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CAT 2017: How You Can Make The Cut

Even before you start your preparation, you need to understand the exam pattern thoroughly so that you can chalk out the time to be given to different sections, subjects and topics and also what topics need more attention that the others.

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Updated:August 2, 2017, 7:27 AM IST
CAT 2017: How You Can Make The Cut
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CAT 2017 is just 4 months ahead and will be conducted on November 26, 2017. The registration opens on August 9th next week till August 20th 2017. Getting a good score in Common Admission Test (CAT) 2017 is like hitting the bull’s eye as the rewards of studying in an IIM are plenty and the pride in being an IIM Alumni is for the lifetime. So, here’s how you can fulfill your dream of clearing the CAT 2017 exam and be a part of the prestigious IIM family:

Understand the Exam Pattern

Even before you start your preparation, you need to understand the exam pattern thoroughly so that you can chalk out the time to be given to different sections, subjects and topics and also what topics need more attention that the others.

The pattern for CAT 2017 is as follows

The exam will be a computer based test of 3 hours duration with 1 hour sectional duration for each of the 3 sections namely - Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). The total number of questions asked will be 100 consisting of both MCQ and Non-MCQ questions divided into the ratio of 18:7, however there isn’t any fixed number of questions in each section rather the distribution of questions would be done unevenly. Every correct answer gets you 3 marks and every wrong answer is a -1. Also, a relief to the students would be that a virtual calculator will be provided to them on the screen.

Focused Preparation

Make a personalized syllabus for yourself and use it to study for focused prep. A personalized syllabus means one where you’ve categorized the actual syllabus into parts according to your difficulty level. Eg. Categorize the syllabus according the topics that you find ‘most difficult’, ‘difficult’, ‘moderate’ and ‘easy’ also understand the topics that you’re good at i.e. your strengths and the topics you aren’t good at.

Equal Attention to all 3 Sections

While preparing for CAT 2017, do not leave any topic and pay equal attention to all 3 sections. Since there is no fixed number of questions that will be asked in a particular section thus, it is better to pay equal attention to all 3 section rather than take a risk of paying more attention to 1 section and losing out on marks if less questions are asked from that section in the exam.

Make a Time Table

Always remember to make your time table flexible and sensibly. Just because you think you should study for 16 hours a day doesn’t mean that you can. Squeeze in time for other activities as well, the regular ones that you do and make sure the time table is as realistic as it can be.


The exam is scheduled on November 26th and roughly there are 3.5 months left so now it is best to brush up on the basics, revise and start solving previous year question papers and mock tests, on a regular basis like twice a week so as to work on your time management skills as well as keep a check on your performance.

Time Management

Towards the end of the preparation do not start learning new topics, rather focus more on the concepts you’ve already learnt and get into the habit of solving mock tests say twice a day. Also focus on the time management while solving mock tests.

Section-Wise Important Topics for CAT 2017 Exam Preparation:

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

The Quantitative Aptitude sections tests the mathematical skills and ability of the candidates. Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section covers Number System, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Permutation & Combination/Probability, Set Theory, Trigonometry, and Logarithms. Make sure that during the CAT 2017 exam on November 26th 2017 you make full use of the virtual calculator provided to you to speedify your calculations with precision.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

This section tests the candidate’s decision-making ability and speed from the managerial point of view. There aren’t any theoretical concepts in this section so practice is something that’ll help you and solving previous years’ question papers and mock tests.

Important topics that need to be covered for DI are - Data Sufficiency, Bar Graph, Tables, Case-lets, Pie-charts.

Important topics for LR are - eating Arrangements, Matching puzzles, Constraint based arrangements, Blood Relations – family tree, Syllogism, Proposition based followed by either deductive or inductive argument, Assumptions, Statements, Sets, Binary logic, Venn Diagrams, Clocks and calendars.

Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC)

Enrich your vocabulary by learning new words every day, start with 5 and go on till 10-15 new words per day.

The important topics that need your focus under this section are Fact Inference Judgment, Fill in the blanks, Grammar, Para Completion, Para Jumble, Sentence Correction, Verbal Reasoning, Word Usage (Vocabulary).

Read the complete info related to the registration process, fee, admit cards and results for CAT 2017 Exam below:


And last but not the least, don’t stress and be positive.

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