What is CAT?
  • CAT (Common Admission Test) is the premier all India management entrance exam conducted by IIMs. Last year 2,04,267 students competed for 1550+ seats making it the most competitive exam in the country.
  • The IIMs are the premier management institutes in India established by an act of Parliament. These institutes also provide consultancy and research services in various business and management globally.

Different Sections of CAT

The CAT examination is divided into three sections

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Commercial Mathematics
  • Miscellaneous
  Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Data Interpretation, Sufficiency
  Verbal Ability

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Logic
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar Correction

The Quantitative Aptitude section comprises of fundamental mathematics, based on 10 + 2 difficulty level. Problems are found to appear from various topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Commercial Mathematics (Word Problems). The questions are largely based on application of mathematics to solve real-time problems.

The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section comprises of questions which are asked based on the given data. The data given might be in the form of graphs, charts, tables and paragraphs. Data Interpretation problems test the candidate's understanding of the data and the ability to solve problems accurately. Logical Reasoning questions check the candidate's ability to ratiocinate and evaluate problems.

The Verbal Ability section comprises of questions on comprehension and usage of standard English grammar. Verbal Logic questions test the candidate's knowledge of arranging paragraphs in a logical order, determining the type of statements, completing the paragraphs in an appropriate way. In general, it is found that all the sections share an equal weight except CAT 2008 and CAT 2004 papers, which have a higher percentage of Verbal Ability problems.

It has to be noted that the CAT does not predefine any specific chapters or content upon which questions can occur. However, any intricate term would be well defined, if the problem requires such knowledge.

Allocation of marks

In general, every correct answer gains 4 marks whereas every wrong answer results in one negative mark.

Cut-offs for each section

Candidates must secure a minimum mark in each section to qualify for that section and eventually for the CAT. The minimum marks required to qualify varies upon the relative difficulty level of that section compared to other sections of the test. Sectional cut-offs varies mostly on the basis of the performance who appear for the exam in that year. A candidate must also secure a minimum total cut off for the entire paper to earn GD/PI calls from IIMs. It has been observed that different IIMs use different cut-offs to offer calls to selected candidates.

Selection for Group Discussion and Personal Interview

Candidates who secure the sectional cut-offs as well as the overall cut-offs in the written test are called for GD/PI by IIMs. This is the ultimate step of the selection-process.

Other Institutes accepting CAT scores

Apart from the IIMs, some other institutes also offer admission to their postgraduate courses of business and management on the basis of a candidate's CAT score. For more information on these institutes, click here.
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