CAT Question-Paper Contributed by Lakshmi Dhanasekhar updated on Oct 2020
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How to crack CAT

CAT 2013 Schedule

S NO.  Activity  Date(s)
1 Release of Advt.  28th July 2013
2 Online Registration/Voucher Sale  5th August 2013 To 24th September 2013
3 Registration Window  5th August 2013 To 26th September 2013
4 Test Dates  16th October 2013 To 11th November 2013
5 Results  14th January 2014



If you are serious about cracking the CAT exam, you must have started your section wise preparation after getting an idea of the strengths and will know how to prepare for the three sections of CAT exam, which are Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and overall preparation.

The basic skills and fundamentals remain unchanged. You don’t have to worry about focusing upon new areas of study. As long as you have prepared well, all you need to do is practise mock tests keeping in mind the new timing system. Along with focus and self-belief

Learn, Practice & Test!: There are some very good modules available for learning, practicing and testing. Make good use of them! Modules like On line practice test are especially helpful in this final, critical period. Moreover, these are available online and give you the added advantage of familiarizing yourself with the online medium.



Continue reading till the last day. Do not stop.

Speed up: Speed matters. Not only when you’re solving questions but when you’re reading them! The faster you can read all the questions and select those you think you should attempt; the better will be your chances of a good score. Stick to time. If you are taking a 2 hour test, take it for 2 hrs only

Always calculate accuracy/speed figures for individual sections and net. And try to maintain a stable figure of speed and accuracy. If there is an abrupt change in those figures, try to investigate and find out the reasons. Ideally 60% speed with 80% + accuracy will help you in getting good scores. But speed sometimes varies with easiness of the paper. Identifying the trends of speed/accuracy in aug/sept will help you to fine tune your strategy before the D-day.

Identify specific areas of discomfort and try to read as much in those diversified areas. This will help in Reading Comprehension; Theme based questions and Para formation questions.

Focus on Grammar. The weight-age for the same is increasing day by day.

Have a strategy in mind before you start the test. Take 2-3 minutes to analyze the paper.

Before starting the first mock, try to complete as many fundamentals as possible on QA topics. Use a note to jot down the unknown formulae/shortcuts.

Try to read as many as possible and decide what to solve quickly. This knack for identifying so called sitters comes from taking 30-40 mocks in a span of 3 months.

In Quantitative Areas – Focus on Geometry and Number systems. Number Systems have always been an important chapter from the point of view of CAT and Geometry has gained a lot over the last 2 years. Barring a set or two based on Quantitative Reasoning, LR has been typically easy over the last 2-3 years. Practice as much as you can. While analyzing the QA Section, try to find out the sitters/easy ones you have missed out during taking the mock. And try to reason out. The Quantitative Ability section is probably the most unpredictable part of CAT. While geometry, algebra, functions, number system and time, speed and distance remain the most important chapters, their relative importance keep changing. It is extremely important to be thoroughly prepared with the chapters that one is comfortable with and not waste time on the others. The best thing to do is to take one chapter at a time and solve as many questions as possible over a week or 10 days. The objective should be to master the chapter and develop a very high level of comfort and confidence should any question be asked from the chapter. Thereafter, move on to the next chapter. 

Work on your mental mathematics. Learn to do calculations mentally. Memorize standardized formulae and try to use shortcuts wherever possible.

Most importantly realize that, you have to get most out of the test. Don’t be egoistic and solve a problem for 2-3 minutes. If you get it in 1 min, its ok, beyond that, learn to leave problems.

The practice tests play a very vital role in the preparation for CAT Quantitative Aptitude questions Students have to take every practice test as seriously as the real CAT. Always try yourself for completion of test in the real time. Engineering students or college students who may be familiar with the theory, it is okay to start off with tests immediately. Those who are working professionals and are away from the basic theory, has to start early with the formulae and theorems that will require for CAT.

Start with small topical tests at the beginning of CAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation. As confidence increases in several topics, start giving full-length QA tests. After gaining confidence in QA, merge individual sectional tests and start answering full length CAT test papers. Always analyse your performance after every test and try to improve the performance. Work on the topics in which you found yourself back. Practice tests with the important and tricky questioning.

Try to work more on topics in which you are weak. Practicing will make you to achieve real time perfection. It is okay to have one weak area, but it will risky for you, and need to do hard work on that topic. Therefore, working hard in every area will serve you the luxury of having all questions to select from in the real CAT. 

Tips to help you prepare for CAT Verbal Ability 
There are two parts to the Verbal Ability section: Vocabulary, which tests your repertoire of words as well as language, and Comprehension, which tests your ability to deduce. While you can memorize word lists in the last two to three weeks before CAT Exam,language can only be built over time. Six months before CAT, the best thing to do for vocabulary is read. Add words to your lexicon. As for reading comprehension, the answers are not absolute like Vocabulary. They are subjective. To understand the kind of answers that CAT looks for, the only method is to practice and reason out.

English Usage questions typically the Fill in the blanks types can best be handled by knowing proper usage of words. So focus on vocabulary development.

Always carry a small dictionary with you.

Always carry a stopwatch with you and make it a habit.
Communication is main and a very important tool in gallery of management, 
CAT Verbal ability section tests a person’s skill at the English Language. 
That’s why the CAT paper increased the number of questions in this section, points to the importance that the examiners attach to testing us on Verbal Ability and Reasoning skills. 
By this, the b-schools want to know how well a person can communicate.
Of all CAT sections, is the area that can be solved fastest in the CAT exam is Verbal Ability. However, this section happens to be the most difficult one to prepare for. In fact, unless one has some amount of grounding in grammar, and a sizable vocabulary (which you can build only from extensive reading), this area can turn out to be your biggest CAT barricade.

Four types of questions have been seen in CAT:

Paragraph Forming (rearranging a jumbled paragraph).
English Usage and Vocabulary.
Critical Reasoning.

CAT Verbal Ability Preparation:
For cracking this section you need good understanding of grammar as well as a good vocabulary. Below are few preparation tips to improve your Verbal Ability:

Improving word power by reading:

The best way to improve your vocabulary of words is by reading a lot. The more you will read, newer the words you will come to know and hence strengthen your stock of words. The most important part of Verbal preparation is the reading up. [In fact, not only does it help in the Verbal section of CAT but also in General Awareness section of other MBA entrances]. This effort can’t be intensive in nature, since we need to assimilate what we read. Thus the reading has to be consistently spread out across a few months or more.

What to Read:

You can start by reading something which interests you. It can be fiction or sports and entertainment page of the newspaper. Slowly you can advance your reading habits but only reading newspapers or best sellers books is not going to help you much for MBA. You should read classic and acclaimed literature. Like books of Amitabh Ghosh, Arundhati Roy etc. are enriched with words that are not used in daily life and can thus empower your word vocabulary. While reading in English we should make a conscious effort to start thinking in English as well, since this can be a weak point for many of us who come from non English backgrounds.

How to Read:
Reading an article it is important, but to discuss it with friends who already have read it will increase your understanding. Similarly, it is important to get a feel as to how arguments are built by good writers and what is an expected line of thought, following a seen passage. This again comes with discussing the passage with friends who have read it.

After you have finished your reading for the day (for Reading Comprehension), check out the meanings of all the words that you have come across that day, and write them down in a book, or make flash cards for yourself. Everyday you will come across a minimum of 10 words that you either do not know the meaning of, or are not sure about. This exercise will ensure that over the next 150 days, your repertoire of words will increase by at least 1500 words.


The CAT verbal ability section too calls for a lot of practice, which should be duly done in the last few months. The scores in the Reading Comprehension section get tremendously boosted by practice followed by analysis of the questions attempted incorrectly. The associated explanation to an answer is very important since it shows what the examiner thought was the correct answer, why and how it was different from what we thought. While answering subsequent RCs, we should be mindful not to repeat earlier mistakes.
Make sure you note the errors you made, as well as the correction to the same. This way, in a week you will be solving about 50 to 75 questions, and in five weeks you will have solved around 250 to 350 questions. After that, implement whatever you have learnt while attempting the Mock Papers. Ensure that you crack Paragraph Forming within a certain time limit, so that you do not overshoot the time available.
I hope the above given CAT Verbal ability preparation tips will be useful to you to crack CAT exam.

The only way to learn Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) is practice. Unlike Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability, there is no limit to the possibilities in DI & LR. It is most unlikely that any caselet that you have solved before will ever turn up in CAT. DI & LR has only one thing to learn: approach. Six months before CAT, you should best invest your time in practicing. Another important thing for DI & LR is to go over mock test questions and caselets thoroughly. This will help one in understanding the mistakes made and learning the correct approach. 

The most important thing while preparing for a paper like CAT is taking mock tests. Never skip mock papers. CAT is more about composure and strategy and lesser about formulae. One is bound to have a few bad mock papers, but it is important to see them through. Again, one shouldn’t lost focus of other important papers like XAT and FMS. 

The last 7 days must be utilized judiciously to gain maximum advantage from your hard work and efforts.
Try to gather as much information you can.

Last-Minute Tips-:

Never make the mistake of attempting the questions without looking at all four options first
Try to focus on your speed and accuracy
Go into the exam with an open mind and expect the unexpected
Begin with your strongest section and attempt the weakest section in the middle
Do not be nervous and don’t start with any new concept now