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Preparation Tips for CAT 2023 - How to Prepare, Study Plan, Tips & Strategies

Updated By Intajur Rahaman on 31 May, 2023 18:10

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How to Prepare for CAT 2023

The CAT exam is one of the most difficult management entrance exams in India. Every year, over 2 lakh candidates apply for the CAT exam to get admission into PGP/MBA/PGDM courses offered by 20 IIMs and over 1,000 other B-Schools in the country. To get a better understanding of the exam, you can have a look at the IIM CAT 2022 Cutoff, slot-wise memory-based CAT 2022 question paper and CAT paper analysis 2022, which will soon be available, by clicking on the links below.

CAT Cutoff 2022 for IIMs
CAT Question Paper 2022
CAT Paper Analysis 2022

Students preparing for the CAT exam 2023 should have a strategic and systematic plan and be well-versed with the syllabus and the types of questions asked in the exam.

The best thing to do a few weeks before the exam is to take a decent number of CAT 2023 mock tests and analyze the results. The more questions are practiced, the better will be the candidate's performance. Revising key concepts and formulae is another way to boost performance on exam day.

Read the tips and tricks given here on how to prepare for the CAT exam and simultaneously track your preparation. Implement these CAT 2023 exam preparation tips in your preparation pattern and see the remarkable impact on your CAT 2023 result.

Also Read:CAT 2023 Notification

CAT 2023 Preparation Tips & Tricks

You don't have to worry anymore regarding the concept of how to prepare for CAT as we have got you covered with these CAT 2023 preparation tips:

  • Solve Old Papers and Mock Tests: Solving the previous years' papers is a good way to prepare for the exam. Also, mock tests help in assessing one's proficiency in the subjects. 
  • Stay Calm and Relaxed: Your performance in the exam also depends on your frame of mind. There will always be more second chances to perform. So, stay calm and relaxed while preparing for the exam.
  • Read and Read: Reading is a good habit and it can be extremely beneficial when preparing for an entrance exam like CAT. Reading habit helps in boosting one's vocabulary, general knowledge, and even the speed of reading the questions.
  • Focus on Tricks: Knowing short forms, calculations based on tricks, or solving sums quickly with easy and smart steps are required to crack this test.
  • Time Management: Managing your time well on exam day is the key to scoring well. Therefore, time management is an important formula to ace the exam.
  • Study for the Best Material: One of the best ways to prepare for entrance exams like the CAT is to pick the right study material. You will find plenty of books in the market that will not just enhance your knowledge but will provide you with the right guidance to perform well in the exam.

CAT 2023 Section-Wise Preparation Tips

Every CAT aspirant must know that it is very important for them to be aware of the subjects that are to be prepared for the examination as it might give them a clear outlook on how to prepare for the CAT exam. For this, the candidates must take a look at the CAT syllabus. They must also know how to prepare these subjects in order to cover maximum topics and sections. Let’s check out some of the easy tips and tricks that can be beneficial for the preparation plan.

CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • The time given to complete this section of the CAT exam is 40 minutes. Test takers must not take more than 50 minutes to answer the maximum number of questions in this section. The remaining 10 minutes should be utilized revising the answers and attempting unanswered questions.

  • The VARC has been structured in a way to judge your reading skills along with your language knowledge. Experts advise on improving grammatical understanding, which can be done by following good grammar books.

  • For a better understanding, reading through junior-level books is recommended by experts and CAT applicants who have scored 99 percentile.

  • Sub-sections like Fact Inference Judgment, Para Completion, Verbal Reasoning, Analogies, and Para Jumble are the ones that need more attention and understanding.

  • Other sub-sections need more practice and a little bit of memorizing when it comes to synonyms and idioms. For this, you can solve practice papers or previous years' question papers.

  • Solving previous years’ papers will also help in understanding the pattern and structure of the questions framed for VARC.

  • Experts also advise learning as many as 10 new words with their meaning, synonyms and usage.

CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

  • There are a total of 32 questions that are to be answered in 40 minutes. However, an idol examinee would be expected to complete this section in not less than 55 minutes while 5 minutes can be kept for revision and unattended questions.

  • The motive for this section is to understand the calibre of the candidates with respect to their logical thinking and approach. In order to master this section, candidates will have to first understand every given topic in detail and then start practising them.

  • Sub-sections that must be prepared first include Caselet, Bar Graph, Data Sufficiency, Clocks and Calendars, Data Arrangement, Binary Logic, Constraint-based puzzles, and Venn Diagram.

  • Candidates should read the questions carefully before solving them. They should have a clear explanation for choosing an option.

  • They should read all the response choices carefully before choosing or eliminating any. It is to be noted that no changes can be made after the candidates choose an option.

  • Special importance should be paid to words like “some”, “all”, “none”, etc. Many a time these words are used to twist the question which in turn leads to confusion in choosing an answer.

  • Candidates can also utilise scratch paper to draw schematic notes or diagrams. 

  • Take help from teachers and seniors to study the tricks and methods of solving the questions in this section. 

  • While preparing the sub-sections, remember to complete one topic at a time. Devote an equal amount of time to each topic and sub-sections to understand the details including the methodology of finding out the solution.

  • Remember not to rush in attempting all the questions. Instead, pick the questions that you can solve easily and attempt them first, and then switch to the time-consuming ones.

CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • As prescribed by the exam conducting authority, there are a total of 34 questions that must be answered within a time span of 40 minutes. It is advised to complete the maximum number of questions in this section in 54 to 55 minutes and the rest of the time for revision.

  • Quantitative Ability section in the CAT exam is meant to judge candidates' understanding of the arithmetic reasoning and numeric calculation system. This in return helps candidates in making quick calculative decisions when on the field as a professional.

  • Some topics that are to be prepared for this section include Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Trigonometry and Calculus. Take help from the best books and study materials to score well in this section.

  • If reading through the books and understanding the terms seems difficult, then you may consider joining a reputed Coaching Center. The mentors at these centres will teach the difficult topics in an easy and simple way combined with regular practice sessions.

  • Going through the examples given after every explanation in the books and study materials is a must for CAT applicants. These examples will help in understanding the problem in a clear way and will also help in knowing the steps to approach the solution in a simplified manner.

  • The right way to approach questions is to go for the easier ones first and then gradually move to the more difficult or tricky ones.

Related Links:

How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning)

How to Prepare for CAT for Working Professionals

How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension)

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)

Common Mistakes to Avoid During CAT Preparation

How to Improve English for MBA Exams

Importance of Vedic Maths in CAT 2023

Similar Exams :

CAT 2023 Self Study vs Coaching - Which is More Important?

It is to be noted that both self-study and attending coaching classes are considered to be important if the candidates are to ace the CAT exam. Aspirants need to figure out a strategy to create a balance between the two. While some MBA aspirants attend coaching classes, others invest their time in self-study and searching for study material on the internet. There is no such hard and fast rule that has to be followed to do well in the examination. Candidates should, in fact, stick to practices that are sustainable in the long run.

To ace, an exam like CAT, proper guidance and knowledge about proper study materials are considered to be the most important elements. Both of these are provided to the students by the CAT coaching institutes. They train the students in a manner that helps them deal with any sort of difficulties with ease.

Students who are on the path of looking for answers on how to prepare for the CAT exam 2023 while pursuing their graduation courses often lose track, which leads to a bad score in the entrance. The coaching institutes provide lessons on time management and teach them how to create a balance between the two. Apart from this, the coaching institutes also conduct various mock tests that help students evaluate their potential and give them a scope to work on their weaknesses. Top institutes also conduct examinations at the national level which provide students with an opportunity to know if they stand a chance to achieve their goals. 

Another side of the coin is that many candidates who aspire to crack the CAT exam cannot afford to attend coaching classes or do not have such institutes in their localities. The brighter side is that there are many candidates who have cracked the CAT exam in the past without the help of coaching institutes. One advantage of not joining coaching institutes is it saves a lot of time for the CAT exam 2023 preparation. We have provided certain instructions that can be followed to prepare for the CAT exam without the guidance of any coaching institute:

  • Candidates must be well aware of the CAT syllabus before starting to prepare for the exam. Knowing all the topics beforehand can help the candidates figure out a preparation strategy in advance.

  • Candidates can gain access to effective study materials using the internet. Nowadays, there are numerous sites that provide important notes, sample papers, and question banks for management entrances. Candidates can also interact with various experts through social media platforms and get several tips and tricks.

  • Candidates should also be aware of the exam pattern before starting to prepare for the CAT exam. This will help them get an overview of the structure of the entrance.

  • Having clarity of the fundamental concepts is a must to ace any entrance. If the concepts are clear, solving questions becomes easier.

  • Candidates should also give equal importance to the various sections of the CAT exam 2023 syllabus.

To sum it up, hard work and practice are the two major elements that help in acing a national-level entrance exam like the CAT. Joining a coaching institute can surely be effective but self-study can be equally rewarding.

Role of Coaching in CAT 2023 Preparation Process

Preparing for the CAT exam is a long-term strategy. It is necessary to begin planning for it at least 6 to 9 months beforehand. Applicants who intend to prepare for the CAT exam through self-study must begin even sooner. Applicants who choose to enroll in a tutoring academy for CAT preparation are well-directed by teachers and mentors. The coaching institute offers all of the CAT learning resources and mock practice tests, as well as guidance through difficult and relevant questions. Candidates searching for answers on how to prepare for the CAT exam are obliged to visit 6 to 8 hours of class per day. 

How to Get 100 Percentile in CAT 2023

Are you still looking for the CAT exam 2023 preparation tips to help you score 95% and above? Do you think that it is impregnable to breach the wall that stands between you and your dreams of pursuing your desired Management programme from a top-rated B-School? Are you stuck figuring out how to prepare for the CAT exam 2023? We at CollegeDekho think otherwise. Sure enough, it is a tough thing to secure 100 percentile in CAT but not an improbable task. Check out the CAT 2023 preparation tips to score 100 percentile. 

  • To score more than 95% in the CAT exam, the candidates must not spend hours deliberating whether to enhance their strong areas or focus more on those areas that they think are their weak areas.

  • While preparing for the CAT exam with an aim of 95% and above in their mind, the aspirants must take the pattern of the CAT exam into account.

  • The aspirants must start preparing for the CAT exam 2023 by picking up those topics that are most important because mastering such topics will leave them with the less important topics which, if the aspirants decide to skip at the eleventh hour, will make not much difference to their final scores.

  • If the CAT 2023 aspirants start preparing for the exam with ample time on their hands, their prime focus should be fixing the chinks in their armory, i.e. working on their weak areas.

  • The dream of scoring 100 percentile in the CAT 2023 exam can only be fulfilled if the aspirants pay adequate attention to Ration and Integer Equations, Percentages, and Understanding Passages, and Paragraphs (for the Verbal Ability section).

  • The CAT exam syllabus is vast as an ocean which is why the aspirants must create a separate syllabus book of their own. To create a syllabus book of their own, the aspirants must scan through the previous 5-year CAT question papers and identify those topics from which the maximum number of questions were asked. Then the aspirants have to prepare a list of topics accordingly which will be their syllabus book which will come to their aid during the later stages of the CAT exam 2023 preparation.

  • Continuous practice is the key to scoring well in CAT 2023 sections like Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability.

  • Previous year CAT rank holders and experts suggest that the CAT 2023 aspirants must try and solve at least two CAT mock test papers each week. Cometh the exam day, the aspirants will have a proper strategy in place to help them secure a 90 percentile score in the CAT 2023 exam.

  • On the day of the CAT 2023 exam, the candidates must attempt those questions first which they are confident in, and then turn their attention toward the remaining questions later.

  • The candidates must always be prepared for a few surprises but the candidates must never deviate from their plans​.

How to Prepare CAT 2023 in 3 Months

Candidates who wish to follow a 3-month preparation strategy for CAT do not have a lot of time on their hands. Preparing for CAT 2023 in half the recommended period (6 months) is not a particularly easy task. Even for candidates following a 6-month preparation strategy, the last 3 months of CAT 2023 preparation tips are very crucial, and making consistent efforts to succeed is essential.

How to Prepare for CAT 2023: 3-Month Study Plan

We have prepared a template for a 3-month study plan for CAT 2023. This template is meant to be adjusted as per a candidate's strengths and weaknesses, and focus areas to help them in evaluating the CAT 2023 preparation tips. Candidates should also account that each topic will not take the same amount of time to complete.

No. of Days for Study


No. of Chapters in the Syllabus


Recommended Time for Study Each Day

6 hours

No. of Chapters to Study Per Day


No. of Chapters in a Week

5 x 1 = 5

Days Taken Complete the Syllabus

56 / 1 = 56 days

Days Dedicated to Practice Every Week


Total Practice Days

2 x 12 = 24 days

No. of Days Remaining

10 days

Days Left for Revision and Practice

9 days

Last-Minute Preparation and Revision

1 day

How to Prepare for CAT in the First Month

  • The first step is to get a reality check, which means that candidates should know their strengths and weaknesses. Aspirants should be able to evaluate their level of preparation to understand how much more effort should be put in. 

  • The next major step is to be aware of the CAT exam pattern. The exam pattern consists of the number of questions asked in the paper, the number of sections, etc. This makes the candidates familiar with the structure of the exam.

  • Once the candidates are aware of the pattern, they should go through all the topics in the syllabus of the CAT in order to assess CAT 2023 preparation tips. The aspirants must cover all the sections of the syllabus.

  • Candidates should then look for suitable study materials such as books, sample papers, previous papers, and more.

  • The first month can be devoted to clarifying the basics. Candidates can speak to the toppers and experts to get some tips and tricks related to the preparation for the exam.

  • Candidates should also work on their vocabulary by reading newspapers regularly. Cultivating a habit of reading books is another way of working on verbal skills.

How to Prepare for CAT 2023 in the Second Month

  • Candidates should start taking as many mock tests as possible in the second month of the preparation phase. It is a great way to revise whatever has been learned so far.

  • Decide In Advance the number of hours to put into the process for how to prepare for CAT 2023.

  • Don't begin with a new topic because starting a new topic will be time-consuming. Practice the topics prepared previously.

  • If the candidates do not perform well in the mock tests, they can join a crash course offered by some coaching institutes. 

  • As part of practice sessions, candidates can find out simple ways to solve even the most difficult questions. 

How to Prepare for CAT in the Third Month

  • Fix the number of hours and try to study for at least six hours without any distractions. Spend at least 3 hours taking the mock test and then analyze the mock test. It will help the candidates know the answers to the questions which they had not attempted before.
  • Candidates should continue taking more mock tests in the final month of preparation.

  • By now, candidates should be confident about their abilities and strengths.

  • Brush up on your basics so that there is no confusion when it comes to attempting the difficult questions.

  • Candidates can also solve the previous year's question papers of CAT to get an idea of the kind of questions to expect in the entrance examination. Figure out the questions, trends, and patterns based on the previous year's question papers.

  • Distribute time equally for all the 3 sections of the CAT exam while making a plan for CAT 2023 preparation tips.

How to Prepare CAT 2023 Within a Short Span of Time?

While there is no shortcut to success, there are some simple tips and tricks that you can use while figuring out how to prepare for the CAT exam within a short span of time. Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most coveted entrance exams for MBA admissions in India. The level of competition for the CAT exam is always high and there are only a few students who make it to the top B-schools in India.

The CAT exam syllabus consists of various sections like Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation. Each section requires a detailed study plan as per section-wise the CAT exam 2023 preparation tips as it is the key to scoring well in the exam. One of the best ways to prepare for the CAT exam is to refer to the right set of CAT books and study materials.

Candidates should also know the important topics in the CAT exam syllabus from where the questions are frequently asked. Candidates are recommended to solve and practice as many questions as possible from CAT mock papers for constant revision.

How to Prepare CAT 2023 in 30 Days

Since the CAT exam is just around the corner, candidates should focus on solving the maximum number of mock test papers to excel the CAT exam 2023. They can check the following tips to prepare better for CAT as well as other B-school entrance tests.

  • Solve Previous Year's Papers: Candidates can solve the previous year’s question papers of the MBA entrance exams to know the type of questions that were asked in the previous years’ editions of the exam.
  • Read Magazines, Articles, and Books Regularly: Candidates must read magazines, good fiction/ non-fiction books, and articles regularly. This will help them improve their communication skills as well as pronunciation. Candidates should dedicate at least 1-2 hours to reading any literature or good articles offline or online.
  • Regular Revisions: Candidates should revise all the important topics and concepts they have learned during the weekend.
  • Focus on Giving Your 100 Percent: Candidates should focus on giving their 100 percent in the exam without thinking about the result. 
  • Preparing Notes: Candidates should prepare notes alongside their preparation so that they can revise them before going to the examination center.
  • Understanding the Exam Pattern: Candidates should understand the CAT exam pattern and other B-school entrance tests before starting their CAT 2023 exam preparation. It will help them to know the marking scheme and the exam structure. 
  • Stay Focused: Candidates are advised to take small breaks and talk to friends and family during their preparation. This will help the candidates to stay focused and energized.

Best Preparation Tips for CAT 2023 Exam Day

It is completely fine for any aspirant to get nervous before the day of the CAT exam. However, there are certain things that candidates can do to maximize their chances of performing well in the exam and not getting overly stressed.

1. Take a Good Night's Sleep: You must get at least 8 hours of sleep before the CAT exam to maintain your focus while attempting the paper. Lack of sleep will lead to restlessness and you might just end up yawning inside the examination hall.

2. Carry Necessary Documents: You must not forget to carry your Admit Card and ID proof on the day of the CAT exam. Without the admit card, you will not be allowed to sit in the exam hall, and the process of going back home to retrieve will waste your precious time.

3. Reach the Exam Center on Time: Ensure that you reach the CAT exam venue at least one and a half hours before the commencement of the test. Reaching in advance means your precious time will not be wasted on the security checks, identity verification process, etc.

4. Go Through the Tutorial and Instructions Carefully: You must pay attention to the 15-minute tutorial as well as the important instructions. The tutorial is meant to help you familiarise yourself with the online test procedure such as navigating through the sections and keeping a track of the time. 

5. Ignore Questions That You Find Confusing: You may find some questions in the paper that will distract you from performing other simple questions. Don't spend too much time on such questions as you will lose the opportunity to attempt the easier ones.

6. Keep a Track of Time:  Taking the CAT exam is all about how you manage your time while answering tricky questions. With a time limit given in every section, it is best for you to avoid overspending time on a question that you feel is tough to answer.

While appearing for an exam like CAT is a big deal, one must keep in mind that not performing well is not the end of the world. There are many other options available for you to explore. Just try keeping these pointers in mind and we're sure you will do your best!

Want to know more about CAT

FAQs about CAT Preparation Tips

How to prepare for the CAT exam?

Prep strategy will vary from section to section of the CAT paper. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) will test you on your reading skills along with your language knowledge. For for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), you will need to focus on your logical thinking and approach. And for the Quantitative Ability (QA) section, you will need to brush up your arithmetic reasoning and numeric calculation system. Your prepapration strategy should include different time tables to tackle each of these sections individually. Read detailed prep startegy -

View All Questions

Related Questions

I just need a guidance. Do we have to apply for MBA in HRM before appearing for the CAT exam?

-vaishnavi kurdeUpdated on May 22, 2023 12:39 PM
  • 3 Answers
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student

No, you do not have to apply for MBA in HRM profile before giving CAT exam. You will only have to choose the college and course for which you are looking for admission while filling the CAT application form. All other formalities will be done during the admission process. You will first have to score good marks in CAT entrance exam. You can refer to these articles provided below to get help while filling the CAT application form.

CAT 2020 Registrations Begin from August 5 to Sept 16; Check Detailed Process Here

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I am final year student.Which is best for me M.Com or MBA Finance ,Details

-nipunUpdated on April 17, 2023 02:45 PM
  • 4 Answers
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear student, 

Listing down the difference between MBA & M. COM below. You can then take a decision basis your interest and skill-set. 

Master of Commerce (M. Com)Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Specialised degree offering in-depth information on a specific subject(s)General degree - offers knowledge on many areas/ subjects
M. Com is academic and theoretical in its content and approach (gives you a solid base in Accounting, if that's your forte)MBA is a professional, job-oriented PG programme
Main focus academically - Accounting and Finance Main focus on all aspects of the business - Finance, Retail, Logistics, HR, …


Is it possible to join IIMA without cat ?

-BinnuUpdated on April 15, 2023 03:27 PM
  • 7 Answers
Bachan Singh, Student / Alumni

No, it's not possible. You have to sit for CAT if you wish to seek admission in IIM-A. 


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