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CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Working Professionals: MBA is one of the most sought-after postgraduate degrees that is commonly pursued by individuals who have been working in the corporate sector for some time. Since professional work experience is an added bonus for MBA aspirants, people often tend to pursue their education in management while working simultaneously. One of the primary reasons why working professionals are preferred for an MBA course is their existing knowledge and understanding of the corporate world.
The CAT 2023 exam has been conducted by IIM Lucknow on November 26, 2023, in three slots in 155 test cities across India. Every year over 2 lakh aspirants register and appear for the CAT exam to seek admission to some of the top management colleges in India. However, CAT is also known for being one of the toughest MBA entrance exams in India. Nevertheless, every management aspirant is aware of the importance of CAT when it comes to MBA admissions.
As mentioned earlier, many candidates tend to prepare for CAT while handling the responsibilities of a working professional. For such individuals, the onus of balancing their CAT preparation and work schedule can become tedious. Therefore, an effective preparation plan and exam strategy must be devised for working professionals who wish to appear for the CAT 2023 exam. This article shares some of the best tips and strategies that working professionals can follow to enhance their CAT 2023 preparation.
Also Read: CAT Question Paper 2023
CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Working Professionals
As a working professional, you will have some limitations when preparing for the CAT 2023 exam. You will not be able to spare as much time and effort as an aspirant with no other responsibilities. Therefore, it becomes very important to play to your strengths and work smartly. Given below are some very important tips you should keep in mind when preparing for CAT 2023, along with a job.
Don't Slack on Practice
It is very difficult to overstate the importance of practice when preparing for CAT 2023. Solving questions on a daily basis should be an important part of your preparation strategy.
When selecting the best books for CAT 2023 preparation, you should look for books that provide sample question papers, previous year question papers with solutions, and mock tests.
Use Your Time Wisely
Finding time to study with an already busy work schedule can get tough. However, it can be done if you are wise about how to spend your time. Many professionals use their traveling time to prepare for the CAT.
Professionals can often be seen spending 2-3 hours per day in travel, thus, they can make short notes and study while commuting. This helps you use this time to your advantage. It is important to develop the mindset to crack CAT 2023 and follow your schedule with due diligence.
Working professionals can even subscribe to online video tutorials and they can actively listen to them during their journey to their workplace, or in their leisure time during the day.
Another important point is to not take too much on your plate. If you are preparing for CAT 2023 while working, you might have to pause some other activities where your time is spent. You must be ready to cut out the clutter and make time for preparation.
Also Read: CAT Score Vs Percentile Analysis 2023
Prepare a Daily Schedule
The CAT preparation process is difficult to manage while doing a job. But with a little bit of preparation and smart work, a candidate with discipline and focus in life can succeed in the CAT. To prepare for the CAT 2023 exam, all you need to do is create a schedule that allows 4 hours every day and adhere to it religiously. It is simple to follow a schedule for a week, but it is difficult to do it consistently. Thus, it's important that you remember these crucial details. No one can prevent you from reaching success after working hard has become part of the routine. As you pursue your goal, make a schedule and stick to it.
Make Your Basics Strong
Clearing your concepts for CAT is the main component of your preparation. If any of your concepts are unclear, you cannot attempt the question. Concepts in each section must be mastered. For instance, if a candidate finds the VARC part challenging, he or she must first brush up on the fundamentals by studying Wren & Martin's 9th and 10th-grade English grammar texts. Learn 5 to 10 new words every day to expand your vocabulary. Concentrate on the fundamentals of each section.
Follow the Advice of Experts
Understanding the CAT syllabus 2023 is one of the finest ways for working professionals to start preparing for the exam because it gives insight into the topics that require more time and effort.
Working professionals must solve CAT test papers from previous years to score well in the exam.
Taking CAT mock tests also proves beneficial to the aspirants.
Candidates may also seek expert advice in order to save time and learn various, simple ways of answering questions.
It is also imperative for the aspirants to make connections with other CAT aspirants, ask questions, share their thoughts, and gain more knowledge on the CAT 2023 syllabus by raising their concerns and raising more queries.
Use Social Media to Your Benefit
Many groups and student communities exist on social media platforms such as Facebook, Quora, etc. where you can find information and support during your CAT 2023 preparation.
Using online platforms, you can not only interact with a more diverse community of aspirants but it can also help you get in touch with other students and experts instantly from the comfort of your home.
You can also find good study materials and mock tests using these forums to aid in your study preparation.
Coaching and Targeted Study
Weekend classes online or in person can give an excellent boost to your CAT preparation. You can learn question-solving techniques and tricks and find other aspirants to interact with. You can also use coaching to brush up on concepts in which you are weak.
The most important aspect that coaching brings is that it takes the mental pressure off to some extent. You basically outsource the task of theory learning to another individual who can do it professionally and, in most cases, quicker than you can at home.
Keep Your Confidence Up
CAT preparation while working can take a toll on your mind. It can get overbearing in the starting days and you may want to give up. However, it is important to keep your confidence up and keep going.
You may get demotivated by thinking that your preparation will not be enough and you will not get a good score. However, with the right attitude, correct preparation strategy, and discipline, you will be able to crack the CAT 2023 exam.
Having an idol or a target IIM in mind while preparing can also help a lot to guide your efforts during CAT preparation.
Refer to the Best Books and Study Material
Use quality study materials at all times. It is not relevant how many resources you have. The quality of the study guides is what counts. Smartphones make it easier to download and evaluate a variety of useful study apps for CAT preparation for working professionals. The best books for CAT 2023 preparation are as follows:
High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin
A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma
Take Mock Tests for the CAT
You approach your goal more effectively the more mock examinations you take. The main advantage of taking mock tests is that after you finish one, you can see where you made mistakes and learn the ways to tackle the problems. Taking mock tests is the greatest way to improve speed and accuracy. All coaching institutes offer practice test booklets. Additionally, they are available online. Try to complete as many CAT practice papers and mock exams as you can. You will be well-equipped to take the CAT 2023 exam after taking 30–40 practice exams.
Recognize the Significance of Time Management
The topics must be ranked in order of importance before a schedule can be prepared. A minimum of four hours must be invested each day. On other days, aspirants could divide sections. For instance, if a candidate struggles with the quantitative section of the exam, they should devote two hours every day on that topic and split the other two sections evenly. An applicant is better able to manage both their strong and weak areas in this way.
Do Not Leave Your Job to Prepare for the CAT
It is not a great idea to quit one’s job to prepare for the CAT exam 2023 because possessing professional experience places one in an advantageous position. Nearly all IIMs give preference to applicants with work experience. IIM Ahmedabad gives candidates with work experience a 5% weightage. Therefore, you must obtain the benefit of employment. Try to organize your schedule so that you have enough time to complete the task at hand and your preparation.
CAT 2023 6-Month Study Plan
Working professionals may not be able to take out much time from their daily schedule for CAT 2023 preparation, however, coming up with a study plan and studying for 2-3 hours daily can help them crack the exam. Here is a CAT 6-month study plan that candidates with jobs can easily follow:
Month 1 (June)
Start your preparation with Quantitative Ability and Logical Reasoning
Month 2 (July)
Continue with Quantitative Ability and Logical Reasoning and start Verbal Ability
Month 3 (August)
Finish Quantitative Ability and continue with Verbal Ability
Month 4 (September)
Finish Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability
Month 5 (October)
Start and finish Data Interpretation
Month 6 (November)
Solve previous years’ question papers, take mock tests regularly, memorize formulas, and revise QA, LR, VA, DI
CAT 2023 Time-Table
Check the table below to know the important CAT 2023 exam dates.
CAT 2023 Notification Release Date
July 30, 2023
CAT 2023 Registration Start Date
August 2, 2023 (10:00 AM Onwards)
Last Date to Apply for CAT Exam 2023
September 21, 2023 (Till 5:00 PM)
CAT 2023 Application Form Correction Window
September 25-28, 2023
CAT 2023 Admit Card Download Start Date
October 25, 2023 (At 5:00 PM)
CAT Mock Test Release Date
November 23, 2023
CAT Exam Date 2023
November 26, 2023
CAT 2023 Answer Key Release Date
Last Date to Challenge CAT 2023 Answer Key
CAT 2023 Result Date
Second Week of January 2024
Is it Possible to Crack CAT 2023 While Working?
This is one question that many CAT aspirants holding full-time jobs often ask themselves. It is also what prevents many from taking the first step toward CAT 2023 preparation. If you are one of those aspirants, you should probably take a look at the IIM Batch Profile data given below.
64% of the 2021 PGP batch of IIM Ahmedabad comprises students with work experience.
87% of the 2019-21 PGP batch of IIM Nagpur had at least 2 years of work experience.
78% of IIM Calcutta's 2018 MBA batch had prior work experience.
Around 75% of the 2019-21 PGP batches at IIM Lucknow had some amount of work experience.
This is not just true for the recent data but for the previous year's IIM admissions as well. The majority of the students joining the PGP batches of IIMs have been students with prior work experience.
It just goes to show that yes, it is not only possible to crack CAT while working but a significant number of MBA candidates are already doing it. So, there is no reason that you cannot. Preparing for CAT 2023 while working mostly includes:
A solid preparation strategy for CAT.
A lot more practice with CAT Mock Tests and previous year's question papers of CAT than you probably think.
Also Read: Distance Learning Courses in Management
CAT 2023 Preparation Basics
CAT preparation can get overwhelming at times, due to which students tend to miss out on some basics that play an important role in their selection for the exam. Here are some CAT 2023 preparation basics working professionals must take note of:
When Is the Best Time to Start CAT 2023 Preparation?
As per the CAT preparation experts, 6 months is the ideal preparation time for CAT. Since CAT 2021 is scheduled to be conducted in November, the preparation for CAT should ideally begin in May or June 2023.
How Much Study Time Per Day Is Required for CAT?
Ideally, a 4-5 hour study schedule per day is enough for CAT preparation if you are following a 6-month preparation strategy. However, if you have a busy schedule, at least 3 hours of study per day is mandatory to crack CAT in 6 months. In this case, you can spare extra time to study on the weekends.
Whatever time and schedule you choose, the most important part would be to stick to it. Ensuring that you are not compromising with your CAT preparation daily is essential.
How Much Importance Does Practicing Have in CAT Preparation?
Regular practice is the key to cracking CAT. Some experts say that up to 80% of CAT preparation must be reserved for practice. Even if you want a more conservative split, you must dedicate 2/3rd part to practice and 1/3rd to theoretical study.
Taming the CAT while working is not easy but it is quite common to see working candidates shift out of their workplace and into an IIM Campus. You can also check these other related articles that will help you become a better aspirant for CAT.
CAT Preparation Guides
Candidates must also check out the links mentioned below to learn more about CAT 2023!
|Best Books for CAT 2023 Exam|
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