What Is CAT?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly competitive and widely recognized entrance exam for admission to premier management institutes in India. CAT is conducted annually by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on a rotational basis. It serves as a gateway to prestigious business schools and is considered one of the most challenging management entrance exams in the country.


    CAT evaluates candidates on various parameters such as quantitative ability, verbal ability and reading comprehension, data interpretation and logical reasoning. The exam is computer-based and typically comprises multiple-choice questions, along with some non-MCQs.

    Scoring well in CAT is crucial for admission to top-tier management programs, not only at IIMs but also at various other B-schools across India. The exam assesses a candidate’s problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and decision-making abilities.

    CAT- Exam Highlights



    Exam Conducting Body

    Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)

    Exam Level

    National Level   

    Exam Frequency   


    Exam Mode

    Computer-Based Test (CBT) 


    Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning,Quantitative Ability

    Exam Duration

    2 hours (divided into timed sections) 

    Total Questions

    Varies (typically around 75-100) 

    Question Type

    Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and some Non-MCQs  

    Marking Scheme

    Differential marking; Negative marking for incorrect answers

    Official Website                     

    CAT-Eligibility and Admission

    CAT Eligibility Criteria:

    1. Educational Qualifications:

    • Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized university or equivalent.

    2. Minimum Percentage:

    • Generally, there is no specific minimum percentage requirement. However, candidates are required to have a certain level of academic performance.

    3. Final Year Students:

    • Candidates appearing for the final year of their bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification are eligible to apply. However, they must complete their degree requirements before the specified date.

    4. Age Limit:

    • There is no specified age limit to appear for the CAT exam.

    CAT Admission Process:

    1. CAT Registration:

    • Candidates need to register for the CAT exam online during the registration period.

    2. Admit Card Download:

    • Admit cards are released online, and candidates must download them from the official CAT website.

    3. CAT Exam:

    • The CAT exam is usually conducted in multiple sessions, and candidates must appear for the test on the specified date and time.

    4. CAT Result:

    • After the exam, the results are declared, and candidates can check their scores online.

    5. Shortlisting for Interviews:

    • Participating institutes use CAT scores to shortlist candidates for the next stages, which may include Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI).

    6. Final Selection:

    • The final selection is based on a combination of CAT scores, performance in WAT/GD/PI, academic records, work experience, and other criteria set by individual institutes.

    CAT-Registration Process

    1. Visit the Official CAT Website:

    • Go to the official CAT website, which is typically announced by the convening IIM for that particular year.

    2. Create a User Account:

    • New candidates need to create a user account on the CAT website. This involves providing basic information such as name, email address, and mobile number.

    3. Fill in Personal Details:

    • Complete the registration form by providing personal details, academic qualifications, work experience (if any), and other required information.

    4. Generate User ID and Password:

    • After completing the registration form, the system generates a User ID and Password. This information is sent to the candidate’s registered email address.

    5. Login and Complete the Application Form:

    • Log in to the CAT website using the generated User ID and Password. Complete the detailed application form, including selecting test cities and other preferences.

    6. Upload Documents:

    • Upload scanned copies of your photograph, signature, and any other required documents as per the specifications provided in the application form.

    7. Application Fee Payment:

    • Pay the CAT application fee online using the available payment options. The fee amount and payment methods are usually specified on the official website.

    8. Confirmation and Submission:

    • After successful payment, review the application form, confirm the details, and submit the application. Once submitted, changes are usually not allowed.

    9. Download Admit Card:

    • After the application process, the CAT admit card is released on the website. Candidates can download and print the admit card for the exam.

    CAT-Documents List

    1.CAT Admit Card:

    • A printed copy of the CAT admit card, which is mandatory for entry into the examination center.

    2. Valid Photo ID:

    • Any one of the following government-issued photo IDs: Aadhaar Card, Passport, PAN Card, Voter ID, Driving License, etc.

    3. Passport-sized Photographs:

    • Recent passport-sized photographs matching the one affixed on the CAT application form and admit card.

    4. Educational Qualification Certificates:

    • Mark sheets and certificates of class 10th, 12th, and bachelor’s degree. This includes transcripts or certificates from recognized institutions.

    5. Category Certificate (if applicable):

    • For candidates belonging to reserved categories (SC/ST/OBC), a valid category certificate may be required during the selection process.

    6. PwD Certificate (if applicable):

    • For candidates with a disability, a Person with Disability (PwD) certificate issued by a competent authority.

    7. Work Experience Certificate (if applicable):

    • For candidates with work experience, relevant work experience certificates may be required.

    8. Domicile Certificate (if applicable):

    • Some institutes may require a domicile certificate as per their admission policies.

    9. Others (if specified by the institute):

    • Any additional documents specified by the individual institutes for the admission process.

    CAT-Application Fee


    Application Fee Range

    General and NC-OBC Candidates

    INR 2,000 – INR 2,500 

    SC, ST, and PWD Candidates

    INR 900 – INR 1,100

    CAT-Exam Pattern


    • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
    • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
    • Quantitative Ability (QA)

    Total Number of Questions:

    • The total number of questions in CAT may vary, but it is typically around 76 to 100 questions.

    Question Types:

    • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs (Type in the Answer).


    • The total duration of the CAT exam is 2 hours (120 minutes), with 40 minutes allotted to each section.

    Marking Scheme:

    • CAT often employs a differential marking scheme, where different questions may carry different weights. Negative marking is applicable for incorrect answers.

    Sectional Timing:

    • Each section has a dedicated time limit. Candidates are not allowed to switch between sections.

    Order of Sections:

    • The order of sections may vary from year to year, and candidates may not be aware of the specific number of questions in each section during the exam.

    CAT-Preparation Tips

    Understand the Exam Pattern:

    • Familiarize yourself with the CAT exam pattern, including the number of sections, question types, and time allocation for each section.

    Create a Study Schedule:

    • Develop a realistic study schedule that allows for consistent and dedicated preparation. Allocate specific time slots for each section to cover the entire syllabus.

    Focus on Basics:

    • Strengthen your fundamentals in areas such as mathematics, English, and logical reasoning. Build a solid foundation before moving on to more advanced topics.

    Practice Regularly:

    • Practice is key to success. Solve a variety of sample papers, mock tests, and previous years’ question papers to get accustomed to the exam pattern and improve your time management skills.

    Time Management:

    • Develop effective time management skills. Divide your time wisely among different sections during both practice sessions and the actual exam.

    Work on Weak Areas:

    • Identify your weaker areas and focus on improving them. Allocate more time to topics or sections where you face challenges.

    Stay Updated with Current Affairs:

    • Be aware of current affairs and general knowledge. Reading newspapers, magazines, and staying informed about current events can be beneficial, especially for the Verbal Ability section.

    Vocabulary Building:

    • Enhance your vocabulary for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section. Read widely, and use resources like word lists and flashcards.

    Take Breaks:

    • Ensure a healthy study routine by taking short breaks. This will help you stay focused and maintain productivity.


    • Regularly revise the topics you have covered. This will reinforce your learning and help you retain information.

    Mock Interviews and Group Discussions:

    • Practice mock interviews and group discussions to prepare for the post-CAT selection process.

    Stay Positive and Manage Stress:

    • Maintain a positive mindset, and practice stress management techniques. Yoga, meditation, or exercise can help reduce stress.

    CAT-Exam Date 2024

    CAT 2024 Important Dates & Timeline


    Important dates


    CAT 2024 Notification Date


    July 28-29, 2024


    CAT Registration Start Date 2024


    August 4, 2024


    CAT 2024 Last Date of Registration


    September 15, 2024


    CAT 2024 Registration Fees




    CAT 2024 Exam Date


    November 24, 2024


    CAT 2024 Result Date


    January 4-5, 2025


    CAT-Top Colleges








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