Time Management Is The Key To Success For CAT

By Anjali Chowdhury|Updated : February 24th, 2022

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level entrance exam held by the IIMs annually for admission into Top B-Schools all over India. CAT is usually held on the last Sunday of November. CAT 2021 was held on 28th November 2021. CAT 2022 is expected to be held on 27th November 2022 however no official notification is yet to be released. CAT is the most popular entrance exam amongst all the MBA entrance exams as there are many colleges accepting the CAT Scores.

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Table of Content

CAT EXAM Overview

Before moving ahead, you must know about the CAT exam pattern. In 2020 there has been a change in the exam pattern due to the pandemic situation. The number of questions and the time duration were reduced. The CAT exam paper structure over the past few years is as follows: 

ParticularsCAT 2021CAT 2020CAT 2019
Exam Duration2 hours2 hours3 hours
Sectional Duration40 minutes each section40 minutes each section60 minutes each section
Number of Qs in VARC242634
Number of Qs in QA222634
Number of Qs in DILR202432
CAT Registration FeeUnreserved-2200
Unreserved - Rs.2000
Reserved - Rs.1000
Unreserved - Rs.1900
Reserved - Rs.950
CAT Conducting bodyIIM AhmedabadIIM IndoreIIM Kozhikode
Official Websiteiimcat.ac.in
Medium of ExamOnline

Time Management before the CAT exam

  1. Completion of the syllabus on time- The most important thing is to start preparing for CAT as early as possible so that the candidate is having enough time to complete the syllabus. But from where to start? The answer to this is to take a mock test at the beginning itself and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can divide your preparation time as per your strengths and weaknesses into the various sections of CAT that include Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.
  2. Make a Proper Time Table- Proper planning is a key to success for CAT. Make a suitable timetable as per your schedule. While preparing the timetable do not forget to prioritize your weaknesses.  
  3. Practice Mocks- Once the candidate completes the syllabus or any section and is confident, he/she should start giving mocks. Candidates should start taking mock tests at least 3 to 4 months before the CAT exam. So that even if the candidate scores less, he/should not get disheartened and practice those sections. Giving mock tests are a must for all the aspirants as these will help them to understand the exam pattern, assess themselves, manage time, and know their weaknesses.  

 Time Management during the CAT Exam

  1. First Solve Easy Questions – As soon as the CAT question paper is given, the candidate should first go through all the questions as soon as possible. Then differentiate between easy and difficult questions. Next, the easy questions should be solved as early as possible. Such questions include questions in which the student can comfortably solve the question correctly in the least possible time. Candidates should solve the unknown and difficult questions at the end.
  2. Sectional Time Management – The candidates will be given 40 minutes to solve each section. Therefore, an average time should be stipulated for each question. The questions that appear difficult should be solved in the end.  Also, keep 2 – 3 minutes for reviewing all the attempted questions of a particular section.



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  • Ideally, preparation strategy varies from individual to individual. However a good 12 months preparation is required for preparation

  • There are 3 sections in CAT entrance exam namely Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

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