The biggest challenge working professionals face during CAT preparation is their busy schedules. Here is how you can strike a balance between your work and studies while preparing for CAT:
Develop a study plan: To begin your CAT preparation in a systematic format, it is essential that you create a study plan and divide your study material into manageable groups. Sticking to a routine will help you track your progress and cover the syllabus quickly.
Enroll for Coaching: It is given that working professionals will find it difficult to prepare for CAT or attend regular coaching classes. Hence, you can opt for night classes or online coaching with recorded sessions that offer more flexibility.
Utilize the online resources: The internet is a boon if you are an aspirant studying by yourself. You can access various preparation materials such as mock tests, practice questions, and books. These resources will supplement your study plan and provide a better understanding of the syllabus and exam pattern.
Prioritize your tasks: Since you are working for most of the day, the time you have is limited. So it becomes essential that you divide your time across tasks based on their urgency. Focus on the areas where you need improvement the most and allocate more time to these areas.
Mock tests: Taking mock tests is critical to getting familiar with the CAT exam pattern and the type of questions that are asked. However, working professionals may have limited time to take full-length mock tests. They can consider taking shorter mock tests that can help them evaluate their understanding of the concepts.
Study on weekends and holidays: The maximum time you might have to offer to your CAT perspiration s a working professional is probably during holidays and weekends. So take up more intensive topics and mocks on these days to catch up on missed study sessions.
Find a peer group: A study group can provide a lot of assistance in terms of motivation, clarifying doubts, and tracking your progress against others. It is an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with other CAT aspirants.
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As a working professional preparing for the CAT exam, there are several things that you should avoid doing to ensure that you can dedicate your time and energy to your exam preparation effectively. Here are a few things that you should avoid:
Avoid Procrastinating: Instead of delaying your preparation for CAT, start early and study at an easier pace. With little time on your hands during the day, you must manage your time effectively to cover all the important topics.
Don't neglect your job: Preparing for CAT is your priority, but it should not take a toll on your performance at work. Complete your job responsibilities during work hours and try balancing your work and exam preparation effectively.
Theory isn’t everything: While study materials and theoretical knowledge are helpful, don't rely solely on them. Familiarizing with the exam pattern, and syllabus & assessing your progress all require practice with previous years' question papers and mock tests.
Don't compare yourself to others: It's essential to remember that everyone has their pace and level of preparation. Avoid comparing yourself to others, and focus on your own progress.
You do not need to spend the whole day preparing for CAT. If you start early, you can formulate a schedule to study for 3-4 hours before or after your work. It would be advisable that you do not quit your job and instead, strike a balance between your work and CAT studies.
Ideally, candidates should dedicate a minimum of 3 hours daily to prepare for CAT. The focus should be on covering the syllabus and understanding the important topics.
You must change your daily routine and incorporate the CAT preparation before or after your work hours. Work and daily commute can be exhausting and make preparing for CAT seem strenuous, however, with consistency and dedication you can ace CAT.
A year is enough time to prepare for CAT while also having a job. You can easily cover the topics at your own pace and practise mocks without a restricting deadline.