How to Prepare for CAT without Coaching from Home?

Are you looking for ideas on how to prepare for CAT 2022 exam? You have come to the right place. In this article, I will guide you through, step-by-step on how to prepare for India's finest exams and how to ensure your admission to the best IIMs.

First of all, CAT requires two things: a graduation degree and a heart ready for the challenge.

Now that you have completed your graduation and now your heart aspires you to become an IIMian — it's the time to move ahead. India’s most prestigious management schools (yes, the IIMs) are inviting students to appear in one of the toughest exams on the planet — CAT (Common Admission Test).

Neither CAT is just another exam nor IIMs are just some colleges. Having MBA from IIMs is the best course you will ever have.

But for you to enter IIMs, you will have to bring out the best of your skills and knowledge.

Students prepare in the best of academics/coaching institutions to pass the exam yet most of them fail to concur with the result.

In the midst of that, preparing for CAT in 2022 can be planned for those who wish to study from home.

Preparing for CAT at home and without coaching is only suggested to those who have no other choice than just this. If you are able to join a coaching institute in your area, just do it for a year at least.

How to Prepare for CAT at Home - Photo of an IIM

CAT scores affect your career significantly, as a good rank helps you get into a good college and later advances you to get a good job down the line. There is a great amount of hard-work, practice and persistence involved in order to make it through this exam.

In this guide we have collected opinions from industry experts, toppers and teachers from various academies and compiled those for your convenience.

How to Prepare for CAT Exam?

Know about the exam / Last captured 16th January 2022 / Cat 2022

CAT or Common Admission Test is a management aptitude test organized by the IIMCAT admission to the IIMs and over 1000 other business schools in India. The CAT exam is conducted in an online mode. There are more than 376 centers across 156 cities (2019) all over India. Students have to choose 6 cities in the list. The CAT 2024 exam will be conducted by an IIM (to be declared) .

Exam nameCommon Admission Test (CAT)
Exam conducting bodyIndian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
Exam dateNovember 26, 2023 (tentatively)
Exam time120 minutes (2 hours)
Exam patternThree sections: VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension), DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning), and QA (Quantitative Ability)
Total number of questions66
Question typeMultiple choice questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs
Negative markingYes, for MCQs only
Application fee₹2,300 (US$29) for all other candidates; ₹1,150 (US$14) for SC/ST/PWD category candidates
Registration datesFirst week of August 2023 to second week of September 2023 (tentatively)
Admit card release dateOctober 2023 (tentatively)
Result declaration dateFirst week of January 2024 (tentatively)
Official website

CAT 2023 Dates

  • Notification release date: July 31, 2023
  • Registration start date: First week of August 2023
  • Registration end date: Second week of September 2023
  • Admit card release date: October 2023
  • Exam date: November 26, 2023
  • Result declaration date: First week of January 2024

Please note that these are just the tentative dates and the final dates and other information may be different. The official notification for CAT 2023 will be released soon, so please keep an eye on the official website for more updates.

The CAT question paper comprises 100 questions in MCQ format ranging from Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.

Understand CAT 2024 Exam Pattern & Syllabus

IIM Kozhikode

Before taking the CAT exam, students must know the exam pattern & CAT syllabus in detail. The CAT exam pattern has seen several changes over the years. They can prepare a complete plan and also set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections.

SectionNo. of QuestionsTime AllottedMain Topics
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)2440 minutesReading comprehension, parajumbles, parasummary, verbal reasoning, etc.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)2040 minutesCharts, graphs, arrangements, blood relations, puzzles, etc.
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)2240 minutesAlgebra, arithmetic, number systems, geometry, etc.

Get the right study material

Candidates who are opting for coaching in preparation for the CAT exam will get proper section wise study material, but for those students who do not go to coaching classes, getting the correct and targeted study notes may be way tougher.

But no problem, there are lots of ample books, question banks, CAT sample papers & preparatory books by the expert authors available in the market. These books help students to study for CAT in a systematic manner. The practice papers also help to know your strengths & weakness.

Take Online Mock Tests

After the basic preparation for CAT exam, you must start taking mock tests on a daily basis. This will help to be clear about your strengths and weaknesses after taking each mock test.

You can check your preparation by giving mock test & changes your preparation plan according to it. You need to take the mock tests once or twice a week and slightly can increase the frequency of the mock tests to thrice or four times a week.

These mock tests help to find the common errors & mistake & tips to overcome them.

Utilize the Internet

Today everything is available on the Internet. The best part of the Internet is that you can get help and guidance on anything and everything about the CAT exam.

There are lots of educational websites that provide article & news related to CAT exam along with study materials and sample papers on their website.

You can also join social media groups for the CAT or XAT candidates by liking some Facebook pages or Forum threads created by candidates or coaching institutes and being a part of online study groups.

You can also follow the Twitter handles of the exam authorities and officials to be updated about the CAT exam.

Best Learning Resources for CAT Preparation

Remember it's not the money that you spend at coaching institutes that will hit your goal, rather it's the time, self-study, and devotion that counts. How you plan your study schedule, what books you choose to study, your perfect time table and the Test series that you join to practice the level of your learning are all that matters!

To relieve you from the burden of searching for study materials and resources, here we are with a bucket list of some reliable resources on which you can count on for your preparation along with the crisp information that will surely help you prepare for CAT examinations.

How to plan your CAT 2024 preparation?

As I said earlier, the exam has three sections to test your skills and for each section, some of the recommended books are mentioned below:

Books For Data Interpretation And Logical Reasoning

These books will help you get through the section of data interpretation and logical reasoning easily if they are given a thorough study along with a good practice of question bank.

Books For Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension

Well, to crack this section you need to put in a bit more effort than the other sections as it requires good vocabulary along with the ability to solve Jumbled Questions  so here are some books to help you out

Books For Quantitative Aptitude

This is indeed a very interesting section, easy for those having good mental power and difficult for those who aren’t good at calculations. Check out the books listed and practice your level best to make yourself capable of cracking this section

Some other books on which you can look upon for perfect study strategy to crack CAT are mentioned below-

The list of books for preparation is never-ending still it was a small effort to provide you info about some really good books . Besides this, you can also read some newspapers and magazines to keep yourself updated for your approach to hit your CAT target.

Online Coaching for CAT Exam

Digging out some other deep pockets for your master plan for preparation? Here is a list of online coaching(s) that you can use as an approach to meet your goal.

iQuanta CAT Online Coaching

  • This platform lets you study for your aim by providing online sessions from Facebook.
  • You can get your doubts clarified and enhance your mental ability.
  • Coaching is offered by a team led by Professor Indrajeet Singh. 
  • Demo classes are also made available and there are preparation fees that you have to pay for around ₹14000.


  • When it comes to explaining this online resource it is one of the finest programs when you talk about preparation for CAT.
  • Classes and doubt sessions are taken through video mode.
  • This will help you solve a diversity of question banks to help you put one step forward towards your goal.
  • Coming to the preparation fees that you have to pay is Rs. 13,250.

BYJU’s Learning App

  • Talking of this platform, it is really gaining importance these days due to its development by the top trainers of CAT-Byju's.
  • It provides you with the full study material for CAT preparation, with a vast multitude of sectional tests and also the full-length tests.
  • They also conduct doubt clearing sessions to make you easy with problem-solving.
  • The fee charged is around ₹35,000.

Handa Ka Funda

  • It is a quite economical online aid with the lowest fee structure that provides you with video classes and periodic doubt clearing sessions.
  • It helps you clear the basics that help you build a strong base for preparation.
  • The CAT preparation fee is ₹6,999.

  • This website has various modes of class conduction which include online videos and slideshows.
  • It makes your learning process organized and handy and builds a strong base for you.
  • Your question-solving ability is made strong through various test series.
  • It costs a fee payment of Rs. 18,000.

Career Launcher

  • This will help you take guidance from an IIM alumni and is also one of the best coaching centers in India.
  • Sessions' meetings are conducted through video sessions and e-books.
  • Assistance is offered by renowned CL faculty.
  • It provides you with a heterogeneity of questions to be solved.
  • The fee for their online course is around ₹18,000.

Other digital platforms include:

  • IMS Learning
  • Mindworkzz
  • Cracku

Useful Facebook groups & pages

Useful Websites

Free Study Material for CAT

Additionally, you can stay updated with the latest in education by subscribing to educational bloggers like Gaurav Tiwari. Here I will try to bring as much information as possible about CAT exam and any other competitive exam like XAT, MAT, SNAP, JEE Main, JEE Advanced, GATE & other entrance exam. I also provide the exam pattern, syllabus and result of CAT & of different exams on this website.

Be confident and stay motivated: This is the most important factor about candidates, who are preparing for any exam. Candidates must be confident & stay motivated during the preparation for CAT exam. You should never doubt your potential. You should believe in your abilities & preparations so that you can crack India’s toughest exam.