How to Prepare CAT 2018, MBA Entrance Exam Without Coaching? self study for MBA entrance exam
Business Management CAT MBA Entrance Exams Preparation & Admission

How to Prepare CAT 2018, MBA Entrance Exam Without Coaching?

Usually, for any exams, there is always a time period associated, amidst which the preparation can be done. But when it comes to preparing MBA Entrance Exam- CAT and other, it’s never too early to start as if we follow the previous trends the exam is being tougher and tougher each year. It’s high time to prepare CAT 2018 with a proper strategy for better results.

Since IIM Calcutta, CAT 2018 conducting authority, has announced the official date for CAT 2018 i.e 25th November 2018, Sunday and the other required information in form of notification will be out soon. As only 5 months left for the preparation, it’s high time for CAT aspirants to buck up and make their strategies to prepare CAT 2018 for the better result.


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According to surveys, most of the high percentile scorers believe its better to prepare yourselves (Self-Study) rather being dependent on coachings. Most of the coaching institutes nowadays are business traps, which are more concerned about the number of students enrolling with the fees in their centres rather than the number of enrolled students getting a good percentile and focus on each and every student enrolled.


The students who take coaching spent their entire day in coaching classes and there is no conceptual clarity unless they study themselves for which they generally don’t have time. Self-study is always a better option. First of all, nothing is rocket science in the syllabus. You just need a thorough understanding of the concepts. Towards the end, you would be able to solve most of the tough questions, concepts were clear and you could deal with unique questions that required the application of multiple concepts. So here are some preparatory tips which you can follow and get a good score, without any coaching class.

READ Too: Top 10 MBA Entrance Exams To Appear In 2018

Know about CAT 2018 Exam Pattern

Exam Mode Online
Sections Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning & Quantitative Ability.
Question type MCQs  and Non-MCQs
Total Questions 100
Total time duration 3 hours or 180 minutes

Though the pattern and syllabus has Minute changes every year, the most usual section wise pattern is as follows

After Graduation Career Counseling Discussion

Sections Total number of questions  Total marks
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 34  (24 MCQs, 10 Non-MCQs) 102
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32  (24 MCQs, 8 Non-MCQs) 96
Quantitative Ability 34  (27 MCQs, 7 Non-MCQs) 102
Total 100 (75 MCQs, 25 Non-MCQs) 300

The marking scheme for the same is same as usual :

  • For the correct answer, 3 marks will be awarded for both MCQs and Non-MCQs.
  • For incorrect answer 1 mark will be deducted for MCQ and no marks will be deducted for a Non MCQ type question.

READ ALSO: CAT 2018, Start Your Preparation Now For Better Score And Admission

Know About CAT 2018 Syllabus

  1. Quantitative Section
  • Geometry
  • HCF & LCM
  • Averages
  • Mensuration
  • Profit & Loss
  • Number system
  • Trigonometry
  • Algebra
  • Partnership (Accounts)
  • Geometric Progression
  • Inequalities
  • Work and time
  • Time-Speed-Distance
  • Ratios and Proportion
  • Percentages
  • Logarithms
  • In-equations Quadratic and linear equations
  • Surds and Indices
  1. Verbal Section
  • Grammar
  • Syllogisms
  • Jumbled paragraphs
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sentence completion
  • Para Completion and inference
  • Contextual usage
  • Analogies
  • Sentence correction
  • Foreign language words used in English
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Logic
  • Different usage of the same word
  • Idioms
  • One word substitution
  • Parajumbles
  • Antonyms
  1. Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) Section
  • Proposition
  • Direction Sense
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Assumptions
  • Important topics under AR are:
  • Blood Relations
  • Series
  • Data Arrangement
  • Family Tree
  • Puzzles
  • Clocks and Calenders
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Venn Diagram
  • Sets
  • Statements
  • Syllogism
  • Binary Logic
  • Data Structures
  • Pie Charts
  • Line Graphs
  • Caselets
  • Tables
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Bars

READ MORE: Cleared MBA Entrance Exam? Now Prepare WAT And PI For Admission In B-School

How to Prepare CAT 2018? PREPARATION TIPS

  • Check the revised pattern of CAT’18.
  • Go through the syllabus of CAT’18 and mark your weak and strong topics.
  • Begin with basics and move to advance or HOT (high order thinking) level of questions.
  • Gather all study material required, go for best reference books and mock tests.
  • There is good study material available online, be selective about books or online study material. There is no compulsion to read a complete book, find the book or material in which the topic is best explained and go through that.
  • Knowing your weak topics is really important, know them, work harder on them, check improvement periodically by solving various quizzes on the same.
  • Instead of wasting too much time on theory, start solving questions on them, as many questions you will solve, the more idea will you get about the type of questions asked.
  • Don’t stuck on one topic if you have already invested too much time on that, but still, you are doubtful, its better move to another topic rather than sticking on one.
  • It’s always less stressful if it is preplanned so devote a study plan, keep increasing study hours as the time left decreases.
  • What actually matters here is time and accuracy which can be obtained only by solving mock tests and previous year question papers.

As the exam is divided into sections, its preparation should also be done same way:

For Verbal Ability Section:

Since the Verbal Ability area needs strong fundamentals, grammar and vocabulary base, the following tips are required:

  • Read as much you can.
  • Note all the new words you come across daily, and revise them.
  • Reading comprehension acquires 70% of Verbal Ability Section. So its really important to practice as many passages as you can to improve the reading and understanding level in comprehensions.
  • Other important topics like para jumbles, para completions, Antonyms, one-word substitution should be practised more frequently.
  • This section also includes the grammatical part which requires the formal knowledge of the language, but it’s better to not stick on rules but adapt the reading habits which help you answer those.

For Data Interpretation Section

  • The important tip for this section is to prepare for your own calculative skills. As the on-screen calculator consumes more time than usual, its time saving to do Calculations on your own.
  • The DI section tends to take most of the time, which you should not let happen, 60 minutes are allocated to this section, so it should be kept this way only.
  • The DI section includes many difficult questions which are time and labour consuming, so it should be kept in mind that each question weighs equal marks, instead of wasting time on one difficult question invest it in other easier ones.

ALSO READ: Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Fees And Other Information

For Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability section

  • Rely on the information provided, there is no need to use your knowledge about the certain topic but rely on the information provided, there is no need for assumptions in this section.
  • Read the question carefully, keep a special eye on terms ‘before’, ‘afterwards’, ‘all’, ‘only of’, ‘iff’, ‘some’ etc and also to negative prefixes which includes dis, un, non etc
  • In this section question are asked from mathematics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry/mensuration, numbers, geometry, time-speed-distance, time-work, permutations-combinations, So focused upon those topics from which question are asked mostly.
  • Practice sample diagrammatic IQ tests as much possible.
  • For QUANT section it is beneficial to take note of all basic formulas and theory, and practising its questions more frequently.
  • Its all about how serious you are about this exam because it requires regular efforts rather than 1-week series kind of efforts. Its all about your speed and accuracy, the more accurate you are the good scorer you will be.

READ MORE: Skills Required To Crack The CAT Exam

At last, the best tip is to be on time as this, of course, reduces your last time stress and makes you feel more confident and healthy that is what matters when its high time. So be regular, stay healthy and stressfree.

Determination paves the way to success. Willpower that cannot be wobbled can make you crack any test. Think of your mind as a fertile garden. Fill your mind with positive, uplifting and motivating thoughts and you will have abundant crop of success.

All the Best CAT 2018 Aspirants..!!

Here you got the details of CAT 2018 Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation Tips for each section of Exam, Guidance to Score better and other details. Please post your Feedback or Comments regarding this article, on our Aftergraduation Forum or in below comment box.

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