CAT 2024 Preparation Tips for Beginners - Preparation Plan, Exam Pattern, Best Books

Yash Dhamija

Updated On: June 19, 2024 11:57 am IST | CAT

Are you preparing for the CAT exam for the first time? Don't worry; go through the CAT 2024 preparation tips for beginners curated by our MBA experts to help you crack the exam easily!

CAT Preparation Strategy for Beginners

CAT 2024 Preparation Tips for Beginners: Appearing for CAT for the first time? Don't know how to get started and score an exceptional percentile to get admission into IIMs? Don't worry, we have got you covered. If you are just beginning your journey of CAT 2024 preparation, you should first get well-versed with the CAT 2024 syllabus and exam pattern.

Knowing the different sections and important topics in each one of them will give you a headstart and you can plan how to move forward. There is so much that goes into the preparation of the CAT 2024 exam which can be quite overwhelming to beginners. To sort things out for you, we have provided here some of the best CAT 2024 preparation tips for beginners.

Also Read : Important Topics for CAT 2024 Algebra and Modern Maths

CAT 2024 Preparation Tips for Beginners

Here are the preparation tips for CAT 2024 for Beginners.

How to Prepare for CAT for Beginners

1. Check the CAT 2024 Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Candidates should check the exam pattern and syllabus before starting the preparation. They should note down all the important topics that they should cover while preparing for the exam. The CAT exam pattern 2024 will allow the candidates to know the marking scheme and the section-wise weightage of the exam.

2. Decide your CAT 2024 Strategy

Candidates are advised to prepare their own strategy to tackle the problems in the exam. They should solve the CAT previous year papers to know what type of questions they can face in the exam. After that, they should prepare strategies to solve similar kinds of problems.

3. Improve your Speed and Accuracy

Candidates should note that the sectional limit for the CAT 2024 exam is 40 minutes per section. Since no extra time will be provided to any candidate they are advised to work on improving their speed and accuracy. Candidates can start answering the easy questions first and leave the difficult questions for later. Besides this, candidates are also advised to work on improving their calculation speed so that they can solve mathematical problems quickly.

Also Read: Exam Day Tips for CAT 2024

4. Choose the Best Books for CAT 2024 Preparation

Candidates are advised to choose the preparation books that cover all the important topics provided in the CAT 2024 syllabus . They can choose separate books for all the sections of CAT 2024. Some of the good books available for CAT 2024 preparation are Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Arihant Publication, Word Power Made Easy by NORMAN LEWIS, and Arun Sharma's How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT.

5. Solve CAT 2024 Mock Tests

Candidates are advised to solve the maximum number of mock test papers for CAT 2024 preparation. The mock test papers of CAT 2024 will allow the candidates to know the exam structure and what type of questions are asked in the exam. The duration of CAT 2024 mock test papers will be the same as the actual CAT paper.

Also Read: Importance of CAT 2024 Mock Test During Preparation

6. Read Newspapers and Magazines

Candidates are advised to read magazines and newspapers at regular intervals to improve their communication skills. It will also help you to clear the GD/ PI round of MBA admission.

CAT 2024 Preparation for Beginners: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Candidates aspiring to appear for the CAT 2024 exam must try to avoid the following mistakes to excel in the exam:

1. Doing a Sluggish Start

Preparation for the CAT 2024 exam should start as soon as possible. One CAT preparation tip from top performers is that verbal ability can't be improved in a month or two because it takes constant practice and focus. Students need to understand that developing a reading habit takes time, therefore developing strong reading skills requires an early start. The optimal period to start studying is nine months prior to the exam, according to experts.

2. No Awareness of the CAT 2024 Syllabus and Exam Pattern

Understanding the CAT curriculum is one of the most important and essential things to undertake. Numerous students spend too much time on abstract ideas. For instance, they may be aware that reading comprehension is a crucial part of verbal ability, but they do not have the knowledge that it is ineffective to practise reading comprehension without having a firm understanding of the topics that are asked in the exam. The topics that are covered in each section must be listed by the students, along with the percentage of each question asked.

3. Absence of Proper Strategy

Avoid focusing only on one skill set's questions when practicing. Keep in mind that there is probably an issue in your strategy if you can't answer simple questions while practicing. Make sure you have a weekly timetable for how many practice questions and mock tests you will solve. Since the CAT 2024 syllabus is extensive, make sure you cover all the topics by making weekly targets and learning formulae to boost your preparation level.

4. Inadequate Practice

It is important for students to distinguish between passive and active learning. Passive learning is when an idea is understood through lectures and videos but not put into practice. Active learning, on the other hand, entails comprehending an idea and practicing a variety of questions based on it Therefore, without practicing at least 5–10 questions from each set, students can not assume that they have a solid understanding of the topic.

5. Inability to Balance Between Strengths and Weaknesses

It is usually simple to answer questions from your areas of strength, but one of the most crucial CAT preparation advice for beginners is to focus on long-term objectives by strengthening your areas of weakness. Before moving on to another topic, spend enough time understanding the one you are struggling with.

CAT 2024 Preparation Plan for Beginners

Candidates who have just completed their graduation are advised to start preparing for CAT 2024 at least 6 months before the exam. Some experts also recommend following a 1-year plan for CAT 2024 preparation. They should have a preparation plan in place so that enough time is allotted to all the sections of CAT 2024. A detailed CAT 2024 preparation plan for beginners is provided below.

Ideal Time for the CAT 2024 Preparation

6 Months

Total number of hours to be dedicated for CAT 2024 preparation in a Day

Minimum 5 - 6 Hours

Minimum number of topics to be covered in a week

At least 5

Total number of days for last-minute preparation

15 Days

Total number of days to complete the syllabus of CAT 2024

150 Days

Total number of sample papers/ mock test papers in a week

4 - 5

Preparation Routine

  • Start your day with the latest news & headlines

  • Choose one topic from the syllabus of the CAT

  • Start solving the beginner to advance level questions from that topic

  • Solve at least 2-3 sample papers from that topic

  • At last, revise all important formulas and concepts that you have learned

  • Solve 2-3 comprehension passages daily

Also Read : CAT 2024 Exam Day Instructions

Section-Wise CAT 2024 Preparation Tips for Beginners

Provided below are some CAT 2024 section-wise preparation tips for Beginners

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

  • The VARC section covers questions from Para Completion, Reading Comprehension, Para Jumble, and Analogies. Candidates should try to solve at least 3-4 reading comprehension questions in a day.

  • Candidates should read different types of articles. This will help them to explore different areas of education.

  • Candidates are advised to focus on improving their vocabulary. Around 3-4 questions related to vocabulary are asked in CAT 2024 and other MBA entrance exams.

Also Read: How to Prepare for CAT 2024 VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension)

Quantitative Ability

  • This section tests the calculation speed of the candidates hence candidates are advised to improve their calculation skills.

  • They should learn shortcuts and formulas to solve mathematical problems quickly

  • Candidates are advised to do the calculation part mentally since it will help them to save time.

  • Candidates should practice at least 30-40 questions from each type of question in the Quantitative Ability section.

  • Candidates can start with the basic difficulty level of questions and then they can proceed to the higher difficulty level questions.

  • Candidates are advised to learn some commonly used square roots and trigonometry pairs

Also Read: How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) 2024

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

  • The Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section comprises sets of 4-5 questions that need to be answered using the data provided in the question.

  • Candidates should try to solve at least 10-20 questions from some important topics of this section such as Blood Relations, Clocks and Calendars, Propositions, and Seating Arrangements.

  • The LR section is all about understanding the logic and then answering the questions hence candidates are advised to first understand the logic behind the question and then only proceed to answer the question.

Also Read: How to Prepare for CAT DILR 2024

CAT 2024 Exam Pattern

The question paper of CAT 2024 will be divided into three sections namely Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. The total duration of the exam is 120 minutes and candidates will be provided 40 minutes to attempt each section. Around 66 questions will be asked in CAT. The table provided below contains the exam pattern of the CAT 2024 exam.


No. of Questions

Marks Allocated

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning



Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension



Quantitative Ability






CAT 2024 Syllabus: Section-wise Important Topics

Check out some of the most important topics from every section of CAT 2024 so that you can prepare for them well and crack the exam easily.

Quantitative Ability

QA Topics



Number System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distances


Theory of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series


Angles, Lines, Triangles, Circles


Areas and Volumes – Rectangles, Squares, Triangles, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes and Cistern


Maxima and Minima, Function


Trigonometric Ratios, Heights, and Distances

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Fact Inference Judgment


Fill in the blanks

Para Completion and Inference

Para Jumble

Sentence Completion

Verbal Reasoning

Word Usage (Vocabulary)




Reading Comprehension

Sentence Correction

Contextual Usage

Verbal Logic

Different Usage of the Same Word


One-word Substitution

Foreign Language Words Used in English


Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning



Data Interpretation

Bar Graph, Combination of Graphs, Caselet, Data Sufficiency, Line Graph, Pie Chart, Tables, etc.

Logical Reasoning

Assumptions, Blood Relations, Binary Logic, Clocks and Calendars, Constraint-based puzzles, Data Arrangement, Family Trees, Matching Puzzles, Propositions, Statements, Seating Arrangement, Sets, Syllogism, Venn Diagram

CAT 2024 Preparation Books for Beginners

Candidates are advised to choose the best books for CAT 2024 preparation with easy language. They can check the table provided below to know some of the best books available for CAT 2024 preparation.



Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

  • Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay's How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Arihant Publication

  • Word Power Made Easy by NORMAN LEWIS

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Arun Sharma's How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

  • NCERT Books of 10th, 11th and 12th

  • Quantum CAT by Sarvesh K Verma

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

  • Arun Sharma's How to Prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT

  • Nishit K. Sinha's Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT

CAT is one of the most popular MBA entrance exams conducted every year. Every year more than 2 lakh students appear for CAT out of which 70-80% of students are beginners. The entrance exam is conducted for admission to the IIMs, IITs, and many other popular top MBA colleges in India . Preparation for CAT 2024 is more challenging for fresh graduates since they are not familiar with the exam pattern. They need to go through the syllabus, exam pattern, and marking scheme before starting the preparation.

Also Read:

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2024 for a 99 Percentile Score

50+ Important Formulas for CAT Preparation

Important Topics for CAT 2024

What is a Good Percentile in CAT 2024?

Candidates who want to know more preparation tips for CAT 2024 may ask their questions on the Collegedekho QnA zone . Besides this, those who want admission-related assistance may fill out our Common Application Form .

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What are the best CAT 2024 preparation tips for beginners?

The best CAT 2024 preparation tips for beginners are-

  • Know the syllabus and exam pattern to get an idea of what to study.
  • Plan a strategy a solve questions during the actual exam.
  • Work on your speed and accuracy to complete the exam on time.
  • Study from the best books and materials.
  • Take mock tests to analyze your preparation.

I am preparing for CAT for the first time. How should I study?

Candidates preparing for CAT for the first time can study in the following ways-

  • Begin by knowing all the important topics from every section.
  • Start with aby section of your choice.
  • Make notes to revise important topics after completing the syllabus
  • Note down important formulas and tricks to solve questions easily.
  • Make a proper schedule and stick to it.
  • Solve previous years’ question papers.
  • Take mock tests.

Can I crack CAT 2024 exam on the first attempt?

Yes, one can crack CAT 2024 exam on the first attempt with proper preparation. Since CAT is considered the toughest MBA entrance exam, students need to leave no stone unturned during the preparation. With a strategic plan, excellent preparation, and confidence, one can easily qualify for the exam on the first attempt.

Is qualifying for CAT more difficult for beginners?

Qualifying for CAT may not be more difficult for beginners since it depends on how well a student has prepared for the exam. Some candidates fail to crack the exam in 4-5 attempts while some crack it on the first attempt. However, if you have already appeared for the exam, you will have a better understanding of everything.

What are the mistakes beginners should avoid during CAT 2024 preparation?

Following are the mistakes beginners should avoid during CAT 2024 preparation-

  • Starting the preparation late.
  • Not understanding the syllabus properly.
  • Not focusing on the important topics.
  • Studying haphazardly.
  • Solving previous years’ question papers without studying.
  • Taking mock tests before the preparation.
  • Not developing a good reading habit.
  • Not following a strict study schedule.
  • Not eating properly and overexerting themselves.
  • Taking too much stress and not feeling depressed.

How much time should beginners dedicate to CAT preparation in a day?

Beginners should dedicate at least 5-6 hours for CAT preparation in a day.

What are the CAT 2024 preparation books for beginners?

Some of the CAT 2024 preparation books for beginners are How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma, Word Power Made Easy by NORMAN LEWIS and Nishit K. Sinha's Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT.

What is the duration of the CAT 2024 exam?

The duration of the CAT 2024 exam is 2 hours. The sectional time limit of the CAT exam is 40 minutes.

What are some of the CAT preparation tips for beginners?

Beginners should check the exam pattern and syllabus of CAT before starting to prepare for the exam. They should also have a preparation plan in place so that enough time is allotted for all the sections of CAT.

When should beginners start the preparation for CAT?

Beginners should start the CAT preparation at least 6 months before the exam.

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