How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2023 for a 99 Percentile Score?

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: December 18, 2023 02:29 pm IST | CAT

Scoring over 99 percentile in CAT 2023 requires a smart, calculative approach and a good preparation plan. Know here how many questions you should attempt in CAT 2023 to get a 99 percentile score.

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

Wondering how many questions to attempt in CAT 2023 for a 99 percentile score? Well, out of 66 questions asked in CAT 2023, if you had attempted around 30-40 questions, you can score a 99 percentile. Since every wrong answer leads to a deduction of 1 mark, guesswork is not a successful strategy for scoring a 99 percentile or above in the CAT exam. Therefore, candidates who don't know how to score 99 percentile in CAT should keep in mind two crucial factors: the number of accurately answered questions attempted and time management.

Planning and strategizing your preparation in a way that is focused on your desired outcomes is one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of scoring 99 percentile in the CAT exam. So, if you are battling to get a seat in IIMs and other premier MBA institutes in India, this article will help you understand how many questions to attempt in CAT 2023 for a 99 percentile score. We have also provided section-wise attempts and some essential tips on how to score 99 percentile in CAT 2023.

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CAT Attempts vs Percentile 2023

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2023 for a 99 Percentile Score?

According to experts, it is not necessary to attempt each question on the CAT question paper. The trick here is to only attempt questions that you are very certain of answering correctly because only an accuracy of 100 percent will help you obtain full marks. A small error could result in a score reduction. Therefore, there is no definite way to achieve a score of 100 or 99 percentile. It all ultimately boils down to how efficiently and precisely you can answer a question.

However, the question 'How many questions to attempt in CAT for 99 percentile' still stands. According to experts, to aspire for a 99+ percentile, one should answer at least 75% of the questions correctly. Maintaining good accuracy in each area of the CAT exam is crucial because the sectional percentile and overall percentile have individual relevance in IIM admissions.

First-time test takers should make sure they are familiar with every aspect of the exam including exam pattern, CAT syllabus, marking scheme, and other aspects of the exam. The CAT exam was conducted by IIM Lucknow on November 26, 2023, in three slots in 155 test cities across India. The following table shows an ideal depiction of the number of attempts to get the 99 percentile in CAT if we assume that 115-120 marks are required for a 99 percentile.


Attempts Required



Raw Score





(40x3) - 0 = 120





(40x3) - 5 = 115





(42x3) - 11 = 115





(45x3) - 20 = 115

Hence, it is apparent here that the difference between going from 100% accuracy to 90% is only 6-7 attempts but to go from 80% to 70% accuracy, an increase of 13 attempts is required. Hence, maintaining 90% to 80% accuracy is best for a candidate to get 99 percentile in CAT 2023.

Section-Wise Attempts for 99 Percentile in CAT 2023

CAT has three sections namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). Out of the total duration of the exam (120 minutes), 40 minutes are allotted to each section but the time taken per question varies. The average time taken to attempt VARC is less as compared to the average time taken to attempt a Quant question because of the difference in their difficulty level. Hence, the number of attempts required is not equally divided between sections. Check the table below for details.

CAT Section

Total Number of Questions

Good Attempts

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)



Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)



Quantitative Aptitude (QA)






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How to Get 99 Percentile in CAT 2023?

Getting a 99 percentile score in CAT 2023 is not easy and requires a good preparation strategy, hard work, and willpower. Candidates will get only 120 minutes to complete the CAT 2023 exam, therefore during the last stage of preparation, they should pay more attention to time management. It is crucial for the candidates to ensure error-free performance if they aim to achieve a higher percentile in the CAT exam. The only way to answer questions accurately with zero errors is to pick questions carefully. What it basically boils down to is establishing a balance between speed and accuracy. To qualify for the 99th percentile, the test-takers must aim for a score of 104 (CAT raw score). Here are some of the best tips to increase your speed and accuracy in CAT 2023.

Find Out Your Strengths and Weaknesses

As can be seen above, you only need to attempt around 60% of the questions in CAT 2023 to get a 99 percentile score. Knowing your strong and weak areas will have to spend the least time on the remaining 40%. When aiming for the top, it is not only what you attempt that matters but also what you choose to leave.

Practice Solving Questions

Solving questions on a daily basis is a great way to increase speed and accuracy in CAT 2023. Solving questions every day will also help you find the best ways to reach the answer and which questions to leave.

Work on Time Management

Keep a clock running during and take note of the time you are taking to solve questions. Time management is very important as you only get 40 minutes to solve one section.

Check CAT Exam Analysis

Take a look at the CAT 2023 exam analysis and note the paper pattern, difficulty level, topics covered in each section, etc. to adjust your preparation accordingly.

Check CAT Toppers Tips

It is a good idea to take a look at the preparation strategy followed by CAT toppers or the best books for CAT 2021 they recommend. But you must always try to mould and adapt their advice to suit your style and needs.

Check Our CAT Preparation Tips

We have compiled some of the best preparation tips for CAT 2023 for you in the table below. Follow our tips to get a good score in CAT.

Key Tips for Increasing Speed and Accuracy in the CAT 2023 Exam

Candidates can refer to the following points to increase their speed and accuracy in the CAT 2023 exam:

  • Solve CAT sample questions as much as you can and analyze how long you take to complete them correctly and accurately. Resolve the issue at hand. Verify accuracy and time taken once more. The second try will take less time than the first. Try again and again until you complete the task with 100% accuracy in the allotted time.

  • Do not linger too long on a single question. There is no way to go back to questions that have been left unanswered, so if you feel like you are getting stuck, move on to the next question.

  • Sort questions into easy, medium, and challenging categories. Begin with the easy questions. Leave a question and move on to the next if you ever feel stuck or uncertain about it. Do not attempt a question if you are even slightly uncertain about the answer.

  • Avoid doing guesswork. Keep in mind that there is a negative marking system for incorrect answers. 

How to Use CAT Mock Tests to Score a 99 Percentile in CAT 2023

In order to score a 99 percentile in CAT 2023, candidates must use mock tests strategically to enhance their performance. Candidates aiming for a high percentile must know how to utilize the mock tests effectively:

  • Candidates must start appearing for mock tests early in their preparation to evaluate their initial strengths and weaknesses.

  • Taking regular mock tests can help the candidates track their progress. As the exam date approaches it is important to increase the frequency of taking mock tests.

  • Taking mock tests will assist the candidates in preparing effectively for the CAT 2023 exam since they replicate the actual exam conditions as closely as possible.

  • Candidates will also be able to analyze their performance thoroughly after each mock test. Identifying the types of questions where they have made errors and understanding the reasons behind them help the candidates achieve a high score in the CAT exam.

  • Candidates must master their time management skills to score a 99 percentile in CAT 2023. 

  • It is essential to improve your weaker areas and devote more time to practise the topics or types of questions that they find challenging.

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme

Here's the CAT exam pattern 2023 that students must know.


No. of Questions


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension


40 Minutes

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning


40 Minutes

Quantitative Ability


40 Minutes



120 Minutes

Candidates must devise a strategy to target a specific score in the CAT 2023 exam from the very beginning of the preparation. So, it is crucial to get familiar with the CAT 2023 marking scheme. Each section of CAT 2023 will comprise MCQs and Non-MCQs or TITA-type questions. While TITA questions are a bit more difficult to attempt, they do not have any negative markings. The marking scheme of CAT 2023 is as follows.

CAT Marking Scheme 2023

Candidates can check the total marks awarded for each correct answer on the CAT exam as well as how many marks will be deducted for incorrect answers under the marking scheme. Three marks are awarded for every correct answer. One mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer. No marks will be deducted for CAT questions that remain unanswered. Additionally, no marks will be deducted for non-MCQs. The CAT 2023 marking scheme is summarized in the following table:

Type of Question

Marks Awarded for Correct Answer

Marks Deducted for Incorrect Answer




Non-MCQ or TITA Questions



CAT Score vs Percentile 2023

If we take a look at the CAT score vs percentile 2023, a score ranging from 115-120 is expected to land you at the 99th percentile rank in CAT 2023. Getting around a 100-105 score for the 95 percentile in CAT 2023 is comparatively easy but increasing every mark after that gets exponentially difficult. What we mean to say here is that going from 100 to 101 marks is easier than going from 101 to 102. This is not that apparent in lower scores. but when you are aiming for the top, even a single mistake can cost you. Here is a table that shows percentile ranges for sectional and overall raw CAT scores (based on CAT 2022) to assist you in planning your approach for CAT 2023:

CAT Percentile

VARC Score 

DILR Score

QA Score

Overall Score




































CAT 2023 Scaled Score and Normalization Process

The CAT 2023 exam was administered in three sessions, so the CAT question paper of each session had a slightly different level of difficulty. Through the CAT normalization process, candidates' scores are scaled on a common level to ensure that there is no discrepancy in the comparison of performances. The CAT employs the same normalization process as the GATE exam, which is predicated on the idea that candidates' distribution of abilities is constant throughout all sessions. It accounts for all the differences in the difficulty levels of the CAT question papers conducted in different sessions. The total percentage of candidates who scored less than or equal to a specific candidate is known as the CAT percentile. The CAT percentile can be calculated using the following formula:

P = (1-R/N)*100

Here, P= CAT Percentile, R= Candidates’ Rank after CAT Normalization Process and N= Number of candidates who appeared for the exam.

Best CAT Coaching Institutes in India: Location-wise

Click on the links to check out the location-wise CAT coaching institutes in India:

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Scoring well in CAT requires smart preparation and not just hard work. Focus is essential and many successful aspirants draw inspiration from their goals or from other successful candidates.

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You can even check our CAT College Predictor 2023 and CAT Percentile Predictor 2023 tools to get an idea of your results based on your performance in the CAT 2023 exam. In case you have any queries, you can ask them on our QnA Zone.Stay tuned with us for more updates on CAT 2023!


How can I score 99 percentile in the CAT exam?

To score a 99+ percentile in the CAT exam, candidates need a solid study plan that covers the entire syllabus, and a strong drive and resolve to give an immaculate performance on the exam. Since CAT is one of the most competitive exams, with more than 2 lakh applicants every year competing for MBA admissions at some of the top B-schools, scoring in the top percentile is tough. Due to the CAT exam being a time-based test, candidates must focus more on time management during their final phase of training so that they can easily crack the question paper.

Is 99.8 a good percentile in CAT?

Yes, 99.8 is a good percentile in CAT. It puts you in the top 0.2% of candidates, making it an extremely challenging task. Previous students have obtained admission to IIM A, B, and C with a 99.8 percentile on the CAT. To receive a 99+ percentile on the CAT 2023, candidates need to score between 98 and 105 (expected).

How many marks are required for 99.5 percentile?

A score of 92.87 is required for a 99.5 percentile on the CAT. Candidates must score at least 43 in the VARC section, 32 in the DILR section, and 38-40 in the QA section to score a 99.5 percentile in each section.

What is the CAT score vs percentile analysis?

The CAT score vs percentile analysis is a tool that can be used to estimate the percentile score of a candidate based on their raw scores on the CAT exam. The percentile score of an individual in CAT is not their raw score which is calculated by adding the total scores of all three sections of the question paper using the CAT marking scheme. The CAT percentile score of a candidate is calculated after using the normalization process. The CAT score vs percentile analysis can be a useful tool for candidates who wish to take MBA admissions in some of the top MBA colleges in India. 

What percentile is 110 marks in CAT?

110 marks in CAT is equivalent to 99.5 percentile. If you have a CAT score of 110 after normalization, in terms of percentage, it will be (110/198)*100 = 55.55%. It is important to note that your score of 110 is higher than 99.5% of the total test-takers.

How much should I score in each section to get a 99 percentile in CAT?

You should score at least 40-48 in the VARC section, 29-39 in the DILR section, and 33-47 in the QA section to get a 99 percentile in CAT. To obtain a 100 percentile, the minimum scores stand at 57 for the VARC and QA sections and 48 for the DILR section.

How much marks is 99.8 percentile in CAT?

An overall score of 125 marks is 99.8 percentile in CAT which corresponds to 55% of the total marks. To score a 99.8 percentile in each section, candidates must score at least 48 in the VARC section, 36 in the DILR section, and 43 in the QA section.

What marks is 99 percentile in CAT?

Check the table below to understand what marks is 99 percentile in CAT:



















How many questions should I attempt in CAT to get a 99 percentile?

You must correctly attempt 25 questions in the VARC section, 21 questions in the Quants section, and 15 questions in the LRDI section to get a 99 percentile in CAT 2023. A minimum attempt of 47 questions will put a candidate in an advantageous situation. 

What is a good attempt in the CAT exam for scoring 99 percentile?

A minimum of 47 questions can be considered a good attempt in the CAT exam for scoring 99 percentile. Candidates have to be cautious and choose the question they answer based on their knowledge and skills. The ideal number of questions that candidates should attempt in each section are as follows:

  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA) - 17
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) - 18
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) - 13

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