CAT Preparation With A Full Time Job

CAT Preparation while working full time

Giving the CAT preparation undivided attention for 7-8 months is a luxury that many aspirants cannot afford. However, that does not make them ineligible for having a dream, nurturing it with hard work, and living it with smart work. Working professionals must not feel that they don’t have the permission to aim at an inspiring CAT percentile. The quality of your CAT exam preparation determines how far you can go, not the assumption that working professionals can’t make it happen in the first attempt. If quitting your current job is not an option for you, it does not mean you have to quit dreaming and give up on your ambition of studying at one of the top business schools.

We have compiled some tips to ensure that you can strike a healthy balance and can study for the CAT while working full time.

Prepare for Excellence while Continuing your Job

1. 24 hours:

Every morning after your alarm wakes you up, you wake up your mind with a fresh dose of motivation. Remind yourself how each day presents a brand new opportunity to make a difference, to learn new things, and to move closer to your goals. Divide your day into three segments: 1) Work/Job, 2) CAT Preparation, and 3) Other things. Now, it’s understandable if your responsibilities don’t leave much room for the exam preparation. However, how you make the most of 1440 minutes every day, makes all the difference. Methodical utilization of time can take you places. Here’s a list of things which may seem too insignificant to play a pivotal role in your journey right now but when practised repeatedly, the final outcomes will make you believe in their potential:

  • Take shorter lunch/dinner breaks: Don’t forget to eat but also, don’t spend 30 minutes on every meal because feeding your mind at this point is as important as feeding your body. Quit relishing every bite while watching your favorite shows on Netflix for a few months.
  • Give yourself targets to achieve every day: Many short-term goals add to make a big long-term goal. Obtaining a good percentile in the CAT is the big picture, while what you do everyday leads to the making of this picture.
  • Don’t take pride in being the last one to leave the office: Want to leave a good impression on your boss? Well, don’t let it come at the cost of shattering your bigger dream. Don’t forget about the treasure box while collecting shells and stones. 
  • Fun and Productivity, all at once: Yes, it is absolutely possible! You need to refresh yourself to avoid mental exhaustion and saturation. However, you have to pick smarter ways of doing it. Instead of scrolling down your Instagram feed, play Sudoku. It helps you get better at solving questions and is a fun activity. Read books of your favorite genre instead of watching movies based on them. It is an engaging way of adding new words to your vocabulary and serves as a brilliant way of helping you get better at Verbal Ability.
  • Utilize your leaves like a pro: Celebrations can wait, the CAT won’t! 
  • Watch videos/ listen to the CAT content while commuting: Those 15-45 minutes of everyday commute can shape your career in splendid ways, if you choose to make it happen! 
  • Cut off distractions and sources of negative energy: It may sound challenging but once you step into one of the top business schools of India, this would feel like a very small price. Also, social acceptance and appreciation will inevitably find you after you have turned your dream into a reality. 

When your perseverance takes a lead, the excuses, false assumptions, and demotivation are bound to accept defeat. 

2. Preparation Plan:

Have an efficient plan in place to slowly but definitely reach the final destination. As a working professional, you can’t throw yourself into the pool of unrealistic targets, not knowing how to swim your way through it. Cover everything but systematically. 

3. Online Coaching: 

‘Systematic’ brings us to our next point- coaching. While juggling a full-time job, your daily responsibilities, and self-study for the CAT, going to an institute will only make the number of hours in a day seem fewer than they already do! Rely on online coaching platforms like PrepLadder where you have the access to comprehensive study material, a good number of mock tests, a complete and customizable question bank, detailed performance cards, and engaging video lectures. Reap the benefits of technological advancement and instead of compiling a long list of sources, get it all at one place. This will consolidate your faith in your goals and that’s exactly what you need. 

4. Smart Work v/s Hard Work: 

Before you finally get into an IIM, let your preparation journey be your first lesson in displaying your management skills. You should not be pressuring yourself to do everything, even if that’s impossible in your case. The target should revolve around covering every important thing in detail, practising on a regular basis, and analyzing your performance. There is no substitute for hard work and there are no shortcuts to success. However, some techniques can fasten your calculations. Also, understanding the pattern well in advance, knowing when to skip a question, and using the elimination method wherever required, can take your preparation to the next level. There are tips and tricks known to the experts which will enable you to move to the advanced level smoothly. Understand, enlist, and use those. We don’t ask you to choose between hard work and smart work, we in fact, encourage you to use a combination of the two to make the best of both worlds! 

When they tell you that you can’t clear the CAT because you are a working professional, don’t waste your time coming up with an impressively spellbinding reply. Use that time to solve another question and let the results speak for your devotion, zeal, and efficient time management skills. After all, there is no comeback as spellbinding as your success.

We wish you all the best while you set out to Own Your Dream.
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Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.