CAT Exam: 2020 Application, Eligibility, Syllabus & Pattern

Common Admission Test [CAT]

CAT - Common Admission Test

Common Admission Test or CAT happens to be a computer based entrance examination which is conducted in India every year. It is a national level test which is 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 question paper of the entrance examination includes Quantitative Ability, Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability. The examination is based every year on the basis of rotation policy by each of the IIMs. In the year 2011, it was declared that Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Technology will make use of scores for the selection of candidates for their management courses.

The duration for completing the entrance test is 180 minutes. Candidates are allowed to make use of a basic on-screen calculator for computation during the exam. There is allotment of only 60 minutes for completing each section. It is not possible to switch from one section to the other while completing questions in one section. The on-screen timer is present which marks remaining minutes for the entrance examination. There will be a deduction of one point for 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.

The selection process of IIM is inclusive of Written Ability Test, Group Discussion, and Personal Interview. Relevant work experience, academic performance of students and similar inputs are taken into account during the admission process.

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

CAT Exam Date



Notification Release Date

31st July

Registration Date will begin

8th August

Closing date of online application form

19th September

Admit Card Availability Date

24th October

Exam Date

25th November 

Result Declaration

2nd week of January

The registration has been stated from 8th August itself. Every year more than 2 lakhs aspirant appears for this common entrance test. This is considered to be the toughest entrance exam in India.


CAT Eligibility criteria

Candidates should have a graduation degree from a recognized university by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. General candidates should score at least 50% marks or CGPA equivalent to the same. ST, DA, PWD and SC applicants should score 45 % marks. Students attending final year graduation or equivalent or waiting for results have the eligibility to apply . In this context, the candidate should be submitting the latest required document within 30th June. 

It is essential to verify your eligibility twice prior to 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 on the basis of a process which is certified by the institute from where the student has obtained the graduation degree.

  • The candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree with minimum of 50% marks from any recognized University.
  • For SC, ST category and disabled person the candidate must have 45% marks in aggregate.
  • The candidates who are pursuing final year of graduation can also appear for the examination .
  •  Those candidates can take admission on the provisional basis only if the candidate can the submit the final year mark sheets latest by June 30, 2018 and a letter to be issued by the Principal/ Registrar of the college indicating that candidate has fulfilled all the requirements for obtaining the degree on the date of the issue of the certificate

CAT Application Form & fees

Indian Institute of Management outlined notification for the candidates who are 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 is September. Contenders who are willing to appear in the examination should download the syllabus for for conferring better performance in the exam.

  • The applicants need to apply for the application form through Online. The official website is
  • The notification of the application form will be released in the last week of July and the process of registration will begin by 8th August.
  • While doing the registration the candidates need to provide the details like date of birth, mobile number and email address to get the password and the user name.
  • Now with Login Id, the candidate can visit the Official website.
  • The application form to be filled as per the details required of the candidates and important documents to be uploaded with signature and passport size photos. Caste certificate to be provided if any.
  • The course name to be selected along with the city options, a candidate can opt maximum four cities.
  • The application fee is Rs. 1600/-. The payment to be done online by using Credit Card, debit Card.
  • For SC/ST category the application fee is Rs.800/-.
  • After the completion of the payment, the candidate will receive a confirmation mail in their mail id.
  • Finally the candidate can login to the account and the application form to be downloaded and print out to be taken for the future purpose.

CAT Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The syllabus is divided into four different sections which include Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability. The logical reasoning and data interpretation section consists of questions in accordance with the given data. The data may be in the form of tables, graphs, charts and paragraphs. Logical Reasoning tests the capability of candidates for evaluating and ratiocinating problems. The Quantitative Aptitude section consists of fundamental mathematics which is based on 10 + 2 level. 

The verbal Ability section, on the other hand, consists of questions on the standard use of English Grammar and comprehension.

There are 3 sections in  exam pattern which include Quantitative Ability, Logic reasoning, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability. The Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability section consists of 34 questions each whereas there are 32 questions in Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. The total duration of the entrance test is 3 hours. 

  • The examination will be through online computer based. It will conducted by the IIM Bangalore.
  • The question paper will consist of both Objective MCQ Pattern and Non MCQ pattern as well. Non MCQ s does not have any negative marking but MCQs deducts 1/3 of the negative marking.
  • Each correct answer will have 3 marks each.

There will be 3 sections in the question paper:

  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension(VRC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantative Aptitute (QA)

No of Questions will be in each section: For VRC – 34 Questions
                                                           For DILR- 34 Qusetions
                                                           For QA- 32 Questions

Total time duration for each section :  60 minutes each.

CAT Admit Card

Candidates who have completed the registration process will be issued admit card. Candidates can download the admit card from the official website.

The admit card will consist of various information related to the test which is inclusive of the name and roll number of the student, date, and timing of the entrance test and other required details.

Students will not be allowed to enter the examination venue without the admit card. The admit card is available for download from 24th October.

CAT 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 online process. The results of the exam will be announced tentatively on 9th December

Students can take a printout of the result and preserve the same till the completion of the admission process. Candidates need to login into the official website with their credentials for downloading the score card. The score card will have validation of a year.

CAT Counselling & Admission

Indian Institute of Management releases the dates for counseling. You need to download the Rank card after the declaration of the result. Next, to this, you need to check the counseling date for your ranking. 

On the specific date, you have to get the verifications of your certificates and necessary documents done at the Help Line Center.

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

  • THE Candidates will be selected on the basis of 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 Participating Colleges

 Almost every Business school accepts the scores.

List Of Top 30 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 Xaviers 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
11 Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Mumbai
12 International Management Institute New Delhi
13 Fore School of Management New Delhi
14 Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad
15 Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies Mumbai
16 Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar
17 T.A. Pai Management Institute Manipal
18 Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship Bangalore
19 Faculty of Management Studies Delhi
20 Loyola Institute of Business Administration Chennai
21 Vinod Gupta School of Management IIT Kharagpur
22 Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD Pune
23 NITIE Mumbai
24 Nirma Institute of Management Ahmedabad
25 K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai
26 Department of Management Studies, REC Trichy
27 Department of Business Administration Aligarh
28 L.B. Shastri Institute of Management New Delhi
29 Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune
30 IILM New Delhi

Ask & Answers

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

Calculator not allowed in examination hall. any other types of electronics devices like mobile /ipad etc also not allowed inside CAT exam Hall.


Any guidelines for important topics  in Analytical Reasoning for CAT?

  • Need to select books before starting the preparartion. topics which is there in CAT exam for Reasoning:
  • Coding-Decoding,Direction Sense,Data Structures,Series,Arrangements,Puzzles,Clocks and Calendars,Blood Relations .
  • Few Author which students prefer for CAT Exam Preparation, like Nishit sharma,Arun Sharam , Sarvesh Verma .


May I know the CAT Eligibility criteria and what is 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 Government of India.
  • Percentage criteria in CAT Eligibility: 50% aggregate marks (For SC/ST/PWD candidates, it is 45% marks).  
  • For ST Candidates, Reserved seats availability is 7.5%. 
  • For SC Candidates, Reserved seats availability is 15%.


which are the sections do we have in CAT Exam pattern and I want to know the duration of the CAT exam? 

Exam pattern details:

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


I want to know some Important CAT Preparation Tips? 

CAT Preparation Tips: 

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

I want to know the expected CAT cutoff for IIMS for 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, But there are various other factors involved for the cutoffs i.e., on the number of applicants who appear for the CAT exam and the difficulty level of the exam.


I wanted 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 be having their own Admission criteria in order to provide admission.
  • Aspirant’s academics and work experience do matter at the time of admission.