How To Prepare For CAT In 5 Months? [Self-study Plan]

How To Prepare For CAT In 5 Months? [Self-study Plan]
How To Prepare For CAT In 5 Months? [Self-study Plan]

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most competitive and widely recognized entrance exams for admission into prestigious management programs in India. With an ever-increasing number of applicants, it is essential to have a well-structured preparation strategy to excel in this challenging exam. As we all know CAT exam is in 5 months away. This timeframe is good enough to cover the syllabus thoroughly and strengthen your skills. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to prepare effectively for CAT in five months with a self-study plan.

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The first step toward getting admission into top MBA colleges is taking the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam. Try checking out the CAT previous year papers to know about the level of questions that appear in the exam. Also, taking a free CAT online mock test will help the candidates in gauging their strengths and weaknesses.

Can I Clear the CAT 2023 exam In 5 Months?

Yes, it is possible to succeed in the CAT exam within a five-month timeframe. All that is required is a well-structured study plan or a meticulously crafted preparation strategy. Prior to delving into the study plan, it is recommended that aspirants acquaint themselves with and comprehend the CAT 2023 syllabus and examination pattern provided below.

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Verbal Ability 40 minutes 24
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 40 minutes 20
Quantitative Ability 40 minutes 22


120 minutes 66

Candidates are awarded 3 marks for every correct answer, but they receive a penalty of -1 mark for each incorrect answer. Unattempted questions do not receive any marks. Additionally, it is important to note that there could be a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section, and candidates are not permitted to switch between sections.

CAT Self-study Plan For 5 Months

A self-study plan should be in a structured manner, and it should contain the daily tasks for 5 months to cover the complete CAT syllabus. It is worth noting that even an average student can succeed in the CAT exam and achieve a percentile above 99, given the presence of a well-designed preparation strategy. Now, let us examine the section-wise preparation strategy spanning five months, aimed at achieving a 99 percentile in the CAT exam.

Preparation Strategy For VARC Section

Make an effort to dedicate one hour every day to reading. This practice will assist you in developing a perspective on a range of subjects. During the early stages of your preparation, aim to solve at least one reading comprehension (RC) exercise daily. The schedule provided below can serve as a guideline, but feel free to adapt it according to your available time and your individual strengths and weaknesses.

Topic No. of days
RC’s 10-12
Para Summary 5-6
Para Completion 5-6
Para Jumbles 5-6
Odd sentence out 5-6
Grammar, Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Verbal Reasoning, Facts / Inferences / Judgements. 10

Preparation Strategy For DILR Section

Considering the fact that CAT has transitioned from conventional LRDI sets, it is crucial to focus on practising the non-traditional types of sets. These sets now tend to be more logic-based and comparatively less data-intensive. Allocate approximately one hour each day to concentrate on DI/LR concepts. Additionally, aim to solve two sets daily, one focusing on DI and another on LR.

LR Topics No. of days
Arrangements (Linear, Circular, etc) 3
Puzzles (Einstein puzzles, constraint-based etc) 3
Networks, LR based on picking coins 5
Games and tournaments 3
Scheduling 3
Blood relations, family tree, Truth-liar concept 7
Cubes 3
Others (2D Space LR’s, etc) 5-6

DI Topics

No. of days
Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional charts (radar chart, bubble chart etc) 10-12
Tables 4
Venn Diagrams 4
Others (DI Based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc) 9

Preparation Strategy For Quantitative Aptitude Section

A strong foundation of quant basics is very crucial in acing the Quantitative Ability section. It is recommended that aspirants dedicate a minimum of 1-2 months to learning these quant basics. Unfortunately, many candidates tend to overlook this aspect during their preparation. To prepare for the Quantitative Ability section, you can refer to the provided study schedule as a starting point. Feel free to adapt and personalize the schedule based on your individual strengths and weaknesses in this particular section.

Topic Number of days
Number Systems 2-3
Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Averages, Alligation, Profit Loss and Discount 10-12
Simple Interest and Compound Interest 1-2
Time, Speed and Distance 2-3
Time & Work 2
Linear equations, Quadratic equations 6
Inequalities 2
Logarithms, Functions 6
Progressions and series 3
Surds and indices 1
Geometry & Mensuration 10-11
Basic trigonometry 1-2
Co-ordinate Geometry 2
Permutation and Combinations 4
Probability 3
Set Theory 2
Miscellaneous 4-5

Month-wise Study Plan For CAT 2023


Learning the concepts of all the three sections


Revise the concepts, Practice, and Take one mock per week


Take sectional tests and two mocks per week


Can take 2-3 mocks per week and experiment with mock strategies. Note down your mistakes, improve your question selection skills, and experiment with various strategies in the mocks.


Pick a strategy that suits you the most. Test it in the mocks. Revise the concepts and the common mistakes you tend to make.

Watch the concept videos. Spend around 2-3 hours on understanding your weak areas. Overall try to allocate around 2-3 hours for preparation during the weekdays and more time on weekends.

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