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CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Working Professionals: Check Study Plan & Time Table

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: November 26, 2023 06:54 pm IST | CAT

Preparing for CAT 2023 while working requires dedication and a preparation strategy. However, you must also have the right attitude to succeed. Here are some of the best CAT 2023 preparation tips for working professionals.

How to Prepare for CAT While Working

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.

CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

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.

Also Read:  CAT 2023 Reservation Policy for OBC, SC, ST, EWS, PwD at IIMs

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

December 2023

Last Date to Challenge CAT 2023 Answer Key

December 2023

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

Importance of CAT 2023 Mock Test

How Much Time is Required to Prepare for CAT?

How to Prepare for CAT QA

How to Prepare for CAT VARC

How to Approach CAT 2023 Question Paper?

How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR

CAT 2023 College Predictor

CAT 2023 Percentile Predictor

Candidates must also check out the links mentioned below to learn more about CAT 2023!

Related Links:

CAT Previous Year Question Papers

CAT Sample Papers - PDF Download

CAT Registration 2023

Best Books for CAT 2023 Exam

If you have any doubts or queries, please ask them on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. For admissions-related inquiries, fill out our Common Application Form (CAF) or call 18005729877 to talk to our counsellor.


Is CAT required for working professionals?

The CAT exam is not mandatory for working professionals. However, if you want to grow and climb the corporate ladder quickly, especially in the field of management, the CAT exam can help in opening up a bunch of opportunities for you professionally. Since CAT is one of the most accepted MBA entrance exams in India, candidates who are successful in securing MBA admission through CAT at some of the top B-schools in the country will have a variety of options to choose from in terms of career opportunities once they graduate. Thus, it is advised that working professionals, especially those in the field of management should appear for CAT atleast once.

What should be the CAT study schedule for working professionals?

Typically, candidates who wish to appear for the CAT exam are advised to devote atleast four to five hours a day during weekdays to exam preparation. However, such a commitment may not be feasible for individuals who have to work full-time or even part-time jobs. Therefore, for working professionals, it is suggested that three hours a day should be invested for CAT preparation to complete the syllabus. Over weekends, candidates should spend around eight to ten hours and also appear for mock tests to check their preparation level. Since working professionals are restricted by time constraints, they should begin their CAT preparation earlier than usual, ideally 6 months prior to the exam.

Is it possible to crack CAT with 3 months of preparation for working professionals?

Yes, it is possible to crack CAT with 3 months of preparation while working, however, it will be a difficult task. Since the amount of time candidates have is limited, they will have to decide which topics to prepare and which topics to avoid. Trying to complete the entire syllabus in 3 months, especially if you’re not familiar with the CAT syllabus can be a gamble since there is a wide range of topics included in CAT. Thus, it is advisable that candidates select certain topics from the syllabus which will fetch them more marks than others. Also, candidates should rigorously practice mock tests and sample papers to enhance their time management skills.

What are some useful tips to crack CAT for working professionals?

It is commonly believed that preparing for the CAT exam means quitting your job due to the highly competitive nature of the exam which demands a candidate’s full time and attention. However, this is not the case as scoring a decent percentile score in CAT while working a full-time job is absolutely possible. Candidates who are working professionals just have to work a bit harder than other candidates in order to match the level of preparation needed to ace the CAT exam. Some of the best tips to crack CAT for working professionals are mentioned below:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the CAT syllabus, exam pattern, and marking scheme to prepare a personalized exam strategy.
  • Focus on building your foundation in the basic concepts that are tested in the CAT exam, especially in Mathematics and the English language.
  • Practice mock tests rigorously to test your knowledge and preparation levels.
  • Improve your time management skills by practicing sample papers and previous year's question papers.

Which section of the CAT exam is the toughest?

The CAT exam has three broad sections including the Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) sections. The entire CAT syllabus is divided into these three sections. However, is it considered by candidates that the Quantitative Aptitude section is the toughest section among the three. Some candidates also believe that the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section can be the toughest and also the lengthiest. That being said, in comparison to the other sections, the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section is the least challenging portion of the CAT exam.

What is the CAT cutoff for IIM admissions?

The CAT cutoff score established by the IIMs is the minimum score that must be met in order for a candidate to be accepted to that business school. The cutoff for admission to the top IIMs in India is typically set above the 90th percentile. Before the CAT results are made public, the CAT qualifying cutoff is disclosed. The final cutoff for choosing applicants for subsequent admission rounds is made known after the results are made public. The fierce competition forced some of the best IIMs, including IIM-A, IIM-B, and IIM-C, to set their final cutoff well above the 95 percentile.

What are the best books for CAT preparation?

It is very important for aspirants to prepare for the CAT exam from the best sources possible. If a candidate invests their time and effort in preparing from sub-standard books, they will face the consequences during the final exam. That being said, here are some of the best books for CAT preparation:

  • NCERT Mathematics Books for Standard 8, 9, and 10 by NCERT
  • Quantitative Aptitude by Dr. RS Aggarwal
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma (McGraw Hill Education)
  • The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • PSC for VA for CAT by Nishit Sinha

What is the syllabus for CAT?

There is no official syllabus provided for the CAT exam by the exam conducting authorities. Using yearly data and exam trends from the previous year, the CMAT syllabus is estimated. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA) are the three broad categories that make up the CMAT syllabus. Each of these sections has some subjects that are given more emphasis than others. Algebra, analytical reasoning, linear arrangements, time-speed-distance, allegation and mixtures, reading comprehension, geometry, parajumbles, graphs, number series, matrix arrangements, blood relationship tests, grammar, English usage errors, and other subjects are some of the most crucial topics in the overall CMAT syllabus.

How many hours a day is required for CAT preparation?

The amount of time needed for CAT preparation is highly dependent on the candidate. If a candidate is familiar with the CAT syllabus and has appeared for CAT before, the preparation time needed will be significantly less than that needed by a first-time test taker for CAT. Also, every student will take a different amount of time to complete the vast syllabus included in the CAT exam. However, typically candidates are advised to devote atleast 4 hours a day on weekdays and eight to ten hours on weekends. This will help them complete the CAT syllabus efficiently and also leave time for revision and mock tests.

Is it feasible to prepare for CAT with a full-time job?

Yes, you can work a full-time job and study for the CAT exam. It is a common misbelief that only candidates who devote their entire time to CAT preparation are the ones that rank in the top percentile. This is certainly not true, since there have been many instances where individuals have achieved a high percentile score while working a full-time job. All you have to do is create a study schedule based on your free time and exercise self-control in sticking to it. You can sign up for online study groups or MBA coaching classes to get study materials, advice, and problem-solving sessions. 

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Related Questions

Is admission possible here in MBA without any entrance exam?

-Sumit AntilUpdated on November 25, 2023 03:51 PM
  • 5 Answers
Puneet Hooda, Student / Alumni

Dear student, 

To be eligible for MBA admission in Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi CAT score is mandatory. Candidates who have qualified CAT are shortlisted for a personal interview. Based on cumilative peformance of candidates in CAT and personal interview, they are selected for Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi MBA admission. So, getting admission in MBA without any entrance exam is not possible.  


whats the fee structure for mba for two years

-shivani bahugunaUpdated on November 23, 2023 11:22 AM
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Ankita Sarkar, Student / Alumni

Hello Shivani,

The fees for the MBA course at Nimbus Academy of Management is Rs 1 lakh per year. To get admitted you must have at least 50% in Graduation in any stream.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask for any more queries.


Mba in hr k liye humme college se education loan provide hoga ya nhi

-Mansi ChoudharyUpdated on November 23, 2023 11:18 AM
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mayank Uniyal, Student / Alumni

Dear Mansi, 

The admission department at Rawal Institutions shall guide you through the financial assistance process during the counselling process. There are several banks that offer loan facilities for MBA programmes with an interest rate between 11 to 14 per cent. Moreover, the Rawal Institutions scholarship scheme is also offered for meritorious students to complete their education. 

Hope this information was helpful!

Feel free to contact us for any more questions.   


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