How to Prepare for CAT: CAT 2018 Exclusive Time Management Tips

It is well said that “Your Future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”

So, our friends, its a high time as CAT 2018, which is going to be conducted by IIM Calcutta has declared their exam date on 25th of November. We are sure that you have started your preparation by now, and aiming to score good marks in this season.

Today, we are sharing with you some exclusive time management tips that can be followed to achieve a good percentile. But, before this, we want to share the critical details of applying for CAT 2018, so that you will not miss any notification.

  • CAT 2018 exam date: 25th Nov. 2018
  • Date of applying for Cat 2018: 8th August to 19 September 2018 (40 days).
  • No. of test cities to be selected: 4
  • Date of issuing of Admit Card: 24th October

The official announcement of CAT 2018 hasn’t made any changes, and you have still four months to give your best shot for this exam as the competition is indeed high. Before moving to tips and techniques to crack this exam, let us discuss its exam pattern with sectional composition.

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension:

  • Total No. of Questions = 34
  • Total Maximum Marks = 102
  • Total MCQs with negative marking = 24 to 27
  • Total Non-MCQs without negative marking = 7 to 10

    2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • Total No. of Questions = 32
  • Total Maximum Marks = 96
  • Total MCQs with negative marking = 24
  • Total Non-MCQs without negative marking = 8

     3. Quantitative Ability

  • Total No. of Questions = 34
  • Total Maximum Marks = 102
  • Total MCQs with Negative Marking = 23 to 27
  • Total Non-MCQs without negative marking = 7 to 11

Topper Tips on CAT

The previous year result of CAT clearly shows that CAT toppers have successfully managed to score 99+ percentile with right preparation strategy and 4-5 months of intensive preparation. “Amritansh Ahuja” has scored 99.26 percentile in CAT 2017 with four months of preparation and secured a seat for IIM Kozhikode. It is irony for such aspirants who believe that is not possible to score high in short period preparation plan. In an interview, Amritansh shared that it was through regular mock tests that helped him to boost his confidence and improve his weak zone.

Topper tips on CAT

Amritansh Ahuja CAT 99.26 Percentile

CAT 2017 100 percentile scorer Yogesh Taneja has started preparing for CAT in July and has shared his strategy of preparation. In VARC section, he has begun his homework with RC as it held enormous weight and started reading random online articles to improve his reading speed. Yogesh has focussed on accuracy while attempting a no. of questions of RC and also spent a time of about 2 minutes on each problem. While preparing for QA, he started his preparation for fundamental questions from each topic and increased the level of questions gradually. After his preparation with TIME printed material, he focussed on speed and accuracy while giving the sectional tests. He also stated that is not possible to complete every topic, but it is necessary to get thoroughly prepared for whichever problem you are practicing for. For DILR section he has given some excellent preparation tips. He stated that one should be aware of when to move to a new set of questions and stop practicing a particular set. He has focussed more on accuracy and approach at the very beginning and gradually increases his speed.

Expert Tips on CAT 2018

CAT is such an exam which does not look for intelligence, it only asks from an aspirant is proper planning and preserving during preparation. The whole preparation strategy revolves around the maximizing the candidate’s ability and potential by focussing on their strong areas and take its advantage in the best way.

Today, we are sharing some of excellent expert preparation tips for CAT 2018:

  1. Value your time and analyze your speed by practicing a lot of mock tests, and plan your sections according to the available time in the exam.
  2. Start with fundamental questions in the beginning as it will help you to increase your confidence and will also save your time.
  3. Nail your Verbal Ability Section by getting indulged in extensive reading and practicing during your preparation days to excel.
  4. Do not panic while practicing lengthy and complicated section and if you get stuck on any question, then it is advised to move on rather than wasting your time.
  5. Get well versed with Vedic Mathematics as quantitative ability requires highly tedious calculations in no time. Even CAT provided calculator during the exam, but you can save a great time if you have good practice in “Vedic Mathematics.”
  6. Practice a lot of questions in logical reasoning and data interpretation to grasp the problem immediately.
  7. Enhance your reading speed and comprehension ability through books, articles, newspapers, blogs, etc.
  8. Give proper attention to words like “all,” “some” or “none” while reading the factual information that a question gives you. These words can play a critical role in precisely specifying the facts to be used in your reasoning.

CAT Preparation Tips

You might have heard about people who are preparing for CAT 2018 from past two years but still, they are not sure of their capability. On the other hand, many examples have achieved a milestone by cracking this exam with the preparation of only a few months. Experts believe that through the proper planning and determination, one can easily decipher this exam. This article is mainly focussed on sharing some preparation tips and secrets, which will guide you in the right direction to your preparation. The very first step in CAT preparation is improving your basics and should at least spent one and half months to go through the overall syllabus so that they will get enough time to plan their mocks and improve own performance. Time management is the key to success, and one should utilize the best of it and stop wasting time by entertaining themselves.

CAT preparation is a three-step approach, and if it applied with honesty, nobody could stop you:

1. Get Familiar with Syllabus of CAT 2018

Within the first 1.5 months of your preparation, invest your time in better understanding the concepts and generate your tricks to solve a problem. Go through all the questions from LOD-I and LOD-II sections of Arun Sharma books in the order of Quant, LR, and DI. After going through these sections, focus your time in practicing any coaching material (IMS is preferred) and emphasis on solving without hints and later compare your methods through the provided solution to analyze a better way to solve a problem.


2. Practice More to Get Deeper Understanding of Problem

It is well-said quote “practice makes a man perfect.”, and you need to practice a lot of questions to crack CAT 2018 and get a powerful command and finish at least two to three modules of each section.

In QA, the significant portion of the syllabus is Algebra, Numbers, Arithmetic (Percentage, Ratio, Time Speed and Distance, Time and Work, etc.). So, practice the same set of questions again and again to strengthen your fundamentals. In VARC, Reading Comprehension covers about 24 out of 34  questions, so start with the RC99 set. And also focus on Verbal Logic (Critical Reasoning, Para Jumbles, and Para Completion) section. In LRDI, it is the matter of reasoning ability, and you can solve a question in a given time limit, only through practice. Your focus should be on to attempt at least 5 out of 8 expected sets to understand different problems.

3. Take Mocks and Analyze your Strengths and Weakness.

Mock Tests are the best way to analyze your progress. To find your strong and weak areas in any section. It is advised to take mocks at the same time. As the CAT 2018 test slots so that you become familiar with timing and environment. It is very much mandatory to take at least two to three full-length mock tests every week. After going through the starting two steps of your preparation strategy, you have to plan to note down all the basic formulas from each chapter separately on a plain sheet of paper.

With 2.5 months of duration remaining after the first two steps, start with two mock tests every week for a period of 15 days. Try to find a better solution to the problem. In the next one month period, the preparation strategy should be to increase no. of mock tests to three or four every week to experiment with your overall strategy of writing the paper. During this period, focus on RCs with accuracy, in the given time interval.


In the last one month period, focus on evaluating your progress and stop experimenting with new types of questions. It is time to finalize your overall strategy. By revising the previously written mocks to understand how much improvement is required. In the last week before the exam, take time to relax as a lot of stress will affect your health and performance. Take meditation and Yoga practice to reduce your anxiety and meet with your friends to fresh your mood.

Alas, but not the least, stay calm during the exam and do not lose hope or pressurize yourself in any situation to perform well on paper. A fresh and cool mind will help you to attempt problems in a more smarter way than a stressed mind. Do not try to panic during exam hours. Skip the questions you are not sure of, as you will get scored on accuracy basis.

So, keep yourself, mentally, emotionally and physically best to get the best out of you.

All the best for your exam On 25th November.