Honestly speaking, as such, there is no specific number of hours that you need for your CAT preparation plan. The amount of time one should dedicate to CAT preparation will be different for every individual. It swings on many factors:
Your strengths and weaknesses,
Your existing level of preparation,
Your speed of learning,
How many months are left for the CAT exam? etc.
For those, who have a good understanding of the fundamentals or the basics, he/she can acquire a satisfactory percentile even if their CAT basic preparation starts 4 to 5 months prior to the exam.
For working professionals or final year graduate students, it is advisable to include at least 3 to 4 hours every day for their CAT preparation plan. So, it becomes crucial for them to spend at least 3 to 4 hours preparing themselves during the weekdays and 6–8 hours on the weekends.
Aspirants should also make sure that they give more time to amplify the areas they are weak in. But, at the same time, if you avoid the topics that are easy for you, it will be a wrong strategy. Once you cover the basics of all three sections, your focus should shift towards:
a) Regular practice,
b) Taking as many mock tests,
c) Assessing how you perform in those mocks, and
d) creating your personalized test-taking plan.
The best strategy for your CAT basic preparation ideally includes a balanced schedule to cover the entire syllabus, revision, sectional tests, and mock tests(time-to-time).
Your CAT preparation plan should include the following timetable:
a) The initial stage of the preparation should concentrate on firming the basics of the three sections. Later, it needs to be followed by routine practice. If you don't have strong knowledge of the fundamentals, most likely you will never improve your mock scores in the later CAT preparation stages.
Therefore, during the weekdays, assign your time in the following technique:
|To Cover The Fundamentals
|For Additional Reading
|To take small tests
|To Solve Puzzles
||15 - 30 Minutes
It is also advised to take sectional tests or mocks during the weekends, and thoroughly analyze them. Also, at least 30 mins should be given to brush up on your General Knowledge or vocab, especially if your preparation is also aimed for other MBA entrance examinations.
b) Students who are already acquainted with the core or basic concepts can follow the following timetable:
|Short Topic Test(in the morning)
|Solve Quants for different topics(LRDI amd RC)
||3 Hours(During Weekdays)
In your free time, you should try to read articles from diverse ranges or try to solve puzzles as well. Make sure that you regularly solve RCs, LRDI sets, and a few quant sums. Also, make sure you utilize your weekends properly. Give as many full-length mocks as you can on your weekends. Also, analyze your performance thoroughly.
All of this is just a generalized timetable that one can follow. Based on this, any aspirant(trying to make a CAT preparation plan) can devise their schedule. Rather than focusing on the number of hours, try to utilize whatever time you give to the CAT preparation effectively.