Common Admission Test or CAT Exam is conducted by Indian Institute Of Managements (IIMs) for its various IIM Courses. Candidates aspiring to get admission to the 6 Indian Institutes of Managements need to appear for the Common Admission Test. Apart from the IIM's, 40 other Management Institutes use the CAT score for short listing the candidates.
CAT Exam Eligibility
- A three year Bachelor's Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Persons with Disability (PWD) category].
- The degree must be recognized by the Association of Indian Universities/ All India Council for Technical Education.
- Candidates appearing for the final bachelor's degree / equivalent qualification examination can also apply.
CAT Exam Application Procedure
The CAT bulletin containing the CAT Application Form and other information can be obtained from the branches of UTI Bank/ designated Post offices on payment of a requisite amount. The candidate needs to buy only one CAT Bulletin irrespective of how many IIMs he/she is applying to. All candidates must enclose the Bank counterfoil with the CAT Application Form. Candidates buying the form from UTI Bank/ Post Offices/ IIMs must enclose the 3rd Copy of Bank's/IIMs' Pay-in Slip bearing the Candidate's name with the CAT Application Form. Candidates should ensure they meet the eligibility criteria of the programme in which they are interested, before procuring the CAT bulletin. The candidates belonging to OBC/SC/ST/PWD categories are requested to indicate their status while filling-in their form and enclose supporting document as a proof that they belong to the specified caste/categories. CAT application forms of ineligible candidates and application forms with incomplete information will be summarily rejected. No claim of refund will be entertained on sold Bulletins.
CAT Exam Schedule
CAT is a standard test to test students logical, mathematical and analytical and linguistic abilities. The 2 1/2 hour test comprises sub sections like :
Quantitative Ability (QA) - These questions are designed to stress more on reasoning skills of the candidates, rather than on their computational skills. The level of difficulty of this section is perceived to be higher because the questions are not only lengthy to read but at times require more effort in terms of understanding and solving.
Data Interpretation (DI) - This section based on basic mathematics presents data to the candidate in forms such as caselets, pie diagrams, bar graphs, etc and questions are set to evaluate the candidate’s skills at analyzing the given information
Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT usually has 6-8 passages in the RC section, with an overall length of 4500-5500 words and about 50 questions to answer in a span of about 30 minutes. However this too can vary according to the level of difficulty of questions.
Verbal Ability (VA) - This section typically comprise sentence correction, sentence sequencing, verbal reasoning etc. VA explores a candidates understanding of the English Language and also tests their Reasoning Skills.
All the questions are multiple choice and the candidates should shade their choice of answer (only with a HB pencil) in the computer coded answer sheet. For every correct answer, one mark is awarded and for every wrong answer, 1/4th of a mark is deducted.
CAT Exam Written Tests
(as per 2009-10, written test has been abolished)
The 150-mintue exam essentially comprises of multiple choice questions (MCQs) with negative marking for wrongly answered questions from the following areas:
Quantitative Aptitude: This section includes Class X level Mathematics.
Verbal ability: Checks your command over the English Language.
Reading Comprehension: Tests your ability to comprehend passage on varied topics and draw conclusion.
Data Interpretation: This section tests your ability to draw meaningful conclusions from a set of data given to you in tabular or chart format.
In 2009, it was metamorphosed into a computer based test (CBT) in line with the American GMAT. Parametric, the agency having a long experience of conducting GMAT was chosen to conduct the inaugural CBT. The first year of having computer based CAT was unfortunately went through lot of problems and student protest.
CAT Exam Admission Procedure
The CAT score will remain valid for one year for all the IIMs. : The scores of each section and the overall score of the CAT are used for ranking and short listing the candidates for the second round which consists of group discussions and personal interviews. A formal letter would be sent to the candidates by the respective IIMs for which the candidates have been short listed. GD & PI are conducted by each IIM separately and hence it is possible that a candidate may be asked by more than one IIM to attend GD/ PI on the same date and time. The basis of ranking and finally selecting the successful candidates is based on a diverse set of attributes and may include performance in CAT, performance in GD&/PI, academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements, work experience etc.
Reservation in IIMs through CAT Exam
Reservations : As per Government of India requirement 15% and 7½% seats are reserved for SC and ST candidates, respectively. 3% seats are reserved for Persons with Disability (PWD). The three categories of disability are: a) low-vision/blindness, b) hearing impairment, and c) locomotor disability/cerebral palsy.
CAT Exam Date
CAT is normally conducted in the third week of November.