Time Required to Prepare for CAT


Getting ready for the Common Admission Test (CAT) starts with figuring out the “Time Required to Prepare for CAT.” This big exam is your way into top MBA schools, so getting ready is very important.

Everyone learns at their own speed. So, the time you’ll need to prepare for CAT depends on what you know now and the score you want to get. In this guide, we’ll talk about different ways to plan your study time, so you can make a plan that works for you.

Whether you are just starting or almost ready, knowing the time needed will help you get closer to doing well in CAT. It’s more than just marking days on a calendar; it’s about planning each day to cover all topics, practice with mock tests, and work on areas you find tough.

Your time spent preparing shows how committed you are. With a good plan, you can face the challenge of CAT and do well. In the next sections, we’ll look at how to plan your time based on different situations, to help you get ready for CAT.

Factors Influencing Preparation Time Required to Prepare for CAT:

The “Time Required to Prepare for CAT” can vary widely among aspirants. Here’s an extended explanation of the factors:

  1. Current Proficiency Level:
    • Your current level of knowledge is crucial. If you already have a good grasp of the basics, you might need less time to prepare. If not, building a strong foundation is the first step, which might extend your preparation time.
  2. Target Score:
    • The higher the score you aim for, the more time you might need to master all sections of the CAT.
  3. Daily Time Commitment:
    • The amount of time you can dedicate daily is a big factor. More hours per day could lead to a shorter preparation period.
  4. Learning Style:
    • Some people grasp concepts quickly, while others take longer. Understanding your learning pace helps in crafting an effective study schedule.
  5. Access to Resources:
    • Having the right study materials, access to coaching, and mock tests can accelerate your preparation.
  6. Consistency:
    • Staying on track with your study plan is key. It’s not just about the number of hours, but how efficiently those hours are utilized.
  7. Practice and Revision:
    • Regular practice and revision are crucial. They help in retaining what you’ve learned and improving your speed and accuracy.
  8. Health and Well-being:
    • Maintaining good health and managing stress are also important, as they directly impact your learning efficiency and overall preparation.

Understanding these factors and assessing where you stand will provide a clearer indication of the “Time Required to Prepare for CAT”. This insight is fundamental in tailoring a study plan that aligns with your preparation needs and helps in navigating your CAT preparation journey effectively.

General Time Frame for Preparation:

The journey of preparing for CAT involves diving into an expansive syllabus that tests your verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills. A commonly cited timeframe is 4-5 months for thorough preparation, while a more in-depth preparation could stretch to 6-7 months.

In these months, aspirants delve into various topics, practice extensively, and evaluate their performance through mock tests. This period also includes revising and strengthening weak areas.

Building FoundationInitial 2 MonthsUnderstanding syllabus, Grasping basics, Identifying strengths and weaknesses
Intensive LearningNext 2-3 MonthsDelving into topics, Regular practice, Mock tests, Time management
Revision and Fine-tuningFinal 1-2 MonthsRevisiting difficult topics, More mock tests, Final revisions

This structured approach ensures a balanced preparation, covering all areas while also providing time for revision and self-assessment. The goal is to become well-versed with the exam pattern, time management, and handling the pressure that comes with it.

Shorter Preparation Time Required to Prepare for CAT:

In some cases, you might have only a few months or weeks to prepare. Here’s how you can manage a shorter preparation time:

  1. Crash Courses:
    • Short courses of 4-8 weeks covering crucial topics swiftly, providing a rapid review.
  2. Focused Study:
    • Prioritizing key topics, ensuring a solid grasp of fundamental concepts.
  3. Daily Practice:
    • Increased daily practice hours targeting problem-solving speed and accuracy.
  4. Mock Tests:
    • Regular mock tests to get accustomed to the exam pattern and time management.
  5. Revision:
    • Scheduled revision time to reinforce learned concepts, ensuring better retention and understanding.

Each point helps in making the most out of a shorter preparation time, aiming for a good CAT score.

Preparation Based on Current Proficiency Level:

Understanding your current proficiency level is crucial as it lays the groundwork for your preparation plan. The percentile levels mentioned signify your standing compared to other aspirants. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

Proficiency LevelDescriptionFocus AreasEstimated Preparation Time
40th PercentileLower proficiencyUnderstanding basics, working on weak areas6-7 months
60th PercentileModerate proficiencyBalancing strengths and weaknesses, practicing regularly4-5 months
80th PercentileHigher proficiencyHoning skills, tackling challenging problems, mock tests2-3 months

Above table gives a rough estimate of how your current proficiency level could impact the time you’ll need to prepare for CAT. It’s essential to assess your starting point accurately to plan your preparation effectively. The focus areas and estimated preparation time are guidelines to help tailor a study plan that aligns with your proficiency level, aiding in a well-structured preparation towards achieving your CAT goals.

Long-term Preparation Strategy:

Preparing for the CAT exam when you have a lot of time is like running a marathon. You can go slow, learn well, and be fully ready for the exam day. Here’s a plan that covers everything you need to do:

  1. Early Start:
    • Begin with a gentle pace, understanding the CAT pattern and syllabus.
    • Familiarize with the basics and build a strong foundation.
  2. Identify Resources:
    • Select the right books, online resources, and consider joining a coaching center if necessary.
    • Engage with online communities of CAT aspirants for shared learning.
  3. Regular Practice:
    • Dedicate time daily for practice, gradually increasing the intensity.
    • Start with easier problems, progressing to more complex ones over time.
  4. Mock Tests and Analysis:
    • Start taking mock tests to get a feel of the exam environment.
    • Analyze your performance, identifying weak areas and working on them.
  5. Revision:
    • Allocate ample time for revision to reinforce learning.
    • Use different methods like flashcards, group studies for effective revision.
  6. Maintain Health and Manage Stress:
    • Ensure a balanced diet and regular exercise to keep stress at bay.
    • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques to maintain a calm mind, aiding better preparation.

The plan above shows a full approach to prepare for CAT over a long time. Starting early lets you learn at a comfortable pace. It helps you understand hard topics easily. You also get a lot of time to review what you learned, which is very helpful for exams like CAT. This plan is not just about studying. It’s also about staying healthy and managing stress, so you can do your best in the exam. Following this plan can help you become a well-prepared candidate, ready to take on the CAT exam with confidence.

Making a Customized Study Plan:

Every CAT aspirant is unique, with different strengths, weaknesses, and daily schedules. Here’s how you can make a study plan that fits your needs:

Understanding Your ScheduleLook at your daily routine to find the best study times.
Identifying Strengths and WeaknessesKnow your easy and hard topics. Focus more on weak areas.
Setting Realistic GoalsSet clear, achievable goals for each week or month.
Choosing the Right ResourcesPick suitable books, online courses, and practice materials.
Regular AssessmentTake mock tests to check progress. Adjust your plan if needed.
Seeking HelpAsk for help from teachers, friends, or online forums when stuck.
Maintaining a Healthy BalanceKeep time for relaxation and hobbies to manage stress.

Creating a plan that suits you will make your CAT preparation more effective and less stressful. It’s all about finding what works for you and sticking to it.

Leveraging Online Resources:

In today’s digital age, a plethora of online resources can significantly aid your CAT preparation. Here’s how to make the most of them:

  1. Online Courses:
    • Enroll in online courses that cover CAT syllabus extensively.
    • Look for courses with good reviews and experienced instructors.
  2. Practice Platforms:
    • Platforms with practice questions and mock tests can help gauge your readiness.
    • They provide instant feedback, helping you understand your mistakes.
  3. Discussion Forums:
    • Engage in forums where CAT aspirants discuss doubts and share resources.
    • It’s a great way to learn from others’ experiences.
  4. Educational Apps:
    • Download apps that offer practice questions, theory lessons, and mock tests.
    • They allow you to study on-the-go, making use of free time effectively.
  5. YouTube Channels:
    • Subscribe to channels that provide tutorials, tips, and strategies for CAT preparation.
    • It’s a free resource and visual learning can be very helpful.
  6. E-books and Online Libraries:
    • Access a wide range of preparatory materials and reference books online.
    • They are often cheaper and more portable than physical books.
  7. Social Media Groups:
    • Join CAT preparation groups on platforms like Facebook and Telegram.
    • They often share useful resources and updates about the exam.

Online resources can provide a flexible and rich learning environment, aiding significantly in your CAT preparation journey. They are especially useful for self-study and provide a modern approach to mastering the CAT syllabus.

Creating a Revision Strategy:

Revision is a key aspect of your CAT preparation. It helps in reinforcing what you’ve learned and improving recall during the exam. Here’s how you can create an effective revision strategy:

  1. Regular Revision:
    • Set aside time daily or weekly for revision.
    • Review what you studied recently and also look back at older topics.
  2. Use of Flashcards:
    • Create flashcards for important formulas, tricks, or concepts.
    • They are easy to carry around and review whenever you have free time.
  3. Practice Mock Tests:
    • Regular mock tests help in revising the syllabus and also improve your speed and accuracy.
  4. Group Study:
    • Engage in group study sessions to discuss and revise topics.
    • It helps in gaining different perspectives and clarifying doubts.
  5. Mind Maps:
    • Create mind maps to summarize topics.
    • They provide a visual representation, making it easier to recall information.
  6. Maintain a Revision Notebook:
    • Keep a notebook to jot down important points, formulas, or areas you find challenging.
    • Review this notebook regularly to keep the information fresh in your mind.
  7. Seek Feedback:
    • Ask for feedback on your performance in mock tests from teachers or online forums.
    • Use the feedback to identify areas that need more revision.

Implementing a solid revision strategy is instrumental in ensuring that you are well-prepared and confident to tackle the CAT exam. It’s about creating a cycle of learning, reviewing, and improving, leading to a thorough understanding and retention of the syllabus.

Maintaining Physical and Mental Well-being:

Your physical and mental health plays a significant role in your preparation journey. Here’s how you can maintain a healthy balance:

Regular ExerciseEngage in physical activities like jogging, yoga, or gym workouts.Keeps body active, reduces stress, improves mood.
Healthy DietEat balanced meals, avoid junk food, stay hydrated.Provides necessary nutrients, maintains energy levels.
Adequate SleepEnsure 7-8 hours of sleep every night.Helps mind and body to rest and rejuvenate.
Mindfulness PracticesPractice meditation and yoga regularly.Manages stress, improves focus and mental clarity.
BreaksTake short breaks during study sessions.Refreshes mind, prevents burnout.
HobbiesPursue hobbies like reading, painting, or playing a musical instrument.Breaks monotony, relaxes mind.
Stay PositiveMaintain a positive outlook, celebrate small achievements.Keeps motivation high, creates a supportive environment for preparation.

Maintaining good physical and mental health is essential for a productive and stress-free CAT preparation journey. The above table summarises different aspects and actions you can take to ensure you remain in good health while preparing for the CAT exam.

Leveraging Technology:

In this modern era, technology has become a boon for education. Various tools and platforms can significantly enhance your CAT preparation.

  1. Virtual Coaching:
    • Online coaching classes provide flexibility and access to experienced instructors right from your home.
  2. Educational Apps:
    • Apps offer practice questions, video lessons, and mock tests which are handy for on-the-go preparation.
  3. Online Mock Tests:
    • They simulate the actual exam environment, helping you get accustomed to the time constraints and the format of the CAT.
  4. E-books:
    • Digital books are portable and often cheaper, making it easier to refer to multiple sources.
  5. Discussion Forums:
    • Online forums provide a platform to clear doubts, get advice, and share resources with other CAT aspirants.
  6. Study Planners:
    • Digital planners help in scheduling your study time, setting goals, and tracking your progress.

Incorporating technology in your preparation strategy can streamline the learning process, making it more interactive, flexible, and effective. It’s about blending traditional methods with modern tools to create a comprehensive preparation plan for CAT.

Staying Updated:

Being updated about any changes in the CAT format, syllabus, or important dates is crucial.

  1. Official Website:
    • Regularly check the official CAT website for any notifications or updates.
  2. Joining Online CAT Communities:
    • Engage in online communities which often share updates and important information regarding the CAT.
  3. Subscribing to Newsletters:
    • Subscribe to newsletters from reputable CAT prep platforms to receive updates in your email.

Staying updated will ensure you are well-informed and can adjust your preparation plan accordingly. It’s about being prepared for any changes and ensuring your strategy is aligned with the current format of the CAT.


The “Time Required to Prepare for CAT” is a blend of understanding your current proficiency, creating a structured study plan, and leveraging available resources effectively. It’s about maintaining a disciplined yet flexible approach towards your preparation. Whether you have a year, a few months, or just a couple of weeks, a well-thought-out preparation strategy can significantly enhance your readiness for the CAT exam. The journey might be challenging, but with the right approach and a positive mindset, achieving success in CAT is within your reach.

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