The CAT Exam – Intelligent Preparation Techniques


How to Prepare for the Common Admission Test?

Starting Your CAT Preparation

1) How to start the CAT exam preparation?

Start with a diagnostic test or mock exam for CAT. You can give such test at ‘n’ number of places whereas we would recommend TestFunda iCAT (It’s totally free) as our two cents or you may choose any other source that fits you fine. Such tests are also available in preparation books such as Arun Sharma and others but these are not online and the actual exam is.

  • Why give a test right now for CAT Preparation even though I am not prepared?
  1. It will help you assess your current standing and a general overview of your areas over the long run as you go into deeper preparation.
  2. It will tell you the general areas where you are weak at and where you stand and work accordingly.
  3. It will help you get a feel of the exam and by the time you are finished with your preparation, you will know the importance of this practice test.

Almost all coaching institutes give it to their students during their classroom program to assess the capabilities of the student. However, it is important that you do not take the results too seriously and do not get demoralized in the process as this is just the start and there is a long way to go.

Similarly, those students who perform well should not rest easy because the percentile in a diagnostic test may not be an accurate reflection of the final day, in fact, far from it.

Buying Study Material and Books for CAT 

Now there is a lot of research going on, asking your peers and everything for buying the correct study material for your CAT  preparation, however, we have made a list of some great books that are very popular amongst students due to their high relevance and quality that would help you in your study for CAT .

Which books to buy?

  1. At least one coaching institute package like Career Launcher, TIME, TestFunda or others.
  2. Arun Sharmas’ Quant + Verbal + DI books.
  3. Total Gadha Book on Number System. A must have if you ask us, you can find it on Total Gadha website or just make a friend on Pagalguy if you know what we mean.
  4. Normal Lewis Vocab book (Highly Recommended).
  5. Shakuntla Devi Puzzle Book
  6. CAT preparation by IIM Alumni

If you were giving CAT  again, then how would you buy books? I personally would keep the 2,3,4th option the same but the first option, I would have changed things a bit because I have referred to the material of many coaching institutes.

Every institute material has its strengths and though we don’t want to talk about the weakness, we would like to recommend a few must have niche Books for CAT.

  1. CL Reading Comprehension 2
  2. CL Sentence Correction – The book on Grammar
  3. TIME – Logical Reasoning Problems Types
  4. TIME – LRDI both combined If you can get on these books in specific, it would be great and complement the package of whichever coaching institute you buy.

Study Plan For CAT Exam

Ok, I got the books for CAT, now what should be my study plan?

The date of the CAT exam is variable but we will still use relative terms to plan this in general.

  • Plan your study schedule such that you finish the entire syllabus or the most part of it at least two months before the date of the exam.
  • Try and study all the three subjects as often as you can rather than sticking to just one subject over a prolonged time. Divide time between the subjects and then continue your studies on all three fronts. This is something you can vary depending on your suitability. Some students find it better to concentrate on just one subject. However, it is advised that you stay in touch with all the sections.
  • Read Novels and articles online for building stamina on the screen.
  • Take a break in between and try to stick to your schedule. Remember, CAT is more about diligence than intelligence. There are many average students (academically speaking) who have made it to the IIMs.
  • Join the Pagalguy Quant thread if you still have time on your hands. Its simply amazing and gets better each year.

I finished my preparation much before for CAT , what should I do? Solve the entire book set again. What again..? Yes, it is not a typo, do it again and again and keep on doing it till the time you can recall each question of Arun Sharma (LOD 1 and 2 specifically) by heart. You may not believe but this single sentence differentiates the Quant Gods and the lesser mortals.

Not only people good in Quant are actually good in quant but the fact is that they have done similar questions over and over again, non stop.

Try this approach, and the same is also recommended by Arun Sharma, an IIM-B Alumni. If you are looking for some tough questions, get a hold of TIME AIMCATs of the previous years as they take the quantitative aptitude question to ridiculously difficult level. (Much higher than the actual level of the CAT exam)

  • You have said that finish the syllabus two months before – Why so??

It’s because of the next aspect – Mock Exams.

  • What exactly are mock exams?

These are exams exactly on the pattern of the CAT paper which students around the country give to assess their capabilities and preparation level.

  • Which all institutes provide these tests?

All most all the major institutes preparing students for MBA! We recommend that you join two test series of which one should be of TIME. Why TIME ?- Because we get money…..LOL .. We don’t get paid from TIME or anything but the reason is that the maximum number of students join this series and the quality is at par with other institutes, if not better.

Since a large number of students are using their test series with a more even span throughout the country, you get a better picture of your relative performance.

  • Why 2 Mock Series then?

Though TIME has a great test series, there is one thing that other institutes are doing better right now in our opinion. What is that you ask? It is “The post exam analysis.” You can see this for yourself once you give the free iCAT of Test Funda.

The post exam analysis with in depth info via charts and interactive mediums is just fantastic which is not the case with TIME. They have analysis tools but IMHO, they are nowhere close to that of TestFunda or for that matter CL.

  • Why are these post exam analysis important?

Ok, this is where the 2 month early finishing comes in handy.

Understand it thus:

2 months before – Finished with my syllabus for CAT. 

  • This is how it follows from here on a tentative note, obviously, you juggle it based on your propensity:
  1. Monday – You give the exam
  2. Tuesday – You get the result and start analysis. Ideally, if the mock takes 2 and a half hour, you should spend 5 hours while analyzing. You start analyzing the questions you did, did not do and which you did but got wrong and see the reasons to it.
  3. Wednesday – You start revising the weak areas that the analysis has projected. Hypothetically, let’s assume that you may have done all topics but somehow you are not able to solve questions of Geometry and Grammar properly (as per the analysis) so you prepare Geometry again.
  4. Thursday – You give smaller tests like skill builder and Total Gadha free test options while revising Geometry and Grammar in specific and other areas that you feel like in general.
  5. Friday – You continue to do Geometry and grammar chapters from Arun Sharma and CL book respectively.
  6. Saturday – Give smaller, 20 minute test of Geometry and grammar and a few others.
  7. Sunday - Break !! Now you have revised your weak areas in particular and ready to start the next week with your flaws covered. Rinse, repeat and follow !! Then again the same routine. This will allow you to prepare for the test in the best possible manner and you can amend the flaws in your preparation.

The season has kick started again and many things have changed while the core still remains in tact i.e. CAT is still one of the most coveted and toughest management exams in the world and some normalization.

It’s assumed that the CAT exam mutates every year, however, the truth is not that simple or easily expressible. While we have seen CAT paper change over the years, the intensity with which the basics and concepts of students are tested still remain the same.

The CAT exam may change in structure, may go from offline to online and other things but the general crux remains the same and the game is still played in pretty much the same way as it was in the older days and little has changed in that sense.

The test became harder almost each year in the previous decade in the written mode. Since it came onto the online scene, the difficulty level took a dip and cut offs zoomed upwards, and some students got the dose of normalization. So that was the background and this is the present.

Now the CAT will have two sections since CAT previous year exams and it has fixed time allotted to each section. All this has meant that students need to change and adapt to the various nuances like:

  • Change in test taking strategy for old students though the pattern remains the same.
  • Since two sections would be normalized instead of three, more accurate results would ensue. Cheers !
  • Students who had one strong area, did that in lesser time and used the extra time for weaker sections, this would not be possible now and students may find their percentiles fluctuating by +-5% due to this.
  • The importance of general speed over all the sections increases and so does the need for equal competency in equal time over different sections.
  • No fuss of dividing time b/w sections.

Further Understanding The CAT Paper 

Most probably, the number of questions will remain same as before in CAT. What is happening is that the LR DI section is split in two. So first section would have 20 quantitative aptitude, 10 DI and next one 20 VA and 10 LR. However, if the IIMs keep the same number of Quant questions, it is highly unlikely that engineers will feel the heat. Now the most important question – How to adapt to these changes?

  • Get used to it.  This is the first thing that comes to our mind because as managers your world will be highly unpredictable. Right, now something more realistic -
  • Give your mocks very seriously as it will help you adapt to the new pattern. However, do not over do it. Start some time in August and give 5-8 mocks. Anything more would probably make you worn out.
  • Focus on Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning. Most coaching institutes have indicated that the results of CAT 2011 were biased towards those who did well in Logical reasoning this time and some skewness was observed in the same.
  • Giving the exam at later stages may help you offset the unpredictability factor, but those who cannot bear the stress, get over with it soon. Time it on a weekday, which is not a holiday to reduce the chances of serial cat givers especially working professionals being in your slot.

The Big Day – Last Lap to CAT 2013

You revise the core concepts once again, get a hang of the questions, get good sleep, have a good mood.

We will be running an entire article on the last lap and you can connect with us using Facebook, Twitter, RSS or Email (just enter your email in the box on the right hand side) to stay updated with loads of useful information like exam form updates, cat exam updates and others.

Further Reading – How to Solve Questions Fast? 

Also UsefulAre you eligible for the IIM? – Find it out over here.  

Recommended Read - Why MBA? 

If you wish to get updates regarding the CAT exam, we provide email updates, Facebook updates and more. Also, please consider sharing this article with your friends on Facebook/Twitter/Google+.



Hello Sir,
My education: 10th: 80.5%, Inter: 84.3%, B TECH (EEE) – 57.10%, PGD(International Banking and Finance) – 57%. I am working for an Investment Bank in India in their Investment Banking operations team as an Assistant Manager, Please advice me on the following:

1) Assuming I get good scores in CAT, will I be ruled out of IIM’s list because of my poor grad score.

2) Should I opt for regular PGD or the executive program


Hello!!! I dont have any idea of CAT before a month, now i got deep in how to prepare and crack it..
As i completed my B,E with 78%. Right now working in IT sector, I like to appear for CAT 2013 without joining any coaching classes because of my work schedule. Is it possible to do self study? How to do so? can u please guide me sir?

Appi D Winner

Hello Sir,
I had passed BBA in 2011.Due to family issues i had to leave job for a while and then I joined a local company for 1 year.I want to take CAT 2013.My 10th 64.80%,12th 66% and grads 72.9%,Am i elligible for calls from prestigious b schools like iims,iift or fms?? educational gap ll matter?


This is my profile – 10th 68% 12th 70% and dropped out of degree. Started working in a BPO, then into IT marketing and sales. Now pursuing grad through Distance education. Have 7 years of work experience. Planning to take CAT. Will my grad interruption creates an issue also will they ignore my marketing and Sales experience before the completion of the new gard program. I expect to complete the grad program in early 2015. So shall I target 2014 CAT?

faustus felix

i sat for cat 2012 as general student but i am thinking of appearing in cat 2013 as nc-obc . Will it be a problem? does previous prometric profile hold for further attempts also ? Plz reply ASAP …



I am a 4th year student.I have 90% in Xth, 71% in 12th, and 70% in graduation.Can you tell me what are my chances to get shortlisted for IIMs in 2nd or 3rd round (assuming if i get a good CAT score).

Hector M
Hector M

Career Launcher Material for VA.

Hector M
Hector M


Hector M

I think you should focus more on solving questions rather than reading books. I would recommend you try Rank Booster of Test Funda (please note that I am an affiliate and earn money when someone buys TestFunda and my direction can be prejudiced due to conflict of interest :P ) So rather than practicing content, try and do questions only. Then find out the weak areas and then study those. In this way, you will be able to justify your time better.

Hector M

Yup, you are still eligible. The gap is not an issue and probably it might be because you were preparing for some examination, which is normal.

Hector M

Coaching center in chennai – well, don’t know much about it coz its pretty hard to determine.

Roughly 1 year for preparation is good enough. I strongly recommend that you read the articles on this particular page.

Hector M

Second MBA is not an issue really. However, why not go for executive MBA rather than a regular MBA. Also, it would be really hard to justify finance after two years of work ex in marketing. I don’t know but if you have credible reason, then it can be done. Read this article – for more clarification of what you intend to do. ATB.



I’ve already done MBA from ICFAI Hyderabad in 2010 from Marketing & Operations. Although, after having worked for more than 2 years now, I feel a better brand (probably IIMs) and finance would propel my career. How difficult would it be to explain during the PI round ? Do people go for second MBA ? I got 94% in 2012 CAT.

Sidhu M

hello sir!!
I’m doing 1st year B.E. in Civil Engineering in College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai
joining IIM is my dream, i dont mind working for years for dat…. when should i start preparing for the exam and how to start with… which coaching center will be good in Chennai…
thank you :)


Sir, I have 78.8% in 10th, 89.4% in 12th, and 65.97% in B.Tech, But..I have a gap of 2 years after my 12th, Could you please tell me, whether I would be eligible for the IIMs or FMS or any other prestigious colleges…. considering my educational gap..


Hello Hector M,

Thanks for your initiative.

I’m looking forward to take CAT in Nov. 2013, once I have prepared for CAT during my last year of Engineering. I’m a working professional so I dont have much time to go to coaching institutes. I have got CL material of CAT 2011 with me, but the problem is that whenever I start reading those books, it looks as if I know them word by word and finally I loose interest in them.

I have only 6 months of study left, what should I do and what to read to make studying enjoyable.

Thanks and Regards


Excellent views


Hello, my friend is selling me old TIME cat books 2010. Is it worth buying them? or are they outdated ?

Siddharth Nayak

Dear Sir,
I have been practicing RCs from prev year CATs and from here and there types, I have pin-pointed my mistake areas to be in logical reasoning (ofcourse I have these correct too, but if a question is wrong in a RC, it more often than not falls in this area), and ‘suitable title for the passage’. Ofcourse suitable tile of the passage can be handled with a bit more practice and fine tuned handling of the not appropriate title or the title not covering all important topics.. But regarding the logical reasoning part, how should I direct my preparation? Because when I find that I have made a mistake in that area, I have to be more careful in that area in future practice, but how can it improve in a more specific way? Because I guess that is sort of related to how I reason the facts and structure given in the passage. How can I ensure that the logical reason and structure I have in mind is the one intended for?


hello sir,i’m engg 2nd yr mechanical student..shd i do mba or not?bt i hav more interest in that…and shd i prepare for cat 15 from now?


is self preparation of cat is possible without joining coaching class..? and which books is best for cat..? give me a tricks of self preparation…

Hector M

Around September. Subscribe to email updates for regular updates

Hector M

Yes, FMS is definitely an option. So is XLRI. An article on such colleges is in the pipeline. Stay tuned :)

Hector M

Article coming on this soon. Subscribe to email updates for this please.

Hector M

Read English, look at past papers, see what are you strenghts, what are you weakness, solve some past exams and see where you lack. Find out your weak areas and come back here, will devise something for you.

Hector M

Lots of sample are given at free books download section above.

2) Its good that you have strong academics, these do not impact CAt score but help you in getting shortlisted for certain colleges per se.

Hector M

Answered above.

Hector M

CAT exam is in October-November. At that time you should be in your fourth year to be eligible for the same.

Hector M

Give CAT in your final year. For e.g. if you are going to graduate in 2015, give CAT 2014. ATB.

Hector M

Its pretty subjective actually. Personally, I used to do 1 subject for 1 day, then next one and so on for four days. Repeated couplets of these 4 days can help you stay in touch and tackle the entire array of the syllabus.


Hello Sir,

My name is Arindam, I had also not done very well in my Grad, SSC & HSC. I think that getting into top 5 iim is impossible for me but is FMS still an option?


sir i couldn,t find the exam and application form date of CAT 2013 will u plz tell me about it

sai krishna

Hi sir, can u please name the BEST book for “verbal ability and reading comprehension” ASAP.


hiii Sir,
this is mayank i am persuing b.e and am in 3rd ye ec branch
sir could you tell me that how to tackle with all 4 subjects each day means i wanna to ask that doing lr,di,va,and quant possible each day if yes than how???????????????

Siddharth Nayak

Thanks Sir,
Yes Sir, the crux of problem you identified is what I feel. I needed a bit of direction so as to be sure I am not wasting whatever time is available to me. That is why I am also starting early this time, considering my busy schedule and the scope needed for improvement . All points noted and I will try to apply and improvise according to my needs. Thanks for spending a lot of time using your experience and expertise to my problems. yeah, I agree, no excuses wrt to reading and vocabs.[In CAT 2011, my RC blew away because of heavy words as well as difficult context like psychological and philosophical].
Yes Sir, regarding the last point, I had tried noting down questions in brief and then going to passage, but I dont have the expertise yet for that technique to apply for philosophical or psychological ones, or in that matter those RCs where specifically traps are set. It, ofcourse, depends on the type of passage. Anyways, I can improvise on that judgement as to which strategy to follow with practice and my strengths.

Thank You again, Sir. This is the best ‘to the point’ and ‘specific to me’ advice I have got so far and I feel, from my failures, that this direction will be perfectly right. Remaining specific methods are upto me, to follow with the direction.

Maybe the subjective bias is due to my strength in speed while attempting QA and weaknesses in RCs. In CATs 2011 and 2012, I had finished up 28-29 QA/DI with 25min and 10min to spare respectively , and got 99.8x %ile in both {Ofcourse next target is further improving accuracy at CAT level, as I got 2 and 4 qns wrong respectively}, but VA/LR section takes away the entire time, with me scrambling at end, due to extra efforts in comprehending the passages.

Hector M

The inference is the beauty of it, the different interpretations lend their own flavor but I know this does not work in CAT, so let’s just focus on that.

So, if I have figured it out correctly, this is what the crux of your problem is:

You cannot answer inferential based RC passages which normally fall out of your core competent area of reading. Further, when you start preparing for the same, you find it hard to learn since most of the material is of poor quality.

So how do we solve this predicament?

First, its impossible to have the guarantee that what you are understanding is right, there is absolutely no way to say so. But by analyzing the writing style of author, deducing cross linkages one can start associating the mindset of the author, but this cannot be taught like quant, it is unstructured and a bit arbitrary. The mock exam bias that you face in relation to the actual exam is probably due to your own subjective bias i.e. your ability or due to the fact that the sample size i.e. just 2 cat exams.

1) Try out career launcher books for RC, I found them the best thus far for english.
2) Start practicing not from the VA books but from written CAT papers of last ten years i.e. from 1998-2008. See the trend, notice how they expect answers to be, pick up the thin linkages, if you can.
3) As you rightly said, you need to pick up your habit with respect to reading in an eclectic manner. No excuses with respect to this whatsoever. Its a far too evident mistake.
4) Brush up your vocab, again no excuses and its a no brainer that you need to know words even for RC.
5) This is my personal tip that I used when I gave CAT for English – as you said, its very hard to ascertain that an answer is correct or not. But what’s easier is to ascertain whether a question is wrong or not. So twist it around. Whenever I faced an inferential question, I was able to eliminate at least 2 options pretty easily in almost all passages. Then by probability, if you pick one of these options and do the same with 4 such questions, you are going to score +6 overall. To move from this +6 to +10 is what you need to do and it will definitely come, coz you have the basic groundwork for the same, all you need is precise effort in the right direction.
6) Also, experiment with different ways of solving the RC, read questions first, read passage first etc. see what suits your style better. I personally find reading questions first much better. In fact, I used to write the questions on the scratch sheet as a note, so I know what part in the RC I need to focus on. You might get one section in RC which might be really tough but if no questions are based on it, no use spending time on it, so I personally found this technique really useful. If not this, you can perhaps try something more suited to your own.

If you think this is a lot work, it is. But pain is temporary, glory is forever, and so is the IIM tag :) This was the best I could give you, hopefully you will find it useful. ATB for your CAT exam.

Siddharth Nayak

Plus even while reading novels, for example the most recently read Bourne Identity, some portions are hard to understand to the detailed level, but often the story or context is clear, so it is often skipped. Even if I strain hard and understand those small portions, how can there be guarantee that what I have understood is spot on to what author had intended! That is why I have not moved on to literary novel yet.

Siddharth Nayak

Also Sir, One thing I felt was that, in CAT QA/DI is far easier than those asked in mocks, while the RC part of VA/LR in CAT is always on the tougher side requiring a honed up skills…. Is there any good individual practice material for RCs which has solutions with explanations and all. Even Arun SHarma and Upadhyay book lacks explanations and some answers seemed controversial for that purpose, when I did it during my time in IIT KGP…

Siddharth Nayak

Thanks for your time Sir.

1) yeah, I think it would be RC where I made mistakes in my CAT, as during my mock tests whenever I messed it up, it was because of RCs.

[Ofcourse I am not strong in grammar too, but I skip it(typically 1-2 qns) whenever not confident]

2) Inferential… opinion based….

3) My only practice last year were 9 of CL proctored mocks {and also of AIMCAT series in pdf mode}. That was because of lack of time/energy over the last 3 months before CAT when I prepared for it. I gave these on Sundays and analysed it over next weekend and so on..

4) Some of last few novels(most recent first): Bourne Identity, Mockingjay, Catching Fire, Enders Game, Fountainhead, Hunger Games, some 3-4 novels of Jeffrey Archer, journey to the center of earth, foundation trilogy…. [Before these, all novels of Dan Brown, complete robot, 3-4 of other Jeffrey Archer books, some Paulo Coelho books and so on)

the tiring office schedule drains the energy to read Economic Times [I have been ordering it over last 5 6 months, but end up briefly reading the entire week's papers on the weekend]. Today I took a day off because of sickness.

5) No, I haven’t read norman lewis’ or Barrons wordlist. Though I started Norman Lewis some 2 years ago, couldnot go beyond 1/3rd of it…

Hector M

Interesting. Can you help me with the following questions first:

1) Is it only RC that you face trouble with or the rest of the portion of English too?
2) What type of questions do you face problem with in case of RC – Inferential or direct?
3) Did you practice RC this year before giving CAT?
4) Can you tell me the name of last 10 novel/magazines/newspaper that you have read
5) Have you completed Normal Lewis Vocab + Barrons’ Word List

Let me know all this and lets see if we can zero down on your problem before your next CAT exam.

Siddharth Nayak


This is Siddharth. I am from IIT KGP, 2012 Batch. I had given CAT 2011 and 2012. Well, while I was in IIT KGP, I had subscribed to CL and AIMCAT test series. Towards the end even I figured in top 5 consistently in both CL proctored mocks and AIMCAT. My strong area is QA/DI. My CAT 2011blew away because of impossible RCs in my slot (99.8x%ile in QA/DI and 7x.xx%ile in VA/LR. OA:97.xx Got calls from Kochikode, thought to skip it and wait for next year) .

Nevertheless, I joined job, gave CL proctored mocks in 2012, though I didnot get any time for preparations. Still, I felt I could comprehend the passages this time in CAT 2012 even if couple of options in many of the questions were almost same with minor variations (which is ofcourse the case always) checking the understanding. Still the result was exactly same as that of last year.

Please advise as to what my mode of preparation should be this year! Because this may be the last time I would have morale and even age for giving CAT and lots of things would be at stake henceforth [I have made the habit of reading novels regularly since last year, but there seems to be something else missing]. Thank You

amir z k

go idiots

ajesh wilson

of course no


will it be a tough task for a B Sc. student to crack CAT


can a B.Sc. student take CAT exams 2014..


i m divya. i m BBA 2nd year student. should i give CAT exam in 2013 or 2014?


I am 3rd year EC student..,when can i take CAT exam?In which month does the exam fall?


sir one week ago i joined in cat institute am pursuing b.tec3rd yr from school days to am avearage student in all subjects please tell me that am elijabul for cat or not???


when i write cat exam…??is there any eligibility for 3rd btech..??

Hector M

I will write an article on this soon, stay tuned.

Hector M

You are eligible.

Hector M

In September. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the updates. Thnx.


coaching is very much required?


Sir can i know how do i start up my preparation for cat 2013? i m totally confused as wat to do?
i hav complted my BE in industrial engg and management now that i hav to get into IIM

shoaib mohammed

I am first year student of B.M.S right now i am looking for some additional commuter courses so plz help me to now the good course which is benefits for me to do.And am also want to do mba so what r things required to do mba,right now i can do mba or not…
THANKING YOU..plz reply


I’m Swaroop n I’m persuing my engineering and I’m in my 2nd year. I’m planning to start CAT preparation straightaway. Can you give me a schedule of how should I proceed from this point.
Thanks in advance



first of all i’d like to thanks you for helping me.& sry for late replie.. i’ve not been here….. and i ‘ve one question more. what type of work experience they count.??? will they count telle marketing or tele sales experience.. or backend..
thanks you


thnxxx a lot sir…. really thnx coz i ws too mch confusd 4 all d thngs.. diffrnt people said diffrnt thngs… thnx 4 clearng my doubts,., as nw i cn tk my dicison,, :)



This is Vikas I am Doing BBA (3rd yr) .. Seriously I have no Idea when CAT Exams are been held.. Please help me How to prepare and When CAT Forms are out ..!!!

Thank You…!!


hello sir..
i have passed graduation holding etc branch BE in 2012 due to 3 paper backs i was unable to sit for placement.however, i have cleared the papers securing, i have decided going for CAT nov. 2013.sir can u please guide me how should i start preparing to get better colleges and am i eligible for the exam.
i have 10th 12th around 80% graduation it got less and has a year gap.
please guide me a good way out considering me as a average student.


Please give us details about some good MBA colleges they take people only on The basis of entrance test and work experience…



This is Anit anand.i m a b-tech mechanical,working as a design engineer.Recently i am doing well but due to some reasons my SSC and HSC marks are low(65% and 56% respectively).I hav already started my preparation for cat and doing,please can u guide me for some good colleges they don’t give much waitage to the school marks..I know many guys like me from state boards like Bihar UP and Bengal,they didnt do well in their school exams but they are good in study..So,is their any way for these guys to make things right..please help,this is not a maater only with me but lot of guys u know..please guide us….


thnxxx a lot sir…. really thnx coz i ws too mch confusd 4 all d thngs.. diffrnt people said diffrnt thngs… thnx 4 clearng my doubts,., as nw i cn tk my dicison,, :)

Hector M

In that case, you need to start in the 6th semester itself.


sir,, bt in cming august i ll b in fourth yr n if den i ll start my coachng den hw cn i cover up thngs till oct-nov? i mean its my 6th sem so shud i start it frm nw nly?

Hector M

Economics and other areas – well, very basic is expected out of students who don’t share the background of business during the interview stage. They would most probably ask basic questions like what is stock index etc, if your interview does go in that direction. Most of the time, questions during interview move around your area of interest/acad/work experience etc. So brush up some fundamentals of not only business but various domains as these will come handy later on.

No, percentile is independent.

The seats are in accordance with the reservation norms around 23-25% of total. The total keeps changing though.

Minakshi Agrawal

Thank you sir…!!!

Hector M

Complete Arun Sharma/SK Verma, one coaching institute Quant material, old cat paper Quant at least twice before going for the exam. If you are weak in quant, start with NCERT books of 9th and 10nth.

8 months is more than enough but obviously it depends on the ability of the student. Normally, its suitable enough.

If you are working, join Pagalguy forum, try some online prep provider so that you can prepare from your office or home.

I hope this helps. ATB.

Hector M

No they don’t.

You can target almost every college out there without work ex. Check this out – Except for no. 7 and 8, you are eligible for each. ATB for your CAT exam.



how to prepare for quatative apptitue for cat 2013….. and is 8 month enough for cat prepration 2 hour a day.??? & cause i m Working mon to sat so i can’t join any caching classes also….?? and please help me out in quatative apptitue…..

Minakshi Agrawal

sir..i just want to ask u 1 all good mba colleges ask for the work experience?..i am a graduate..i completed my bsc in 2012 and want to apply for cat 2013..i dont have any work experience..for which colleges can i target without having any experience where i can get a decent package..plz help me sir..


sir,, bt in cming august i ll b in fourth yr n if den i ll start my coachng den hw cn i cover up thngs till oct-nov? i mean its my 6th sem so shud i start it frm nw nly?

Lohith Hero


Hector M


Hector M

depends solely on the student.

Hector M



sir,,, cn u plzz tell me dat if i ll hv d coachng of cat den d apti dey ‘ll teach me wil whethr help me in diffrnt bank, lic or sch xams or not???

Hector M

I believe you should try and find some job in sync with your long term goals for e.g. if you want finance,then look for some trading position, analyst position etc. I know it won’t be easy but this would be a good value add as you move along your journey.

If you honestly believe that management is your thing, then why don’t you just go for it.

The problem that I seek apart from the things that were out of your control is that you set very shallow goals. Set long term goals and then work convincingly towards achieving the same. That will help you. I hope this has helped you.


Actually i didn’t got proper guidance from the beginning i.e from class 10, no one guided to me about my career. As a result i didn’t took mathematics after class 10 as my parents always told me to go for MBBS after 12th. But unfortunately i didn’t got a MBBS seat. Before the declaration of the class 12th result i shifted to kolkata and then i found that most of the colleges here in kolkata wanted the class 12th original marksheet, but i didn’t recieved the marksheet as my 12th school belonged to CBSE ajmer region. So, one of the colleges accepted my application with downloaded marksheet and there i got to study B.Sc, Food and Nutrition, i felt that i should concentrate on my present subject and did really well in that, even in the M.Sc i secured excellent marks, but the job prospectus other than becoming a dietitian or a teacher is very low. That’s why i wanted to divert my career after graduation but my parents insisted on M.Sc. Now i want to divert my career. And i feel that i can do better in business and i have the potential.
Tell me what should i do now? i really need proper guidance.

Thank you


do we need 2 hv coaching or self study cn help 2 get thru cat?


hello,,, wanted 2 knw dat whethr it is bettr 2 do coaching in 3rd yr or 4th yr of btech for cat xams?

Hector M

Sorry, I can’t. You can ask the requisite details here itself. I hope you will understand. Thnx.


thnx a lot sir,,,


Sir can i get your personnel email id?? i have some queries regarding my career. You can mail me to

Hector M

sry. it should be CAT of 2013. Your batch would be 2014-16 of whichever B school you join. I hope this clarifies the point. Thnx for pointing it out.


sir,,, sorry 2 say bt i didnt got my full rply… i askd u dat if i wnt 2 tk admission in 2014 n i ll cmplete my btech in 2014 den in wich yr i need 2 gv cat xam??

Hector M

That’s interesting. You want to do MBA and you lack interest in business and economic sections. Why don’t you pursue what you really like? Though its true that things can be a touch boring at the start, you will enjoy the subject and its intricacies a great deal once you get comfortable with it. So the only way to evoke interest is to start understanding and reading about the same. Pick up some business cum interest based novels and slowly move into business novels as your interest improves. Its like having chocolate corn flakes just so that you end up having corn flakes. I hope you get the point.

Other than the books of TIME, I would suggest Arun Sharma/SK Verma for Quant, Norman Lewis for English, and puzzle books for LR. Join another test series if required. Complete this entire material at least twice.

ATB for CAT 2013.

Hector M


Hector M


IIM percentile depends on the IIM and your profile i.e. 10nth, 12th and Graduation marks.

Hector M

Give the interview for IIM S as practice. However, don’t join IMHO. Try for better colleges. I really liked your attitude about the category issue and I am sure it would be a huge + impression during the interview stage if you go as a general candidate. For the percentile, I am still making some app for that, so please subscribe to the newsletter and I would let you know about the cut off via email updates of the blog. ATB.



sir i gave my cat 2012 with no such preparation or expectations. I didn’t even apply to any colg as i wasn’t expecting a good percentile. I scored 94.29 n have been shortlisted for iim shillong.. I am not sure whether i shud try to get into iim s or prepare well for cat 2013 for better calls. Also sir i am an NC-OBC candidate but i gave my cat 2012 as a GENERAL one as i want 2 get into a colg based on my calibre n not reservation. . Sir can you plz tell me the %ile 4 getting a call from iim a,b.c and l for NC-OBC students. I am in my 4th yr engg in electronics and comm. Plz help me get out of dis dilemma . I don’t knw if shud try 4 iim s dis yr or get a good prep 4 better calls nxt yr. Plz help!!


hello sir…

i m in btech 3rd yr, it branch,, n its 6th sem.. from last few days i made myself determined dat i hv 2 crack cat,, i will cmplete my btech in 2014. n wnt 2 tk admission in 2014 itself.. so wen i need 2 give d exam 4 dat. in 2013 or 14.??? n at what prcntile i cn get IIM…?


hello sir i’m prangya a final yr undrgraduate.can i take admsn for MBA through CAT in 2013?plz suggest me…….

Hector M

Give a free mock CAT exam, solve some past papers of CAT. You are your best judge and you will get a feel of whether you need a coaching or not.

Hector M

Try to find some job, somewhere. It’s no issue if you do prepare for CAT but in the interview you may leave a negative impression as they don’t expect students to give up their studies just to prepare for CAT. For all this you have said, I think you lack direction with respect to your career. Read and relate to your life before starting for CAT 2013. ATB.

Hector M

It’s simple. Become regular. There is no remedy to procrastination apart from picking yourself up and doing the work.

Hector M

I believe you can do without any class room coaching. Just see your progress till 3-4 months before the exam, if need be, join a crash course.


I studied B.Sc. and M.Sc in food and nutrition. 5 months have passed after the M.Sc result but still i am jobless. I have applied to many organisations but didn’t got any response and now it seems that i made a wrong decision by wasting these two years in M.Sc. I wanted to do MBA instead of M.Sc but at that time my parents advised me to do M.Sc. Now, i am lost and not able to decide that what should i do next. Should i start preparing for CAT 2013?

Will it be an issue if i only prepare for CAT 2013 without any job by side as i am not getting one?

Thank You


sir, i appeared for cat 2011 and 2012 scoring 87 and 86 resp without any studies now i wanna go in for mba this yr with good preps but im in two minds whether to join any coaching or not so please any help would be appriciated .

thank you

saurabh gupta

hi sir,

I gave cat in 2010 final year of my and secured 80%,

now I am doing job. and will be giving 2013 cat

so should I joined any institute for preparation. Last time I joined CL in Delhi.

now I am in Chennai but I do not know which coaching is good here.

Also I have started my preparation from my old material but I am not regular due to proper time table. what should I do?

nisahnt sharma

thank you

Er Mehak Sarla

Hello Sir
I’m a second year student and I’ve already joined T.I.M.E. weekend batch. I’m studying regularly what ever is being taught in classroom. But I’m tensed about what else am I supposed to study other than this ? Can you please suggest something? Secondly I lack interest in business and economic sections. How can I brush up myself and create interest in those areas?
Thank you :)

sanyogita bhardwaj


dis is sanyogita bhardwaj. I m 3rd electronics and communication student. What should i do nw? i shuld adopt for coaching or should do self study by taking subject material from coaching and join test series. suggest something……

shikha gupta

thank you so much sir….

Hector M

NCERT 9th and 10th Geometry books. Start from there and then move on to coaching institute books.


hello again tell me abt geometry part of QA too. m not good in geo basic.any book ? or site?


Infinite…1 year.


No, why would it be a problem. However, note that it takes around 3-4 months to complete the entire CAT syllabus, then 2 months to revise it twice all over again. So around 6 months is enough.So probably you may get bored if you start so early. For now, just read lots and lots of novels, solve puzzle books, read good magazines online, work on some hobbies etc. and then bring all this together 9 months before CAT. ATB.


Verbal is directly correlated with your penchant for reading. Are you a prolific reader? How many novels have you read till date? Read good quality novels, at least 100 in the next 6 months in concordance with the coaching provider books and you will feel the difference.

Abhishek Sanjay

Hello sir,

This is Abhishek pursuing MCA. I’m in the 2nd year now. I want to do an MBA at IIM’s and appear for CAT 2013. It would be kind of you ,if you could help me choose a field in MBA also( On what basis am I to choose one).. Is it okay for me to pursue an MBA at this moment.( after MCA )? I’ll be changing my field completely from computers to Management. Please help me figure this out !!!

My email-id :


I’m a working professional. Can prepare for CAT only during my weekends. Appeared for CAT this year(2012) securing 85%ile. Verbal being a major problem. Any suggestions as to how to go about preparing? Also more importantly how do I improve my English

Shikha Gupta

also tell me about the maximum number of attempts for CAT..and the period of validity of the score card…..

Thank you!


sir, if i go for it right now…will there be any problem…??

please clarify…..

Thank you!


Refer I need to do a lot of research to include that part in my website. Don’t have it right now, probably in the future. Sorry !!

Arpita Topno

Thank you so much sir. Please can you help me regarding the topics I should prepare for the interview.


First of all, congratulations for the effort.

Second, to put things in perspective, the question should be rephrased as – should you be appear for the interview process or not? The answer is yes, you should because it will give your valuable practice despite your propensity towards better colleges.

Should you go for it or not? For now, just give the interview, get the final call and after that come back and contact me again. I will definitely take a look at your profile and give you my perspective on whether to opt for it or not.



shikha Gupta

hello sir!!

I’m in 2nd year of B.Tech(EC).
could you please tell me when should i join for the CAT coaching classes….in 3rd or the 4th year?

Thank you.


Arpita Topno

can you please help me in taking decision whether i should go for iim shillong or not as i have been short listed for it.


That totally depends on the ability of the student. Give some previous year CAT exams – like 2008,07,06. Give a free mock test at some online test (like Testfunda). If you score around 80%ile or more, you can certainly do without it.



Arpita Topno



i’m kartik in final year of BE in EC and want to crack cat..
can preparation be done even without a coachin..

Sudha Gandrapu

Thanks alot!! :)


The study plan varies with the ability of the student. Just make sure you finish the course books at least 2 times, 2 months before the date of the exam. Now how exactly you do that is something that you would have to ascertain on subjective basis.

Do give Mock CAT exams very sincerely and work on those as highlighted above in the article.

Its great that you can grasp concepts quickly, that would help you a great deal going forward.

ATB for CAT 2013.

Sudha Gandrapu


This is Sudha pursuing 4th year B.Tech in Electronics and Communication.

I’m planning to take CAT this November(2013)…I’ve joined TIME a week ago for weekend classes. Can u suggest me the proper mode of preparation(like no.of hrs to be spent on prep daily, books to be followed, schedule to be implemented etc) to get into IIMs. I’m good enough in grasping the concepts quickly.

Thank you :)


final year


m nw..presently doin my btech 1st year… wen shud i undergo coaching of CAT???


i am going to attend CAT of 2014 Dec……which books i have to prefer?


No. It’s not compulsory. It can definitely be cracked by self study. In fact, that is one of the primary reason why we espouse Test Funda over other service providers because it helps students study at home/office/computer etc. with no coaching. If any doubts arise, students can ask online from their teachers, else just continue studying.

We encourage students to actually do your self study, select good books, give mock exams, join PG, introspect and work on weak areas. This is more than enough and very few coaching institutes in India actually provide any value beyond these resources.


is it compulsory to join a coaching institute ?? can’t CAT be cracked my self study, mock tests n test series ??


That would depend on your ability to grasp the top of your CAT exam. Just take a look at books and see where you stand. I would also suggest giving a Mock Exam. ATB.


i am plang to join coachng institute in january
if i join in june ,will it be late enough? or i will be able to do the syllabi?


The dates for the CAT exam would be out around September. You can add your email to our subscription list in order to get the latest updates.

Karuna sharama

How to apply for CAT exams?

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