The exam for the CAT:

Cracking the CAT: A Comprehensive Guide to the Common Admission Test

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a gateway for applicants who want to study postgraduate management programmes in India's highly regarded Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as well as other top business schools. The test is conducted every year through IIMs on a rotational basis, IIMs on a rotating basis, the CAT is a computer-based examination that evaluates the ability of candidates to perform in Quantitative aptitude (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) as well as Data Interpretation and logical Reasoning (DILR). Knowing the intricacies of the CAT test is essential for candidates who want to gear for this challenging but rewarding adventure.

Exam Structure

The CAT exam consists of three parts which are Qualitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). Each section has the same duration, which makes the management of time a crucial aspect of the exam's plan. The duration of the test is two hours. It is broken down by 40 minutes per section.

Quantitative Ability evaluates the proficiency of candidates in mathematics, which includes subjects like algebra, arithmetic geometry, numbers, geometry, and many more. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension assess language proficiency by assessing grammar, vocabulary sentences, sentence corrections, and comprehension exercises. Information Interpretation as well as Logical Reasoning test logical reasoning and skills for data interpretation by using tables, charts and reasoning-based challenges.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to take the CAT exam, applicants must have a Bachelor's degree, with at minimum 50% marks or an equivalent CGPA (45 percent to be eligible for SC, ST, and PWD/DA categories) from a recognized institution. Final-year students also have the option to apply if they meet the minimum standards when they are admitted.

Application Process

The CAT application process usually starts in August and continues until September. Candidates must sign up through the official CAT website, complete an application, submit necessary documents, and then pay the fee for application. It is essential to double-check the details entered to avoid contradictions.

Preparation Strategy

To prepare for the CAT test requires a meticulous method and a commitment. Candidates must begin by learning the pattern of the exam as well as the syllabus. A well-organized study plan that allocates adequate time for each section is crucial. Regular practice with mock tests, past years' questions and solving a variety of issues helps improve speed and accuracy.

Recommended Books and Resources

Many books and online resources are geared to preparation for the CAT, covering each part in detail. The most recommended books are "How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT" by Arun Sharma, "Word Power Made Easy" by Norman Lewis for vocabulary building as well as "Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha.

In addition, online platforms such as BYJU's Unacademy and TestFunda provide courses for CAT as well as study materials and mock tests that can assist in the preparation.

Important Tips for Exam Day

The day before the CAT test, the candidates need to remain in a calm and focused state. The ability to manage time effectively is essential because each section comes with the same time limit. It is recommended to start with simpler questions first before deciding to manage your the time well to tackle more difficult ones later.

A sound night's rest before the exam, along with a nutritious breakfast assists in maintaining focus and alertness for the duration of the test.

Scoring and Percentile Calculation

The CAT is the scaled scoring system in which the raw scores from the sections are converted into scaled scores, and then merged to determine the percentile overall. The percentile is a measure of a candidate's performance in comparison to other test-takers. Scores from the CAT are valid for one year and is utilized by various business schools to determine their admissions process.

Post CAT: Selection Process

Following the CAT test Shortlisted candidates are notified for additional screening rounds, such as group Discussion (GD), Written Ability Test (WAT), and a Personal Interview (PI). Each IIM as well as other institutes participating has their own selection criteria that include the CAT score as well as academic background, experience in work as well as diversity factors and results in the next rounds.


 1. Who's able to sit for the CAT test?

Candidates must have an undergraduate degree that has 50 percent marks or equivalent CGPA (45 percent to be used for SC, ST, and PWD/DA categories) from a recognized institution. Students who are in the final year of their studies may also apply if they satisfy the minimal requirements when they apply for admission.

2. When will the application process for CAT begin?

The application process for CAT generally begins in August and runs through September. Candidates have to sign up at the official CAT website, fill out the form for application upload required documents, and pay fees for application.

3. What is the best way to get ready for the CAT test?

A well-planned study plan, knowing the test pattern, and thorough practice are crucial. Regular practice tests, solving past papers, and working on weaker areas can help in enhancing overall performance.

4. Which books/resources would be highly recommended for preparation for CAT?

Books such as "How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT" by Arun Sharma, "Word Power Made Easy" by Norman Lewis for vocabulary, and "Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha are highly recommended. Online platforms like BYJU and Unacademy offer courses specifically designed for CAT and other materials.

5. What are the important tips to remember for the test day of the CAT?

Be calm and control your time efficiently during the exam. Start with the simpler questions and then allow enough time to tackle more difficult ones. A sound night's rest and a nutritious breakfast can help in staying focused.

6. How do CAT scores are calculated?

CAT uses an algorithm of scoring that is scaled. Raw scores can be converted into scaled scores. The percentile indicates a candidate's performance in comparison the other candidates taking tests. The CAT score will be valid for a period of one year.

7. What will happen following the CAT test?

Candidates who are shortlisted go through the next round which consists of Group Discussion (GD), Written Ability Test (WAT), and Personal Interview (PI) as in accordance with the specific selection requirements for IIMs and other institutes that participate.

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examination date 11/26/2023
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