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The CAT Exam is the most popular among all MBA entrance exams held every year. Pursuing an MBA degree from a reputed institution is a dream for many aspirants. Candidates seeking admission to MBA programs must appear for the CAT Exam.

The CAT exam is the minimum eligibility criteria for admissions into the IIMs and other top B – Schools. Candidates aspiring to take the CAT 2023 exam must learn about CAT exam, VAT Eligibility criteria, CAT Syllabus as well as the time needed to complete the entire syllabus to get through the CAT exam and get admission into the top IIMs.

What is CAT Exam?

The CAT Exam, or the Common Admission Test, is a computer-based standardized test conducted in India by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). It is one of the most prestigious and competitive entrance exams for admission into postgraduate management programs (MBA) offered by IIMs and various other business schools across India.

Key features of the CAT exam include:

  1. Purpose: CAT is primarily used as a criterion for admission to the IIMs and several other management institutes in India. It evaluates candidates on various parameters such as quantitative ability, verbal ability, reading comprehension, data interpretation, and logical reasoning.

  2. Format: The exam is conducted online (computer-based test) and typically consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and a few non-MCQs (where answers need to be typed in).

  3. Sections: CAT usually consists of three main sections:

    • Quantitative Ability (QA)
    • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
    • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  4. Scoring: Each section is separately timed, and candidates are allotted a specific amount of time for each section. The scoring system is based on both correct and incorrect answers (negative marking is applicable).

  5. Eligibility: Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA to be eligible to appear for CAT. Final-year undergraduate students can also apply.

  6. Selection Process: After the CAT exam, shortlisted candidates are usually called for a Writing Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI) rounds, depending on the institute’s selection criteria.

CAT is highly competitive, with thousands of candidates appearing for a limited number of seats across top business schools in India. It is regarded as a crucial step for aspiring management professionals aiming to pursue an MBA or related programs.

 

CAT Exam Highlights:

As per previous year trends, the CAT Exam 2023 will be held in three sessions on 26th November 2023. Candidates aiming for the CAT 2023 exam can check the highlights given below:

CAT Exam 2023 Highlights

Name of the Exam

Common Admission Test (CAT)

CAT Official Website

https://iimcat.ac.in/

Conducting Body

IIM Lucknow

Exam Duration

2 hours

CAT Exam Fees (2023)

INR 1200 (Reserved categories)

INR 2400 (Other categories)

CAT 2023 Exam Date

26th November 2023

Medium of Exam

English

Mode of Exam

Computer Based Test (CBT)

CAT Exam Question Type

MCQ and Non-MCQ questions

Syllabus

Quantitative Ability

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Eligibility

Bachelor’s Degree with 50% aggregate

(45% aggregate or equivalent for reserved categories)

CAT Exam Related Videos:

About CAT Exam Timeline and Registration:

Every year, the total number of registered eligible candidates is approximately 2.30 lakh. CAT Exam 2023 will be held on November 26, 2023. CAT Exam 2023 official notification has been released 30th July 2023.Following is a table showing the tentative calendar of events for the CAT exam.

CAT Exam Events

Dates

Release of Online Notification

30th July 2023

Commencement of Online Application

2nd August 2023

Admit Card Download

25th October 2023 Onwards

Date of CAT Exam

26th November 2023

CAT Exam Result Declaration

2nd week of January 2024

Evolution of CAT Exam Over The Years:

The CAT Exam has undergone numerous changes since the time the test switched from paper pen mode to computer-based testing:

Year

Time

-Duration

Section

Total Number of Questions in each Section

Total Number of Questions

2023 (Expected)

120

Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension

Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning

Quantitative Ability

24

20

22

72

60

66

2022

120

Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension

Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning

Quantitative Ability

24

20

22

72

60

66

2021

120

Verbal ability and Reading comprehension

Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning

Quantitative Ability

24

20

22

72

60

66

2020

120

VARC

DILR

QA

26

24

26

76

2019

180

VARC

DILR

QA

34

32

34

100

2018

180

VARC

DILR

QA

34

32

34

100

2017

180

VARC

DILR

QA

34

32

34

100

2016

180

VARC

DILR

QA

34

32

34

100

2015

180

VARC

DILR

QA

34

32

34

100

2014

170

QA & DI

VA & LR

50

50

100

2013

140

Verbal Ability & Logical reasoning

Quantitative Ability , Data interpretation

30

30

60

2012

140

QA

DI

VARC

21

9

30

60

2011

140

VALR

&

QADI

30

30

60

 

CAT Exam Resources:

Candidates aiming for the CAT Exam, need to have the right resources to prepare for the exam. Here, we have provided the CAT Exam resources, which the applicants can directly access by clicking on the links given below.

CAT Preparation CAT Exam Analysis
CAT Question Papers
CAT FAQ
CAT Quantitative Aptitude
CAT Logical Reasoning
CAT Data Interpretation
CAT Shortcut Techniques
CAT Mock Test                                                         CAT Sample Papers
CAT Exam Results                                                    CAT Exam Results

CAT Exam Syllabus:

A thorough understanding of the CAT exam syllabus is important for determining your direction all through this CAT journey. It will be much easier to determine how much time you should spend on each segment, when you have a reasonable understanding of the CAT syllabus.

CAT Exam Syllabus

Topics

Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude – Arithmetic, Algebra, Number System, Modern Math, Geometry & Mensuration

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

Puzzles, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism, Coding and Decoding Tables, Graphs, Data Caselets

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension, Para Jumbles, Para Summary, Para Completion, Odd One Out

CAT Exam Marking Scheme:

  • For each correct answer, candidates will receive 3 marks.
  • Candidates will receive a negative marking of 1 mark for every incorrect answer for the objective questions.
  • For non-MCQ-type questions, there is no negative marking.

The table below will give you an outline of the MCQ and Non-MCQ questions in the CAT exam based on 2022 :

Section

Number of MCQ and Non-MCQs

In each Section

Verbal Ability

&

Reading Comprehension (VARC)

MCQ -21

Non-MCQ – 3

Data Interpretation

&

Logical Reasoning

MCQ – 14

Non-MCQ – 6

Quantitative Ability

MCQ – 14

Non-MCQ – 8

Total no of Questions

66

Various Programs Offered by IIMs:

IIMs

Programmes Offered

IIM Ahmedabad

PGP, PGP-FABM

IIM Amritsar

MBA, EMBA, MBA-Business Analytics, MBA-HRM

IIM Bangalore

PGP, PGPEM, PGPBA

IIM Bodh Gaya

PGP

IIM Calcutta

MBA

IIM Indore

PGP, PGP-HRM

IIM Jammu

MBA

IIM Jammu

Executive MBA (Blended Mode)

IM Jammu

PGP in Health Care Management (Jointly with AIIMS Jammu and IIT Jammu)

IIM Jammu

PGP in Hospital Administration (Jointly with AIIMS Jammu and IIT Jammu)

IIM Kashipur

MBA, MBA (Analytics), EMBA

IIM Kozhikode

PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, PGP-LSM, EPGP Kochi

IIM Lucknow

PGP, PGP-ABM, PGP-SM

IIM Nagpur

PGP

IIM Raipur

PGP

IIM Ranchi

PGP, PGP-HRM, PGP (Business Analytics)

IIM Rohtak

PGP, EPGPX, EPGDSM

IIM Sambalpur

MBA, Executive MBA

IIM Shillong

PGP, PGPEX, PGPWE

IIM Sirmaur

MBA, MBA (T&HM)

IIM Tiruchirappalli

PGPM, PGPM-HR, PGPBM

IIM Udaipur

MBA, MBA-DEM, MBA-GSCM, PGDBA

IIM Visakhapatnam

PGP, PGPEX, PGPDGM

Time Required to Complete the CAT Exam Syllabus:

Every year more than 2 lakh CAT aspirants register for the CAT Exam. To ace the examination, an intensive preparation period of 7-9 months prior to taking the exam is highly recommended. However, candidates who are behind schedule, and those who are fully committed to passing the test, can do well with a 3-4 month dedicated preparation period.

 

CAT Exam States and Cities:

Sl No:

Name of the State

CAT Exam Cities

1

Andaman and Nicobar

Port Blair

2

Andhra Pradesh

Guntur

3

Kakinada

4

Kurnool

5

Nellore

6

Rajahmundry

7

Tirupathi

8

Vijayawada

9

Visakhapatnam

10

Vizianagaram

11

Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar-Naharlagun

12

Assam

Dibrugarh

13

Guwahati

14

Jorhat

15

Silchar

16

Tezpur

17

Bihar

Gaya

18

Aurangabad-Bihar

19

Arrah

20

Bhagalpur

21

Darbhanga

22

Muzaffarpur

23

Patna

24

Chandigarh

Chandigarh

25

Chhattisgarh

Bhilai Nagar

26

Bilaspur

27

Raipur

28

Dadar and Nagar Haveli

Silvaasa

29

Goa

Panaji

30

Madgaon

31

Gujarat

Ahmedabad

32

Anand

33

Gandhinagar

34

Mehsana

35

Rajkot

36

Surat

37

Vadodara

38

Haryana

Ambala

39

Faridabad

40

Gurugram

41

Himachal Pradesh

Bilaspur

42

Shimla

43

Hamirpur

44

Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu

45

Srinagar

46

Jharkhand

Dhanbad

47

Hazaribagh

48

Jamshedpur

49

Ranchi

50

Karnataka

Belagavi (Belgaum)

51

Bengaluru

52

Hubli-Dharwad

53

Kalaburagi (Gulbarga)

54

Mangaluru (Mangalore)

55

Mysuru (Mysore)

56

Shivamogga (Shimoga)

57

Udupi

58

Kerala

Kannur

59

Ernakulam

60

Kollam

61

Kottayam

62

Kozhikode

63

Thrissur

64

Trivandrum

65

Ladakh

Leh

66

Lakshadweep

Kavaratti

67

Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal

68

Gwalior

69

Indore

70

Jabalpur

71

Sagar

72

Satna

73

Ujjain

74

Maharashtra

Amravati

75

Ahmednagar

76

Aurangabad-MH

77

Bhiwandi

78

Boisar

79

Jalgaon

80

Kolhapur

81

Mumbai

82

Nagpur

83

Nanded

84

Nashik

85

Pune

86

Raigad

87

Satara

88

Solapur

89

Thane

90

Vasai

91

Manipur

Ukhrul

92

Meghalaya

Shillong

93

Mizoram

Aizawl

94

Nagaland

Kohima

95

New Delhi

New Delhi

96

Odisha

Balasore

97

Berhampur

98

Bhubaneswar

99

Cuttack

100

Dhenkanal

101

Rourkela

102

Sambalpur

103

Punjab

Bhatinda

104

Jalandhar

105

Ludhiana

106

Mohali

107

Patiala

108

Amritsar

109

Puducherry

Puducherry

110

Rajasthan

Ajmer

111

Bikaner

112

Jaipur

113

Jodhpur

114

Kota

115

Sikar

116

Udaipur

117

Tamil Nadu

Chennai

118

Coimbatore

119

Madurai

120

Salem

121

Tirunelveli

122

Tiruchirappalli

123

Vellore

124

Telangana

Hyderabad

125

Karimnagar

126

Warangal

127

Uttar Pradesh

Agra

128

Aligarh

129

Bareilly

130

Ghaziabad

131

Gorakhpur

132

Greater Noida

133

Kanpur

134

Jhansi

135

Lucknow

136

Meerut

137

Moradabad

138

Muzaffarnagar

139

Prayagraj

140

Varanasi

141

Uttarakhand

Dehradun

142

Haldwani

143

Roorkee

146

West Bengal

Asansol

147

Bankura

148

Burdwan

149

Durgapur

150

Hooghly

151

Kalyani

152

Kolkata

153

Siliguri

Other MBA Entrance Exams:

Aspirants enrolled in CAT Coaching must be familiar with all of the MBA entrance exams in India. Other Management entrance exams include XAT, MAT, CMAT, etc.,

  • NMAT
  • IIFT

Frequently Asked Questions on the CAT Exam:

Q1 What is CAT?

 IIMs conduct the Common Admission Test on a rotational basis for admission into management and business courses. CAT is conducted in three sessions every year, on the last Sunday of November.
The CAT Exam consists of 3 sections:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DII-LR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

Q2 What is the CAT eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria for the CAT (Common Admission Test) exam in India typically include the following:

  1. Educational Qualification:

    • A candidate must have a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% for SC, ST, and PWD candidates).
    • The degree should be granted by a recognized university or educational institution.
  2. Age Limit:

    • There is no age limit specified for appearing in the CAT exam.
  3. Nationality:

    • Indian nationals are eligible to apply.
    • Non-Indian nationals who have completed their bachelor’s degree from an Indian university are also eligible.
  4. Other Requirements:

    • The candidate must ensure they meet the specific eligibility criteria of the participating management institutes (IIMs and other B-schools) where they wish to apply, as additional criteria may apply for admission to specific programs.

It’s important to note that the exact eligibility criteria may vary slightly from year to year, so candidates should refer to the official CAT website or the specific admission brochures of the participating institutes for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Q3 When should I start preparing for CAT?

The ideal time to start preparing for the CAT exam depends on various factors such as your current level of preparation, your familiarity with the exam pattern, and your target score. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Understand the Exam: Familiarize yourself with the CAT exam pattern, syllabus, and the types of questions asked. This will give you a clear idea of what to expect and how to approach your preparation.

  2. Assess Your Starting Point: Take a diagnostic test or a mock CAT to gauge your current strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify areas where you need more focus.

  3. Set a Target Score: Determine your target percentile or score based on the requirements of the institutes you wish to apply to. This will give you a clear goal to work towards.

  4. Plan Your Preparation Time: CAT preparation typically takes 6-12 months, depending on your starting point and target score. Here’s a rough timeline you can consider:

    • 6-12 Months Before CAT: Start with basic concepts and build a strong foundation in all sections (Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning).
    • 3-6 Months Before CAT: Focus on more intensive practice and solving previous years’ papers and mock tests.
    • Last 1-2 Months Before CAT: Fine-tune your preparation, work on time management, and focus on improving weak areas.
  5. Consistency is Key: Regular and consistent study is crucial for success in CAT. Create a study schedule that suits your daily routine and stick to it diligently.

  6. Seek Guidance: Consider joining a coaching institute if you feel you need structured guidance. Alternatively, self-study with the help of online resources and books can also be effective if you are disciplined and organized.

  7. Stay Updated: Keep yourself updated with any changes in the CAT exam pattern or syllabus by referring to official CAT websites or reliable sources.

Remember, everyone’s preparation timeline can vary based on individual circumstances and starting points. The key is to start early enough to allow yourself sufficient time to cover the syllabus comprehensively and practice extensively.

Q4 How do I get a good percentile in Quants?

Achieving a good percentile in the Quantitative Ability (QA) section of CAT requires a systematic approach and focused preparation. Here are some strategies to help you improve and score well in the Quant section:

  1. Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the CAT Quantitative Aptitude syllabus. This includes topics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number systems, and modern mathematics (like permutations, combinations, probability).

  2. Build Conceptual Clarity: Ensure you have a strong foundation in basic concepts of mathematics. If any topic is unclear, refer to standard textbooks or online resources to clarify doubts.

  3. Practice Regularly: Practice is key to mastering Quantitative Aptitude. Solve a variety of problems from different difficulty levels. Start with basic problems and gradually move to more complex ones.

  4. Focus on Problem Solving Techniques: Develop efficient problem-solving techniques for different types of questions. For example, learn quick calculation methods, shortcut techniques, and approaches to solve questions involving time and distance, percentages, ratios, etc.

  5. Time Management: Manage your time effectively during practice sessions and during the actual exam. Solve questions within the stipulated time to simulate exam conditions.

  6. Take Mock Tests: Regularly take full-length mock tests to assess your preparation level. Analyze your performance to identify strengths and weaknesses. Focus on improving weaker areas through targeted practice.

  7. Review and Learn: After solving each mock test or practice set, review your answers. Understand the mistakes you made and learn from them. Make notes of important formulas, tricks, or concepts that you tend to forget.

  8. Stay Calm and Confident: Maintaining a calm and confident demeanor during the exam is crucial. Do not panic if you encounter difficult questions. Focus on the questions you can solve quickly and accurately.

  9. Stay Updated: Stay updated with any changes in the CAT exam pattern and syllabus. Understand the type of questions being asked in recent years to align your preparation accordingly.

  10. Seek Guidance: If you are struggling with certain topics or need help with strategies, consider seeking guidance from mentors, teachers, or online forums where experienced candidates and professionals can provide valuable insights.

By following these strategies consistently and adapting them to your strengths and weaknesses, you can improve your performance in the Quantitative Aptitude section of CAT and aim for a good percentile.

Q5 How do I get a good percentile in DILR?

Scoring well in the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) section of CAT requires a strategic approach and consistent practice. Here are some effective strategies to improve your performance and aim for a good percentile in DILR:

  1. Understand the Format: Familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked in the DILR section. This includes various forms of data interpretation (tables, graphs, charts) and logical reasoning puzzles (seating arrangements, blood relations, puzzles).

  2. Practice Variety of Questions: Solve a wide range of DILR

Q6 Why CAT Coaching?

CAT coaching can be beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Structured Preparation: Coaching institutes provide a structured approach to CAT preparation. They have curated study plans, schedules, and materials that cover the entire syllabus systematically, which can save you time in planning and organizing your study.

  2. Expert Guidance: Experienced faculty members at coaching institutes offer expert guidance and mentorship. They provide insights into exam trends, important topics, and effective strategies for time management and problem-solving.

  3. Personalized Attention: Many coaching institutes offer personalized attention through doubt-clearing sessions, one-on-one interactions with faculty, and feedback on mock tests. This can help you identify your weaknesses and work on them effectively.

  4. Peer Learning: Interacting with peers who are also preparing for CAT can be motivating and enriching. Group discussions, peer-to-peer learning, and sharing of strategies can enhance your preparation.

  5. Mock Tests and Practice: Coaching institutes conduct regular mock tests that simulate the CAT exam environment. These tests help you gauge your preparation level, improve time management skills, and identify areas that need more focus.

  6. Access to Resources: Coaching institutes often provide access to a wide range of study materials, practice questions, and online resources that may not be easily available otherwise. This can supplement your self-study efforts.

  7. Motivation and Discipline: Joining a coaching institute can provide the necessary motivation and discipline to stay consistent with your preparation. The structured environment and peer interactions can keep you focused on your goals.

However, it’s important to note that CAT coaching is not mandatory for success. Many candidates achieve high percentiles through self-study and online resources. The decision to opt for coaching depends on your individual learning style, availability of time, and financial considerations. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs and circumstances before making a decision.

CAT Related Links

CAT Exam Syllabus

List of IIM Colleges

CAT GURU’S CAT Learning Program

CAT Question Papers

CAT Study Material

CAT Mock Tests

Preparation Strategy for CAT exam

CAT Preparation Books

CAT Preparation | CAT Question Papers | CAT Sample Papers | CAT Mock Tests | CAT Exam Analysis| CAT Preparation Online

 
 
 
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