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CAT Exam: Hard Work or Smart Work?

CAT Exam: Hard work or Smart work?

CAT exam  is considered as one of the most difficult competitive exams of our country. Every year, lakhs of students compete to crack the cut-off of prestigious colleges like Indian Institutes of Management and other premier colleges. But exactly how tough is CAT? Aspirants are in the belief that majority of the questions, if not all that come in the exam are difficult. However, when you get into the details, you see there are a good number of easy and moderate level questions also coming every year in the exam.

It is proved over the years that in order to score more than 95 percentile, one has to attempt a minimum of 75% of the questions accurately. Since most of the colleges consider both overall and sectional percentile, it is important to keep accuracy in mind while giving CAT exam.

The below table shows the probable number of CAT questions an aspirant should ideally solve in the CAT exam paper.

Sections Total Questions Number of good attempts
VA-RC 26 18-20
DI-LR 24 16-18
Quantitative Aptitude 26 17-19
Total 76 51-57

Along with the accuracy, aspirants should also keep a check on time. The total duration of CAT exam since CAT 2020 has been of 120 minutes. Thus, time management is of utmost importance in order to achieve a high score and percentile. 

CAT Score vs Percentile:

The below table shows the percentile range section wise and overall CAT exam scores that will give you an idea about the target that you need to set to score a certain percentile.

VARC score DILR score QA score Overall score Percentile
(approximate)
25 17 19 57 80%ile
30 23 27 69 90%ile
35 27 33 83 95%ile
39 33 40 101 98%ile
42 36 44 106 99%ile

MBAP Brings a Detailed Analysis Over the Different Level of Difficult Questions in each section of CAT Exam over the past 3 years.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

CAT 2020

Overall Attempt of 15 to 17 questions maintaining an accuracy of 80 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy7
Moderate         14
Difficult5
Total26

CAT 2019

Overall Attempt of 22 to 23 questions maintaining an accuracy of 80 to 90% can fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy12
Moderate13
Difficult9
Total34

CAT 2018

Overall Attempt of 28 to 30 questions maintaining an accuracy of 80 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy22
Moderate11
Difficult1
Total34

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

CAT 2020

Overall Attempt of 2 to 3 sets (8 to 12 questions) maintaining an accuracy of 80 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy2
Moderate12
Difficult10
Total24

CAT 2019

Overall Attempt of 5 sets (18 to 20 questions) maintaining an accuracy of 80 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy8
Moderate16
Difficult8
Total32

CAT 2018

Overall Attempt of 5 sets (18 to 20 questions) maintaining an accuracy of 80 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy20
Moderate4
Difficult8
Total32

Quantitative Ability

CAT 2020

Overall Attempt of 16 to 18 questions maintaining an accuracy of 85 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy8
Moderate18
Difficult0
Total26

CAT 2019

Overall Attempt of 16 to 18 questions maintaining an accuracy of 85 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy18
Moderate9
Difficult7
Total34

CAT 2018

Overall Attempt of 19 to 21 questions maintaining an accuracy of 85 to 90% would fetch a good score in this section.

Level of DifficultyNo of Qs.
Easy15
Moderate16
Difficult3
Total34

MBAP hopes that this analysis came in handy and will be useful for planning a proper strategy to crack CAT exam. The exam surely is difficult, but it can be cracked if you develop a top-notch strategy and manage your time and complete all the three sections efficiently. Nothing will stop you from scoring 99 percentile if you follow and prepare a good strategy.

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Nihar Mehta
Nihar Mehta
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During my CAT preparation, I enrolled at MBA Pathshala for classroom coaching. Abhijit Sir & Haider Sir guided me through the process of planning & executing the strategies I had to use to succeed in the test. I received regular feedback on my progress during the GD and PI preparations after CAT. I received calls from IIMs, SPJIMR, and MDI. MBAP played a huge role in this, and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts.
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MBAP is a great place to prepare for MBA-CET, CAT, and CMAT, and the faculty are unbeatable. Most importantly, they pay personal attention to each student. Most faculty members come from IIMs. One-on-one interaction helped me improve as the exams approached, as well as get calls from IIMs I, S, and all New and Baby IIMs. Interview sessions were very beneficial for me to convert IIM S.
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I am glad I chose MBA Pathshala for my MBA coaching. The faculty here is excellent and very competent. If I had any questions or needed extra classes, they always gave me one. I got through my GD-PIs too after the exams with their help. Thanks to MBAP, I was able to pass CAT and other entrance exams. Among others, I received calls from XLRI, XIMB, and IIMs. A few of the colleges I've converted are KJ Somaiya, TAPMI, IIM Sambalpur, and IIM Sirmaur.
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MBAP prepared me for GD, WAT, and PI. Abhijit Singh, Haider, and other MBAP faculty provided excellent training. Good knowledge was imparted from the very beginning. Regular mock interviews were conducted. As a former SPJIMR, I would recommend students to join MBAP.
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Ronit jaiswal
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Coaching offers me personalized attention and a competitive environment. Because the preparation was so rigorous, I eventually began to perform at my best. The mock interviews/GD/WATs were conducted by anonymous panels, and it really boosted my confidence. Although I got a call from SCMHRD (SNAP-98.12), Abhijeet sir felt that I should try again and aim for IIM-A/B/C. It has been your pleasure to have been your mentor.
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Maitreya Khanapurkar
Calls From IIMs
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You will get good support from the faculty until you get into a B-School. The shortcut techniques you will learn will be extremely useful. You will be able to resolve doubts at any time. If you plan on taking CAT CET or any other entrance exam, go for MBA Pathshala. With the help of MBAP tutors, I received a call from IMT Ghaziabad.
Yash Dandavate
GMAT Score - 660
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GMAT prep with MBAP was the best I've ever experienced. With Rohan Kulkarni Sir's Verbal Guidance, I scored 85th percentile in my GMAT exam as I was very weak in English. I always found Haider Sir and Abhijeet to answer my questions and to develop strategies and shortcuts to tackle GMAT problems for me. MBAP is a great option for GMAT and CAT prep.
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