last minute preparation tips for cat 2023
Home CAT (Common Admission Test) Last Minute Preparation Tips & Tricks for CAT Exam 2023

Last Minute Preparation Tips & Tricks for CAT Exam 2023

Dec 11, 2023 1.2K Reads

The CAT Exam is about to be held very soon this year on 26th November 2023, Sunday, in three sessions by IIM Lucknow and the admit card will be available for download on 7th November. This year, the CAT examination 2023 will be conducted in 155 Cities Hence, there are few days left to prepare for the CAT Exam. Well, preparing for the exam is itself a big challenge but making a strategy for the last few days and implementing it is essential as well. But before getting into the tips, here are some quick updates related to the CAT Examination. 

CAT Examination 

CAT  2023 will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow. The registration for the examination started on 2nd August till 13th September 2023. Now that the registration for CAT 2023 is closed and now all the candidates are ready to take their examination on 26 November 2023 Sunday.  CAT (Common Admission Test) is essential for students who dream of pursuing higher education from India’s top management B-Schools.

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This examination is conducted to get admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other Management institutes. Clearing CAT gives a direct path to get into top-tier Management Schools, be it IIMs or any other management schools. 

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Management post-graduate diplomas, executive MBA programs, MS in Management, Masters of Management Studies (MMS), PhD and many more. CAT, is the toughest examination in India and requires a lot of hard work and preparation. However, clearing the examination just by doing lots of hard work is not possible. You have to work smartly to clear the examination. 

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Important Updates of CAT 2023

Registration for CAT 2023 Starts

02 August 2023 (10.00 am)

Registration for CAT 2023 Ends

13 September 2023 (5.00 pm)

Admit Card Release Date 

07 November 2023

CAT 2023 Examination Date

26 November 2023, Sunday

Sections in CAT Examination

The CAT exam has a basic pattern that is wisely divided into three sections- 

  • Section 1- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension(VARC)
  • Section 2- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning(DI & LR)
  • Section 3- Quantitative Ability(QA)

These questions can be in MCQ form along with some non-MCQ forms. For better understanding, students can check the previous year's papers. Candidates get 40 minutes in each section and they cannot jump to other sections in between. They have to complete the section in the stipulated time frame and then they can move to the next section.

Note that the Students can get the tutorial on the CAT Website to thoroughly understand the examination pattern before the final exam. Make sure you work on such tutorials available in advance that can help in avoiding a last-minute rush.

Here is the examination pattern with the number of questions based on the last year's CAT Exam. 

Section Number

CAT Sections

MCQ Questions

Non-MCQ Questions

Time Allotted 

Total Questions

Section 1 

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension



40 Mins

24 Questions

Section 2

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning



40 Mins 

20 Questions

Section 3 

Quantitative Ability(QA)



40 Mins

22 Questions

Preparation tips for CAT 2023

Now that there are a few days left for the final examination of CAT, we have some useful tips that could be a saviour for you. Following these tips can help you crack the CAT on the first attempt. The preparation phase is over now and it's time to prepare with last-minute tips and tricks that can save you many marks in the CAT 2023.

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Making strategies for these last days can greatly impact your overall score. So don’t miss it. Today, in this blog we have some last-minute tips and hacks that nearly every topper follows. Let’s look at these tips by toppers for cracking CAT 2023.

  1. Time management -The CAT examination is comprised of 120 minutes and you only get 40 minutes for each section. While attempting one section, students cannot jump to another section. Complete one section in 40 minutes and move to the next section. Therefore, has to attempt around 66 questions in 120 minutes of time slot. Now apart from other factors, time management is essential of all. As it specifies your number of attempts and score. Time management is as important as studying the whole syllabus. But the question arises as to how to do time management in the CAT exam.

 Here are a few effective practices that students can follow for better time management. 

  1. Give only 2-3 minutes to one question- Read the question mindfully once with full concentration and try to solve it within 2 minutes. Do not spend more time on one question, especially in the reading section, which might take longer time to read and can cost you a lot of time. Also, many times you might find the answer if you give time more to a question, so mark such doubtful questions and move ahead. Make sure to follow the same pattern of 2 min/ question while practising Mock. This technique will improve your number of attempts and your score will increase simultaneously.
  2. Attempt section in two rounds- Do not try to attempt all questions in one go. Instead, attempt the questions in two rounds. Attempt the questions that are short & easy for you and take only 30 seconds or 1 minute. Leave all the long and complex questions in the first round. After the first round of good attempts, you will be at ease and will be able to do other questions with better concentration. This is another popular trick of attempting CAT by toppers. 
  3. Leave tough and lengthy Questions- Always hop on simple and easy questions, this simple tip can be very beneficial for you.
  4. Revision is a must- After attempting the maximum questions of one section, revise them. Many times, in the hustle, candidates mark wrong answers. Revision helps to minimize silly mistakes and errors. And 1 wrong answer can cost you admission to IIM.


  1. Speed with accuracy is a must- the CAT exam is all about time management along with accuracy. It tests your aptitude skills of verbal and reading comprehension, data interpretation and logical reasoning, and quantitative ability.  Speed is something that can affect the overall score. 


Here are some last-minute tips that can help you a lot-

For Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Regular practice-  VARC requires practice over and over again. To get speed and accuracy in reading comprehension, students are required to practice the questions. In the last few days, you can see the correction of these mocks and this helps you keep alert while attempting paper.
  • Correction of the mock- Practising and attempting mock papers alone will not help much, but instead, correction post-mock is equally essential. It is always advised to make corrections before attempting new mocks.
  • Skimming- The skimming technique can be beneficial while doing reading comprehension. This is the practice of quickly going through the whale passage in one go, to get an overall idea about the topic of the passage. Try to attempt to mock with the same skill.
  • Mark-Link Technique- The Mark and Link Technique can be a life saviour while attempting reading comprehension. In this technique, read the question and pick a word from it, now keep the whole in your mind and start skimming through the passage. The moment you catch the notes word and read that passage. This way, you will be saved from reading the whole passage. 
  • Analytical Reading- it is the comprehension reading with full concentration is called analytical reading. Read the question carefully and then read the passage. This can help you get the answer quickly. Whenever you get the data while reading, mark the lines. 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • Work on the basics- It is quite essential to learn and understand the basics before attempting the questions. Only a student with a strong concept can beat the competition. Work on concepts like averages, ratios and percentages, pi-charts, graph studies, line charts and many more as these are the commonly used topics in CAT DI.
  • Regular Practice- Data Interpretation requires good practice. This section partially requires revision and partial practice. 
  • Short Tricks for Calculation- Mathematical questions can be solved quickly with such tricks. You cannot traditionally solve the question. It is always important to find a shorter way to solve the questions. There are various videos and materials available online on YouTube and the website. The best way to solve mathematical questions is to practice and find the right method for you.
  • Correction of Mocks- After doing questions, make sure to directly do the correction and make short notes for quick revision.
  • Attempt with a timer- While doing DI questions dealing with mathematical calculation, always have a timer, and keep matching the speed. In the beginning,  it can give you stress to match up the speed, but later you will find the right attempt and accuracy, which can impact your overall score as well. 

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Regular practice- It is the most important factor that can decide your marks and All India Rank in CAT 2023.
  • Mock correction-After practice and revision, attempt a mock to get the best out of your practice. And make sure to make corrections to the mock every single day.
  • Important topics- The right strategy to start the revision is to work on important topics first. Grab maximum marks and then jump to minor topics.
  • Focus on weak areas- Depending upon the major and minor weightage topics, sort the topics that are Weak and important. Work on these topics first. Topics like percentages, ratios and many more should be practiced thoroughly.
  • Attempt with timer- With time, after studying all the important topics, make sure to work on attempting mathematical questions with a timer set.
  • Short notes- Always make short notes while preparing for the examination. These notes should be short, concise and easy to study. Also, the notes can be your saviour one day before the final examination.


  1. PYQs are masters- CAT is the toughest exam in India and hard work alone is not enough. To crack this examination, studying with a strategy is essential. Previous year's exam papers can help you to make an amazing strategy. Always keep notes on previous papers.
  2. Quality over Quantity- It is important to understand that CAT is a national-level competitive examination and even one mark can bring a big change in rank and a deduction of one mark can also take you down to many ranks. So while attempting questions to fetch maximum marks always work on attempting questions accurately. Don’t overattempt if you are not 50% sure. It is not necessary to attempt all the questions, but it is essential to do the questions with 90% accuracy. 
  3. Practice Mock- Practicing mock is the primary factor that can decide your admission to the IIM. It gives you the right idea about making a strategy to apply in the actual exam time. You will learn skills like time management, and attempting strategy. While attempting the CAT Mock Examination, make sure to 
    • Attempt to mock with discipline and focus.
    • Always give time to correction after mock
    • Mock is to focus on weak areas and get it better.
    • Attempt the paper at the same time your final paper will be conducted.
    • Make the best out of mock by just attempting one mock a day
    • Take notes of your mistakes and revise as much as you can before your final examination.
    • You can also attempt topic-wise mocks for weaker areas.
    • Do not take many mock test series. One series is enough. Reading study material from various coaching centres, especially in the last few days can backfire.
    • Revision of the study notes before and after attempting mock is a must.
  4. Mindful Preparation- If you have planned to attempt CAT 2023, you have halfway won the battle. But now this half-part journey requires a lot of focus and dedication. Study with full concentration, don’t step back, keep moving. Try to make your first attempt, a success for you. CAT is not just a national-level examination, it is a big journey in itself and that requires your continuous efforts. Keep doing practice regularly for better results.
  5. Quick Notes on Table- Always make notes that can be revised quickly and quickly. The notes should be prepared with the mindset to be read again and again. And try to make notes on your own, as it imbibes deep in your memory. Make the most out of your notes by adding a few things like formulas, important vocabulary and many more. These notes will be helpful in the last few days before your final examination.
  6. Read questions twice- Many students make the mistake of reading questions wrong or misinterpreting them. This silly mistake in CAT is not permissible. It can only be eliminated if you practice the questions every day. Do not hurry while reading the question.
  7. Stress management- Stress is the factor that every CAT Aspirant has faced. It is normal to get stressed, but holding it for a longer time can harm your mental health and your performance in the examination. Here are some tips on how you can fight the CAT Examination Stress. 
  • Understand the exam and syllabus- The primary reason for the stress is the examination itself. And it can get better by knowing the CAT Syllabus and pattern. Once you get an idea about the pattern, make a strategy, and keep working on it. This can help you improve your mock scores and you will feel better too.
  • Plan over Panic-Around 2 lakhs students take the CAT Exam every year and only 2-3% of students get selected out of these, hence the competition is indeed stressful. Make a plan and then start, without a plan, you can lose the battle, as this exam requires hard work along with smart work. 
  • Exercise Daily-Exercise every day for 15-20 minutes, be it yoga, stretching or even dancing. Exercise is a scientifically proven way of decreasing the stress level.
  • Stay Hydrated- Keep yourself hydrated, be at home while giving mock or at the examination hall for the final CAT Exam.
  • Do not get affected by Mock score- Mocks are done to spot the weak areas and work on them at the same time. Mocks help you get better, therefore do not mind the marks in mock examinations as the final day performance in the CAT exam will be the deciding factor.
  • Keep yourself away from distractions- While you are preparing for something big, do not get disturbed by factors like social media, influencers, relatives, or any person. Your preparation is the only thing that can help you the most. Meditate while you feel distracted. Make a do-to list daily to avoid unnecessary stress and distraction.
  1. Use the Elimination technique- The elimination technique helps many students get the right answer. In this, you can eliminate the most unrelatable options from answers and later you can try to get the answer. 
  2. Keep resources limited for revision- Students can study from limited resources and top the CAT Exam. Reading every study material available in the market will not waste your money, but time as well. Rather than reading many books and material, read a book multiple times, to get better with the concepts.
  3.  Reading habit can ease preparation - While the exam tests overall aptitude skills, reading comprehension is a section that can be done smoothly, by regularly having a reading habit of a maximum of 20 mins. This helps students to get better scores in reading comprehension.

Mistakes to avoid in the last days of your CAT Examination 

  • Do not attempt any mock one day before your final exam, instead read your handwritten notes.
  • Do not try to study anything new. Be confident that you have read and learnt a lot and in the last day, focus just on revision.
  • Avoid studying late at night one day before the CAT exam. Examination requires concentration and proper sleep.
  • Refrain from hustling taking complete rest and eating properly.

How to overcome technical glitches

Since CAT is a computer-based examination students sometimes face some technical problems. However, facing such technical problems is not very common and is seen in fewer cases. In such a case, make sure to calm yourself down and call the invigilator in the room.

The issues can be resolved with some help.  Do not panic while you are in the examination hall, the staff appointed at the examination center is trained to help you out and you can trust them with any issue or concern.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

To be successful in CAT 2023 follow the tips-

  • Plan the strategy
  • Create playlist
  • Time and stress management
  • Helpful tips and techniques
  • Work on weak areas
  • Make a timetable
  • Practice mocks regularly

Yes, with the correct strategy and planning, you can easily crack the examination. The examination requires regular practice and correction skills.

The CAT Examination is highly competitive and hence it requires too much effort and dedication. If you are regularly practising, you can get the 99 percentile easily. 

To become toppers find the way that will keep you going. Practice., Read, revise and repeat the same, until you are not getting results, every day. This examination is not tough, it just requires continuous efforts, without fail.

Yes, cracking CAT on the first attempt is not a difficult task and many students clear the exam in one attempt.

Every query is essential.

Our team of experts, or experienced individuals, will answer it within 24 hours.

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