Career Asaan

CAT 2024 Preparation Strategy

CAT 2024 Preparation Strategy

CAT 2024 is a computer-based entrance exam scheduled on 24th November, which the IIM Calcutta will conduct for admission to various postgraduate management programs. CAT is one of the most competitive exams in the country and is taken by thousands of aspirants aspiring to pursue an MBA or other management programs in prestigious institutions across India.

The CAT 2024 application process begins in early August 2024, following the official notification release on July 30, 2024. The application procedure is exclusively online. Aspiring candidates must visit the official CAT website, register, complete the application form, upload the necessary documents, and make an online payment of Rs. 2400 – 2500 application fee.

The CAT exam follows a scoring pattern based on both correct and incorrect answers, employing a method known as “scaled scoring.” Each correct answer is awarded a predetermined positive score, while incorrect answers incur a negative penalty. Scores from each section are then scaled to bring them to the same level of comparison. The final CAT score is calculated based on these scaled scores.

Aspirants need to equip themselves with effective preparation strategies if they plan to crack this highly competitive CAT 2024 exam. Let’s delve into a comprehensive guide to CAT 2024 preparation, covering everything from understanding the exam pattern to implementing strategies for maximizing scores in each section. Whether you’re a seasoned CAT aspirant or just beginning your preparation journey, this guide aims to provide invaluable insights and tips to help you navigate through the challenges and emerge victorious on exam day.

CAT 2024 Preparation Strategy and Exam Day Tips

Determining Study Time Allocation

  • Assess Current Skill Level: Evaluate your familiarity with CAT exam topics, especially Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension.
  • Tailored Study Hours: Dedicate time based on individual circumstances and skill level. For instance:
    • College Students: 3-4 hours on weekdays, 5-6 hours on weekends.
    • Working Professionals: 2-3 hours on weekdays, 6-7 hours on weekends.
  • Flexibility: Adjust study hours according to progress and commitments.

Phases of CAT Preparation

Concept Building Phase
  • Understanding Basic Concepts: Focus on grasping fundamental concepts across all sections.
  • Clearing Doubts: Address any doubts promptly through self-study or seeking guidance.

Practice and Speed Building Phase
  • Practice Sets and Mock Tests: Regularly solve practice sets and take mock tests to simulate exam conditions.
  • Sectional Practice: Dedicate time to practising each section individually to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Speed Enhancement Techniques: Learn and apply techniques to increase question-solving speed.
  • Time Management Strategies: Develop effective time management skills to optimize performance.

Test Taking Phase
  • Final Revision: Review key concepts and strategies in the days leading up to the exam.
  • Mock Test Analysis: Analyse performance in final mock tests and make necessary adjustments.
  • Stress Management: Practice techniques to manage exam-related stress and anxiety.
  • Health and Well-being: Maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure physical and mental readiness on exam day.
  • Familiarisation with Exam Day Procedures: Be prepared for exam day logistics to minimise stress.

Creating a Personalised Study Plan

  • Take a Mock Test: Start with a full-length mock test to assess strengths and weaknesses.
  • Analyse Performance: Identify areas of improvement based on mock test analysis.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Establish SMART goals to guide your study plan. A specific goal might entail improving speed and accuracy in a particular section, such as Quantitative Aptitude, by mastering fundamental arithmetic and algebraic concepts. Measurable goals allow candidates to track progress objectively, such as increasing the number of correctly solved questions in mock tests from 50% to 80% within a specified timeframe. It’s essential to ensure that goals are achievable, setting aside dedicated time each day for practice using online resources and textbooks. Moreover, goals should be relevant to the overall objective of achieving a competitive CAT score. Finally, time-bound goals provide a sense of urgency and direction, such as aiming to reach the target accuracy rate within a set period leading up to the CAT exam date. 
  • Design Study Plan: Allocate time-based on strengths, weaknesses, and exam weightage.
  • Prioritise Topics: Focus on mastering fundamental concepts before advanced topics.
  • Regular Practice: Consistently practice to reinforce learning and improve skills.
  • Monitor Progress: Track progress through periodic mock tests and adjust the study plan accordingly.
  • Stay Consistent: Maintain a consistent study schedule for long-term progress.

Effective Study Techniques

  • Formula Book: Create a concise formula book for quick reference and regular revision.
  • Note-taking: Make notes on important concepts and question types for efficient revision.
  • Doubt Resolution: Address doubts promptly to prevent hindrances in understanding.
  • Regular Revision: Schedule frequent revision sessions to reinforce memory retention.
  • Minimise Distractions: Create a distraction-free study environment for better focus.
  • Mock Test Analysis: Spend time analysing mock test performance for targeted improvement.
  • Consistency over Motivation: Prioritise consistency in study habits for sustainable progress.

Balancing Preparation for Different Sections

  • Understand Weightage: Know the relative importance of each section in the CAT 2024 exam.
  • Assess Strengths and Weaknesses: Identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement in each section.
  • Develop a Study Plan: Allocate time-based on section weightage and individual needs.
  • Rotate Focus: Balance attention between sections to maintain proficiency across all areas.
  • Regular Practice: Dedicate consistent time to practice questions from each section.
  • Utilise Resources: Use diverse study materials tailored to each section’s requirements.
  • Review and Analyse: Evaluate performance after practice sessions or mock tests to identify areas for improvement.
  • Seek Help When Needed: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance for challenging sections.
  • Maintain a Balanced Approach: Avoid fixating on one section at the expense of others; strive for overall improvement.

How Beneficial are Coaching Institutes for CAT 2024 Preparation?

Although, coaching institutes can be beneficial for CAT 2024 preparation, but their effectiveness varies depending on individual preferences, learning styles, and the quality of the institute. Here are some potential benefits and considerations associated with coaching institutes:


  • Structured Curriculum: Coaching institutes often provide a structured curriculum designed specifically for CAT 2024 preparation. This can help streamline your study process and ensure comprehensive coverage of all exam topics.
  • Expert Guidance: Qualified faculty and experienced mentors at coaching institutes can provide valuable guidance, insights, and strategies to help you navigate the complexities of the CAT exam.
  • Peer Learning: Interacting with fellow aspirants in a coaching institute environment allows for peer learning, sharing of strategies, and mutual motivation, which can enhance your preparation experience.
  • Regular Mock Tests: Many coaching institutes offer regular mock tests and practice sessions, which are essential for familiarising yourself with the exam pattern, improving time management skills, and assessing your progress.
  • Structured Study Material: Coaching institutes often provide study material, books, and resources curated specifically for CAT 2024 preparation, saving you time and effort in sourcing study material on your own.
  • Personalised Attention: Some coaching institutes offer personalised attention through doubt-solving sessions, one-on-one interactions with faculty, and individualised feedback on mock tests, which can address your specific needs and challenges.
  • Motivation and Discipline: Joining a coaching institute can provide a structured learning environment that fosters motivation, discipline, and accountability, which are crucial for consistent preparation.


  • Cost: Coaching institute fees can be expensive, and not everyone may be able to afford them. Consider whether the benefits justify the cost, and explore alternative resources if necessary.
  • Quality Variability: The quality of coaching institutes can vary widely, so it’s essential to research and choose a reputable institute with a track record of success and positive reviews.
  • Compatibility with Learning Style: Coaching institutes may not suit everyone’s learning style or pace of learning. Some individuals may prefer self-study or online resources that offer more flexibility and customisation.
  • Time Commitment: Attending coaching classes can be time-consuming, especially if you have other commitments such as work or academics. Consider whether you can dedicate the necessary time and energy to attend classes regularly.

Ultimately, whether coaching institutes are beneficial for CAT 2024 preparation depends on your circumstances, preferences, and goals. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully and choose the preparation method that aligns best with your needs and preferences. 

To explore the Top 10 Online CAT coaching in India 2024 please read our blog- here

It will help you do the pros and cons analysis of the coaching and join the best coaching that suits your requirements. Remember not all the coachings available in the market are good for you. Please take a demo or free trial before you pay your coaching fees. Don’t get carried away by star teachers or motivational videos. Coaching is just a tool for your success in the CAT exam ultimately you are the one who has to study hard and crack this Exam.

Recommended Books and Study Materials for CAT 2024 Preparation :

Quantitative Aptitude (QA):

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR):

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC):

Practice Materials:

VARC Daily Reading Resources:

Moreover, YouTube channels can be immensely helpful for CAT 2024 preparation due to their accessibility, variety of content, and interactive nature. The following table lists various YouTube channels along with their respective links for CAT 2024 exam preparation resources.

YouTube Channel Link
TIME TIME4EducationAcademics
Career Launcher Career_Launcher
2IIM 2iimcat
ElitesGrid elitesgridCAT
iQuanta CatpreparationiQuanta
Edushastra EduShastra
Hitbullseye hitbullseye
Mindworkz Arunmsharma
Unacademy UnacademyCAT
Studybuzz StudybuzzEducation
MBA Karo mbakaro
Patrick100 Patrick100
CarackU CrackuInexam

This table lists various YouTube channels along with their respective links for CAT exam preparation resources.

What Role Do Online Resources and Mock Tests Play in CAT 2024 Preparation?

Online resources and mock tests are crucial for CAT preparation because they:

  • Convenient Access: Offer convenient access to study materials anytime, anywhere.
  • Reinforcement of Concepts: Reinforce understanding of key concepts through interactive lessons and practice exercises.
  • Simulate Exam Format: Simulate the CAT exam format, helping candidates build confidence and improve time management skills.
  • Performance Analysis: Provide detailed performance analysis, highlighting strengths and areas needing improvement.
  • Personalized Learning: Offer personalized learning experiences through adaptive algorithms.
  • Community Support: Foster a sense of community support through forums and discussion groups.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: These are often cost-effective or free, making high-quality study materials accessible to all aspirants.

Caution: It’s essential to be cautious of online coaching platforms that promise personalised attention but fail to deliver due to large batch sizes. Research and demo sessions can help candidates avoid such platforms and ensure the effective use of online resources.

Mobile Apps/ Online Platforms Designed for CAT 2024 Preparation

  • Byju’s CAT Prep: Byju’s offers a dedicated CAT preparation app with video lectures, practice questions, mock tests, and personalized study plans.
  • Unacademy: Unacademy provides CAT preparation courses with live classes, recorded lectures, study material, quizzes, and doubt-solving sessions.
  • T.I.M.E. CAT Prep: Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E.) offers a CAT preparation app with study material, mock tests, topic-wise tests, and performance analysis.
  • Career Launcher: Career Launcher provides a CAT preparation app with study material, mock tests, sectional tests, previous year papers, and expert guidance.
  • TestFunda: TestFunda offers an online platform and mobile app for CAT preparation with study material, mock tests, topic-wise tests, and personalized study plans.
  • Handa Ka Funda: Handa Ka Funda provides online courses, video lectures, study material, and mock tests for CAT preparation.
  • PrepLadder: PrepLadder offers CAT preparation courses with video lectures, study material, mock tests, and performance analysis.

These platforms offer a wide range of study materials, practice tests, and interactive features tailored specifically for CAT aspirants, aiding them in their preparation journey.

Key Topics in Each Section of the CAT 2024 Exam

Section Key Topics
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) Arithmetic: Number Systems, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Ratio & Proportion, Time & Work, Time-Speed-Distance, Averages, Mixtures & Allegations.
Algebra: Linear & Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Functions, Progressions.<br>- Geometry: Lines & Angles, Triangles, Circles, Quadrilaterals, Polygons, Coordinate Geometry, Mensuration.<br>- Modern Mathematics: Permutation & Combination, Probability, Set Theory.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) – Reading Comprehension: Long and short passages from various topics such as Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Business.<br>- Verbal Ability: Vocabulary-based questions, Para Jumbles, Para Completion, Sentence Completion.
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) – Data Interpretation: Tables, Bar Graphs, Line Graphs, Pie Charts, Combination of Graphs, Caselets.<br>- Logical Reasoning: Seating Arrangements, Logical Deductions, Binary Logic, Games and Tournaments, Analytical Puzzles, Linear and Matrix Arrangements, Team Formation, Logical Reasoning based on Rankings.

It’s important to note that while these are the key topics, the CAT exam may also include questions that test your critical thinking, analytical skills, and ability to apply concepts in novel situations. Therefore, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the underlying principles and practice a variety of questions from each topic. This holistic approach will better prepare candidates for the diverse range of questions they may encounter on the exam.

How to Approach Each Subject for Maximum Understanding and Retention?

1. Quantitative Aptitude (QA):

  • Understand Concepts: Focus on understanding fundamental concepts thoroughly. Use textbooks, online resources, and instructional videos to clarify doubts.
  • Practice Regularly: Solve a wide variety of problems to reinforce learning and build problem-solving skills. Practice both basic and advanced-level questions.
  • Work on Speed and Accuracy: Practice mental calculations and shortcut techniques to improve speed while maintaining accuracy.
  • Review and Revise: Regularly review and revise formulas, concepts, and problem-solving techniques to ensure retention.

2. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC):

  • Read Widely: Develop a habit of reading newspapers, articles, and editorials to improve reading speed and comprehension skills.
  • Vocabulary Enhancement: Learn new words daily and use flashcards or mnemonic devices to remember them. Practice contextual usage of words.
  • Practice Reading Comprehension: Regularly practice reading comprehension passages from diverse topics and work on summarizing main ideas and identifying key details.
  • Grammar and Syntax: Brush up on grammar rules and sentence structure. Practice error identification and correction exercises.

3. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR):

  • Understand Problem Types: Familiarise yourself with different types of DI and LR problems such as tables, graphs, puzzles, and arrangements.
  • Develop Logical Thinking: Practice solving puzzles, brain teasers, and logical reasoning problems regularly to sharpen your logical thinking skills.
  • Master Visualisation: Improve your ability to interpret and visualise data presented in various formats such as tables, charts, and graphs.
  • Practice Time Management: Practice solving DI & LR sets under timed conditions to improve speed and efficiency.

Specific Strategies for Tackling Difficult Topics within Each Section

1. Quantitative Aptitude (QA):

  • Break Down Problems: Break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable steps. Focus on understanding the underlying concepts and applying them step by step.
  • Practice Regularly: Dedicate extra time to practicing difficult topics regularly. Start with simpler problems and gradually progress to more challenging ones as you build confidence.
  • Seek Alternative Resources: Explore different textbooks, online resources, and instructional videos to find alternative explanations and approaches to difficult topics.
  • Work Backwards: For problem-solving questions, try working backwards from the answer choices to narrow down options and eliminate incorrect choices.

2. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC):

  • Break Down Passages: Break down complex reading comprehension passages into smaller sections to improve comprehension. Focus on understanding the main idea, supporting details, and the author’s tone and intent.
  • Practice Active Reading: Engage actively with the text by asking questions, making predictions, and summarising key points as you read. This can enhance understanding and retention of the material.
  • Use Context Clues: When encountering unfamiliar words or phrases, use context clues from the surrounding text to infer meaning.
  • Identify Weaknesses: Identify specific areas of weakness within verbal ability topics such as grammar rules or sentence correction. Focus on improving these areas through targeted practice and review.

3. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR):

  • Understand Problem Types: Identify specific types of DI & LR problems that you find challenging and focus on understanding the underlying principles and problem-solving techniques for those types.
  • Practice Set-wise: Focus on practicing complete sets of DI & LR questions rather than individual questions to improve your ability to analyze and interpret data holistically.
  • Develop Logical Thinking: Strengthen your logical reasoning skills by practicing puzzles, brain teasers, and logical deductions regularly. Look for patterns and relationships within the data to solve problems more efficiently.
  • Review Mistakes: Analyse mistakes made in DI & LR practice sets to identify common errors and areas for improvement. Use this feedback to adjust your approach and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Dealing with Exam Anxiety and Stress during CAT 2024 Preparation

Managing exam anxiety and stress during CAT preparation is crucial for maintaining focus, confidence, and overall well-being. Here are some strategies to help effectively manage exam anxiety and stress:

  • Practice Relaxation Techniques: Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, or visualization exercises into your daily and routine to reduce stress and promote calmness.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Prioritise sleep, nutrition, and exercise to support physical and mental well-being. Aim for regular exercise, balanced meals, and adequate sleep to enhance resilience to stress.
  • Break Tasks into Manageable Steps: Break down your CAT preparation tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Set realistic goals and focus on completing one task at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Develop Positive Self-Talk: Cultivate a positive mindset by replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations and encouraging thoughts. Remind yourself of your strengths, past achievements, and progress made in your preparation.
  • Create a Supportive Environment: Additionally, surround yourself with supportive friends, family members, or study partners who can offer encouragement, motivation, and understanding during challenging times.
  • Limit Exposure to Stressors: Identify and minimize exposure to stressors that exacerbate anxiety, such as negative news, social media, or perfectionistic tendencies. Set boundaries and allocate time for relaxation and self-care activities.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness techniques to stay present-focused and reduce rumination about past failures or worries about the future. Mindfulness exercises can help increase self-awareness and acceptance of present-moment experiences.
  • Seek Professional Help if Needed: If exam anxiety and stress become overwhelming or interfere with your daily functioning, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy, counseling, or cognitive-behavioral techniques can provide coping strategies and emotional support.
  • Simulate Exam Conditions: Familiarise yourself with the exam environment and conditions by taking mock tests under timed conditions. Practice relaxation techniques before and during mock tests to manage test anxiety effectively.
  • Maintain Perspective: Remember that the CAT exam is just one part of your academic and professional journey. While it’s important to strive for success, it’s also essential to maintain perspective, prioritize self-care, and focus on continuous improvement rather than perfection. Shift your focus beyond the CAT exam and remember that there are many other paths to success.

By implementing these strategies and adopting a proactive approach to managing exam anxiety and stress, you can enhance your resilience, confidence, and performance during CAT preparation.

Relaxation Techniques for Intense Study Sessions

During intense study sessions, it’s essential to take breaks and engage in relaxation techniques to recharge your mind and body. Here are some relaxation techniques that can be helpful:

  • Exercise: Engage in physical exercise, such as jogging, cycling, or yoga, to reduce stress and tension in the body. Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood lifters, and promotes relaxation by decreasing levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
  • Walk: Take a brisk walk, especially in a natural setting like a park or garden, to clear your mind and improve focus and concentration when you return to your study session.
  • Music: Listen to calming music or your favourite tunes to alleviate stress and create a conducive study environment. Choose music with a slow tempo and soothing melodies to promote relaxation and enhance concentration.
  • Talking to Friends and Family: Connect with friends or family members to provide emotional support, reduce feelings of isolation, and offer perspective outside of your study bubble.
  • Watch a Movie: Take a break and watch a movie or an episode of your favorite TV show to relax and temporarily escape from the pressures of studying.
  • Give Yourself a Treat: Reward yourself with a small treat or indulgence as positive reinforcement for your hard work. Enjoying a favorite snack, or cup of coffee, or taking a bubble bath can boost your mood and motivation.

Incorporate these relaxation techniques into your study routine to help manage stress and maintain productivity during intense study sessions. Remember to take breaks, prioritize self-care, and listen to your body’s needs.

How to UtiliSe the Last Few Hours Effectively Before the Exam?

Utilizing the last few hours effectively before the exam is crucial for maximizing your readiness and confidence. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make the most of this time:

  • Review Key Concepts: Focus on reviewing key concepts, formulas, and strategies that you’ve already covered in your preparation. This will reinforce your memory and boost your confidence.
  • Organise Your Materials: Gather all necessary materials like your admit card, ID, pens, and pencils. Organise them neatly to avoid last-minute scrambling.
  • Visualise Success: Spend time visualising yourself performing well on the exam. Imagine staying calm, focused, and confident as you tackle each question with ease.
  • Relax and De-stress: Engage in relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to calm your nerves and alleviate stress.
  • Avoid Cramming: Resist the temptation to cram new material. Overloading your brain can increase stress and hinder performance.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Drink plenty of water and eat light, nutritious meals to fuel your body and brain.
  • Review Exam Strategies: Review your test-taking strategies for each section, including time management and question prioritisation.
  • Get Some Fresh Air: Take a short walk outside or spend time in nature to rejuvenate your mind and body.
  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the exam centre well before the scheduled start time to avoid rushing.
  • Stay Positive: Maintain a positive attitude and believe in yourself. Trust in the preparation you’ve done and stay confident.

Motivational Tips for CAT Aspirants

Maintaining focus and determination throughout your CAT 2024 preparation journey is essential for success. Here are some motivational tips to help you stay on track:

  • Set Clear Goals: Define specific, achievable goals for your CAT preparation to provide direction and motivation.
  • Create a Vision Board: Visualise your goals by creating a vision board with images and quotes that inspire you.
  • Break Down Goals: Break larger goals into smaller tasks or milestones and celebrate achievements along the way.
  • Stay Positive: Cultivate a positive mindset by focusing on your strengths, progress, and achievements.
  • Find Inspiration: Draw inspiration from successful CAT toppers, motivational books, or TED talks.
  • Stay Connected with Peers: Connect with fellow CAT aspirants for mutual support, encouragement, and accountability.
  • Reward Yourself: Set up a reward system for reaching milestones or completing tasks in your preparation.
  • Stay Organised: Maintain a well-organised study space, schedule, and study plan to minimise distractions.
  • Stay Healthy: Prioritise self-care by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and managing stress effectively.
  • Reflect on Your Why: Remember your reasons for pursuing an MBA and what achieving your goals means to you personally and professionally.

By staying resilient, focused, and determined, you can overcome challenges and achieve success in your CAT preparation journey. Keep moving forward with perseverance and believe in yourself.

In conclusion, preparing for the CAT exam requires a strategic and disciplined approach, coupled with dedication and perseverance. By following the comprehensive strategies outlined in this blog, aspirants can navigate the complexities of the CAT 2024 exam with confidence and success. As Vince Lombardi once said: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
CAT aspirants must believe in themselves, stay focused on their goals, and embrace the journey of learning and growth. Keep pushing forward, stay motivated, and let your determination pave the way to your success. Best of luck on your CAT 2024 preparation journey!

One response to “CAT 2024 Preparation Strategy”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *