Your Chances of Guessing Answers in CAT

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Your chances of guessing answers in CAT

However well you prepare, there will always be a moment during the CAT 2021 exam when you will be in a doubt deciphering the correct answer. Be it the nervousness or the confusing options, you will tend to get confused and GUESS your way through it. But the fear of getting a “negative mark” in the CAT exam will stop you from doing it. So, should you really be guessing answers in CAT? The answer is NO and YES.

Why is it NOT OK to guess in CAT

There are 75 MCQs that have negative marking. For every correct answer you score +3 and for every incorrect answer you lose 1 mark from your total raw score. Especially with the questions which have very high difficulty level, it is best to not answer them in case you are in doubt. The chances of losing a mark and lowering your raw score which ultimately dips your percentile is more if you guess most of the answers. If you plan to do so, our advice is don’t appear for CAT 2021.

Why is it OK to guess in CAT

The good news since 2015 is that the CAT exam pattern has around 25 non-MCQ type questions. The better part of it is that non-MCQs have no negative marking. So the best you can do after answering all the non-MCQs you are sure of is to guess and write what you think is the most appropriate answer.

Out of the 100 questions, your best bet is to attempt all the 25 non-MCQs. These could be score boosters because there is no scope of losing any mark even if you go wrong.

Coming to the 75 MCQs, it is extremely important that you first answer those questions thoroughly which you are sure of. After that, if time permits, you can attempt to make a few educated guesses here or there depending on the question and the options you see. 

The breakup of the questions is given below:

CAT Exam Questions

What are the Different Types of Guesses

  1. Random Guess – Think of a lucky number or a pattern in mind and blindly select options.
  2. Meta Guess – Just look at the answers and try to guess/select a probable option.
  3. Intelligent/Educated Guess – Based on the question and the given options eliminate the less likely options and choose the most appropriate option from what is left.

While guessing is best avoided, remember and use these rules after attempting questions you are confident about:

No Random guess

With the kind of scoring pattern and difficulty level of the CAT 2018, there is absolutely no point randomly guessing answers.


Since there is no negative marking make sure you attempt all the non-MCQs.

Last Resort

This should be the last resort. Try to choose easy question(s) and read it carefully. Then read the options given and eliminate the less likely answers first. Analyze the remaining options and guess the correct answer.

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