What is CAT?
CAT is the common abbreviation used for the Common Admission Test. It is conducted by one of the famed Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) for providing admission to its students and other renowned business schools. It is a computer-based exam.
The scores are calculated in percentile as well as the number of marks scored. Almost all the IIMs consider CAT marks although the weightage of the exam may depend on the concerned institute. CAT is one of the most challenging exams in India and has a very large number of participants, hence, calls for competition.
As it is said that before entering the battlefield, you should know the battlefield, let’s check out the CAT exam details and scores you should target to rank amongst the top and win admission to your dream B-school.
Top institutes considering CAT scores
CAT is such a reputed exam that almost all the best business schools accept its evaluation and give admission according to your score in the exam. Some of the elite runners other than the Indian Institutes of Management in such cases are Faculty of Management Studies, (FMS) New Delhi, JBIMS Mumbai, Management Development Institute, (MDI) Gurgaon, International Management Institute (IMI) New Delhi, Institute of Management Technology, (IMT) Ghaziabad, XIM-Xavier University Bhubaneswar, SPJIMR Mumbai, IIT BOMBAY Mumbai, and Department of Management Studies (IIT Delhi) New Delhi.
But to get admission in these institutes is quite a challenge and you need to score more than the average marks and prepare extensively for the same. So, let’s see the acceptable range of marks and the best scores for your admission to your favourite B-school.
Good and Best Marks
The score followed is percentile-based which gives you a picture of where one stands against the other participants of the exam. To determine a good CAT score, you must consider the B-school you are considering to take up in the future.
To get the Top Tier B-schools, you should score above 200 in the full question paper and the marks across all the sections should be at least 75, which brings you to above 99.8 percentile. This range of marks is considered the best in the lot.
For the next group of Second Tier business schools, you need to score at least 120 marks with the sectional performance of at least 40 in each one of them, which brings us to nearly 90 percentile and can be considered as decent marks and good in some cases.
The last or Third Tier business schools accept students who score around 100 marks and with the sectional marking of at least 30, which brings us to 85 and above percentile. This should be considered as the minimum target as the B-schools below this mark are not ideal for exceptional business and management studies.
How to Prepare?
Arranged according to the time left where point one is for least time left and last is for the most time left, you can accordingly strategize your studies for better performance.
- Take A Mock Test: Mock tests are one the most important elements as they expose you to the real exam scenario and prepare you practically for the D day. You can get many mock tests online and from old bookstores. Even many coaching institutes organize mock tests too. While taking mock tests, you need to take care of the time limit so that you get the true experience of a time-bound examination. Additionally, you can solve previous year’s papers so that you are able to gauge the difficulty of the exam.
- Time Management: Time management is the most important aspect of taking exams as they decide the fate between the best school and the second-best school. You may know all the answers to all the questions, but if you fail to get the right answers on time, you may lose your opportunity. Time management is also important so that you are able to attend all the questions from the question paper and not lose out any question unattended because it may happen that the question you left due to the shortage of time, was the easiest of the lot.
- Use Technology: Technology is growing day by day, and gadgets are becoming more and more advanced, you can take advantage of this opportunity and prepare for your exam using online resources. You can use your computer to simulate the online exam and practice according to the original test taken by the IIMs. You can also get a lot of free study material and books online for your preparation. Some of the websites provide free coaching too which you can benefit from. These have one more plus point that in online coaching, you do not have to go anywhere and can attend the class from home anytime and anywhere.
- Get Right Study Material: Choosing the most appropriate study materials is also important since someone may find some book interesting, while others may struggle with its language. Hence, it is important that you carefully consider your book’s
- Know the Exam Pattern: The CAT exam consists of 3 sections. Total marks of the question paper are 300, and each section is of 100 marks. To get a great B-school, you need to score at least 200 marks. The three sections of the question papers are Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, And Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. These sections consist of questions they go by their names, i.e. the first section comprises questions based on your mathematical skills and evaluates your efficiency with numbers. The second section comprises of logical reasoning questions and verbal reasoning questions. And the final section deals with your language skills associated with the English language.
Wish you a happy preparation, and may you get your dream B-school
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