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CAT 2022: A Non-Engineer’s Guide To CAT Preparation

Jan 31, 2022

CAT 2022- Non-Engineer's guide to preparation

As a non-engineer aspirant working hard on developing and executing effective CAT exam preparation strategies, it can be a little demotivating to see the topper list dominated by engineers. You may question your ways or, worse, your long-term goals, which is a by-product of lack of confidence, right guidance, and trustworthy resources for the exam preparation. However, you can nail the exam and get a chance to call the IIM of your dreams your home for two years if you believe in yourself and employ the combination of hard work and smart work. To help you achieve your goals, we got in touch with the experts, and their tips will help you get through the process of building a shield of great tips against the challenges that may come in your way because of your non-engineering background.

Tips for Non-Engineers to Ace the CAT

Start with Arithmetic

Arithmetic is relatively less challenging, and more importantly, it constitutes a significant part of the question paper. Starting your journey with an easy section will motivate you, lay a strong foundation for the more demanding chapters, and help you overcome your fear of not performing well because of your educational background. So, start with Arithmetic, and start it right!

Calculations & CAT

If maths was not one of your favorite subjects and calculations scare you, remember that you are not the only one who feels like that. However, your feelings and past experiences with the subject should not come in your way. Learning tables, squares, and cubes can shift your name from the category of aspirants afraid of numbers and calculations to the one where DILR and QA seem simpler. Fight the temptation to rely upon a calculator while practicing, and work on strengthening your calculative abilities. 

The significance of picking the suitable DILR set

Choosing the right DILR set is crucial to ensure that the result meets your expectations. So, while you pick the DILR sets, it is essential not to fall prey to your assumptions and biases. For example, not every pie-chart or table-based set is easy. You should be able to determine whether a given set is standard or non-standard and open or closed. When a CAT aspirant says that one right choice can make all the difference, they are definitely talking about the DILR set selection!


‘How many hours would you study every day?’ This is one of the most frequently asked questions by the learners preparing for the CAT. However, it is not about the number of hours, and it has never been. You can spend three out of five hours daydreaming or practicing irrelevant questions and yet feel satisfied. But this won’t translate into anything concrete despite the number of hours. The quality of your preparation is and will always be more important than any other factor. You may need to spend more time practicing a particular section than your peers, or it may take you less time than your friends to grasp a concept. Every journey is unique, and therefore, you must always focus on what suits your preparation plan the best because Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V are not the right shortcuts when it comes to CAT preparation.

Mindset is the key

‘A non-engineer cannot get 100 percentile.’ 

‘I am not good with numbers, so I may fail to crack the exam the first time.’ 

Sometimes, your assumptions can be your biggest enemies. How you approach a challenge determines the success rate of your methods. You could be working very hard and yet miss the mark by some marks; you may have everything it takes to ace the exam, and yet you can face disappointment on the result day if you don’t have the right mindset. 

A topper was in the same phase of preparation once where you are right now. If they could make it to an IIM, so will you. And for as long as you can remember that, nothing can stop you from owning your dream.

Practice the right way

Mock-tests and question banks can be real game-changers. However, not every mock-test series and QBank have the potential to bring out the best in you. You must pick the tests and questions that challenge you with the right difficulty level, mimic the exam pattern, and help you analyze your performance. Also, there is no downside to practicing hard if your chosen resource is apt for the preparation. So, appear for as many tests as it will take to turn your weaknesses into your strongest suites.

Here is a link to the PrepLadder’s CAT QBank.

When you are determined, passionate, and use the correct methods, it does not matter if you are an engineer or recently completed Hotel Management; you have got this!

Auther Details

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.