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Time Management Strategies For CAT Exam

One of the main constraints for the candidates to score high in the CAT exam is time duration. In the CAT exam, the questions are mostly very basic and can be solved, provided, enough time is given. But, the exam consists of 100 questions that need to be solved within 3 hours. So, having proper time management strategies is extremely crucial for the exam. Though many candidates feel that time management is difficult, in the actual sense, strategizing time during the exam is easy and can be done by anyone.


There are several strategies that can be followed to strategize time effectively and be able to attempt the most number of questions in the exam accurately. But, before going into the CAT time management strategies, it is important to know what is time management and why is it important?

Now, to understand the importance of time management, it is important to know the exam pattern for CAT. The exam consists of a total of 100 questions that need to be solved within 3 hours. For each of the 3 sections in the exam, candidates get an hour to solve. For the overall exam, candidates get only 1.8 minutes to solve 1 question which is a difficult feat to achieve. To overcome that, candidates need to manage their time well in the exam and prioritize the questions which are nothing but time management. In other words, time management in CAT is prioritizing and scheduling the questions to be able to attempt most questions in the given 3 hours.

Best Time Management Strategies for CAT

The importance of time management has been already discussed and some of the best tips to manage time during the CAT exam are given below. All these tips are generalized and any candidate can follow these and be able to attempt most of the questions accurately.

  • Be Calm and Composed

For the exam, it is important to be calm and be free of tension. Before the exam, it is important to not stress too much and be confident. With even a bit of stress, individuals often fail to comprehend questions properly and end up attempting questions incorrectly.

  • Attempt Easy Questions First

During the exam, it is suggested to start with the easy questions first and then move to the difficult ones. It should be realized that it is better not to spend too much time on difficult questions instead, solve more number of easy questions first. As all the questions hold equal marks, attempting more easy questions is always advantageous.

  • Skip and Move on

In the CAT exam, a few questions are included which are extremely tricky and difficult. Such questions take a lot of time to solve and hence, prevent the candidates to solve more questions. It is always best to move on to the other questions if any particular question is taking too much time to solve.

  • Have Proper Prior Practice

Practice is the key to developing problem-solving skills and speed which is extremely crucial for the exam. For any section, be it QA, VARC or DILR, it is important for the candidates to be acquainted with different question variations to be able to comprehend and tackle any question in the CAT exam easily.

  • Have Personal Strategies

Every individual has different strong and weak areas and so, the test-taking strategies should be personalized. For example, if a candidate is strong at time and work, it is important to attempt time and work questions first in a predetermined duration (suppose 15 minutes) and then move to the other questions. This way, one can easily cover a lot of questions accurately. It is best to take several mock exams and analyze them to be able to devise such personal test-taking strategies.

  • Avoid Guessing

There are several candidates who guess the answers and mark just before the exam ends. It should be noted that in the CAT exam, accuracy matters the most. So, if there is very little time left for the exam to be over, it is suggested not to hurry and guess the answers as it will affect the overall score negatively.

  • Apply Shortcuts

The quantitative and data interpretation questions can be solved a lot easily and quickly if the shortcuts are applied. There are several CAT quant tricks that can be applied during the exam to solve several questions quickly.

These were a few tricks that can help the CAT aspirants to manage time effectively during the exam. It is important to be confident during the exam which is only possible if one is focused and prepares effectively.

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