How much time is required to prepare for the CAT exam 🤔

How much time required for CAT PREP
How much time required for CAT PREP

How much time is required to prepare for the CAT exam?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an exam that tests the basic aptitude and logical thinking skills of a candidate. Cracking CAT is not a tough job provided one is fairly thorough with what one has learnt during schooling, and one can also prepare for it at home (while preparing from home it’s very essential to take a structured online preparation program). In this article, we will be looking at how much time is required to prepare for the CAT examination.

The actual amount of time required to prepare for CAT depends entirely on one’s capabilities. It varies from person to person. If one is starting from scratch, it depends on one’s ability to grasp the fundamental concepts, so there is no fixed period of time required to ace the CAT.

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Aspirants can check out online preparation for CAT as the exam is online and also online coaching would give you time to prepare. Try checking out previous year papers of CAT 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.

Firstly, let’s look at the CAT syllabus:

The exam consists of 3 sections

1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

Download the detailed CAT Syllabus PDF:

Download CAT 2021 Syllabus PDF

Two to three months is enough to finish covering the fundamentals of the three sections, for someone starting from scratch. And overall, on average, dedicated CAT preparation takes not more than 6-7 months. If you can spend 2 hours every day on a weekday and around 6–8 hours over weekends that should be good enough.

Below is a general strategy that will help you devise a CAT study plan as per your requirement. So, you can tweak the below strategy based on your need and the amount of time available during the day (the amount of time available differs for different people such as working professionals, final year college students etc).

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How much time is required for CAT VARC?

VARC: Candidates can cover the VARC concepts in one to one and a half month. The key area to focus on in this section is Reading Comprehension. Once you understand how to grasp the important aspects of a passage, you start developing a structured way of thinking. This will help you immensely in other related topics like Para Jumbles and Para Completion.

Candidates must make it a habit to read regularly. Allocate at least an hour daily to read. Also, aspirants must try reading articles from different genres to make themselves comfortable with various writing styles. Questions on para jumbles and sentence elimination require aspirants to spot coherent ideas. Therefore, having a strong reading habit is indispensable to ace this section as well.

The following is the schedule one can follow. You can adjust this depending on the time available during the day, and based on your strengths and weaknesses.


No. of days

Reading Comprehension


Para Summary


Para Completion


Para Jumbles


Odd sentence out


Download Verbal Ability for CAT PDFs

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How much time is required for CAT DILR?

DILR: The fundamental concepts can be learned in 1-2 months, depending on whether the section is your strength or weakness. The types of LRDIs asked in recent years are quite different from the earlier years. Firstly, finish the fundamental concepts and start solving the past 3-4 years CAT papers thoroughly and take as many mocks as possible.

CAT Previous LRDI Papers.

Spend around 1-2 hours every day covering the DI / LR Concepts.

LR Topics

No. of days

Arrangements (Linear, Circular, etc)


Puzzles (Einstein puzzles, constraint-based etc)


Networks, LR based on picking coins


Games and tournaments, Scheduling, Cubes


Blood relations, family tree, Truth-liar concept


Others (2D Space LR’s, etc)


DI Topics

No. of days

Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional charts (radar chart, bubble chart etc)




Venn Diagrams


Others (DI Based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc)



Just like the VARC section, practice is the key to cracking this section as well.

Read: How to prepare for DI for CAT

Read: How to prepare for LR for CAT

DI Questions for CAT PDF

Download LR Questions for CAT

How much time is required for CAT QA?

Quant: The quant syllabus is vast and it would take a minimum of 2-3 months to cover all the fundamental concepts thoroughly, for those starting from scratch. The key area for this is practicing regularly and knowing the important formulas. Ensure that you know the applications for each one of them.

Download the important CAT formulas here. Just by downloading and understanding these formula PDFs, your Quant score will typically increase by 20%

Download CAT Maths formulas PDF

These are the following Quant topics: The days allocated for each topic will vary depending on whether a topic is your strength or weakness. Spend more time learning your weak areas.


Number of days

Number Systems


Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Averages, Alligation, Profit Loss and Discount, Simple Interest and Compound Interest


Time, Speed and Distance, Time & Work


Linear equations, Quadratic equations, Inequalities


Logarithms, Functions


Progressions and series, Surds and indices


Geometry & Mensuration


Co-ordinate Geometry, Basic trigonometry


Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory


Miscellaneous 5-6

Read in detail: How to prepare for QA for CAT

Additional pointers:

  • Once done with the syllabus, solve mixed bag sums from different topics. Get your doubts solved within a day or two, as it’s not a good idea to postpone your doubts.  Also, start taking sectional tests, for more practice in a particular topic.
  • Identify your weak areas and practice them, there are abundant FREE resources to practice from. Practising is the key to success. It is the most important part of the learning curve. Cracku’s CAT Study Room has excellent questions that one can solve. Often students practice their favourite subjects more and ignore some sections completely. That is a terrible mistake. Practice more from the sections that you are weak at. After you practice enough from the study room, you can check your scores by attempting mocks and analyzing the scores.
  • Start reading diverse articles every day, along with good books. This will help you improve your reading comprehension skills.
  • Spend 10-15 mins every day doing basic speed math calculations, and also solve sudoku puzzles on a regular basis.
  • Start giving CAT mocks early. Start with 2-3 mocks per month initially, and gradually increase it to 1-2 mocks per week. Analyse the mocks thoroughly, and identify strong and weak areas, and pay attention to improving your weak areas. It is imperative to take mocks and perfect test-taking skills.  Mocks help you identify where you are going wrong. This will, in turn, help you work on the gaps so that you can fill them. Aspirants must try to improve their question selection skills and must try to choose the optimum method to solve the problems. Also, aspirants must develop a strategy for the D-day and test it rigorously before putting it to use.
  • Start by giving a mock a week in June. From the month of July/August, you can start taking two mocks a week. During the weekdays you can analyse them and practice your weak areas depending on your mock analysis. It is essential that you analyse the mocks thoroughly, and work on your shortcomings before the next mock.
  • Do not wait until the completion of the syllabus to give a mock. We also provide Three free CAT mocks. Take them seriously as it is a good way to judge how you are performing with respect to other aspirants. Start giving mocks simultaneously while you are preparing. While practising, try to maintain the balance among the three sections. Make sure that your areas of weakness do not hinder your chances of getting a call.

And, this process continues till exam day.

So, there’s no one size fits all study plan when it comes to an exam like CAT. The time frame required or the number of months required to prepare for the CAT exam varies from person to person and depends on his/her strengths and weaknesses.

For a rigorous practice on a daily basis, candidates can enrol in the Study room.

Join our Telegram group where a lot of discussions happen, and where we answer the doubts of thousands of students regularly.

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