CAT Preparation Plan for Working Professionals: I have received numerous inquiries from working professionals regarding how they should prepare for the CAT exam. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, I can provide some basic guidelines that most working professionals can follow.
I also recommend college students read this article for several reasons. Firstly, it will give you a reality check about what to expect when you start working and how beneficial it is to prepare for CAT early on. Secondly, it will help you understand and re-affirm the steps you should take in your preparation, as I will compare the approaches of working professionals and college students.
Before I delve into the details, let me provide a few quick observations about the process:
Observation 1: Have you previously taken the CAT exam? Many working professionals have taken the CAT at least once, either recently or when they were students. If you have taken the exam before, it gives you a significant advantage as you are already familiar with its format and requirements. Taking the actual exam is the best way to understand what you need to do to succeed.
Observation 2: How demanding is your job? Do you need to take a sabbatical? This is a common question I receive. Some individuals believe that taking a break from work or leaving their job entirely is the solution to creating more study time. However, I have a different view. I suggest leaving your job only if it is truly unbearable. In most cases, I have seen that individuals who stick with their job and put in the hard work tend to perform better in the exam compared to those who quit their jobs. The pressure and constraints of work often help individuals focus more and achieve better results.
If you have an extremely demanding job that leaves you with no time for studying, I would advise you to consider taking a break and see how well you can establish a study routine. If you can manage your studies effectively during the break, then you can quit your job.
Observation 3: When should you take a break for CAT preparation? In most cases, it is advisable to take a break from your job in the final stages of your preparation. However, if you are particularly weak in a specific area, it is recommended to take a short break immediately and work on improving your understanding of that area. You can schedule a second break closer to the exam date.
Now, let’s discuss how to prepare for different sections of the CAT exam:
Verbal Ability: Start by focusing on your Reading Comprehension skills. Since you may not have time to read books, I recommend reading a variety of blogs. Utilize your office internet for productive reading. Additionally, practice two RCs every day, which you can even do at work. Cover other areas like Para-jumbles and Para-completion through practice rather than deep conceptual understanding. For vocabulary, use online resources such as ‘Testpandit’ and ‘Word dynamo’ for practice. This way, you can use your phone efficiently for your preparation.
Quantitative Aptitude: If you understand maths concepts well, focus on taking tests and revising the basics. If you are weak in maths, take a break and work on improving your conceptual understanding before moving on to practicing online tests. For those who fall in the middle, neither weak nor strong, I still recommend taking a short break to clarify concepts before moving forward.
CAT Coaching: The question arises, should you join a CAT coaching program? Realistically, with your tight schedule, it might be challenging to find sufficient time to attend a comprehensive coaching program. I believe you should save your weekends for yourself. Instead, consider finding tuitions or coaching for specific topics in specific time periods to help you work on the basics. However, if you have enough time, you can consider joining a coaching program.
Daily Practice: Solve 10 to 15 questions daily, covering all topics and ensuring you solve previous year CAT questions from each topic. Increase your practice level as you approach the final stages of your preparation.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: Practice is key for this section. Focus on basic calculations and reasoning concepts, and solve two to three sets every day. Solve all previous year questions and ensure that this practice does not get neglected.
Mock CATs: Mock CATs are incredibly important. Aim to take a mock CAT every 10 days and analyze your performance. Try different approaches during mocks to see what works best for you.
Online Coaching: If you have the time and resources, online tutorials for CAT can be highly beneficial. Time management is crucial, and online tutorials provide flexibility to fit your schedule.
Hope this article has provided you with some answers about the CAT Preparation Plan for Working professionals. If you have any further questions, please post them in the comments, and I will address them in a future blog post.
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