How to Prepare for CAT Entrance Exam 2023

The CAT exam is a national-level management entrance exam held by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admission into more than 100 business schools and 20 IIMs. 

It is a computer-based exam held every year in over 400 test centers across India. Moreover, it is a two-hour exam that comprises multiple-choice questions and non-multiple-choice questions and it certainly is important because it is a gateway to the best business schools in India.

What’s New? Updated CAT Exam Pattern

According to the latest exam pattern, the candidate can expect a total of 66 questions, divided into three sections, namely verbal ability and comprehension, data interpretation & logical reasoning, and quantitative aptitude.

Furthermore, the notification of the exam in 2023 is expected to be revealed or updated in July or August. It is most likely going to be held on the last Sunday of November, i.e. on 26th November 2023. 

Full Form of CATCommon Admission Test
Date of Exam26th November 2023 (tentative date)
Month of ResultJanuary 2024
Exam FeeINR 2,200 for general category applicants INR 1,100 for reserved category applicants
Eligibility criteriaGraduates with an aggregate of 50% for general category applicants. However, for SC and ST applicants an aggregate of 45% is acceptable.
Mode of applicationOnline
Syllabus•Verbal ability and reading comprehension or VARC
•Data interpretation (DI) and logical reasoning (LR)
•Quantitative aptitude or QA

How to Prepare for the CAT Exam 2023

Firstly, an applicant preparing for the CAT exam 2023 requires a proper strategy, general aptitude, analytical skills or abilities, and problem-solving skills. 

Secondly, patience in addition to dedication also plays a crucial role in clearing the exam.

Additionally, you also need to work on your timing because you are allotted only 40 minutes per section. Therefore, time management is a vital skill to have.

Below are a few tips on how you can prepare for the CAT exam 

1. Prepare a schedule for the preparation

Most importantly, to crack any exam, you need to follow a bulletproof schedule. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend studying. However, your dedication and sincerity also play an equally important role. 

Moreover, as long as your concepts are clear and you take out 2 hours every day, you will be set. Therefore, quality defeats quantity.

2. Refer to the syllabus and books

Firstly, you should not skip the CAT Exam syllabus and recommended books by CAT.  In other words, the syllabus acts as a guide on which topics to cover whereas certain CAT books by Arun Sharma, Nishit Sinha, or Gautam Puri are essential to cracking the exam.

3. Join a coaching class/ online learning platform

Most certainly, the benefit of joining coaching classes or online learning platforms is that you have access to tutorials, videos, and study material, in addition to other resources that will complement your preparation. 

Moreover, you also can clear your doubts face-to-face which is important to optimize learning.

Let us take a look at some of the best online learning platforms for the CAT Exam:

Physics Wallah

Physics Wallah is a revolutionary platform that provides quality education and updated resources at an affordable price.
The USPs/ program highlights of the classes offered by Physics Wallah  are:

  • Specialized courses for all undergraduates to crack the exam
  • Focused coaching for all sections of the exam
  • Live sessions by top industry experts.
  • Moreover, the average experience of the faculty is 12 years who got +99 percentile in CAT
  • You also have access to endless videos, tutorials, and study material along with past papers and mock tests to help you 

Career Launcher

Career launcher is an ed-tech platform that focuses on diverse segments of education to help students and aspirants achieve quality education. Moreover, it offers pocket-friendly courses and diverse teaching material.

Some of the key highlights of their program are:

  • Systematic syllabus coverage
  • Interactive study  sessions with industry experts
  • Mock Test Series and doubt-clearing classes via Telegram or chat rooms
  • You also have access to recorded lectures of live sessions
  • Moreover, you can practice with topic tests and sectional tests


BYJUS is a multinational ed-tech company that offers effective learning programs for CAT aspirants and is also quite popular among many aspirants.

Some of their program highlights are as follows:

  • Comprehensive preparations and training
  • Access to study notes and past papers
  • You can also attend live class sessions 
  • Engaging videos for your preparations

4. Practice with the help of mock tests and past papers

Past papers and mock tests certainly allow you to identify your strong suits and areas of improvement. Moreover, you also understand the exam pattern and repeated questions. 

Therefore, your best and safest bet to score well in the exam is with the help of the previous year question papers.

Time yourself often

Because time plays a crucial role in the CAT exam therefore you should time yourself when solving mock tests and previous question papers. 

Each section comprises 40 minutes, therefore when practicing try to answer as many questions as you can to score more points. 

To clarify, each correct answer garners 3 points whereas a wrong answer costs you a mark/ point. Therefore, when attempting past papers or mock tests, put on the timer and see how many questions you can answer in the given time frame.


In conclusion, the CAT exam is a vital exam to get into the best business schools or institutions in India. Although many believe this exam to be strenuous and tough, with the help of the right learning platforms, tools, and resources, you can ace the exam and get into your dream college or institute.

Moreover, with proper effort and time management, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Furthermore, it is essential to remember that preparation is the key to success. 

Additionally, it is recommended that aspirants prepare well in advance and always refer to the syllabus and past papers to guide them through their preparation period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 When should you start preparing for CAT 2023?

Ans 1. You need at least six months to a year to prepare for the CAT exam in 2023. However, it does not matter how much time you put into preparing for the exam but how well you understand a topic.

Therefore, some aspirants can clear the exam with two to three months of proper preparation whereas other aspirants need up to a year.

In conclusion, it all boils down to the quality of preparation, not the quantity because if you don’t understand and grasp what you are studying then it is of no use.

Q2. Which book is best for the CAT exam 2023?

Ans 2. 

  • The best book for Verbal ability and comprehension is ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension’ by Arun Sharma, in addition to Norman Lewis’ book.
  • For data interpretation (DI) and logical reasoning, you can refer to Gautam Puri’s book in addition to R.S. Agarwal’s book.
  • For quantitative aptitude, you should refer to Nishit Sinha’s or Arun Sharma’s book. Similarly, Sarvesh Varma’s book is also good.

Q3. How should I start preparing for CAT?

Ans 3. The best way to prepare is certainly with the help of the syllabus, study material, and past papers. Similarly, it is best to make time every day to study. Ideally, three to six hours a day is recommended.

  • Firstly, start with a subject you feel most confident in and then move on to other topics/ subjects. After completing each topic or subject, refer to a past paper and mock tests to test your knowledge.
  • Lastly, If you feel you need more time to study a topic, you can take out time and suitable resources to work on them.

In conclusion, several factors play a crucial role in your success.

Q4. Is there an age limit to appear for the CAT exam?

Ans- Firstly, there is no age limit to appear for the CAT exam. However, there are eligibility criteria that you can refer to on IIMs official website.

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