How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year: A Comprehensive Guide With Study Plan

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

Updated On : December 26, 2023

SHARE

Summary: Discover tried-and-true methods, industry insights, and a personalized study schedule for every CAT exam section. This article offers a comprehensive 12-month roadmap to crack the CAT efficiently.

CAT is the main requirement for admission into top MBA universities in India, with more than 1,200 B-schools accepting its scores.

As more than 200,000 individuals compete for success in this highly competitive exam annually, having a strong plan is crucial.

So, if you plan on taking the CAT exam and passing it within a year with an excellent score? Here is help!

The article "How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year", provides a comprehensive strategy to successfully prepare for and conquer the CAT exam within a year.

If you are planning to take the CAT exam, have you considered if one year will be sufficient for preparation?

Absolutely! While many students start their CAT preparation two years in advance, one year, if utilized judiciously, can be ample time.

Key elements include understanding the exam pattern, a structured study plan, regular assessments, continuous revisions and an effective study plan described in this article!

How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year?

We know that the CAT 2024 exam is a pathway to the best MBA programs in India.

It attracts a massive number of candidates, making it a fiercely competitive endeavour.

It is recommended that you begin your CAT preparation journey a year in advance to ensure an impressive score and a position in the top-tier B-schools.

In this essay, we will guide you through the most effective study strategy for CAT 2024, which can be completed in one year.

cat 2023 super-30 course

cat 2023 super-30 course

Understanding the CAT Exam Pattern 2024

The CAT exam is divided into three parts: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Ability (QA), and Data interpretation & Logical reasoning (DILR).

To pass the CAT exam, you must understand these areas thoroughly and develop the necessary skills for each and practise mocks for each of these sections. 

Take a look at the number of questions and respective marks for each of these sections tabulated below: 

CAT Exam Pattern 2024 - Sections Total No. of Questions CAT Exam Pattern 2024 - MCQs TITA Questions CAT Exam Marks Pattern Duration
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 21 3 72 40 min
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) 20 14 6 60 40 min
Quantitative Ability (QA) 22 14 8 66 40 min
Total 66 49 17 198 120 (2 hours)

Check: Can I crack CAT exam in 6 months?

Approach for How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year?

A year is enough to familiarize yourself with the CAT syllabus, practice extensively, and hone problem-solving skills.

With a focused approach, this timeline ensures depth and breadth of preparation, eliminating the need for last-minute cramming.

Monthly Breakdown: A 12-Month Study Plan

Here's a timetable you can follow for 1 year: 

CAT Preparation Strategy for 1 year: Months 1-3: Foundation Phase
Basics and concepts Start with understanding the basics of all three sections. Strengthen your foundational concepts, which will make tackling advanced topics easier.
VARC Basic grammar rules, vocabulary, and reading diverse articles. Reading Comprehension: 2 passages daily.
DILR Basic DI sets, puzzles, and arrangements. Cover basic arithmetic concepts. Practice complex DI sets and intricate logical reasoning problems.
QA Cover basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
CAT Preparation Timetable 1 year: Months 4-6: Intensive Learning Phase
Dive deeper into complex topics Understand intricate topics, practice advanced problems, and engage in group discussions for better clarity. Start attempting monthly mocks to gauge your progress and adjust your study strategy accordingly.
VARC Focus on critical reasoning and advanced reading comprehension passages.
DILR Cover advanced arithmetic.
QA Delve deeper into advanced algebra, mensuration, and trigonometry.
Months 7-9: Problem-Solving and Strategy Phase
Identifying weak areas Assess mock test scores, focus on your weaker areas, and aim for balanced preparation across all sections. Developing time management skills: Practice timed sectional tests to optimize your speed and accuracy for the final CAT exam.
Months 10-12: Revision and Mock Tests Phase
Scheduled mock tests and analysis Intensify mock test frequency. Post each test, analyze mistakes and work on them.
Final touch-ups and concepts clarity Revise every topic, clarify lingering doubts, and ensure a robust conceptual understanding.
Emphasis on CAT Mocks Mocks simulate the actual CAT exam and are instrumental in assessing your preparedness. The more mocks you attempt, the better equipped you'll be for D-day.

Check:  Is CAT compulsory for MBA?

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year for all 3 Sections

Each section requires distinct preparation strategies and focuses. Let's take a look at the strategies to implement. 

Section-wise mastery

1. Conquering Quantitative Ability (QA)

QA demands strong mathematical foundations.

Engage with topics like algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and number systems. Consistent problem-solving practice will enhance accuracy and speed. 

  • Basic-level mathematics preparation is a must to score in this section of QA. 
  • Major topics of the QA section include questions about seating arrangements, number systems, profit and loss, geometry, blood relations, etc. 
  • Practising mock tests for the section will be more beneficial. 
  • At the time of solving QA questions, candidates avoid using calculators. 

Check: CAT Exam Pattern

2. Excelling in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Elevate your vocabulary and comprehension skills for VARC.

Regular reading of newspapers, novels, and articles enhances your reading speed and understanding. Tackle previous CAT papers to comprehend question styles. 

  • Candidates can develop vocabulary skills by regular reading habits and exploring different topics of CAT with major details. 
  • Go through journals, blog posts, articles, podcasts, etc., to improve this section. 
  • Practice topics like inferences, comprehensions and para jumbles 

Check: CAT preparation books

3. Dominating Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

DILR necessitates logical thinking and swift decision-making.

Regularly tackle puzzles, data interpretation sets, and logical reasoning questions. Develop techniques for efficient problem analysis and resolution. 

  • Keeping in view the past records, this section of LR & DI is considered to be a difficult nut to crack and hence requires a tough grind to be done from the side of candidates. 
  • For this, it is advisable to thoroughly go through the previous year's CAT question papers. 

Check: CAT Exam Syllabus

Mock Tests and Result Analysis 

  • Regular Mock Test Sessions: Replicate the actual exam environment through consistent full-length mock tests.
  • This cultivates time management skills, tracks your progress, and pinpoints areas requiring refinement. 
  • Thorough Result Analysis: Post-mock test, meticulously analyze your performance. Recognize patterns of errors, time-consuming sections, and missed questions.
  • Dedicate time to rectifying these shortcomings in subsequent tests. 

Revision

  • Revision: The Game-Changer: Approaching the CAT exam emphasizes comprehensive revision of concepts, formulas, and strategies. Avoid initiating new topics; focus on consolidating existing knowledge. 
  • Maintain Calm and Confidence: Prioritize a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep. A composed and confident mindset significantly influences performance. Positive thinking bolsters your CAT success prospects. 

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series

CAT 2024 Preparation with Coaching Institutes

Below are the benefits associated with CAT coaching if you are planning to attend a coaching institute for the CAT entrance exam 2024: 

  1. Competitive environment to stay focused 
  2. Sufficient study material 
  3. Mock Test series 
  4. Shortcut methods of solving difficult questions 

According to CAT Toppers, passing CAT involves both, i.e. self-study can make a difference, whereas coaching institutes provide a solid foundation, quick idea clarification, and straightforward instruction. 

Check: How to prepare for CAT exam at home?

CAT 2024 Preparation without Coaching Institutes

  • Some CAT experts and previous-year toppers agree that mentoring or joining CAT coaching can help to some extent. However, simply enrolling in a coaching program does not guarantee that you will pass the entrance exam with flying colours. 
  • According to CAT toppers, enrolling in a CAT coaching program is not required in order for a candidate to consider admission to top B-Schools.
  • According to some experts, around 500 hours of dedicated preparation for the CAT 2024 exam will be necessary to achieve peak potential and gain admission to the best B-Schools in India. 

If candidates intend to study independently and without coaching for CAT 2024, they can follow the one-year CAT study plan outlined above in the article. 

Check: CAT 3-month preparation strategy

The path to passing the CAT exam in a year requires unshakable commitment, persistent effort, and smart strategy. Understanding the exam structure, creating a solid study strategy, and prioritising section-specific skills are your pillars of success. Regular mock tests, analysis of results, and diligent last-minute revision boost your confidence and readiness for the big exam day. Your determination and effort will be critical to your CAT exam success. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the CAT Exam Pattern: The CAT exam is divided into three main sections - VARC, QA, and DILR. Familiarity with the exam's structure and marking scheme is essential.
  • 12-Month Study Plan: The one-year preparation is segmented into phases - Foundation, Intensive Learning, Problem-Solving and strategy, and Revision and mock Tests. Each phase has its objectives and focus areas.
  • Importance of Mock Tests: Simulate the real exam environment with regular mock tests. They not only help in time management but also in identifying areas of improvement.
  • Result Analysis: After each mock test, it's imperative to review mistakes, understand time spent on each section, and strategize accordingly for future tests.
  • Revision is Key: As the exam date approaches, shift focus to revision. Consolidate existing knowledge rather than diving into new topics.
  • Coaching Institutes Can Aid Preparation: While self-study is crucial, coaching institutes provide structured material, a competitive environment, mock test series, and shortcut methods.
  • Self-Study Works: Many CAT toppers and experts believe that while coaching can guide, dedicated self-study and personal effort are indispensable for success in the CAT exam.

Check: Job opportunities after CAT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is one year enough for CAT preparation?

Which section is the toughest in the CAT?

How many hours should I study daily?

How often should I take mock tests?

What's the significance of sectional tests?

How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year: A Comprehensive Guide With Study Plan

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

December 26, 2023

SHARE

Summary: Discover tried-and-true methods, industry insights, and a personalized study schedule for every CAT exam section. This article offers a comprehensive 12-month roadmap to crack the CAT efficiently.

CAT is the main requirement for admission into top MBA universities in India, with more than 1,200 B-schools accepting its scores.

As more than 200,000 individuals compete for success in this highly competitive exam annually, having a strong plan is crucial.

So, if you plan on taking the CAT exam and passing it within a year with an excellent score? Here is help!

The article "How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year", provides a comprehensive strategy to successfully prepare for and conquer the CAT exam within a year.

If you are planning to take the CAT exam, have you considered if one year will be sufficient for preparation?

Absolutely! While many students start their CAT preparation two years in advance, one year, if utilized judiciously, can be ample time.

Key elements include understanding the exam pattern, a structured study plan, regular assessments, continuous revisions and an effective study plan described in this article!

How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year?

We know that the CAT 2024 exam is a pathway to the best MBA programs in India.

It attracts a massive number of candidates, making it a fiercely competitive endeavour.

It is recommended that you begin your CAT preparation journey a year in advance to ensure an impressive score and a position in the top-tier B-schools.

In this essay, we will guide you through the most effective study strategy for CAT 2024, which can be completed in one year.

cat 2023 super-30 course

cat 2023 super-30 course

Understanding the CAT Exam Pattern 2024

The CAT exam is divided into three parts: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Ability (QA), and Data interpretation & Logical reasoning (DILR).

To pass the CAT exam, you must understand these areas thoroughly and develop the necessary skills for each and practise mocks for each of these sections. 

Take a look at the number of questions and respective marks for each of these sections tabulated below: 

CAT Exam Pattern 2024 - Sections Total No. of Questions CAT Exam Pattern 2024 - MCQs TITA Questions CAT Exam Marks Pattern Duration
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 21 3 72 40 min
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) 20 14 6 60 40 min
Quantitative Ability (QA) 22 14 8 66 40 min
Total 66 49 17 198 120 (2 hours)

Check: Can I crack CAT exam in 6 months?

Approach for How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year?

A year is enough to familiarize yourself with the CAT syllabus, practice extensively, and hone problem-solving skills.

With a focused approach, this timeline ensures depth and breadth of preparation, eliminating the need for last-minute cramming.

Monthly Breakdown: A 12-Month Study Plan

Here's a timetable you can follow for 1 year: 

CAT Preparation Strategy for 1 year: Months 1-3: Foundation Phase
Basics and concepts Start with understanding the basics of all three sections. Strengthen your foundational concepts, which will make tackling advanced topics easier.
VARC Basic grammar rules, vocabulary, and reading diverse articles. Reading Comprehension: 2 passages daily.
DILR Basic DI sets, puzzles, and arrangements. Cover basic arithmetic concepts. Practice complex DI sets and intricate logical reasoning problems.
QA Cover basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
CAT Preparation Timetable 1 year: Months 4-6: Intensive Learning Phase
Dive deeper into complex topics Understand intricate topics, practice advanced problems, and engage in group discussions for better clarity. Start attempting monthly mocks to gauge your progress and adjust your study strategy accordingly.
VARC Focus on critical reasoning and advanced reading comprehension passages.
DILR Cover advanced arithmetic.
QA Delve deeper into advanced algebra, mensuration, and trigonometry.
Months 7-9: Problem-Solving and Strategy Phase
Identifying weak areas Assess mock test scores, focus on your weaker areas, and aim for balanced preparation across all sections. Developing time management skills: Practice timed sectional tests to optimize your speed and accuracy for the final CAT exam.
Months 10-12: Revision and Mock Tests Phase
Scheduled mock tests and analysis Intensify mock test frequency. Post each test, analyze mistakes and work on them.
Final touch-ups and concepts clarity Revise every topic, clarify lingering doubts, and ensure a robust conceptual understanding.
Emphasis on CAT Mocks Mocks simulate the actual CAT exam and are instrumental in assessing your preparedness. The more mocks you attempt, the better equipped you'll be for D-day.

Check:  Is CAT compulsory for MBA?

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

How to prepare for CAT exam in 1 year for all 3 Sections

Each section requires distinct preparation strategies and focuses. Let's take a look at the strategies to implement. 

Section-wise mastery

1. Conquering Quantitative Ability (QA)

QA demands strong mathematical foundations.

Engage with topics like algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and number systems. Consistent problem-solving practice will enhance accuracy and speed. 

  • Basic-level mathematics preparation is a must to score in this section of QA. 
  • Major topics of the QA section include questions about seating arrangements, number systems, profit and loss, geometry, blood relations, etc. 
  • Practising mock tests for the section will be more beneficial. 
  • At the time of solving QA questions, candidates avoid using calculators. 

Check: CAT Exam Pattern

2. Excelling in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Elevate your vocabulary and comprehension skills for VARC.

Regular reading of newspapers, novels, and articles enhances your reading speed and understanding. Tackle previous CAT papers to comprehend question styles. 

  • Candidates can develop vocabulary skills by regular reading habits and exploring different topics of CAT with major details. 
  • Go through journals, blog posts, articles, podcasts, etc., to improve this section. 
  • Practice topics like inferences, comprehensions and para jumbles 

Check: CAT preparation books

3. Dominating Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

DILR necessitates logical thinking and swift decision-making.

Regularly tackle puzzles, data interpretation sets, and logical reasoning questions. Develop techniques for efficient problem analysis and resolution. 

  • Keeping in view the past records, this section of LR & DI is considered to be a difficult nut to crack and hence requires a tough grind to be done from the side of candidates. 
  • For this, it is advisable to thoroughly go through the previous year's CAT question papers. 

Check: CAT Exam Syllabus

Mock Tests and Result Analysis 

  • Regular Mock Test Sessions: Replicate the actual exam environment through consistent full-length mock tests.
  • This cultivates time management skills, tracks your progress, and pinpoints areas requiring refinement. 
  • Thorough Result Analysis: Post-mock test, meticulously analyze your performance. Recognize patterns of errors, time-consuming sections, and missed questions.
  • Dedicate time to rectifying these shortcomings in subsequent tests. 

Revision

  • Revision: The Game-Changer: Approaching the CAT exam emphasizes comprehensive revision of concepts, formulas, and strategies. Avoid initiating new topics; focus on consolidating existing knowledge. 
  • Maintain Calm and Confidence: Prioritize a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep. A composed and confident mindset significantly influences performance. Positive thinking bolsters your CAT success prospects. 

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series

CAT 2024 Preparation with Coaching Institutes

Below are the benefits associated with CAT coaching if you are planning to attend a coaching institute for the CAT entrance exam 2024: 

  1. Competitive environment to stay focused 
  2. Sufficient study material 
  3. Mock Test series 
  4. Shortcut methods of solving difficult questions 

According to CAT Toppers, passing CAT involves both, i.e. self-study can make a difference, whereas coaching institutes provide a solid foundation, quick idea clarification, and straightforward instruction. 

Check: How to prepare for CAT exam at home?

CAT 2024 Preparation without Coaching Institutes

  • Some CAT experts and previous-year toppers agree that mentoring or joining CAT coaching can help to some extent. However, simply enrolling in a coaching program does not guarantee that you will pass the entrance exam with flying colours. 
  • According to CAT toppers, enrolling in a CAT coaching program is not required in order for a candidate to consider admission to top B-Schools.
  • According to some experts, around 500 hours of dedicated preparation for the CAT 2024 exam will be necessary to achieve peak potential and gain admission to the best B-Schools in India. 

If candidates intend to study independently and without coaching for CAT 2024, they can follow the one-year CAT study plan outlined above in the article. 

Check: CAT 3-month preparation strategy

The path to passing the CAT exam in a year requires unshakable commitment, persistent effort, and smart strategy. Understanding the exam structure, creating a solid study strategy, and prioritising section-specific skills are your pillars of success. Regular mock tests, analysis of results, and diligent last-minute revision boost your confidence and readiness for the big exam day. Your determination and effort will be critical to your CAT exam success. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the CAT Exam Pattern: The CAT exam is divided into three main sections - VARC, QA, and DILR. Familiarity with the exam's structure and marking scheme is essential.
  • 12-Month Study Plan: The one-year preparation is segmented into phases - Foundation, Intensive Learning, Problem-Solving and strategy, and Revision and mock Tests. Each phase has its objectives and focus areas.
  • Importance of Mock Tests: Simulate the real exam environment with regular mock tests. They not only help in time management but also in identifying areas of improvement.
  • Result Analysis: After each mock test, it's imperative to review mistakes, understand time spent on each section, and strategize accordingly for future tests.
  • Revision is Key: As the exam date approaches, shift focus to revision. Consolidate existing knowledge rather than diving into new topics.
  • Coaching Institutes Can Aid Preparation: While self-study is crucial, coaching institutes provide structured material, a competitive environment, mock test series, and shortcut methods.
  • Self-Study Works: Many CAT toppers and experts believe that while coaching can guide, dedicated self-study and personal effort are indispensable for success in the CAT exam.

Check: Job opportunities after CAT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is one year enough for CAT preparation?

Which section is the toughest in the CAT?

How many hours should I study daily?

How often should I take mock tests?

What's the significance of sectional tests?

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