How Do Toppers Prepare for CAT?

Shreyasa Vijay updated on : 05 Oct 2017

Know effective CAT preparation tips followed by CAT toppers here. CAT 2017 aspirants can follow these CAT toppers strategies to crack the exam.

How do toppers prepare for CAT

How do toppers prepare for CAT - With CAT 2017 nearing and you being engrossed in the preparations, thoughts and questions like “how do CAT toppers prepare, which CAT preparation books and study material do they refer, how to prepare for CAT while doing a full time job, what extra they do to obtain that 99+ percentile, what routine they follow, what score do they get in the CAT mock tests and how they face CAT exam on the d-day etc.” do cross every CAT aspirants mind. No doubts, CAT is considered as one of the most challenging management entrance exams but cracking the same with a good percentile may get difficult but is not impossible.

Every year, lakhs of students appear for CAT exam and out of these only a few come out as CAT toppers. They are no different to you but only difference lie here is their preparation strategy, techniques and their approach of taking the CAT exam. CAT 2017 is scheduled to be held on November 26, 2017 and with almost 90 days left for the exam, you still have a lot of time to prepare and crack the same with high percentile. In this article, we list some of the pointers and tips shared by CAT toppers which may help the CAT 2017 aspirants in devising their preparation strategy and also inspire and motivate them at the same time to give that extra push in their ongoing preparations. By following these CAT preparations tips by toppers, you may also make it to the list of CAT 2017 toppers.

How Do Toppers Prepare for CAT?

CAT aspirants aim for not just cracking the exam but top the same so that their chances of getting admission into IIMs and other top B-schools accepting CAT score may increase. However, getting admission into IIMs or other top colleges may not be a cakewalk for everyone but still, with serious and diligent CAT 2017 preparation; you can crack this exam and come out as a topper. Now, to become a CAT 2017 topper, few things you need to do religiously have been mentioned below. These are the mantras to crack CAT revealed by CAT toppers, following which will benefit you as well.

CAT Preparation 2017 Tips by Toppers

Self Study – Apart from coaching institutes and regular classes, CAT toppers opt for self-study. They prefer to study on their own. It gives them the freedom to learn without any restrictions. It enhances their concentration power and grant liberty to go at their own pace. Because when you study with a group, more chances are there to get distracted which can set you back by several minutes. What you need to do is, keep your fundas at the right place and allocate time to each and every part of CAT preparation in such a way that you can cover everything.

Take Mock Tests – Solving CAT 2017 mock tests is the most important part of your CAT preparation. Toppers of CAT devote a lot of time to mock tests. Mock tests are trial exams which you should take before the final examination. These mock tests give the feel of actual exam and being in the same situation with the same amount of pressure, boost the confidence level of CAT 2017 aspirants. Also, theses tests increase your speed and accuracy. CAT toppers keep analysing themselves through theses test and their scores as to where they stand in reality and keep improving their performance by correcting their mistakes.

Raise your Queries – CAT toppers never hesitate to ask their doubts from experts and teachers. You should always try to solve your doubts in any way you can do it. It will only make you better and improve your knowledge. You can also discover new things and develop innovative solutions to your problems. Don’t let your ego get in the way to your success or never consider yourself as a fool when you ask questions.

Strategise your Preparation – CAT toppers always formulate a strategy for their preparation. Without any proper direction, you can lose your way. So it is always suggested to CAT aspirants that make up your mind and plans that how will you achieve your desired goal. In the absence of CAT 2017 strategy, nothing can be accomplished. Set the time for studies, distribute the whole syllabus in parts and start preparing as per the CAT 2017 exam pattern. Studying with a plan can be valuable, only if comply with it.

Find out Shortcuts – It is considered that in CAT exam, there are difficult questions which can be easily solved with the help of shortcuts and quick calculation. While dealing with calculation based sections in CAT like Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation, it becomes very important to select best methods to solve the question. Always try to find the best approach to start solving the question instead of getting scared. Find out more than one way to solve the problem. So you should enhance your calculation and approximation skills and fabricate some innovative shortcuts to attain your target.

Clear your Concepts – In the initial time of CAT preparation, you should focus on clearing the concepts. Build your basics and fundamentals and then start applying them by solving practice papers and mock tests. Start with simple problems and then move on to the difficult portion. Don’t pick up the tough section initially without getting your basics cleared otherwise you will drop your confidence level.

Use the Internet Wisely – Since the origin of the internet, along with it’s positive effect, the internet also has negative some negative impact. So CAT aspirants must use the internet intelligently. There are a lot of online courses and websites which can clear your doubts. Study material is present on the internet in a huge amount which can be used for CAT preparation.

Focused CAT Preparation – As per the CAT toppers, you should try to balance sectional scores. In the first half of CAT preparation, focus on weaker sections and in the remaining half of your CAT preparation 2017, try to refine strong parts. So overcome your weaknesses and try to strengthen your strong sections. Select the topics which are to be studied and then frame study schedule. Most of the topics are already studied earlier so revising the concepts and topics with solving mock tests is what you should do obtain a high score in CAT 2017.

Maintain Formula Notebook - CAT toppers suggest to maintain a thick notebook with all the QA formulas and keep updating it with every mock test and practice paper you solve. Always revise the formulas in your free time or while traveling.

Remain Calm and Composed – You should keep yourself calm and composed as nervousness can lead you toward failure. Don’t take too much tension and follow your routine. Staying free from exam pressures and anxiety will help you in obtaining high CAT score. Always feel positive in the exam and think that you will do your best.

CAT Toppers Recommended Books​

CAT toppers have also revealed the names of the books which helped them to accomplish their goal. You should select the books for CAT 2017 preparation on the basis of the concept. Whichever book you are referring to, must clear all your concepts. Secondly, books must have every kind of question with a lot of problems so that you can do maximum practice. Topics given in the book should be discussed in detail and also short tricks to crack the section of quick calculation. We are providing you with the names of some books with the names of authors which CAT toppers had referred to crack the exam:

Quantitative Ability

Name of the book


How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude

Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum

Sarvesh Verma

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination

RS Aggarwal

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Nishit Sinha

Verbal Ability

Name of the book


How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT

Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay

The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability for the CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations

Sujit Kumar

Trishna’s Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations


A Modern Approach To Verbal And Non-Verbal Reasoning

R.S Aggarwal


Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

Name of the book


Logical Reasoning for the CAT

Nishit K. Sinha

How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT

Arun Sharma

How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the Cat

Arun Sharma

Trishna's Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations


CAT Preparation Secrets of Toppers

Every CAT aspirants want to know the CAT toppers success mantras and their strategies that how they cracked and topped the exam. Here we are giving you some instances/quotes of CAT Toppers said in the interviews with leading newspapers which will enlighten your brain and clear your doubts regarding CAT 2017 Preparation:

  • CAT 2015 topper, Prateek Bajpai said that his exam strategy was to rely on his speed and he ended up attempting all 100 questions in CAT. He further added I was extremely calm and composed because he did sufficient practice which helped him the most in doing well in the actual exam. He managed to balance between work and preparation and maintained proper discipline. He utilized even the travel time to the office for revising formulae. He suggested that CAT aspirants should do mental calculations as it is very important and will help in more ways even long after the CAT is over.
  • CAT 2016 topper, Avidipto Chakraborty scored a 99+ percentile in his first attempt itself. According to him, he completely relied on self-studies and did not get enrolled in any coaching institute. He said that solving a number of CAT mock tests helped him in achieving his goal. He took 80+ mock tests for CAT preparation.
  • CAT 2016 topper, Abhay Agarwal’s CAT exam strategy was primarily based on mock tests and their analysis. He attended weekend CAT coaching classes to build up his content and basics. He also kept a check on his CAT preparation by mock tests and used them to discover his weaknesses. Through mock tests, he realised that which is his weaker section and then did a lot of hard work on that part. He also used the online study material and Arun Sharma books for CAT preparation. He said that remaining calm during the CAT exam helped him to accomplish his goal.
  • Another topper Shashank Heda who belongs to Jaipur said that apart from the test material, analysis of CAT mock tests results was a main source of learning. He also did CAT coaching. He further added that you should not refer to multiple books or study material as it could be exhaustive. Joining a test series helped him a lot in analysing the topics which need more focus. Read newspapers, form a rational opinion on current important topics and having the complete knowledge of recent happening in the area of your personal love is important to crack CAT interview. 
  • CAT 2016 topper who scored 99.98 CAT percentile told that he solved a number of mock tests with different kind of questions and pattern which was helpful in DI-LR section. He and his friends also used to discuss the questions in a mock test and compare the timings. This gave him the idea about his weak areas. He suggested that CAT aspirants should use the mock test sincerely as if it is the final CAT paper and there should not be any kind of disturbance for those three hours. He also told CAT aspirants to remain calm and confident on the day of the exam and read as much as possible and don’t spend too much time on a single question.
  • Another topper of CAT 2016, Ketki Gupta shared her CAT success mantra and said that discipline was the most important factor that determines her success in CAT exam. She followed a fixed routine. Initially, she read new concepts and completed the worksheets. After that, she solved many mock tests and analysed them to find her mistakes and her weaknesses. Ketki said that through coaching, my belief in my ambition has been strengthened She further added, theses were days when she felt low and could not study but her mentor not only motivated her but also guided her through difficult times.
  • Rohit Arora who scored 99.38 CAT percentile joined coaching for CAT preparations. Regular classes and CAT study material helped him a lot in getting guidance and develop a schedule for preparation. He said that CAT aspirants should focus more on academic achievements and then do some curricular activities. He advised the CAT aspirants that be committed and try to diligently follow the routine. Take as many CAT mock test as you can and also solve the previous year question papers of CAT.

So these are the strategies which CAT Toppers followed to ace the exam. Preparation period becomes monotonous so you should not give up in the middle, that is not what toppers do. You have to work hard till you achieve your desired goal. Follow theses tips and you can also become a CAT topper. Be patient and calm because too much tension will do nothing but make the things worse. Keep the CAT 2017 preparation tips mentioned above in your mind and your preparation will become trouble-free. We wish you all the best for CAT 2017 exam. 

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