CAT is a national level MBA entrance exam. It is conducted every year by different IIMs on a rotational basis. The number of applications received for CAT has been increasing every year due to which it has stiff competition. The score of CAT is used not only by IIMs but by other top-notch management schools all over India as well.

There are many things that CAT aspirants want to know right now, such as: Which IIM will conduct CAT? What is the exam date for CAT? What is CAT Eligibility? How should I prepare? All the answers are given on this page. Read below to get more details on CAT.

CAT 2018 CAT 2019


Every year more than 02 lakh candidates apply for CAT. It is one of the most important exams for entrance in B-school programs. Mostly all the B-schools consider CAT scores for admission.

The official website of Common Admission Test has been for the past four years.

Which IIM will conduct CAT?

Though any of the twenty IIMs can conduct CAT but there are higher chances of one of the older IIMs (Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore) conducting it.

IIMs that have conducted CAT in the past are:

  • 2018 – IIM Calcutta
  • 2017 – IIM Lucknow
  • 2016 – IIM Bangalore
  • 2015 – IIM Ahmedabad
  • 2014 – IIM Indore
  • 2013 – IIM Indore
  • 2012 – IIM Kozhikode
  • 2011 – IIM Calcutta
  • 2010 – IIM Lucknow
  • 2009 – IIM Ahmedabad

Who is the Exam Conducting body for CAT?

Out of the older IIMs, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, and IIM Ahmedabad have conducted the exam twice. Whereas, the IIM Bangalore, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Calcutta have conducted the exam only once. The chances of IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta are higher for conducting CAT.

What To Expect For CAT?

The notification for CAT might be available on or before the last week of July.

With new exam conducting body for CAT, there might be some changes in the exam.

The exam pattern for CAT has not been changed much since 2015, but there are one or two changes that are always done by the new IIM.

Eligibility criteria will be same as always.

CAT Syllabus

Let us be clear that the IIMs do not publish any “official syllabus” for this exam. However, this exam has been around for a long time, and exam mentors keep a close watch on the exam. They then prepare a syllabus for the purpose of giving shape to aspirants’, such as yours, preparation. The same (CAT syllabus) is given below.

Looking at the previous year question papers we have selected the most common sections which candidates need to prepare in order to crack CAT. Have a look at it:

  • Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Ability
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Data Interpretation

CAT Syllabus of these sections are given below. Candidates can start preparing accordingly:

Quantitative Ability

  • Percentage
  • Ratio, Proportions & Variations
  • Number System: GCD, LCM Remainder Theorems etc.
  • Permutation & Combination
  • Probability
  • Simple & Compound Interest
  • Progressions i.e. Arithmetic Progression (AP), Geometric Progression (GP), Harmonic Progressions (HP) etc.
  • Profit and Loss
  • Speed, Time and Distance
  • Time & Work
  • Mensuration
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Averages
  • Geometry: Straight Lines, Polygons, Triangles, Circles, Ellipses etc.
  • Functions i.e. Logarithms, Even & Odd, Representation etc.
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Mixture and Alligation
  • Inequalities
  • Set Theory

This section may have total 34 question out of which 7 may be Non-MCQs. Each question will be of 3 marks and for every wrong answer -1 will be done. Time duration for this section is 1 hour.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Antonyms
  • Synonyms
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Para jumbles
  • Analogies
  • Idioms
  • One-word Substitutions
  • Error-Spotting

This section in CAT Exam may also contain total of 34 question out of which 10 may be Non-MCQs. Marking scheme is same as that of quantitative ability.

Data Interpretation

  • Data Analysis.
  • Data Tables
  • Pie Charts
  • Bar Charts
  • Venn Diagram
  • Graphs (Line, Area)
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Assertion and Reason
  • Arrangements-based questions
  • Set Theory
  • Puzzles
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Sequences and Series
  • Syllogisms
  • Blood Relations
  • Binary Logic
  • Direction Test
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Data Structures
  • Coding – Decoding

Data interpretation and logical reasoning combine as a single section. It may have 32 questions in total. Out of this, 8 may be Non-MCQs. Marking scheme will be same.

Mode and Medium of CAT

CAT is a Computer Based Test (CBT) which will be conducted online. Also, the medium of the exam will be English only. Thus candidates need to ensure that they prepare for CAT accordingly.

CAT Exam Pattern

The 3 sections of CAT are:

Quantitative Ability – This section of paper may have a total of 34 questions. Out of which 7 are Non-MCQs subjective type. Candidates must ensure that they try to answer all the Non-MCQs as it does not have any negative marking. Maximum marks for this section may be 102 and time duration to attempt is 60 minutes.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension –  In this section of paper, applicants may get total of 34 questions. Out of which 10 may be Non-MCQs. Time duration to attempt this section is 60 minutes and total marks may be 102.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning – This is the 3rd section of CAT which may have 32 questions for candidates to attempt. Here total number of Non-MCQs (subjective type) may be 8. Maximum marks allotted for this section may be 96 and duration of time is 60 minutes.

CAT Eligibility Criteria

If no changes in CAT eligibility criteria are made then you can consider the below-mentioned criteria to check whether they are eligible or not.

  • Candidate should have Indian citizenship or should be a citizen of India
  • Candidate should have passed the Bachelor’s Degree or should be in final year of their Under Graduation.
  • Overall percentage of candidate should be 50% in Bachelor’s Degree (45% for SC/ST/PWD candidates)
  • Bachelor’s degree must be of minimum 3 years
  • No upper or lower age limit
  • CA/ ICWA/ CS candidates are also eligible to apply for CAT
  • NRI and foreign candidates can also apply in the institutes with GMAT score.

CAT Selection Procedure

Every B-school along with IIMs have its own selection criteria and cut-off list. All the things will be taken into account while considering the candidate for the seat. His/her CAT score, UG percentage, 12th and 10th percentage, working experience, extracurricular activities will be considered. Depending on the selected candidates will then be called for group discussion and personal interview rounds also known as GDPI rounds.

Based on all these things and cumulative score final merit list of each institute is prepared.

The 3 rounds of selection procedure of CAT are:

Written Test– Candidate has to write on one or more topics a brief essay on the time duration of 15-45 minutes.

Group Discussion– A round is held where 8-10 candidates are given a particular topic and they have to discuss it. This is to check the candidate’s group dynamics.

Personal Interview– In this round candidate has to present himself/herself before the panel of 4-8 interviewers. This is a final round and is held to check the candidate’s educational qualification, hobbies, interests and work experience.

How to prepare for CAT?

CAT preparation can be divided into 2 parts on the basis of the type of candidate who wants to appear for CAT:

First Time Appearing Candidate: If a candidate belongs to this class, he/ she can opt for full-time online course. In this course, faculty will assist the candidate with every aspect of examination and also be a guide and help him/her understand the concepts, applications and tricks too. Additionally, the candidate gets a lot of study material and mock test to prepare himself/ herself for CAT. Once a candidate is done with the syllabus completion analyze the missing parts and work on it to improve the chances of getting to the merit list of CAT.

Re-attempting Candidate: If a candidate is unable to crack CAT 2017 in the first attempt, he/she must now analyze the weak spots and strong sections. Accordingly, a candidate can start taking sectional tests available online and workout on the weak sections to finally crack CAT. Also, such candidates can go for Mock Tests and solve CAT previous years papers too.

Candidates appearing for CAT must remember that there is no tailor-made set pattern for CAT preparation. One can customize the preparation process according to his/her strengths, weaknesses, limitations and time. However, I would advise a candidate to be consistent while preparing for CAT. Candidate needs to at least spare 3-4 hours every day and prepare for CAT.  It takes approximately 7-8 months of extensive preparation to crack CAT.

How Should I Plan for CAT in 300 Days

Also, looking at the current time it’s a long journey ahead. If you are thinking that is it late to start preparing for CAT or what is the best time to prepare for CAT, I have an advice for you: It is never too late to begin what you always wanted to do.

Set a target to complete the syllabus by the last week of August so that sufficient time for revision is left. Thereafter, start taking mock tests, reading comprehension and LRDI every day as these sections can only be mastered with regular practice.

Most Recommended Books for CAT

For the candidate’s convenience, we are recommending section wise books. These books are sorted after intense research and will definitely guide the candidate for CAT preparation:

Top Books for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)

Book Name Author Publications Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for Quantitative Ability For CAT Arun Sharma McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
The Complete CAT Digest Arun Sharma McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations Abhijit Guha Tata Mcgraw-Hill Publications Buy Here
Quantitative Aptitude For CAT And Other MBA Entrance Exams Trishna Knowledge Systems Pearson Publications Buy Here

Top Books for CAT Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Book Name Author Publications Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning Nishit Sinha Pearson Publications Buy Here
Pocket Guide to Vocabulary Barrons Buy Here

Top Books for CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

Book Name Author Publications Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations Trishna TIME Publisher: Pearson Buy Here

CAT Registration and Application Form

Registration for CAT is expected to open in the month of August. Applicants can fill in CAT application form once registration starts. Link to register for CAT will be provided here once it is available.

CAT Application Fee

Till date, there is no official notification related to Application Fee of CAT. But we can expect the fee depicted in the table below, on the basis of last year’s application fee.

Category CAT Application Fee
General/ OBC INR 1900

This fee is likely to change if IIM makes any changes in the fee structure for CAT Entrance Test.

How to do CAT Registration?

Candidates willing to register for CAT has to follow the steps given below and submit the application form on or before the last date.

Step 1: Candidates need to visit the official site of CAT IIM. The official website is

Step 2: Click on Register as New User. You can see this link only if the form is available.

Step 3: After you register, you get user ID and password on email. Check it and now log In to the account.

Step 4: Fill in the details in CAT Application Form. All details should be correct.

Step 5: Upload the image of scanned photograph and signature.

Step 6: Pay CAT Application Fee.

CAT Admit Card

Admit Card of CAT will be made available on the official site. Candidates who have successfully applied for CAT will be able to download the CAT Admit Card by logging into their account.

Admit card for CAT will be available in the month of October. Candidates need to ensure that all the details provided on admit card is correct and in case of any discrepancy they need to immediately contact the concerned authority.

Also, it is advisable to retain CAT Admit Card as it will be required on every step of CAT Entrance Test process.

Link to download it will be provided below as soon as it is available.

CAT Result

CAT Result will be announced in the month of January 2019. Candidates who have appeared for CAT will be able to see their results when it will be made available on the official site.

Direct Link to download the CAT Result will be provided here.

List of Colleges Accepting CAT Score

Below is the list of all IIM colleges present in India that accept CAT score for the admission in MBA/PGDM courses:

  1. IIM Sirmaur
  2. IIM Nagpur
  3. IIM Calcutta
  4. IIM Amritsar
  5. IIM Bangalore
  6. IIM Bodh Gaya
  7. IIM Kashipur
  8. Rajiv Gandhi IIM Shillong
  9. IIM Tiruchirappalli
  10. IM Udaipur
  11. IIM Raipur
  12. IIM Kozhikode
  13. IIM Ranchi
  14. IIM Ahmedabad
  15. IIM Indore
  16. IIM Lucknow
  17. IIM Sambalpur
  18. IIM Visakhapatnam
  19. IIM Rohtak

Other Top 10 B-schools that accept CAT score for admission are listed below:

  1. Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  2. Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
  3. Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
  4. National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
  5. Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  6. Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  7. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
  8. Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi
  9. SPJIMR, Mumbai

Applying for IIM after CAT result

When you are filling CAT Application form, the candidate must make sure that he/she marks all the IIM colleges along with programs like PGDM, FABM and many others.

After result declaration, IIM will send candidate an email inviting for the final round if he/she is eligible for the seat in that IIM and meets the shortlisting criteria. Applicants must regularly check their emails for updates.

However, candidates may be required to fill application form once again stating academic qualifications and other important details.

Finally, prepare for the interview round and go with confidence to nail it.

In case the candidate does not receive the interview call letter he/she must start looking for other top business schools for admission. They can search for the ongoing admissions and apply for the same while declaring their CAT score.

To know the list of best B-schools accepting CAT score, candidates can see the list given above.

If candidates still have doubts or queries related to CAT, they can ask us in the comment section below. We will try to resolve all the queries.

Applicants seeking assistance on CAT can ask queries here.

Management Entrance Exams MBA Admission through CAT

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