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About CAT

Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all India Entrance test conducted by IIMs. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and is a pre-requisite for selecting students for their business administration programs. This computer-based test is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission to their 2-year full time postgraduate programs in management. Other Indian business schools like IITs, FMS, S P Jain, MDI, and NITIE also accept CAT scores as part of their selection process.

Who can apply?

To appear for the CAT, the candidate must hold a Bachelor's degree, with at least 50 percent marks or equivalent CGPA (45 percent in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA)), awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. If selected, such candidates will be allowed to join the program provisionally, only if he/she submits a certificate latest by June 30 (of the admission year) from the Principal/Registrar of his/her College/Institute stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.

How to apply

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you need to register for the test and make an online payment.
In order to register you will have to visit the official CAT website and take the following steps

  1. Fill the CAT application form.
  2. Make the payment via a valid credit, debit card or online net banking facility.

Structure and Pattern of CAT

CAT is a computer based test.
For CAT 2019, the IIMs have not changed the structure and continue to be a 3 section test.

Refer the below table with the details as per CAT 2019:

Section Section Name Total Number of questions Time
Section-I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 60min
Section-II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 60min
Section-III Quantitative Ability 34 60min
Total 100 180min

The Scoring pattern of CAT 2019 will be +3 for each correct answer and -1 for each wrong answer. The students are also scaled on percentiles which are the criteria for short listing students for the next round.

Apart from the CAT, an MBA aspirant may need to take a few more entrance tests based on the list of B-Schools one is planning to apply to. Some of the important B-School entrance tests are XAT, IIFT, NMAT, SNAP, TISS-NET, CET (Mah), CMAT, MAT and ATMA. These tests are generally unpredictable in their structure and composition. Whilst the objective of the test to assess the students’ aptitude in the broad areas of Quantitative, Verbal, Logical and Analytical Reasoning remains unchanged, the same cannot be said about the weightage given to each area. Increasingly, many institutes are also testing the students’ awareness of current affairs and general knowledge. The two prime requirements to beat these tests are (a) a really thorough knowledge of each basic area and (b) a consciously cultivated ability to think on one’s feet. Find below the test structure analysis of the latest edition of each of the above tests: 

Test Name Test Mode Test Date(s) Institutes Accepting Test Structure
XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) Online January XLRI, S.P.Jain, MICA, XIM-B, GIM, K.J.Somaiya, LIBA, Praxis, TAPMI, Welingkar XAT
IIFT (own test) Paper-based December IIFT (Delhi/Kolkata/Kakinada) IIFT
SNAP (Symbisosis National Aptitude Test) Online December SIBM Pune, SCMHRD, SIBM Bangalore, SIIB, SIMC, SIMS, SITM, SIOM, SCIT,SIHS, SICSR, SSBF SNAP
NMAT (Narsee Monjee Aptitude Test) Online Between October to December NMIMS-all campuses along with 15 other b-schools in India NMAT
TISSNET Online January TISS TISS

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