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CAT prep for working executives: Mantras for Time Management

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Are you a working executive and preparing for CAT also? If yes, you are most likely to get admission in a top B-schools provided you score a high percentile in CAT.

For working executives, however, the factors like ‘Time Management’ and ‘getting the academic rigor back’ remain huge challenging areas while they prepare for CAT and other MBA entrance exams like XAT, IIFT entrance, NMAT etc. When they start preparation for CAT, it becomes a bit difficult for them to take both - work and preparation, simultaneously.

Work-Ex a great advantage

But, the fact remains that work experience brings you an edge over other aspirants and increases your selection possibilities at IIMs, FMS, JBIMS, SPJIMR, MDI and others top B-schools which offer weightage to candidates on their years of work experience. The admission data from top B-schools suggests that working executives comprise 80 per cent or more share of the total students in top management institutes.

Sample this admission data for 2012-14 batch from two IIMs:

- In the batch of 381 students in IIM Ahmedabad, 286 have 1-3 years of work experience.

- At IIM Lucknow, out of the batch of 414 students, 301 students has more than 1 years of work experience

So, how do you take advantage of your work experience to prepare for CAT? How do you balance your work and study hours? What do you do to bring back academic rigor in your life again while preparing for CAT?

In this article, we bring you success mantras from working executives who successfully cracked CAT. These CAT toppers were working also during their CAT preparations, yet they scored high CAT percentile and secured admissions to top B-schools in India.

Manage your Time

Rohit Anand Garg cracked CAT 2012 with an overall 99.16 percentile and secured admission to IIM Raipur. Mr Garg worked for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for 34 months after his Engineering degree. On his time management during CAT prep, he says, “I was a working professional while preparing for CAT. In order to balance my work commitments and CAT preparation, I designed a schedule to devote minimum 30 hours per week to my preparation assigning appropriate weightage to all the sections. I devoted 2-3 hours daily after work and 7-8 hours on weekends to meet my targets. I believe an average of 4-6 hours a day of serious efforts would surely help a student to bell the CAT.”

Anusha Subramanian of IIM Bangalore, another working executive scored 99.80 percentile in CAT 2011 with sectional percentiles of 95.09 in quantitative ability & data interpretation and 99.99 in verbal ability, says “Since I was working hectic hours, I didn’t get too much time to prepare for CAT on weekdays. I tried to put in about 10 to 12 hours a week focussing specifically on time management in mock tests and maintaining a good accuracy level.”

Get your academic rigor back!
Due to work pressure at their work place and high involvement in their office assignments, working executives variably lose track of their academic background. They also feel it difficult to devote time for study and concentrate on the same as they did during their student life.

Yet, top B-schools are filled with working executives which indicates their success ratio is much higher than the freshers applying for MBA admissions. So, how do you score high CAT percentile despite losing interest in study.

You first need to get determined and be firm with your preparation schedule if you wish to score high percentile in CAT exams. Many of your peers, have done it in the past and are now a part of Top B schools including IIMs while many have gained successful advancements in their career.

To crack CAT and score high percentile, you need to be thorough with the concepts of different topics in Quantitative Techniques, Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. According to CAT toppers,  consistency in preparation is key to your success. offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation.

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