Smayra Shukla

How to prepare for CAT? Which percentile is better for IIMs

by Smayra Shukla
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RE: How to prepare for CAT? Which percentile is better for IIMs

Surabhi Dewra
Surabhi Dewra
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Common aptitude test (CAT) is the first phase of screening for many top notch Management and B-Schools in India, including all the Indian Institute of Management (IIM’s) for their business administration courses (MBA) and post-graduation. CAT exam is a computer based exam and assessment done is in the context of percentile. The main advantage of CAT is, it’s score is widely accepted in multiple institutes including the FMS and S P Jain Institute of Management and research and International Management Institute and much more. The score or percentile is taken as zero level requirement in order to get the admission in any management courses in IIM’s and other important institutes of India.


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The CAT exam consists of three sections, as follow as

And it is equally important to perform in all three sections individually as each section has its very own importance. Since due to negative marking in the CAT exam and as per the different sections and their difficulties levels the approach that is considered to best while attempting the CAT questions is to prefer doing the reading and verbal sections first, and most. As English is high scoring if you have a good command over language or else prefer solving quants sections. In quants section, it is not possible to attempt every question and hence try to solve the areas in which you are strong and are less time-consuming. After that in the end, try attempt data interpretation section which is considered to be the most difficult section and is the most time consuming too.

After the approach to be followed during the exam, comes the approach that needs to be followed before and while preparing for the exams. In this approach, Time management is the key. Keeping track of every time and acknowledging every bit spend is most necessary as it will create an adaptive approach during the exam. After time comes stress management, due to this one can prepare himself for the unwanted circumstances during the exam time and prepare one’s mindset in the peak hours of preparation too. Regular and updated knowledge of GK and current affairs is mandatory to ace the exam. Apart from that, an analytical approach and problem-solving skills and ability to perform high calculations in less time are considered to be an advantage in the CAT exam.

The assessment in CAT exam is done by a simple standard of calculation of percentile. In this method, the individual and overall scores score of a candidate are taken in context with the rest of candidates in order to calculate the standing space of an individual exam taker. The advantage of this method is an easy specialization of better performers to the rest.

The standard selection criteria of IIMs is different and varied from each college to college. But in order to get a call letter from IIM’s one should be excellent in all the academics starting from secondary (10th) to Higher secondary (12th) followed by graduation and also have a high percentile in CAT. As per the IIMs criteria the after the complete analysis of all three results followed by CAT percentile, a following overall performance score is created, and on the basis of that performance score the interview call letters are distributed from the side of IIMs. Hence a high score and anything above 70 percentile tends to be a handsome percentile but doesn’t assure your position in the interviews in IIMs. If you are scoring well in 10th, 12th as well graduation and your percentile is slightly low, still, chances of getting a call letter is as equal as a high percentile getter.

Apart from the IIMs, there are other top notch colleges in India too, who evaluation structure is different from IIMs but still, they consider CAT score at most. For example, FMS (Faculty of Management Studies), S. P. Jain college, International Management Institute, T. A.Pai Management Institute, IIT Chennai, IIT Roorkee, Goa institute of management, Xavier Institute of Social Service, Institute for Financial Management and Research, Institute of Management Technology, Birla Institute of Management Technology are other few institutes that have an pitch perfect reputation as a B-School for administration studies in India. These all colleges also accept the CAT score and have a marginal cutoff, with adequate performance weightage too. For any of these colleges percentile about 85 to 90 is considered to be a good one, in order to receive a call letter from these colleges.  

For further queries and related information, you can approach the Professional Experts at CareerGuide. Hope this will help you!

RE: How to prepare for CAT? Which percentile is better for IIMs

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