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CAT 2016: Clear these misconceptions

Common Admission Test (CAT) 2016 will be held on December 4

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The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2016 will be held on December 4. While the candidates are busy preparing for the examination, a lot of them have certain confusions like English is given weightage or one should be good in maths. We clear some of the myths:

Engineers are preferred in the CAT. Fact or myth?

Myth! The CAT exam can be cracked by anyone irrespective of educational background. The CAT does not favour engineers. It checks quantitative aptitude based on mathematics of class 6 to class 10, which everyone has studied in schools.

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But a large number of engineers get through. Fact or myth?

Fact! However, don’t panic if you are a non-engineer. CAT is an exam of aptitude and skills, not an exam of knowledge. While, it is true that a lot of engineers get through, their engineering is not a reason for the same. The fact is that lots of good students in India choose (or are made to choose) science courses in class 11th and 12th. These students either traditionally go for engineering courses for medicine courses. Doctors also appear in the CAT and are fairly successful. However, a bulk of good applicants happens to be engineers. Being an engineer is not a cause of cracking the CAT. A good student cracks the CAT and is an engineer. So, it is merely co-effect of being a good student!

Lots of good students who take commerce courses or humanity courses also crack the CAT. Plus to increase diversity of the incoming batch, the IIMs and other good Bschools offer extra points to non-engineers.

I have heard that English will have more weightage this year in the CAT. Fact or myth?


Can’t say! The CAT authorities have released many details on their website ( Among them is the sectional time limit of 60 minutes each for the three sections of VARC, QA and LRDI. Thus, it is unlikely (but remotely possible) that the weightage of the VARC section will increase. Don’t pay attention to rumours. Prepare well and have a strategy that works in all scenarios. Such a strategy depends on time allocation in proportion to the marks of the section/sub-section.

I tried the CAT last year and was not successful. I don’t think I have it in me to crack it. Fact or Myth?

Myth! As discussed above, the CAT is an exam of aptitude and skills, not an exam of knowledge. If you were not successful the last year, improve your aptitude and skills!


READ: CAT 2015 topper Prateek Bajpai gives 10 tips to crack the exam

My friend prepared for 1.5 years and was not successful. I have prepared for only three months and I am fearful that I cannot crack. Fact or myth?

Myth! The outcome does not depend on the time spent but also on where you started from versus where your friend started from! Also, the time spent is much less important than the efficiency of studies. Don’t worry and do your best!

I want to attempt all the questions in the exam but I am not able to. I don’t think I can crack the CAT. Fact or myth?

Myth! The CAT deliberately gives a large amount of work to be done in a comparatively small amount of time so that you need to demonstrate your time management skills by leaving tough (time consuming) questions. Most candidates can choose two out of the following three: Doing all the questions, in the given time, accurately. Don’t sweat over questions left. Make sure that you leave the tougher ones!


The author, Ankur Jain, is Chief Knowledge Expert, T.I.M.E.

First published on: 12-11-2016 at 11:58:12 pm
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