Posted by: catindiaonline | September 18, 2008

CAT 2008 queries answered

Hi all,
Thanks for the enthusiastic responses. I received 100s of questions, I’ll try to address here the most common questions posed.

1. Do I need experience to be in the IIMs? Should I go for a little work-ex before applying, some internship, etc.

The answer is NO. Almost 50% students in the recent batches are freshers – experience is not a very big criteria here. Add along with it, another 20% students have 2 months or less experience. Hence, people having 0-2 months of work-ex are the bulk here. So, why need to jam your head with work-ex and stuff… you better practice.
Internship or part-time job is not considered as work-ex here. Here, the authorities look for a healthy mix of freshers and experienced and as such there is no preference.

2. My graduation CG is very low (higher than 50%); can I get a chance?

Yes, you can get a chance. I know quite a few guys with graduation CG quite low. Primary emphasis is on CAT-GD-PI, graduation CG comes as a last priority for evaluation possibly. Otherwise, with only 60% people wouldn’t have cracked CAT.

3. I am not very good in English. Do I need to read lot of English literature books? How do I increase reading speed?

I don’t think IIMs look for Shakespeares. If you can write grammatically correct english, that is good enough.

To increase reading speed, my suggestion is make a conscious effort to read, read and read. Take a clock and try to read a para as fast a you can. See after one minute how much you retain. Sometimes, taking a glance at the first line, middle line and last line also helps to comprehend what’s in the para. Try it!

4. How many months are required to prepare for CAT?

It depends! To some, 5 months X 5 hours a day proved good enough, some may need more time. Start giving mock CAT exams, you’ll understand yourself. CAT is a test of confidence. If you are confident how many months hardly matter. If you can answer 90 questions with over 95% accuracy, be sure to get calls from all the IIMs (generally speaking and also depends on the difficulty level).



  1. HI Sir now Iam studying 2nd Btech in Andra Pradesh and Iam very much interested in joining IIMS how can prepare from now it self pleas give me suggestion

  2. I wanted to know that when is the paper for CAT – 2008 made , so that I may brush up current issues . Also , I wanted to know that how much percent should one achieve to be hundred percentiler ?


  4. @mahesh:
    You are lucky! You have sufficient time to prepare for CAT. The first step should be to identify what “you” need to do to crack CAT. Take a few Mock CAT tests to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Then accordingly make a long term plan to improve your weak points and further strengthen your strengths.
    All your areas of improvements you will come to know after you take a few Mock test. So, go and take these. You need not even enroll for classroom tests. can be a very good starting point for you. Rest assured that a sound strategy and diligence will see you through.
    Good luck!!

  5. @aditi,
    Looks like you are all set to take CAT 2008 head on and blow it away into pieces! Good to see this degree of confidence.
    There are no hard and fast time line or rules associated with preparation of CAT papers. However, based on experience, I can say that a safe assumption is that the basic structure is finalized about 2 months before actual CAT date.
    However, it’s a good idea to keep yourself abreast the current issues. They will anyway help you later on during the interviews. So, you may reduce the number of hours spent on current affairs, but don’t stop it altogether.
    As for score required for 100 percentile, in 2006 100 percentile scorers range varied between 64% to 69% (based on 3 scorers scorecard). However, in 2007 it went up a notch higher and varied between 71-75% (based on 2 scorers). Typically, there are 6-10 100 percentile scorers every year.
    You should aim to score above 70% to be on the safe side. That’s an uphill task. However, sufficient motivation, diligence and a solid strategy can make impossible, possible. Good luck!

  6. @Veena,
    First of all Veena, you should understand that CAT is not biased towards any one particular kind of professionals say engineers. CAT is basically an aptitude test and papers are well balanced so that graduates from various background can perform equally well. Secondly, while sending interview calls, IIMs take into account a person’s background. So, for example, cut-off percentile for BA graduates will be different from those of engineers. The idea is to pick up best BA aspirants from among their peers for interview calls and then, subsequently for admissions. So, rest assured that you are not going to be compared to engineers, you will be rather pitched against aspirants of similar background.

    So, now, I believe you should do a thorough analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Take mock tests to figure this out.‘s tests and performance analysis will be particularly useful for this purpose. After identifying this, focus on your strengths and just try to steer past the cut-offs in areas where you are weak. Afterall, all questions in CAT are of equal marks. So, why bang your head against topics you have no idea about? Rather concentrate on areas which form your core strengths.
    Good luck!

  7. question:
    Sir if i am a pd category candidate….if i apply in this category….do i have a chance to make it through the general category if my score is good enough….are there separate GDs for pd category candidates….???

  8. @rock,
    You definitely have a chance to make it to the IIMs as long as you work hard for it and crack CAT and then subsequently GD & PI. No separate GDs for PD candidates are conducted until otherwise stated in the latest CAT brochure. For CAT 2008, this is certainly true. So, go ahead and just focus on your CAT. Good luck!

  9. Sir this means evry category whether SC/ST/PD they will have their GDs with general cndidates…??
    You didnt respond to my earlier question…..sir if i apply in PD category…can i get through a general category…if i score as good as a general candidate…..???

    • @rock,
      Yes, that is right. You will be facing GD/PI along with general candidates. However, your category will be taken into account while making the final offers for admission and you will get required benefits of your category there.
      Your CAT percentiles are universal. They are not given separately to different category candidates. If you are getting 99% and getting an interview/GD call then you surely have scored as much as general candidates in order to get through. Don’t worry about these things.

  10. How will one come to know that the calls he is getting is on the basis of his category(in my case PD)….if i score good and want to appear in the GDs and PIs as a general category candidate….what should i do…??

  11. thanks sir for these valuable facts.
    i am a btech student looking for cat-09.
    is it really going online. and if so then what things keep in mind while prepration.

    • @anup,
      We are yet to hear the final word on whether CAT is going online or not. However, there is a very strong buzz that CAT is indeed going online in 2009. Recent reports as well as comments from IIM directors indicate that. IIMs have been exploring various possible organizations who can help them in taking CAT online since an year now. So, expect to hear something concrete soon on this front.

  12. I have a query regarding CAT 2008. I forget to fill my Test Form Number in the answer sheet ….Can anyone tell me what can i do now?

  13. M in 3rd yr and started preparing for CAT.M good in mathematics and english too.I run my own coaching centre and cleared British english exam too.M deadly ambitious and hard working.i have completed half dictionary too for CAT. Don’t have that much time to opt coaching, so doing self studies.but i dont want to take any chance with CAT.guidance is what m lacking at this me how to study,what time table should be followed,how much hours to be devoted and which books i should prefer,which subject need to be given more importance???I dont want any loophole in my pattern of guide me the path that leads to success.I can do anything to be in cat,b it whole night studies or anything.I just want to crack this xam somehow.

    • @Pooja,
      You must be a true epitome of “alpha women”! I don’t think you need too much of advice. However, because you do not want to take any chances, I will try to fill in any possible gaps as well as I can. CAT is an aptitude test and therefore, it has no well defined syllabus. However, you should apprise yourself pretty well of the syllabus of CAT. And for that you can borrow study material of any of the standard coaching classes such as Time or IMS or Career Launcher. After that you should take as many tests as possible and critically examine your areas of strengths and weaknesses (which I believe will be very few in your case). Because you are already short on time online tests will be particularly useful for you for two reasons. First, you can take them from anywhere anytime as per your convenience. Secondly, they provide a deep and insightful analysis which cannot be provided for a paper based test. Once you know your areas of weaknesses you know what to do about them. I believe that is all that you need to know about CAT in order to crack it. Best of luck.

  14. sir, i have not recieved the cat score card till now.
    my details of cat score are –
    form no. 388665
    rollno. 6230586
    percentile 46.46

    my home address is – #197/8, Partap Gate, Near Hanuman Mandir, Kaithal
    Mobile No.- 09466521712
    D.O.B. – 10 Nov. 1989

  15. Hi am Deepak singh and my Query is regarding Eligibility for CAT.
    I am an Avg Student and Looking Forward for CAT Exam but I
    Couldn’t scored 50% in my Bachaeolor’s Although i have
    Managed to Score 62% in Master Degree. am I eligible for CAT or Not.
    Kindly Guide.

  16. sir i am sonam jha an aspriant of cat 2009. sir my cat registration no. has been changed with my friend’s registration to what can i do to change this.

  17. i have 71% in my 12th.
    am i eligible for IIM. i m lookin for cat 09

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