Things to keep in mind while writing the CAT exam

CAT exam is scheduled on 26th Nov 2017, Sunday. This article aims at providing a brief overview on aspects that needed for preparation and the last revision before exam. CAT exam evaluates how one approaches the question and how logically cracks it in the shortest possible time. Thus one need not attempt all the questions but should try to maximize the correct attempts and ideally zero wrong attempts. There no need to study round the clock, instead one needs to study smartly and with intelligent approach to crack the questions and achieve high score in minimum time. The past data has shown that mere half of the total questions, if tried right, can draw one a percentile of 97-99. The following tips are indicative while writing CAT exam:

On The Exam Day: After getting proper sleep do breathing exercise like pranayama. This will relax your mind and keep yourself fresh and motivated on the day. Feel confident about your preparation. Check your admit card details carefully and reach at the center before time.

During Exam: Follow the principle of divide and conquer i.e., classify questions in each section, address them differently with varied effort and time.

Proper Segmentation & Sequencing Of Questions: CAT is known as a tough exam that consists of tricky questions. Apparently, this is not the complete truth. Every section in CAT has all types of questions viz. easy, moderate, difficult and complex. First step is to segment these questions into above categories. Usually easy questions take couple of minutes to crack it. Solve the easy first, moderate subsequently and so on. This mechanism enables you to achieve sectional cutoffs.

Time Management: If time is managed properly, one can easily get desired score in each section. Do not forget that each section has same time limit of sixty minutes. Use of pace like two minutes per question. This will enable you to cover more questions in appropriate time per section. Do not forget to maintain agility. You can get quick answer to easier questions and go ahead to crack more difficult questions where you need more time.

To internalize the ideas, refocus on the following dos and don’ts:

Before Exam • Brush up basis/Revision of formulae
• Mock tests practice
• Do not get demoralized if do not score best in mock tests
• Do not start afresh if something is mised
On the exam day • Be confident
• Have a proper sleep a night before exam day
• Keep calm- Give your best
• Don’t panic
During exam • Attempt easy first and move on to difficulties ones
• Deliver balanced performance across all 3 sections
• Divide and rule (Attempt the easy questions in the first 40 minutes, and then try your hand at the difficult questions)
• Quick review of paper
• Maintain Speed with accuracy
• Time management
• Do not repeat the mistakes you committed in mock tests
• Do not waste time on one question if you get stuck more than 2.5 minutes


Kedar Pandurang Joshi
Kedar Pandurang Joshi is an associate professor in Operations and Information Science area at T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal. He holds a doctorate degree in Operations management from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, India and has more than a decade of teaching experience. He received master’s degree in Production engineering from University of Mumbai, India. His research interests include supply chain management, service operations and pricing.