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How To Prepare For Competitive Exams Like CAT In COVID-19 Pandemic? Learn the efficient way!

2020 has turned out to be the darkest year so far and will be recollected as the year with one of the vastly spread pandemics ever, the earth has seen. Precautions are being taken by governments all over the globe through isolation and social distancing. The effect fell on every entity, business houses, education sectors also. Schools and colleges are closed and are operating themselves by online classes. Now the question is how will students prepare themselves for competitive exams like CAT, MAT, and many others? Recently the dates have been announced for CAT 2020. Hence we will be covering what should be the proper way to utilize the lockdown to bring out the best from you in this article. This can be a golden opportunity to stay home and prepare for this prestigious examination in India and make your future prosperous. So let’s dig in!

Exam structure

CAT Structure Insights
Sections Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning(DILR),
Number of questions 100
Total Score 300
Marking rules +3 marks each for the correct answer and -1 mark for each wrong answer
Exam duration 180 minutes
Section-wise time segmentation 60 minutes per section
Mode of exam Online
Medium of exam English

Take a look at the syllabus

Sections Topics should not be skipped
Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability Para-Jumbles, One Word Substitution, Sentence Completion, Para Summary, Antonyms,
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation Seating Arrangement, Syllogism, Tables, Charts, Caselets, Graphs
Quantitative Aptitude Number System, Geometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Time and Work.

Improve the reading ability

Reading comprehension part is one of the most important sections for the CAT examination. In the beginning, this part may cause you trouble but as you practice and invest more time on it, you will be enjoying this and eventually it will become smooth for you.


  1. Read novels of your favourite authors or any other reputed writers.
  2. Go through dictionaries to increase your vocabularies.
  3. Subscribe to online dictionaries.
  4. Read online articles and news.

 Books as per the sections of the CAT exam

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Books Author  and Publisher
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT Sharma and Upadhyay
PSC for VA for CAT Nishit Sinha
High School English Grammar & Composition Wren & Martin 

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Books Author  and Publisher
CAT 2018 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude

Books Author  and Publisher
NCERT Mathematics Books (Class 6 to 10) NCERT
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Sarvesh K Verma
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations Abhijit Guha
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Nishit K Sinha

Some other important aspects to keep in mind

Say “NO” to social media

This depends upon a student’s discipline and dedication towards their target. Social media can be beneficial but harmful also, as it will distract you for a longer time without your realization. We all know that time is money, so one has to be focused on their time spent in a day preparing for the CAT exam which requires time and practice. Hence we should make a routine and follow it strictly.


  1. Uninstall all social media which is killing your time. Don’t use them if it is not urgent.
  2. Your online presence should be in a way that gives you knowledge.
  3. Subscribe to online CAT coaching where FAQs are being answered by experts.
  4. Prepare your daily routine and mould yourself with it.

Flexible planning

Study according to your comfort, the way that you think is the best for you! Do not try to push yourself too much and lose your interest and ruin your mood by it. Remember, one has to be careful about the time spent but not about the way of studying. So, don’t be too rigid and don’t be too relaxed that kills your study plan timing. Be flexible accordingly.


  1. Take short breaks in between studies.
  2. Eat healthy food.

Be calm and don’t be stressed out

It is a fact that COVID 19 pandemic is harassing us even at the psychological level as people are locked in their houses. So, it is understandable how much a student can be stressed out who is preparing for an exam like CAT. The other fact is, this kind of preparation requires a lot of time on a daily basis, not just for a short period. Students need some relaxation for themselves in between their study routine. How will be the exam? How will be the exam hall? What if the question is very tough? These kinds of questions haunt the students. So what can you do to destress yourself? Take a look at the tricks below.


  1. Listen to music for a short time, relax your brain and study again.
  2. Meditate for a few minutes. It is the best way to calm and destress yourself.
  3. Don’t think about the result at the beginning as it is a foolish thing to think of. Keep it in mind that you are preparing, not prepared. Nobody knows what is waiting for you.

Take care of your health

“Health is wealth”. Do not forget this mantra as your health is one of the factors that play a major role in your success. Like we have suggested before, eating good food and staying healthy is the key. Mental and physical performance is the key to one’s success as well. The healthier you will be, the more healthy will be your CAT score.


  1. Regular health check-ups will be a good practice.
  2. Don’t neglect small health issues like cough and seasonal fever and other diseases.
  3. Consume fresh food only and do not compromise with that.
  4. Keep space in your calendar routine for exercises also.
  5. Always follow the rule, “prevention is better than cure”. 

The tricks and the methods discussed above is just a brief of what can be an ideal approach to prepare for the CAT 2020 examination. But there is no perfect method or hard and fast rule on how a student is preparing themselves. Students should schedule themselves according to their ease and flexibility. One’s schedule depends upon their desire for success, self-discipline, and dedication and might not be another student’s cup of tea. We, Education World Society (NGO), wish you the very best to attain your career goals.

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