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How to crack the CAT 2016

By Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe
October 13, 2016 11:40 IST
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Be prepared to attempt a zillion questions before you take the actual CAT, says Prof Uday Salunkhe.

Study for CAT

IMAGE: On December 4, more than two lakh applicants will appear for the Common Admission Test across the country. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters 

This year, the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2016 registrations have recorded a seven-year high.

Approximately 2,30,000 applicants have registered for the entrance examination this year that will test students for their eligibility in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management and top business schools in the country.

The exam is scheduled on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

Follow these tips to crack your way into the best business school in the country. 

Be alert

The CAT 2016 had unveiled a number of aspirant–friendly measures, from the changes in the process of registration, selection of test centre, conduct-duration-pattern of test, and declaration of results in 2015.

There is no change in the exam pattern this year, but note that the number of questions to be asked from each section is not revealed as yet.

Learn from your mistakes

If you are planning to reappear for the CAT this year then do analyse where your preparation went wrong and don't repeat those mistakes this year.

Learn from the past and look optimistically forward to the next attempt.


Don't get fauxed about where to begin preparing for the CAT, remember the simple rule is the best.

Learn from scratch; practice makes you perfect -- attempt a zillion questions and take as many mock tests as possible.

Give extra push to study hours

Excitement, anxiety and hope might cause turmoil in your mind as the date for test draws near but if you haven't done it earlier, a hurried revision won't do any good at this point.

Apart from the regular practice, take at least one or two past CAT papers and solve them without any break.

Get to meet other MBA aspirants in the area, as one of them may just open your eyes towards solving a difficult problem.

Relax, relate and rejuvenate

Take a break from studies for recreation; activities like a walking, watching TV, listening to music, gardening, knitting, cooking, and sketching are relaxing.

Be cool and keep to a healthy lifestyle with a simple diet, drinking lot of water and exercising.

Yoga, tai chi, meditation will certainly add value as your body and brain need energy and also rest.

A day before CAT

Just go through the notes and try to keep yourself calm and stable as you need to be fresh on the next day. And last but not the least, remain confident and have faith in your preparation.

Advice to working professionals

Leaving a job for preparing for the CAT is not a good idea, as it creates a break in work experience and in flow of income; and both are necessary as you are about to be admitted to the dream MBA school and make provision for paying its fees.

Today's manager is expected to be a multi-tasker so leaving a job for preparation is certainly not a good idea, instead choose week-end classes/ online sites that specialise in preparing a MBA aspirant for the CAT.

The author Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe is group director, WeSchool, Mumbai.

Dear readers, have you recently cracked the CAT? How did you prepare? 

Which are the most important study topics? What are the common problem areas and how did you approach them?

Simply mail us your CAT tips and advice at (subject line: 'My CAT Tips') and we'll feature the best responses right here on

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Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe
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