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Should I Quit My Job for CAT Preparation?

Akansha Sirohi
Akansha SirohiUpdated On: November 24, 2021 09:41 am IST | CAT

Preparing for CAT can be tough, especially if you are doing it alongside maintaining a full-time job. In such a scenario, would you quit your job for CAT preparation or just find time to study after work?

Should I Quit My Job for CAT Preparation?

The Common Aptitude Test (CAT) is as popular as it is challenging to crack. It is also the only MBA entrance exam accepted for admission to the prestigious Post Graduate Programmes offered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). This year the exam is going to be conducted on November 28, 2021. 

Despite being an aptitude exam, CAT preparation can be quite demanding. Competition for the top b-schools in India is tough with over two lakh aspirants appearing for the exam every year to take admission in MBA and PGDM courses.

Dedication is the only way to crack CAT and management aspirants know it. This is why the question 'Whether or not should I quit my job to prepare for CAT?' is asked very often. In this article, we will take a look a the merits and demerits of quitting your job for CAT preparation and attempt to answer this question.

Should I Quit My Job for CAT Preparation?

Before understanding the answer to the question, you must understand that CAT is an elimination round for admission to top MBA colleges in India. It is to select only the students who have the best score and a commendable academic background. The rest of the students are eliminated. In this scenario, work experience can play an important role. Which brings us to the answer to the question – No, ideally you should not quit your job in order to prepare for CAT.

In order to understand it better, let us take a look at the reasons why you should not quit your job for CAT preparation.

Also Read:Top B-schools that Accept CAT Percentile Below 90 other than IIMs

What are the Disadvantages of Quitting your Job for CAT preparation?

Leaving a job to study for CAT may seem like the best idea at first glance. However, dig a little deeper and you will find that it has several disadvantages.

  • Preparation Gaps have Negative Impact: If you are aware of the selection procedure of the top business schools, you must be knowing that most of the institutes are highly demanding when it comes to the proficiency of candidates. In this scenario, a gap in your resume for the preparation of CAT will not look so good. Also, weightage is given to the duration of work experience at the time of selection.

  • Additional Pressure: Quitting a job and preparing for CAT puts a lot of pressure on you in terms of performance. Not only are you expected to work harder to achieve your goals but also required to get good colleges as you have limited options in front of you.

Also Read:Importance of CAT in MBA Admissions

Why you Should Reconsider Quitting your Job for CAT preparation?

  • Keeps You Disciplined: Having a fixed occupation keeps you on a tight schedule and you are more active and punctual. It also helps you to arrange your time proportionately and keep fixed time slots for preparation.

  • Gives Confidence: Having a job boosts up your confidence and helps you in maintaining equilibrium. You learn a lot of important things while working including networking and presentation skills that are valued in an aspiring manager.

  • It Is Your Safety Net: Having a backup is a wise option. Many professionals keep attempting CAT with their job to apply for colleges only after they secure their best score. You can always look forward to your job and move on with your work if you don’t achieve the desired score in CAT and apply again for the next session. 

Advantages of Quitting your Job for CAT preparation

Leaving your job to study for CAT has its own advantages as well. However, these must be viewed with caution and you should exercise discretion when taking these into account.

  • It frees up all your time to invest in preparation. Giving your complete attention to CAT studies can yield better results. However, some people tend to get complacent, which may cause wastage of time.
  • The biggest advantage that you will get is decreased mental strain. A professional is often under stress in a work environment and the primary commitment is always the workplace. Leaving your job can have a positive effect here. 

How to Prepare for CAT while working?

It is true that preparing for CAT alongside a permanent job is tough but it is not impossible. Dedicated preparation of 6 to 7 months and 3 to 4 hours of studies every day can work the miracle for you. However, experts often say that it is not the time of study that a student should target on rather focus should be on the score that the student wants to achieve.

The first step would be to learn all about the CAT exam. You can also check our CAT preparation tips for working professionals!

Also Read:65 Group Discussion (GD) Topics for MBA Admissions 2021

The Final Verdict

When deciding whether to quit your job or not, it is important to assess your situation as an individual. Do not get influenced by somebody else's decision. Here are some things that you should consider before making the decision.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses and how much preparation time you need?

  • Whether your work environment and requirements leave you with enough spare time to prepare?

  • Can you maintain a steady rhythm between switching from work mode to study mode?

Discipline and dedication will be your friends. Train yourself to focus on what is important and leave out anything that can be left out. In the end, it will be your call. Carefully arrive at a decision and then give it your best!

Everything About CAT Preparation

In case you are willing to prepare for the CAT exam, check out the handpicked articles by experts that can help in cracking the exam.

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

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

How to Approach CAT 2021 Question Paper?

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CAT 2021 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation - Check When and How to Start CAT Preparation

CAT Preparation Tips for Non-Engineering Students - Check Study Plan & Strategy

Types of Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT 2021: Sectional Analysis and Tips

Important Topics for CAT 2021: Expected Subject-Wise Weightage

Figuring out the colleges you want to apply for and the score that you need to achieve for top colleges is a difficult task. Plan your study schedule according to the score you are targeting. You can consider quitting if you are not able to cut out enough time to achieve your target score and think that you can do better without a job.

To take assistance from CollegeDekho experts regarding CAT admissions, feel free to just dial the toll-free number 1800-572-9877 (toll-free) or fill-up the Common Application Form. In case of any queries, write to us in the QnA zone!

Stay tuned to CollegeDekho for more information on CAT!


Do I need to study everyday to prepare for the CAT exam?

Yes, studying everyday and being consistent are the main key to prepare and ace the CAT exam.

How is quitting a job for CAT preparation beneficial?

Quitting a job for CAT preparation is advantageous as it provides a lot of time to focus on the exam preparation. Besides the aforementioned reason, it also erases a lot of stress and lifts up mental pressure from the mind of the applicant which enhances concentration.

What are the disadvantages of quitting a job for CAT preparation?

The major disadvantage of quitting your job for CAT preparation is that it puts a lot of performance pressure on the applicant. Another demerit is that it provides a gap in the resume of the candidate which might be of concern while applying for admissions in top business schools and institutes.

How long does it take to prepare for the CAT examination?

To prepare for the CAT examination, an applicant requires at least 6 to 7 months and 3 to 4 hours of regular studies.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

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