CAT Format Tips 


With only less than 6 months left for CAT 2018, every serious aspirant would have gone through the late night struggle with Tables, Calculations, Articles etc. But the most dreaded part of your preparation is probably DATA INTERPRETATION. Like previous CAT papers, CAT 2018 is also expected to have a tougher DI SECTION.

The first thing that you should do is to be done with the generic books of this section. I hope you are done with the ARUN SHARMA books. You should devote initial two months in understanding all the topics. Start practicing the mathematics topics that will help you in all the data interpretation questions.


Improving your calculations is the first step to improve your Data Interpretation. You need to work on both accuracy and speed to improve this section. Speed can be increased by practicing regularly. Vedic mathematics can also help you to increase you speed. It is not necessary to follow Vedic mathematics if you are not comfortable with it. To improve your speed try doing calculations in your mind rather than using pencil/pen. In the starting it would take some time to do calculations in mind, but slowly and gradually you will see a mark difference in your speed.

The good thing about DI section is that It is tough for every aspirant alike. An attempt of 5 case lets i.e. 20 questions with a minimum accuracy percentage of 80% will definitely land you on the 95+ percentile window. You should aim for attempting 3 case lets as soon as you look through the papers. Remember the most important thing in CAT exam is selecting the easy questions to attempt first. And then go gradually for more sets that you think you can tackle.

Taking sectional tests in DI-LR section is the most fruitful thing for improving score here. Go through each topics in a sequential manner and then sit for the mocks. Check how you performed and attempt the questions.

You can find beneficial MOCKS on DI-LR HERE.

For more CAT test series, you may go through the FOLLOWING LINK.

Recent trends in DI questions in CAT suggests that Logic based sets are the most probable type of question that you will face on the D-Day. Solving past 8-10 years papers with full analysis is of utmost importance. As these will help you understand what is generally expected from you.

Some of the generic type of questions that you may come across on CAT are as follows:

  • Calculation Based: These are sets with questions which deal with percentage increase/decrease or nominal increase/decrease. They require a good control over basic calculation and approximation.

Example: Which is the year in which ABC Ltd. has witnessed the highest percentage growth over the previous year?

  • Counting Based: These are generally large data sets in which aspirants are supposed to count the instances which meet the questions’ needs. They require patience and focus to ensure that not a single mistake happens.

Example: How many states (from the data given) have male literacy rate more than 80%, and female literacy rate less than 75%?

  • Logic Based: Sometimes charts prefer to give you data in ranges or with conditions where it’s not possible to find the exact data. But one can surely be asked to find a number which can be arrived at if there is a need of maximizing or minimizing the number.

Example: Maximum how many of the employees of the range 35 to 45 years would be above 40 years if average age of employees of this age group is 42 years?

  • Structure Based: These include some specials sets. Example: Goals of various teams in a tournament, sales-disposal data of a particular product in market etc. Such sets used to be no surprise in era of 2004 to 2008. Share of such sets have reduced since the CAT has gone online.

Don’t leave even a single type of questions untouched. From tables to pie-charts to everything. You don’t know what is gonna help you on the actual CAT. If you are struck on a certain question, look for it online or on the books that you are following. Apart from ARUN SHARMA books you can also go for DI-LR book by NISHIT K. SINHA.

Groups discussions also help in the preparation. Just be sure you are not wasting your time there. There is a discussion group that you might find beneficial HERE.

Just don’t leave a single stone un-turned. Take it as the last and most crucial thing that you have to handle for your life and future. Find your motivation somewhere or the other. Be it anything just give everything that you have got.

Details for preparation tips are also available for your guidance.

 There are many courses that you should take for improving your profile. You can find it here.

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