CAT 2021 Preparation: Key Learnings from CAT 2020 Exam You Should Know

By Gaurav Gupta|Updated : July 23rd, 2021

CAT Preparations 2021: CAT 2021 exam requires one to have a good level of preparation as CAT is the toughest MBA entrance exams amongst all. Since, there is no fixed syllabus for CAT exam, candidates rely only upon the previous year exam papers and mock papers to prepare themselves for CAT exam. Thus it becomes very important for appearing candidates to understand and know the insights of CAT 2020.

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CAT Preparations 2021: CAT 2021 exam requires one to have a good level of preparation as CAT is the toughest MBA entrance exams amongst all. Since, there is no fixed syllabus for CAT exam, candidates rely only upon the previous year exam papers and mock papers to prepare themselves for CAT exam. Thus it becomes very important for appearing candidates to understand and know the insights of CAT 2020.

Experts suggest that the best way to prepare for the upcoming CAT 2021 exam is to learn from previous year CAT exams. One of the best ways to do so is by analysing the CAT 2020 exam and solving previous year CAT exam. 

Takeaways from CAT 2020

CAT 2020 was full of surprises for the candidates as until the exam day, the only thing candidates knew was that the exam was to be conducted in 3 shifts of 2 hours each. The CAT 2020 exam pattern was not revealed prior to the main exam. Thus, it is very important for us to understand the CAT analysis 2020 so as to have an idea of the upcoming CAT 2021 exam.

CAT Exam Pattern

  • In CAT 2020, the number of questions were reduced from 100 to 76. 
  • The total time duration was reduced from 180 minutes to 120 minutes. 

Check the detailed CAT exam pattern 2021

CAT 2021 Section

Expected No. of Questions

Allotted Time

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

26

40 minutes

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI)

24

40 minutes

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

26

40 minutes

Total

76

120 minutes

CAT Exam Analysis 2020

CAT 2020 was conducted in 3 shifts of 2 hours each. For each section, candidates got only 40 minutes to solve the questions. Also the total number of questions was reduced to 76 instead of 100. There were 57 MCQs and 19 TITA questions. Amongst all three sections, VARC was the toughest and QA was the easiest section in all the shifts. Let us have a closer look at the section-wise CAT 2020 Analysis.

CAT Exam Analysis - VARC Section

As usual, VARC was tough. Out of 26 questions, there were

  • 18 questions from Reading Comprehension (4 RCs)
  • 8 questions from Verbal Ability
  • 5 TITA and 21 MCQs

CAT Exam Analysis - QA Section

Out of all the three sections, QA was the easiest. Out of 26 questions from this section, there were

  • Majority of the questions from Arithmetic and Algebra
  • 2-3 questions from Number System
  • Very few questions from Geometry
  • NO QUESTIONS from Modern Mathematics (PnC and Probability)
  • 8 TITA and 18 MCQs

CAT Exam Analysis - DILR Section

The DILR section of CAT 2020 was of moderate difficulty level. There were 24 questions in this section out of which,

  • Most of the questions on Data Interpretation Sets
  • Few questions from Logical Reasoning
  • A total of 5 sets. 3 sets of 4 questions each and 2 sets of 6 questions each
  • The questions were lengthy and one needs to figure out which ones to attempt in order to score better

Your learnings from CAT 2020

As CAT 2020 was full of surprises, one thing that it has taught us is that we need to be prepared for almost anything that can happen in the upcoming CAT 2021. CAT 2021 might be of 3 hours duration or might continue to be of 2 hours as was seen in CAT 2020.

  • Since the syllabus remains the same, one thing that the candidates must learn is to solve all the questions as quickly as they can
  • Solve regular CAT mock test to ensure that you are making minimum mistakes and improving speed with time. 
  • Learn and use tricks to solve questions so as to solve complex problems within seconds
  • As of now, there is no news regarding the change in exam pattern but candidates must keep themselves ready for any kind of situation and must not panic on seeing any major changes to the pattern
  • Candidates are suggested to keep an eye on the CAT’s official webpage and also follow Gradeup’s blog to stay updated with the latest information regarding anything about CAT 2021
  • One must also do appropriate time management for solving the questions. Practising CAT previous year papers in the given time will help a lot in managing your time

Section-wise learning for the CAT exam 2021

  • For DILR, one must practice at least 2 sets daily and try to solve them as soon as possible
  • For VARC, one must start reading international magazines, newspapers etc. as the RC sets are seen to be more from Western background than from Indian context
  • For QA, one must have a good hold in Arithmetic and Algebra topics so as to get good sectional score
  • Starting early for CAT 2021 should have been followed for serious aspirants
  • And lastly, lots and lots of practise will only help in cracking the CAT 2021. For this, do attempt lots and lots of CAT Mock Tests

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Gaurav GuptaGaurav GuptaMember since Jul 2020
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  • In comparison to all the three sections, VARC was the toughest section in all the three shifts of CAT 2020.

  • For CAT 2021, the exam pattern may be similar to that of CAT 2019 or could continue to be similar to that of CAT 2020. This is totally dependent upon the prevailing COVID situation throughout the nation.

  • For CAT 2021, seeing the past year trend, BYJU'S Exam Prep experts have curated a list of important topics for all the three sections of CAT. They are given in detail in this article.

  • Lots and lots of practise of questions from all the three sections is the key to ace CAT 2021.

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