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Conquering CAT 2019 exam

Get the right materials and study in a systematic manner


The next big question is how to prepare for CAT exam. It is one of the most common questions by those aiming to crack this tough nut. Despite knowing the pattern and syllabus, students get confused about how to strategize their preparation in order to make the most of it. The time for preparation has just started and you can still catch up if you follow a systematic strategy.

Caching centers provide tailor-made section-wise preparation material and if you do not go for coaching classes, there are ample question banks and study materials by expert authors available online as well as offline. With technology, you can interact with the experts and fellow CAT aspirants in various social media platforms and exchange study materials and sample papers.


Let us check how to start with preparations for CAT 2019:

The exam pattern and syllabus: It is crucial for you to cover the syllabus and clear the basics. Normally, the syllabus for all four topics cover Class 10th and 11th level NCERT books, but the questions are a bit complicated and require logical thinking. The best way to comprehend and complete the syllabus is to make a plan and work accordingly.  The four topics to cover are:

  1. Quantitative Ability
  2. Data Interpretation
  3. Logical Reasoning
  4. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

This year also, you may not have the liberty to choose the order of the section. The order of the sections is:

  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

QA: Use the reverse strategy for this, take mock tests, try to solve with timer, and later check it from the solutions available.

DI& LR: Focus on being familiar with multipurpose forms of data representation like pie chart, bar chart, line graph and complex combinations of these. Later, evaluate your preparation via mock.

VARC: Focus only on those questions where comprehending the content is a central requirement like Para-jumbles, RCs, etc.

Time Management: The crux to complete the exam within time depends on how a student plan and practice for it. Make a strategic preparation plan to tackle the test. Try this, in the first round, select the questions that you are sure about and can sove withoutt wasting time . In round two, choose queestions that are an oppurtunity for you, whereas in round three, pick questions that you think you can solve but are time consumongand answer all the NOn MCQs becuase they do not have anynegative marking.  

Recommended books: Making the correct choice of subject wise CAT preparation books is the first step in your CAT preparation journey.

Section-1: Best Books for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT - Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension - Ajay Singh
  • Word Power Made Easy - Norman Lewis

Section-2: Best Books for Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT - Arun Sharma
  • How to prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT - Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT - Nishit K. Sinha

Section-3: Best Books for Quantitative Aptitude

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

Preparation tips:

  • Read thoroughly the syllabus.
  • Find out your strong and weak areas in all the three sections.
  • Gather the best books and study material.
  • Work on your weak areas and monitor the improvement regularly.
  • Take as many Mocks during your CAT preparation online and do the analysis of each Mock.
  • If you are weak in VARC, reading different articles and novels, conversing in English and even watching English TV series will be helpful.
  • Data Interpretation (DI) is considered a bit time consuming. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.
  • You should equip with continuous sitting for more than 3 hours without break and remain confident right from the day one during your preparation journey.

There is no substitute of self study; in CAT exam preparation as it does not require any coaching until and unless you are stuck. Experts recommend that you should start your preparation through self study and later make it a mix of CAT self study as well as help from coaching to avoid wastage of time.

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Important highlights for CAT 2019 exam

Common admission test -2019 registration, changes made, pattern, syllabus and cut offs.
Ritika SrivastavaTeentalkindia Counsellor

Officially announced by IIM Kozhikode, CAT is the mandatory entrance exam for admission to MBA 2020 in 20 IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India. The exam which will be conducted on 24th November-19, is therefore referred to as IIM CAT and is conducted by IIMs on annual basis by one of the 6 older IIMs.



Following are the highlights of CAT 2019


CAT 2019 exam date

November 24, 2019

Exam sessions

Conducted in 2 sessions – Morning – Afternoon; same day

CAT 2019 Convening IIM

IIM Kozhikode

Type of exam

Computer based exam but not an online exam

Application Fee & Process

Rs.1900/-, online application process

Application fee for IIMs

Registration Fee covers application fee of all 20 IIMs 

Maximum Age Limit

No Age Limit, Graduates with 50% marks can apply

Number of Questions in CAT 2019

100 questions divided under 3 sections

Time duration

3 hours; individual time limit of 1 hour for 1 section

Name of sections and number of questions

VARC-34 Questions; DILR-32 questions; Quant-34 questions

Difficulty level of CAT exam

Moderate –Difficult

Order of Sections

Pre-fixed, no changes allowed

Colleges Accepting CAT 2019 for MBA admission

20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, JBIMS & 500 different MBA colleges

CAT 2019 Important Dates


Important Dates

CAT Exam Notification in News Papers

July 28, 2019

CAT 2019 Registration Start Date

August 7, 2019

Last Date to Apply for CAT 2019

September 25, 2019 (Extended)

CAT Admit card Download Start date

October 23, 2019

Last Date for Admit Card Download

November 24, 2019

CAT 2019 Exam date

November 24, 2019

CAT 2019 Result date

January 7, 2020 


Documents required:

The required items of information and main documents required for CAT 2019 online completion of registration and application form are:

  • Documents related to Educational history from class 10 onwards.
  • Mark sheets Class-10.
  • Mark Sheet Class 12th.
  • Mark sheet Bachelor’s Degree/Diploma.
  • Final Year Certificate from the HoD/Principal (If in final year of graduation);  also previous year mark sheet.
  • Work experience certificate, if any.
  • Applicable Certificates to upload for Category/Affidavits.
  • Scanned images of passport size photo (dimensions 35mm X 45mm) and signature (1000mm X 35 mm); (not to be more than six months old and in a white background) to be uploaded at the time of registration. The documents file format should be .jpg or .jpeg and the file size should not more than 80KB each. A clear image with a minimum resolution of 150px.
  • Fee payment instruments to pay exam fee – like Debit/Credit cards, Net banking

Changes made this year:

  • It is conducted by IIM Kozhikode.
  • Number of Test Cities for CAT 2019 has increased to 156 from last year.
  • Students can choose 4 out of 156 test cities while applying.
  • Only 'Delhi NCR' as test city is available for the candidates from Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon.
  • Tutorials to understand the test format and question pattern will be available on the CAT website from October 16th, 19.

Exam Pattern

  • This exam is a computer delivered test of 3 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam.
  • The exam will have 100 questions divided in 3 sections of VARC, DILR and Quantitative Ability.
  • Out of 100 questions, more than 25 questions will not have negative marking. Paper is divided into MCQ and Non-MCQ pattern and the Non-MCQs do not carry negative marking. In few cases, non-MCQ has negative marking; a few MCQs are changed to no negative marking questions.
  • More than 70% questions are on MCQ format and will carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking.
  • A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round.
  • Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in exam, you need to have good academic profile to get into IIMs.

Cut offs for Admission 2020

The CAT score cut offs for the batch 2020-22 is expected as:

Name of the IIM

Required CAT 2019 Percentile

Weightage for Shortlisting in 2020-22 batch

IIM Ahmedabad



IIM Calcutta



IIM Bangalore



IIM Lucknow



IIM Indore



IIM Kozhikode



IIM Tiruchirappalli



IIM Ranchi



IIM Visakhapatnam



IIM Udaipur




Source: www.mbauniverse.com

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