CAT 2023 » How to prepare for CAT exam at home?

How to prepare for CAT exam at home?

This article unfolds tips for cracking the CAT exam through self-study at home with effective study plans and strategies.

CAT is the entrance of the PG courses of management. Many graduate students give this exam to get admission into top management colleges of the country to pursue MBA/PGDM, PGPX, etc. Clearing this exam with self-study can be daunting, but it is possible. If you are preparing for this exam at home, then it demands a solid study plan which is further discussed.

Tips to Prepare for the CAT exam at home

If you are preparing for the CAT exam then follow the given instructions – 

  • Know the Exam Pattern and Syllabus

To prepare for CAT, one must be thorough with the syllabus and conducting body. That’s the first step towards preparation. For instance, CAT stands for Common Admission Test and is conducted once a year by IIMs in CBT mode. The exam duration is 120 minutes, and 66 questions are asked. 

The exam is only conducted in the English language throughout the country. Therefore, you must know your syllabus by heart and should solve past papers to fully understand the exam pattern and nature of the exam.

  • Resources and Practice Papers

After going through the exam pattern, get an idea of the syllabus and collect resources accordingly. Make sure to opt for reliable and certified sources and books to study for the exam. Buy reliable books and revise them repeatedly. It’s better to study one book ten times than to study ten books. 

Next, the vital step in CAT preparation is solving the papers at home. Solve past papers to get an idea of the exam, then solve mock papers or enrol yourself in the test series. You can join any test series that suits you best but make sure to join one. 

The CAT exam syllabus demands a lot of practice and time management during exams, and the best way to practice is through these mock test series. 

  • Prepare for Mock Examinations

Preparing for mock examinations is another way to prepare for the CAT exam at home. There are several possibilities for online practice exams. Applicants must take the test to determine their level of expertise. 

Furthermore, the CAT sample exams will help students improve their abilities and ready them for the exam while at home. 

  • Planning and Study Routine

Another essential step in preparation for CAT is an effective strategy. Every human is different so are their situations and learning patterns; you’re different too. So, the topper’s strategy may not work for you; you must note the critical points while preparing and moulding them into your strategy. 

Make your study plan and stick to it, keep track of your progress solve test papers to test your knowledge. Another thing to remember is that modifying your study patterns in your routine is okay if the old ones do not give you the best results. 

All you need to do is track your progress and make essential changes in the plan; keep in mind no plan or strategy is ideal, and you need to follow what works best for you. 

Watch our video to get an idea about CAT 2022 preparation 

  • Previous Year Papers

You’ve solved many papers, now you’re thorough with the exam pattern, and you’ve found your suitable study routine, but the main problem is how to stick to it and be disciplined while preparing when there are so many distractions around. 

To execute your study plans correctly, you need to fix a time to study; it could be a late-night study or early-morning productive hours. So find your productive hours to make the most of your day, track your progress, and study hours before bed to keep a hold on your preparation. 

Preparing for CAT indeed comes with a lot of sacrifice and determination, so make sure you cut down on distractions and stay determined and disciplined throughout your journey. 

  • Mistakes to avoid

Many people need to learn from past failures. Make a note of your past mistakes and try to overcome them. Your weak areas require extra attention during preparation time, sharpening your strengths, focusing on your weak areas, and improving them.

  • Analyse your mock test. 

You need to analyse every mock test you solve to avoid repeating the mistakes you’ve made in them. Your test papers are your mirror, so analyse your paper and surpass your weaknesses.  

  • Adequate Revision

Not revising enough when the syllabus is vast; one tends to forget easily, so ensure you include regular revision sessions in your study routines.

  • Clear Doubts

Not clearing doubts the same day. If you get any doubts while studying, make sure to get rid of all your doubts and not bottle them up. Not asking for doubts will blur your understanding of topics and cost you marks in the main exam. 

Tactics for the CAT exam when preparing at home

  • Time management- 

Time management is the key to success when it comes to competitive exams. If you can manage your time well during the exam, you’re already miles ahead of those who can’t. So, make sure to practice more and get a hold of time. 

  • Use tricks to solve questions- 

Using tricks or shortcut methods saves up your time; hence you can manage it well during the exam. In addition, you can learn about your skills and shortcomings by practising the previous year’s test questions and mock exams.

  • Choice of questions- 

It’s not in one’s intelligence to answer all the questions correctly; you need to identify your substantial area and answer accordingly. Make sure to carefully consider a question before attempting it, and only move forward if you are satisfied that you can solve it.

  • Improve Vocabulary- 

Read books, editorials, newspapers, and journals to develop your language and reading abilities.

  • Be Prepared- 

Fill out the application form earliest before you miss out on the last date. Print you admit card in advance to save you from last-minute panic.


This article discusses the tips and tricks to crack the CAT while preparing at home without coaching. It would be wise to allocate around 25–30 hours each week to CAT test preparation. It also mentions a set study routine with a practical exam strategy with a list of Tactics regarding the main exam day. Practice and analysis of mock papers is the most crucial aspect of preparation. Self-Study can get you your desired result if you stay disciplined and determined through the process and has a strong strategy and smooth study plan.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I start CAT preparation on my own?

Answer: Yes, you can start CAT preparation by referring to the mentors & best books.

Is the CAT exam very tough?

Answer: The competition level of the CAT exam is high, however with hard work & dedication, one can crack the CA...Read full

What are the benefits of the CAT exam?

Answer: CAT scores are accepted by the majority of MBA colleges & all IIMs.