CAT Preparation Tips – How to Crack CAT 2024 Easily

Preparing for the Common Admission Test (CAT) requires a strategic approach and a thorough understanding of the exam pattern and syllabus. With CAT 2024 just around the corner, aspirants must gear up and start their preparation journey. The CAT exam is a gateway to prestigious management institutes like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other renowned B-schools in India. To help you navigate through this challenging yet rewarding journey, let’s delve into the essential preparation tips and strategies. But before we dive into the preparation strategies, let’s take a quick look at the important dates for CAT 2024, ensuring you stay on track with your preparation schedule.

CAT Exam Important Dates 2024

  • CAT 2024 notification release: 30 July 2024
  • CAT exam 2024 registration dates: 03 Aug 2024 (10:00 AM) to 15 Sep 2024 (5:00 PM)
  • CAT form correction: Last week of September 2024
  • CAT admit card 2024: 25 Oct 2024
  • CAT exam 2024 date: 24 Nov 2024
  • CAT answer key release: First week of December 2024
  • Answer key challenge process: First week of December 2024
  • Declaration of CAT 2024 result: Last week of December 2024 or the First week of January 2025

Due to the impact of the pandemic, the CAT exam pattern has changed. Therefore, the first step towards preparing for CAT 2024 is comprehending the exam pattern and syllabus. CAT 2024 is expected to follow a similar format to CAT 2023, with consistent numbers of questions and duration. Hence, analyzing the pattern and syllabus is crucial to tackling the exam effectively.

Below is an overview of the exam pattern and syllabus for your reference:

Section No. of Questions Time Allotted Main Topics
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 40 minutes RC passages, Inferences, Summary, Para jumbles, etc.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 40 minutes Graphs, charts, syllogism, arrangements, etc.
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 22 40 minutes Algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, probability, etc.

With these dates in mind, let’s explore the best strategies for aceing the CAT exam and securing admission into your dream management institute.

CAT Exam Preparation Tips 2024

Whether you study alone or join coaching classes, this simple step strategy will simplify CAT exam preparation for 2024.

4 Steps for CAT Preparation


Step 1. Preparing For the CAT Exam Without Coaching

If you prepare for the exam without coaching, choosing the best CAT books and other study materials will help you prepare effectively.

Apart from choosing the right books, here are a few things that you can do to score good marks:

  • Join online forums and CAT study groups on Facebook, YouTube, Telegram, Quora, and more.
  • Download MBA entrance exam preparation applications.
  • Choose the best CAT mock test series by MBA coaching institutes.
  • Create and follow a month-wise CAT Preparation plan.

CAT Self-Preparation Tips 2024

Here are some tips on preparing for the CAT Exam without coaching. These tips will also guide you on how and when to start your CAT exam preparations.

  • The CAT exam pattern and syllabus will help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses in all three sections.
  • Choose the best CAT books and study material.
  • Take the CAT mock test while you are preparing for the exam. After taking the test, analyze your answers.
  • If you face problems scoring good marks in VARC, you should start reading novels, watching English TV shows, and communicating with others in English.
  • Solving Data Interpretation questions might be a little time-consuming. Start practicing the DI questions.

Step 2. CAT Coaching For Better Exam Preparation 2024

CAT coaching can help you in overcoming your weak areas. Choose the CAT coaching centers for exam preparation. The best CAT coaching centers are TIME, CL, IMS, and more.

Here are some of the factors you should consider while choosing a CAT training institute:

  • The best CAT coaching center will provide uniform study material based on the latest exam pattern and syllabus.
  • Ensure the coaching institute provides the best teaching faculty.
  • Check the past year’s results and students’ pass-out rate.
  • Read the student reviews about the coaching center. You can also ask your friends about the best coaching institute.

Note: Apart from attending coaching for CAT, it is highly recommended that you prepare well at home. You can also hire a personal tutor for one-on-one training on specific concepts.

Benefits Of Attending CAT Coaching

Here are some of the advantages of attending CAT coaching for scoring better marks in the CAT exam:

  • One-on-one interaction with subject experts will help you understand concepts better and solve your doubts.
  • Peer learning can also help you clear all your doubts.
  • CAT coaching centers complete all the syllabus on time, ensuring enough time for revisions and mock tests.
  • These institutes also provide mock tests to help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses.

Step 3. Section Wise Preparation

Section-wise CAT Preparation: VARC

Following the exam pattern from CAT 2023, CAT 2024 is expected to feature 24 VARC questions, comprising 16 Reading Comprehension questions and 8 Verbal Ability questions. To excel in this section, candidates must possess strong English skills, including grammar and vocabulary. Here are some tips for VARC preparation:

  • Enhance grammar and vocabulary skills by reading regularly.
  • Focus on grasping the underlying meaning of passages quickly.
  • Allocate time for weekly topic-wise and sectional VARC mock tests.
  • Select appropriate study materials that cover the fundamentals of verbal ability.
  • Practice solving 4-5 RC questions daily to improve comprehension and speed.

Section-wise CAT Preparation: DILR

Similar to CAT 2023, CAT 2024 is anticipated to include 20 DILR questions divided into 4 sets. The DILR section assesses logical and analytical reasoning abilities, covering topics such as linear and matrix arrangements, blood relations, coding-decoding, and analogies. Here are some strategies for DILR preparation:

  • Identify the easiest sets within the DILR section and prioritize them.
  • Aim to answer at least 2 out of 4 sets with high accuracy to achieve a percentile above 99.
  • Regularly practice DILR mock tests to improve speed and accuracy.
  • Develop a strategy for selecting and answering sets based on difficulty levels.
  • Focus on enhancing speed and accuracy through consistent practice and revision.

Section-wise CAT Preparation: QA

The QA section focuses on mathematical concepts, requiring candidates to practice and memorize essential equations extensively. CAT 2024 is expected to feature 22 QA questions covering algebra, geometry, percentages, and probability. Here are some strategies for QA preparation:

  • Strengthen foundational mathematical concepts and formulas.
  • Learn shortcuts for quicker calculations and efficient problem-solving.
  • Time your responses during practice sessions to improve speed.
  • Utilize mock tests to evaluate performance, identify weaknesses, and refine strategies.
  • Study from QA-focused study materials to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and topics.

Step 4. Month-wise CAT Preparation Strategy

Breaking down the preparation process into monthly milestones enables candidates to cover the syllabus and monitor their progress systematically. Here’s a month-wise preparation strategy for CAT:

February to May

  • Identify syllabus topics and focus on strengthening foundational concepts.
  • Practice regularly and revise fundamental concepts for each section.
  • Devote time to studying algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and reading comprehension.

June and July

  • Review basic concepts and identify weak areas.
  • Attempt full-length mock tests and analyze performance.
  • Dedicate time to sectional revisions and preparation.

August and September

  • Gain familiarity with exam topics, concepts, and question

Step 5: Best Books For CAT Preparation

CAT preparation books and other study material are important in preparing for the CAT exam and scoring good marks. Here are some of the best CAT books divided section-wise:

CAT Preparation Books For Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension

Here are some of the CAT Preparation Books For Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension:

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT | 9th Edition Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension(with 3 Free AIMCATs) | CAT | First Edition | By Pearson
Wiley’s Verbal Ability and Reasoning for Competitive Examinations Arihant Publications Approach to REASONING Verbal, Non-Verbal & Analytical
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT| Fourth Edition Verbal Ability & Comprehension for CAT/ XAT/ IIFT/ CMAT/ MAT/ Bank PO/ SSC
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis A Communicative Grammar Of English
Word Power Made Easy: The Complete Handbook for Building a Superior Vocabulary Word Power Made Easy

Best Quantitative Aptitude Books for CAT Preparation

Here are some of the Best Quantitative Aptitude Books for CAT Preparation:

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations Fast Track Objective Arithmetic
A Modern Approach To Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning (2 Colour Edition) Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs(Old Edition)
Magical Book on Quicker Maths How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT The Pearson Guide To Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Dinesh K. Sinha Quantitative Aptitude for CAT, XAT & other MBA Entrance Exams

Step 6: Solve Mock Tests And Previous Year Question Papers

Before the exam day, you must check the CAT exam preparation by solving the Previous Year Papers and Mock Tests. Solving these question papers will help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses.  So now you can pay attention to the concepts you are unsure about.

Apart from the CAT mock test, you can also start taking the CAT exam quiz, CAT previous year mock tests, and CAT sectional quiz, which will help you improve your speed and manage your time.

Benefits of CAT Mock Test Series

Here are some of the benefits of taking up the CAT Mock Test Series:

  • It helps you improve your weak areas regularly.
  • It helps you manage time as there are section-time constraints in the CAT exam.
  • CAT Test Series helps to practice well on various LoD questions
  • The more mock tests you solve, the more you will be mentally prepared for the CAT exam


The first step in preparing for the exam is to know the CAT exam pattern and syllabus, then decide if you want to take up the coaching or study by yourself.

Books are the best source of preparation for the CAT exam. You must ensure you choose the right and the best book, which will make exam preparation easy.

Moreover, after completing a chapter or a concept, taking up online mock tests and quizzes is recommended to help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You can also take full-length mock tests and solve previous year’s question papers, which will help you prepare for the exam.

Here, we explained the CAT preparation tips for 2024 in detail! Good luck!

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