Should you quit your Job to Prepare for CAT Exam?

Last Updated - April 27 2018

CAT is one of the most strenuous entrances in India which takes place in November-December and MBA candidates 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 exercise and tremendous efforts. So, here arises the question whether working professionals taking CAT should quit their job for preparation or not.

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

Read more CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

CAT 2018 selection criteria

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

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

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

Pros and Cons of quitting jobs

The only pro we can see in quitting a 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 the job. The response 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 to work, the gap in the 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, judgment of quitting job would be a little risky. So, unless you have a backup plan willing, 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 in the workplace, you can still get a decent CAT score without a sabbatical of any kind. What it takes is the optimum utilization of time, branch, 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 timetable and don’t take stress from either your preparation or job.
  • 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.
  • 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 Format: 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.

Check Best CAT Coaching Centers

How to prepare for CAT after quitting the job

Though, as we mentioned already, quitting a job is not need 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.

  • Make proper notes and join a coaching center if possible. It will bring branch in your study plan and you will also get proper syllabus covered as well as notes to prepare.
  • Make a good study plan and timetable 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.
  • Know the CAT syllabus what all you required to cover and make a list of topics. This should be the common starting point for nearly everyone.
  • Since mocks help you in making familiar with the exam format 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. Best of luck! And, this work experience adds weight to one’s profile and allows them to participate somewhat better during placements. Nearly 60% of students at top IIMs have work experience during the admission. Make your proper schedule and a balance between work and study, you will be able to complete CAT and secure a seat in one of the top B-Schools across the country.


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