How Much Time is Required to Prepare for CAT 2023?

NidhiUpdated On: November 26, 2023 09:10 pm IST | CAT

What is the best time to begin CAT 2023 preparation? MBA aspirants seeking admission into IIMs and top management colleges in India can read the article below to know how much time is required to prepare for CAT 2023.

Time Required for CAT Preparation

How Much Time is Required to Prepare for CAT 2023: If you Google this question, then you will find that you definitely need more time than you think. The CAT exam is considered to be one of the toughest exams to crack and one of the things that might help the most in cracking the exam is time. Time plays the most important role in CAT 2023 preparation as optimizing time can level up your game. The CAT 2023 exam was conducted by IIM Lucknow on November 26, 2023, in three slots in 155 test cities across India. In this article, we will take a look at some tips that helped candidates in the CAT 2023 preparation a lot easier.

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CAT 2023 Mock Test

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.

What is the right time to start preparing for CAT 2023?

How much time is required to prepare for CAT 2023 cannot be answered in just one way. The candidate's degree of proficiency will determine this. While many 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 timetable with designated slots to crack each section of the CAT paper - Verbal, Quantitative, Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning. Plus, continuous brush up on news & happenings around the world, which will help you in the GD/ PI process. 

Making a study plan may be done once you have identified your strengths and shortcomings. Candidates should, in general, give themselves at least 4-5 months to prepare for the CAT. In this manner, they will have sufficient time to read the entire text, practice the problems and mock exams, and strengthen their weak areas. If you have limited time, another option is to enroll in a crash course that lasts 4–8 weeks and covers all the crucial subjects examined on the CAT. Candidates who have less than four months to prepare for the CAT should do so.

Also Read:

Important Topics for CAT 2023 Algebra and Modern MathsHow to Start CAT Preparation 2023 from Scratch

Is CAT Coaching Necessary?

This is one of the most asked questions and the answer is - it really depends on you. Candidates might as well look into some of the best CAT 2023 coaching institutes in India if they consider enrolling in one for CAT preparation. Coaching classes provide an organized 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 customized mock papers.

So, it just leaves us with the answer that if you are organized 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 your studies and will be able to practice a lot.

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

Understand the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

CAT 2023 will have the following sections and each section requires the same level of preparation.

  • Quantitative Ability

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

  • Verbal Ability

CAT Sections

Total Questions

Time Allotted

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)


40 minutes

Quantitative Ability (QA)


40 minutes

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)


40 minutes



120 minutes

The syllabus of CAT is pretty simple and you can easily understand the CAT exam pattern 2023 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 the 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. It is important to make sure that you are able to 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

Action Plan for CAT 2023 Preparation

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 organization 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 time to enroll in coaching institutes and attend classes regularly and subsequently, practically analyze your progress and ask yourself the question - are you really CAT 2023 ready?

CAT 2023: How to Prepare

The difficulty level of the CAT examination is very high. You should study hard in order to get a good percentile in the 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 sections. The articles provided below will help you to know some preparation strategies for the CAT examination.

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)

How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning)

How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension)

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

10 Last-Minute Tips to Crack CAT 2023

Exam Day Tips for CAT 2023 - Key Tips to Help You Succeed

Preparation Tips for CAT 2023

Here are some CAT 2023 preparation tips. These preparation tips will surely help you score well in the CAT exam.

  • Go through the syllabus of the CAT exam.

  • Check the CAT 2023 exam pattern to know what type of questions can be asked in the exam.

  • Practice a maximum number of CAT 2023 mock test papers.

  • Try to solve all CAT previous year's question papers.

  • Prepare a preparation schedule 

  • Make notes alongside your CAT preparation 

  • If you are not good in Quantitative Ability, practice at least 2-3 questions of each type.

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

CAT 2023 Exam Day Instructions

CAT 2023 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation

What after the CAT Exam?

CAT Predicted Question Paper 2023

Importance of CAT Mock Test During Preparation

CAT 2023 Admit Card

If you have any other doubts regarding CAT preparation, you can ask them in the Collegedekho QnA zone. For admission-related assistance, call our toll-free number 1800-572-9877, or fill out our Common Application Form. All the best for your CAT 2023 exam!

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Is coaching necessary to prepare for CAT?

Coaching is not mandatory but can be beneficial for some candidates. It provides structured guidance, study materials, and practice tests. However, self-study with quality resources, time management, and consistent practice can also lead to success in the CAT exam.

Are 3 months enough to prepare for CAT?

The preparation time of 3 months for CAT can be sufficient if approached with a strategic study plan, dedicated effort, and consistency. However, the effectiveness of preparation depends on the candidate's prior knowledge, aptitude, and commitment to study during this period.

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

Yes, it is recommended to start preparing for CAT at least one year before the exam. Starting early allows for thorough coverage of the syllabus, practice of concepts, and gradual improvement. It gives you ample time to develop strategies, work on weak areas, and attempt sufficient mock tests for better performance.

How can I manage my time effectively during the CAT 2023 exam?

To manage your time effectively during the CAT 2023 exam, it is essential to practice time management while taking mock tests. Divide your time for each section, and try to stick to it during the actual exam. Also, avoid spending too much time on a single question and move on to the next one if you get stuck.

What are the best study materials for CAT 2023?

Some popular study materials for CAT 2023 include books like Arun Sharma's "How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude," Nishit Sinha's "Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation," and Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Online platforms like TIME, IMS, and other online resources offering comprehensive CAT preparation materials.

How many mock tests should I take for CAT 2023?

Taking regular mock tests is essential for CAT 2023 preparation. It is recommended to take at least one mock test every week, and in the last two months before the exam, one should take a mock test every two days.

How should I prepare for CAT 2023?

To prepare for CAT 2023, focus on three key areas: concept understanding, practice, and mock tests. Develop a study plan, cover all relevant topics, solve previous years' papers, and take regular mock tests to improve time management and identify areas for improvement. Stay consistent, analyze performance, and seek guidance if needed.

How many hours a day should I study for CAT 2023?

The number of hours you should study for CAT 2023 depends on your individual needs and capabilities. However, it is generally recommended to dedicate a consistent and focused study routine, aiming for at least 2-4 hours of quality study time each day to cover the extensive syllabus and practice effectively.

When should I start preparing for CAT 2023?


It is recommended to start preparing for CAT 2023 as early as possible. Ideally, beginning your preparation around 6-12 months prior to the exam allows sufficient time for comprehensive coverage of the syllabus, regular practice, and focused improvement in weak areas, maximizing your chances of success.

How much time is required to prepare for CAT 2023?

The amount of time required to prepare for CAT 2023 varies based on individual factors such as prior knowledge, aptitude, and dedication. On average, a focused and dedicated preparation of 6 to 12 months is recommended to cover the extensive syllabus, practice mock tests, and develop test-taking strategies for CAT.

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