45 Days to CAT | How many mocks to take before CAT?

How many mocks before CAT
How many mocks before CAT

45 Days to CAT | Number of Mocks to take to achieve your desired percentile

CAT 2021 is a few weeks away. With roughly 45 days to CAT, it is time to prepare more seriously than ever. In this article, we will try to provide you with some broad guidelines on the number of mocks to take to achieve your desired percentile in the CAT examination.

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How many marks are required to achieve a 90/95/99%ile in CAT 2021?

The number of marks required to achieve a certain percentile depends on the difficulty level of the paper. Looking at the Marks vs. Percentile based on CAT 2020 will give you a fair idea of the number of questions to attempt to achieve your desired percentile. In CAT 2020 the no. of questions in VARC, LRDI, QA were 26, 24, 26 respectively. Though the no. of questions in CAT 2021 will be slightly lesser, we don’t know the exact number of questions in CAT 2021. One must remember that if the paper is easy one should try to attempt more questions; if the paper is tough, one should attempt lesser questions.

How many questions should one attempt to get 99 Percentile in CAT?

The scores and number of questions to attempt vary based on the difficulty level of the paper.

  • How to get a 99 percentile in CAT VARC: A total of 41 Marks were needed in CAT 2020. Try to attempt 20 questions with high accuracy (or all questions with good accuracy). In terms of syllabus, though VARC has lesser concepts to cover, it would take more time for improvement in this section. Regularly practising RCs and Reading more will lead to improvement in the scores.
  • How to get a 99 percentile in CAT LRDI: Around 34 marks were needed in CAT 2020 for 99%ile in this section. So, that would be getting around 12 questions right. For a good percentile, try to attempt a minimum of 2 sets, or try to get around 10 questions right.
  • How to get a 99 percentile in CAT QA: Attempting around 15 questions correctly would give you a 99%ile in CAT 2020. Try to select all the easy questions and solve them during the exam. If you can pick up the 10 easy questions and solve you would get a good percentile.
Percentile Score out of 228 (based on CAT 2020)
99.5 115
99 101
98 91
95 76
90 63


The number of CAT mocks to attempt to achieve your desired percentile

A big mistake done by many aspirants is postponing the mocks until the completion of the syllabus. But remember that the syllabus never gets complete. Hence, mock taking should be done simultaneously along with regular preparation.

  • The number of mocks one must give to achieve one’s desired percentile depends on a lot of factors, such as: When you started taking the mocks, Time availability, Whether you are a working professional, etc. So, there is no standard number for the right number of mocks. It depends on the individual.
  • Weekly Mock Schedule: Try to take at least 2 mocks per week, and a maximum of 3 mocks per week. And, during three days of the week it is recommended to take Sectional Tests – 1 Sectional Test Each on Quant, LRDI and VARC. If you’re particularly weak in a section, you must definitely take at least 1-2 Sectional tests of that section. With less than 2 months left for CAT, a good range would be attempting 10 to 20 Mocks. On the remaining 1-2 days of the week Revise the concepts and Practice your weak areas.
  • For someone who is already scoring a higher percentile, you can give 3 mocks per week. For someone scoring a lower percentile, it is recommended to take 1-2 mocks per week initially, as one requires additional practice in a weaker area. Practice the weak areas and then write the next mock. Taking a Sectional test would be more beneficial to improve your weak section. Pratice well for a day or two, and then write the next mock.

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Frequency of CAT Mocks per week

  • As mentioned, the no. of mocks also depends on when you started taking mocks. People who are well versed with all the basics and who started mocks from June can write 3 Mocks per week in these last 2 months. And those who started a bit late, from October, should target 15-20 mocks. That would be 2-3 mocks per week. But ensure that you analyse the mock thoroughly after you’ve taken a mock, and figure out ways to improve your scores. That’s because, if you’re not improving from mock to mock, then there’s no point in writing them. The purpose of mocks is to analyse your mistakes, find out where the gaps are and try to bridge that gap with proper preparation. Just writing mocks again and again and again without proper analysis is pointless.
  • Continue the same process in the first three weeks of November. Try to take up to 3 mocks per week. Also, don’t try to take a mock test every day. With every mock, you need to see some tangible change. It is crucial that you take each mock seriously: you need to replicate the exam day environment. Taking mocks every day would take away from the seriousness that is otherwise required.
  • In the last week before the exam, it is not recommended to take too many mocks. Try to take 1-2 mocks. One should not get drained by giving too many mocks just before the exam.

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Question selection

  • CAT is all about time management. Hence, try to stay away from time traps. Do not get emotionally attached to a question, especially if it is from your favourite area. Treat every question with the coldness of an object. There are plenty of questions to choose from, and hence, if you are spending more than three minutes on a quant question, it is time to move on to the next one. Try to pick out the easier ones in the exam. You can do the harder ones later if time permits.
  • There are no special incentives for choosing a tougher question over an easier one. Hence, make sure that you are choosing the right questions. From now on, you can increase the frequency in which you take mocks. As mentioned before, take at least two mocks every week.

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Strategy in CAT mocks

  • Have a strategy about how to attempt the exam. Test your plans in the mock exams and finalise on the one that suits you the most. After taking a mock test, spend an equal amount of time analysing it. Make sure that your mock percentiles follow an upward trend. Also, make a note of the mistakes you frequently make. Note down the type of questions you tend to make errors frequently. Be cautious while solving such questions.
  • Strategy Differs from person to person. You would understand your strengths and weaknesses upon analysis. Also, remember that the exam is unpredictable and one must have a proper strategy to ace the CAT exam. Be flexible with your strategy, i.e, don’t have rigid targets with respect to the attempts. Don’t go with preset targets about the attempts. Ensure you solve all easy questions. Also, have a good accuracy; with 40 mins per section, every mistake made will cost you more.
  • Experiment with various strategies and finalize the one to adopt on the D-day. As mentioned, do not be too rigid with strategy. Adjust it according to the level of difficulty of the exam. But, develop the ability to adopt a strategy 5 minutes into a section. The more mocks you give, the better you get at gauging the difficulty level of the paper.
  • Do not spend too much time on one section over other sections for your overall percentile, and make sure that you do not leave any room for luck to operate. Do not leave any topic for option. Also, the topic you omitted may contain some easy questions in the exam. You can cut yourself slack in this regard if your scores are more balanced though.
  • Once the CAT admit cards are out, try to give the mock as per your slot timings. Also, take mocks in an exam-like environment. Avoid taking the mock in pieces and take it in one go.
  • As mentioned, give some space between 2 mocks to work on your shortcomings.

If you’re someone who is working hard but not able to improve your mock scores, you can join our LIVE Booster Classes, which covers all the important topics from each section. These classes will also help you with the important tips and tricks to crack the exam.

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