Some essentials to do during the last 90 days to CAT


With just about 90 days left for CAT here are some things any serious cat aspirant should follow religiously.

First things first. You have less than 15 days to send your completed CAT application forms to the IIMs. So do it as soon as possible. Do not wait for the eleventh hour to send your application and pray that the courier delivers it on time. If you still have not got your application, you have about four days left to get it from one of the IIMs. So do it now!

Here are some of the things that worked for me as I prepared for CAT and things have worked for many others to whom I have had the opportunity to assist in their CAT preparation.

1. Have a clear strategy before your Mock CATs – fine tune it – and use it on November 21st.

Most wars are won not on the power of the ammunition and armor a country possesses but on the power of its think tank. The same is true when it comes to CAT. Before you take any CAT comprehensive test put down on paper the strategy that you want to adopt for that test.

Though the last few CATs did not have any section wise time limit, it would be to your advantage to set those limits yourself.

Typically, students spend about 30 minutes in the verbal section, 40 minutes in the DI section and 50 minutes in the Quant section. This split could vary from individual to individual.

Having set this limit, shave off 5 minutes from each of the sections and keep those 5 minute blocks as reserve. After the first 105 minutes of the test, take a quick call on your performance. If you realize that you have done equally well in all three sections, spend the last 15 minutes in the section that is likely to give you the maximum returns. On the contrary, if you realize that you have not done particularly well in a section, spend the last 15 minutes in this section.

This way you never run short of time for any section. Also this strategy helps you to maximize your returns within the given time frame.

Essentially, do not ever start the test without assigning time limits for the different sections of the test.

Will continue with more tips in subsequent blogs….

Best wishes

K S Baskar

PGDM – IIM Calcutta – Class of ’94

Director – Ascent Education – Classes for CAT – XAT – GMAT


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  1. dear baskar
    i am working in an oil PSU for the last 17 years. this year decieded to take some exams like CAT, IIFT, FMS etc. finding it very difficult on quant section. other two sections are manageable but quant i find it very tough. basically the questtions are easy but to crack it in less than a min is tough.
    any tips for people like us ?

  2. Dear sir
    We( me and my friends in college) are preparing for CAT.We are in final year B.Tech. We have a very poor reading speed because of which we cannot finish RCs in time.
    Could you please suggest tips to overcome this difficulty.

  3. dear sir,

    i’m an engg student from delhi college of engineering.i’ve just completed my 3rd sem. i have my eyes set on CAT. i’ve found that im not the fastest of learners. so i’m thinking whether to start practicing now.some of my friends say that its abit too early. so do you suggest i start now.also, my english isnt much to brag can i take my level of english to the CAT level.
    hoping for some advice from you .

    vineet nair

  4. dear sir
    I am the final year B.Tech student.
    The problem i do face is the level of my english. I wanna prepare for the same along with doing job, please guide me.
    thank you.

  5. dear sir,

    I am a B.Tech 2nd year studdent,preparing for CAT.Can u tell me how to start the preperation,a there are four sessions, which session i must take up first or to assign sometime to each session a day?

  6. dear sir,
    I am a B.Tech 2nd year studdent,preparing for CAT.Can u tell me how to start the preperation,a there are four sessions, which session i must take up first or to assign sometime to each session a day?

  7. Hi Rajesh,

    Read some of your posts and they really bring out the answers to basic questions that aspirants face before taking CAT.

    I have graduated from IIM Bangalore in 2011. I have recently started blogging and have documented my experience from IIM interviews. I thought these experiences would provide some value to current aspirants and they may find some interest in them.

    Specific posts that may be of interest to CAT Aspirants

    Please do let me know if you think there is any such possibility.


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