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How Much Time is Required to Prepare for CAT?

NidhiUpdated On: November 25, 2020 02:37 pm IST | CAT

Get an idea of how to prepare for CAT 2020 so that you can increase your chances of getting admission to some of the top B-schools for PGDM/MBA courses. CAT is considered for conducting admissions at most of the management colleges in the country which makes it one of the most popular exams.

Time Required for CAT preparation

Exactly how much time is required to prepare for CAT? If you google this question, then you will find that you definitely need more time than you think. CAT is considered to be one of the toughest exams to crack and one of the things that help the most in cracking the exam is time. Time plays the most important role in CAT preparation and can take you from zero to hero. CAT is a hurdle that every management aspirant has to cross in order to get into the most prestigious IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Calcutta, IIM Kashipur, IIM Raipur etc. CAT is considered not only for IIM admissions but some top B-Schools also accept CAT scores for selecting students. The CAT scores are also important for admission to the top MBA colleges in India like SP Jain - Mumbai, Narsee Monjee - Mumbai,FMS - Delhi University etc.

Based on your Common Admission Test (CAT) score, you can take admission in various Masters in Business Management (MBA) courses in India in specialisations like - human resources management, finance management, marketing management, and even hotel management & hospitality management. Many business schools also offer courses of Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM), Executive MBA etc.

Traditionally, a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) course best augments your MBA aspirations, but a student with a background of any other stream can also prepare for CAT & other management entrance exams in India. Some of the popular regions where MBA colleges are in huge demand include Assam, Calicut, Mysore, Vadodara, Kerala & Karnataka. Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mysore, Ahmedabad etc. are other popular destinations from where you can complete your MBA or PGDM courses.

While people may argue that 6 - 10 months of dedicated preparations will help you sail through, if you ask the CAT toppers of previous years, they will tell you that they have spent a dedicated 1 - 1.5 years to crack the CAT exam. And that too, not aimlessly. They had chartered a time table with designated slots to crack each section of the CAT paper - Verbal, Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. Plus, continuous brush up of news & happenings around the world, which will help you in the GDPI process.

So, here are some tips that can help you make your CAT 2020 preparation process a lot easier & streamlined.

Is CAT Coaching Necessary?

This is one of the most asked questions and the answer is - it really depends on you. Coaching classes provide an organised way to success and are the best way to get in touch with people who know more about CAT than you do. Coaching does not make you great, it just helps you in your way to prepare and clear the CAT exam. It gives you a schedule that you have to follow, notes that will be most helpful, and customised mock papers.
So, it just leaves us with the answer that if you are organised and dedicated enough then you probably do not need coaching because coaching is just one of the things, not THE thing. Preparing by yourself is also an amazing idea and this way you will be able to give more time to studies and will be able to practice a lot.

Also Read:Step by Step Guide to Crack CAT Without Coaching

Understand the Pattern and Syllabus

CAT has the following sections and each section requires the same level of loyalty.

  • Quantitative Ability
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal Ability

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

The syllabus of CAT is pretty simple and you can easily understand the pattern of CAT exam by going through past year’s question papers.

Do You Need to Quit Your Job?

It is very important that you figure out whether you need to quit your job in order to prepare for CAT or not. You must weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of quitting your job for the preparation of CAT as it is a huge decision. Most of the top MBA colleges also give points for work experience, so keep in mind that a gap in your resume can be a disadvantage. Make sure that you can explain that gap during your interview for selections before deciding to quit. Figure out how much time you need and then make your decision.

Also Read: CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals - Check Study Plan & Time Table

Action Plan

Now that you are done deciding whether you want to join a coaching or prepare by yourself and now you also understand the syllabus of the exam, it is the ideal time to make the ‘Action Plan’. You need to make a timetable and stick to it because the organisation is the key. You need to take each section one by one and complete it and then you can check your progress through mock tests because it is the easiest way.

It is the time to enrol in coaching institutes and attend classes regularly and subsequently, practically analyse your progress and ask yourself the question - are you really CAT ready?

CAT 2020 How to Prepare

The difficulty level of the CAT examination is very high. You should study hard in order to get good percentile in CAT entrance exam. You can either prepare a combined strategy for all the sections of CAT or you can follow a separate preparation plan for all section. These articles provided below will help you to know some preparation strategies for CAT examination.

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

How to Prepare for CAT for Working Professionals - Check Study Plan & Time Table

How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension) - Expert Advice, Tips

How to Improve English for MBA Exams

Tips to Improve GK for MBA Entrance Exams: Best Books and Preparation Tips

10 Last Minute Tips to Crack CAT 2020Exam Day Tips for CAT 2020 - Key Tips to Help You Succeed

Preparation Tips for CAT 2020

Here are some preparation tips for CAT entrance exams. These preparation tips will surely help you score well in CAT exam.

Besides this, you can also refer to these articles provided below to know more about the preparation tips for the CAT exam.

CAT 2020 Exam Day Instructions - Check Rules, What to Carry, Other Guidelines

CAT 2020 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation - Check When and How to Start CAT Preparation

What after CAT exam? Here's Important Things To Do

CAT Predicted Question Paper 2020 - Important Topics, Chapters, Analysis

CAT 2020 Mock Test: Importance of CAT Mock Test During Preparation

Mock Test – The Right Strategy to Crack CAT 2020

If you have any other doubt regarding CAT preparation, you can ask them on the Collegedekho QnA zone. For admission-related assistance, call on our toll-free number 1800-572-9877 or fill our Common Application Form

All the best for your CAT exam!


Can I start preparing for CAT before one year of the exam?

Yes, you can start your preparation anytime. However, you are advised to prepare a preparation schedule so that you dedicate enough time for all the topics of CAT.

Are 3 months enough to prepare for CAT?

3 months are enough to prepare for CAT only if you are fully dedicated to CAT preparation. You should dedicate 5-6 hours daily to prepare for CAT in three months. You can check the exam pattern of the exam to know the exam structure.

Is coaching necessary to prepare for CAT?

No, coaching is not necessary to prepare for CAT. Candidates can clear the exam with self-preparation. They can check the preparation tips provided by toppers as well as experts to know some preparation strategies for CAT.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


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