7 Steps To Get A Call From 7 Old IIMs For Working CAT Aspirants

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. – George Herbert

CAT is very difficult to handle with 9 to 6 job, but it has to be done. I started my CAT preparation after I completed 2 years at work and finally nailed it with 1.5 years of preparation. I have experienced how difficult it is to maintain work-life balance. Thus, preparing CAT along with work is next to impossible for many. It leads to two extreme steps. Either the aspirant leaves his job or he leaves his dream of an IIM tag.

Leaving the job for CAT is too risky because of the unpredictability of the exam. If you are thinking of taking the other step, then this post is not for you. You may scroll down to read some other post but keep in mind: –

You will never win if you never begin. – Helen Rowland

I am assuming the following conditions are satisfied to follow the steps mentioned in this post:

1. Saturday & Sunday off. (Weekend off)

2. Total time 12 hours outside the home. (Office + travel time + etc.)

3. You have only one goal in your life and i.e. CAT.

Some of you may get off on some other days or work unevenly on various days. So for the people whom the above assumptions are not valid. Please accommodate the schedule as per your ease.

1. Treat each section equally – Considering the increasing difficulty level of DI & LR with every passing year and high unpredictability of VA, do not live under the veil that you can cover one section with another. Focus on all the sections.

2. Weekdays – On weekdays allocate 6 (8-2 = 6) hrs. for studying (2 hrs. for each of the four sections mentioned below)

(i)   QA: – Do it from old mocks/sectionals/books. You can use any of the two mocks (IMS, Time).

(ii)  DI/LR: – Do it from old mocks/sectionals. You can use any of the three mocks (IMS, CL, Time). Practice as many sets as you can.

(iii) VA/RC: – Do it from old mocks/sectionals. IMS mocks provides you with the closest RC that you may get in CAT. You can practice from Time also but RC from Time is a bit lengthy and contains a bit easier question. The VA/RC section of last two years CAT was most similar to IMS mocks. You can use office time to practice old mocks, sectional, etc. (Given you utilize the time judiciously. Trust me, it is achievable.)

(iv) Newspaper Reading (The Hindu Editorial): – This should be finished at the office. Do not carry this task to home. 9 to 6 job provides you enough free time to read the newspaper. If you do not get enough time during lunch or while travelling, then you can follow other alternatives. Copy the editorial/article and paste it in either XLSX or notepad and read it. This way you will be at your cubicle and can utilize your time well. Do this whenever you get free time. Don’t restrict yourself to only newspaper and diversify your readings. Keep in mind.

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.  – John D. Rockefeller

3. Weekends/Holidays – On weekends/ holidays allocate minimum 12.5 hrs. for studying.

(i)   7.5 hrs. for studying (2.5 hrs. to each section).

(ii)  3 hrs. for mock.

(iii) 2 hrs. for mock analysis.


4. Till August – You should finish QA theory & formulas, all concepts of DI & LR and the basic understanding of different question types in VA & RC.


5. September & October –

(i)   You should only do revision and attempt mocks and sectionals.

(ii)  You Should give at least 2 mocks each weekend with their analysis. Do not miss any centre-based mocks. Attempt them at the centre to prepare yourself for the exam like scenarios. (It will make you feel comfortable on D day).


6. Last month (November) –

(i)   1 mock each day and along with its analysis.

(ii)  I would advise taking a month leave before CAT. If it is not possible then take at least 2 weeks off before the exam and give mocks at exactly the exam time.


7. Meanwhile, take out time to pursue your hobbies. Keep in mind CAT is not the end, it is just the beginning of your DREAM.


If you can dream it, you can do it. – Walt Disney

All the Best. Please feel free to ask any query in the comment section.



Even MY day wil come ONE day! Connect with me through F/B. I am always ready to help. F/B :- https://www.facebook.com/nikhil1808kumar




How many full length mocks and sectional mocks you gave? Is 2 hr enough to analyse the mock?

Nikhil Kumar

I joined TIME and IMS and took almost all of them because i didnt use any books and all. Only mocks. Yes 2hrs is sufficient given you are scoring 99+. Else time will increase accordingly. If 80% then 4 to 5 hours it will take.

Nikhil Kumar

It depends on at what level of preparation you are at. Start with basic, intermediate and then move on to advance test. Don’t jump into advance directly. I hope it clarified your doubt.:)


How did you deal with non rc questions such as PJ and it is in TITA format? It gets difficult sometimes without options!!

Nikhil Kumar

Mostly i concentrated on RC In V&A. PJ and TITA takes lots of practice and patience to get them correct. Its all about practice practice and practice. Good luck.


If you study eith full concentration. This muh time is sufficient. I did it. So, I hope You can also do it.Good Luck.


The schedule seems ro make CAT almost insurmountable hurdle! I did not prepare half as much and got through IIM Ahmedbad as a fresher in the general category. Was not even from an IIT. It’s more about building a mental “question bank” of sorts

Santanu Nandi

My profile is very flat. I don’t have any mentionable extra curricular activities. So, can u suggest what can I do now to improve my profile?