The journey for every aspirant starts with the dream of securing a high percentile which eventually leads to the admission in a top B-School.  There are several things that CAT 100 percentilers do differently from the rest of the candidates. In 2017, two women students and three non-engineers were among the 20 candidates who secured the perfect 100 percentile in CAT.

Every year lakhs of students appear for Common Admissions Test (CAT), but only few of them get a perfect 100 percentile. With each passing year, the number of students getting 100 percentile in CAT increases, thereby suggesting an increase in the level of competition.

Net Correct Attempts

In the marking scheme of CAT, each correct answer is awarded +3 marks, zero for every unattempted question and one mark is deducted for each incorrect answer depending on whether it is an MCQ or a non-MCQ question.

For example, a candidate attempts 80 questions out of which 65 are correct and 15 are incorrect. As per the marking scheme, the score is 65 x 3 = 195 for correct answers. Additionally, 15 marks (-1 for each of the 15 wrong answers) are deducted from this score. Since the number of unattempted questions do not have any effect, the net score of the candidate will be 195 - 15 = 180, and so, net correct attempts would be considered 60. 

The estimated correct attempts and score required for a 99 percentile is:

  • QA - Net score of 73-77 (25 attempts out of 34)
  • DI & LR - Net score of 67-70 (23 attempts out of 32)
  • VARC - Net score of 57-60 (21 attempts out of 34)
  • Overall - Net score of around 180

Hence, it is possible to score 100 percentile if you get at least 61 to 62 questions correct out of the 100 questions in CAT.

For example, from the scorecard of Chhavi Gupta, one out of the two female candidates who bagged 100 percentile in CAT 2017. you can get an idea of the section-wise scores to be obtained to secure 100 percentile.

Section Section Section Total
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Data interpretation and Logical Reasoning Quantitative Ability
Scaled Score Percentile Scaled Score Percentile Scaled Score Percentile Overall Scaled Score Overall Percentile
86.58 99.94 72.68 100.00 95.02 99.98 245.28 100.00

1. Develop a Preparation Strategy

The first question that might come in your mind - When and how to start preparing for CAT. To answer this, you need to first understand the CAT exam pattern and plan how to cover the entire syllabus. You need to figure out if you want to take the coaching or opt for self-study. Another important decision you need to take at this time would be to decide how much time you can devote for preparing for CAT. 

2. Understand Basics First

Having a solid and strong hold on the fundamental concepts is the biggest asset any CAT aspirant can have. You need to revise and practice many questions regularly. With the help of strong basics, you can solve even the toughest of questions without any difficulty.

3. Mock Tests and Analysis

CAT mock tests are one of the most crucial ingredients of the success recipes of all the toppers. Mock tests help you identify the stage your preparation is in, figure out your areas of strengths and weaknesses, and benchmark yourself across other aspirants. 

Taking mocks will help you master your strong areas and concentrate on your weak areas. In an exam like CAT, it is critical to play to your strengths, which means to grab all the ‘low-hanging fruits’. Remember, CAT is a test of your strengths, and not of your weaknesses.

4. Accuracy and Speed

To secure 100 percentile, you need to strike the perfect balance between the number of accurate attempts and time. Selection of the questions is very important.