CAT Study Plan for Working Professionals: Importance of CAT Mock Tests

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  • It is a well acknowledged fact CAT exam, is the toughest one to crack among all management entrance exams in India. Typically, it takes an aspirant 7 - 9 months to prepare for it (this of course excludes coaching classes and practice tests) . So, what about working professionals who wish to appear for CAT 2020?
  • CAT 2020 will be held in November so there is about 6 months to prepare. 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
  • First of all, CAT aspirants need to analyze where they stand via their knowledge and practice of CAT syllabus. For example, finance professionals or engineers may not have to worry about Quant as much as English. Thus, the starting point should be identifying your strengths and weaknesses. let՚s look at other aspects of CAT exam preparation.

CAT Preparation: When to Start?

  • Experts say, you don՚t need more than 4 - 5 hours daily for about 5 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 4 - 5 hours daily for studies, but it isn՚t impossible. In fact, for other MBA entrance exams like MAT, XAT, CMAT or SNAP too, 4 - 5 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 realize that each individual՚s capabilities are different from others. Thus, make a plan accordingly.

CAT Preparation: Set a Daily Routine

  • No doubt, balancing CAT preparation with a 9 - 5 job is a tightrope to walk on, but a little bit of planning and minor changes in daily routine can do the trick like in the case of Viraat Gupta.
  • Viraat utilized his travelling time to his workplace to study. His strategy paid off. Viraat scored 99.82 percentile in CAT 2016.
  • “I started my preparation in early September and made sure that I was attempting mocks on every Saturday and Sunday till CAT exam. During weekdays I used to study in the metro, while going to and coming back from my workplace (1.5 hrs. one way journey) ,” he said.
  • 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.

CAT Preparation: Importance of CAT Mock Tests

  • All the CAT toppers recommend practicing 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 avail them from the internet. Try to solve as many 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 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 2019 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 to utilize time. You can log on to these apps and study on phone while on the go.

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 8 marks for work experience so you can well imagine its value where people miss admission even . 01 marks. Typically, work experience of 3 - 5 years is considered desirable by management institutes. So, if you are a working professional planning to take CAT 2019, don՚t quit your job, instead, make the best of it.