How to prepare for CAT 2024?

Tips and tricks you’ll need to know

Are you planning to pursue an MBA Degree course in top B schools through CAT? If yes, then you have landed to the right place! This article provides details of tips and tricks for qualifying for the CAT exam 2024 through studying online, joining coaching, or on your own.

how to prepare for cat 2024

When it comes to preparing for CAT 2024, candidates need to understand that the exam is all about practicing as much as possible and having a strong hold on the theory topics. Since CAT is one of the most competitive exams and opens the gateway for admission into premier business schools in India, CAT preparation tips for any candidate should be comprehensive with a planned approach, covering all aspects of the exam.  However, the effective and steady way to start preparation is to formulate a CAT preparation strategy that highlights factors like outlining the syllabus, preparing a study plan, and enrolling in a full program, if required.

 Additionally, a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of regular study will be required with daily revision of formulas and concepts till the day of examination. Before appearing for CAT 2024, ensure your 100% dedication to the exam, because only then you will be able to qualify for it.

Common Admission Test (CAT): A brief introduction

CAT stands for Common Admission Test is the toughest and most famous MBA entrance exam in India. Every year, more than 2 lakh applicants (experienced professionals and graduates from numerous fields) sit for the exam with the hope of getting shortlisted. It is organized by one of the IIMs on a rotational basis.

CAT is a direct route to reach the famous business schools of India. Being one of the most competitive entrance exams, it is daunting to crack if there is a lack of preparation. Therefore, CAT 2024 applicants should follow a systematic preparation plan that includes all the elements to score 99%.

 CAT 2024 Important Dates

  • CAT 2024 Important Dates & Timeline
    Important dates
    CAT 2024 Notification Date
    July 28-29, 2024
    CAT Registration Start Date 2024
    August 4, 2024
    CAT 2024 Last Date of Registration
    September 15, 2024
    CAT 2024 Registration Fees
    CAT 2024 Exam Date
    November 24, 2024
    CAT 2024 Result Date
    January 4-5, 2025

Tip and tricks for CAT 2024 preparation

-Try to manage your time efficiently, as it is one of the essential factors for your CAT preparation.
-Start the habit of reading newspapers when you are preparing for the CAT
-Practice through sectional mock tests, as it is best to review your performance till the exam date
-Familiarize yourself with CAT 2024 Pattern and Syllabus
-Pay equal attention to your strengths and weaknesses
-Focus on accuracy while solving questions
-Always keep in mind this evergreen rule: Practice, Practice, and Practice
-Start working on your weak areas
-Always believe in your preparation and stay confident
-Solve previous exam papers to familiarize yourself with the type of questions asked
-Seek assistance from consultants or experts who can help you better.
-Never compare your progress with other aspirants, as everyone learns at their own pace.
-Take your time to respond to an answer
-Keep in mind that consistency is the key to having results in your favor.
-Last but not least, don’t worry too much about the percentage; try to convert invites from desired institutions, as it matters more in the last.

A.Choose your Preparation arrangement for CAT 2024

As a CAT aspirant, the choice of enrolling in online coaching or self-study for the exam should be made keeping in mind the objective and your requirements.

To be successful in CAT 2024, candidates have to be disciplined, committed, and hardworking. This way you are able to get into IIM. For this, one should practice regularly, prepare the basics well, give mock tests on a daily basis, and study the relevant material. No matter how difficult CAT preparation is, self-study or practice under guidance can help you achieve your goal.

1. Preparation for CAT 2024 through coaching programs

CAT exam preparation requires at least 9 to 10 long hours. Even though an aspirant has limited time to prepare, enrolling in coaching programs can help them hone their desired skills and boost the overall process. The benefits of studying through mentors and experts are as follows:

CAT preparation through coaching programs helps in polishing and developing existing skills while restoring confidence in the aspirant.

In coaching institutes, students are prepared with the most important subjects and possible paper patterns so that they get desirable scores.

While studying in a coaching institute, candidates get guidance from mentors and previous attempters. They will be prepared for the number of questions to be attempted.

Additionally, candidates will be offered the best institute study material in the form of teachers, books, mock tests, and videos.

To conclude, it is easier for the candidates to prepare and study in the right way through a coaching institute.

2.Preparation for CAT 2024 through Self-Studying

-By studying at home, aspirants can pick their own timelines and strategies that best suit their preferences and needs.

-Alongside, aspirants can make changes in preparation strategy keeping their strengths and weaknesses in mind.

-The better the attention given to preparation, the greater the chances of finding resources and study material on the Internet.

-There is no pressure to study in a particular class; just be consistent with your preparation. With a home location, students have great ease of flexible learning depending on the current situation.

-While preparing oneself, one can know and identify the part that needs more effort.

-Self-preparation for CAT 2024 allows candidates to make all the reviews, analyses, and implement study plans based on their needs and situations.

Prepare for CAT 2024 Section Wise

There are total sections in CAT 2024: VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension), DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning), and QA (Quantitative Ability). In this exam, students need to answer 66 questions in 120 minutes. For each exam slot, the duration is two hours.

1.Prepare for CAT 2024: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

This part of the CAT exam typically comprises three parts: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar.

Note: Despite there being no negative marking in most of the questions in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section in this exam, most of the candidates fail to adapt their CAT grounding plan to improve their overall marks. Therefore, it is very important to have effective CAT preparation plans and a well-designed study pattern to crack this section.

Regular practice is vital while preparing for verbal ability. Also, while preparing for the CAT exam, aspirants should be familiar with the fundamentals of the contextual use of vocabulary and grammar.

Things to keep in mind:

1-The Verbal Ability section includes some questions in the non-MCQ format so they do not involve negative markings.

2-While preparing for this section, practice Para Jumble and Para Summary questions as much as possible.

3-Prepare well for summary questions, as they may consist of 3 to 4 paragraphs along with short paragraphs of 60 to 70 words.

4-Try to give limited time to solve the puzzles. Doing this will help you gain experience and skill in solving paragraphs and complicated sentences.

For paragraphs and longer paragraphs, you should increase your reading speed.

Some other major topics are as follows:


(b)-Odd one out

(c)-One-word substitution

(d)-Syllogism and Analogies

(e)-Verbal logic

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Books for CAT 2024

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT and Other MBA Entrance ExaminationsNishit k Sinha
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CATArun Sharma
A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal ReasoningR.S. Aggarwal

1. Prepare for CAT 2024: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

For the DILR section of CAT 2024, the candidate will have to devote more time than the other two sections. CAT DILR does not have a subject like mathematics, which means there are no formulas here; it is all about reasoning including counting and calculation in general. It is advisable to rely completely on your brain to strengthen your hold on DILR.

Things to keep in mind:

1- CAT DILR contains questions based on graphs, tables, logical games, charts, diagrams, case studies, calendars, and formulas related to cubes, roots, percentages, etc. For that, students will have to increase their calculation speed.

2-Build a strong command over finding logic, finding salient features and linkages to decode puzzles, variations, and arrangements.

3-While attempting DILR, it is advisable to choose the questions wisely as it will play a vital role in your performance.

4-Don’t forget to focus on improving your accuracy because testing is all about answering a question with more accuracy.

5-Solve a maximum of two to three sectional mocks for the DILR section to understand the exact topics you need to master.

6-Try to solve the most difficult questions in the beginning.

The following subjects are covered in this section’s syllabus:

Bar Graphs and Column GraphsBlood Relations
Binary LogicCalendars, Cubes, and Clocks
Combination of two or more types linked to each otherLine Charts & Pie Chart
Caselets and TablesLogical Sequence
Seating ArrangementMatching/ Puzzles
Venn DiagramsNumber and Letter Series

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books for CAT 2024

Books Author
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit k Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri

1. Prepare for CAT 2024: Quantitative Aptitude

This section of CAT 2024 comprises Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Mathematics. To score good marks in this part, students have to be proficient in each subject and chapter. Cracking this part generally requires heavy calculations. Try several sample questions to tackle the questions from it. Applicants should rely on mental calculations as it will win over calculations in time consumption.

Things to keep in mind:

-To memorize formulas quickly, revise and memorize them with flashcards.

-Practice strengthening your mental calculations.

-Continue to improve your problem-solving accuracy and speed

-Start thinking mathematically and this can be done with regular practice

-Stick to your strategies before appearing for the exam.

-Attempt sectional mocks regularly to boost the mathematics concepts in a better way.

Quantitative Aptitude Books for CAT 2024

How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CATArun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude for the CATNishit K. Sinha
Quantitative Aptitude for All Competitive ExaminationsAbhijit Guha

Cat Exam Pattern

Before you begin your preparations, check for any changes to the syllabus or exam format that you need to be aware of. The exam format to be used, if the CAT exam pattern remains unchanged, is as follows:
Total No. of Questions Sections MCQs Non-MCQs Marks Duration
24 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 21 3 72 40 min
20 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) 14 6 60 40 min
22 Quantitative Ability (QA) 14 8 66 40 min
66 Total 49 17 198 120 (2

Mocks and previous year's papers

It is really beneficial to take mock exams if you want to get better at taking tests. To gain a thorough grasp of the questions asked in the CAT exam, it is recommended to take at least 30 to 40 mock exams.

CAT 2024 Cut offs for IIMs for Admission 2024 through CAT

Top IIMs CAT Cut off %
IIM Lucknow 80, 85, 90
IIM Calcutta 85
IIM Indore 90
IIM Kozhikode 90
IIM Tiruchirappalli 92
IIM Shillong 90
IIM Udaipur 92
IIM Rohtak 95
IIM Kashipur 92
IIM Ranchi 92
IIM Raipur 92
IIM Bodhgaya 92
IIM Jammu 92
IIM Sambalpur 92
IIM Sirmaur 92
IIM Amritsar 85
IIM Nagpur 85
IIM Visakhapatnam 80

Top CAT Accepting Colleges (60-70 percentile)

New Delhi Institute of Management – NDIM New Delhi
Open | Apply Now
Jaipuria Institute of Management Noida
Open | Apply Now
Chandragupt Institute of Management – CIMP Patna
Open | Apply Now
Jaipuria Jaipur: Jaipuria Institute of Management
Open | Apply Now
Delhi School of Business
Open | Apply Now
JIMS Rohini Delhi
Open | Apply Now
JIMS Kalkaji
Open | Apply Now
ATLAS SkillTech University Mumbai
Open | Apply Now
Chetana’s Institute of Management and Research – CIMR Mumbai
Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management – VJIM Hyderabad
Open | Apply Now
EDII Ahmedabad
Open | Apply Now
IIMS Pune: International Institute of Management Studies
Open | Apply Now
IPE Hyderabad: Institute of Public Enterprise
Open | Apply Now
PSGIM Coimbatore

Prepare for CAT 2024: Frequently Asked Questions

1.How many hours should an aspirant study for CAT 2024?

The number of hours required for CAT preparation depends on the number of elements including your regular study schedule, level of preparation, and duration available for study. In our opinion, an applicant needs to devote at least 3 hours per day to start preparing for CAT.

2.What’s the best way to prepare for CAT 2024 at home?

To prepare for CAT 2024 from home, you can join group studies, enroll yourself in online programs, or study on your own with the help of materials, videos, the internet, or online books.

3.What is the best strategy to qualify for CAT?
  • Understanding of exam syllabus and pattern
  • Selection of the adequate study material
  • Practicing regularly
  • A fixed and consistent study schedule
  • Solve mock tests and previous year’s papers
4.How many questions does the CAT exam contain?

The CAT 2024 question paper consists of 66 questions: 24 questions in the primary section, 20 in the second section, and 22 in the third section.

5.What’s the exam date of CAT 2024

In the upcoming year, CAT will be conducted in India on 24th November (in 150 cities). CAT exam notification will be issued in July 2024.