The CAT is one of the most difficult admission tests not only in India but also in the world. With an application acceptance rate of less than 2%, it is important to have a well-rounded CAT preparation plan that covers academic as well as extra-curricular milestones that can serve as a compass in your journey towards your dream management college.

Let’s have a look at a typical CAT quant question:


In the adjoining figure, find out the area of the region shaded blue.

Cardinal CAT Preparation Tips

Common Approach:

To find, area of region 1 + area of region 2

Area of region 1 = (Area of outer square – Area of inner circle)/4

Area of region 2 = (Area of inner circle – Area of inner square)/4

Total area of shaded region = (Area of region 1 + Area of region 2)

This solution is correct! Nevertheless, this approach is going to cost you valuable 5 minutes of your CAT examination.  To know the smarter and time-saving approach for the same question watch the video given below.

Now that you have a taste of the kind of smartness needed for cracking CAT, let’s go forward with some important tips which you cannot afford to miss while preparing for CAT. As they say, dreams don’t work unless you do. Unlike other CAT Exam Preparation Tips, these tips don’t revolve around tricks to solve questions or planning methods, but rather on the mindset that you ought to have whilst preparing for the exam.


  1. A Stitch in Time, Saves Nine

This is an awfully common phrase that means that it is always a good thing to do something when the time is right, rather than later, when you are already behind schedule. This is true for CAT preparation as well and is an important CAT exam tip. One should start preparing for CAT at least a year in advance if not earlier and should ensure that regular practice and learning is done as it is paramount in cracking the CAT. Time management during preparation along with perseverance will be pillars on which your preparation stands.


  1. Smart Learning

Of course, CAT is just an exam as was mentioned earlier. That does not mean it is not different. The questions in CAT are designed to test your mental abilities and manner of thinking. To ensure that you are at the top of your game, you need to ensure that your practice aligns with what is expected of you in CAT. Studying for 8–9 hours in a day will not ensure you a seat in an IIM, or any other top B-School; however, studying smartly for a lesser number of hours can. By studying smartly, we mean that you should concentrate on your weaknesses, look for more effective methods of solving questions (read: shortcuts), and learn alternate methods to solve questions.


  1. Practice Makes Perfect

This may seem to be a repeat of what was mentioned in the previous points, but it is not. Practice, and by that we mean, regular practice is key to hone your skills and question-answering abilities. In addition, giving as many mocks as you possibly can should be on your agenda in the last few months leading up to the exam date, as it will acclimatize you to appearing for CAT exams and this will be an added advantage on the exam day. Self-assessment is also important after every topic and every mock exam.


  1. Treat it Like an Exam

More often than not, aspirants glorify the CAT, considering it more than what it is—another exam. We do not intend to say that the CAT is not important because it is; however, many people treat it like their dream instead of their actual dream in life. Considering CAT on such lines will add to the already existing stress you might encounter while studying for the test, and this will eventually reduce your overall efficiency in preparing for it, which in turn can drastically affect your chances of securing a better score and hence a better percentile. Therefore, it is important that you consider CAT like an exam, and believe that you can crack it.

In conclusion, the best tip for CAT exam preparation is to be confident and use all your energies in achieving what you wish for. Check how to prepare for CAT to get some easy strategies to prepare for the exam more effectively.