How to Score 90+ Percentile in CAT 2023

Bipasha Ray
Bipasha RayUpdated On: November 30, 2023 04:28 pm IST | CAT

Scoring 90+ percentile in CAT 2023 may seem like a challenge, but with the right strategy and hard work, it is achievable. Scroll through to find out how to score 90+ percentile in CAT 2023.

How to score 90+ percentile in CAT 2023

How to Score 90+ Percentile in CAT 2023: To score a 90 percentile in the CAT 2023 exam may seem like a daunting task especially if you want to pursue an MBA course from a top-tier B school. But this goal can be achieved with the right guidance and strong determination. Getting a 90+ percentile in CAT 2023 takes a well-thought-out strategy, time management, and test-taking skills. The first step is to understand the CAT exam pattern and weightage in each section. The CAT has three sections:  Language and Reading Skills (VARC),  Data and Logic abilities (DILR), and Quantitative Ability or math skills (QA). 

On November 26, 2023, the CAT 2023 examination was conducted successfully. The last day to register for the CAT was on September 21, 2023. The exam is not just about how many questions you answer correctly. What really matters is how your performance compares to others. Your percentile score is more important than your raw score. Many candidates do well on the exam but end up with a lower percentile than expected. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain how you can achieve a score of 90+ percentile in CAT 2023 so you can successfully secure admission into a management institute of your choice.
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How to Score 90+ percentile in CAT 2023: Factors Determining CAT Percentile

Determining the exact number of questions to attempt in CAT for a 90+ percentile score is a complex task. This is because, in recent years, the number of questions in the CAT exam has been changing. To achieve a 99 percentile, you need to consider more than just attempting a specific number of questions. Your CAT percentile is influenced by three factors:

  • CAT Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme: It's crucial to understand the CAT exam pattern 2023 and how the CAT is structured and scored. For every correct answer, you receive three marks, but there's a penalty of one mark for each incorrect answer. However, there's no penalty for leaving questions unanswered. Additionally, non-MCQ (non-Multiple Choice Questions) may not have negative markings, but they can be challenging or time-consuming. To aim for a high percentile, it's essential to attempt only those questions you are absolutely sure about. Even a small mistake can result in a lower score. Experts recommend that you don't need to answer all the questions in the CAT 2023 paper.
  • Accuracy in Solving CAT Questions: Your accuracy in answering questions plays a significant role in your percentile score. To score well, it's essential to answer questions correctly and minimize errors.
  • CAT Normalization Process:CAT normalization process 2023 is used to adjust scores, ensuring fairness when comparing the performances of candidates across different exam slots and sessions.

The CAT exam pattern and the number of questions can vary from year to year, making it important to focus on accuracy and a well-planned strategy rather than attempting a specific number of questions. To understand what score you need for your preferred colleges, it's advisable to review past years' CAT cutoffs during your CAT 2023 preparation.

Number of Good Attempts for 90+ Percentile

According to experts, in order to aim for a 99 percentile score, it's recommended to accurately answer at least 75 percent of the questions. Achieving this level of accuracy is crucial because both the sectional percentile and overall percentile are important for admissions into IIMs. For CAT 2023, here's a breakdown of the number of good attempts based on the CAT previous year paper:

  • In the VARC section, with 24 questions, it's advisable to aim for 18 accurate attempts.
  • In the DILR section, which has 20 questions, targeting 13 accurate attempts is a good strategy.
  • For the Quantitative Aptitude section with 22 questions, aiming for 16 accurate attempts is recommended.

In total, the CAT exam consists of 66 questions, and achieving approximately 47 accurate attempts across all sections can help you work towards a 99 percentile score.

How to Score 90+ Percentile in CAT 2023: Understanding the Exam Pattern

Here is a typical CAT exam pattern that was followed in previous years:



Sections: The CAT exam usually consists of three main sections

a. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): This section assesses your English language skills, including reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary.

b. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR): In this section, you'll be tested on your ability to analyze and interpret data and your logical reasoning skills.

c. Quantitative Ability (QA): This section evaluates your mathematical and quantitative aptitude.

Total Questions in the CAT Exam


Total Marks


CAT Exam Duration

2 Hours

Question Types

CAT primarily features multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and some non-MCQs (Type-in-the-Answer or TITA questions) in each section.

CAT Exam-Making Scheme

+3 For Correct Answers

-1 For Incorrect Answers

0 For Unattempted Questions

How to Score 90+ Percentile in CAT 2023: Creating a Study Plan

Scoring a 90+ percentile in the CAT requires dedicated preparation, time management, and a well-structured study plan. To score 90+ percentile you should have some study plan. Here are some tips to create a study plan for scoring 90+ percentile in CAT 2023:

  • Understand the CAT Exam Pattern: CAT usually consists of three sections- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). Develop a familiarity with each section's examination scheme, marks system, and time limits.
  • Assess Your Current Level: Take a CAT 2023 mock test or a practice test to gauge your initial level of proficiency and Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each section.
  • Time Management: You should Allocate specific time slots for study, practice, and revision and you should Stick to a consistent study schedule to build a study habit.
  • Concept Clarity: In each of the sections, focus on building a strong foundation. Review basic concepts and principles to ensure a clear understanding.
  • Practice Regularly: You Should start Solving a variety of CAT-level questions from different sources and Take sectional and full-length mock tests regularly to simulate exam conditions.
  • Analyze Mock Tests: After each mock test, thoroughly analyze your performance. Then Identify your mistakes and areas for improvement. Work on strategies to solve questions more efficiently.
  • Revision: Set aside time for regular revision of concepts and formulas and Review your notes and mistakes from previous mock tests.

How Many Questions to Attempt in CAT to Score 90+ Percentile?

Here's a rough estimate as to how many questions you should attempt in CAT to score 90+ percentile:

  • CAT typically consists of around 66 questions in total. 
  • You may need to aim for a raw score in the range of 24-26 questions in each section correct from the total to achieve a 90+ percentile. 
  • Consideration must also be given to the fact that, depending on the general difficulty of the exam, there may be different numbers of questions required for correct answers. 
  • In some years, you might need to answer fewer questions correctly, while in other years, you might need to answer more.

In conclusion, the answer to the question of 'How to score a 90+ percentile in the CAT 2023 exam' may seem challenging, but it's an achievable goal with the right approach. Pursuing an MBA program from a top-tier B-school is a significant ambition, and this journey demands unwavering dedication, strategic planning, and effective time management. Typically, you may need to answer around 24-26 questions correctly in each section to reach your goal. However, the specific number can be influenced by the exam's overall difficulty level.  Achieving your target percentile requires a robust strategy and a keen understanding of the CAT exam pattern and marking scheme.

A well-structured study plan is your ally in this endeavor. You should begin by understanding the CAT exam pattern and assessing your current level. Time management, concept clarity, regular practice, and thorough analysis of mock tests are all integral to your preparation. Best of luck in your CAT journey!

Related Articles:

MBA Colleges Accepting 95-99 Percentile in CAT 2023MBA Colleges Accepting 60-70 Percentile in CAT 2023

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