Every serious MBA candidate should have a strategy in place to prepare for the CAT 2021 exam. There are approximately six months left to go. Mentors recommend that you start your Preparation at least eight months before the CAT. However, six months is enough time to get your gear in order and prepare for CAT 2021. You need to make sure you have the right strategy, so your CAT Preparation Strategy runs smoothly. This does not mean that you should underestimate your capabilities or fail to follow your preparation plan. It also doesn’t mean that you should underestimate your ability or go too slow.

After completing the introspection on the CAT Preparation, you can create a detailed plan for preparing for the exam in six months. This article will provide you with a detailed plan for how to prepare for CAT 2021. It includes insights into how much Time each section should be given and how you can allocate your time per week.

How do you prepare for the CAT? Which strategy is best?

The CAT is the annual national level entrance exam conducted each year by Tata Consultancy Services (Information Technology Partner) and one of the IIMs (Institute of Indian Management). Every aspirant now has to think about how to prepare for the CAT effectively.

It would be best if you planned to dedicate 8-10 hours each week, depending on your preparation level, to your CAT Preparation. This is when you need to start building your knowledge and ensure that you have completed your syllabus as much as possible. This will enable you to ensure that you can answer the most difficult questions in all topics.

The amount of time you have available on weekends and weekdays will determine how you distribute these 8-10 hours. They should be divided equally between each section, i.e., VARC, DILR, and Quant should be completed in approximately 2 hours each. The remaining time can be used to attempt mock tests or focus on the section you feel requires the most Preparation.

Here’s how to prepare for the CAT 2021: Outline

There are four phases to the overall CAT Preparation.

Find your ABC You will improve your verbal ability, reading comprehension, data interpretation, logical reasoning, and quantitative aptitude.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses through the entire CAT Syllabus and begin to divide topics into strengths or weaknesses.

Learn the concepts. Once you have read the syllabus, master the concepts for each section of the paper. You cannot move on to the more complex topics if you are not familiar with the basics of each topic.

Simulator: It is important to continue taking mocks while you prepare and track how you progress. It is one thing to know how to solve the problem, but it is quite another to do so under the pressure of the exam.

What number of questions should you try from each section?

You can better understand the CAT 2021 by reading up on what you need to score to achieve a 99%ile. This will help you plan your CAT preparation and determine the best exam strategy. It is crucial to understand the scoring structure for CAT 2021, as it is currently at an intersection with the exam pattern it may follow. 

Your comfort level in each section will determine the number of questions you want to attempt. This table shows how someone prepared for the CAT with equal weightage in each section would score a 99 percentile. A score of 180 is sufficient to achieve a 99%ile on the CAT 2019, while a score around 100 in the CAT 2020 exam pattern will suffice for a 99%ile.

Also, the table assumes 100% accuracy. This isn’t practical in an exam situation. The table aims to show that high scores in CAT are possible with a well-planned strategy for preparing.

Below are detailed instructions on how to prepare yourself for the CAT sections.

How to prepare for CAT Verbal Ability (VARC) and Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension section, which makes up 70% of the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension sections (VARC), has seen a significant increase in its weight over the past decade.

Reading is a key part of VARC preparation. This section is all about reading speed. The aspirant must read and answer five (4) passages in addition to the Verbal Ability Question (10(8)) (representing the CAT 2020 Exam pattern). You can increase your reading speed to complete the RC section within 40 minutes and the VA section in 20 minutes. This will allow you to attempt as many questions with reasonable accuracy.

It is best to dedicate two one-hour sessions now to the VARC Section.

You should spend 40-45 minutes each day on 4 Reading Comprehension passages. This is 24 RC questions per week. You can only succeed by practicing. Therefore, attempting more questions will help you achieve the 99 percentile in the CAT. Your Preparation will also be better. This will ensure you have tried 700 RCs before you go to CAT, excluding mocks. It also increases your comfort with different types of passages.

It would help if you tried to answer 8-10 questions about Verbal Ability in the remaining 15 minutes. This should provide ample practice for the section. Analyzing the mocks will help candidates identify the type of questions they are most comfortable answering. These are the questions the aspirant should answer if Time is short.

How to prepare for CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR).

You should also be able to score a high percentile if you attempt 15-16 questions of DILR for CAT 2019, or 10-12 questions for CAT 2020, with high accuracy.

You should devote at least two hours per week to DILR, just like for VARC. You should complete two sets of Logical Reasoning questions and one set of Data Interpretation questions within the hour. The CAT is shifting towards questions that combine Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation, which has blurred the lines between the sections. You might do better to attempt as many DILR questions as you can.

You’ll complete four sets of LR/DI questions per week by attempting Logical Reasoning 2 and Data Interpretation 2 sets each day. As the CAT Exam nears, you will need to increase your practice rate. This will allow you to attempt around 100-150 DILR sets, excluding mocks, before the CAT Exam.

Below is an image that shows how many students attempt the DILR section (12 questions each in LR and four in DI). This is an indication only. Aspirants who feel more comfortable with DI may attempt more questions in DI than they do in LR.

It would be best if you read both sections. The section will have at most one DI and one LR, which is easy to solve. If candidates want to get a high percentage, it is important to identify and solve these questions.

How to prepare for the CAT Quantitative Ability (QA).

The CAT 2019 Pattern requires that you attempt 23 of the 34 questions with reasonably high accuracy to break the 99%ile barrier. The CAT 2020 Pattern would require you to attempt 12-15 questions to break the 99%ile barrier.

After studying the CAT Exam papers over the past four years, one thing that stood out is the high concentration of questions from algebraic and arithmetic. These questions cover only 1/3 of the exam, but 70%.

Your core focus should therefore be on Arithmetic and Numbers as well as Algebra. Because between 40-50% will be helpful in Algebra, you should place a high priority on numbers.

However, this does not mean you should only focus on these topics. CAT can surprise candidates from Time to Time. Therefore, it would help if you studied Modern Math and Geometry thoroughly to answer all questions in the paper.

Once you have decided how to prepare for the CAT, increasing your speed at solving problems is important. Most candidates can solve most of the questions on the paper. What makes the difference between toppers and have-been? Toppers can improve their speed so that they can answer these questions in a short time.

When is the Best Time to start writing mocks?

It is never a better time than now to begin writing mocks. Even if you only manage to get a few questions right, that should be enough to gain confidence and give you a better idea of what you need next. It is a good idea to give as many mocks as possible. This helps you develop time management skills that are difficult to learn from other methods. It builds stamina and helps candidates function well during the three-hour exam.

You can measure your preparation level by doing mocks and then conducting an in-depth analysis.

You could begin with one mock or several mocks per week. As CAT 2021 approaches, candidates should increase the number of mocks to ensure they can direct the final leg.

MBA candidates can now access our proctored and unproctored CAT Test Series. You can now attempt more than 30 mocks that are based on the most recent exam pattern. This will allow you to improve your performance using Overall Performance Analysis, Drill-down analysis, and Time Wasted analysis tools. Your detailed performance report is available.


All serious candidates should pay attention to CAT online preparation. To be able to decide how to prepare for the CAT, a candidate must create a timetable. The timetable should include not only all topics but also the Time spent studying and revising. The timetable must be adhered to by the aspirant to prepare for the CAT.

You’ll score higher than 99 percentile in CAT if you spend 2 hours per week (per section) on your VARC, DIR, and Quant concepts.

This article was about how to prepare yourself for the CAT exam in six months. Please keep checking our CAT online coaching.