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How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2022 for a 99 Percentile Score?

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: December 01, 2022 12:43 pm IST | CAT

Scoring over 99 percentile in CAT 2022 requires a smart, calculative approach and a good preparation plan. Know here how many questions you should attempt in CAT 2022 to get a 99 percentile score.

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

Every year, more than 2 lakh candidates appear in the CAT exam to get admission into the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top MBA colleges in India, leading to cut-throat competition and an increase in the difficulty level of the exam. This fierce competition also makes it difficult for test-takers to score significantly well in the CAT exam. Last year, even though we saw the least number of CAT registrations in 5 years, a candidate had to be one of the top 23,000 scorers in CAT 2021 to get a 99+ percentile.

Meanwhile, candidates will be able to download the CAT 2022 Question Paper for Slot 1, Slot 2, and Slot 3, including the CAT exam analysis 2022, CAT 2022 answer key, and check out the CAT cutoff 2022 for IIMs by clicking on the links below. The memory-based questions will be made available to the candidates taking the CAT 2022 exam in a PDF format.

CAT Question Paper 2022
CAT Exam Analysis 2022
CAT Answer Key 2022 (Released)
CAT Cutoff 2022 for IIMs

Every year, candidates contemplate how many questions to attempt in CAT for a 99 percentile score or above. Since every wrong answer leads to a deduction of 1 mark as per the negative marking scheme of the exam, guesswork will not be a successful strategy for scoring a 99 percentile or above in CAT 2022. Therefore, candidates who don't know how to get 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.

If you are battling to get a seat in IIMs and other premier MBA institutes in India, then this article will help you understand how many questions to attempt in CAT 2022 for a 99 percentile score. We have also provided section-wise attempts and some essential tips to get a 99 percentile in CAT 2022.

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2022 for a 99 Percentile Score?

The following table shows an ideal depiction of the number of attempts to get 99 percentile in CAT if we assume that 115-120 marks are required for a 99 percentile.

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2022 for 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 2022.

In 2021, the CAT exam pattern was changed and the exam duration was reduced from 3 hours to 2 hours. The number of questions was also reduced to 76. This also had an impact on the average score of the candidates as well as the CAT score required to get a 99 percentile. Here is a quick comparison of the score required to get 99 percentile in CAT 2022 as per the old vs new exam pattern.

CAT Time Duration

Old  - 3 Hours

New - 2 ours

CAT Score Required for 99 percentile

Old - 155 to 165

New - 115 to 120

This is a very simple projection, but it gives a more or less very clear picture, as time would be limited for every aspirant. Adding a buffer to be safe, we can say that around 115-120 marks will be required in CAT 2022 with reduced time duration for a 99 percentile. Now, coming to the question of the number of attempts, it will depend on your accuracy. Bear in mind that:

  • Maintaining high accuracy will reduce your speed. A balance is required between accuracy and time.
  • If your accuracy is low, you must increase your speed to increase the number of questions you solve.
  • While your aim should be 100% accuracy, don't waste time on it as it is not possible in most cases.

Also ReadCAT 2022 Exam Day Mistakes You Must Avoid

Section-Wise Attempts for 99 Percentile in CAT 2022

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 No. of Questions

Good Attempts

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)



Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)



Quantitative Aptitude (QA)






Also ReadHow to Approach CAT Question Paper

CAT Score vs Percentile 2022

If we take a look at the CAT 2022 Score vs Percentile Analysis, a score ranging from 115-120 is expected to land you at the 99th percentile rank in CAT 2022. Getting around a 100-105 score for the 95 percentile in CAT 2022 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 2021) to assist you in planning your approach for CAT 2022:

CAT Percentile

VARC Score 

DILR Score

QA Score

Overall Score

99.5 %ile





99 %ile





98 %ile

























CAT 2022 Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme

The exam pattern of CAT 2021 changed significantly as the number of questions and the duration of the exam were reduced. The CAT question paper used to have a total of 100 questions divided into 3 sections. This was reduced to 66 and the exam duration was also decreased from 3 hours to 2 hours. So far, the conducting authority has not announced any change in the CAT 2022 exam pattern, so it will likely be the same as last year. All of the sections in CAT have different weightage. A comparison of both can be found below.

CAT Exam Pattern: Old Vs New


No. of Questions


Old Pattern

New Pattern

Old Pattern

New Pattern

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension



60 Minutes

40 Minutes

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning



60 Minutes

40 Minutes

Quantitative Ability



60 Minutes

40 Minutes




180 Minutes

120 Minutes

Candidates must devise a strategy to target a specific score in the CAT 2022 exam from the very beginning of the preparation. So, it is crucial to get familiar with the CAT 2022 marking scheme. Each section of CAT 2022 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 2022 is as follows.

CAT Marking Scheme 2022

Type of QuestionMarks Awarded for Correct AnswerMarks Deducted for Incorrect Answer
Non-MCQ or TITA Questions+30

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. According to experts, it is not necessary to attempt each and every question on the CAT question paper. The CAT paper pattern is always changing. Every year, the CAT exam pattern undergoes modifications. These changes can be in the quantity of MCQs and TITA questions, as well as how the questions are distributed throughout the sections and within them. There are also trick questions from time to time. 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 2022 to score 99+ percentile' still stands. According to experts, in order to aspire for a 99+ percentile, one should answer at least 75% of the questions correctly. It is crucial to maintain good accuracy in each area of the CAT exam because the sectional percentile and overall percentile have individual relevance in IIM admissions.

Also Read: How Much Time is Required to Prepare for CAT?

How to Get 99 Percentile in CAT 2022

Getting a 99+ percentile score in CAT 2022 is not easy and requires a good preparation strategy, hard work, and willpower. Candidates will get only 120 minutes to complete the CAT 2022 exam, therefore during the last stage of preparation, they should pay more attention to time management. It is crucial for the candidates to assure 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 2022.

Find Out Your Strengths and Weaknesses

As can be seen above, you only need to attempt around 60% of the questions in CAT 2022 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 2022. 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 exam analysis of CAT 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 mold 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 2022 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 2022 Exam

Candidates can refer to the following points to increase their speed and accuracy in the CAT 2022 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. 

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.

You can even check our CAT College Predictor and CAT Percentile Predictor tools to get an idea of your results based on your performance in the CAT 2022 exam. In case you have any queries, you can ask them on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone.

Stay tuned with us for more updates on CAT 2022!

Related Links:

Exam Day Tips for CAT 2022 - Key Tips to Help You SucceedDo’s & Don’ts for Writing the CAT 2022 Exam
CAT 2022 Dress Code: What to Wear to The CAT Exam Centre10 Last-Minute Tips to Crack CAT 2022
CAT 2022 Exam Centres - State-wise CAT Exam CentresList of Non-IIM MBA Colleges to Apply to Before & After CAT Exam


Does getting 99 percentile guarantee admission in top colleges?

No, admission is not guaranteed to any college after getting 99 percentile and it will depend on your GD/PI performance.

Which colleges can I get with a 99 percentile score in CAT?

With a 99 percentile score, you can aim for the top IIMs i.e. IIMA, IIMB and IIMC as well as the top private colleges include FMS Delhi, SPJIMR, MDI Gurgaon etc.

How many candidates get 99+ percentile in CAT?

Since around 2 lakh candidates appear for CAT every year, the top 1% i.e. around 20,000 candidates get 99+ percentile score.

How to score 99 percentile in CAT?

For scoring 99 percentile in CAT, an attempt of around 65 - 75 questions out of 100 is recommended with high accuracy. Read the article to know the expected new number of attempts required as per reivsed format.

Can an average student score 99 percentile in CAT?

Yes, it is definitely possible for an average student to get 99 percentile in CAT if the candidate follows a dedicated study plan and makes calculated efforts towards their goal.


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