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Can I crack CAT 2024 in 180 Days?
May 27 2024

What is CAT?

The Common Admissions Test or CAT is an all-India admissions exam that is usually conducted in the fourth week of November or the first week of December. It is conducted online in 2 sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The Exam fees are Rs. 2400 for the General category, and Rs. 1200 for the Reserved category.

CAT Eligibility Criteria:

The minimum eligibility criteria to appear in the CAT exam is graduation in any stream. Read below the detailed CAT eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 50 percent aggregate or equivalent CGPA (45 percent aggregate for SC, ST, and PWD/DA categories) from a recognized university to appear in CAT 2024.
  • The education mode of the bachelor's degree can be regular or distance learning but should be a 3-year program.
  • Candidates who have completed a professional degree with the required percentage can also appear for CAT.
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor's degree/equivalent qualification or awaiting the result are also eligible to appear for the CAT 2024 exam.

The CAT exam is set by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) collectively. It's not conducted by a single IIM but rather rotates among them on a yearly basis.

For instance, IIM Bangalore might handle the CAT in one year, and IIM Lucknow might take over the responsibility the next. This rotation ensures a fair and unbiased exam process.


CAT Preparation: 

Understand the Exam:
  • Format: Familiarize yourself with the CAT format. It's a computer-based test with three sections:
    • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) - Tests your reading skills, vocabulary, and ability to analyze arguments (40 marks).
    • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) - Assesses your analytical abilities and problem-solving skills using data sets and logical reasoning questions (40 marks).
    • Quantitative Ability (QA) - Tests your math skills (percentages, averages, algebra, etc.) (40 marks).
  • Time Limit: The total time limit for the exam is 120 minutes.
Develop a Strategic Plan:
  • Personalized Approach: Craft a study plan that caters to your strengths and weaknesses. Allocate time for each section based on your comfort level.
  • Start Early: Ideally, begin preparation 6+ months before the exam for comprehensive coverage.
Build a Strong Foundation:
  • Revisit Basics: Solidify your core concepts in all three sections (VARC, DILR, QA). Use reliable resources like textbooks, online resources, or coaching materials if needed.

Section-Specific Strategies:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: 

  • Extensive Reading: Newspapers, articles, magazines, and business publications are excellent sources to build vocabulary, improve reading comprehension, and analyze arguments.

Reading Comprehension Passages

Para-Jumbles Para-Summary Sentence Completion and Correction
Odd Sentences Fill in the Blanks Word Usage (Vocabulary)


  • Practice Reading Comprehension (RC): Focus on identifying the main idea, recognizing argument structures, and answering inference-based questions.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning:

  • Sharpen Analytical Skills: Practice various data interpretation techniques (tables, charts, graphs) and learn to approach logical reasoning questions strategically.
  • Solve Puzzles: Regularly practice puzzles to improve your ability to identify patterns and trends within data sets.

Seating Arrangement, and Data Arrangement

Blood Relations Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams
Clocks & Calendars


Data Sufficiency
Tables and Caselets Assumption and Binary Logic

Graphs Related

Quantitative Ability:

  • Brush up on Math: Strengthen your foundation in mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, geometry) to tackle QA problems effectively.
  • Time Management Techniques: Learn time-saving shortcuts to solve problems quickly and accurately within the limited exam time.

Number System, Basic Arithmetic

Probability Profit, loss, and Discounts Permutation & Combination

Geometry & Mensuration

Time, Speed, and Distance

Simple Interest and Compound Interest

Time and Work

Algebra Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets    


Practice with Mock Tests:

Regular Mock Tests: Take regular mock tests (ideally one a week initially, increasing frequency closer to the exam) to simulate the actual CAT experience. Analyze your performance thoroughly after each test.

  • Identify weak areas.
  • Work on those concepts.
  • Refine your test-taking strategy based on your strengths and weaknesses.

CAT pattern: Sectional composition:

Total No. of questions
Scoring Pattern (Negative Marking is only for MCQs)
+3 for Correct;
-1 for Incorrect;
0 for Not Attempted
+3 for Correct;
-1 for Incorrect;
0 for Not Attempted
+3 for Correct;
-1 for Incorrect;
0 for Not Attempted
48 18


"Persistence prevails!" - This emphasizes the importance of consistent effort throughout your preparation journey.

All the Best!

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Rahul Singh

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