The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly competitive entrance exam for management studies in India. With lakhs of students appearing for the exam yearly, the fierce competition is fierce. CAT aspirants face the dilemma of opting for self-study or coaching to prepare for the exam. While self-study offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness, coaching institutes in Kolkata, Study Break Academy, provide expert guidance, structured learning, and mock tests. So, lets get into the details of this long standing debate: Coaching vs Self-Study.

CAT is a computer-based examination conducted by IIM to shortlist candidates for the postgraduate program.

Aspirants must weigh the pros and cons of both options and make an informed decision based on their preferences and requirements. It is important to note that both self-study and coaching can complement each other, and aspirants can opt for both to achieve their desired score. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both options and why aspirants must do both to score good marks.

Self-Study for CAT Preparation: Pros and Cons

Self-study is an option where aspirants prepare for the CAT on their own without the help of a coaching institute.



Self-study offers significant advantages in terms of flexibility. Aspirants can plan their study hours according to their daily routine and other commitments. Moreover, they can study at their own pace and convenience, enabling them to balance their studies with other activities.


A self-study is a cost-effective option compared to coaching. Aspirants can save money on tuition fees and other expenses associated with coaching. They can also avoid travel expenses and save time on commuting.

Personalized Learning

Aspirants can personalize their learning in self-study based on their strengths and weaknesses. They can allocate more time to topics they find difficult and less time to topics they are comfortable with. Aspirants can also choose the study material that suits their learning style and pace.

Students at SBA: Coaching vs Self-Study


Lack of Guidance

Self-study does not provide the guidance and support that coaching institutes offer. Aspirants may need proper guidance to understand complex topics. They may also need the support of a mentor to stay motivated and disciplined.

Limited Resources

Self-study may limit aspirants’ access to resources such as mock tests, study material, and expert guidance. Aspirants may have to rely on online resources, which may differ from those provided by coaching institutes.

Coaching for CAT Preparation: Pros and Cons

The best CAT coaching institute in Kolkata, Study Break Academy, provides aspirants with expert guidance, study material, and mock tests to help them prepare for CAT. 


Expert Guidance

Experienced faculty members at Study Break Academy offer expert guidance to CAT aspirants, helping them grasp complex topics. These faculty members possess years of teaching experience specifically tailored for CAT preparation.

Structured Learning

Coaching institutes provide a structured learning environment that helps aspirants cover the entire syllabus systematically. Aspirants can also clarify their doubts and get instant feedback from their mentors.

Mock Tests

Coaching institutes provide aspirants with mock tests that simulate the actual CAT exam. Aspirants can practice solving questions within a stipulated time and get an idea of their performance. They can also identify their strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly.


High Costs

Coaching institutes can be expensive, and aspirants may have to pay significant tuition fees. Aspirants may also have to spend money on travel and accommodation if the coaching institute is far from their residences.

Limited Flexibility

Coaching institutes have a fixed schedule, and aspirants may have to adjust their routines accordingly. Aspirants who are working professionals cannot join the coaching center. They may also have to compromise on their other commitments to attend coaching classes.

Students at SBA: Coaching vs Self-Study

Coaching vs Self-Study. What Should Aspirants Choose?

To ensure comprehensive and structured preparation for the CAT exam, aspirants should choose self-study and coaching. Self-study allows flexibility and enables aspirants to focus on their strengths and weaknesses. Coaching institutes provide expert guidance, a structured learning environment, and essential mock tests to help aspirants gauge their preparation level.

Moreover, opting for self-study and coaching can help aspirants complete their preparation in a shorter duration, typically six months. This approach ensures that aspirants thoroughly cover all the necessary topics and concepts and have ample time for revision and practice. Therefore, choosing self-study and coaching can significantly enhance the chances of cracking the CAT exam.

Conclusion: Coaching vs Self-Study

CAT aspirants must carefully consider the pros and cons of self-study and coaching before deciding. While self-study provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness, coaching institutes offer expert guidance, structured learning, and mock tests. Aspirants should understand that complementing self-study and coaching at Study Break Academy in Kolkata is crucial. Relying solely on one option is not recommended. Balancing self-study and coaching is essential for achieving the desired CAT score. Aspirants should prioritize their strengths, address weaknesses, and maintain motivation and discipline throughout preparation. With the right approach and determination, aspirants can successfully crack the CAT exam and realize their dream of pursuing management studies at a top-notch institute.