Should I Quit My Job to prepare for CAT 2021?

Is quitting job a wise decision to prepare for CAT 2021 exam? Find out various aspects that you must consider before quitting your job to appear for the upcoming CAT Exam.


Created On: Jul 29, 2021 17:57 IST
Modified On: Sep 27, 2021 15:16 IST
Should I Quit My Job for CAT 2019
Should I Quit My Job for CAT 2019

Common Aptitude Test or CAT is one of the most prominent MBA entrance exams in the country. It is a gateway to get admission to Indian Institutes of Management which are considered as the top b-schools in the country. Lakhs of students appear for the CAT entrance exam in hopes of getting into one of the top b-schools to pursue their MBA dreams. Being one of the toughest MBA entrances, it requires regular practice and studying if one wishes to make it to the elite list of CAT toppers. CAT aspirants often take varied approaches when it comes to preparing for the CAT exam and there is no set preparation strategy that guarantees success in the CAT entrance exam. There are various factors that affect the kind of preparation strategy that candidates adopt. So here are a few factors that you must consider before making any big decision:

  • Are you appearing in the CAT Exam for the first time ever?
  • Have you already attempted CAT Exam and know a fair deal about the exam.
  • Do you know what CAT preparation strategy to adopt and the areas of your Strengths and Weaknesses?

For Example A candidate who is confident of his Verbal Ability skills is more likely to focus more of his time and effort on improving his skills in the Quantitative Ability section while preparing for the CAT exam.

Also Read: CAT 2021: Eligibility Criteria to apply for the exam

CAT Preparation strategy differs for different candidates based on the circumstances that they are faced with. So, if you are a working professional and are facing the dilemma of whether or not to quit your job to prepare for the CAT entrance it is important that you know what kind of preparation strategy is best suited to your needs. Or how much effort do you require to put in your CAT preparation?

Here are some of the questions that you must try and answer before deciding whether or not to quit your job to prepare for the CAT exam.

  1. Do you need to start your preparation from the scratch?
  2. Are you aware of your strengths and weakness and have a preparation strategy in place?

Making the decision of leaving a well-established job to pursue further education can be a daunting task, and you can’t make such a decision based on impulse alone. Let's weigh both the scenarios of whether to quit the job or not and see which one best appeals to you.

Benefits of quitting a job for CAT preparation

  • A full-time job might distract you every now and then, thus making you lose your concentration and patience as well. However, once you quit your job you can turn your full focus to your preparation for the CAT exam.
  • You'll have ample time at your hand for your preparations, where you can make schedules and tables for your studies, and track your growth easily on a regular basis.
  • A demanding often job leaves one with no spare time to pursue other interests. So, quitting the job might give you the necessary time that you need to prepare for the exam.
  • If your job is draining you mentally, emotionally or physically, or maybe all of them at once, then it's best to quit the job and focus on your CAT preparation to pursue your management dreams. An MBA degree from a good institute can give a huge boost to your career.

The motive here is, that you must be very positive and confident that CAT is the answer you are looking for, and it is in every way a better alternative than your current job. Only then, you must consider leaving your job behind, for taking chances at CAT.

Aftermaths of Quitting Job

  • As a working professional, a person often loses the habit of having to study for long hours at a stretch. Studying again after a long gap often makes it hard for working professionals to get back into the habit of studying for an exam. Facing such obstacles initially might dishearten you, which will distract you from studies and resulting in a wastage of the time you actually thought you would use for studies.
  • It is risky because CAT has a lot of uncertain factors embedded in it :

(a)    The Eligibility Criteria of the CAT MBA entrance exam changes every year, it might not match your background the next time you try for it.

(b)   The reservation of seats is up to 50% for OBC/SC/ST/Female etc. you might not know where you land.





OBC (Non Creamy)







(c)    They treat students from all backgrounds equally, whether they are from State Board/CBSE/ICSE/SSC etc. And we know that the difficulty level, and scoring methods are different in all these patterns of education.

  • It usually takes a gap of around 1 year, 6 months for CAT preparation, and another 6 months to apply for WAT/GD/PI at various desired institutions and visiting the same for processes further. This means that you will be out of work for around 1 year. Will you be able to survive for this long on your own funds?
  • It's a human tendency to put things aside instead of prioritizing them the first chance that we have at some free time. We wait for the last moment, till the time when it becomes a necessity and can no longer be put aside or ignored. In the case of the CAT exam, a lot of candidates aren't serious enough for the exam until before the last 2-3 months before the exam. However, this often backfires and candidates get too nervous or anxious about their performance that their concentration starts deteriorating.

The Yerkes-Dodson law suggests the same, in the image below:

  • Leaving a job for CAT means that you can’t multitask, at least that is what the interview panel will see when you are selected for any college. They will have another set of tricky questions like (i) How do you manage time if you were not able to manage the job and CAT studies simultaneously? (ii) A lot of previous applicants managed to crack CAT along with having a job, why couldn’t you?

All this is not meant to doubt your motives, but these are harsh realities in case you are considering leaving a job for CAT. Leaving your job is a major decision, and if the reasons are compelling enough, and you have enough confidence, you must surely go for it. However, according to a lot of teachers and mentors in this field, a disciplined effort can make a person crack CAT along with having a job.

How to prepare for CAT 2021 with JOB?

In case you want to attempt CAT along with a job, then you must follow these steps:

STEP 1: A systematic study plan for CAT includes only 3-4 hours of a day, where the applicant must study wholeheartedly. This plan works if such efforts are put in for at least 6 months before the exam.

STEP 2: Quitting the job also slows down the student, as he has a lot of time to spend. But continuous work experience has its added advantage in the eyes of an interviewer.

STEP 3: Mock CAT tests are always there to help you keep track of your growth and if taken seriously, they can prove the best way to put your plans together.

You can get more insights about this decision when you take a glance at the CAT Topper Chhavi Gupta a working professional who scored the perfect 100 percentile.

For more updates on CAT 2021, keep visiting the MBA section of our website you could also subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest MBA news directly in your inbox.

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