Common Admission Test (CAT)

Common Admission Test or CAT is a national level test to get admission into reputed management colleges of India like the IIMs, IITs, FMS, MDI, NITIE etc. The admissions to these colleges are only based on CAT and it is a mandatory to write the exam if you are applying as an Indian student to any of these Institutions.

Every year a convener is selected from one of the IIMs who is responsible to conduct the CAT examination for that year. The CAT 2021 will be conducted by IIM Ahmedabad. MP Ram Mohan, an Assistant Professor in Business Policy will be the convener this year. The CAT examination is written by about 2 to 2.5 lakh students every year and is conducted on the last Sunday of November in 160+ cities across India.

CAT Exam Pattern

CAT  is a rigorous evaluation of your Verbal, Reasoning and Quantitative ability. There are three sections in this examination.

  1. Verbal Ability, which includes the Reading Comprehension and Verbal Reasoning.
  2. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation.
  3. Quantitative Ability

 

CAT 2021 was conducted as a two-hour long paper due various restrictions imposed because of COVID. The exam was conducted as a computer based test with each section of 40 minutes in which the students had to attempt 66 questions. It will be interesting to watch how the CAT 2022 will be conducted.

Structure of CAT

The shortened version of the CAT 2020 had the same sections and the sections were ordered as VARC, DILR and QA in that order. Each section was allotted 40 minutes and there were 26 questions in the VARC and QA sections whereas the DILR section had only 24 questions.  Each question carried 3 marks for a correct answer and the maximum marks was 228.  The paper has two types of questions, the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Type in the Answer (TITA) questions.  The CAT exam also has the provision of negative marking. For every wrong answer (only in case of MCQs), students will be charged a penalty of 1 mark. There are no negative marks for TITA questions. 

The CAT 2020 pattern is as follows

Eligibility Criteria

To take CAT 2021, you must first meet the CAT eligibility requirements. The common eligibility criteria of CAT 2021 are as follows:

  • The candidate must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in any field from a recognized university or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • The minimum percentage needed in the bachelor’s degree for general and NC-OBC category candidates is 50% and that for SC and ST categories is 45%
  • Candidates who are given grades or a CGPA will have their grades or CGPA converted according to the university/approved institute’s procedure.
  • Candidates in their final year of study or awaiting their results are also eligible to apply. 
IIM Eligibility

The eligibility requirements of the CAT examination and IIMs are different. IIMs have their own eligibility criteria for the admission process, CAT is one of the requirement. There is no age limit to apply to the IIMs as is the case with writing the CAT examination. The applicants to IIMs must have either completed their graduation or should be in their final year to be considered for admission.  The following need to be kept in mind.

  • The candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA.
  • Incase of SC/ST and PwD category this is relaxed to 45%.
  • The bachelor’s degree should be for a minimum of three years after completion of 10+2
How to Register?

The registration period for CAT 2021 will begin in the first week of August and run through the end of September. The official notification for CAT 2021 dates will be issued in the last week of July. The CAT exam is scheduled to take place on November 28 this year.

The official website –iimcat.ac.in – will be used for CAT registrations and application submissions. To apply for the test, candidates must complete the CAT 2021 registration form. The cost of the CAT application is Rs.2,000 (Rs.1,000 for SC/ST/PWD).

Follow the steps below to fill the online application form for CAT 2021.

 
Step 1: Register for CAT

Candidates must register on the official website in order to apply for CAT 2021. Follow the steps outlined below to register:

  • Click here to open the official CAT website in a new window: iimcat.ac.in
  • Select ‘New Candidate Registration’ from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter your name, date of birth, email address, phone number, and country of origin.
  • Select ‘Generate OTP’ from the drop-down menu.
  • An OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number after a successful registration.
  • Enter the OTP in the specified field to confirm CAT registration.
 
Step 2: Fill up CAT Application

A user ID and password will be sent to the candidate’s registered email address and mobile number after verification. To access the application form, log in again using your CAT 2021 user ID and password.

There are six parts to the CAT application/registration form:

  • Personal Information: Candidates must include information such as their name, date of birth, father’s name, category, gender, nationality, communication address, email ID, and mobile phone number in this section.
  • Candidates must enter their Class 10 and 12 exam grades, bachelor’s degree details and mark sheet, and details of other technical courses in this section (if any)
  • Work Experience: If an applicant has appropriate work experience, they must fill out this section with information such as the name of the organization, length, and so on.
  • Candidates must choose which IIM institutes they want to attend and which MBA courses they want to pursue in this segment.
  • Test City: Select your preferred test city in this section. Candidates can choose up to six cities, ranked one through six, in order of preference.
  • Candidates can pay the CAT application fee with a credit or debit card, Internet banking, or Paytm/PayU mobile wallet.
 
Step 3: Payment of Fees

Payment of the application fee is the third and final stage in the CAT registration process. To proceed to the fee payment window, click ‘save and continue’ after filling out the information in the first five pages.

FAQ

There is no restriction on the number of times a person can write the CAT exam.  The examination is conducted once every year and anyone  can appear for the exam once every year.

No, there is no upper age limit for writing the CAT examination.

Yes, you can write the CAT examination irrespective of whether you have done your Bachelor’s degree in full-time mode or distance mode. The under-graduate degree must be a recognized degree as per the norms of the CAT eligibility criteria.

No, work experience is not required for writing the CAT examination. 

CAT score is valid for one year from 1st January to 31st December. The validity of score is not same as acceptance in various universities, but the validity only means that the CAT score will be available on the website for verification for one year. 

There is no criteria regarding minimum marks in X and XII to write the CAT examination.

You should convert the CGPA to percentage as per your university norms. If there is no norms stipulated by the university, then it can be done by (CGPA / Max CGPA) x 100