CAT Preparation 2024

Key Approaches, Exam Pattern & Syllabus, Study Plan, Coaching, Self Study, Section-Wise Strategy, Month-Wise Strategy

Updated on 20th April 2024 | 3:17 pm | #CATPreparation2024

Aspiring CAT candidates aim to excel in the exam and secure admission to a top B-school. To achieve this, they must first establish a robust CAT preparation strategy. The fundamental areas to concentrate on in CAT preparation 2024 are as follows:

  • Understanding the exam pattern and syllabus
  • Establishing the fundamental concepts
  • Giving time to each section individually
  • Create and follow a study plan thoroughly
  • Attempting mock tests and analyzing them
  • Reviewing past years’ papers

Focusing on these key areas in CAT preparation can establish a strong foundation and improve the chances of success in the exam. While this is not an exhaustive list of preparation tips to be followed, it allows you to begin preparing and molding your CAT preparation strategy accordingly.

Start preparing for CAT 2024

CAT Preparation Strategy: Key Approaches for Success

Create a structured study plan by setting monthly goals for each section of the CAT exam. These milestones will help you stay motivated and on track during your CAT preparation.

CAT Preparation Tips: Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Owing to the pandemic, the CAT exam has seen various changes in the exam pattern. Thus, the initial step toward cracking CAT 2024 is to understand the exam pattern and syllabus. CAT 2024 is expected to be on the same lines as CAT 2023. The number of questions has remained consistent for the past two years and so has the time duration of the exam. So it is imperative to analyze the pattern and syllabus to attempt the paper accurately.

Given below is the exam pattern and syllabus for guidance.


No. of Questions

Time Allotted

Main Topics

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)


40 minutes

RC passages, Inferences, Summary, Para jumbles, etc.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)


40 minutes

Graphs, charts, syllogism, arrangements, etc.

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)


40 minutes

Algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, probability, etc.

CAT Syllabus 2024

CAT Preparation Strategy: Create Your Own Study Plan

When deciding how to prepare for the CAT exam, aspiring candidates should carefully consider their individual needs and goals. Success in the CAT exam preparation requires dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline to secure a high percentile and gain admission to a prestigious IIM.

Candidates must solidify their foundational knowledge, maintain a consistent study routine, utilize reliable study materials, and participate in regular mock exams. Excelling in CAT preparation is a challenging endeavor that requires honing one's abilities through independent study or professional guidance.

CAT Preparation Strategy: Online Coaching Programs

CAT exam preparation usually spans nine to 10 months, and coaching classes can be beneficial even for candidates with limited time, aiding in accelerating the preparation process and reaching the desired level of proficiency.

All in all, a coaching institute can make it easy for candidates to study and prepare in the right direction. All the focus of the candidate can be on preparations without worrying about the best resources or updates regarding the exam.

CAT Preparation Strategy: Self-Study Approach

Preparing for the CAT exam independently provides candidates with a significant amount of freedom. They can tailor their strategies and timelines to align with their individual needs. Self-paced CAT preparation is centered on personal requirements when studying individually.

Thus, if a candidate chooses to self-study, they can practice by themself without any pressure of competing with others. However, studying without coaching classes will require the candidate to do all the analysis, review and implement plans by themselves. So to save time the aspirants can consider opting for a blend of self-study and coaching programs.

CAT Preparation Strategy: Section-Specific Approach

For CAT exam preparation, it's essential to adopt distinct approaches for each section, considering their respective weightage. Here are some tips for section-specific CAT preparation:

Section-wise CAT Preparation: VARC

CAT 2024 is expected to have 24 questions in the VARC section, with 16 focusing on Reading Comprehension and 8 on Verbal Ability. The Reading Comprehension part will likely include 4 passages with 4 questions each, while Verbal Ability may have questions on para jumbles, para completion, odd one out, or para summary. Strong English skills, including grammar and vocabulary, are crucial for excelling in this section. Here are some tips for VARC preparation:

Read in detail: How to prepare for CAT VARC

Section-wise CAT Preparation: DILR

CAT 2024 is expected to have a similar pattern to CAT 2023. This section consists of 20 questions divided into 4 sets of 5 questions each. Understanding the syllabus is essential for DILR preparation, as it typically includes questions on various topics such as linear and matrix arrangements, blood relations, family trees, directions, coding-decoding, sequence and series, syllogisms, and analogies. Here are some steps to help you prepare for DILR:

Read in detail: How to prepare for CAT DILR

Section-wise CAT Preparation: QA

The Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section emphasizes Mathematics, demanding extensive practice of questions and memorization of fundamental equations. With reference to CAT 2023, this section encompasses topics like the number system, percentages, profit and loss, probability, and mensuration. Anticipating CAT 2024, this section is projected to feature 22 questions predominantly focused on algebra and arithmetic, complemented by questions from geometry, the number system, and other areas. Here's how you can excel in the CAT 2024 QA section:

Read in detail: How to prepare for CAT QA

CAT Preparation Strategy: Month-Wise Study Plan

Breaking down the preparation strategy month-wise will allow you to focus on the syllabus at hand and help cover the CAT syllabus systematically. It will also function as a milestone to observe and mark your progress throughout the months leading to CAT.

CAT Preparation from February to May

The first leg of the journey is identifying the syllabus and marking the most important topics frequently asked in the exam. You can start with your weak areas and build the foundation for the basics. Devote time to each section throughout the week.

CAT Preparation in June and July

For candidates just beginning their CAT preparation or looking to strengthen it, the months of June and July will focus on going over the basic concepts of each section and identifying weak areas.

You will attempt and analyze one full-length mock which will help you work better on the areas that require improvement. Overall, you should divide the days into section-based revisions and preparation. Ensure that you dedicate individual time to each section every week.

CAT Preparation in August and September

The objective in these two months would be to gain complete familiarity with the areas, topics, concepts, and types of questions in CAT. This can be achieved through a simple method called C.A.T Funda i.e. Concepts, Application & Tests

CAT Preparation in October

There are 3 basic things that one needs to do in October:

CAT Preparation in November

The last few days before CAT should be used for the final assessment of the CAT exam preparation. Here one has to take up selective revision, take additional sectional tests, write original CAT papers, and finalize the exam strategy.

After every mock, a thorough analysis of each of the sections, zeroing in on the problem areas, working towards eliminating these problem areas, and most importantly strengthening the mental ability to crack this exam would be the main requirements in November.

Customize your CAT Preparation Strategy

Ultimately, the most effective approach to CAT preparation is to devise your own strategy. While others may offer their preparation strategies, it's essential to stay true to your unique strengths and approach the exam as an assessment of aptitude rather than a traditional academic test. During the final phase of your preparations, prioritize taking frequent mock exams and enhancing your performance. Have confidence in your dedication and believe in your capabilities. Trust in yourself and commence your CAT exam preparation without delay.

Also Read: How to improve your percentile in CAT mocks?


The first step to starting your preparation for CAT is to decide whether you wish to take CAT classes or prepare by yourself. Then you devise a study plan, work on the fundamentals and begin practising with mock tests.

Many coaching institutes and CAT experts offer advice and guidance on their Youtube channels. You can click here to get guidance through Career Launchers’ channel.

Preparing for CAT without coaching is possible. However, it requires a lot of self-discipline, time, and commitment to develop a study plan, identify the best study material, and constantly monitor your progress.

Irrespective of your weakest or strongest section in CAT, if you clear the sectional and overall CAT cut-off along with the following admission rounds, you can get admission to a college of your choice.

To improve your performance in the quants section, you can follow the given steps:

  • Review previous papers and understand the paper pattern and syllabus.
  • Mark the most frequently asked type of questions and topics.
  • Cover your syllabus in that order to maximize progress and minimize effort.
  • You can start with arithmetic, to begin with, then move on to algebra and geometry in this order.

People who score the 99th percentile or aim for it, have an exam strategy set out for them which they consistently modify and change based on their preparation. For candidates who wish to reach the 99th percentile, here is a strategy that can be implemented:

  • Understand the exam pattern and identify the syllabus
  • Give mocks regularly and analyze them diligently
  • For Quant, polish your basics for arithmetic and practise regularly
  • Reading newspapers, books and magazines will improve vocabulary
  • Get into the habit of solving puzzles similar to those in CAT
  • Study daily for at least 2-3 hours consistently

Suggested Readings

CAT 2024 Top MBA Colleges in India Free CAT Mocks CAT Syllabus Best books for CAT Preparation