CAT 2021 Application Form, Exam Dates, Eligibility, Pattern and Syllabus

Common Admission Test [CAT]

CAT - Common Admission Test

Common Admission Test or CAT happens to be a computer-based entrance examination conducted in India every year. It is a national level test conducted by the different IIMs for students who are willing to seek admission in different management programs offered by IIMs. The online registration for the test starts in August month. The examination will be online computer-based. The IIM Bangalore will conduct it.

The examination is based every year based on rotation policy by each of the items. In the year 2011, it was declared that the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Technology would use scores for the selection of candidates for their management courses.

CAT is believed to be examining ability and mental strength for taking the pressure. The manager of Business organizations requires to undergo severe stress for maintaining the company's position. Owing to this, the speed, time, and pressure of aspirants are tested along with the language and quantitative skills.

CAT 2021 Highlights:

CAT Application Mode

Online

Exam Mode

Computer Based Test

Duration

3 hours - 60 minutes for each section

Medium of Exam

English

CAT Marking Scheme

Correct answer - 3 marks
Incorrect answer - 1 mark

CAT 2021 Exam Date

The registration will usually start in August. Every year more than 2 lakhs aspirant appears for this common entrance test. This is considered to be the toughest entrance exam in India.

Be aware of releasing application forms and submitting the application form before the due date.

Events

Dates

Notification Release Date

Last week of July

Registration Start Date

August 2nd week

Closing Date of Online Application form

Mid-week of September

Admit Card Availability Date

October last week

Exam Date

November last week

Result Declaration

January 2nd week

CAT 2021 Eligibility criteria

Candidates should have a graduation degree from a recognized university by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. Candidates belonging to General candidates should score at least 50% marks or CGPA equivalent to the same.

ST, DA, PWD, and SC applicants should score 45 %. Students attending final year graduation or equivalent or waiting for results can apply.

It is essential to verify your eligibility twice before applying for the test, as IIMs will be checking the same at different stages of the selection procedure. If the students have procured marks in the form of CGPA, it can be converted to percentage marks based on a certified process by the institute from where the student has obtained the graduation degree.

  • The candidates who are pursuing the final year of graduation can also appear for the examination.
  • There is no CAT age limit like minimum or maximum. One with basic eligibility can appear for CAT Exam.
  • Candidates can appear for the CAT exam how many times they want to, and there is no restriction on the number of attempts.

Different categories have got different percentage requirement and are explained in the below table:

Category

Percentage required

General and OBC

50%

Scheduled Tribe

45%

Scheduled Caste

45%

Persons with Disabilities

45%

CAT 2021 Application Form & fees

Indian Institute of Management outlined notification for the candidates willing to get admission in different management programs. The students who want to seek admission in MBA should be filling registration form via online procedure with the required necessary details before the last date. The last date for filling the registration form will usually be in September.

  • Register on the official website of the CAT
  • Fill the CAT application form by entering all the information with valid details
  • Scan and Upload your documents in the right format
  • CAT application fee need to be paid online via credit card/net banking/debit card

Category

CAT 2020 Application fee

PWD

950

General/OBC

1900

SC/ST

950

Steps to apply for CAT:

No. of Steps

How to apply for CAT Exam

Step 1

Register Online

Step 2

Login

Step 3

Personal Information

Step 4

Upload Documents

Step 5

Academic Details

Step 6

Professional Information

Step 7

Test City Selection

Step 8

Online Payment

 

CAT Application form status:

  • Once the CAT application form fee is submitted, a pop-up message, an email, and a message on the registered mobile number are sent related to application status.
  • CAT 2020 application process will be completely online, so there will not be any failure or disturbance during the final submission.
  • “Successfully submitted” will be the application status if the form is submitted successfully. Else “Application Rejected.”

CAT Application form correction:

  • No need to panic if you go wrong in filling the application form. Committing mistakes is common, and there is an option to correct the application form.
  • The CAT exam authorities will release the CAT application form correction dates, but only a few entries can be made.

Things to know:

  • The application form will be rejected if you provide the wrong details at the registration time.
  • During the interview, the certificates will be verified if there is any failure. Admission to the CAT exam will not be considered.
  • While entering the CAT examination center and CAT admit card, you need to carry any valid photo ID proof just for verification mandatorily. Calculators are not allowed inside the examination hall.

CAT 2021 Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The syllabus is divided into three different sections, which include

  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation: The logical reasoning and data interpretation section consists of questions following the given data. The data may be in tables, graphs, charts, and paragraphs. Logical Reasoning tests the capability of candidates for evaluating and ratiocinating problems. There are 32 questions in Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation.
  • Quantitative Ability: The Quantitative Aptitude section consists of fundamental mathematics based on a 10 + 2 level. The Quantitative Ability section consists of 34 questions each.
  • Verbal Ability: The verbal Ability section, on the other hand, consists of questions on the standard use of English Grammar and comprehension. There are 34 questions in total in the verbal ability section.

Sections

Subjects

no. of questions and total

I

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

32questions - 96 marks

II

Verbal Activity and Reading Comprehension

34 questions - 102 marks

III

Quantitative Ability

34 questions - 102 marks

Total

 

100 questions - 300 marks

 

CAT Paper Pattern Highlights:

  • The question paper will consist of both Objective MCQ Pattern and Non MCQ pattern. Non MCQ s do not have any negative marking, but MCQs deduct 1/3 of the negative marking.
  • The duration for completing the entrance test is 180 minutes. The total duration of the entrance test is 3 hours. There is an allotment of only 60 minutes for completing each section.
  • Candidates are allowed to use a basic on-screen calculator for computation during the exam.
  • It is impossible to switch from one section to the other while completing questions in one section.
  • There will be a deduction of each wrong answer, whereas the candidate will be rewarded 3 points for every correct answer. Students will not be penalized for questions that are not answered.

CAT Syllabus:

As per IIMs, there is no fixed syllabus. Based on the previous year's question papers and collecting the most frequently occurring topics, certain topics, concepts, or types of questions do not release the official CAT Syllabus.

Below given are the important topics of the CAT Exam:

Quantitative Ability

Data Analysis & Sufficiency

Arithmetic Mean

Graphs

Arithmetic Progression

Bar Graphs

Geometry

Column Graphs

Installment Payments

Graphs representing Area

Logarithm

Line Charts

Ratios and Proportions

Pie Charts

Work and Time

Venn Diagram

 

Logical Reasoning

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Assertion and reasons

Analogies

Assumption-Premise-Conclusion

Contextual usage

Coding and Decoding

Idioms

Critical Reasoning

Sentence completion

Matrix arrangements

Sentence Correction

Statements and assumptions

Syllogisms

Visual Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning

 

CAT Recommended Books:

  • Rigorous practice is required for CAT, and it is common to get confused with the books and study materials to go through.
  • The most recommended books for CAT are mentioned below:

Quantitative Ability

Book Name Author Name/Publisher
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs Sarvesh K. Verma

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning?

Book Name Author Name/Publisher
CAT 2020 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashish
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha

 

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Book Name Author Name/Publisher
PSC for VA for CAT Exam Nishit Sinh
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT Sharma and Upadhyay
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster

 

CAT Preparation Tips:

Only serious aspirants would look for preparation tips initially, not that others are not serious, but dedication matters. To get a call from top MBA colleges or institutes, one needs to study or prepare regularly. Here are few tips to clear CAT Exam

  • Start preparing from the early stage: If you are in your 12th grade or graduation and planning for CAT, this is the best time to start. Any success would not come overnight preparation is very much important.
  • Basics need to be stronger:  Make sure that CAT preparation even concentrates on your graduation final marks because marks are important to apply for any college. One of the most important tips is to make your basics stronger, that is, learn from zero levels so that any question or any problem can be solved logically and in an easier way.
  • Follow the CAT exam date, exam pattern, and syllabus: To schedule the preparation timetable, keep track of the CAT exam date so that accordingly can read, learn and revise. Before you start preparing for CAT, know the exam pattern and syllabus. One can get a market full of study materials for CAT, so get the study materials of reputed authors or any study centers and note every concept and formula to be helpful during main exams. Also, if there are any changes done in the exam pattern that should not bother you, preparation should continue.
  • Set Targets and take CAT mock tests: Managing time is significant in clearing these competitive exams. Set your targets for completing the concepts in a short duration of time or to clear the tests prior. Take CAT mock tests and solve previous year papers that help us be confident and get an idea of how the exam will take place.
  • The last one I would like to share is practicing and practicing harder every day.

CAT 2021 Admit Card

Candidates who have completed the registration process will be issued admit card. Candidates can download the admit card from the official website by entering the registered user ID and password.

The admit card will consist of various information related to the test, which is inclusive of:

  • Name
  • Roll number of the student
  • Date
  • Timing of the entrance test
  • Venue
  • Session

Students will not be allowed to enter the examination venue without the admit card. The admit card is available for download from the last week of October.

CAT 2021 Results & Score Card

The results can be provided to the students via online mode only. The authority will announce the results of the test via an online process. The exam results will be announced tentatively in January.

Students need to enter their User ID and Password to check the results and download the scorecard.  Once the results are announced, a list of candidates will be displayed by the board of candidates who have successfully qualified for the examination and were selected for further admission. The scorecard will have validation for 1 year.

Students can take a printout of the result and preserve the same until completing the admission process. The scorecard constitutes of the candidates' details and their performance in the entrance exam that is overall and sectional marks and percentile.

Steps

Steps to obtain CAT result

1

Visit the CAT official website

2

Download CAT scorecard

3

Will be redirected to login page

4

Enter User ID and password

5

Will be redirected to candidates’ page account

6

Download score for future correspondence

 

Expected CAT cut-off for IIMs:

IIM will declare a separate cut off list after the CAT results are declared for shortlisting the candidates for the selection procedure. Two cut-offs are sectional cut-off and overall cut-off.

  • The sectional cut-off is based on the candidate's score in each section to qualify for the exam.
  • The overall cut-off is based on an overall score ranging between 90-99 percentile.

IIM

CAT Cut off (Percentile)

IIM, Ahmedabad

99.6

IIM, Bangalore

99.5

IIM, Calcutta

99.5

IIM, Indore

94.7

IIM, Kozhikode

96.3

IIM, Lucknow

99.5

IIM, Raipur

90

IIM, Rohtak

97.11

IIM, Trichy

94

 

  • In online mode, candidates can check the CAT cut-off marks. It will usually be released in November.
  • Every year the cut-off varies for each category, and candidates who obtained marks equal to or above the cut-off can involve in the admission procedure.

CAT 2021 Counselling & Admission

Indian Institute of Management releases the dates for counseling. Once the results are declared, candidates need to download the Rank Card. Once this is done, we need to check for the counseling date as per the ranking.

You got to verify the certificates and necessary documents on the mentioned date.

After the results' declaration, the list of students is sent to each of the items. The admission and counseling process of each of the IIMs are accomplished separately. The admission is made based on merit. IIMs conduct a rigorous selection process that comprises Personal Interview, Essay Writing, and Group Discussion apart from the written test.

  • The candidates will be selected based on the exam score by the IIMs for the second stage.
  • The selection procedure will be based on the written ability test (WAT), Group discussions (GD), and Personal interviews (PI).
  • Work experience might get counted along with the academic performances by the IIMs in the admission procedure.

CAT Selection Procedure:

  • CAT qualified candidates will be invited to colleges for a personal interview and GD or WAT round.
  • Except for new IIMs, each college's individual CAT selection process is carried out. CAT does not have a common counseling process during preliminary registration form-filling process for IIMs is done

Candidates will be shortlisted for WAT & PI based on different criteria that include:

Section

Weightage

Class 10th

10

Class 12th

10

CAT score

28

Total

50 (Gender Diversity Factor 48+2)

 

Final Selection for the colleges will be calculated based on a few of the sections mentioned below:

Sections

Weightage

Personal Interview

24

CAT Score

15

Written Ability Test

5

Work Experience

4

Academic Diversity Factor for Bachelor's Degree (ADFB)

2

CAT 2021 Participating Colleges

CAT Participating Colleges:

  • Nearly in 140 test cities, exam centers are spread out where the CAT is conducted in India
  • While registering for CAT, candidates need to provide their preference exam center.
  • In the registration form, up to 4 cities can be added as a CAT test city preference. Generally, the CAT examination time slot will be allocated randomly.
  • Year by year number of test-takers is increasing, and accommodating them in all major cities and CAT Exam Centres are available.

Below listed are newly added CAT exam cities:

Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra

Dharwad and Gulbarga in Karnataka

Bankura in West Bengal

Samba in J&K

Dhenkanal in Odisha

Ernakulam in Kerala

Bhatinda in Punjab

Purnea in Bihar

Waknaghat in Himachal Pradesh

 

Almost every Business school accepts the CAT scores.

List Of Participating Colleges

Sr. No. Colleges City
1 Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
2 Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
3 Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
4 Indian Institute of Management Lucknow
5 Institute of Rural Management Anand
6 Xavier Labour Relation Institute Jamshedpur
7 Management Development Institute Gurgaon
8 Indian Institute of Management Indore
9 S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research Mumbai
10 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Delhi                                                                                          

Ask & Answers

Calculator allowed inside the CAT Exam or in Centre provides calculators for use?

Calculator not allowed in the examination hall. Any other electronic devices like mobile /iPad are not allowed inside CAT exam Hall.

Any guidelines for important topics in Analytical Reasoning for CAT?

  • Need to select books before starting the preparation. Topics that are there in the CAT exam for Reasoning:
  • Coding-Decoding, Direction Sense, Data Structures, Series, Arrangements, Puzzles, Clocks and Calendars, Blood Relations.
  • Few students prefer CAT Exam Preparation, like Nishit Sharma, Arun Sharam, Sarvesh Verma.


May I know the CAT Eligibility criteria and the percentage of seat reservation for SC/ST candidates?

CAT Eligibility Criteria:

  • Candidates should be qualified in their Bachelor’s degree or equivalent recognized by India's Government.
  • Percentage criteria in CAT Eligibility: 50% aggregate marks (For SC/ST/PWD candidates, 45% marks).  
  • For ST Candidates, Reserved seat availability is 7.5%. 
  • For SC Candidates, Reserved seat availability is 15%.


Which sections do we have in the CAT Exam pattern? And I want to know the duration of the CAT exam? 

Exam pattern details:

  • In the Exam pattern, there will be 3 sections: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension.
  • The exam will be scheduled online via a Computer-based test.
  • Exam duration is of 3 Hours.
  • Exam pattern, there will be a total of questions of 100. 
  • Exam, for each correct response, 3 marks will be provided.
  • 1 mark will be deducted for every wrong response in the exam. 


I want to know some Important CAT Preparation Tips? 

CAT Preparation Tips: 

  • The candidates must be well aware of the CAT syllabus.
  • One must need to be thorough with the CAT basic topics.
  • The candidates need to practice the previous year CAT question papers.
  • One must practice CAT mock tests with all the levels, i.e., easy, moderate, and Difficulty. 
  • In this way, the candidates will be aware of their strengths and weakness. 

I want to know the expected CAT cutoff for IIMS for the General cadre? 

Expected CAT cutoff for IIMS for the year 2018:

  • The expected CAT cutoff for IIM Ahmedabad is 80.
  • The expected CAT cutoff for IIM Bangalore is 90.
  • The expected CAT cutoff for IIM Calcutta is 90.
  • The expected CAT cutoff for IIM Lucknow is 90.
  • Given above are some of the Expected CAT cutoffs for IIMs. Still, there are various other factors involved in the cutoffs, i.e., the number of applicants who appear for the CAT exam and the exam's difficulty level.


Did I want to know the CAT Admission Process?

Details on CAT Admission Process:

  • The Top b-schools and IIMs shortlist the candidates depending upon the CAT cut-off marks.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be called for WAT (Written Ability Test) followed by Group Discussion and Personal Interview (PI).
  • CAT Admission process varies depending upon the B-school to B-schools.
  • IIMs will have their own Admission criteria to provide admission.
  • Aspirant’s academics and work experience do matter at the time of admission.

Mock Test

  • Question papers of mock test and previous year’s papers and Common Admission Test [CAT] Practice tests help prepare for the entrance exam preparation.
  • The CAT online test helps you evaluate yourself and tells you how well you have prepared for the main entrance exam also, and you would get to know how much have you learned to date.
  • You will be getting the CAT test papers for free and can practice or get prepared by appearing for a free CAT online mock test.