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How to Approach CAT 2021 Question Paper?

Akansha Sirohi
Akansha SirohiUpdated On: August 01, 2021 | CAT

When the only thing that stands between you and your dream b-school is a CAT question paper, you have to ensure that you have a solid preparation plan on how to tackle it. Having a smart approach to solve the CAT question paper can help you with time management and accuracy, and give you a confidence boost.

Person with pen in hand studying for the CAT exam

CAT 2021 exam is going to be conducted on November 28. It is very hard to overstate the importance of CAT in MBA admissions. When the CAT question paper is the only thing standing between you and your dream b-school it becomes essential to give it your best shot.

Hence, it becomes important to strengthen your approach to the CAT 2021 question paper. Even small tweaks on how you attempt the CAT question paper have the potential of making big differences.

This is a skill that should be honed throughout your CAT preparation but it is important to give it special focus during the final stages of preparation. That is the time when you can practice CAT sample papers and CAT mock tests and enhance your performance.

While planning your revision, scan through your CAT 2021 preparation books and select the topics and formulas that you need to work on. Also, devise a strategy to approach the CAT 2021 exam that you can implement on the final day. To strengthen your preparation, you can also practice these strategies while taking CAT 2021 mock tests.

Following are some of the tips that can help you enhance your score in the CAT 2021 exam. Approaching the QA and VARC sections in the right way is of utmost importance to maximize your performance and get a good percentile. Check the tips to crack CAT 2021 below.

General Tips for CAT 2021 Exam Day

1. Avoid R&D on Exam Day: On the day of the exam, it is important that you follow the exam strategies you have tried and tested. Don’t indulge in a new approach and avoid new types of questions that you have not tackled during your practice sessions. Always keep in mind that wrong answers will award you negative marks.

2. Read the Options along with the Questions: Often, you can eliminate the answer choices while reading the question carefully. So go through the question and its answer choices simultaneously to enhance your solving speed during the exam.

3. Be Prepared for the Exam Day: Go through these exam day instructions for CAT and find out what to carry to the CAT examination centre and other details about how to be ready for the CAT exam day.

Also Read:

CAT 2021 Dress Code: What to Wear to The CAT Exam Centre10 Last-Minute Tips to Crack CAT 2021
Dos & Don’ts for Writing the CAT 2021 ExamCAT 2021 - Common Mistakes to Avoid on Exam Day

Ways to Tackle the DILR Section in CAT 2021

Here are some of the best tips to consider when attempting the DILR section in the CAT 2021 question paper.

1. Keep Track of Time: It is very easy to lose track of time when solving a reasoning question. Keep an eye on the clock and make sure you are not spending more time than required on any question.

2. Identify the Sets You Can Easily Solve: Before you start attempting this section, take some time to identify the sets that you can easily solve and the sets that might give you some trouble. Solving mock tests and previous year question papers for CAT will help you in making this distinction.

3. Keep Calculations to a Minimum: DILR is one section where you can use multiple tricks to minimize the number of calculations needed to solve the questions. Make sure you are training to use calculations only when -- a) it is absolutely necessary or b) the calculation is very easy to do.

4. Use Your Options: Reading the answer choices along with the questions is effective when attempting the DILR section in CAT as it can help you in eliminating some choices and reach a solution quicker.

Ways to Tackle QA Section in CAT 2021

Some of the ways to deal with the QA section in CAT 2021 are given below.

1. Target the Easy Questions First: The most important thing while attempting the QA section in CAT 2021 is to solve the easy questions first. This not only boosts your confidence but also ensures that you don’t miss the easy questions because you were trying to solve the difficult ones first.

2. Leave the Toughest Questions: If after reading a question you think it is too difficult to solve or will take a lot of time then it is better to leave that question unattempted as negative marks are awarded for every incorrect question in CAT.

3. Go through the Entire QA Section: A rough reading of the questions is very important to pick the questions that belong to your area of interest or topics that are your strengths. Target all the questions that can be solved in less than 90 seconds.

4. Mark the Difficult Questions: While you are reading and solving on your way through the QA section, don’t forget to mark the difficult questions so that you can go back and attempt them once you are done with the easy questions.

5. Go for the Toughest Questions only if you have time left: If you are done with the easy and moderate difficulty level questions and there is still time left, then attempt the toughest questions that you were otherwise going to skip.

Also Read:CAT 2021: Check Out Seat Reservation Policy at IIMs

Ways to Tackle the VARC Section in CAT 2021

Take a look at how to handle the VARC section of CAT 2021 below.

1. Attempt the Short Questions First: You must always be ready to approach the paper in the right order. Targeting the short questions first in the order of vocabulary, sentence completion, grammar, deductive logic, para jumbles, critical reasoning, para completion and then summary questions. This ensures that you attempt most of the questions in the VRC section of the CAT exam.

2. Glance through the Reading Comprehension Passages: Make sure that you scan through all the passages to understand the topics and figure out the passages that you will attempt and the ones that you will leave.

3. Complete the Familiar Questions First: Make sure that you follow the chronological order mentioned above and attempt the easy passages after that. You should aim to finish these questions within the deadline. If you have spare time after completing these questions, then you can attempt the passage that you were planning to leave.

4. When in Doubt, Leave the Question: If you are not sure about the answer choice that you must mark, it is better to leave the question and move forward, especially in critical reasoning questions.

Also Read:IIM Ahmedabad Selection Criteria and Procedure after CAT

With only a few days' time left to prepare for the exam, doing smart work along with hard work is the key to success. Performing well in the CAT exam is important as a good score in CAT 2021 can also help you in getting scholarships at the prestigious IIMs.

Remember, practice is the key to crack the CAT and get admission to the b-school of your choice. Therefore, spare no expense when it comes to practice and give yourself time to prepare for CAT and train for difficult concepts. Even the toughest questions will get easier to solve over time. Here are some other related articles to help you prepare for CAT.

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips

How to Prepare for CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning - Expert Advice, Tips and TricksHow 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 Tricks2 Months to CAT: Useful Section-wise Tips for Aspirants

Popular Colleges Accepting CAT Scores 2021

Here are some popular colleges accepting CAT scores for admissions to their management programmes.

CollegeLocationCourse Fee
Jagannath International Management School (JIMS)Rohini, DelhiRs. 5.34 lacs
Acharya Bangalore B-School (ABBS)BangaloreRs. 8.10 - 11.02 lacs
Doon Business School (DBS)DehradunRs. 5.96 lacs
Apeejay School of Management (ASM)DelhiRs. 8.00 lacs
ICFAI Business School (IBS)HyderabadRs. 14.04 lacs
KL University (KLU)GunturRs. 5.00 - 5.30 lacs
Bangalore Institute of Management Studies (BIMS)BangaloreRs. 5.40 lacs
SAGE UniversityIndoreRs. 1 lac - 2 lacs
University of Engineering & Management (UEM)JaipurRs. 1.80 lacs
Lloyd Business SchoolGreater NoidaRs. 2.50 lacs

Through the CAT 2021 percentile predictor and the CAT 2021 college predictor, those who give the exam can check their expected scores and colleges for admission. Candidates interested in applying to MBA colleges accepting CAT can fill the Common Application Form (CAF). For any queries regarding admissions, please call our helpline number 18005729877.

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


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