CAT Preparation vs Self Study
Self Preparation for CAT

Is coaching centres really worth more than selfstudy for CAT Preparation

Are you preparing for CAT exam? Do you want to score good in exam? Will suggest you to go for Coachingselect, They provides India's best coaching institute.

November 30, 2021

By Coaching Select


Does one need to attend coaching classes to prepare for CAT or one can prepare on own?  This is a common question raised by candidates planning on taking the CAT. Scroll down a little to know more on this!

Coaching or self study? 

Does one need to attend coaching classes to prepare for the Common Admission Test (CAT) or can he/she prepare on his/her own? 

This is a common question raised by candidates planning on taking the CAT.

We should understand that everyone has a different style of learning; some learn better when they are alone and some grasp the concepts faster when they are in a group. Based on your past experience and through your personality analysis, you will be able to understand your learning style.  Apart from your learning style, there are other factors that can affect your decision to either take up coaching classes or prepare for the CAT on your own.


Firstly, you should understand your level of motivation. Are you disciplined and motivated to study on your own? 


  1. CAT is a difficult and a competitive exam and it requires approximately 4-5 hours of preparation on a daily basis.  If you believe that despite your hectic work life, you are able to devote the required number of hours for the exam preparation, you should opt for self study. However, if you do not possess good time management skills, you should sign up for coaching classes. 

  2. Many candidates appearing for the CAT have full-time jobs which can be pretty demanding. So, one should consider the time taken to travel from his/her workplace to the coaching centre or institution for CAT preparation. Travelling can be time-consuming and tiring. So, if you have to travel long distances to reach the coaching centre, it is better to study on your own. This way, you will save time and will be able to spend more time preparing for the examination. There is no hard and fast rule that one should attend coaching classes to get good results in CAT. In fact, there are many students who have studied on their own and cleared the CAT in their first attempt. 

  3. So, ultimately, the choice between coaching and self study is dependent on many factors, as stated above, and the level of motivation of the student. Getting a high score in CAT is an advantage, it increases your chances to get a seat in one of the best management institutes, but how you do it is also important.


Students often ask how to prepare for CAT?

  1. Most of the students choose to join coaching institutes, but the same can be done by yourself at your own pace and at your own place. Yes, you are right; we are talking about preparing for CAT at home. Tips To Prepare For CAT 2022 At Home: 

  • About the exam: The first thing one should know is the syllabus of CAT and the exam pattern in detail. One should make a timetable and designate an appropriate time for different subjects. Candidates should solve previous year question papers, as this will give them a clear idea about the type of questions asked in the exam.

  • Study material: There are a lot of study materials available in local stores as well as in online markets. 

  • Online Mock test: If you are done with your preparation, it is necessary to test your knowledge by giving online tests, available at different websites. These test scores will show you how much you need to study and which topic to study more. Give at least two online mock tests in a week. Note down your mistakes and try to avoid them in the next mock test.

  • Study Group: You should make a small group where everyone can throw their ideas on solving different questions in different ways. Teach your friends about the topics that you are thorough of and ask them for the same, this will help everyone in the group to study efficiently. Clear each other’s doubt. Try to solve the same question papers together and check who completes the paper first. This will help you to improve your efficiency to solve questions.

  • Study Online: Browse the internet, visit educational websites read their study materials, read news as this will help you to improve your general awareness. Download the free mock papers available over the internet because nothing is cheaper than free.

Coaching vs. Self Study: How to Choose?

  1. When preparing for CAT 2021, keep in mind your grasp on VARC, DILR and Quantitative Aptitude. Also, that how much time you have for exam preparation. Most of the coaching institutes begin their batches at least a year before the CAT exam. They also offer crash courses of short duration, which you can join at a later stage of CAT preparation, if you feel the need.

  2. The biggest drawback of coaching institutes is exhaustion. Students have to attend daily classes of six to eight hours and then take tests on weekends. For some, it may become too taxing. Let’s take a look at pros and cons of coaching and self-study and then discuss which is better for CAT 2021 aspirants.

CAT Preparation: Coaching vs Self Study

Coaching Self-Study
Rigid study hours Flexible study hours
Special attention to tough topics No expert guidance on tough topics
Study material and mock tests provided Study material and mock tests easily available
Classroom discussions Can join online forums and study groups
Channelizing of energy in the right direction Can adjust resources according to time and need
Helps in developing analytical ability Helps in developing analytical ability
Competitive environment brings out the best in students No peer pressure
Motivation level is high at all times Need to stay self motivated at all times
Common problems and achievements instill confidence Chances of getting complacent higher


CAT Preparation by Coaching

Let’s have a look at pros and cons of Coaching Classes. These are general observations and students must take a decision regarding their mode of preparation keeping in mind their own ability and situation.

                                                                          Coaching Classes
Pros Cons
Focused preparation High fees
Competitive environment Long study hours
Constant support and guidance of mentors Physical exhaustion, no time to relax and unwind
Availability of study material Risk of complacency
Regular feedback on progress Peer pressure to always perform


CAT Preparation by Self Study

Let’s have a look at pros and cons of Self Study. These are general observations and students must take a decision regarding their mode of preparation keeping in mind their own ability and situation.

                                                                                    Self Study
Pros Cons
Free to study according to your own time and speed Lack of guidance can lead to deviation from focused path
No peer pressure of performing well Risk of complacency due to lack of competition
Better time management Students can end up wasting more time during study hours
Better development of analytical ability as one finds tricks and shortcuts for solving questions Lack of expert guidance on tough topics and doubts can lead to incomplete preparation
More opportunities to relax and unwind Absence of mentor or peers to talk to about road blocks in preparation can be demoralizing


To sum it up, both Coaching Classes and Self Study have their own significance in CAT preparation. Both methods of exam preparation require dedication and discipline (Self Study requires a tad bit more). Study material and books for CAT preparation are readily available in the market so you don’t have to worry about that.

You as an aspirant needs to weigh the two keeping in mind your abilites and personality traits. If you are lazy and lack focus, you need to go for coaching classes, but if you are self-disciplined and resolute, you can do well by self-study.

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