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The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all-India test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as an entrance exam for the admission to the Post-graduate and Fellow Programs in management courses of several management institutes in India including the IIMs. It is on the basis of CAT result that the eligible candidates are short listed and called for a Group Discussion and Personal Interview.

Until last year CAT was a paper based test but from last time CAT has become a Computer based test that means a candidate will read questions and choose correct answers on a computer in the designated test centre. Also instead of a single day CAT will be conducted through a ten day window for different students where they will have different set of questions of similar difficulty level. Other than these there will be no change in the format of CAT.

CAT is one of the toughest exams in India. The Combined Admission Test is taken for to fill the vacant places of Six IIMs and few other top most B- School like SP jain, MICA, and T A Pai. CAT tests the skills of aspiring candidates in five steps each having broad areas. They are Verbal Ability and Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Skills, Data Interpretation and Analytical and Logical Reasoning. The questions which has been asked from these sections are based on objective type

From the past few years the number of question which has been asked in Combined Admission Test is decreasing continuously. In the year 1990 the no. of questions was in between 75 to 150, specifically CAT 1999 and 2000 had one hundred sixty five questions each. CAT 2001, 2002, 2003, had only one hundred fifty questions. These one hundred fifty questions had been divided in three sections, each section having fifty questions. The Combined Admission Test is of two Hours.  For the each right answer the candidates are awarded with half mark, One Mark or Two mark and for each incorrect answers one third marks are deducted from the total.

Eligibility criteria:

For general candidates: A candidate should have got at least 50% or equivalent CGPA in Graduation.

For SC/ST candidates: A candidate should have got at least 45% or equivalent CGPA in Graduation.

Final year candidates who will complete their graduation in 2011 can also apply.

The caste certificate must be shown and a photocopy enclosed at the time of interviews. Moreover, the caste certificate must be submitted at the time of joining programmes of any of the IIMs.

Testing Areas

CAT has two stages:

  • Written Test
  • Group Discussion & Personal Interview (GD/PI)

The written test consists of questions that evaluate a candidate's quantitative, verbal, and logical & data interpretive abilities. Therefore, there are a total of three sections in the test.

Only students who qualify in the Aptitude test are eligible to appear for the GD/PI. To qualify in the Aptitude test you have to perform well in each section. There is a sectional cut-off as well as a combined cut-off. All the students are informed about their score through written communication.

Group Discussion and Personal Interview:
The GD/PI is essential part of final selection. In the GD/PI, a candidate's communication skill, presentation power, perception, general awareness, confidence, interpersonal skill, group behaviour etc. are checked.

How to Apply

  1. Buy the scratch voucher from a designated bank. To locate the Axis Bank branch nearest to you on a map, click here.
  2. Register online on the CAT website
  3. Once you choose the date, you will need to choose the 10 a.m. (displayed as 10:00) session or the 3:30 p.m. session (displayed as 15:30).
  4. You must show original mark sheets and submit photocopies to prove your eligibility at the time of interview. Further, if you are selected for a programme, original degree certificate and mark sheets along with your photocopies must be submitted for verification at the time of joining the programme.

Official Website



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