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CAT 2022: 7 easy tips and tricks to ace your exam

India Today logo India Today 08-08-2022 India Today Web Desk
CAT 2022: 7 easy tips and tricks to ace your exam CAT 2022: 7 easy tips and tricks to ace your exam

The Common Admission Test (CAT) in India is considered one of the toughest examinations to crack in the world. Students who want admission to India's top business schools go through grueling preparations for it. This year, CAT is expected to be conducted in the final week of November, pending no further delays.

However, to decrease the immense pressure on students preparing for it, the number of questions might be brought down from previous years' pattern.

In 2020, the total time of the exam was reduced to two hours from three, citing the mental toll on students taken by the pandemic. This length will be continued for the upcoming exam as well.

Around 2 lakh aspirants sit for this exam every year, hoping to secure a place in the esteemed IIMs of India.


The test consists of three main sections - Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), Quantitative Ability (QA), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC).

For a shot at these top schools, aspirants must achieve a score between 95 to 99 percentile. They must answer questions in two formats - multiple choice questions (MCQs) and type-in-the-answer.


To crack an extremely tricky exam like CAT, students need to be prepared adequately. It requires dedication, planning, and hard work. A lot of aspirants sign up for coaching from institutes that help in the preparation using many techniques, like peer-led supervised groups and more.

Usually, aspirants dedicate around six months to prepare for the exam, extending up to a year.

With the exam coming up in November, students are gearing up for a final stretch of preparations. However, it is best to have a smart studying plan that is suited to your strengths. Rather than cramming vast portions of the syllabus, it is better that you focus on key areas in an intelligent and methodical manner.

If you are looking for some last-minute preparation tips, here are the best ideas for you.


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Basics are the key to solving all problems. Make sure your notes are thorough on the basics, and that you revise them properly at regular intervals. Quality preparation materials can propel your studies to the next level. If you have joined a coaching center, you will be provided with study materials compiled by them.

Bring up your questions and questions with teachers or peers. If you have access to a coaching center, make sure you clear your doubts with the teachers there.

Apart from this material, try to look for question banks, answer keys, and cheat sheets online - you will find abundant resources on the internet, but ensure that you can discern the better-quality ones to revise. Quality always trumps quantity, and you must thoroughly research authors and sources before starting preparation.


Learn quicker and shorter formulas for the exam. This will save you time by working out each problem on paper. This trick will help you specifically in the QA section, since many problems can be worked out mentally.


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To get a feel for the actual exam, set timers to take practice tests in the given time limit. Attempt to keep reducing the time you take, as well as the time allotted for each section in a more optimized manner. The number of questions you answer correctly must also figure into your strategy - keep trying to increase the number of right answers in each section.


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Try not to spend too much time on tougher questions. Start by solving the easy questions first, such that you get more time to work out the others later. Comprehension, or data interpretation, or questions that need close reading, for example, can be tackled later on, while you finish the spelling and grammar questions first.


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Familiarize yourself with the current format of marking the answers, switching between questions, flagging some parts for later, and so on. You can find many mock tests that can help you with this trick.


Analyse your mock test answers closely. Make a note of where you're going wrong the most, and which other areas need improvement. Take extra tests to correct your mistakes, and try to improve your accuracy as much as possible.


Don't panic. Maintain your composure as you tackle each section. If you face any difficulty, move on to easier questions and flag the tough ones for later. It is important to remember that you have studied hard and will do your very best in the exam.

While CAT is undoubtedly one of the most difficult exams to crack, with smart planning, a cool head, and belief in yourself, you can succeed. All the best!

Article by: Mr. Abhishek Patil, CEO, and Co-Founder, Oliveboard and Scholar

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