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Should you quit your Job to Prepare for CAT?

Last Updated - August 17, 2018

CAT is one of the most strenuous entrances in India which takes place in November-December and MBA aspirants across the country start preparing for the exam in around six to eight months prior to the schedule. Undoubtedly, the exam’s preparation requires regular practice and tremendous efforts. So, here arises the question whether working professionals taking CAT should quit their job for preparation or not.

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Every year, around 2 lakh candidates take this test to get into one of the best B-schools of the country and the number is increasing with each passing year. This makes the competition tougher for CAT test takers. But, if someone prepares for it strategically, it is easy to crack, and, one need not quit their job as well. Here we explain why let’s just first dive into the selection criteria of CAT.

Read more CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals


CAT selection criteria

CAT score is one of the many parameters among several others that are considered for selection criteria in IIMs. The other parameters include- your score in class 10th, 12th and graduation, your stream in graduation, and your work-experience.

You know work experience will add weight to your profile. Also, only CAT Score isn’t the factor that can take you to your dram college. Lastly, as we all know success ratio in CAT is quite low as it is a risky exam. Hence, our suggestion here for all working professionals is not to give up their job.

We are going to further explain the pros, cons and the Preparation Strategy in both the cases: in case someone quits job and when someone doesn’t.


Pros and Cons of quitting jobs

The only pro we can see in quitting job for CAT preparation is- one gets a lot of time for preparation and he/she can solely focus on CAT. But, is it worth taking the risk of quitting job. The answer is again no.

If we talk about cons here, there are definitely more than one. The first big concern here is that quitting job will create a year gap in your profile. If someone takes a year off for CAT preparation after having working, the gap in profile will be a hurdle while getting into an IIM as well as during placements.

Apart from this, another disadvantage of quitting job is the risk factor. What if you don’t get a CAT score good enough that can fetch you a seat in any top B-school. In that case, decision of quitting job would be a little risky. So, unless you have a backup plan ready, do not quit your job for just CAT preparation.


How to prepare for CAT without quitting your job

After managing the work and doing well at workplace, you can still get a decent CAT score without a sabbatical of any kind. What it takes is optimum utilization of time, discipline, and hard work. Here are a few CAT Preparation Tips for working professionals.

  • Make a timetable: The time management is the key for CAT preparation, if you are a working professional. Make a proper time table and don’t take stress from either your preparation or job.
  • Mock tests: One of the most important things in CAT preparation is opting for a MOCK test series. So, if you are a working 10 to 7 in a job, you can join an online mock test series and take as many mocks you can, it will benefit you.
  • Study Pattern: Make a time table and after that follow that study plan devotedly. You can save 1-2 hours during week days and 4-5 hours during weekends and that will be sufficient even more than enough.
  • Optimum utilization of time: To be able to work and study side by side requires much attention. In such case, you should utilize maximum of your time during week days and weekends.

Check Best CAT Coaching Centers


How to prepare for CAT after quitting job

Though, as we mentioned already, quitting job is not required in order to prepare for CAT. However, still you have decided to give it a shot and solely prepare for the CAT, here are a few tips that might help you in making good preparation strategy.

  • Know the CAT syllabus what all you need to cover and make a list of topics. This should be the common starting point for almost everyone.
  • Make proper notes and join a coaching center if possible. It will bring discipline in your study plan and you will also get proper syllabus covered as well as notes to prepare.
  • Make a good study plan and time table to cover entire syllabus plan and followed it till the end. Be religious with your schedule and make it part of your life nature as you don’t have anything else to do.
  • Since, mocks help you in making familiar with exam pattern and all, these are important for all. Start taking mock tests once half of your preparation is done.

However, it’s very much possible to crack CAT alongside your job. Almost 60% of students at top IIMs have work experience during the admission. And, this work experience adds weight to one’s profile and allows them to participate somewhat better during placements. Make your proper schedule and a balance between work and study, you will be able to clear CAT and secure a seat in one of the top B-Schools across the country. Best of luck!


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