How to prepare for CAT 2017 while doing a full time job?

Gareema Bali updated on : 18 Jul 2017

Struggling to prepare for CAT 2017 while managing your full time job? Check these simple tips devised for working professionals aiming to crack CAT this year.

CAT preparation

Feeling drained after a long day at work? Enter boss. He wants you to come up with a presentation for an important meeting tomorrow. As if that wasn’t enough, you have to go back home and devote some time to your CAT 2017 preparation as well. Common Admission Test (CAT) is considered to be the toughest management entrance exam, and it usually takes months of hard work and dedication for students to crack the same.

One of the IIMs conduct CAT every year. Notification of CAT 2017 will be out soon, which will reveal all the important dates. However, considering the past trends, the exam is most likely to be held in last week of November or first week of December 2017. Candidates interested in pursuing MBA from IIMs or other renowned B-schools of the country must gear up their CAT preparations. Though, there is no suggested preparation timeline but the early you start, the more confident you will feel when the exam will be near.

10 Tips to prepare for CAT 2017

How to prepare for CAT 2017 while doing a full time job?

A high percentage of working professionals appear for CAT and such candidates are usually seen juggling between their 9 to 5 jobs and exam preparation. After a hectic day at work, it gets really difficult for them to grab books and focus on studying. This may sound like something impossible but then there have students who have not just cracked the exam but obtained a 99+ percentile. It simply means, if you dream of sitting in an IIM then no matter how difficult managing CAT 2017 preparation and job gets, you will do it just to realise your dreams.

A lot of working professionals think of quitting their jobs and focus 24*7 on preparation of CAT. Before you even start thinking or considering about giving up your job, we would like you to contemplate your actions and understand why doing so may not be such a good idea. Also, to make the task of CAT preparation a bit easy for working professsional, we list below some beneficial tips - 

Get Rid of the Mental Block

Scoring well in CAT 2017 while working is not a miracle; people have done it in the past. According to the admission data of top B-Schools, more than half of the students in leading management institutes of India are people who’ve worked in the industry. Therefore, stay determined and committed to achieve success. If others have done it, there is no way you can’t!

Don’t Quit Your Job

Yes, CAT 2017 preparation while managing work is tough. Quitting may seem like the right decision right now, but it’s not going to help you in the long run. Usually, most of the candidates who take CAT are fresh graduates but higher conversion rate has been found in people who are working professionals. Also, giving up your job will take away the much-needed flow of income, which you could probably use later to pay your MBA fee. In addition, it might make the PI (Personal Interview) round a little tougher as you might have to face uncomfortable questions.

Find an Interesting Way to Study

Reignite the study mode in you by looking at interesting ways of preparing for the exam amidst office assignments and high work pressure.  You can use a break for an hour or half from office work to go through a word list or solve puzzles to boost verbal and logical reasoning skills. Instead of using a calculator, start doing mental calculations whenever you get a chance to play with numbers. You can also use your office travel time to develop a reading habit. Going through newspaper editorials for improving vocabulary and reading informative magazines may also help.

Anirudh Batra, one of the six 100 percentile scorers of CAT was working while preparing for CAT. Today he is studying in IIM – Ahmedabad, living his dream. You can read his interview on preparation strategies right here.

Better Management of Time

One of the most crucial aspects of your preparation is the time that you devote to your studies. If you are working 5-6 days in a week for 9-10 hours daily, then spending a 1.5 hours everyday on your CAT preparation 2017 is enough. However, try stretching your preparation time to 8-10 hours over the weekend. Prepare a time table that you can follow and adhere to it no matter what. At the same time, don’t be too strict with yourself. Take short breaks between study sessions so that whatever you’ve learnt is retained.

Self-Study & Study Material

If you can’t afford going to a coaching centre due to lack of time or lack of classes in vicinity, then self-study is probably the best option for you. Getting the right books may be costly but look at it as an investment in your career. Choose well from all available resources on the Internet, some are available for free while others may be not. There are also websites that offer free test series ( maybe a good option). You can also attend online courses and lectures from the comfort of your home and also interact with fellow MBA aspirants to discuss preparation strategies. We advise you to also read alternative books like Who says Elephants Can’t Dance by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr or The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton M Christenson. These books can give you a leeway and perspective in a way you had never imagined.

Comment below if you need any help with your CAT 2017 preparations..!!

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