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CAT Preparation 2023: Preparation Tips, Best Books, and Strategy

Preparation for CAT The CAT 2023 exam is one of the hardest MBA exams for people who want to get into the best business schools in India, like the IIMs. If you want to take the CAT (Common Admission Test) in 2023, you should have a clear, well-thought-out plan that takes into account everything and […]

 Saurav Anand
|05/12/2022 | Share:
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CAT, Common Admission Test

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Preparation for CAT

The CAT 2023 exam is one of the hardest MBA exams for people who want to get into the best business schools in India, like the IIMs. If you want to take the CAT (Common Admission Test) in 2023, you should have a clear, well-thought-out plan that takes into account everything and helps you score in the 99th percentile or higher.

The CAT (Common Admission Test) 2023 is used to test a candidate’s analytical, logical, and verbal skills. It has two sections: Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

CAT Exam Preparation 2023 The Common Admission Test, or CAT, is the most well-known MBA entrance exam in India. More than a hundred thousand people take it every year. It is the road to the IIMs, which are good business schools in India. Of course, this is also the hardest front exam to pass. So, people who want to take the CAT( Common Admission Test) in 2023 need to make a study plan that includes all of the things that help people get a 99+ percentile score. The CAT is an inherent ability test that measures a candidate’s analytical, logical, and verbal skills. All of these skills are important for a successful career in business management. So, if you want to pass the CAT test, you need a good study plan.

Like every year, the CAT 2023 question paper can be very hard, so you want to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your knowledge.

How to Study for the CAT Without Help?

The Indian Institute of Management is the best choice for people who want to get an MBA (IIMs). But only a small number of people can get into IIMs. If you want to get your MBA at one of India’s best business schools, you have to take the CAT exam. To do well on the Common Admission Test, or CAT, you need to take the right approach, put in a lot of work, and keep studying. With the best advice and CAT prep, candidates can not only pass the CAT 2023 exam, but they can also get much better scores. Candidates can pass the CAT exam even if they don’t take any prep classes. This post has all of the best tips, books, and downloads for studying for the IIM MBA entrance exam, which is based on the CAT.

Is it possible to get ready for the CAT on your own?

A lot of people who have done well on the CAT (Common Admission Test) and professionals say that getting training and a mentor is helpful. But that’s not always the case. Vishesh Garg, who got one of the highest scores on the CAT in 2020, says that you don’t need CAT tutoring to get a high score. Coaching institutions don’t want applicants to know that they can pass the CAT without their help.

Most people who sign up for coaching sessions have high hopes, so they are willing to pay a lot. Even though joining a coaching programme can help, it doesn’t mean you’ll pass the CAT (Common Admission Test) 2023 with the score you want. CAT top scorers in the past have passed the admissions test without getting help.

Candidates, especially those who are taking the CAT for the first time, follow coaching schools blindly and spend a lot of their own money on them. But some candidates can’t sign up for any of the coaching sessions. It could be because of the high costs and your desire to do well in your study.

Ashish Sen, who got a 99.99 percentile on the CAT in 2020, says that independent study is a big part of how well you do on the test. The winner of the CAT 2020 test, Abhilasha Balakrishnan, said that he did not sign up for any tutoring. He thinks that self-study is enough as long as the person has a clear understanding of the programme. Shivam Chandak didn’t take any classes to prepare for the CAT 2019 exam. Instead, he used the internet to practise CAT questions and take CAT practice tests.

Tips for Preparing for the CAT in 2023 Without Coaching?

The main question is how to start getting ready without coaching. Before signing up for CAT prep tutoring, there are a number of things to think about. Candidates can do well on the CAT exam without coaching if they follow the tips below on how to study for the test.

  • Take a mock test.
  • Know how the test is set up
  • Taking care of time
  • Make groups to study.
  • Use technology and the right materials to help you learn.
  • Drive yourself and have faith in yourself.

Practice Test

Step one in getting ready for the CAT could be to take a mockery test to see where you really stand. Adit Sanjanawala, who got the best score on the CAT in 2020, started preparing for the test by taking a joke test to find out where he was at. He said that a candidate could figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are by taking mock tests. Ravi Pranshu, who scored the highest on the CAT, did about forty practice tests to figure out where he went wrong and where he needed to focus.

By taking CAT practice tests, applicants can get an idea of how hard the real test will be and how to move between the three different sections. Also, applicants can find out how many times they need to try each section to get a good score.

Remember that people who want to take the CAT will have to answer the Non-MCQs, which require them to look at the passage and choose the best order. Mock tests also let you look over the questions ahead of time. Mock CAT tests might be like real tests in that each part might have a set amount of time.

Learn how the CAT exam is set up.

After you’ve read everything you need to know about how to prepare for the CAT without taking a mock test, you should take a look at a sample test and the CAT’s course outline. In line with how CAT tests are usually set up, the question paper has a total of one hundred questions, and the test itself was done online.

Candidates have to answer the questions in the time allotted for each section. Top student Rahul Manglik focused on knowledge and finished the curriculum to make sure he was right. He then focused on getting better at solving problems.

The CAT question paper is made up of three parts: quantitative ability, verbal ability, reading comprehension, information interpretation, and logical reasoning. Make a section-by-section plan for how and when to start studying for each part of the CAT.

Time Management

Shivam Kumar, who got the best score on the CAT, said, “Candidates should spend a lot of time analysing how roads work.” Focus on how you use your time. It’s not just about getting ready for Verbal Ability, Reasoning Ability, or Quantitative Ability. It’s also about getting ready for all sections and using your time well.

If you don’t know how to find questions quickly, it can be hard to answer all of the questions correctly in the hour you have for each section. The candidates should focus on carefully breaking down their strengths.

Set up groups to study

Be social and try to find people who want to pass the CAT 2023 just as much as you do but don’t need help from educational articles. Results can be made or broken by how good a company is. So, people who want to take the CAT should talk to people who are taking or have taken the test.

During the exam period, it will be helpful to join groups with people who think as you do, learn about new things, and talk about them. Not always do all candidates have to take part in the self-prep. People who have taken courses in coaching can help other people. Help from other team members can be used to answer and solve simple questions and problems. Instead of bothering each other, people in a study group can encourage each other and make the group a healthy place to be.

Find the right things to study

There is a lot of CAT training to look at the material on the market. Those who are preparing without a college degree should keep an eye on which top authors have written the best books, question banks, coaching notes, sample papers, etc.

Look for books that have a lot of information instead of ones that are heavy for their size. I usually cross for “best” instead of “number of books” when studying for the CAT 2023.

Make use of the technology

Just because you aren’t in training classes anymore doesn’t mean you can’t use the internet. Browse and use Google services at some point. Try to figure out which sites might be good for teaching you things that will help you prepare for the CAT.

At this time, there are a number of YouTubers who explain every part of the CAT curriculum in clear language. Ronit Banerjea said that he used the internet and many preparation websites to get ready. Clear your principles by using the Internet to learn new ways to answer questions.

Be driven and believe in yourself.

Even though this issue is no longer directly relevant, it is still very important because it acts as a guiding force in any area. You can give yourself a boost by putting a good sticky observer on the front of your desk. Check the same thing every day and make yourself successful. Notes should say things like “I can pass CAT with good marks” or “I get a name from IIM” or something else that makes you think of something.

Ankit Desai, who got a 99.9 percentile on the CAT and was the top scorer, says that self-motivation is the most important thing for passing the test.

When to Start Preparing for the CAT in 2023?

There is no best time to start getting ready for the CAT. If you ask experts, they will say “one year.” But many people who have only been in school for 5 months have scored in the 99th percentile or higher on the CAT. So, it really depends on the candidate, how well he or she plans to study for the CAT, and how much they want to do it. If you want to take the CAT in 2023, March is the time to start getting ready.

First, applicants have to answer the question, “Can you be part of a training institute?” How much time do you have to spend studying? Those who want to go to a training institute should book a seat as soon as possible. If you want to study on your own for the CAT, you should start right away. At least 14–28 hours a week is the answer to the question.

If people start studying for the CAT in 2023 now, they should finish the middle part of the course in July or August. Then, start fixing the CAT question papers, mock test collections, and pattern papers from previous years to improve speed and accuracy. Mock tests should be done in the last few months before the CAT, from October to November.

CAT Exam Pattern

The CAT exam is a highly competitive exam and a difficult one to crack due to its exam pattern and marking scheme. Candidates should understand the CAT exam pattern, to begin with, CAT preparation. CAT exam pattern 2023 has been mentioned below.

CAT Exam Pattern Highlights

Duration of the CAT Exam2 Hours (120 Minutes)
Name of the CAT SectionVerbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
Section-wise Duration40 Minutes for Each Section (VARC, DILR, QA).53 Minutes 20 Seconds for PwD candidates for each section.
Slot-wise SessionSlot 1: 8:30 am – 10:30 am (Morning Session)Slot 2: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm (Afternoon Session)Slot 3: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm (Evening Session)
Number of Questions66 Questions
CAT Exam Total Marks198 marks
Mode of the CAT 2023 examComputer-Based Mode (CBT)
CAT Marking SchemeFor every right answer, +3 will be awarded for every wrong answer in MCQs, -1 will be deducted negative marks for Non-MCQs

Important Topics

As suggested above, candidates must complete the latest CAT syllabus by September 2023. Go via all of the crucial subjects for CAT 2023, theorems, formulae, and questions and be thorough with the concepts. Take study a few crucial subjects from all of the 3 sections of the CAT Syllabus below:

CAT Important Topics

CAT SyllabusImportant Topics for CAT 2023
Verbal Ability & Reading ComprehensionPara-Jumbles, Para Summary, Antonyms, One Word Substitution, Sentence Completion
Data Interpretation & Logical ReasoningSyllogism, Seating Arrangement, Tables, Charts, Graphs, Caselets
Quantitative AptitudeGeometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Time and Work, Number System, Trigonometry

CAT Test Preparation: The right move

CAT guidance is made up of many different parts:

Taking Practice Tests

Without each other, they are not whole. The applicants should study each of these parts of the CAT exam guidance one at a time, using one as a guide. The best way to handle the two can be to give each section an equal amount of time. However, candidates might need to spend more time on their weak spots.

Getting through the CAT Syllabus

For each section, there is one rule you should always follow: finish the syllabus first, and then take and pass mock tests. Remember that you might not be able to answer mock questions if you haven’t learned everything on the syllabus. Here are a few important tips on how to prepare for each part of the CAT:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: This phase has two parts: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. For Verbal Ability, use a lot of words and correct grammar. Questions in this phase can be anything from Sentence Completion and Cloze Tests to Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, Spellings, Words Often Confused, and Odd Words. To solve these, you need a big vocabulary, good reading skills, and the ability to think things through.

If you aren’t a good reader, the Reading Comprehension part of the test can take a lot of time. So, look, look, and look some more. Start reading editorials in newspapers and business magazines, as well as fiction and nonfiction books, to improve your reading skills.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: There are graphs and charts with questions in this section. They can be based on math calculations, counting, good judgement, or shapes. There are no set formulas or theorems for making DILR, so the most important thing is to learn how to figure out the right answer. This can be done most effectively by using the normal exercise of asking some questions.

Quantitative Aptitude: This is the most complicated part of the test in terms of calculations, and you need to work toward it on purpose in order to pass. Candidates should keep in mind that the most important thing to do well in this phase is to answer a QA question correctly 100% of the time within the time limit given. Quantitative Aptitude is the part where an unusually high number of college students score a perfect 100. If candidates can do it well, you can too.

Getting Ready for the CAT Without Help Things to keep in mind

Know the format and content of the test. Make a training plan and a simple schedule based on what you’re good at and what you need to work on. Choose when you will study and stick to the plan.

Beginning with VARC. Every day, make it a habit to read and analyse newspapers, magazines, and editorials. This will help you improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary. Once RC is in charge, the flow should go to QA, and then DILR.

Join CAT preparation groups on social media (Facebook, Quora, Telegram, YouTube, and other online exam forums), or make your own online exam group on any of these platforms where candidates can share their thoughts, get their questions answered, and share CAT study materials.

Use the Internet to watch movies and read blogs with the help of MBA professionals who are helping you prepare for the CAT. The Internet is a great place to find study materials for tests.

You should do as many online CAT practice tests and collections as you can and then look at how well you did in each one. The goal for candidates is to get faster and more accurate with each mock they look at.

Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t do well on practice tests at first. Your overall performance will get better if you work out.

Coaching to Prepare for the CAT

Getting ready for the CAT is a long-term plan. One has to start getting ready at least 6 to 9 months ahead of time. Those who want to study for the CAT by self-examination need to start even earlier. Mentors and coaches help candidates who are in a training programme for the CAT in a good way. The training centre also gives candidates all of the material that will be tested and a set of CAT mock test questions while guiding them through difficult topics and questions. But they might have to prepare for six to eight hours a day.

Tests to prepare for the CAT

Once you’re done with the CAT course, the next step is to start taking mock exams and sample papers. Practice exams, sample papers, and CAT question papers from previous years help the candidate prepare for the exam a lot. Practice CAT questions not only help applicants get faster and better at answering questions but also help them feel more confident before the real test. Here are some of the most important reasons to pass CAT mock tests:

With the help of mock exams, it’s easier to understand how the CAT question paper is set up and how much each question is worth.

Because the CAT has a time limit, taking mock tests can help you learn how to manage your time.

A system that gives fewer points for wrong answers forces the candidate to choose which questions to answer and which to skip.

By taking mock tests, candidates can learn what kinds of questions they can answer quickly and correctly 100% of the time and what kinds of questions they don’t like. On the real CAT exam, making this kind of choice is easy.

The more practice tests a candidate takes, the better he or she will be able to handle questions that aren’t on the test. The trick is to take a variety of practice tests instead of a lot of fake exams.

Candidates can also learn how to answer questions quickly without using formulas or calculations by taking practice tests.

Self-study is the way to get ready for the CAT 2023.

Applicants who can’t go to class every day should choose self-study. Yes, independent study is a good way to prepare for the CAT exam. A lot of people who did well on the CAT did study for it. Self-study candidates don’t have to worry about preparing for the CAT 2023. Only the following things need to be done:

Join online discussion groups on Facebook, YouTube, Quora, and Telegram, for example.

Get apps to help you study for the MBA entrance exam.

Buy the best CAT study books.

MBA tutoring organisations offer online study materials, such as CAT mock test series, that can help you learn.

Make a plan for each month to help you prepare for the CAT.

The CAT exam is given on the computer. Most of the time, the questions aren’t too hard or too easy.

The CAT exam is given on the computer. Most of the time, the questions aren’t too easy or too hard. How quickly and accurately you can use your mind to answer a question is what makes it easy or hard.

The first and most important thing you need to do is understand the CAT’s structure and curriculum well. When you study for the CAT, you should work on being able to choose the right questions, read them quickly and correctly, and solve them quickly and correctly.

How to Study for the CAT VARC 2023?

The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) part of the CAT test is made up of three parts: vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension.

Questions about vocabulary include Sentence Completion, Cloze Tests, Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, Spelling, Odd Words, and Words that are Often Confused. To solve these problems, candidates need to know a lot of words, be able to read well and be able to think critically. One important part of knowing how to use words is knowing how they can be used in different situations. It will be easy once you understand how a word is used in its context.

Try to understand a word’s history by learning what its root words mean. Latin roots like “loqui” can help you understand words like “eloquent,” “loquacious,” “soliloquy,” “ventriloquize,” “circumlocution,” “grandiloquent,” “magniloquent,” etc. When you know the meanings of prefixes and suffixes and know the roots of words, you have a strong vocabulary.

There are two ways to approach grammar-based questions: either you follow the rules and learn about the different parts of speech, how to use them, and the rules that apply, or you practise the questions that are asked and learn the kinds of mistakes that lead to questions based on error detection or sentence correction. Once you know what all the mistakes are, lots of practice will help you get to the end.

Reading Comprehension: One way to deal with reading comprehension is to slowly get into the habit of reading. Start reading the news, blogs, and books of fiction. Depending on the level of the text, try to read at least 300 words per minute. Read a lot, too. Choose things to read about that aren’t what you’re used to.

How to Study for the CAT 2023 DILR?

The other two parts of the CAT test are almost as important as Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. This part of CAT 2023 took about average amount of time. It’s hard because CAT DILR is not math and there is no formula for it. It is based on logic and has some adding and taking away. So, it is a skill that needs to be learned instead of a fact that needs to be remembered.

Here, mental math is very important. Don’t use a calculator to learn more about DILR. Instead, use your head. Mastery of the one-to-twenty tables, skill with fractions (1/1, 1/2, 1/3 up to 1/20), basic math skills, etc. Practice is the best way to get good at the DILR part of the CAT. The more you practise, the faster your accuracy will improve.

How to Get Ready for the CAT Quantitative Aptitude Test in 2023?

The CAT Quantitative Aptitude part has questions about basic math, algebra, advanced math, and geometry. It makes up one-third of the questions on the test.

In this part, the only way to get good grades is to read each chapter carefully. Think about the basics and ideas. Try out the CAT’s QA section by answering a variety of sample questions. In this section, you may need to do some math. Use your brain to figure things out instead of a calculator. It will take less time.

Prepare for the CAT in 2023 Sample papers and practise tests

An important part of getting ready for the CAT exam is doing practice questions and online mock tests. During the time they are studying, candidates must take 40 to 50 practice CAT tests. Experts say that October is the best time to start full-fledged CAT mock tests, but they also recommend that applicants do topic-by-topic practice tests as they learn the material to help them understand the concepts better.

Try to do the practice questions at least three times for each subject you are learning about. You will understand the question and how it makes sense on your first try, solve it correctly on your second try, and solve it quickly on your third try.

Start working on the online CAT practice tests as soon as you’re done with the syllabus so you don’t get stuck on one subject.

When you take CAT practise tests, your goal should be to get faster and better at answering questions that take two hours to finish. Strengthen your stamina so you can sit through the three-hour exam without getting tired emotionally or physically.

After you finish each CAT sample or practice test, look at how you did to see where you need to improve. Every day, you shouldn’t solve more than one example paper. After a hard day, your mind needs to calm down.

If the result seems bad at first, don’t give up. Instead, keep looking for holes and fixing them.

CAT Practice: Solve Last Year’s CAT

In addition to sample papers and mock exams, the candidates must finish at least the last five years’ worth of CAT question papers. This will give students a general idea of how the CAT question paper is set up, what kinds of questions are on it, how hard they are, and how they are divided by topic.

150-Day Plan to Prepare for the CAT 2023

The CAT preparation 2023 plan for the next 150 days, starting in July 2023, includes your carefully planned study time as well as everything else related to CAT preparation, such as coaching classes, reading the newspaper for at least 30 minutes a day, attending expert sessions on CAT preparation, practise sessions, doubt-solving sessions, and other related activities.

Over the next 150 days, you will have more than 3,500 free hours. CAT expert Arks Srinivas thinks that you will spend 15 to 20 per cent of those hours, or one out of every 24, studying for the CAT. Over the past three months, people who want to take the CAT will have gotten faster, gone to more practice tests, and spent more time studying. So, candidates must spend the next 150 days studying for the CAT for a total of 750 hours. During these 750 hours, they should divide their time between reading the CAT Syllabus and breaking it down into manageable pieces. Choose the timelines from the list below and finish each one in order:

First 75 Days: Make sure you understand the ideas and how to use them in the first 75 days, and then take tests. By the end of the 75 days, students will know what the CAT VARC, LR, and QA sections are about, what kinds of questions they have, and what the most important ideas are.

Make a plan, and take mock exams and sectional exams in the next 50 days.

In the last 25 days, make changes and make the final plan.

Prepare for the CAT 2023 Section by Section in 150 Days

Here is a step-by-step plan for how to prepare for the CAT 2023 exam in 150 days, including where to start and what to study.

Taking the CAT in July, August, and September

Spend at least 450 hours in July, August, and part of September solidifying your understanding of the CAT curriculum and getting a full grasp of each idea by answering practice questions on each one at the same time. This will let you go over the basics and see where you still need to learn more about certain ideas.

Plan for getting ready for CAT 2023 VARC

Pay equal attention to your ability to understand what you hear and what you read. You can prepare well for the VARC part by doing the following things in 120 hours.

VARC TopicsDuration
Verbal Ability (Vocabulary)/ Grammar15 min per day
Reading Comprehension30 min per day
Total Hours for VA and RC practice75 hours
Classes (10)20 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (100 Tests)25 hours
Total for Next 100 days120 hours

CAT 2023 DILR Preparation Plan

The DILR section is considered one of the toughest sections in the CAT exam. This section is all about Tables, Graphs, Charts, and Series.

DILR Duration
Total Classes you need (10-15)30 hours
Revision of Classes you will need30 hours
Daily Practice of DI and LR sets (30 minutes per day)50 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (50 Tests)20 hours
Total for the Next 100 days130 hours

CAT 2023 QA Preparation Plan

In the Quantitative Aptitude section, candidates must focus mainly on conceptual clarity and practice. 

Quantitative AptitudeDuration
QA Classes on different topics (30)30 hours
Revision of Classes & Exercises90 hours
Practice on Topic Tests (100 tests)30 hours
Total for Next 120 days180 hours

Frequently Asked Questions About CAT Preparation

Q. Can I study for the CAT test on my own?

Ans. Yes, people can study for the CAT exam without coaching. You can get study materials for the CAT from a friend who took the test in the past or from someone in an online study group for the CAT. But that will take a single-minded commitment.

Q. I am working right now. My office hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM. How much time will I need to study for the CAT 2022?

Ans. Since you won’t have much time to study during the day, you should start getting ready for the CAT a year ahead of time. Join an online study group to get study materials that are useful to you.

Q. I’m in the last year of my BTech degree. Can I take the CAT in 2022?

Ans. Yes, CAT 2022 is open to all candidates who are in their last year of a Bachelor’s degree programme. But they will only be admitted to the MBA college if they pass the final year exam.

Q. I have a background in the humanities. What are the best books to start getting ready for Quants?

Ans. The NCERT Maths books for Grades 9 and 10 are a good place to start learning the basics of the Quants topics on the CAT syllabus. Once you understand the ideas, you can look at books to prepare for the CAT exam.

Q. What is the best amount of time to study for the CAT?

Ans. One year is the best amount of time to prepare for the CAT. But many people have passed the test after only studying for six or four months. So, how many months it takes to prepare for the CAT depends on the person and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Q. Can I get ready for the CAT by only taking mock tests?

Ans. Many people have scored in the 99th percentile or above by only taking practice tests, but that’s not the best way for everyone to prepare for the CAT. To pass the CAT exam, candidates must first study with books and tutorials to make sure they understand the concepts. Then, they can move on to practising mock tests.

Q. How many mock tests should you take to get a perfect score on the CAT?

Ans. Experts and past winners of the CAT say that 25 to 30 practice tests are enough to pass the test. But to get a score of 100 per cent, candidates must aim to take at least 40 practice tests.

Q. What are the most important questions in the CAT QA section?

Ans. The Quantitative Aptitude section of the CAT exam covers all of the important math topics from grades 9 and 10, such as Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Modern Math, Arithmetic, Probability, etc.

Q. What are the most important parts of the DILR section of the CAT?

Ans. The DILR section of the CAT includes Data Sufficiency, Number Series, Puzzles, Blood Relations, Direction, Data Arrangement, Seating Arrangement, Line Graphs, Venn Diagrams, Family Trees, etc.

Q. What are the most important parts of the VARC section of the CAT?

Ans. The CAT’s VARC section includes Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Verbal Reasoning, Para jumbles, Fill in the Blanks, Syllogism, Analogies, Antonyms and Synonyms, Foreign Words, and more.