When to give for a SY/SE student:

One can appear for CAT in the final year of graduation (this is the earliest one can apply). So candidates must ideally start preparing at the beginning of the pre final year of graduation or at least 8 to 10 months before the examination.


The study material that you refer to while preparing for CAT plays an essential role. To choose reliable study material is important. If you have joined a coaching institute then you can stick by those books. Just make sure these books are relevant and helpful enough. Also if you have completed practising all the sums in those books twice you can try practicing sums from other books too. For those who are preparing by self can borrow second hand books from seniors who had joined any coaching class. Apart from that, you can opt for these books:

Quantitative Ability:
  1. How to prepare for quantitative aptitude - Arun Sharma
  2. Quantitative aptitude quantum- Sarvesh Verma
  3. Quantitative aptitude for CAT- Nishit Sinha
  4. Quantitative aptitude for competitive examination- RS Aggarwal
  5. NCERT books(1-6)
  1. Verbal ability and reading comprehension- Arun Sharma
  2. Word power Made Easy- Norman lewis
  3. 30 days to a more powerful vocabulary- Norman Lewis
  4. Wiley's exam an expert MBA, Verbal Ability
  5. Verbal and Non verbal reasoning- RS Aggarwal
  1. How to prepare for data interpretation- Arun Sharma
  2. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation- Nishit Sinha
  3. How to prepare for logical reasoning- Arun Sharma
  4. Speed mathematics- Rajesh Thakur

The most important thing is to plan according to the time left for the exam. Before you make a solid prep plan, decide whether you want to study with the help of a coaching class or through self study.

If you are planning to join a coaching class, know how which one can help you reach your dream institute by visiting our website . This will help you to decide which class to choose.

If you are preparing all by yourself you should be well acquainted with the portion. Gather the relevant study material and practice as many sums as you can. Make sure you appear for mocks available online. Secondly, it is necessary to realise the time left for preparation and schedule it accordingly. Do not forget to consider these points in schedule:

  1. Basics: Many people tend to skip this part and jump into sums directly. But starting from the basics like tables, mental calculation tricks, grammar, formulas,etc makes a huge difference.
  2. Practice: Once all the basics are covered, you should make sure that you practice as many sums as you can. The more questions you solve the more templates you will come across. An easy question would not take much time later when you are appearing for the actual examination as you have already done a similar type questions previously.
  3. Mocks and analysis: Taking mocks regularly is the most integral part of consideration. Also make time for analysis of each mock given by you. This improves your efficiency and helps to avoid the same mistake again and again. Building a proper test taking strategy can save time and increase your accuracy.
  1. TIME:
    TIME is number 1 coaching classes till date because of its expert faculty irrespective of branch and reliable study material. AIMCAT test series are very famous set mocks provided by them. It is best when it comes to improving accuracy.
  2. IMS:
    IMS has some best CAT trainers that the industry has to offer. Also the are famous for their workshops like Club 100, CAT Finale etc where students get proper exposure. SimCAT is one of the most popular test series offered by this coaching centre.Also they have free repeat coaching if you don't make it up to a B school.
  3. CAT KING:
    CATKING faculty consists of alumni from top B Schools and have a keen interest in the well being of students. There are numerous subject wise tests conducted by the faculty and their mocks help to improve accuracy as they give a balanced analysis of the same.

With the availability of excellent resources in both written study materials as well as audio-visual resources; online education and training has emerged as a pivotal factor for aspirants preparing for the CAT.

Preparing online can help you to eliminate cost and learn in a cost effective way. It depends from where you prepare. There are a bunch of cost effective sites which help you to prepare for CAT that offer a myriad of practice papers with solutions. Also these sites offer doubt solving too.

On the other hand, online courses require a greater amount of reading and assignments compared to traditional classes. The flexibility that comes with online preparation can be a disadvantage if you struggle with time management.

Also cons of free sites are that the question sets are limited and doubts may not be solved for free. So opting for online preparation differs from person to person.

Here is a list of some famous websites including average fees:
Career Launcher

(Rs 16000- Rs 20000)


(Rs 15000)


(Rs 9000)


(Rs 17000)


(Rs 1 per lecture)


Coaching classes are not the only resort to get a good score, online coaching can prove to be efficient as well if you are dedicated and disciplined. It is a cost effective solution as well. The cost factor depends on the study material you purchased and also if you have enrolled yourself into any online counselling or coaching. Although in the absence of any professional guidance, you can get confused if there’s no one with whom you clarify your doubts. You may become complacent if you don’t manage time efficiently. But if you’re self-driven, then you should be fine with the self-study option. One can prepare for CAT by self by keeping these things in mind:

  1. Gather relevant study material and start preparing by following a time table. Begin preparing from the basic level by going through the latest mathematics book of 10th standard and then upgrade yourself to some other books.

  2. Religiously go through all the formulas,theorem and check at what extent you are able to recollect these concepts. Solve the problems randomly and continue this practice everyday. If you are clueless about a few things you can get the doubts and concepts solved online for free. But if you are struggling with many things instantly approach a coaching class.

  3. Try to solve reading comprehension daily to get a firm grip. When it comes to Verbal Ability try to read as many passages, novels, newspapers etc regularly. Memorize 10 to 15 words daily to improve vocabulary.

  4. Attempt maximum logic questions as you can. If you have a good grip over quants DI will be a cakewalk for you. Although DILR requires rigorous practice so try solving it from various books.

  5. Make sure you stick to the timetable everyday. Analyse your mocks and prepare test giving strategy. Make sure you learn to solve questions with equal speed and accuracy.

  6. Have a check on the official websites of entrance exams simultaneously so that you don’t miss any important notification.

  7. Find a trustworthy mentor who will guide you and solve your doubts.

5 Steps to ace the CAT

1 Set your target
Even if your past years academic scores aren’t good enough do not waste time thinking about the same. There's surely a chance to excel in upcoming exam. Also do not just focus on CAT exam if you are also aiming to appear for other entrances.

Target topics, not time
Do not blindly follow the time table which you prepared as the target is to understand the concepts and not just to abide by the time table.

3 Take maximum mocks
It is a stereotype amongst the students that mock tests must be appeared in the end. An aspirant must take as many mocks as he can parallel to learning concepts.

4 Study all the subject daily
It is important to give equal attention to all the subjects and not just one. Try to study all the subjects daily to have a balanced knowledge of each subject.

5 Analyse, revise and Repeat
Allot a day or two for revision of concepts learned in the previous week. Analyse the mocks given by you and prepare a strategy to attempt mocks. Lastly do not give up and repeat these 5steps till the end.

  1. Revise all important concepts a night before the exam but also do not go for any mock test or learn a new topic or concept before exam.

  2. It is essential to sleep for at least 7-8 hours before giving the exam for a calm mind

  3. To eliminate any last minute confusion, avoid last minute cramming or revising

  4. Reach the centre before the reporting time as the gates will be closed after a certain time.

  5. Remember to carry the CAT admit card failing which the candidates will not be allowed to appear for the exam. Also carry ID proof along with it.

  6. Avoid wearing heavy jewelry, jacket, wristwatches, clothes with pockets etc

  7. Read all the instructions carefully as missing even a single point is highly risky; it may backfire at any juncture of the exam.

  8. Attempt the questions while maintaining speed and accuracy at the same time.

  9. Lastly stay confident and calm which is the key element to excel in the examination.


Last minute preparation counts as a very crucial part of your preparation. So revision and lots of practice is the key element to ace at exams. Do not change the method of solving the sums in the last moment to avoid confusion. Just keep on revising what you studied throughout the year. Books will remain the same whether for last minute or early startup but the best last minute preparation is appearing for mocks. At the same time do not strain yourself during the last few days, make sure you are well rested and not overworked.

On the exam day, you can go through the formula book that you have made during preparation hours. Make sure to keep your mind fresh on the big day and you aren't exhausted before the exam day.


Your academic performance plays an important role in your resume so make sure it is noteworthy. With B-schools trying to create diversity in the classrooms, knowledge of any foreign language will boost your profile.

The experience of volunteering for a social committee can help you enhance various interpersonal skills. Knowing how to play a musical instrument or your involvement in any sport can add to the versatility of your profile.

Having a startup or operation of your own can impress the interviewers to the core. Although many B schools also take freshers in their institutes they prefer candidates who have experience working in the corporate world previously for a year or two.

People find it difficult to manage work and studies together but if you stay focussed and organised you can manage it well. Make sure you give priority to college and studies before work. Also ensure that your employer knows your availability. Make maximum utilization of weekends for your CAT preparations.

TOP 10 COLLEGES and Average cut offs:
  1. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (cut off -98 percentile)
  2. Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru (cut off -99 percentile)
  3. Indian School of Business, Hyderabad(cut off -98 percentile)
  4. Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata (cut off -98 percentile)
  5. Indian Institute of foreign Trade, Delhi (cut off- 48.5 percentile)
  6. Xaviers Labor Research Institute, Jamshedpur (cut off -95 percentile)
  7. Management Development Institute, Gurgaon (cut off -94 percentile)
  8. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (cut off -97 percentile)
  9. Faculty of Management Studies (cut off -98 percentile)
  10. NMIMS, Mumbai (cut off -94 percentile of NMAT score)
Breaking down the prerequisites to get into the best universities.
Ace the CAT

Firstly, aim for achieving 90+ percentile to get into top B schools. Now that you know what it takes to score the desirable marks, give your 100% for CAT preparations. Practice loads of questions, appear for ample of mocks, give equal importance to all the subjects, work on your weaknesses and manage your time properly.

Personal Interview

Enhance your communication skills to pass the different rounds like GD and PI. For that you need to participate in all possible competitions like debates, MUNs, group discussions etc. This will help to boost your confidence and enhance your communication skills. Attend various workshops as it provides great amount of exposure. Perform well in your academics as B schools select freshers on the basis of their academics quite often. While preparing for CAT make sure you don't neglect college examinations. Taking a break of a year or two can have a negative impact as well. Ensure that you have strong resume to create an edge over the others. A strong resume is enough to attract the B schools.

Work Experience

Before applying for an MBA Programme you must have expertise and experience of an industry, doing so would encourage the university to accept your application as they can play a role in accelerating your already established career. Having said that MBA Programmes are often catalysts for people aiming for a career change or a re directed approach, however having tangible experience is always a must.

Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendations

It is extremely essential for you to have a strong Statement of Purpose, defining why the university needs to have you and justifying that you’re a perfect fit for the university. Make sure you do your research and take into consideration what the university expects out of its students before writing the SOP.

Letters of Recommendation are excellent ways to prove your ability to create value and your competence. A letter from an employer and an educator or a previous teacher is a must, for these credible sources will help establish the right image of yourself to the admissions department of the university.


Good B-schools have great impact on students and offers peer to peer learning. Also it ensures job offers from top management companies with high packages. But the opportunity cost is substantial and it becomes difficult for one to afford. This is where scholarships play an important role.Scholarship aid in MBA is very common nowadays and among best schools there is an arm's race to provide more of it deserving students. Scholarships are offered on the basis of following criteria:

Academic percentage in 10th and 12th standard
CAT or any other entrance percentile
Performance in written test conducted by that college
Performance in GD/PI
Scholarship for SC/ST/Physically challenged students
Merit based scholarship
Based on previous work experience
Sports scholarship for those who have represented at state or national level

Here is a list of few scholarships for MBA in India:

Aditya Birla Scholarship Programme
Forte Fellows Programme
PSitaram Jindal Foundation
Performance in GD/PI
Nirankari Rajmata Scholarship Scheme
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund
Global Business Scholarship

Those who couldn’t get scholarship on merit basis can pay the fees through student loans too. Nowadays student loans are the most popular sources to meet urgent requirement of money. Also to get educational loan is easy in India. If you are looking for guidance on which loan to choose, look here.


The job placements depends on the specialization as well as the college or university from which you have done your MBA. Top B schools have their campus placement close to 100%. Once you become a part of such universities you need not worry about the job placements. The returns is surely more than the investment you pooled in. The range of packages that people end up after MBA can range from 10 lakhs to 80 lakhs. Top companies like Amazon, Hindustan Unilever, Samsung, TAS,etc are among the highest recruiters recruiting 10 to 18 offers.

IIM A,B,C,L offer salary packages ranging upto 20 to 25 lakhs while highest domestic package may go upto 60-70 lakhs per annum. Apart from top IIMs other universities offer high salary placements in the range of 12 to 18 lakhs.


One can find useful resources available on the internet. These communities offer learning modules in the form of videos, discussion forums, live tests, and a lot more. The perks of learning from such sites is that you can study at your own pace and comfort. You can find solutions to the questions by interacting with experts from these communities too. Here are some tools which will help you to prepare for CAT:

  1. This is an amazing online forum which provides lots of information and keeps you updated about CAT. It offers free quiz and contest based on the three subjects. Prepathon is a mobile app created by them for CAT aspirants.

  2. It is one of the most friendly websites for every student who wishes to study at a lower cost. It has over 600+ videos, live classes, full length mocks, and even study material provided in the form of pdf and document.

  3. This online platform provides free practice tests along with study material which includes vocabulary flashcards, guide to GDPI, weekly puzzles, e-books along with reviews, etc.

  4. This source is ideal for reading comprehension and vocabulary building. It can largely help to improve one’s reading speed and helps to enhance focused reading. It helps to maintain accuracy along with stipulated time.

  5. This website offers plenty of free resources with its premium study content. You can appear for free mocks, solve previous CAT papers, and have access to cheat sheets. They also upload weekly videos to explain concepts in detail.

  6. This is a youtube channel created by a bunch of experts. It is highly recommended for people who find Quants to be difficult as it helps you to clear concepts from zero level.

  7. Other youtube channels:

    You can have access to free videos for preparation of cat by searching these names on youtube:
    - Examrace
    - Pyoopel
    - Unacademy
    - Edusaathi
    - easy vocab
    - Learn4exam

  8. iQuanta is a famous Facebook group where students can post their queries which can be addressed by some other students. Also you will also get a mentor who will clarify your doubts. This is a very active group and if you love to study in a group you should join it.


Even though the journey may seem hard, one shouldn't lose their calm. CAT may be a highly competitive exam but know that you are no less than others. Before you cry over your past years academic results, try to focus on the preparation of upcoming exams. And maybe this can be your lucky day to receive call from IIM. Here are some interesting stories of CAT 2018 toppers:

  1. Amit Bikram
    - 100 percentile
    - VARC 79.59
    - LRDI 60.51
    - QA 95.07
    Preparation: Amit spent two months for revising all the concepts and strengthening the basics.Also he didn't join any coaching classes.He started attempting mocks from August on a regular basis from Career Launcher and analysed his mistakes. He noticed that he wasn't that good in VARC and DI so he worked on it and practiced rigorously. Also he practiced from variety of other books like Arun Sharma and IMS e test.

  2. Raunak Majumdar
    - 100 percentile
    - VARC 87.62
    - Quants 96.99
    - DILR 66.77
    Preparation: Ronak did attend full time coaching classes but put in a lot of effort to practice as much as he can. He believed that analysing mock is more important and devoted much time to plan his paper solving strategy. Ronak started his preparations from August as his Quants was strong and he devoted time for time management and problem solving strategy.

    From these toppers we understand how important it is to start early and manage time. Also rigorous practice and keeping calm is what needs to become a topper. One superior quality is that these toppers had their strategies pre planned which helped them to ace. Lastly, do not worry about the marks and which college you will get into and just keep on going.

    ONLINE COUNSELLING can be sought by students who are unsure about their decision to get an MBA and need further help in their decision!

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