CAT Exams

What is CAT:

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test held in India. This test scores a person on the bases of quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration and fellow programs. The test is conducted every year by one of the IIM’s based on a policy of rotation. Before 2009, CAT was a paper based test conducted on a single day for all candidates. The pattern, number of questions and duration have seen considerable variations over the years.

On 1 May 2009, it was announced that CAT would be a Computer Based Test starting from CAT 2009. The American firm Prometric has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the computer based test.

For 2014 CAT, IIM Indore’s computer test conducting partner will be Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) since the former firm, called Prometric, based in US had its contract of 5 years ended in 2013. Around 1,75,000 students took CAT 2013.

About Test Difficulty

The CAT exam has been developed to accurately identify top performing candidates and that design makes use of a scaled score range of 0 to 450. In order to appropriately identify the top performing candidates, the CAT exam is, by design, a very difficult exam. As would be expected with the more difficult CAT exam, no candidate would likely answer 100% of the items correctly or achieve the top theoretical score. The exam design will accomplish the goal of identifying the top performing candidates who are, indeed, ranked at the top of the list. If the exam were designed to be substantially easier, it would be theoretically possible for a candidate to achieve a score of 450. However, an exam constructed to be that easy would not serve the distinct purposes of the IIMs.

CAT Eligibility

The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) (It may also referred to as Persons with Disability (PWD) category)], awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the bachelor’s degree would be calculated based on the practice followed by the university/institution from where the candidate has obtained the degree. In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure certified by the university/ institution from where they have obtained the bachelor’s degree. In case the university/ institution does not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100. Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. If selected, such candidates will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if he/she submits a certificate latest by June 30, 2015 from the Principal/Registrar of his/her College/Institute (issued on or before June 30, 2015) stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate. IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided at the website . Applicants should note that the mere fulfilment of minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for shortlisting by IIMs. Prospective candidates must maintain a valid and unique email account and a phone number throughout the selection process.

List of Equivalent Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Technology (4 years after 10+2/Post B.Sc./Post Diploma ) or B.E/B.Tech equivalent examinations, of Professional Societies, recognized by MHRD/UPSC/AICTE (e.g. AMIE by Institution of Engineers-India, AMICE by the Institute of Civil Engineers India).
  • Any Qualification recognized by Association of Indian Universities New Delhi which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree awarded by UGC recognized University/Institutions.
  • Cases not covered above equivalency certificate to be produced from Association of Indian Universities New Delhi

Test Duration and Pattern

CAT is a computer based test, which will be conducted in 99 cities comprising 354 test sites. Last year, there were 45 test sites only. A candidate can select his / her test date and slot as per choice and availability.

The total duration of the examination is 170 minutes (2 hours and 50 minutes). There will be a total of 50 questions in sections of quantitative ability and data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning of the paper. The questions of CAT 2014 paper will be of objective type multiple choice (MCQ).

The tutorial which was made available before start of examination will not be available this time. The CAT conducting body has advised candidates to do the tutorials from the website well in advance. In a bid to offer students flexibility for devoting more or less time to each section according to their ability, aspirants for CAT 2014 will be able to switch from one section to another during the examination timing.

Important Dates:

  1. Release of Advertisement: 27th July (Sunday), 2014
  2. Online Registration for CAT: 06th August 10:00AM to 30th September 11:59PM, 2014
  3. Admit Card Download Window: 16th October to Exam Date (16th or 22nd November, 2014)
  4. Exam Date: 16th (Sunday) and 22nd (Saturday) November, 2014
  5. Release of Result: Third week of December, 2014

How to apply:

Eligible candidates are required to apply online through Official Website:
No offline vouchers will be available this year. Candidates will have to make the payment online via credit card/debit card/net banking. General/NC-OBC candidates need to pay the fee of Rs 1600/ and Rs 800 for SC/ST/PWD (DA) candidates online.

CAT Result and Short-listing

Information related to CAT 2014 results will be available from 3rd week of Dec 2014 on this website. List of shortlisted candidates for the next level of selection will be made available on the individual IIM websites. Each IIM will send interview letters to the candidates it has short-listed. The criteria for short-listing varies from IIM to IIM.

Apart from the present 13 IIMs, the Government has decided to open six new IIMs, one each in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. CAT 2014 will also include the Registration option for these new IIMs. They are likely to commence their academic session from 2015-16.


Please note that each IIM shortlists candidates for second stage of selection which may be independent of each other. The process may include Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI).Performance in CAT 2014 examination is an important component in the admission process. IIMs may use previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience and other similar inputs in short listing and ranking of candidates at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs. For more information you may refer the admissions policies of IIMs from their respective websites

Top colleges accepting CAT score:

  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
  • Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
  • Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
  • Department of Management Studies , IIT Delhi
  • Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras
  • Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay
  • Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow
  • Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode
  • Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi
  • Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee
  • National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai
  • Indian Institute of Management, Indore
  • Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSOM), IIT Kharagpur
  • Department of Industrial and Management Engineering (DIME), IIT Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi
  • Indian Institute of Management Rohtak
  • Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management, Shillong
  • School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad
  • Indian School of Mines, Department of Management Studies, Dhanbad
  • Indian Institute of Management, Raipur
  • Indian Institute of Management Trichy
  • Indian Institute of Management Udaipur
  • Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
  • Delhi School of Economics (DBE), New Delhi
  • Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
  • Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad
  • International Management Institute, Delhi
  • TAPMI, Manipal
  • Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
  • Prin. LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai
  • KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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