CAT Study Plan for Working Professionals

Are you a serious CAT aspirant? Are you feeling overwhelmed while managing both work and CAT preparation? Do you want to score 99%ile in CAT, but the office work is draining all your energy? If your answer to any of the above questions is YES, then don’t worry. We have seen and worked with aspirants like you for years. And you know what else we have seen?  Many determined aspirants cracking CAT and getting their desired B-schools, even after having a back-breaking job. So, based on our years of experience, we bring this informative blog giving a proper CAT study plan for working professionals. 

But before we start with the CAT study plan, let’s explore this frequently asked question. 

Is ‘quitting the job to prepare for CAT’ a good option? 

Well, it all depends from person to person. If you think that you cannot squeeze out even a few hours (1 to 2 hours) of preparation per day, then quitting your job and preparing for CAT can be an option. But be careful because quitting a job can result in anxiety and pressure to perform well in CAT, thereby affecting your final day performance. Also, you may get frustrated due to the monotonous routine of studying. So, just think about all this and take your ‘big decision’ accordingly. 

On the other hand, if you think that your job is not too demanding, then preparing for CAT alongside a job is a good option. Don’t get bogged down by the rumors that ‘it is tough preparing for CAT while doing a job.’ Once you are determined and manage your time properly, you can easily achieve your desired percentile and get into your dream B-school.

Now that you are clear about this question, let’s move on to the next section of this blog.

Things to consider before preparing for CAT

It is always better to consider some pre-requisites before laying down a proper plan- After all, that’s what good managers do, don’t they? Before you start preparing for CAT, you should have the following things cleared in your mind, so that, you can plan your study schedule accordingly - 

  1. Your Strengths & Weaknesses

It is always better to know where you stand or what your current preparation level is. We would recommend you to take a mock test. After that, carefully analyze your performance using the detailed analytics provided by them. This will help you to know your strengths and weaknesses. You should be done latest by July. Based on your strengths and weaknesses, you can create your study plan, explicitly focussing on improving your weak areas. Also, don’t forget to allocate time to practice your strong areas. After all, you don’t want your strong areas to turn into weak ones. 

  1. Your Target Percentile

Based on your profile and your dream B-school, you should set your target percentile, which you want to achieve. A psychological study states that if you set a target score, the more likely you are to achieve it. Be it a 98%ile or 99.5%ile, just set them as your target percentiles and start your preparation to achieve them. 

The three stages of CAT Study Plan for Working Professionals

Moving on, you can divide your CAT preparation plan into three stages- 

Stage 1- Clear your basics

As you can see in CAT previous years' papers, the questions test mainly the concepts. In fact, there are some CAT questions where two or three concepts are tested in a single question. Understand all the concepts and learn formulae of Quants, memorize word meanings for Verbal, and brush up your calculation skills DI. Also, go through all the types of questions asked in the CAT exam and understand the approach to tackle them. It is also advisable to make notes so that you can revise them later on. 

Stage 2- Improve your concept application skills

Once you are done with clearing your basics, it is time to practice. Take lots and lots of sectional tests so that you learn how to apply the concepts you have learned. Section-wise or topic- wise tests are pre-requisite for taking full length mocks. They also help you to have an idea about solving questions in a reasonably comfortable time limit. This particular stage requires consistency. Once you lose consistency, it becomes difficult to get back on track. Always practice as much as you can. 

Stage 3- Take Mocks & Analyse your performance

Once you are done with the learning of concept application skills, you need to take mocks. Mocks are a great source of learning. This stage will help you analyze how well you do during the three-hour-long tests. It is easier to score well in single one-hour sectional tests. But it becomes difficult to score well in the full-length mocks. It also helps you to build your endurance to take your 3-hour test. Once you get into the habit of taking mocks, your next step should be to analyze your performance. Again you need to observe what your strengths & weaknesses are. Work on them and again take a mock to see if you have improved. Mocks are also a great way to build your test-taking strategy. Initially, your scores in mocks will fluctuate. But you should not get demotivated by your mock scores. Instead, keep on analyzing and improving. And never ever stop taking mocks just because you are not scoring well. This stage is considered to be the toughest among the three stages. 

Devising CAT Study Plan for Working Professionals

If you are working, you need to create a study plan and stick to it strictly. You need to utilize every minute which you get for your preparation. The traveling time between the office and home can be utilized. Assuming that it may take close to 2 hours/day in traveling, you can utilize that time to read books, practice calculations, revise quants formulae, or revise questions which you find to be tough. Utilize that time for your best. 

 Apart from that, you need to squeeze out 2 to 3 hours daily for your CAT preparation. Allocate approximately half-hour to one hour to each section of CAT. Below is the month-wise CAT study plan which you can follow to do well in CAT- 

  • July- Clear all your basics and accordingly start taking topic-wise tests

  • August – Start with mock tests by taking one mock/week. Analyze the mocks properly. Start taking 1-2 sectional tests in a week. Topic Tests can be taken as per the strengths and weaknesses. 

  • September- Start taking two mocks/week with proper analysis. 2 to 3 sectional tests per week. Topic Tests can be taken as per the strengths and weaknesses. 

  • October- 3 mocks/week. 3-4 sectional tests per week. Revisit all the questions which you answered wrong. 

  • November- 1 mock per week. Complete focus should be on revising concepts and revisiting questions that you answered wrong. Relax and don’t let negative thoughts kick in. 

All you need to do is focus on your preparation and give your best on the D-day. Nervousness and anxiety can creep in during the last moments of CAT preparation, but you need to stay calm as much as possible. No matter what happens, you need to maintain your equanimity. Trust yourself and trust your preparation, and you will surely achieve your targeted percentile! 

If you are still feeling confused about your CAT preparation and want expert guidance, then our CAT online classes are perfect for you.

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