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Conquer CAT: A Step-by-Step Guide to Begin Your Preparation
June 04 2024

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is the gateway to prestigious MBA programs in India. Acing this exam requires a well-structured approach. Here's a breakdown of the initial steps to kickstart your CAT preparation journey:

1. Acclimatization Phase:

This initial phase is all about getting comfortable with the CAT environment. Familiarize yourself with the exam format – three sections (Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning) with roughly equal weightage. Though the syllabus revolves around concepts from 8th to 10th grade, CAT tests your application and problem-solving skills. Focus on building a strong foundation in each section.

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2. Goal Setting and Planning:

It's crucial to have a clear vision. Identify your dream B-school and research its selection criteria. FMS Delhi, for example, emphasizes the CAT score (99+%ile) heavily during the initial interview shortlisting process. With your target in mind, create a realistic and detailed study plan. Stick to it consistently, allocating dedicated time for each section.

3. Develop a Consistent Study Habit:

Discipline is key. Aim for at least one hour of focused study every day, even amidst distractions like college exams or work deadlines. Stay motivated by visualizing your goal and the rewards of securing a seat at your dream B-school.

4. Gather the Right Resources:

Equip yourself with quality CAT preparation materials. Standard publications like Arun Sharma's latest editions are valuable resources. As a CATKing student, you'll have access to the comprehensive CATKing Bibles, designed for a structured learning experience with categorized difficulty levels (LOD1 and LOD2). Completing LOD1 (approximately 6 months) will enable you to tackle around 33% of the CAT paper, potentially fetching a score in the 90%ile range.

5. Don't Neglect Profile Building:

Consider the importance of profile building beyond the CAT score. B-schools like FMS Delhi assess applicants through the Statement of Purpose (SOP), requiring you to showcase your academic and extracurricular achievements. Start crafting your SOP early, highlighting impactful experiences that demonstrate your potential. Remember, strong communication and aptitude are crucial life skills valued by top B-schools and future employers. Hone these skills to make a well-rounded impression.

6. Find Your Guiding Light:

Even the brightest minds benefit from guidance. Consider seeking a mentor or teacher – a guiding light on your CAT journey. They can provide invaluable support, clear doubts, and help you navigate challenges strategically.


CAT success hinges on meticulous planning, unwavering commitment, and a clear goal. By following these initial steps and maintaining focus, you'll be well on your way to conquering the CAT and securing admission to your dream B-school.

Related Article:

CAT Preparation in 5 months : Toppers Strategy

Anisha Mukhija

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