What is CAT Exam?

Common Admission Test or CAT exam m is a common Aptitude test that is a gateway to 20 IIMs and over 1,200 B-schools in India. CAT is conducted by the IIMs on a rotational basis. Last year, the exam was conducted by IIM Indore. The CAT question paper comprises MCQs & non-MCQs from Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA). Over two lakh candidates appear in the CAT exam every year. For CAT 2020, about 2.30 lakh applications were received and the total number of candidates who took the test was 1.90 lakh.

CAT 2021 notification will release in the last week of July and the registration process will begin in the first week of August. CAT exam is held in the last week of November at multiple exam centres in 156 cities across India. CAT result is announced in the first week of January and IIM shortlisting begins soon after. The CAT 2021 exam is expected to be held on November 28.

CAT Eligibility Criteria

The minimum eligibility criteria for the CAT exam is graduation. Read below for more details on CAT eligibility criteria

  • The candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50 per cent aggregate or equivalent CGPA (45 per cent aggregate for SC, ST and PWD/DA category) from a recognised board or university

  • The candidate must have completed a professional degree (CA/ CS/ ICWA) with the required percentage

  • Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification or waiting for result are eligible to apply for the CAT exam

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MBA Admission Through CAT Score

IIM admission and selection process begins after the announcement of the CAT result. Each IIM fixes the minimum CAT cut off percentile to shortlist candidates for participation in the next round of the admission process. Given below is an overview of the selection process of IIMs and Non-IIMs.

IIM Admission Process

CAT selection procedure for all the IIMs includes the following:

  1. Screening of candidates based on their CAT score
  2. Written Ability Test/Group Discussion/Personal Interview (WAT/GD/PI)
  3. Computation of Composite Score followed by final selection

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Non-IIM Admission Process

Institutes accepting CAT score other than IIMs also conduct GD/PI for admission to their MBA/PGDM programmes. However, there are a few colleges that accept students based on CAT score only.

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