Beware, CAT is coming!


It comes, it daunts you and then it tests your patience! No, it is no saga of the attempts of Puss In Boot, but that of the Common Admission Test (CAT) which is in fact more threatening than a thief CAT!

It is said that for achieving our goals, we need to toil hard before our dreams become a reality.  Surely, the person who initiated this idea was an MBA aspirant. This Common Admission Test or CAT is that one struggle which is WILLINGLY faced by students, aspiring to get themselves a place in the nation’s top institutes of management. And then there comes into play a mad race to join any one (if lucky enough) of the 19 IIM’S and more than a hundred management schools across the country.

Now, to go by the craze of the degree, last year around 2,04,267 students competed for 1550+ seats making it the most competitive exam in the country. Over two lakh students appear for the exam every year. But if this number has already led you to quit your chances, you need to seriously cool down because with the opening of 6 new IIM’S  in 2015, the number of seats has increased to 3695 seats as opposed to the previous number of 3335. Also, the exam will now be conducted in two sessions in one single day which are allocated to students automatically after registration.

For those chance-takers, here is what you need to know to battle it out…

Those who passed with flying color of 50% aggregate marks and above in graduation, in any discipline from a recognized institute are eligible for taking the exam. And here too, those belonging to ST, OBC and DA categories get a privilege with their eligibility criteria being 45%. 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, provided that they submit the required result related documents at the time of admission.

It is a computer based test consisting of some MCQ and non-MCQ questions. The three sections i.e., Quantitative Aptitude(QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning(DILR), and Verbal and Reading Comprehension, with a total of hundred questions will have to be answered within 180 minutes. Switching between two sections will not be allowed and 60 minutes will be allocated to each section. This year for the first time since its inception, students taking the CAT will be allowed to use a basic on screen calculator for calculations.
Every correct answer fetches you 3 points while one incorrect answer costs you 1 point. The non-attempted questions are not calculated at all. And to relax your nerves a bit, the four colors (Green for Answered question; Red for Unanswered question; White for Question not viewed; Violet for Question marked for review) in the Question palette panel on the right side will for sure remind you of the traffic lights. Yes, it is a sign mate that you can surpass it as easily as you did that traffic inspector.

Cut –off is set by each institution, which determines the institute where a candidate will be eligible for group discussion/personal interview and Written ability test. The cut off is split into sectional and overall, which is the last hurdle in making it to one’s dream institution.

In the final stages of short listing of  the candidates, each institution takes into account a different criteria which is mostly done on the basis of CAT score weight-age, PI-GD/WAT weightage, academic performance, work experience, extracurricular achievements, gender diversity etc.


These are the details that are taken into account for every student who is selected. It might seem to be a bit tough but then remind yourself of the paradise that awaits you once you get into a good job or dream about the good number of bucks to shop without looking at the price tag. And there you go!

About The Author

Pavni Gaurangi

Pavni Gaurangi (MCM College 36)

Earthly and Altruistic , sprinkled with tiny hints of never ending enthusiasm. This author is prone to being gibberish at times yet forces the world to absorb her never ending sagas.



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