IIM CAT 2021: 10 tips to ace this MBA entrance test with 99+ percentile

With just 3 months left for CAT 2021, only the best approach for CAT exam preparation can help crack it with ease. Check out these ten best tips to crack IIM CAT with 99+ percentile.

IIM CAT 2021: 10 tips to ace this MBA entrance test with 99+ percentile Source: Shutterstock
Prerna Goel | Aug 31, 2021 - 7:06 p.m. IST
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New Delhi: CAT is the top targeted management entrance exam opted by lakhs of candidates every year. IIM Ahmedabad will conduct the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2021 on November 28 as a computer-based test across a number of test cities in India. Candidates aiming for the 99+ percentile in CAT 2021 exam must strengthen their preparation with a thorough understanding of concepts, shortcuts, and other tricks.

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A good CAT percentile along with a decent academic record guarantees admission to IIMs and other prestigious business schools across the country. CAT registrations 2021 are underway and can be done till September 15. As per the CAT exam pattern 2021, the question paper of CAT will have three sections and is expected to have 76 questions just like last year. The CAT VARC and QA will have 26 questions each, while the DILR section will have 24.

What is CAT percentile?

CAT percentile is a relative score that indicates the candidate’s rank as opposed to the rest of the CAT test-takers. In simple words, the CAT percentile is a measure of categorizing a candidate on the basis of other candidates scoring below him/her. For example, if a candidate’s CAT percentile is 99, it means he/ she performed better than 99 percent of the total CAT candidates that year. Here is the estimation table on how much score can fetch you 99+ percentile in CAT.

CAT scaled score

CAT percentile









Top 10 tips to ace CAT 2021 with 99+ percentile

Here are a few tips to crack CAT with 99+ percentile:

1. Focus on time management and accuracy

CAT exam duration is 120 minutes. So you have to solve 76 questions in this stipulated time and that too with accuracy. So how do you achieve accuracy? The answer is to choose questions wisely. To aim 99+ CAT percentile, ensure error-free performance with 1-2 minutes per question. A CAT raw score of 122 must be attained to enter the 99+ category.

2. Limit yourself to the best CAT preparation material

The market is flooded with a number of books for CAT. So do not enter into a dilemma phase and the only study from the toppers recommended books or the ones suggested by your coaching experts. Make sure to choose the latest editions of credible author's books that have rich content quality.

Some of the books that can be referred to are:

Section name

Best CAT books & authors

Quantitative Ability

  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinhaat

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

  • Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis

  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh

3. Practice and analyze

Practice past year CAT question papers, CAT sample papers, CAT mock tests, free online quizzes, and what not. But what is most important is evaluating each and everything you have done. Note your mistakes and work on them before moving forward.

4. Do not use an approach of speed reading in RC

It's always advised to increase your reading speed for solving passages. But what if you will have to read again? RC passages especially in CAT are inference-based. You need to thoroughly understand the tone of the author so avoid speed reading to correctly solve the CAT passages in one go.

5. Beware of the time-ticking devil

There is a timer on the top of your screen. The clock keeps on ticking and so does your pressure to do more. To avoid such pressure on the CAT exam day, make a strategy on your approach to solving the questions keeping in mind the 40 minutes CAT sectional time limit. The moment you feel you are getting stuck, leave the question and move to the next.

6. Be firm about your aim from the beginning of your CAT preparation

From day 1 of your CAT 2021 preparation, be firm that you will not settle for even a 0.1 percentile less. Decide what IIM you wish to get into and work towards getting into that IIM.

7. Using social media to study

Social media platforms like Quora, Facebook, Reddit, etc. are popular platforms where you can find student communities. Connect with other CAT aspirants, ask questions, share insights and expand your knowledge base. In such forums, you will also find many experts who help students in preparing for such career-defining exams.

8. Do not leave any topic

Keep a few days aside for revision and other time for studying each topic. The topic weightage is not consistent. So don't fall into a situation where you could encounter more than the expected number of questions on a topic skipped.

9. Building up stamina for a two-hour marathon

The sequence of the CAT exam is VARC–DILR–QA, which means the most calculation-intensive section of the exam will appear in the last hour. So there is no scope of laxity. In order to not lose the energy and hope at any point of time in the CAT exam, the candidates must practice full CAT mock tests and sectional mock tests. So build up your mental as well as physical stamina.

10. Take a break from studies

Quality matters and not quantity. Do not pressurize yourself to study for long hours when your mind is not permitting too. Take breaks. Indulge in your favorite sport, go for a walk, watch movies and read books to refresh your mind. And then come back and resume.

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