Often classified as one of the toughest exams an Indian Student can ever appear for, the Common Admissions Test (CAT), is, in fact, more a test of what you are made of rather than acumen. If you have the patience and determination, you can get a 99 percentile no matter what your 10th and 12th grades say.
Here are some of the prerequisites -
Resolve - You need to have clarity as to why you want to do this. This is not just for the most popular "why MBA" interview question. This resolve is what forms the base of what will be 3 months of hard work for CAT and then another 4 months of hard work to get into a great B- School. This is what will keep you going in the times where you feel maybe you aren't cut out for this but believe me, the moment you give up is the moment you have made way for someone who did not which will ultimately decide who gets into the coveted 99%.
H̶a̶r̶d̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ Smart work - They say the best things do not come easy. Well, they are right, to do well in CAT, you need smart work which is one of the toughest things to do. While it is possible to get through even with raw hard work or what I would call, brute force, there is a certain finesse associated with smart work that, once learnt will help you not just in CAT but through life. The art of smart work lies in understanding the task at hand, dividing it into subtasks, prioritizing and then perform the subtasks. This might be an oversimplification and there are many more dimensions to smart work but I'll leave that for you to figure out while preparing for CAT.
Intelligence - When I say intelligence, I'm not referring to your 10th and 12th Standard Grades. Grades cannot truly judge your ability to think and adapt, especially in the Indian Education System. Your ability to think is what will ultimately decide your fate. But don't worry, if you think this isn't your strong suit. With a little extra in resolve and smart work, you can easily compete with the most intelligent of the lot. As they say "smart work beats talent when talent doesn't work smart" ( To be fair I may have tweaked this quote a bit).
Consistency - Last but not the least, you must be consistent with your efforts. Be honest with yourself, identify strengths and weaknesses early and make sure you go the extra mile and target those weak areas to bring them to the required level.
Lastly remember, to get a 99% in CAT you do not have to get 99% in all three areas, even 97% in all three can get you a 99% overall.
I wish you the best of luck as you begin preparation for what might seem like a behemoth task right now but remember these 3 basics and you will be able to bell the CAT.