Everything You Need to Know About CAT (Common Admission Test) for MBA

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Thinking of doing  MBA?

Here’s  all you need to know about Common Admission Test (CAT)


Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national level entrance exam for MBA aspirants in India. The exam is conducted annually by the Indian Institute Of Management (IIM). The exam is conducted in late November and has three sections. Apart from 20 IIMs, all the top B-schools all over the country accept CAT scores. Each year CAT is conducted by  1 of the 20 IIMs. Last year IIM Lucknow conducted the prestigious exam. CAT is a 3-hour, computer-based test having 1 hour for each section.

The registrations for the exam begin in July and the result is declared in the second week of January. Usually, IIM’s do not release any official answer key after the exam but 2017 marked the first year when they released the answer key on there official website.

NOTE: CAT is held in  2 slots i.e. the morning slot and the evening slot. You can choose a slot according to your preference. Failure to give exam in your registered slot results in disqualification.


  1. A candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks or CGPA equivalent. However, there is a relaxation of  5% for SC/ST/PWD/DA category.
  2. Percentage obtained in bachelor’s degree would be calculated on the basis of practice followed by the concerned university/institution. In case of grades/CGPA, the conversion would be based on the process defined by the concerned university/ institution.
  3. In absence of any percentage conversion scheme, candidate’s CGPA will be divided by maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result by 100.
  4. Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification are also eligible to apply for CAT.


  1. First, the candidate must sign up on the official IIM website.
  2. Then fill in the necessary details under the concerned section to make your MBA profile.
  3. After clicking the finish button you may proceed to payments section where you will pay the required amount for the application process.
  4. The fees could be paid online or through a DD.
  5. CAT will release your Admit Cards on their website after few weeks of your registration. You have to download the admit card from their official website as they will not be sent to you by post.


The CAT 2018 question paper will consist of the following sections:

Section Questions Time
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 34 60 minutes
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 32 60 minutes
Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) 34 60 minutes
Total 100 180

Candidates will be given 180 minutes to answer the questions. Each section is allotted 60 minutes. The candidates cannot choose any section to start with or switch from one section to another. They will have to follow the question paper chronologically, from section 1-3.

Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type, thus the answers will have
to be typed on the screen.

Use of basic onscreen calculator will be allowed for computation.


IIMs declare the CAT results on their official website and you can check your scorecard and other related details from the website. Based on the scorecard the IIMs declare their shortlists for the GD/PI rounds.



CAT Centre 2018

C/o Admissions Office
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Bannerghatta Main Rd
Bilekhalli, Bangaluru-560076
Karnataka, India


Helpdesk: 18002663549

Official Website: http://iimcat.ac.in

Phone Number: 18002663549



For the general category students, the top IIMs usually have a cut off of above 95 percentile.  However, a strong profile and a percentile between 90-95 may also land you into good IIMs. For SC/ST/PWD/DA category the cutoffs might be only slightly lower than the general category.

The top IIMs in the country are IIM- Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kolkata and Kozhikode.

Although there are other exams for MBA, CAT still remains the preference of top MBA Institutes throughout the country because it is conducted by IIMs.


Apart from these some B-Schools do conduct their separate entrance exams for admission to MBA programs.

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