Having a full-time 9-5 job is tough and if you are preparing for an entrance exam, it seems next to impossible to pick up a book and study. Yet, there are many candidates who are working professionals who appear for CAT exam. The thing is they not only appear for the exam, they even excel in it. It all depends on the hard work that you have put in and how well do you manage your time. One of the core questions which is asked every year is Should I quit my job to prepare for CAT exam or How to prepare for CAT 2018 while doing a full-time job?
CAT is considered one of the toughest management entrance exams after MAT. However, many have nailed the exam by scoring 99+ percentile and believe us when we say most of them are working professionals. So, if they can do it, so can you. Here you will find all the information you require to prepare for CAT exam. Keep on reading below to get all the necessary information.
Important Links for CAT preparation
Should You Quit Your Job To Prepare For CAT 2018?
One of the first thing that comes in the mind of most of the working professionals are whether they should quit their job to become successful and convert the top IIMs, or FMS, SPJIMR, MDI among other preferred top B-schools. The only logical reason behind this is the shortage of time in comparison to others.
In the past many CAT Toppers, experts and mentors have advised not to jump on the conclusion of quitting the job that fetches you lakhs of Rupees per annum. It becomes a bit difficult to prepare for the exam when someone is idle. However, if you are busy, you can plan better and can spare a good volume of required time for CAT 2018 preparation instead of thinking that you can make full use of time by giving up your job.
Did You Know?
According to the admission data of top B-Schools, more than half of the students in the leading management institutes of India are people who’ve worked in the industry.
What Time Table To Follow For CAT 2018 Preparation?
CAT 2018 is scheduled to be held on November 25, 2018, by IIM Calcutta. So, you have 06 months left for preparation, which is more than enough to prepare well for the exam. However, it is important you should start preparing early since time constraint is a big issue for working professionals.
You should set small weekly/ monthly targets for yourself, like the one given below.
- Month 1: Devote this all one month to cover at least 30% of the syllabus which further includes basic concepts & questions
- Month 2: Cover 60% of syllabus included with basic concepts & questions + 30% of the syllabus (advanced module)
- Month 3: Complete Syllabus (basic concepts & questions) + 60% of syllabus (advanced)
- Month 4: Complete Syllabus (advanced) + 70% of CAT previous years’ questions
- Next 15 days: CAT Questions/ Sample Papers/ Mock Test Series
How To Prepare For CAT 2018 While Doing a Full-Time Job?
While many think of leaving their jobs, however, most of the working executives who aspire for the management degree from IIMs make a preparation strategy which can balance between the study and job very well. One of the best CAT preparation strategy if you are aiming for 99+percentile is to go for self-study, join some good late evening online CAT 2018 classes and attend off-line classes on weekends.
Below we have given some preparation tips to make your task of CAT preparation a bit easy.
The foremost thing you ought to do is to introspect and know why you need to do MBA or appear for CAT. Find one thing that will drive you towards achieving your goal. This particular thing will inspire you even at the times of adversities to give your very best for the exam. Therefore, get rid of any mental block and focus all your energy to achieve success.
You may have seen this tip 100 times, and you will see this again. Plan a timetable first and follow it for the next 30 days at least. As per a research, a human body takes at least 3 weeks to get used to anything and make it a habit. So you should try to follow the schedule to prepare for CAT. After the 30 days, you can update the preparation strategy, make changes in it as you want to and again follow the same without any laxity.
You must devote at least 2-3 hours a day for next 4-5 months. Once you start the preparation according to the schedule, it will become a routine for you.
3. Prepare as per the Syllabus
As a working professional, you already suffer from time constraint. So, preparing as per the syllabus is a crucial part of the CAT 2018 preparation. There is a certain pattern of CAT which you need to follow. CAT syllabus is broadly divided into 5 areas:
1. Quantitative Aptitude
2. Data Interpretation
3. Logical Reasoning
4. Reading Comprehension
5. Verbal Ability
The relative weightage of the above mentioned categories is roughly 2:1:1:1:1. The syllabus to follow for CAT 2018 Preparation is as follows:
|Quantitative Ability||Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning||Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension|
|Arithmetic||Family Tree||Reading Comprehension|
|Ratio and Proportion||The course of Action||Verbal Reasoning|
|Permutation combination||Calendars||Antonyms and Synonyms|
|Algebra||Statement Conclusions||Fill in the blanks|
|Mensuration||Strong Arguments and Weak Arguments||Contextual usage|
|Time and work||Puzzles||Idioms|
|LCM & HCF||Series||Jumbled Passage|
|Averages||Blood Relations||Meaning-Usage Match|
|Clocks||Coding & Decoding||Summary Questions|
|Higher Maths||Column Graphs||Facts-Inferences-Judgments|
|Arithmetic Mean||Multi-dimensional||Sentence Corrections|
|Harmonic Mean||Arrangements||Sentence Completion|
|Geometric Progression||Numeric Grid||–|
|Installments & Payments||Syllogisms||–|
|Profit and Loss||Graphs representing Area||–|
|Percentages||Linear and Matrix Arrangements||–|
|Pipes and Cisterns||–||–|
|Cubes and Cones||–||–|
4. Added Advantage To Working Professional
You may clear the exam after quitting your job but did you know that IIMs award bonus marks to the working executives in their admission process. So, do not lose this additional advantage by quitting the job. The range of weightage in the selection criteria in various IIMs ranges from 3 points to 15 points depending upon your work experience. The ideal period of work experience is between 2 to 3 years. Therefore, the fact is contrary to the belief that you can prepare better or get better admission opportunity by giving up the job. Let’s be real no one studies for 24 hours straight, and nor you can do it.
One must first completely trust themselves, belief in their capacity to achieve what they’ve set out to achieve. They should push themselves in every condition. Motivating yourself in every situation helps you to win half battle. Quitting the job is not the ultimate solution to the problem. Everything in this world is possible but it just requires determination, grit, discipline and proper strategy for doing things in a great way.
Best wishes from the Aglasem team!