How to score 99 Percentile in CAT 2017

By N Shiva Guru|Updated : September 2nd, 2017

CAT 2017 is expected to have the same pattern as the previous 3 years. Usually, CAT exam comprises the following sections:

SectionNumber of questions
Quantitative Aptitude 34-36
Verbal Aptitude and Reading Comprehension34-36
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 34-36

Preparation Strategies to score 99 in CAT 2017

The books that can be read to brush up the basics are:

  • Quantum CAT Aptitude by Sarvesh.K.Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha
  • How to prepare Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

Once you learn the concepts in the above books, you can test it by taking Sectional Tests. Some of the sectional Tests are given below:

Bonus: If you have an issue with solving Parajumbles, you can follow this link:

How to Solve Parajumbles in CAT

There are two types of questions in CAT 2017 which appear under Quantitative Aptitude:

  • Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) and
  • Type In the Answer (TITA)

MCQ Type Questions

In these questions, there are two steps to arrive at the answer:

Step 1: Identify the concept

Step 2: Play around with the options

Suppose you have identified the answer to be a multiple of 6 and the following options are given:

a. 2160 b. 4160 c. 5320 d. 4080 

You now know that your answer is either A or D. This is the best use of the Options given: you can use them as resources to arrive at the answer quickly. 

TITA Questions

If you feel this is a tough one, take these questions at the last. You would have to crack the concept behind the questions in these criteria and solve the answer. The maximum time you can allot for such a question is 4 minutes. Beyond that, there is no use hanging. You can use that time and solve more than 2 questions. 


Find the reminder when 901892929is divided by 13. 


In the above case, the reminder for 90/13 is 12 which can also be written as 12-13=-1.

Now, -1, when raised to an odd power, gives -1. Hence the answer will be -1+3=12.

There would be a box wherein you would have to Type In the answer 12.  

Test Taking Strategy for Quantitative Aptitude

These are the steps to be followed while taking mocks:

  1. Divide all the questions into easy, medium and difficult at the start of the exam
  2. Start with easy, then move to difficult and finally come to the medium section
  3. Once the results of the mocks arrive, check if the easy, medium and difficult was rightly analyzed
  4. The above point can be elaborated using the following table:
CategoryQuestion NumbersNumber of right and wrong
Easy1, 5, 15, 24, 34, 13 (say)1, 15, 24, 5, 34-Right, 13-Wrong
Medium3, 4, 5, 8,...Follow the model shown in Easy
Difficult17, 26,...Follow the model shown in Easy

Additional Tips:

  • Keep revising Formulae every weekend
  • Carry self-made formula sheets
  • Revise tough chapters every morning
  • Take 2 hours every day for Quant preparation
  • Still the formula sheets on your wall, the door of your fridge, anywhere you frequent in the house

Strategies to prepare for Verbal Aptitude in CAT 2017

The preparation for Verbal Aptitude can be considered two-fold:

  • Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension

Tips and Tricks to prepare for Vocabulary in CAT 2017

There are 5 sources from where you can build vocabulary:

  1. Books
  2. Novels
  3. Newspapers
  4. Magazines
  5. Blog posts

When it comes to books and novels, many starters want short novels to begin with. You can see such a list here:

10 short reads that help you start reading


The online sources for words can be:

You can subscribe to and get a load of ebooks if you are willing to spend Rs. 600 every month. 

The sources of practice can be: 

  • Writing post-it vocabulary notes
  • Writing answers on Quora with newly learned words 
  • Making word maps (Example shown in image) 

Word Maps

Word Maps may comprise the following:

  • Roots
  • All words you know with the particular root

The above method of taking notes helps you remember very clearly because of the visual elements involved.

Let's say you made a Word Map for the root 'Chrome' meaning Colour. 

When you write down monochromechromium or chromoscope you understand they are single colour, a material used to colour metals, an instrument measuring colour respectively. 

Pic courtesy: Deepak Mehta

You can practice Reading Comprehension with the help of Sectional Quizzes

Other Tips to Crack Reading Comprehension

  • Reading the "Competition Success Review" magazine
  • Reading the editorial sections of news dailies
  • Good non-fiction books on diverse topics - law, finance, history, politics, philosophy, crime, religion etc

DI/LR Strategy

Taking advance level worksheets and advance level sectional quizzes on Data Interpretation. 

  1. Solve questions on all chapters: Bar Charts, Pie Charts, Line Graphs, Combination Charts, Tables, Combination Charts
  2. Identify your weak spots
  3. Solve slowly: 1 chapter per day and allow your mind to absorb concepts. Mark difficult chapters
  4. Do the difficult chapters after a week

The difficulty experienced in solving DI sets

  • First challenge: elevating level of thinking
  • Calculation speed vs logic

The first challenge can be overcome by solving puzzles. You can check How to Solve DI Better here. 

The link in the previous line would give you a clear idea of how to employ logic and avoid complex calculation. 

Mock Analysis

1. Target Based Analysis

Keep a target for each mock and check if you have reached there (pic courtesy: Deepak Mehta). If you have not got to the target, carefully analyze the reason why. Spend 3 hours every week only for analysis. This would help you understand some, if not all mistakes. More importantly, this would help you avoid repetition of mistakes. 

2. Accuracy Based analysis

This is to keep track of your progress through every mock on every chapter. This would help you know for sure the chapters you are progressing and the ones you still got to. Even after 5 mocks, there would be areas of weakness. Chances are you might discover new areas of weakness during practice. This is a good thing. There is no need to panic. You have to make a schedule to help cover your areas of weakness, get your friend/teacher's help on those weak areas and get better before the next mock. You have to use everything within your reach: online resources like Khan Academy or offline resources like your school NCERT teacherWhatever the strategy, you have to hit a home run!

3. Weak area Analysis

Like it was explained in the previous tip, the serious challenge is to stick to a schedule. Making a schedule is easy. Following it religiously is the real deal. Like Guy Kawasaki (Steve Jobs' right-hand man) says 'Ideas come easy. Execution is tough'.

You would have to find out which are the areas you are majorly going wrong in and document it. Right from SIMCATs to AIMCATs to Test Funda Mocks, every Mock Series has a very good analysis for you.  In the example given below, Vocabulary and Probability are identified as the weak areas. If that is the case, you would have to set a schedule and work towards improving in those areas.  


During the workout, they teach you that pain is the proof of new, healthy muscle development. Hope you take more pains to get to the final destination, IIM. And don't worry, we will be working side by side. 

All the Best,

Team Gradeup!! 

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N Shiva GuruN Shiva GuruMember since Jul 2016
Pursuing Unconventionality: Forever
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Load Previous Comments
Abhinav Kumar
How should working people approach CAT 2017? I have about 2 years of experience working with HCL?
Ritabrata Mitra
what books should I follow for DI/LR Section?
Sristi Kumari
@N Shiva Guru sir plz suggest me about the best book for di/lr..
Priyanka Singhania
Sir i am doing bba 1 year distance education and i want to start my preparation from now..where should i start from?
shiva sharnu

shiva sharnuApr 28, 2018

I don't know syllabus pattern for cat exem let me know
Akhila Obilisetty
This is very helpful. Thank you sir.
Harshita Agrawal
Sirr books you can recommend for verbal ability and reading comprehension  ?
CAT exam has section cuttoff sir

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