"How much time is required to prepare for the cat? and "how to manage time for cat preparation?" is a question that is common for all cat aspirants. What if somebody tells you the specific amount of hours you will need to devote to the crack cat exam which will help to secure your seat for IIMs. Don't you think life would become much easier for cat aspirants? But do we really have the answer to this question? Let's find out.
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To find the answer, first, we need to understand all the factors which will play a key role in the preparation for the CAT exam. I am listing down following factors which play a crucial role for an individual in his/her exam preparation-
By goal setting, it's not just about the setting of your goal, but also about the seriousness and clarity in decision making you should have to achieve your goal. Have you ever asked yourself questions like, Is my goal temporary or permanent? Am I the one responsible for setting my goal? Am I desperate enough to achieve my goal? Whether my goal is realistic and achievable?
[caption id="attachment_30482" align="aligncenter" width="300"] CAT Goal Setting[/caption]
After answering the aforementioned questions, you should set your goal, which should be a SMART goal. By SMART, I mean your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Let's agree on one point that not all of us are super-efficient brainpower. The only handful of us which comprise .00001 percent of the world population is called god-gifted brain powers. Leaving aside this rarest of a rare breed, we are still left with huge competitors to compete with.
[caption id="attachment_30483" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Calculating Efficiency[/caption]
If we are a person with below-average efficiency, we will need to work more to compensate for that. For an average efficient person who forms the majority should put more emphasis on smart work rather than hard work.
Even for those with super-efficient brains, if they are not able to concentrate, then their efficiency is of no use. Concentration is something which helps you to finish 10 hours of work in 2 hours' time. Preparing for CAT with full concentration will help you in giving more quality time to your weaker areas.
[caption id="attachment_30484" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Improving Concentration[/caption]
Swami Vivekananda once said, "the power of concentration is the only key to the treasure-house of knowledge". So if you are ignoring this important aspect, you should start concentrating more.
Also Read: Cracking CAT is Smart-work or Hard-work
Remember those days when we were kids, we use to make time tables for preparing for our exams. Even if it doesn't work out we used to make some more timetables. focus on Time for CAT preparation, we need to do the same, but this time more professionally.
[caption id="attachment_30485" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Time Management[/caption]
How much time do we require to spend on giving mocks and analyzing those? What is the time required for us to read newspapers? How much time do we require to spend on our weak areas? Do we need some time to do meditation? Are the exam dates conflicting with each other? What should be the frequency of giving mocks? All these questions need to be answered by forming a scheduled time table.
Also Read: How To Manage Work Along With CAT Preparation?
Even after following all the right time for CAT preparation if you don't have the strategy, it would be hard to get a competitive edge. Remember, our competition is with lakes of people who are cat aspirants and to beat them, you must have a strategy in place. Every MBA entrance exam has a different pattern and therefore understanding that pattern before giving that exam is extremely important.
[caption id="attachment_30486" align="aligncenter" width="295"] CAT Strategy[/caption]
CAT is more about Smart-work rather than hard-work. Therefore approximations in calculations. scanning of question papers before starting exams. setting a timer for different sections. giving a threshold time for each question, understanding the author's point of view is one of the key tactics in the CAT exam which increases your overall CAT score.
To calculate the overall time you require to prepare for CAT, you will need to have a proper goal setting, know your efficiency, invest time in making schedules, test your concentration level and finally build a strategy in place. All these things will vary from person to person and because of this point of difference, each of us will have a USP to outperform others.
All the best & Happy learning!
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Anisha has done MBA in Marketing from NMIMS And Executive Management(PMNO) from Harvard Business School. She has been instrumental in growing CATKing Digital with her experience with Marico and Henkel in the past.