Common Admission Test, commonly known as CAT is a Management Based Entrance Exam, conducted by the Indian Institute of Management each year, to get an admit in the Management Programs from top B-Schools in India. The test is designed by the prestigious IIMs on a rotational basis each year. It is considered to be one of the most competitive entrance examinations in India, where over 2 Lakh students appear for the test each year.
Students use the score to be eligible for an admit into premiere Colleges and Universities in India, like the Prestigious IIMs, Indian Institute of Technology, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS New Delhi), MDI Gurgaon, JBIMS, SPJIMR, TAPMI, KJ Somaiya, Welingkar, Jaipuria Institute of Management, IMT Ghaziabad, IMI New Delhi, BIMTECH, FORE Business School and many more.
CAT Test Pattern
CAT is a Computer Based Aptitude Test. The test contains questions of two types- MCQs and Non-MCQs.
As per CAT 2022, the format of the test is as follows-
- Mode- Computer-Based Test, Online
- Test Fee- INR 1200/- for SC, ST, PWD and INR 2400/- for Other Students
- Each year, one IIM is nominated to Conduct the entire Application and Testing Process
- Total Questions- 66
- Question Format- MCQ (70%-75%) and Non-MCQ (25-30%) or TITA (Type in The Answer) Questions
- Total Duration- 120 Minutes (40 Minutes Per Each Section)
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension- 24 Questions, 40 Minutes
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- 20 Questions, 40 Minutes
Quantitative Ability- 22 Questions, 40 Minutes
- Marking Scheme– (+3) For Correct Answer, (-1) for Incorrect Answer. Negative Marking is applicable only on MCQ Based Questions. Non-MCQ or TITA Questions do not carry any negative marking.
- The score is released in Percentile (%ile) and not marks. Percentile is basically a rank. Percentile states how many students are below oneself. For Example- If I score a 90%ile, it means that there are 90% of students below me on the test, or out of 100, my rank was 10, meaning I am above 90 students.
Common Aptitude Test consists of 3 Sections-
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
- Quantitative Ability
Since CAT is considered to be one of the most competitive Entrance Examinations in India, the competition to get through this test is cut-throat, and hence the test requires the students to be able to plan and manage the preparation as well. The CAT pattern has varied over the years, but the difficulty level has remained more or less similar in comparison to its previous editions. To get through CAT successfully, being able to Manage preparation properly also matters a lot.
This is not a test where solving each and every question is important, rather, it is more important to understand and attempt questions that we are sure of. One of the most basic and the most important strategy to get through CAT is to maintain high ACCURACY. Attempting questions incorrectly invites negative markings. So, for a correct question, you are awarded (+3) Marks and for any incorrect question, you have a negative marking of (-1). So instead of scoring a 0 on any questions, you end up losing an extra 1 mark by attempting it incorrectly.
Although the exam is competitive, one cannot actually say that it is difficult. It is crucial to decide when to start preparing for the exam. The ideal time required to prepare for the test, with ease can be between 6 to 8 Months, depending upon the student’s aptitude performance. The preparation timeline will vary from student to student, but the preparation strategy will more or less be the same, i.e. starting from the basics and then gradually moving on to higher difficulty levels.
With the correct preparation strategy, CAT can become a cakewalk for any student. The preparation for each of the 3 sections will be divided into 3 Phases- Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Some useful resources that will help you during your preparation are- Word Power Made Easy, Brush Up Your English, NCERT Math Textbook from Class 6th to 10th, Newspaper, Wikipedia, Easy Written Novels, Study Material Specific to CAT Syllabus, Test Series, Magazines related to topics of your interests to help practice and Resources to improve your General Knowledge (Required at a later stage) as well.
Important Dates for CAT Exam 2023
- Registration for CAT 2023 Opens: 2nd August 2023, from 10:00 AM (IST)
- Registration for CAT 2023 Closes: 20th September 2023, till 5:00 PM (IST)
- Admit Card Download: 25th October 2023 to 26th November 2023
- CAT 2023 Exam Date: 26th November 2023
- Declaration of Result: 2nd Week of January (Tentative)
- INR 1200/- for SC, ST, and PwD Category
- INR 2400/- for General, NC-OBC, EWS, and other categories