1-Month CAT Study Schedule

1-month cat study schedule-magoosh

It’s possible to create a 1-month CAT study schedule that works for you!

If you need a 1-month CAT study schedule, get ready for an intense month! It’s definitely possible to prepare for the Common Admission Test (CAT) in this time, but it’ll require a solid commitment on your part. We’re talking at least 15 hours a week, and preferably more, in the four weeks leading up to test day.

First things first: make sure you’re registered for the test! This is key, because you can only register for CAT during several weeks in August and September of the year you want to take it. Because the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) administer the test in late November or early December, if you’re a month away from the single test date offered in the year and you haven’t registered, bad news. You’ll have to wait until next year to take the exam.

However! If you’ve registered for the exam during the correct period but simply haven’t had the time to prepare, that’s where we come in. Magoosh has a ton of resources on our blog for you to look over in the weeks leading up to your exam—and we’ve scoured websites, videos, and bookstores to bring you the best that the rest of the world has to offer in the way of CAT prep as well!

Note that this is a general plan, and can (and should!) be tweaked based on your study style, strengths, and weaknesses.

Materials for a 1-Month CAT Study Schedule

Magoosh CAT Blog

CAT Papers 2000-2010

2iim (Green Level Subscription)

Handa Ka Funda videos

IIM 2016 website

Supplemental Materials for a 1-Month CAT Study Schedule

Prometric CAT demonstration

CAT Papers 1990-2000

1-Month CAT Study Schedule, Week-by-Week

Week 1

Top Priorities

Check your test registration at the IIM 2016 website. After all, if you’re not registered for the test yet, you won’t be able to take it. If you think you’ve registered, now’s the time to double-check!

Familiarize yourself with the CAT. Spend some time looking over the IIM 2016 website and CAT Mock Exam 2016. To access the exam, don’t enter any login information; just click on Sign In. Important: you will not be able to score this exam, so use it primarily to get an overview of the test’s topics, pacing, and computer interface. If you don’t have enough time to work through the official mock exam, you can visit the Prometric CAT demonstration to see twelve sample problems in the interface.

Take a diagnostic exam. The most important thing you can do at this point is to get a sense of where you currently stand on the CAT. We suggest taking the first practice exam offered at 2iim (Green Level Subscription). Take the exam under test-like conditions: set aside three hours, with no breaks. Don’t let yourself go ahead if you finish early, or stay behind in a section after the allotted hour is up.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses. The day after the practice exam, while it’s still fresh in your mind, review the test. Many students will be tempted just to look at the questions they got wrong. We suggest you also look at the questions you got right and identify why and how you got them right. Were you guessing? Was it a process of elimination? Were you certain of your answer? Then, make a list of topic areas in which you missed the most questions and those in which you missed the least.


This week is all about familiarizing yourself with the terrain. Are you ready for the CAT mentally? Logistically? Where do you stand academically, and which areas will you need to work on the most before test day? While it may be tempting to immediately begin drilling yourself on CAT materials, you won’t get anywhere unless you go about it methodically—particularly when you only have one month in which to prepare!

Week 2

Top Priorities

Begin subject-area lessons. We suggest you begin on 2iim (Green Level Subscription). You can access some resources on the 2iim website for free, which you may have done with the diagnostic test last week. However, that only allows you access to practice exam and no drills, which are key to improving. A Green Level subscription costs 16,000 rupees, or approximately $236 USD (as of January 2017). Work through lessons in all three subject areas, particularly in your weakest areas.

Practice drills. After you’ve worked through the lessons on 2iim, drill yourself using their Topicwise Tests. As you drill yourself, study the answers and explanations carefully. What types of questions do you tend to miss? If you find that you’re still scoring low in certain areas, either return to the lessons or, for quantitative questions, check out Handa Ka Funda videos for different types of lessons and explanations.

Take two practice tests (“mocks”). One of these should be toward the beginning of the week (though after you’ve begun studying), and the other should be at the end. You can work through exams on 2iim or use previous CAT exam papers, though developing comfort with the computer interface should still be a priority at this point. Evaluate your work as in Week 1.


This week, you’ll be picking up tons of new skills and putting them to use. The practice tests will take up a fair amount of time. Remember that you should spend at least as much time studying your performance on these exams as you did taking them! Practice tests are primarily important for what they tell us about your current knowledge and areas for improvement.

Week 3

Top Priorities

Drill yourself on your weaknesses. Most students will still be struggling in some areas at this point, as we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Continue the 2iim drills. Consider working on questions from previous CAT exam papers as drills, too. This is particularly useful if you want to study on the go. Print out a section of an exam and drill yourself on the bus, while waiting for the doctor, any time you find yourself with “empty” time that you can put to use.

Take lessons on your “okay” areas. This is the time to brush up on are that you sometimes get and sometimes miss. We recommend the lessons on 2iim and Handa Ka Funda for this.

Take a practice exam at the end of the week. After taking the exam, go back the next day and evaluate your progress.


It’s go time! Test day is approaching, and you’ll want to make sure that you understand all the topics on the test reasonably well by this point. You’ve had some experience working on your weak areas. Now, we’re asking you to incorporate the “okay” areas as well, to master question types that you may be answering wrong only occasionally.

Week 4

Top Priorities

Reaffirm strengths. Remember that you have strengths as well as weaknesses! Run through the drills for these areas, and lessons if needed, completing the 2iim course. You don’t want to miss anything you’re naturally good at on test day simply because you’re out of practice, so now’s the time to brush up!

Take one final practice exam. Study it the following day and return to the lessons on any areas in which you’re still missing questions.


This week, you’re putting it all together. Finish up your lessons and keep drilling yourself before that final practice exam. If there are topic areas that you still haven’t mastered, evaluate when and where it will be most helpful to you to skip, rather than attempt, to answer these questions.

The Day of the CAT Exam

Absolutely no studying! If you don’t know it by now, you don’t know it. Accept that there are some questions on the test that will be better for you to skip, but also be proud of the knowledge that you’ve acquired, and trust the preparation that you’ve done this past month. It’s been an intense time, but it will pay off when you get the scores you’ve been dreaming of!

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

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