What is CAT Entrance and Eligibility

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After completing graduation every candidate wants to pursue a masters degree in various fields of their interest. One of the most popular masters programmes is MBA (Masters in Business Administration). To get admission in a top  MBA a candidate needs to give various entrance exams. CAT is one such exam. Let us look in detail about CAT entrance and the eligibility criteria 

  • What is CAT ?

CAT- Common Admission Test was started in the year 2009 and was held online.Before 2009 CAT was  paper pencil test wherein the candidates used to mark their answers on OMR sheet. This exam is conducted by one of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)on rotational policy. CAT is the gateway to 20 IIMs and over 1200 B schools in India. Every year 2 lakh candidates appear for the CAT for 5000+ seats.

  • Highlights of the Exam 
Features Details 
Exam Duration2 hours  
Exam fees Rs. 2000 ( General Category)Rs. 1000( Reserved Category)
Mode of ExamOnline
Number of Test Cities 156
Exam website https://iimcat.ac.in
  • Syllabus 

The entire syllabus is divided into 3 sections.This consists of MCQ and Non MCQ questions 

  1. Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Quantitative Aptitude 
  3. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Sections Marks allocatedNumber of Questions
Verbal and Reading Comprehension10234
Quantitative Ability 9632
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 10234
  1. Each question carries 3 marks
  2. 1 mark less for every objective question
  3. No negative marking for non objective questions 
  • Eligibility Criteria

It is very important for a candidate to understand the eligibility criteria for the CAT exam. 

  1. He/She must have completed  a bachelor degree from any university/ institute which is UGC recognized. He/ she must have 50% aggregate marks
  2. He/ She must have completed a engineering degree ( B.E/ B.Tech)  from any university/ institute which is MHRD/AICTE recognized.He/ she must have 50% aggregate marks
  3. He/She must have appeared in the final year of degree examination from any university/ college which is MHRD/AICTE recognized. He/ she must have 50% aggregate marks
  • Eligibility Criteria for Students having Backlogs 

One more question which arises is that can students having academic backlogs enrol for CAT exam? The answer is yes. CAT aspirants who have academic backlog can register for the exam without any problem. Few points need to take into consideration:

  1. Candidate who are appearing for re exam can also apply for CAT
  2. Candidate scoring more than 50% in graduation or in re exam can also apply for CAT 
  3. As the graduation is incomplete candidate has to submit a certificate issued by the principal of school/ university mentioning that candidate has appeared for re exam and is waiting for results
  •   Eligibility for Reservation

IIM has some reservation for candidates which belong to various castes. Below are the reservations

Category Reservation Percentage 
Scheduled Caste SC15%
Scheduled Tribes ST7.5%
Person with Disability PwD5%

From the above table we come to know that the seats reserved for the general category are just 54%. The total number of seats available in various IIMs are 4000. Candidates who belong to the above caste are required to upload caste certificates.

  • Eligibility for Person with Disability

Students who belong to this category must bring  a certificate issued by a competent authority.Different categories are as follows:

  1. Candidates having hearing impairment 
  2. Low vision / blind candidates 
  3. Locomotor disabilities 
  4. Other disabilities like mental illness, learning disabilities etc.

It is very important that candidates are aware about the eligibility criteria before appearing for CAT or before starting the preparation. If they are not eligible the time invested in the preparation goes waste. Also they should be aware about the documents required for the CAT exam.


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