How to Prepare for CAT Exam?

Online CAT Coaching by 2IIM.

Before you get into How to prepare for CAT, it is best to know what CAT is all about. If you want to get a holistic idea about CAT Exam’s Syllabus, the selection process, Eligibility, and other details like what other management exams to write and what the syllabus is for those exams - It is best to visit this page. If you already have an idea about all that, read ahead on How to prepare for the CAT Exam

How to Prepare for CAT 2019?

1. How should you prepare for CAT Quantitative Aptitude section?
2. How to start CAT preparation?
3. What are the key topics in Quantitative Aptitude?
4. How should you prepare for the CAT LRDI section?
5. How do we get geared for DILR of the level of difficulty seen in the CAT exam?
6. How to prepare for the CAT VARC section?
7. How to prepare for Reading Comprehension?
8. What should we read for the VARC section?
9. How do we analyse a mock?
And a lot more questions are answered in this fabulous session that Bharath conducted a while ago.

What is the Best Preparation Strategy for CAT 2019?

We at 2IIM Online CAT Coaching believe that learning everything from first principles is the best way to approach CAT exam. What is the 3-step process outlined by the best online coaching for CAT - 1) Learn from basics 2) Practice away to glory and 3) Take plenty of mocks.

This is a broad outline. To read in far greater detail on how to prepare for Quant, how to crack LRDI and how to select the best passages to read; go through this fabulous Quora answer that 2IIM’s Bharathwaj has outlined. If you are keen on CAT preparation, this will be one set of 5 minutes well-spent.

How do 99+ percentilers prepare for CAT?

We at 2IIM Online CAT Coaching start teaching CAT concepts from the basics. In this answer, Rajesh Balasubramanian, 4-time CAT 100 percentilers talks about the CAT preparation journey of 3 99+ percentilers.

All three of them had different backgrounds, but when it came to CAT preparation, their approaches were more or less the same. Read the answer to know more about their CAT preparation strategies.

What is CAT exam?

What is CAT Exam? How to prepare for CAT Exam?

First up, learn what CAT exam is all about? What does CAT test? Which colleges admit based on CAT exam score? What exams to take up other than CAT? What is the Syllabus for CAT exam? What are the different sections to worry about for CAT exam and other such enervating questions, dive into What is CAT exam all about?

If you have healthy disdain for gyan related to CAT and are merely interested in starting preparation at the earliest for this exam, visit our CAT Question Bank to get going. As we never tire of saying, no amount of preparation planning is as good as a few minutes of actual preparation.

How to Organise CAT preparation?

We can break CAT preparation into three phases – Learning fundamentals, doing the grind and taking mocks. Read more at Three phases of CAT preparation. All three phases are important – one builds strong basics, one builds automaticity (Special read on automaticity) and one gets you exam-ready. Read more at Three phases of CAT preparation.

It is very important to stay away from questions of extraordinary difficulty levels in Quant and focus on the relevant portion of preparation. Stay at a discreet distance from social media and forums when you are preparing for CAT.

How to Schedule CAT Preparation?



CAT has a lot of topics and so it always helps to have a clear schedule. Watch the video to get a quick overview. Or, if you are from the small minority that likes to read, page is all yours - CAT Schedule.

There are three common mistakes students make while preparing a schedule. 1. Overagonize over Quants. Students get a serious bout of Quantitis, and prepare to crack Olympaids in Number Theory and Combinatorics. This is useless
2. Underestimate reading. Read for an hour every day. Read all kinds of different things (What to Read).
3. Ignore DI-LR. This forms one-third of the paper. Students usually spend less than 10% of the time focusing on this. Do the math.

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Aptitude?

People think the toughest section to prepare for is Quants. So we have outlined Three step quants prep plan and Common traps to avoid.

This article here outlines the broad approach to take while preparing for Quant. It is very crucial to not bypass the fundamentals and to not be fixated on speed building while preparing for CAT. Speed will come with lots of practice. Have faith in this funda and prepare without worrying about speed right from day 1.

To get a detailed plan on CAT Quantitative Aptitude section preparation Head here.



How to prepare for CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension?

The most crucial part of CAT Verbal preparation is Reading. Reading is the elephant in the room. Better readers have a higher chance of cracking CAT. It is the most crucial aspect as it improves your chances with RC, and the rest of the VA section as well. You will definitely want to know what to read – for books click here and for blogs and websites here. For how to go about reading, watch One video here and another here.
This article gives an interesting view on how reading plays a crucial role in CAT preparation and how it is infinitely more crucial than vocabulary-building.

To get a detailed plan on CAT Verbal Ability & CAT Reading Comprehension preparation Read detailed plan

How to prepare for CAT DI LR ?

The DI LR section of CAT has become the game-changer in the last few years. Solving the right sets in the correct way is important to ace this section. We at 2IIM have outlined a plan for acing CAT DI LR preparation.
Head onto the page: How to prepare for CAT DI LR

Also, 2IIM has a fabulous DI LR only course created from scratch, having recent LR DI trends in mind. Signup here to checkout 5 classes completely free. Taking good quality mocks also improves your chances of facing high quality LRDI puzzles.

How to plan Mock CATs?



How to plan a mock CAT schedule and how to analyse a mock CAT? – This is a whole new topic unto itself. So, as usual go to - Everything about Mock CAT.
This page contains a long form article with a series of Videos embedded to help one get a fair idea of what should one do while taking mocks, what are the common pitfalls when taking CAT Mocks, how to analyse mocks, what should I do when I have Volatile Mock scores, How many mocks should I take and other relevant questions.

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

The story of CAT Exam 2018 was the level of difficulty of the Quant section. I (Rajesh Balasubramanian) have taken 8 of the last 10 CATs and I can confidently say that this was the toughest Quant section I have seen thus far. We have done a CAT 2018 Analysis of Slot 1 and Slot 2 on Youtube. Scroll down to have a look at that.

Our estimates for CAT Exam 2018 percentiles and scores are given below for both slot 1 and slot 2.Note that these are merely estimates and are not based on statistical analysis.

CAT 2018 - Slot 1 - Score to Percentile Table
CAT 2018 - Slot 2 - Score to Percentile Table

To know the full CAT 2018 exam analysis, please go to this page - CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Important facts that you should know about Online CAT Coaching

CAT DI LR started becoming markedly tougher from CAT 2015 onwards. Till CAT 2014, we knew where DI ended and LR began. These days, we find two growth rates with percentages and suddenly we have missing numbers in a grid that we have to puzzle out. 13-14 correct answers would have fetched one a score of ~99.5th percentile in CAT 2015, CAT 2016, 2017 or CAT 2018.

Check out this page - 2IIM Philosophy

We strongly believe on the Quote by Abraham Lincoln “If I had nine hours to chop a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening the axe.” We start from scratch giving a stubborn focus on fundamentals so that the student gets the opportunity to learn by discovering ideas. The plan is to provide a framework for students to handle tougher questions.
We demystify this exam and break every idea into small digestible chunks which is categorised as theory, exercise and CAT-level questions. The basic idea is to provide a structure with simple questions and 'push' students to discover some thought processes while handling CAT-level questions. We would always love to ensure that the students have enough fun and enjoyment, preparing for CAT Exam.

What are the best blogs or websites to prepare for the Common Admission Test (CAT)? Quora Link - Quora Answer

We at 2IIM CAT Preparation have 55000+ subscribers, 20+ live sessions, 400+ videos, 20 playlists and a vibrant community. There are quite a few Channels that provide free content for CAT Preparation on Youtube. Apart from 2IIM CAT Preparation , Takshzila Shikshak, Khan Academy, Cracku are some of the channels that are doing a decent job. Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer
Youtube Link - Watch

"Why only quant when both quant and verbal are essential to get a high GMAT total score" can be answered in 3 parts.
i. Consistency is a vital plus where all the teaching is done by a narrow set of teachers in an online course. The teacher and the pedagogy matters the most.
ii. The Teaching in a classroom course could vary from City to City and week to week whereas it isn’t in the case of Online. iii. In Classroom, Travel and specific timings won’t be suitable for all but in an online course you have an option to learn anywhere, at any time, at your own pace and in order that you would like to learn. iv. There are three components for actual teaching part - the material, the pedagogy and the teacher. In a good online course, the designing and teaching are done by the same person or group. In a classroom course, the question is created, the idea transmitted are by different groups and then the teacher usually delivers to this script.

P.S: This does not necessarily mean that all online courses are good. You must do a thorough research on the following to find a good Online Course:

1) It has to be modularized so that you can learn at your pace.
2) It has to be on a very good LMS (Learning Management System) that will give you sound analytics and helps you both to learn and to assess where you are.
3) A chance to check out large sections of the course that is available in the course UI, not merely on Youtube channel.

Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer
One more Quora Answer: Quora Answer
Youtube Link - Watch Video
Youtube Link - Watch Video

Of course, the answer is YES and you can crack CAT by preparing from August onwards. And it’s even possible when you begin from September 15ᵗʰ too. Always remember that the Quality matters more than Quantity. Finding 400 hours from somewhere and prepare feverishly in those 400 with good quality will suffice which will end up getting a decent percentile.
P.S: Get out of Quora, Facebook etc. for 4 months and most of them can find their 400 hours. Cheers!
Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer

This Question can be answered in 2 parts:

Making CAT Preparation Enjoyable:

• First of all remember that CAT exam tests basic intelligence of class VIII, IX and X level in a standardized format.
• There is Myth that says “Engineers have an advantage in CAT exam” but the actual scenario is that this exam gives Engineers absolutely no advantage and moreover the discrimination is against Engineers at every stage. The Idea that non-Engineers (or girls, or students from commerce background) have a disadvantage going into CAT Exam is Pish Posh.
• Learn math with a sense of joy. Learn from the basics and retain a sense of wonder about math as the way Archimedes did and who proved, “If learnt well, math is endlessly fascinating”. [P.S: Learn about how Archimedes ended his life in the link below and that story is perhaps apocryphal.
• Mathematics is considered to be the queen of the Sciences since it is a fabulous brain-exercise tool kit and is endlessly fascinating.
• Reading is one of the most joyful activities one can always find. If you can find the right set of books, you can lose yourself for days. It will make you realize that reading can get you out of a funk, prevent you from going into a funk, recharge you, inspire you and do many more wonderful things to the way you think. For a glorious reading list, click here - Reading List for CAT

Relevance of Entrance with Management: A Simple correlation concept will make you understand. There are students who are very smart but have not cracked CAT. And so we can say with reasonable certainty that someone who scores 99th percentile will be reasonably intelligent. The second 0ne is more relevant as far as the IIMs are concerned. CAT scores and general intelligence in most cases carry a high correlation. Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer

There is famous saying, “There are no shortcuts to Success”. Shortcuts give an illusion of preparation more often and so Run from shortcuts with all your might.

Read more on Quora: Quora Answer

• Math is most definitely not this thing that you need to have a phobia about. Anyone afraid of math is someone who has not been taught math well.
• Learn math with a sense of joy. Learn from the basics and retain a sense of wonder about math as the way Archimedes did and who proved, “If learnt well, math is endlessly fascinating”.
• Mathematics is considered to be the queen of the Sciences since it is a fabulous brain-exercise tool kit and is endlessly fascinating. Learn from basics, learn with joy - the fear will go away.

[P.S: Learn about how Archimedes ended his life in the link below and that story is perhaps apocryphal.]
Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer YouTube Video: Watch here

Find a list of up to 50 fabulous books in this wonderful reading list for CAT. Remember that anything written by PG Wodehouse is golden. Find a list of well-written blogs and websites here. Economist, pre-video era Cricinfo, the Atlantic are all excellent. But if you are really looking for a curated list with a nice article reviewed and sent to you gift-wrapped every day, you should join our Facebook Group – CAT Prep online - 2IIM.. Check out this link - CAT Verbal Reading List.

There are plenty of books available for CAT preparation at very low cost. The best basic books for Quant are the NCERT books for classes VI to X and RD Sharma/RS Agarwal. If you want tougher, more relevant questions to practice from, you should visit the best CAT Question bank in the world - 2IIM CAT Questions. It has great questions, even better solutions and some wonderful video explanations. And also follow our Youtube Channel – 2IIM CAT Preparation for a plenty of free preparatory videos.
But if you are really looking for a curated list with a nice article reviewed and sent to you gift-wrapped every day, you should join our Facebook Group – CAT Prep online - 2IIM.
Check out this link - CAT Verbal Reading List.

There are plenty of websites that will give you this, but be very wary of these. CAT did not release the actual paper from the years 2009 to 2016, so any website giving these is creating these paper without a credible source. The CAT papers from the years 2000 to 2008 are available for free (with solutions) inside the 2IIM Online Course.
There were two sessions each in CAT 2017 and CAT 2018 – these 4 papers are likely to be the best samples for CAT. These can be found here 2IIM CAT Question Paper.
The PDF gives the questions with embedded links to video solutions for all of these.

One should start your CAT preparation by starting to understand that CAT tests at max high school math, common sense and reading habit. • Prepare from first principles so that your basics become automated.
• Don’t just Wander around, don’t learn in a straitjacket.
• Be relentless - this is a marathon testing your temperament and not a sprint.
• Dont merely plan which is the easiest part, execute the damn thing.
• Read a lot with variety and read it all the time.

How to prepare for CAT 2019 - Youtube Video
Live session: How to prepare for CAT?

There are students who attempted 29 questions out of 34 in Verbal Section and ended with 77ᵗʰ percentile, while there have been also been students with just 28 attempts ending upwards of 99.xxᵗʰ percentile. And the reason behind this is accuracy, which matters a lot.

Speaking about accuracy and students often end up with the “The last two choices problem”. That is students narrow it down to two choices in the VARC section and then end up choosing the one which they think is the right one. In the similar way they take chances in these questions but do not take sufficient effort to resolve this. The common mindset we often see is “It will be either of the two. If I attempt 10 questions like this, I will get 5 right. Let me not waste any more time and mark the one you think it’s right.” This line of thought in most of the cases is incorrect. The guys setting the exam paper have planted something in either choice B or choice D that will make it easy to eliminate that and locating that thing will be the key. This is an objective paper with one correct answer per question. When you practice mocks, fight against that last step resistance and work aggressively on improving accuracy will help you master this section. It is a common myth that reading speed and vocabulary are important for VARC while they both count for nothing.

Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer
YouTube Link - Watch Video
YouTube Link - Watch Video.
YouTube Link - Watch Video.
YouTube Link - Watch Video

We all know that the DILR Section of CAT is becoming increasingly difficult with each passing year. It gets to a point where it’s hard to distinguish between DI and LR that appears in actual CAT, so we noticed that and chose to address this. All of us at 2IIM takes the CAT exam every single year to keep us updated and also to know where we stand. Every single year, we ensure that the interface is user friendly allowing students to make navigate easily. We also take one section and revamp that section by improving the Content, Video/Audio quality, etc.

Last year, we are have doubled the content available under the DILR section of our online course. Apart from that, we have also added a testing engine that will allow you to just come and solve a ton of questions (5000+) for practice in the form of tests. You will also have detailed solutions so that you can go back and fix your mistakes.

Check out this Quora link for more details: Quora Answer

2IIM has an Android App for CAT preparation. The app contains lessons, videos, slides and tests put together by a team of faculties who take up the exam year after year.

Read More about the App on Quora: Quora Answer.

We have an elaborative list of books for improving your reading habit. Check the links below. For a glorious reading list, Check out this link - CAT Verbal Reading List
YouTube Link - Watch Video YouTube Link - Watch Video

Find a list of up to 50 fabulous books in this wonderful reading list for CAT. Remember that anything written by PG Wodehouse is golden. Find a list of well-written blogs and websites here. Economist, pre-video era Cricinfo, the Atlantic are all excellent. But if you are really looking for a curated list with a nice article reviewed and sent to you gift-wrapped every day, you should join our Facebook Group – CAT Prep online - 2IIM. For Websites, check this link - CAT Verbal Reading List

CAT Questions | CAT Quantitative Aptitude

CAT Questions | CAT DILR

CAT Questions | Verbal Ability for CAT


Where is 2IIM located?

2IIM Online CAT Coaching
A Fermat Education Initiative,
58/16, Indira Gandhi Street,
Kaveri Rangan Nagar, Saligramam, Chennai 600 093

How to reach 2IIM?

Phone: (91) 44 4505 8484
Mobile: (91) 99626 48484
WhatsApp: WhatsApp Now
Email: prep@2iim.com