How To Manage Time In CAT Exam? [Section-wise Tips]

How to manage time in CAT exam ?
A detailed blog on how to manage time in CAT exam

Managing time well is paramount to scoring well in the CAT exam. CAT has 3 sections with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes. Though this setup reduces the burden on aspirants to manage time between the sections, managing the time while taking a section remains an issue. In this article, let us see how to manage time in the CAT exam to maximize your score.

Taking CAT online mock tests helps a lot in learning about time management. Going through the previous year papers of CAT will help to know about the composition of the paper. Before moving on to how to manage time in the CAT exam, let us have a brief look at how to manage time till the CAT exam.

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Section-wise Tips To Improve Time Management While Taking CAT Exam

Mock tests will be of great help in improving time management skills. Take a good number of mock tests to know your strong suits. Develop a strategy based on your strengths and weaknesses and put it to the test in the mock tests.

Time-management Tips For the VARC section

If you can look at the previous CAT Question papers, mostly the questions in this section are mainly focusing on reading comprehension than verbal questions. So it is advised to improve your reading comprehension skills to ace this section. Time plays a crucial role in this section. Here are some of helpful tips for managing time while solving the VARC section of CAT.

  • In the VARC section, try to complete the RCs first. Also, dedicate time to the VA sub-section, as it is not very tough and can be easily improved with practice.
  • Also, having an RC left will put you under tremendous pressure when you have less than 10 minutes to go on the clock. So, it is suggested to solve the VA section if there are only few minutes left.
  • Even if you have 5 VA questions left with 5-10 minutes left, you can solve 3 to 4 VA questions comfortably.
  • Also, most of the VA questions do not carry a penalty, so you can afford to take your chances with them (TITA questions) when the time is about to run out.
  • Therefore, complete the RCs and Para Summary questions first and keep the PJ questions for the end.

Time management: Try to dedicate around 30 minutes to solving RCs and devote 5-10 minutes to solving VA questions.

Time-management Tips For the LRDI section

As we all know, LRDI is one of the most time-consuming sections of CAT. Here one must know how to prepare and practice the LRDI questions to solve in a simple approach. Here are some of the tips to manage time while solving the LRDI questions.

  • The LRDI section has become tough over the years. One should be extremely careful while selecting the sets to attempt in this section.
  • Invest the first 2-3 minutes of the section to select the sets to attempt. Go through all the sets and select the sets that you think you can solve. Usually, some DI sets are easy, so you can try solving them first.
  • Also, note down the order in which you wish to attempt the sets you have chosen to attempt.
  • Always start with the set you are confident of solving.
  • Getting a set right will provide the much-required morale boost in the section.
  • If you have invested over 10-15 minutes in a set and have gotten nowhere, move on to the next set. Try to have a time cut-off for each set.
  • Also, if a particular set/question requires a great amount of effort to solve as compared to the other set/questions, skip such questions.

Time-management Tips For the Quantitative Aptitude Section

The quantitative Aptitude section is one of the scoring sections in CAT. Aspirants must need a strong foundation of basics and formulas, which will help them solve the quant questions quickly. While preparing for CAT quant section, one can find the simple methodologies to solve the questions that help you a lot while taking the actual CAT exam.

  • Try to attempt the quants section in 2 or 3 rounds.
  • In the first round, attempt the easy questions that can be solved within 2 minutes. Even a tough CAT paper will have 4-5 such questions. Just solving these questions correctly will push you past the 85th percentile.
  • In the second round, select the questions you are confident of solving but will take some time to solve.
  • In the third round, only if time permits, you can start solving the tougher questions you are not confident about.
  • Also, do attempt all the TITA questions since there is no downside to it.
  • Just like DILR, have a fixed time cut-off for each question. In round 1, do not choose questions that require more than 3 minutes to solve.

Relegate the tougher questions to subsequent rounds. Do not let a tough question break your momentum in round 1.

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