How to Prepare for CAT Without Quitting Your Job

Common Admission Test 2022 ( CAT )

8 mins read33.5K Views11.3K Comments

Admit Card: 27 Oct '22

Vipra
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content
Updated on Feb 22, 2021 11:01 IST
Working professionals who plan to appear in CAT 2021 must read this article to know what should be their CAT preparation plan.
CAT 2021 preparation

It is a well known fact that CAT exam is the toughest one to crack among all MBA entrance exams in India. Typically, it takes an aspirant seven to nine months to prepare for it (excluding coaching classes and practice tests). So, what about working professionals who wish to appear for CAT 2021?

CAT 2021 will be most likely on November 28 so there is about nine month-time to prepare. So how to prepare for CAT 2021? Working professionals certainly don't need to quit their jobs. All they need is proper planning and smart execution of it. In this article, we will share a few tips and tricks for CAT preparation for working professionals.

First of all, CAT aspirants need to analyse where they stand viz. their knowledge and practice of CAT syllabus. For example, finance professionals or engineers may not have to worry about Quantitative Aptitude as much as English. Thus, the starting point should be having a look at CAT syllabus and identifying your strengths and weaknesses. The second step should be to assess how much time they can devote to studies every day. Let's look at other aspects of CAT exam preparation.

Also Read:

VARC preparation tips and tricks

DILR preparation tips and tricks

QA preparation tips and tricks

CAT Preparation: When to Start?

Experts say, you don't need more than four to five hours daily for about five months to prepare for CAT exam. So you don't need to quit your job; just alter your daily routine. With office work, meetings, travelling time, it may seem difficult to spare four to five hours daily for studies, but it isn't impossible. In fact for other MBA entrance exams like MAT, XAT, CMAT or SNAP too, four to five hours of study every day is good enough as these exams are quite similar to each other in terms of pattern as well as syllabus.

However, you must realise that each individual's capabilities are different from others. Thus, make a plan accordingly.

Also Read:

CAT Preparation: Set a Daily Routine

No doubt, balancing CAT preparation with a nine to five job is a tightrope walk, but a little bit of planning and minor changes in daily routine can do the trick like in the case of Ravi Prinshu.

Ravi Prinshu, who scored 99.78 percentile in CAT 2020, balanced exam preparation while working full time with Cognizant and cracked CAT without taking any coaching. He credits his success to his disciplined and focussed approach and regular mock tests. 

I started my preparation from May-June. I started preparing by taking one diagnostic mock test to identify my current preparation state and chalked out a detailed preparation plan thereafter which mainly focused on managing my strengths and weaknesses, Ravi told Shiksha. Read more: Ravi Prinshu’s CAT preparation strategy

Making a daily routine and following it to T is the key. In a scenario like this, the most important thing is discipline. It is imperative to follow the daily routine that you have set for yourself and not waste a single minute.   

Prepare a schedule for one month and follow it diligently. Once you get used to that routine, extend it for another two months and so on. Initially it will be taxing, but once you get used to it, it will be like a normal day.

Also Read:

CAT 2021 Exam Dates

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

CAT 2021 Question Papers

CAT 2021 Admit Card

CAT 2021 Result

CAT 2021 Cut Offs

CAT Preparation: Importance of CAT Mock Tests

All the CAT toppers recommend practising CAT mock tests. The more mock tests you attempt, closer you get to your target. The greatest benefit of attempting mocks is that with each solved mock test you get to know your mistakes and progress. With each mock test, your speed increases and you discovers new shortcuts to solve the questions. Since, the CAT exam is all about speed and accuracy, mock tests are the best platform to develop them.

Mock test booklets are provided by all coaching institutes. You can also get them on internet. Try to solve as many CAT mock tests and sample papers as you can. We are not giving a definite number here because every aspirant is different and so are their capabilities but 30-40 mock tests should put you in a good position.

CAT 2019 topper Somansh Chordia says, “Practice was specifically important for increasing the speed since accuracy is generally not a concern in this section,” he says. In QA, training in ABACUS helped him solve questions much faster. Read more: Somansh Chordia's CAT preparation strategy

Try this CAT Mock Test, Powered by IMS, to assess your preparation level and time-management skill.

Free CAT Mock Test 1

Try second CAT Mock Test, Powered by IMS, to assess your preparation level and time-management skill.

Free CAT Mock Test 2

CAT Preparation: Using Social Media to Study

  • There are various groups on the internet that help each other in preparing for entrance exams. Social media platforms like Quora, Facebook, Reddit etc. are popular platforms where you can find student communities.
  • Connect with other CAT aspirants, ask questions, share insights and expand your knowledge base. In such forums, you will also find many experts who help students in preparing for such career defining exams.
  • Interacting with people going through the same grind as you are, is important to keep the motivation level high.
  • Downloading study apps is also a good idea. You can log on to these apps and study on smartphone while travelling.

Also Read:

CAT Preparation: Use Your Advantage

Working professionals have an advantage over fresh graduates – work experience. All the IIMs and top B-schools give significant weightage to work experience while screening students for admission. For example, IIM Bangalore gives eight marks for work experience so you can well imagine its value where people miss admission even .01 mark. Typically, work experience of three to five years is considered desirable by management institutes. So if you are a working professional planning to take CAT 2021, don't quit your job, instead, make the best of it.

Also Read:

Best Books for CAT Preparation

CAT Preparation Plan for Verbal Ability

Quantitative Aptitude preparation plan for CAT

CAT Preparation Plan for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

CAT preparation: Your love for reading can get you the desired result

CAT Simple tips to optimize exam preparation

CAT Percentile predictor prepared by Shiksha.com helps students to get their predicted CAT 2021 percentile on the basis of their expected exam score. So, predict your CAT 2021 score by clicking the link below:

CAT Percentile Predictor

FAQs Related to CAT Preparation

Q: What is the CAT syllabus?

A: CAT syllabus includes all important topics of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

Q: What is the difficulty level of CAT exam?

A: CAT exam is of moderate to high difficulty level. Out of the three sections, mostly a few DI questions are easy. Rest of the sections are of moderate to high difficulty.

Q: Can I prepare for CAT with a nine to five job?

A: Yes, one can prepare for CAT with a full-time job. All they need to do is prepare a study plan as per their free time and follow self-discipline in following the plan. They can join online study groups to study on the go.

Q: How many hours should I study for CAT daily?

A: To prepare for CAT, one must study for at least four hours daily and eight to ten hours on weekends.Past years' toppers suggest that CAT exam demands your time and focus in good amount.

Q: I am working professional and can’t take CAT coaching. What should I do?

A: If you can’t take CAT coaching, you can join online CAT preparation groups and download mobile apps for exam preparation to study.  

Q: Are Sarvesh Verma’s books for QA, VARC and DILR enough to prepare for CAT?

A: Sarvesh Verma’s books for QA, VARC and DILR are a very good resource of CAT preparation, but the aspirants must study other recommended CAT books, such as books by Arun Shrma, Nitish K Sinha, Pearson Guide, etc.

Q: How many CAT mock tests should I practice?

A: A candidate must practice about 35-40 full length CAT mock tests to score 99+ percentile. Many 99 percentilers have also attempted up to 80 mock tests, but if you are consistent in your preparation 35-40 mock tests should be good.  

Q: Is the CAT question paper of slot 1 different from slot 2?

A: The questions of CAT slot 1 are different from CAT slot 2 but the difficulty level of both the slots is same. In CAT 2020, there were three slots and according to the students, the first slot paper was tougher than the other two.

Q: When will CAT 2021 be held? Can I take CAT from home?

A: CAT 2021 is expected to be held on November 28. The CAT 2021 exam date will be officially announced in July. Every candidate will have to visit their allotted exam centre to appear for the exam.

Q: Can I use a calculator in CAT exam?

A: Yes, the candidates can use onscreen calculator during the exam. Personal calculator is not allowed.

Q: Which section of CAT has maximum weightage?

A: The section-wise weightage in CAT exam is almost equal. While VARC and QA sections have 34 questions, the DILR section has 32 question (16 DI and 16 LR MCQs). In CAT 2020, the total number of questions was reduced to 76. VARC had 26 questions, DILR had 24 and QA had 26 questions.

Check CAT cut offs and predict calls from IIMs and Non-IIMs accepting CAT score for admission. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and Eligibility of all CAT participating colleges by clicking the link below:

Predict CAT Admission Call

 

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About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content

Vipra is a binge TV watcher and a massive Breaking Bad fan. When not watching TV, she spends time in updating the list of places she wants to visit and people she wants to meet, but she is happiest in the company of... Read Full Bio

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Comments

D

Which college can I get with 75 percent marks in CAT?

N

Navneet Kaur

Guide-Level 14

4 days ago

LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or...LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT and Interview or Completed Company Secretary CS from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Completed Chartered Accountancy CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Completed Cost & Management Accountancy (CMA) from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Applicant should have 80 percentile or above in CAT or MAT or all India rank upto 20000. For more information you can check the website.

H

Harsh Pandey

Guide-Level 12

a week ago

At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto...At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto 20000 in CMAT or 230 and above score in NMAT then LPU NEST is exempted.

D

Which colleges can I get with 75 %ile in CAT?

N

Navneet Kaur

Guide-Level 14

4 days ago

LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or...LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT and Interview or Completed Company Secretary CS from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Completed Chartered Accountancy CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Completed Cost & Management Accountancy (CMA) from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Applicant should have 80 percentile or above in CAT or MAT or all India rank upto 20000. For more detials you can check the website.

H

Harsh Pandey

Guide-Level 12

a week ago

At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto...At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto 20000 in CMAT or 230 and above score in NMAT then LPU NEST is exempted.

R

What CAT score do I need to get into FABM? I'm from B.Sc. Agriculture.

S

Srishti Pranjal

Beginner-Level 5

5 days ago

General cut off to get into FABM for general is 80, for OBC, it is 70 and for SC and ST, it is 60.

P

Can I get admission for MBA in IPS Business School without giving CAT or any other exam?

S

Sharanya B

Beginner-Level 4

5 days ago

Hello Priyanka, CAT is one of the most commonly accepted exam. CMAT XAT MAT exams are also accepted in IPS business school.

N

Neha Sudarshini

Beginner-Level 1

5 days ago

Although CAT percentile is kept as a criterion in most colleges, there are other management entrance exams too. Few of the different exams are MAT XAT NMAT etc. These scores again are accepted by numerous number of colleges.

h

While filling CAT 2022 form, I followed the best of 5 marking pattern for SSC which is not correct. Can I fill the form again?

36450093
yash sahani

Contributor-Level 9

a week ago

We should avoid common mistakes while filling the CAT form are:1. Not having the required documents: when applying for CAT not having your documents ready can significantly increase of chances of error. 2. Entering personal details incorrectly: Another common mistake candidates usually make it wh...We should avoid common mistakes while filling the CAT form are:
1. Not having the required documents: when applying for CAT not having your documents ready can significantly increase of chances of error.
2. Entering personal details incorrectly: Another common mistake candidates usually make it while entering their personal details.
3. Uploading unclear photograph and signature: uploading your photograph is the last step of entering your personal details in the CAT application form.

H

Harsh Rastogi

Beginner-Level 5

a month ago

No, you cannot fill the form again. You should always read the instructions carefully before filling any form.

S

I have heard that UGC has given regulations for CAT eligibility that the colleges can accept CAT eligibility for the past two years. Is it?

H

Harsh Verma

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for entrance exams of which the most popular is the CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam. The CAT exam eligibil...An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for entrance exams of which the most popular is the CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam. The CAT exam eligibility has remained more or less the same in the past years. As per the CAT notification for CAT the same criteria will be followed without any changes. Aspirants should review the criteria, given below in detail, to check if they are eligible for the exam before they begin preparing. They should understand the factors and requirements to appear for CAT 2022 to avoid disqualification at any stage of the admission process. Moreover, candidates should also identify the eligibility criteria for the B-schools separately along with the difference in the eligibility requirements for CAT and the IIM.

A

ANKIT Tiwari

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

The CAT score card is valid for a period of one year only. After which candidates will have to take the following years' CAT exam for admissions in respective institutes. Most of the Institutions/Universities in India accept the CAT score for admissions.

R

What percentile should I score in CAT exam to get MDI Gurgaon under defence quota?

H

Harsh Verma

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

Going by my own experience and of others who have a similar profile as yours, you can expect a call from MDI at about 96.5 -97 percentile. A few people from my batch had received calls at a lower percentile as well but that again varies from year to year. So all in all, 97 percentile would be a s...Going by my own experience and of others who have a similar profile as yours, you can expect a call from MDI at about 96.5 -97 percentile. A few people from my batch had received calls at a lower percentile as well but that again varies from year to year. So all in all, 97 percentile would be a safe bet.

46474621
Utkarsh Tiwary

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

The MDI Gurgaon is the best college which has defence quota. The percentile which is required by MDI Gurgaon under defence quota is expected as 94 percentile. It is also the best college for defence.

A

How to start preparing with CAT and IIFT?

S

Sunit Chatterjee

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

To start first start with your basics remember these 4 to 5 points 1) read 1 hour every day
2. Do sudoku and basics of dilr
3. Do quant from ncert if your basics are weak if it is strong then do past year paper or previous year mock
5. Give ample amount of mock and sectional test thanks.

S

I am applying for CAT 2022 and also had applied for CAT last year. Do I need to re-register or should use last year's credentials?

11624401
ANISHKA LUNAWAT

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

Yes, you have to apply for the CAT form again from the beginning even if you have registered last year also. Since exam score is valid for only one year.

P

I have a gap year in my engineering. What should I fill in the duration of course in CAT form? Should I fill 4 or 5 years?

S

Sonima Dwivedi

Contributor-Level 6

2 weeks ago

It will still be counted as 4 years.

1553 Institutes accepting CAT

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