How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2020 for a 99 Percentile Score

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliPublished On: November 20, 2020 | CAT

Scoring over 99 percentile in CAT 2020 requires a smart, calculative approach and a good preparation plan. Take a look at the number of attempts required in CAT 2020 to get more than 99 percentile.

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

Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 is about to be conducted on November 29, 2020, and around 2.3 lakh students have registered for the exam. Even though this is the least number of CAT registrations in 5 years, you have to be one of the top 23,000 scorers in CAT 2020 to get a 99+ percentile. While this may seem to be easy at the first glance, you may want to think again.

Many top MBA aspirants compete in CAT 2020 for admission in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and also many of the top MBA colleges in India and the fight to push your way up to the top bracket can get intense. Every management aspirant is aware of the importance of CAT in MBA admissions, and the immense popularity of the exam.

Check our college predictor and percentile predictor tools for CAT 2020 to get an idea of your results based on your performance in the exam.

CAT College PredictorCAT Percentile Predictor

CAT 2020 Score vs 99 Percentile

If we take a look at the CAT 2020 Score vs Percentile Analysis, a score ranging from 155 - 165 is expected to land you at the 99th percentile rank in CAT 2020. Getting around 130-135 score for 95 percentile in CAT 2020 is comparatively very easy but increasing every mark after that gets increasingly difficult at a rapid pace.

What I mean to say here is that going from 130 to 131 marks is easier than going from 131 to 132. This is not that apparent in lower scores but when you are aiming for the top, even a single mistake can cost you dearly.

In this article, we attempt to answer one of the most commonly asked questions by CAT 2020 aspirants -- 'How many questions do I have to attempt to get a 99+ percentile score in CAT 2020?'

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme

CAT has a total of 100 questions divided into 3 sections. All of the sections in CAT have different weightage. The exam pattern of CAT 2020 can be found below.


No. of Questions


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

34 questions

40 minutes

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

32 questions

40 minutes

Quantitative Ability

34 questions

40 minutes



120 minutes

Each section of CAT 2020 comprises MCQs and Non-MCQs or TITA-type questions. While TITA questions are a bit more difficult to attempt, they do not have any negative marking. The marking scheme of CAT 2020 is as follows.

For Correct Answer

+3 marks

For Incorrect Answer

-1 mark for MCQs
No Negative Marking for TITA

Now, as you can see here, the story of the number of questions to answer in CAT 2020 for a 99 percentile score starts to a little complicated as there are many factors to consider. Let's take a look at this in a bit more detail.

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

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2020 for 99 Percentile

Currently, all of the projections put out by top institutes are based on previous year data. However, the CAT exam pattern has been changed this year. The CAT exam duration has been reduced from 3 hours to 2 hours and experts are of the opinion that the number of questions in CAT 2020 will also be reduced.

Of course, this will also have an impact on the average score of the candidates and, hence, the score required to get 99 percentile. Let's get a simple estimate with the help of ratios on the new score required to get 99 percentile in CAT 2020.

CAT Time Duration

Old-time duration - 3 hours

New time duration - 2 hours

Ratio - 3:2

CAT Score Required for 99 percentile

The old score required - 155 to 165New Score Required - 103 to 110

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 110-115 marks will be required in CAT 2020 with reduced time duration for 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 slow your speed. A balance is required between accuracy is time.
  • If your accuracy is low, you must increase your speed to increase the number of questions you solve.
  • While your aim should be to be 100% accurate, don't waste time on it as it is not possible in most cases.

The following table shows an ideal depiction of the number of attempts for 99 percentile in CAT if we assume that 110-115 marks are required for 99 percentile.

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT 2020 for 99 Percentile


Attempts Required



Raw Score





(37x3) - 0 = 111





(39x3) - 5 = 112





(40x3) - 10 = 110





(44x3) - 19 = 113

Hence, it is apparent here that the difference between going from 100% accuracy to 90% or 80% is only of 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 2020.

CAT 2020 Cut Off

Candidates must keep in mind that CAT 2020 Normalization Process is not taken into account here as it is not in the control of a candidate. However, a margin of +5/-5 marks should be kept if you want to factor it in. Now, let's break this information down section-wise.

Also Read: Top Ten Non-IIM Colleges that accept CAT Scores in India

Section-Wise Attempts for 99 Percentile in CAT 2020

Each section of CAT 2020 contains roughly equal questions and 40 minutes are allotted for each but the time taken per question varies. The average time taken to attempt a VARC is less as compared to the average time taken to attempt a Quant question because of the difference in the difficulty level.

Hence, the number of attempts is not equally divided between sections. Check the table below for details.


Total No. of Questions

No. of Attempts Required

Estimated Score



16 - 18

45 - 47



12 - 14

34 - 37



14 - 16

35 - 38



42 - 48114 - 122

How to Get 99 Percentile in CAT 2020

Getting a 99+ percentile score in CAT 2020 is not easy and requires a good preparation strategy, hard work and will power. However, what it basically boils down to is establishing a balance between speed and accuracy. Here are some of the best tips to increase your speed and accuracy in CAT 2020.

Find Out Your Strengths and Weaknesses

As can be seen above, you only need to attempt around 60% of the questions in CAT 2020 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 2020. Solving questions every day will also help you find the best ways to reach the answer and which questions to leave.

CAT 2020 Previous Year Question Paper

CAT 2020 Sample Papers

CAT 2020 Mock Test

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 2020 they recommend. But you must always try to mould and adapt their advice to suit your style and needs.

Check: Toppers Tips for CAT 2020: Check How Toppers Prepare for CAT, Strategy & Study Tips to Score 99 Percentile

Check Our CAT Preparation Tips

We have compiled some of the best preparation tips for CAT 2020 for you in the table below. Follow our tips to get a good score in CAT.

CAT 2020 Preparation Strategy: Section-Wise Preparation Tips

How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension) - Expert Advice, Tips

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

How to Prepare for CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning - Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

Types of Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT 2020: Sectional Analysis and Tips

How to Approach CAT Question Paper

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. If you have any queries, you can ask them on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone.

Get Help From Our Expert Counsellors


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.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


Be the First to Know

Get Access to Latest Updates

View All Questions

Related Questions

I want to pursue MBA from LPU. If I did not appear for any entrance exam like CAT, MAT or XAT then can I get admission?

-Narain sharmaUpdated on December 31, 2020 09:55 PM
  • 5 Answers
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student

Yes, you can apply for MBA admission at Lovely Professional University, Phagwara even if you have not appeared for CAT, MAT or any other entrance examination. However, you will have to appear for the University's own entrance examination (LPUNEST). The entrance examination will help you get a scholarship based on your bachelor scores and performance in the entrance examination. The college will also conduct a personal interview round. Once you have cleared all the rounds, you will have to submit an amount of INR 10,000 as the initial amount for admission. Besides this, you will have ...


Is there any good college offering mba in digital marketing in India?

-Mayank BansalUpdated on December 31, 2020 05:44 PM
  • 5 Answers
Yash Dhamija, Student / Alumni

Dear Student

There are many good MBA in Digital Marketing Colleges in India. Some of them are Rai University, AhmedabadTeerthanker Mahaveer University, MoradabadThadomal Shahani Centre for Management, MumbaiSwarrnim Startup And Innovation University, Gandhinagar and NIIT University, Neemrana. You can visit the official website of these colleges to compare their fee structure and campus. Apart from this, you can apply to any of these colleges by filling our Common Application Form

Provided below are some articles that will help you know more about MBA admission process.

MBA Admission Process 2021 - Last Date to Apply, Eligibility, Selection Criteria, Top ...


How is Shoolini University for MBA? Which MBA specializations are available?

-RaviUpdated on December 22, 2020 08:52 PM
  • 2 Answers
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

Shoolini University is well-recognized for its MBA course and has been ranked in the 76-100 bracket in NIRF 2020 rankings and 65th rank in the NIRF 2019 rankings for the Management stream. The university also maintains a 100% placement record for its MBA courses, with the average salary and highest salary being Rs. 6.5 LPA and Rs. 14 LPA respectively.

The specializations of MBA available at Shoolini University include Marketing, Rural Management, Finance, Human Resource Management, Digital Marketing, Retail Management, Pharma and Healthcare, Biotechnology and Analytics.

If you want to apply for MBA admissions at Shoolini University ...


Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy
Apply Now

Management Related News

Top 10 Management Colleges in India

View All

Never miss an exam update !!