for Next 120 days
180 hours

9.4.1 Month wise QA Topics to Prepare

QA Topics
Time to devote for Preparation
Arithmetic
March, April
Algebra & Numbers
May, June
Geometry & Mensuration, Revision of Arithmetic
July, August
Revision of Algebra & Numbers
September, October
Focus on Revision, Practice
November

9.5 Overall 3 Section Month-wise Preparation Plan till CAT exam

 
March, April
May, June
July, August
September, October
November
QA
Arithmetic
Algebra Numbers
G&M, others, Revision of Arithmetic
Revision of Algebra, Nos
All Revision
DI
Tables, Bars, Caselets, Pie, Charts, Line Speed Math
Spider, Scatter, Missing Numbers, Caselets
Revision
Revision
Revision
LR
Arrangements, Distribution
G&T, VennD, Selection, Networks
Other Puzzles, Caselets, Cubes Revision
Revision
Revision
VA
Vocab
Vobab
Vocab
Vocab
Vocab
RC
Reading
Reading
Reading
Reading
Reading

9.6 Mocks for CAT 2024: Start Taking CAT Mocks from August

Attempting maximum number of Mocks for CAT and analysing each of them is as important as appearing in actual CAT 2024 exam. So, what should be the Mock taking strategy and how many mocks you need to attempt – all details are shared below to prepare well for CAT 2024. 

 

9.6.1 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. How it can be achieved-Check below

 

9.6.2 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. If you take the mock at the scheduled hour, you will be ready for CAT day.

 

9.6.3 When to Start Taking Mocks? Experts explain
According to CAT experts, you should start taking Mocks and analyse each of them, beginning from August 3rd or 4th week

9.7 300 Hours that You Need for Different Types of Mocks:

You need to attempt 4 Types of Mocks, says CAT expert and mentor, Arks Srinivas. These four type of Mock tests that you would take in 300 hours and their time division to get ready for CAT exam day are:

 

75 Hours for Prime Mocks: Beginning from August, you must start taking full length prime mock tests.

  • There would be 15 mock tests of 2 hours duration and each mock will be divided into 3 sections – VARC, DILR, Quant
  • Each section in mock test will have sectional time limit of 40 minutes as is there in the CAT exam
  • Each 2 hours Mock test will go through the 3 hours analysis to check and avoid any recurrence of similar mistake.

75 Hours for Count Down Mocks: After the first 75 hours, you need to move to full length count Down Mocks. Since CAT exam starts coming a bit closer, you would also be increasing your CAT preparation time.

  • There will be at least 15 count down mock tests of 2 hours duration
  • Like Prime mock, each Count Down Mock will be divided into 3 sections – VARC, DILR, Quant.
  • Each section in mock test will have sectional time limit of 40 minutes, like actual CAT exam. Each 2 hours Mock test will again go through the 3 hours analysis to avoid any future error.

Sectional Mocks in 90 Hours: Next most important thing is to attempt sectional mocks. In other words these are the sectional CAT papers.

  • You need to attempt at least 15 Mock Tests on VARC;
  • 15 Mock Tests on DILR Section and
  • 15 mock tests on Quant section.
  • Each sectional mock will be of 40 minute duration
  • Each Sectional Mock will be followed by 80 minutes of analysis to check your preparedness in each section.

Solve Actual CAT Papers in 60 Hours: Since 2017 IIMs have started releasing the CAT exam papers for all the slots with answers.

  • There are total 18 CAT question papers available so far, that you need to go through, solve and analyse
  • In 2017, 2018, 2019 CAT was conducted in two slots of 3 hours duration on same day.
  • In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 CAT was conducted in 3 slots of 2 hours duration on the same day.
  • There are 6 CAT question papers of 2017, 2018 and 2019 as there were 2 slots in each CAT exam,
  • There are 12 CAT papers for 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 as there were 3 slots in each CAT exam.
  • It is very important that you solve and analyse these CAT papers.
Type of Mocks
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Total
Prime Mocks
3
2
2
2
3
12
Count Down Mocks
2
2
3
5
3
15
Original CAT Question papers
3
4
4
4
3
18
Total Mocks
8
8
9
11
9
45
Sectional Tests
9
6
9
6
6
39

CAT 3 Months Self Preparation Plan

In last 3 months obviously, you will have more speed, so

  • Use only 1 Month to prepare on concepts if not yet done
  • Further improve your strengths
  • In case you need to start some thing new, complete it latest by September
  • Go for more practice sessions and taking Mocks
  • Spend more time on CAT practice tests

CAT 1 Month Self Preparation Plan

  • In last 1 month avoid starting anything new
  • Your Mock Taking Speed will increase, so use it, taking Mocks and analysing them
  • Take 4 Sectional Mocks and 2 Full Length Mocks every week 
  • Further improve your strengths
  • Spend more time on Practice & Revision

10. How to Remain Motivated during Self Study Plan for CAT Exam

The biggest problem which CAT aspirants face is how to remain motivated during their CAT exam preparation at home. CAT toppers who did CAT exam self study with a clear target to crack CAT with self preparation and get into their dream IIM share a few tips to remain motivated during the journey of Self preparation for CAT exam:

How to Remain Motivated through CAT Self Preparation: Toppers’ Tips
“I did self-study for all the sections because I was most comfortable with it. Further, since I was working, I wanted to give myself the flexibility to be able to prepare when I wanted and not force myself into a class after a tiring day at work. During CAT preparation, there were times when I questioned myself as to whether I was on the right track. Some strategies that kept me going are – I took time to enjoy life, Made a practical schedule which wasn’t strict and tight and allowed me to make progress without getting stressed; Did what I liked; Envisioned myself in my dream college; Read success and failure stories to prevent myself from making the same mistakes” Padmasandhya S, CAT Topper 98.49%, IIM Ahmedabad PGP 2022-24
 
“I believe preparation for CAT is a journey for self. So, I want future candidates to ask their inner selves that whether they are prepared for the journey or not. Most importantly whether they really want to get into a top B school or not. Once the person is determined half the battle is won. Then they need to be consistent in their preparation. As it is an aptitude test, it does not test one’s knowledge, instead tests one ability to thrive in situations. So be prepared for one or two elements of surprise on the exam day. Don’t procrastinate, be confident and deep down inside believe you can do it” Soumik Banerjee,  CAT Topper 99.95%; IIM Calcutta MBA 2023-25
 
“I believe the process of preparing for CAT is quite enjoyable. I definitely agree that its full of ups & downs, sometimes our confidence takes a hit, but it’s totally okay. The idea is to go on what is to be done rather than overthink on the result. CAT is more of a mental game rather than game of skill since a lot of candidates would lose the fight even before the real fight begins. D Day is going to be full of pressure but the one with a calm mind & open attitude wins the game. Ultimately, it's important to remember that CAT is merely an exam and it does not define your true potential. So, make the most of the journey and enjoy every step along the way” - Jay Bosamia, CAT Topper 98.79%, IIM Kozhikode PGP 2023-25
 
“I opted for Self Preparation and taking Mock Exams. Considering I was in a full-time job, going for a full-fledged coaching was not feasible for me. So, take mocks, mocks and more mocks – till you hit saturation and are comfortable/confident of handling any curve-ball that may be thrown at you. But take breaks, don’t feel guilty about cheat/break days – you’re preparing for a marathon, not a sprint!” -
Sumedha Srinivasan, CAT Topper 94.78% IIM Ahmedabad PGP 2022-24

As such, you should also take following steps to remain motivated during CAT self preparation journey

 

Take Break to Enjoy Life: Go out to spend a few hours with your friends or family. Eat out, go to the beach and shop

 

Prepare a Practical Preparation Time Table: Don’t prepare a strict and tight preparation schedule. It would keep you free from stress

 

No Need to Prepare only as Per Schedule - Do what you like: Suppose your schedule states you must do QA right now but your brain itches for a nice seating arrangement puzzle, do the latter. Forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to, would lead to disappointment and demotivation.

 

Think of Your Dream IIM or other Dream B-School: When the going gets tough, remind yourself why you decided to take up this journey. Imagine yourself taking a stroll in your dream college and the experience you are waiting for.

 

Read the Motivational Stories: Read the success stories which are abundantly available and realise no one had it all easy. Read the failures too (which are harder to find) to prevent yourself from making the same mistakes.

11. FAQs on CAT Self Preparation

Some of important FAQs to prepare for CAT are answered below:

 

Q: How many Mocks before CAT exam are sufficient to take?
A:
Around 40 Mock tests before CAT exam are considered good. To prepare for CAT, it is not only sufficient to take Mocks but more important is to analyse your mistakes in them and improve for future.

 

Q: I wish to self prepare for CAT. How do I start preparation without coaching?
A:
First know the CAT exam pattern & syllabus and gather the best preparation books, CAT study material and start your preparation by section without leaving anything to chance.

 

Q: What is the role of RC in CAT? How can I improve on it?
A:
Most CAT aspirants find themselves weak in RC preparation but with consistent reading and practice, they can score high percentile in CAT. As suggested above, you should follow the RC preparation tips for CAT.

 

Q: Is there sufficient time now to start CAT preparation?   
A:
Yes, it is good time to start your CAT preparation. Since CAT is likely to be held on November 24, 2024, there is still good preparation time which if fruitfully used, can turn the table in your favour.

Short name
Self Preparation for CAT

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