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Common admission test (CAT) 2019 aspirants belong to all walks of life and have a diverse educational and work background. The consideration that working professionals do not succeed in cracking the exam is not appropriate as every year the number of working professional applicants increases and so do their success rates. IIM’s and top B schools in India give certain weightage (5% to 15%) to candidates with work experience. For instance, IIM Calcutta provides 8 extra points to professionally experienced candidates in final selection.
Managing the time and studying smartly are two essential requirements for working people aspiring to crack the exam. With three months remaining for CAT 2019 aspirants should gear up their preparation.
Working professionals before beginning their preparation should analyse the following points:
Pre-Preparation Activity: Identify the level of your preparation and the amount of practice and preparation required to appear for CAT 2019. This can be done by giving a Mock Test or solving a practice paper. Balance work and preparation accordingly.
Is Coaching Assistance Required: Make yourself aware of the updated CAT 2019 exam pattern and examine if formal coaching guidance is required or self study is sufficient.
Is Quitting Job Necessary: The most important question is to ask oneself about how to manage time for efficient preparation. Applicants should not run into the decision of giving up Job for full time preparation.
Read the article further to know about preparation tips and strategy to be undertaken by working professionals appearing for CAT 2019.
Follow a Time Table
Make Preparation Strategy
Must Read CAT 2019 Model Paper as predicted by Collegedunia
Appear for Mock Test
Utilise Spare Time
If the applicant has 6 months or more in hand, preparing for CAT along with job is quite possible if done in a planned strategic way.
|Monday and Tuesday||Quantitative Aptitude|
|Saturday||Verbal ability and Mock Test|
|Sunday||Weak Topics and Revision|
CAT Preparation strategy for working professionals may differ from candidate to candidate depending on their job profile and the circumstances they face. A common dilemma of working aspirants is thus whether to quit the job and dedicate entire time to CAT preparation or prepare and work simultaneously. To come to a conclusion the first step should be to devise a preparation strategy balancing work and preparation and see if it suits you or not.
Only if scoring good percentile in CAT and pursuing MBA will land you with better job prospects leaving current job and full time preparation is a feasible option. Also, quitting job is a personal decision and depends on various subjective factors like financial requirements of the candidates, personal needs etc. CAT preparation expert S K Agarwal says that working applicants are busy but if planning is done and sufficient time is spared everyday, preparation is possible. Thus there is no need to quit job and prepare.
A full time job can be distracting, giving up job will allow you to focus properly on preparation. A demanding job does not provide any spare time and can be physically draining as well. If this is the case quitting job is a good decision as an MBA degree from a reputed institute will only lead to career boost and salary hike. With ample time to prepare one can make schedule, strategy and daily time table accordingly as per their learning speed and requirements.
Leaving the job for preparation produces a perception that the individual cannot multitask. As a lot of applicants manage to crack the exam while being in job, quitting job will question your time management skills. The CAT exam process is lengthy and can go on for a duration of one year initial 6 months for preparation and appearing in CAT and later 6 months for WAT/GD/PI. For such a long duration quitting job and preparing can be frustrating.
As per teachers and experts disciplined effort to balance preparation and job can lead to success in CAT exam. Every year there are top percentile scorer’s who have working experience.
Once a working professional decides to sit for CAT exam the first question that comes across them is mode of preparation strategy. Some of the commonly asked questions for working professionals are:
Is coaching necessary?
It depends on the preparation level of applicants. Coaching along with a job is not feasible but weekend coaching classes are available in offline mode specially designed for working professionals. Coaching guidance is necessary if preparation is to be done from scratch. The coaching institutes will provide a designed strategy and time table along with study material and applicants just have to follow that religiously to score a good percentile. But most of the working applicants go either for self study or online classes.
Will there be time to attend coaching alongside job?
A hectic full time job will not provide sufficient time to attend coaching classes. Weekend classes are an alternative in this case or online coaching classes. This also depends on the applicants work profile and job environment. In case working candidates cannot find time there are options of online coaching websites, night coachinf classes and weekend classes.
Is mock test series necessary?
There is no doubt mock test have become a necessity to crack CAT, A minimum of one full length mock should be given every week. Different approaches should be opted to attempt mock. From 2018 onwards IIM conducting CAT releases official mock test on iimcat.ac.in. this helps candidates analyse their preparation level. IIM Kozhikode will release mock test on 16 October.
Will online coaching be beneficial?
Online classes are beneficial for working professionals as they can be taken at any time of the day, are cost affective and flexible as per the applicants demands and schedule. Is coaching necessary? Will there be sufficient time to attend coaching? the answer to these questions lies in Online Coaching Websites. Some popular online coaching websites are: MBAguru, TIMES online coaching, Oliveboard, BYJU’s online coaching, Unacademy PLus.
Work experience adds to the profile of the candidate as a highlighted point. It also proves to be an essential backup, in case CAT results do not work in your favour. Aspirants who have work experience draw certain advantage when it come to WAT/GD/PI sessions. The maturity they gain while working in a formal workspace setting helps them to speak and write well. Questions in CAT PI are asked on job profile, kind of work done, experience gained, and future prospects. For instance questions thrown to candidates with work experience be like- How well have you done in your professional course? Tell us anything special you did apart from your work ?
Go Through WAT/GD/PI Sample Questions
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