Can A Non Engineer Crack CAT & Get Into Top IIM ?

Can a non engineer crack CAT exam?

The CAT 2023 exam is open to all students who have completed their graduation or are working professionals. It is observed that a majority of CAT applicants come from an engineering background, while the rest have diverse educational backgrounds such as Commerce, BA, LLB, B Com, and more. This leads to the question: “Is it possible for a non-engineer to succeed in the CAT exam?” The answer is yes. In fact, non-engineers can excel in the CAT exam and secure admission into top IIM colleges. Now, let’s explore how this is achievable.

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Non-engineers Free Resources For CAT preparation

The first step toward getting admission into top MBA colleges is taking the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam. Try checking out the CAT previous year’s papers which are the non engineers free resources to know about the level of questions that appear in the exam. Also, taking a free CAT online mock test will help them in gauging their strengths and weaknesses. Also one must consider the CAT 2023 syllabus and the examination pattern which is given in the following section.

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Verbal Ability 40 minutes 24
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 40 minutes 20
Quantitative Ability 40 minutes 22


120 minutes 66

For every correct answer, you will receive 3 marks, while each incorrect answer will result in a penalty of -1 mark. Unattempted questions do not carry any marks. Additionally, there could be a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section, and candidates are restricted from switching between sections.

Can A Non-Engineer Crack the CAT Exam?

Certainly, a non-engineer can excel in the CAT exam. At IIM Ahmedabad, for instance, the current 2020-22 batch comprises 23.72% of non-engineers. This demonstrates that there are numerous success stories of non-engineers who have cracked the CAT exam and secured placements in top IIM colleges. The key to their success lies in their dedicated efforts during CAT preparation. There is no secret formula; rather, it’s about having a well-defined preparation strategy to excel in the exam.

Non-Engineer CAT Success Stories

One can watch the below excellent interview videos by Cracku for the non-engineer CAT topper who cracked the CAT exam with above 99 percentile and got into the top MBA colleges.

CAT Preparation Strategy For Non-Engineers

The preparation strategy for every aspiring CAT student is generally similar, regardless of whether they come from an engineering or non-engineering background. Now, let’s examine the CAT preparation strategy specifically designed for students with a non-engineering background. The sole distinction in the preparation strategy for non-engineers, as opposed to engineering students, is placing greater emphasis on the Quantitative Aptitude section. Therefore, it is important to have a comprehensive study plan that focuses on each section of the CAT 2023 exam, ensuring a balanced approach. The subsequent study plan is formulated for a five-month duration, which is crucial for initiating the preparation process promptly.

Preparation Strategy for Quantitative Aptitude Section

Quantitative Aptitude – A solid understanding of the fundamental concepts in Quantitative Ability is essential for success in this section. It is recommended that the aspirant dedicate a minimum of 1-2 months to thoroughly grasp these Quant basics. Unfortunately, many candidates tend to overlook the significance of reviewing the fundamental principles during their preparation. To effectively prepare for the Quantitative Ability section, you can adhere to the provided study schedule. Feel free to tailor the schedule based on your individual strengths and weaknesses in this particular section.

Topic Number of days
Number Systems 2-3
Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Averages, Alligation, Profit Loss and Discount 10-12
Simple Interest and Compound Interest 1-2
Time, Speed and Distance 2-3
Time & Work 2
Linear equations, Quadratic equations 6
Inequalities 2
Logarithms, Functions 6
Progressions and series 3
Surds and indices 1
Geometry & Mensuration 10-11
Basic trigonometry 1-2
Co-ordinate Geometry 2
Permutation and Combinations 4
Probability 3
Set Theory 2
Miscellaneous 4-5


Preparation Strategy for VARC Section

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension – Make an effort to allocate 1 hour each day for reading, as it aids in cultivating a well-rounded perspective on various subjects. During the initial phase of your preparation, aim to solve a minimum of one Reading Comprehension (RC) passage daily. The provided schedule can serve as a guideline, which you can modify according to the time you have available throughout the day, as well as your individual strengths and weaknesses.

Topic No. of days
RC’s 10-12
Para Summary 5-6
Para Completion 5-6
Para Jumbles 5-6
Odd sentence out 5-6
Grammar, Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Verbal Reasoning, Facts / Inferences / Judgements. 10


Preparation Strategy for LRDI Section

Logical Reasoning And Data Interpretation – As we know, CAT has moved away from the traditional LRDI sets. It’s imperative to practice the non-traditional type of sets. The sets that are appearing are more logic-based (and relatively less data-intensive in nature). Try to spend around 1 hour every day on the DI / LR concepts. Also, try to solve 2 sets every day (one DI set and one LR set).

LR Topics No. of days
Arrangements (Linear, Circular, etc.) 3
Puzzles (Einstein puzzles, constraint-based etc.) 3
Networks, LR based on picking coins 5
Games and tournaments 3
Scheduling 3
Blood relations, family tree, Truth-liar concept 7
Cubes 3
Others (2D Space LR’s, etc.) 5-6

DI Topics

No. of days
Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional charts (radar chart, bubble chart etc.) 10-12
Tables 4
Venn Diagrams 4
Others (DI Based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc.) 9

Aspirants who have non-engineering backgrounds are advised to concentrate as much as possible on the quantitative aptitude section, as mentioned earlier. Hope this study plan will help students from non-engineering backgrounds to crack the CAT 2023 examination.

Thank you, and all the best.

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