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Topper's Strategy to Crack the CAT Exam | CAT Exam Preparation
May 24 2024

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most competitive and challenging entrance exams for MBA aspirants in India. To secure a place in top business schools like IIMs, candidates need not only hard work but also smart strategies. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the strategies used by CAT toppers to ace the exam.

Start Your IIM Journey with CAT Online Courses

Understanding the CAT Exam Pattern

Before diving into preparation, it’s crucial to understand the exam pattern. The CAT exam is divided into three sections:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

Each section is timed separately, and the total duration of the exam is 180 minutes. Understanding the weightage and nature of questions in each section helps in formulating an effective study plan.

Creating a Study Plan

1. Setting Clear Goals:

  • Topper's start by setting realistic and achievable goals. They break down the syllabus into manageable chunks and set daily, weekly, and monthly targets.

2. Balanced Approach:

  • Equal focus is given to all three sections. While some candidates might have a natural inclination towards one section, it's important to ensure a balanced preparation to avoid scoring low in any particular area.

3. Customized Study Plan:

  • Based on individual strengths and weaknesses, toppers create a customized study plan. They allocate more time to areas where they need improvement while maintaining proficiency in stronger areas.

Also Read: CAT Exam Pattern

Section-wise Preparation Strategy

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC):

  • Reading Habit: Regular reading of newspapers, magazines, and books helps improve comprehension skills. Topper's often read diverse genres to enhance their understanding.
  • Vocabulary Building: Consistent efforts to learn new words and their usage can significantly improve performance in this section.
  • Practice RC Passages: Daily practice of reading comprehension passages and summarizing them to improve speed and accuracy.

2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR):

  • Understanding Concepts: Toppers ensure they have a clear understanding of various data interpretation techniques and logical reasoning concepts.
  • Regular Practice: Solving different types of DILR problems regularly helps in identifying patterns and improving problem-solving speed.
  • Mock Tests: Taking frequent mock tests to simulate exam conditions and identify weak areas for further improvement.

3. Quantitative Ability (QA):

  • Strong Foundation: Ensuring a strong grasp of basic mathematical concepts is crucial. Toppers focus on clarity in fundamental topics like algebra, geometry, and arithmetic.
  • Shortcut Techniques: Learning and practicing shortcut methods and formulas to solve problems quickly and accurately.
  • Daily Practice: Solving a variety of quantitative problems daily to maintain speed and accuracy.

Time Management

Effective time management is key to success in the CAT exam. Toppers employ several techniques to manage their time efficiently:

1. Timed Practice Sessions:

  • Regular practice sessions with a timer to simulate exam conditions and improve time management skills.

2. Prioritizing Questions:

  • Learning to quickly assess the difficulty level of questions and prioritizing them accordingly. Attempting easier questions first to secure marks before moving on to tougher ones.

3. Sectional Time Allocation:

  • Developing a strategy for the amount of time to be spent on each section and sticking to it during the exam.

Mock Tests and Analysis

Mock tests play a crucial role in a topper’s preparation strategy. Here’s how they utilize them effectively:

1. Regular Mock Tests:

  • Taking full-length mock tests regularly to get accustomed to the exam format and build stamina for the actual exam day.

2. Detailed Analysis:

  • Post-mock test analysis to identify mistakes, understand the areas of weakness, and track progress. Analyzing each test to find patterns in errors and working on them.

3. Adaptive Strategy:

  • Modifying preparation strategies based on the performance in mock tests. Adapting study plans to focus more on weak areas highlighted by mock test results.

Stress Management and Motivation

1. Consistent Routine:

  • Maintaining a consistent study routine helps in reducing stress and ensuring continuous progress.

2. Regular Breaks:

  • Taking regular breaks to avoid burnout. Engaging in activities like sports, music, or hobbies to relax and rejuvenate.

3. Positive Mindset:

  • Staying motivated and maintaining a positive mindset. Topper's often set small milestones and reward themselves upon achieving them to keep the motivation high.

Expert Guidance and Peer Learning

1. Coaching Institutes:

  • Many toppers join coaching institutes for structured guidance and access to quality study material.

2. Online Resources:

  • Utilizing online resources, including video lectures, online forums, and study groups, to clarify doubts and learn from peers.

3. Mentorship:

  • Seeking mentorship from previous CAT toppers or educators for tips and insights on effective preparation strategies.

Tips to crack Quant for Cat



Cracking the CAT exam requires a blend of hard work, smart strategies, and consistent effort. By understanding the exam pattern, creating a personalized study plan, practicing regularly, managing time efficiently, and staying motivated, aspirants can significantly enhance their chances of success. Adopting these strategies can help candidates approach the CAT exam with confidence and achieve their desired scores.

Anisha Mukhija

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