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CAT Exam Pattern and Revision tips to ace the CAT exam!

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) hold the CAT, a computer-based entrance exam, once a year for admission to their MBA programmes. IIMs administer the CAT exam on a rotating basis. With over 2 lakh students registering each year to take the exam, it is one of India’s most challenging and prestigious tests. We shall go into great detail about the CAT exam pattern in this article.

Essential CAT Information

  • Common Admission Test is the name of the test.
  • It takes place in November once a year.
  • Only online application forms are accepted for CAT.
  • The examination is given online.
  • Those who pass the exam will be admitted to different business schools in India.
  • CAT scores are accepted by all IIMs and other business schools, both public and private.
  • Both subjective and objective question types are covered in the exam.
  • Typically, the registration process starts in July or August.
  • The CAT exam includes both TITA and MCQ-type questions.

Candidates can go to the CAT exam’s official website to discover more about the exam.

CAT Eligibility Requirements

A candidate must fulfil some educational prerequisites to be eligible to take the CAT exam.

Candidate with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a school or board that has earned accreditation. The test is open to students in their final year of high school.

There was a minimum qualifying marks requirement in place before the pandemic. Whether this criterion will be kept in place or dropped for the upcoming year has yet to be announced.

CAT Exam Pattern: Section-Wise

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension make up the three components of the CAT exam. Each section of the exams lasts 40 minutes, totalling 120 minutes (two hours long). There are 66 total questions on the test. 

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The candidate’s analytical and logical reasoning abilities are examined in this section. It comprises 20 questions on logical reasoning and data interpretation. This section’s questions are a mix of subjective and multiple-choice questions.

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The candidate’s comprehension and analytical skills are tested in this section. It comprises 24 questions on verbal and reading comprehension. Multiple-choice and TITA (type in your answer) questions are included in this section.

  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

The candidate’s aptitude in mathematics is examined in this section. There are 22 questions on it. This section’s questions are a mix of subjective and multiple-choice questions. Over the years, the conducting bodies have made the Quantitative Abilities (QA) less challenging.

CAT Exam Pattern: Marking Scheme

On the CAT exam, each question is worth three points. The CAT exam includes a component of negative marking. For each incorrect response, one mark is subtracted. Subjective questions, however, are exempted from negative markings.

CAT Exam Pattern: Important Topics

Specific topics appear in the CAT exam every year. Such topics are regarded as essential topics. The important topic under each section are:

  • VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)

Reading comprehension; Paragraph Jumbles; Paragraph Summary; Sentence Elimination, and some other miscellaneous question about sentence correction etc.

  • DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Bar Graph; pie charts; tables; line graphs; Venn Diagrams; word problems; combination of graphs; visualisation-based puzzles; mathematical puzzles; tournaments and games; calendar; sequencing; grid puzzles; seating arrangement; direction-based puzzles.

  • QA (Quantitative Aptitude)

Arithmetics; Geometry; Algebra; Number Theory and Modern Maths.

CAT Exam Preparation and Mock Tests

  • Mock tests are very beneficial when preparing for the CAT exam. Mock tests assist with timed study, and their analysis helps identify areas of strength and weakness. 
  • Practice and performance analysis of CAT’s previous year’s question papers might also be helpful in addition to mock tests.
  • A regular reading schedule for books, periodicals, and newspapers must be part of your CAT preparation plan.
  • Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is essential.
  • Make flashcards to learn new words every day to increase your vocabulary. For enhanced recall, try using the newly discovered terminology in regular interactions.
  • Read top-scorers testimonies and learn CAT preparation techniques that can be useful.
  • Discover strategies to motivate oneself because consistent and targeted preparations require motivation.

How can I create a revision schedule for the CAT Exam?

It is only possible to revisit some of the resources you utilised for your CAT preparation for revision. As a result, it’s crucial to decide What needs to be revised?  

  • Formulas: When beginning with the fundamentals, numerous formulas can be found. If these are revisited repeatedly, it will be easier to remember the formulas. When learned by heart, formulas are simple to remember. Also, short formulas save a lot of time and effort. As you work through mock exams and workbooks, you will also master new shortcut formulas. Formulas demand regular revision.
  • Basic Concepts:   Fundamental ideas need to be revisited frequently. The CAT tests ability and places more of an emphasis on conceptual comprehension and clarity than on factual facts. Hence, thoroughly revising fundamental ideas will improve understanding and performance.
  • Shortcuts and methods: A key component of entrance exam preparation is learning shortcuts and related techniques. These quick tactics require good revision and practice.
  • Essential questions:  The questions that have novel solutions must be revised. There is only one method that can lead to their solution. As a result, these questions and their answers need to be reviewed periodically.
  • Continue revisiting the basic multiplication tables, the squares and square roots, and the cubes and cube roots. You’ll be able to perform lengthy calculations faster and improve your mental maths skills.

Trust the revisions and notes you’ve made. Do not be overwhelmed by alternative methods of study and revision. Everyone has particular strengths and weaknesses. An idea you find simple to understand may require more work from someone else and vice versa. Believe in your preparation and your ability to ace the CAT exam. You shall achieve what you aspire for.

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