Deciding on whether to take a year off or not for Common Admission Test (CAT) preparations is always a big dilemma for students. Cracking any entrance requires ample amount of grounding which depends on various factors such as the time actually devoted, grip over the syllabus, etc. which varies from aspirant to aspirant. Some of them are able to manage their preparations along with their jobs and, on the other hand, some settle for dropping a year for the same. It is always advisable to discuss whether to drop a year for the CAT or not with the family, teachers, friends and those who have appeared for the exam.
Dropping a year for any entrance exam comes with its own merits and demerits- so is applicable in the case of CAT also.
Pros of Dropping a Year for the CAT
Ample Amount of Time: When a student plans to devote a year fully to the CAT, he or she get copious amount of time for your studies. Time management is one of the keys to success in exams. Failing to cope up with a strategy according to time-chart may result in the failure of the exam and also wasting one year. With a full year of time, you will be able to craft a detailed study plan and dedicate adequate amount of time towards exam preparation.
Develop Weaker Areas: Every student has a weak section- be it quant, verbal or data interpretation. Such sections demand more practice and dedication. Taking a drop year can allow aspirants to extensively work on the weaker sections. With persistent practice, students can settle their problems with ease. Over time, the weaker sections may well become the student’s strength
Improve Confidence Level: As you make mistakes and learn, you confidence level is bound to grow. When you finally step into the exam hall, you should hopefully be brimming with confidence, as you have taken a full year to prepare for the CAT.
Cons of Dropping a Year for the CAT
Missing Working Experience: Whenever someone plans to drop a year for the CAT, the biggest challenge one faces is the lack of work experience. Having good work experience is always an advantage as this will serve as your unique selling point during the interview process. Every year, a large number of students take the CAT with the similar profiles and here is where the work experience comes into the scenario. However, students can compensate by opting for a part time job or volunteer work.
Lethargy: One year is a long time for students to test their patience. It is difficult to maintain momentum and morale for the entire year without any snag in the dedication level. It is possible for students to lose interest and not focus on CAT preparation. Following a strict study schedule and sticking to it can help students stay focused on the goal- cracking the CAT. Students should always keep in mind that they are putting one full year on the line- and it is upto them to make sure that they do it justice be preparing adequately.
In case I have missed any important pros or cons which should be kept in mind when deciding if to drop a year for the CAT, be sure to mention them in the comments.