CAT Preparation in 6 Months: Preparation Tips, Best Books

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CAT Preparation in 6 Months

CAT Preparation in 6 Months: The CAT 2024 exam is all set to be conducted tentatively in November. The CAT exam is held for all the candidates who want to take admission to one of the most prestigious institutes in India, IIMs. It is most likely that this year the CAT exam will be conducted by IIM Calcutta. The registration process for the upcoming CAT management exam for MBA program will most likely commence in the first week of August. With only 6 months left for the upcoming CAT exam to take place, candidates must buckle up and start preparing an exam strategy to be able to crack the CAT exam in just one go! Keep reading this paper to learn all about how you can prepare for CAT in just 6 months.

Full NameCommon Admission Test
Exam Duration120 Minutes
Sectional Time Limit40 Minutes for each Section
Exam LevelNational Level
Exam PatternComputer Based Test with MCQs
Number of Questions66
Total Marks198
Exam MediumEnglish
Number of Cities155
Exam FrequencyOnce a year

How to Prepare for CAT in 6 Months: April-October

If you are looking for preparation tips for the CAT exam in the next 6 months, then here are some tips and tricks that you must keep in mind. 

  • Focus on completing the syllabus, understanding concepts and fundamentals

If you are a fresher, you must start by solving Class 9 and 10 Maths. By doing so, it will help you in cracking the Quantitative Aptitude section in the paper. Dedicate the next two months to understanding the syllabus, creating an exam strategy, and understanding concepts, formulas and shortcuts to crack the CAT paper. To give your best, you must also refer to some of the books recommended by some of the toppers to help you understand the syllabus and topics in detail. 

  • Mock tests and sample papers

Once your fundamentals are clear, start solving all previous year’s question papers to test your knowledge. Focus on testing your knowledge, and rigorously practice mock tests and question papers. However, make sure that the quantity does not compromise on quality. By practising several question papers, one will become prepared for a surprise question in the CAT exam. 

Best Books for CAT Preparation in 6 Months

Selecting and studying the right books is very important to be able to get through the CAT exam. Check out the table below for the list of best books for CAT preparation.

Book Name Author/Publisher Name
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CATArun Sharma
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CATSharma and Upadhyay
PSC for VA for CATNishit Sinha
High School English Grammar & CompositionWren & Martin 

Timetable for CAT Preparation in 6 Months

If you are preparing to study for the upcoming CAT paper in November, then here is a quick timetable on the exam strategy that you must follow. 

Month 1Begin Your Preparation
Go through the editorial sectionEquip yourself with the syllabusPrepare an exam strategy
Month 2Continue studying with QA, VARC
Go through all the syllabus and topics that need to be studied
Month 3Complete studying for Quantitative Aptitude
Complete your preparation for Quantitative Aptitude
Month 4Complete Logical Reasoning Syllabus
Finish studying coding and decoding, fill in the blanks, critical reasoning, sentence correction etc
Month 5Complete syllabus for DI
Finish studying Tables, Pie Charts, Bar charts, Data Sufficiency etc.
Final DaysStart Revision and Solve Past Year’s Papers

How to Prepare for CAT without Coaching in 6 Months?

Cracking the CAT exam without coaching or guidance can be tough but not impossible. If you are planning to crack the CAT exam without coaching then these are the steps that you must follow:

  • Investigate: Begin by learning all the CAT syllabus, and figure out the sections based on which you will be judged. Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and prepare an exam strategy.
  • Strategy: Practice regularly, focus on topics that you are good at and master them more and finally prepare a study plan.
  • Revision and Practice: Plan your study plan way ahead, get into the habit of reading good books and editorials to master the VARC section, set goals for yourself and practice question papers. 

CAT Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme 2024

All candidates preparing for the upcoming CAT examination should be aware of the CAT exam pattern before preparing an exam strategy. One should note that the CAT exam follows a multiple-choice question (MCQ) format. Students will be judged from the VARC, DILR, and QA sections during the CAT exam duration. Here is the CAT exam pattern for your convenience.

  • The CAT examination is held in three sessions. 
  • The CAT exam paper is divided into three sections – VARC, DILR, and QA.
  • The paper lasts for 120 minutes
  • A total number of 66 questions are there. 
  • A time limit of 40 minutes is allocated for each section.
  • All candidates will get to score 3 marks for each correct answer.
  • While 1 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer, no negative marking for an unattempted answer. 
  • The maximum achievable score in the CAT 2024 exam is 198.
  • Attempting all questions is not necessary.

Below is the exam pattern for the entire CAT exam which candidates should note and be aware of before starting with the preparation of the exam. 

CAT Exam SectionsNo. of QuestionsDifficulty Level
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)24Moderate to High
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (DLRI)20Moderate
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)22High

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Is CAT easier than CMAT?CAT, XAT, MAT Exams: Which One is Easier?


Is 6 months enough to prepare for CAT?

Yes, 6-8 months are more than enough to prepare for the CAT management exam.

How much time is sufficient to prepare for the CAT exam?

Giving yourself 6-8 months and dedicating 6-7 hours daily to preparing is more than enough to crack the CAT exam.

Is cracking the CAT exam tough?

Speaking on the difficulty level of the CAT exam as compared to other management exams then yes, the CAT exam is a bit on the difficult level as compared to others and can be quite difficult to clear. 

This was all about the “CAT preparation in 6 months”. For more informative blogs, check out our Management Exams Section, or you can learn more about us by visiting our Indian exams page.

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