CAT Full Form

In India, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based entrance exam. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top management institutes use it for admission to postgraduate programs such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

This test is divided into three sections –

  1. Quantitative Ability
  2. Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
  3. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

This prestigious examination is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). In this three-hour test, a student’s ability to assess quantitative, logical, and verbal aptitude.

CAT Examination

  • The first Indian Institute of Management (IIM) was IIM Calcutta (IIM-C), which was established in 1961. IIM Calcutta was founded in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Government of West Bengal.
  • A CAT examination was conducted for the first time by the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, in 1954. 
  • In 2009, CAT switched from paper-based to computer-based tests.

CAT Exam Eligibility

The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA  and 45% in
the case of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with
Disability (PwD) categories.

They can also apply if the applicants are appearing for the final year of the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results.

The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate would be calculated based on the practice as
followed by the respective University/Institution.

CAT Exam Pattern

  • The duration of the examination is three hours. 
  • The CAT Exam is a computer-based examination consisting of three sections, Quantitative Ability, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation. 
  • The CAT Exam pattern changes from time to time. 
  • Each question carries three marks, and for every incorrect answer, one mark will be deducted.
Sections Number of questions Marks
Quantitative Ability 24   72
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation 20 60
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 22 66

List of Participating IIMs

Applicants can pursue their MBA career from these reputed and prestigious institutes –

  1. IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A)
  2. IIM Bangalore (IIM-B)
  3. IIM Calcutta (IIM-C)
  4. IIM Lucknow (IIM-L)
  5. IIM Indore (IIM-I)
  6. IIM Kozhikode (IIM-K)
  7. IIM Shillong (IIM-S)
  8. IIM Rohtak (IIM-R)
  9. IIM Ranchi (IIM-Ra)
  10. IIM Raipur (IIM-Rp)
  11. IIM Trichy (IIM-T)
  12. IIM Udaipur (IIM-U)
  13. IIM Nagpur (IIM-N)
  14. IIM Visakhapatnam (IIM-V)
  15. IIM Bodh Gaya (IIM-BG)
  16. IIM Amritsar (IIM-Am)
  17. IIM Sambalpur (IIM-Sb)
  18. IIM Sirmaur (IIM-Sm)
  19. IIM Jammu (IIM-J)
  20. IIM Goa (IIM-Go)
  21. IIM Kashipur (IIM-Ka)
  22. IIM Jammu (IIM-J)

CAT Admission Process

The CAT admission process generally consists of the following stages:

  • Aspirants should carefully register on the official website and thoroughly check the fields before applying.
  •  Candidates can download their CAT admit cards from the official website after registering successfully.
  • Most CAT exams are conducted between November and December. It consists of three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). Exam patterns and syllabuses can vary slightly from year to year.
  • CAT results are usually announced in January. There are two types of percentile results: the overall score and the section-wise score. A candidate who meets the cutoff scores set by an IIM is eligible to move forward in the selection process.
  • CAT scores are used for shortlisting candidates by each IIM independently. Shortlisted candidates are usually required to fill out an application form specific to each IIM they are interested in.
  • Selected candidates are cordially invited to partake in the subsequent phase, comprising of a Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI).
  • Based on the CAT score, performance in WAT/GD/PI, academic records, work experience (if any), and other relevant factors, IIMs prepare the final merit list of candidates selected for admission.
  • Candidates who make it to the final merit list receive offers of admission from the respective IIMs. The offers specify the program and campus to which the candidate is being admitted.


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