Juggling between your job and CAT preparation? Here’s how you can ace it

Ever since 25 November was announced as ‘D-Day’ for Common Admission Test (CAT), aspirants have put their foot on the pedal to prove their mettle. However, the struggle of people trying to maintain a balance between their preparation and job is extremely difficult. The inability to balance everything makes the aspirant feel dejected and ultimately, lose out on their dream college.

CAT is the foundational criteria for securing an admission in premier MBA institutions like IIMs, FMS, IITs, etc. Percentile followed by a group discussion and personal interview helps the candidate to register a seat in a college that accepts CAT score. Admission into a tier-1 or tier-2 college plays a pivotal role in future scope of the degree.

CAT 2018 will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions divided into 3 sections: Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. You can refer Arun Sharma for Quant and Logical Reasoning whereas Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis and Newspapers are sufficient for Verbal. Here are a few suggestions you can follow to bell the CAT:-

Importance of Mocks

The first step of preparation is a mock test. Before you begin your preparation, take a mock within the time limit. This will help you with an initial SWOT analysis. According to this mock, you can establish an approach towards your shortcomings since the beginning. After regular practice of concepts and questions, pick up mocks one month prior to the exam and solve them in the same manner (computer- based). It will boost your confidence on the improved area and simultaneously, unveil the aspects which require attention.

Strong Foundation

With areas like Quant in the exam, basics are the key. In the initial months, devote your focus on understanding the concepts and identifying the questions where they can be applied. Refer to solution books to understand the difference in approach. It is important to try many questions, but it is necessary to get them right and avoid negative marking.

Offline vs online coaching

Technology has penetrated in every field, use it. It is not a hard and fast rule that without offline coaching, you cannot clear the exam. Online coaching alternatives remove the physical stress and help you to focus on the studies. However, this is not applicable for everyone. If you think you need a rigorous schedule, the time constraint of offline classes might be beneficial. Understand yourself and choose wisely.

Weekday vs weekend

When you are travelling and working more than 12 hours a day, it is impractical to expect 4 hours of daily study. Start with an hour and gradually explore your productive limitation on weekdays. Since timeline on weekend is under your control, invest 12 hours in preparation. Remember, quality study will give you better results than invested time.

Analyze shortcomings

In a couple of months, you’ll realize if your verbal and quant is strong, but logical reasoning needs work or any other permutation of the three sections. Embrace it and work upon the weak areas. See if you basics are unclear or your approach is flawed.

Regular touch with strongholds

There is a thin line between confidence and over-confidence. Keep practicing your strongholds in regular intervals. Pro tip: If you have planned a tough topic for the day, end the day with a stronghold. You can relax your mind while staying in regular touch with the concepts.

Mobile apps

Verbal and logical can be brushed up with a plethora of mobile applications. Vocabulary games, brain teasers and puzzles are some of the things you can do in your free time. If possible, try to include newspaper reading in this, especially the editorials.


This is the toughest part of the preparation and simultaneously, the most important one. All your preparations will be nullified without regularity. Rigorous practice and constant improvement is the highway to your dream college.

With a little more than three months left, implement these tips, work smart, deal with the lows, stay focused, go out there and make history.


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