Should I quit my job to crack CAT- 2021?
Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most prominent MBA entrance tests in India. It gives access to the 20 prestigious IIMs and various other B- schools in the country. Being one of the most popular and toughest to crack, this exam requires patience and utmost hard work. Candidates appearing for CAT undertake diverse approaches to strategize their preparation for CAT which helps them to succeed. The strategy for CAT differs for different candidates according to their circumstances, i.e. whether they are working professionals or students, etc. The working professionals face the dilemma of whether to keep working while preparing for CAT or to quit their jobs. So it is important for them to comprehend which preparation strategy is best for them and how much effort should they put into their preparation. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of quitting a job:
Advantages of quitting the job for CAT preparation:
- Quitting the job saves time for preparation. When the candidate is not distracted by the office work of 9 to 10 hours a day then he can fully invest his time into his preparation which in turn will yield better results.
- There will be a decreased mental strain as the work environment tends to put a lot of mental pressure on a person. There is a lot of pressure of meeting deadlines and coping with competition among the colleagues. A highly demanding job leaves no spare time to pursue other interests and quitting that job might just resolve that and give ample time to schedule your studies and make a strategy to achieve a particular target.
But quitting a job is a very important decision as well as a risky one. The time for the whole CAT process takes around almost a year, 6 months for its preparation and another 6 months to apply for WAT/ GD/ PI. This means if someone leaves a job then he will be out of work for almost a year. So a decision has to be made whether he can afford to be out of work for that duration of time.
Disadvantages of quitting the job:
Ideally, one should not quit his job as CAT is an elimination round. The candidates who have the best score and a good academic background will make it to further admission stages. Hence, work experience is essential to have an upper hand in the admissions as IIMs give more preference to working professionals. Various disadvantages of quitting job are:
- Proficiency of candidates is given much attention in the selection process for CAT. It would be a problem if there is a gap year in the resume. Weightage is given to those candidates who have a working experience for more duration in comparison to others.
- If a candidate quits his job, it puts a lot more pressure on him to give his best in terms of performance. He is expected to work harder to achieve his goals as he has limited options in front of him.
- Quitting a job will make you more complacent and lethargic as having a fixed occupation keeps you on a fixed time bound routine. It makes you more active and punctual. You can make a timed schedule for your preparation.
- Having a job boosts confidence and morale. It makes a candidate strive for excellence in his preparation and he attempts to practice and prepare in a time co- ordinated manner and maintain equilibrium.
- A job is a type of safety net. It is a backup option and it is always good to have one. If the candidate does not score the desired score in first attempt then he can keep working and try for another attempt on the side. Leaving the job would mean losing this safety net.
How to prepare for CAT while working:
1. Thorough knowledge of the question papers:
Start by understanding about the basics of the CAT exam like the exam pattern, number of sections in the question paper and the type of questions asked in each section. Plan your preparation according to your capacity & capabilities. There is ample amount of time, so there is no need to rush. Be diligent and honest towards your goal.
2. Preparation needs dedication:
Preparing for CAT along with a full day job is tough but not impossible. It calls for consistency and dedication along with strong will power. Try to prepare harder on weekends or whenever your Week off is. During the weekdays, try taking topic wise tests and improve your learning capacity via tests.
3. Mock Tests are a must:
You can take pre- preparation mock tests to know the strong and weak areas and strategize accordingly. Apart from that, attempt mock tests during and after the preparation as well. Mock tests are a must to practice solving questions within the time limit of the paper as well as increase accuracy.
4. Quality matters more than quantity:
If you are have a full day job then it is not easy to devote much time to studies. This does not mean that giving less time to preparation would not yield results unless you study sincerely in whatever little time you have for the same. Studying for 3-4 hours sincerely is better than studying for 7-8 hours with no substantial results. Normally, devote 3-4 hours daily for 6- 7 months for preparation.
5. Guidance from a Coaching Institute:
Join a coaching institute for their online mode of classes to balance work and studies or the offline classes for better understanding if your job timings allow you to do so. Take Mock Tests provided on the official CAT website as well as the coaching institute online portal to practice and improve speed and accuracy in attempting questions and chart your progress and make changes accordingly to achieve the best score.
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