7 Question Sunday: The MBA Issue

1. How do I prepare for DILR and VARC for CAT?

DILR is basically Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

CAT has generally 4 sets of DI and 4 sets of LR (may also be 5:3 ratio).

The basic strategy is to play on your strengths. Most people have an inclination to either DI or LR. Find what you are comfortable with and try to solve that first.

Another pitfall in DILR is the urge to solve all questions of the set you have invested time in.

You must learn to leave questions which waste your time.

You never know, the next set you left trying to solve a difficult question, may actually be easy and you will end up regretting.

Now, the strategy for VARC,

It is so important to read.

If you are an avid reader, it won't be too difficult for you to ace this section.

Read non-fictional content, topics like psychology, philosophy, art, etc.

This is one of the best things that can help you prepare.

2. How should I divide my time for CAT preparation on each section, on an everyday basis?

The question is basically asking for a time table something that would vary from person to person.

Assuming you will be starting from 1st June and the CAT will be in mid-November means you have 24 weeks till CAT.

Ideally, you should be done with your syllabus by 15th or 16th week. After that, mocks and analysis should be your only target.

The Strategy :

Step 1: Go through the previous year's CAT papers

Before you start your full preparation, you need to know what and how to prepare. Get a feel about the pattern and your strengths and weaknesses.

CATs are usually divided into 3 sections:

  1. Verbal Ability (34 questions)

  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (32 questions)

  3. Quantitative Ability (34 questions)

Duration : 3 hours ( 1 hour for each section ).

Please note that there will be some questions in each section that will be without options.

Step 2: Take a mock test to check your current level of preparedness.

This should help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

This is very important as your initial strategy should be to focus on your weak areas.

Step 3: Enrol for a mock test series.

Since you are opting for self-study, enrolling for a mock test series is essential.

Mocks are very important for CAT preparation. Self-analysis on a regular basis will help you understand the effectiveness of your preparation.

Introspection will give you an opportunity to modify your strategy if required. Being flexible in your strategy is very important.

Step 4: Prepare a time table.

You should modify it according to your strengths and weaknesses.

You should ideally practice

  • Quant : 4 weekdays + 1 weekend day a week (2 + 8 hrs a day) - 16 hrs / week

  • Data Interpretation: twice a week (3 hrs a day) - 6 hrs/week

  • Logical Reasoning: twice a week (3 hrs a day) - 6 hrs/week

  • Verbal Ability: 4 days a week (2 hrs a day) - 8 hrs/week

  • Reading Comprehension: twice a week (2 hrs a day) - 4 hrs/week

  • Reading Ability: every day (1 hr a day) - 7 hrs/week

  • Mocks and its Analysis: once every two weeks (6 hrs a day) - 3 hrs/week

  • Total time: 50 hrs/week. (12 hrs on weekends and 5 hrs on weekdays)


There are approximately 20 topics in a Quant. To prepare a timetable accordingly.

Considering 5 days (4+1) a week for Quant.

  • Number System: 10 days (Weeks 1 and 2)

  • Averages: 2 days (Week 3)