CAT 2022 : How to Prepare for CAT Exam without Coaching, Expert Tips and Suggestions

By Aditi Joshi|Updated : February 3rd, 2022

Most of the CAT aspirants have a question in their mind “Is it possible to Crack CAT without Coaching”. So, the answer is “Yes”. It is definitely possible to prepare and crack CAT without any coaching. There is a plethora of sites available for studying purposes. You can make the best use of the Internet for preparing for CAT 2022. You just need to be focused and disciplined in life. Before we move onto the preparation strategy, firstly, let us see what CAT is?


CAT or Common Admission Test is an online-based Management Entrance Test, conducted by one of the IIMs every year. It is conducted to intake MBA aspirants into various institutes of IIMs and also, other Top-B schools of India. There are three sections in total: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). Due to the Covid pandemic, the total number of questions in CAT 2021 was reduced to 66. The duration of the test was 120 minutes (2 hours). It is expected that CAT 2022 will be of the same pattern as last year.

Comprehend the Exam Outline

The first and foremost step one should do, after deciding to prepare for the CAT without coaching, is to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and syllabus of CAT in depth. The next step should be the analysis of the previous years’ papers. Check detailed CAT Exam Pattern 2022

This would help to make a comprehensive study plan according to the level of the important topics. Prioritize your section and each topic in the section and make a proper timetable. If you follow your timetable earnestly, then, you really need not join any coaching. The candidates who are self-motivated and disciplined in their life can easily crack CAT 2022 without any support from institutions.

Get Quality Study Material

Candidates who are preparing without any coaching need not worry about how they will get study material, notes, question banks, etc. there is an ample amount of material available on the Internet. You just need to figure out the comprehensive study material. Keep an eye out for the best quality books by top authors. It is advised not to jump onto multiple books. Just choose the best book for each section and cling to it. Go by the quality of the books and not by the quantity.   

Focus on the Basics

Before moving on to your study, first, create a proper schedule for CAT 2022 preparation. Set your timetable in such a way that covers each section. The first and foremost thing is to clear your fundamentals. For instance, if your maths is not so good, revise class 9th and 10th NCERT Mathematics. This will make your base strong. If your basics are not strong, you would not be able to solve a question. So, it’s extremely important to go through your concepts in each section. You might visit online study apps for clarity in concepts or you can refer to the best study books of authors like R.S. Aggarwal, Arun Sharma, and many more. 

List of Best Books for CAT Exam Preparation

Attempt CAT Mock Tests/PYQs

When you start your preparation, it is advised to solve at least a CAT mock test paper to analyse your strengths and weaknesses. After attempting, you may know your strong and weak areas in each section. Also, you would learn the amount of effort you have to give to each topic. Then, you can prepare your timetable according to it. Once you are done with the concepts, you should start attempting mock tests once or twice a week.

Solving mock tests would judge your basics as well as your speed while attempting a question. Increase your frequency of solving mock tests gradually. Analyse the errors you do in mock tests and try to avoid them in the next tests. Attempting mock tests provides you with an examination environment and helps you to maintain a balance between your speed and accuracy.

Analysis is Must

The analysis is one of the most important steps that are essential without coaching candidates. Before you start your CAT preparation, first you solve a mock test to analyse yourself where you stand w.r.t your preparation. This analysis is a must; you would know the pattern of the exam as well as the difficulty level of the exam. You would also analyse the number of questions asked from each topic. Once your syllabus is completed, you start solving mock tests papers. You must analyse your performance in each PYQ/mock test. Figure out the silly mistakes you do and try not to do them in further mock tests. In this way, your performance will get better day by day.

Learn the Art of Time Management

Time Management is one of the key points to fulfilling your dreams. If an aspirant does not know how to manage time, then he/she might not achieve success. They should learn how to prioritize every subject. Spend more time on weak sections but don’t ignore your strengths. Make a timetable in such a way that covers all your sections a day. Solve questions within a time limit so that you would not face difficulty during the exam time. Time table should not be such that it would not include your leisure time. Enjoyment along with your study is essential to be happy.

Make the utmost Use of the Internet

If the candidate has prepared his/her mind not to join any coaching institutes for CAT 2022 preparation, then he/she can make the best use of the internet. The Internet is one such source that can help you in every way. You need not go here and there and everything is just available on Google. Visit the various sites of CAT and figure out the best study material for CAT 2022. Crystal clear your concepts by referring to online lectures available on the Internet. You can also attempt mock tests online or get PYQs for CAT 2022 preparation. You may also join social media groups to be updated with CAT information.  

Attach with a Peer Study Club

It is advisable to have good friends who are on the same page. Good friends are always by your side on odd days as well as support you in your study plan. Try to seek out those peers who have already appeared in the CAT exam. They would have the experience which will help you a lot. Also, make friends who have already joined coaching classes. They will guide at every step and will also provide notes. Join groups of intellectual minds, their discussions on general topics will help in future aspects. All your doubts and queries related to any topic would be resolved with the help of the study club. Group study provides you with a healthy environment among the various competitors by your side.

Be Self-Motivated & have Trust in Yourself

The most crucial part of your preparation is to be self-motivated. If you have planned your preparation without any coaching, then you need to be self-assertive and not driven by anyone or anything. Notwithstanding the ups and downs in life, you should be confident enough to handle all the odd situations. Try to always have a positive note daily in your life. This would help you to keep motivated. You can write it somewhere and keep it in front of your eye. The more optimistic you are, the better your performance will reflect in your exam. So, always grasp positive vibes from others and be negative vibes in one ear and out the other. 

Related Links
CAT Notification 2022CAT Eligibility Criteria 2022
CAT Registration 2022
CAT Syllabus PDF
CAT Practice Set Papers
CAT Exam Pattern 2022
CAT Admit Card 2022
CAT Answer Key
CAT Cut Off
CAT Analysis
CAT Question Papers
CAT Result 2021



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  • The CAT is conducted once in a year by one of the IIMs. You may go to its official website for filling the registration form of CAT 2022

  • Yes, CAT has a negative marking of -1 for wrong answers. However, there is no mark deduction for an unattempt answer.

  •  Yes, it is a must for each MBA aspirant to at least solve 35-30 mock tests papers before the test.

  • No, the candidates are strictly prohibited to carry any gadget to the examination hall. On-screen calculators will be provided to the candidates on their respective computer screen.

  • Yes, there is a sectional time limit of 60 minutes for PwD category and 40 minutes for General Category candidates. So, you must be aware of the time limit.

  • No, the candidates have to attempt the sections in a chronological order i.e. VARC - DILR - QA. they won’t be allowed to switch over the sections at any time. So, the candidates are advised to practice in this order through mock tests.

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