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CAT exam sections and tips
April 13 2024

What are the sections for CAT and how to prepare? 

What is CAT?

CAT is touted to be one of the most sought after exams to get into an IIM or any other prestigious B Schools. But to reach that milestone you have to carefully devise a strategy around the sections for the CAT exam. Moreover, a plan of action to not only crack the exam but also to get a score of 90 percentile and above. Let's start from scratch and prepare a schedule. Because if you don’t have a schedule for something, it cannot be your priority!

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CAT exam sections

To begin with, CAT is a national level competitive examination, that consists of 4 areas,

  1. Quantitative Ability
  2. Verbal Ability
  3. Logical Reasoning
  4. Data Interpretation

In this Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation is a combined section in CAT, each having 16 questions each and the time is given is 1 hour, i.e. 34 questions in 60 minutesQuantitative Ability and Verbal Ability consists of 34 questions each with a time limit of 60 minutes each! In conclusion, you have 100 questions to solve in 3 hours. Preparing from the beginning will help you to learn concepts in depth. That was all about the exam.

Prepare with the Toppers and aim at IIM

CAT exam Syllabus and what to cover? 

Sections for CAT exam and the topics

Quantitative Ability

Moving on with the syllabus you need to cover. Beginning with Quantitative Ability, it includes basic maths that you have studied in your 8th to 10th std. This would include your basic arithmetic, algebra, modern maths, and geometry. Arithmetic includes topics such as percentage, average, ratio, and proportion, time speed distance, time and work, etc. Algebra includes your simultaneous equations, linear equations, quadratic equations. Geometry includes lines, angles, polygons, trigonometry, mensuration, coordinate geometry. Modern Maths includes topics such as Permutations and Combinations, Probability, etc.

To begin with, you can start taking up one section at a time and get your basics cleared. For this, you can use the basic set of books and try to finish them in 3 months. And let me tell you, 3 -4 months is a good time to invest and brush up all your concepts. Gradually you can start giving sectional tests to test the waters!

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Talking about verbal ability, it is one such section that needs consistent practice. This section in CAT consists majorly of Reading Comprehension, Para jumbles, and Critical Reasoning, out of which 24 questions are RC’s. You have to nail this area. For this, you need to get into the habit of reading books of various genres. Since you have an ample amount of time, you can invest in 2 books per month!

Make it a habit to finish up a book in 15 days! This will gradually build up your reading and comprehension skills and trust me, this is the best way to kill the Verbal ability section. In order to build your vocabulary, you must complete Norman Lewis Word Power Made Easy. This is the world’s best book for building your vocabulary!


Increase your reading speed and score well in Reading Comprehension in CAT  

Data Interpretation

Let’s Move on to Data Interpretation Section, to ace this section you need to solve around 500 DI sets! Yes, you read that right! Just because this section is all about the concepts you revised in your quants and how you cope up with your speed. This won't ask you some hardcore concepts instead, speed maths and faster calculations are all you need to nail it. Since you are in the 2nd year right now, make it a habit of solving 1 DI set every day! If you follow this, within one year you’ll master this area and any set given would just be a cakewalk for you!

Logical Reasoning 

Logical Reasoning section is nothing but your analytical skills. This is one such section that you can crack if you start building your analytical skills. Start with solving Sudoku puzzles daily. You can even try out a book called Shakuntala Devi. It is a really cool puzzle book, that will open up your brains and infuse problem-solving skills in you. Gradually you can move to puzzles/arrangements/blood relations/coding-decoding types of actual CAT questions to test yourself.

Learn how to get IIM Call with basic quants preparation

If you begin now, you must invest a few months in learning and understanding all of the above things and start giving mocks then.

But let me tell you, this is the correct time to start your preparation so don’t waste your time and kickstart your preparation.

“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”

All the best! Stay Glued! #IIMOrNothing

Related links:

CAT Preparation: The Do’s and Don’ts How to increase accuracy in CAT? IIM-A interview experiences and their tips

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Anisha Mukhija

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