How To Get 99 Percentile In CAT In 5 Months [Section-wise Study Plan]

how to get 99 percentile in cat in 5 months

Cracking the CAT exam can be challenging, but it is not impossible. A well-defined preparation strategy is crucial for achieving success in this exam. When aspiring for admission to top MBA colleges like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIFT Delhi, FMS Delhi, etc., candidates must attain the required cutoff percentile set by each institute. Generally, the standard cutoff is around the 99+ percentile in the CAT entrance exam. Therefore, aspirants need a meticulous preparation strategy to achieve a 99 or 99+ percentile in the CAT. With the CAT exam just five months away, it is crucial to formulate a strategy targeting the 99 percentile. This article will provide a detailed section-wise strategy on how to attain a 99 percentile in CAT within this timeframe.

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Before going to see the CAT 99 percentile strategy, it is very important to understand the CAT 2023 exam pattern brief.

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Verbal Ability 40 minutes 24
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 40 minutes 20
Quantitative Ability 40 minutes 22
Overall 120 minutes 66

A correct answer in the CAT exam is rewarded with 3 marks, while an incorrect answer incurs a penalty of -1 mark. Additionally, each section may have a designated time limit of 40 minutes, and candidates are not permitted to switch between sections.

Section-wise Preparation Strategy To Get 99 Percentile In CAT In 5 Months

As mentioned earlier, the CAT exam is just five months away. A common question among CAT aspirants is how much time is needed to prepare for the exam. The answer to this question depends on the level of effort put into the preparation. In general, five months is considered a sufficient duration for aspirants to prepare for the CAT exam. Even an average student can achieve a percentile above 99 by following a well-defined preparation strategy over this five-month period. Let’s delve into the strategy to attain a 99 percentile in the CAT exam.

There are two ways to achieve a percentile above 99 in the CAT exam. By analyzing the scorecards of CAT 99+ percentilers, two types of patterns can be observed in terms of section-wise percentiles. In the first case, one of the sections has a percentile above 99, while the remaining sections have percentiles below 95. In the second case, any two sections have percentiles above 95, while one section falls within the percentile range of 85 to 90.

Through this analysis, we advise you to have a firm on any two of the sections. It is safe to follow the second case.

How Many Marks Are Required To Get 99 Percentile In CAT?

It is possible to aim for scoring more than 95 percentile in any two sections. One strategy is to target the 99 percentile in the Quantitative Aptitude section and the 95 percentile in either of the other two sections. Since the LRDI section is known to be challenging and time-consuming, it is advisable to aim for a percentile range of 85 to 90 in this section. Another target can be set for the VARC section to achieve more than 95 percentile. It is important to note that this analysis is based on various sources, and individual results may vary.

To achieve a percentile above 99 in the CAT exam, it is advisable to aim for an overall sectional score of around 100+. Now, let’s delve into the section-wise preparation strategy for CAT within a five-month timeframe. Candidates are encouraged to refer to the CAT 2023 Syllabus PDF for a comprehensive understanding of the CAT 2023 syllabus, along with reviewing CAT’s previous year’s papers and slot analysis for additional insights.

Preparation Strategy For VARC Section

Make an effort to dedicate one hour each day to reading. This practice will aid in the development of a well-rounded perspective on various issues. In the early stages of your preparation, strive to solve at least one Reading Comprehension (RC) passage daily. Here is a suggested schedule that can be adjusted to accommodate the time you have available throughout the day and to align with your individual strengths and weaknesses.


No. of days



Para Summary


Para Completion


Para Jumbles


Odd sentence out


Grammar, Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Verbal Reasoning, Facts / Inferences / Judgements.


Preparation Strategy For LRDI Section

Considering that CAT has shifted from traditional LRDI sets, it becomes crucial to focus on practicing non-traditional sets. The sets that now appear are primarily logic-based and involve relatively less data-intensive elements. Allocate approximately one hour daily to enhance your understanding of DI/LR concepts. Additionally, aim to solve two sets per day, encompassing one DI set and one LR set.

LR Topics

No. of days

Arrangements (Linear, Circular, etc)


Puzzles (Einstein puzzles, constraint-based etc)


Networks, LR based on picking coins


Games and tournaments




Blood relations, family tree, Truth-liar concept




Others (2D Space LR’s, etc)


DI Topics

No. of days

Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional charts (radar chart, bubble chart etc)




Venn Diagrams


Others (DI Based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc)


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Preparation Strategy Quant Section

A strong foundation in Quant basics is vital for excelling in the Quantitative Ability section. It is recommended that aspirants dedicate a minimum of 1-2 months to thoroughly grasp the quant basics. Unfortunately, many candidates tend to overlook this aspect during their preparation. To aid your preparation in the Quantitative Ability section, you can follow the provided study schedule. Feel free to tailor the schedule to align with your strengths and weaknesses in this particular section.


Number of days

Number Systems


Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Averages, Alligation, Profit Loss and Discount


Simple Interest and Compound Interest


Time, Speed and Distance


Time & Work


Linear equations, Quadratic equations




Logarithms, Functions


Progressions and series


Surds and indices


Geometry & Mensuration


Basic trigonometry


Co-ordinate Geometry


Permutation and Combinations




Set Theory


Miscellaneous 4-5


CAT Month-wise schedule / Study plan:


Learning the concepts of all the three sections


Revise the concepts, Practice, and Take one mock per week


Take sectional tests and two mocks per week


Can take 2-3 mocks per week and experiment with mock strategies. Note down your mistakes, improve your question selection skills, and experiment with various strategies in the mocks.


Pick a strategy that suits you the most. Test it in the mocks. Revise the concepts and the common mistakes you tend to make.

Watch the concept videos. Spend around 2-3 hours on understanding your weak areas. Overall try to allocate around 2-3 hours for preparation during the weekdays and more time on weekends.

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