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CAT Quants Score vs Percentile | How much Score to Target? Preparation Strategy
June 18 2024

CAT Quants Score vs Percentile

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly competitive exam in India for admission to prestigious business schools, including the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). The Quantitative Ability (QA) section is one of the three sections in the CAT exam. The relationship between your score in the QA section and your percentile can vary each year based on the difficulty level of the exam and the performance of all test-takers. Join Our Courses

Percentile 2023 Marks (Correct Questions) 2022 Marks (Correct Questions) 2021 Marks (Correct Questions)
99.9 39 (13) 40 (13) 39 (13)
99 ~39 (13) ~39 (13) ~39 (13)
95 18 (6) 24 (8) 18 (6)
90 13 (4) 12 (4) 12 (4)
85 10 (3) 15 (5) 9 (3)
80 9 (3) - -



  • 99 Percentile: The approximate target is 13 correct questions based on the trend.
  • 80 Percentile: Getting 3 questions correct can place a candidate in the 80th percentile range.

Target Score:

The ideal CAT score you should target depends on your specific goals. Here's a breakdown:

  • Top IIMs (Blacklisted): A percentile of 99.5+ is generally considered necessary for admission to the top Indian Institutes of Management (Blacklisted IIMs).
  • Other Top B-Schools: For other well-regarded B-schools, a percentile target of 95+ can be competitive.
  • Decent B-Schools: Depending on the B-school and your other qualifications, a score in the 85-90 percentile range could be sufficient.

Factors to Consider:

  • Previous Years' Data: Look at historical data on CAT score vs percentile for different B-schools you're interested in. This can give you a sense of the score needed for your target institutions.
  • Sectional Cutoffs: Remember, B-schools often have sectional cutoffs alongside the overall percentile. Don't neglect other sections (VARC, DILR) while focusing on Quant. Join Our Courses

Preparation Strategy:

  1. Understand the Exam Pattern and Syllabus:
    • Sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).
    • Question Types: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Type In The Answer (TITA) questions.
    • Duration: 120 minutes, with 40 minutes for each section.
  2. Set Clear Goals:
    • Determine your target percentile.
    • Set specific goals for each section based on your strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Create a Study Plan:
    • Daily Schedule: Allocate specific hours each day for CAT preparation.
    • Weekly Targets: Set weekly goals to cover different topics and revise previous ones.
    • Mock Tests: Include regular mock tests in your schedule to track progress.

Section-Wise Preparation Strategy

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  1. Reading Comprehension:
    • Read diverse articles from newspapers, journals, and magazines.
    • Practice RC passages regularly.
    • Focus on improving reading speed and comprehension.
  2. Verbal Ability:
    • Practice para jumbles, para summary, and odd sentence out questions.
    • Improve your vocabulary by reading regularly and using flashcards.
  3. Grammar and Usage:
    • Study basic grammar rules.
    • Practice sentence correction and usage-based questions.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  1. Data Interpretation:
    • Practice various types of data sets: tables, charts, graphs, and caselets.
    • Focus on improving calculation speed and accuracy.
  2. Logical Reasoning:
    • Solve puzzles, seating arrangements, and logical sequences.
    • Practice a variety of LR sets to understand different question patterns.
  3. Mock Tests:
    • Take regular DILR section tests to improve speed and accuracy.
    • Analyze performance to identify and work on weak areas.

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  1. Basic Concepts:
    • Ensure you have a strong grasp of basic mathematical concepts.
    • Focus on key topics: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Number System, and Modern Mathematics.
  2. Practice:
    • Solve a variety of problems from each topic.
    • Use standard textbooks and online resources for practice.
  3. Shortcuts and Tricks:

    • Learn and practice shortcuts and Vedic mathematics techniques.
    • Focus on reducing time spent on calculations.
  4. Regular Revision:

    • Keep revisiting important formulas and concepts.
    • Maintain a formula sheet for quick reference.

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Regular Mock Tests and Analysis

  1. Take Mock Tests:

    • Start with one mock test per week and gradually increase the frequency.
    • Simulate exam conditions to get accustomed to the pressure.
  2. Analyze Performance:

    • Review each mock test thoroughly.
    • Identify strengths and weaknesses in each section.
    • Work on time management and accuracy.
  3. Track Progress:

    • Maintain a record of scores and performance in different sections.
    • Adjust your study plan based on progress and feedback from mock tests.
Rahul Singh

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