CAT 2017: How working executives can prepare without quitting job; time to plan and execute it

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Updated on July 17, 2017
There is no need to quit the lucrative job to prepare for CAT 2017 as you need around 3 hours a day to prepare well for next 5 months. The only reason behind this thought of quitting the job is shortage of time that working executives face during their CAT exam preparation journey but this can be overcome by well planned preparation strategy.
CAT 2017 Preparation
If you are busy, you can plan better and can spare a good volume of required time for CAT 2017 preparation instead of thinking that you can make full use of time by giving up your job

The 1st thing that comes to minds of most working professionals while planning to prepare for CAT 2017 exam in revised pattern is whether they should quit the job to become successful and convert the top IIMs, or FMS, SPJIMR, MDI among other preferred top B-schools. The only reason behind this thought is the shortage of time that working executives face during their CAT exam preparation journey.

In view of the CAT toppers, experts and mentors on CAT preparation, it is not advisable to jump to the conclusion of quitting your job. In fact, quitting the job that fetches you lakhs of Rupees per annum to prepare for CAT 2017 may not be a very good idea as you may not prepare that well if you are idle. In view of expert and mentor on CAT preparation, Prof S K Agarwal, if you are busy, you can plan better and can spare a good volume of required time for CAT 2017 preparation instead of thinking that you can make full use of time by giving up your job.

CAT 2017 Preparation links
To understand right CAT 2017 preparation strategy explained by toppers and experts read more…

Think first! How much time you need to prepare daily
You need 3 to 4 hours a day for next 4-5 months to prepare well for CAT 2017. If you have already started your preparation to improve your weak areas, you need to go for planned strategy for next 5 months which will need around 3-4 hours a day that you can very well spare out of your busy schedule.

Earning a handsome amount after graduation and taking leave from the job for a month or two to finalize your CAT 2017 preparation may be a good decision but giving up the job to prepare for CAT 2017 may not be the wise action by an IIM aspirant.

Common Entrance Test (CAT) is the gateway to MBA, PGDM programmes in 20 IIMs and other top rated B-schools like FMS, SPJIMR, NITIE, MDI, IMI, IMT, BIMTECH, TAPMI among others. CAT is taken by about 2 lakh MBA aspirants every year, including a good number of working professionals. It may be noted that during past 2-3 years, number of students with work experience in almost all the IIMs has been on increase and most of them did not quite their job while preparing for CAT exam.

Your best CAT preparation strategy
Many think of leaving their jobs but most of the working executives who aspire for the management degree from IIMs to achieve their career goals devise preparation strategy which can balance between the study and job very well. The preferred preparation strategy is to go for self study, join some good late evening online CAT 2017 classes and attend off-line classes at weekends.

Devote 3 hours a day
CAT 2017 is proposed to be held in the month of December preferably on the 1st Sunday. If you are serious enough to crack CAT 2017 with a high percentile, the suggestion is to devote 2-3 hours a day.

Out of your 24 hours, if you spend 8-10 hours at your work place and supposing that your 10 hours are spent to a cozy sleep, time in bathroom, dining, travelling, entertainment, among others you are still left with 4 hours. If you extract 2-3 hours out of your busy schedule, you can score a very high percentile in CAT 2017.

Plan and Use every minute of available time
Prepare your CAT preparation schedule according to your working hours. After spending the day in office, you should devote a few hours in the night preparing for CAT 2017.

Prepare a schedule first and then follow it for next 30 days. Update the preparation strategy after 30 days, make amendments according to the need and again follow the same without any laxity. Devoting 2-3 hours a day for next 4-5 months is sure not a bad deal to get the best for your career. Once you start the preparation according to the schedule, it will become a routine for you.

Prepare according to CAT Syllabus
As a working professional, you already suffer from a time crunch. Accordingly, it is at the cost of your preparation for CAT 2017, if you waste your time. You should utilise to the optimum every minute available to you and use it judiciously.

CAT syllabus is vast as well as unrestricted by any boundary. On the top of it, the structure and type of questions in CAT go on changing. You need a consistent and right preparation direction to score high in CAT 2017 not only overall but also section wise. 

Don’t lose the added advantage
IIMs award bonus marks to the working executives in their admission process. There is no point losing this additional advantage by quitting the job. The range of weightage to your work experience can go from 3 points to 15 points depending upon your work experience. The ideal period of work experience is between 2 years to 3 years. Therefore, the fact is contrary to the belief that you can prepare better or get better admission opportunity by giving up the job. No one studies for all the 24 hours nor you can do it. 

Study volume goes down after quitting the job
It is human tendency to find an easy way out and thinking of quitting the job is an example of it. When you have nothing to do all day, you do not study for 16 hours. Even if you make up your mind to study, you find excuses for not studying and go on dangling with uncertainties between now and afterwards.

It is a good idea to take leave for 1 or 2 months before the exam to keep you focused and in high spirits to implement your plan to go for vigorous practice of exercises, taking mocks and analyzing them more frequently than earlier. Take 1-2 months leave when you get shortlisted by your dream IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta or other preferred B school to prepare well for Personal Interview round and think of leaving the job when you get admission offer from IIMs.

CAT 2017 will be convened by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow. Professor Neeraj Dwivedi, faculty and admission chair, IIM Lucknow is the convener for CAT 2017 exam. IIM Lucknow will be convening CAT 2017 in partnership with the CAT testing agency TCS in the months of November/December 2017.

This is the second time since CAT has become a computer based exam in 2009 that IIM Lucknow has been assigned the responsibility to convene CAT exam after 2010. IIM Lucknow has taken over the reins from IIM Bangalore who convened CAT 2016 on the CAT 2015 test pattern but reduced number of Non-MCQs. It is expected IIM Lucknow will carry forward the legacy of changes in CAT 2017 and may bring about even more changes in the exam pattern.

Stay tuned to for more updates on CAT 2017

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