Common Admission Test (CAT) Information

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  • Mar 07, 2017

CAT (Common Admission Test)

CAT (Common Admission Test) is the premier national level entrance exam to get admission into the IIM’s, FMS Delhi and other Business Schools. It is a computer based test conducted on the third or fifth Sunday of November or first Sunday of December.
CAT 2016 held on first Sunday of December i.e. Dec 4 had the following pattern.

The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA)]
Rated by many to be the toughest examination faced by an undergraduate in India. It is by far the most competitive, with hundreds of students competing for every seat at the IIM’s. When you are facing the toughest exam of your life, shouldn’t you be well prepared?

CAT will be conducted by IIMs as a pre-requisite for admission to various management programmes of IIMs.

CAT Website:

Programmes & IIM Website’s links: 

IIM Ahmedabad         PGP and PGP-FABM  
IIM Amritsar              PGP                          
IIM Bangalore            PGP, PGPEM and PGPPM
IIM Bodh Gaya           PGP                          
IIM Calcutta               PGP-PGDM                
IIM Indore                  PGP and EPGP          
IIM Jammu                 PGP                          
IIM Kashipur               PGP and EPGPM      
IIM Kozhikode             PGP                         
IIM Lucknow               PGP, PGP-ABM and PGPSM
IIM Nagpur                  PGP                         
IIM Raipur                   PGP and PGPWE     
IIM Ranchi                  PGDM and PGDHRM 
IIM Rohtak                  PGP and EPGP         
IIM Sambalpur             PGP                         
RGIIM Shillong            PGP and PGPEX       
IIM Sirmaur                 PGP                         
IIM Tiruchirappalli        PGP and PGPBM      
IIM Udaipur                 PGP                         
IIM Visakhapatnam     PGP                         

CAT 2016 pattern

CAT 2016 had 3 sections:
1. Verbal Ability (34 questions - 60 Minutes)
            a) Verbal Ability (10 questions)
            b) Reading Comprehension (24 questions)
2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (32 questions -60 Minutes)
            a) 8 Set of 4 Questions each
3. Quantitative Ability (34 questions - 60 Minutes)

        The paper was in the same order as mentioned. You could not switch between the sections. The sections contained Multiple Choice Questions and some non-multiple choice questions i.e. Type In The Answer type questions. In case of Multiple Choice Questions 3 marks are awarded for each right attempt, 1 mark is penalized for a wrong attempt. As far as non-multiple choice based questions are concerned, 3 marks are awarded for correct answer, while there is no negative marking for entering wrong answer.

The sectional, in depth analysis is as follows:

1. VA/RC section:
RCs had 24 questions. There were 5 reading comprehension passages of these; 3 RCs had 6 questions each & 2 RCs had 3 questions each. Out of the 24 RC questions, around 14 questions were direct. All in all, the RCs in terms of intensity of language, depth or density were easy but slightly time consuming. All the RC questions were multiple choice questions with 1/3 negative marks.
            Verbal Ability had just 3 types:
                             a) Out of Context question (3 in number)
                             b) Summary of the passage (3 in number)
                             c) Parajumbles (4 in number).
            All the questions of these three types were of the non-MCQ type with no negative marks. Parajumbles were difficult because each of the parajumbles had 5 sentences to be rearranged and it can be done in 5! or 120 ways. But nevertheless, you could take a shot.
            No Questions based upon Vocabulary, Grammar, Logical Continuation & Critical Reasoning were asked. However future pattern of CAT cannot be predicted based on this absence.
2. LRDI section:
The paper had 8 sets of 4 questions each. This section was surely the decider with 5 DI sets and 3 LR sets and nearly all the sets were time consuming. You could not decide which one would be easier or which one would be tougher. Though 2-3 sets are less time consuming but it was extremely difficult to find these sets. The overall process to solve sets was tricky.

3. QA Section:
Nearly every chapter had a representative there. A well balanced paper with one third easy, half average and 3-4 tough ones. The spread of Questions was really even across all the chapters.
    a) Arithmetic (11-12 Questions) Easy to Average
    b) Number System (5-6 Questions) Easy to Average
    c) Geometry (6 Questions) Average to Difficult
    d) Algebra (7-8 Questions) Easy to Average to Difficult
    e) P&C (2-3 Questions) Average
After CAT:
The IIMs shortlist candidates for second stage of selection independently of each other. The process includes Written Ability Test, Group Discussion and Personal Interview. Performance in CAT is an important component of the selection process. IIMs also consider previous academic record, work experience and other similar parameters in their selection process.


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