CAT [Common Admission Test]

CAT exam or the Common Admission Test is a computer-based MBA entrance test for admissions into the IIMs and several other prestigious B-Schools in the Country. CAT exam is conducted every year by the IIMs on a rotational basis and CAT exam 2018 will be conducted by IIM Calcutta. The CAT 2018 exam date has also been already released this year. IIM Calcutta will conduct CAT 2018 exam on November 25, 2018. Some of the main details of CAT exam like what is CAT exam and CAT exam date 2018 are explained below.


Exam Information

Events Important Dates
CAT 2018 Registration Start Date August 8, 2018
CAT 2018 Registration End Date September 26, 2018
CAT 2018 Registration & Application Fee Rs.1900/-
CAT 2018 Admit card release date October 24, 2018
CAT 2018 Exam date November 25, 2018
CAT 2018 Result date January 2019 2nd week



To be able to get eligible for CAT, candidates to fulfil the following criterion:

  • Should Hold a Bachelor’s Degreeand have secured a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA. The students belonging to any of the reserved categories like Scheduled Tribe (ST), Scheduled Caste (SC), and Persons with Disability (PWD) or Differently Abled (DA) category must have at least 45% marks.
  • The degree has to be awarded by any of the Universities included by an act of the central or a state legislature in India, or any other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or are declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or hold an equivalent qualification recognized by the MHRD, India.
  • Applicants who are appearing for the final year of their bachelor’s degreeand the candidates who have completed their graduation degree requirements and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply. If selected, candidates will be allowed to join the program provisionally, only if he/ she submits a certificate from the Principal/Registrar of her/his College/Institute (issued on or before June 30, 2018) mentioning that the particular candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date when the certificate was issued.

The detailed CAT eligibility can be checked from this article and candidates are suggested to check it thoroughly before applying. 
IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided on the official IIM website.


CAT Exam Pattern

The paper pattern for the CAT exam has changed several times in the past. For the last 2 years, the pattern has remained the same with respect to the total marks and no. of sections. A brief detail about the pattern is given.

S. No. Topics Section Questions Section Time Total Time
1. Quantitative Ability 34
2. Verbal Ability 34
3. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32
60 Min Per Sec 3 Hours
Total 300 Marks


CAT Exam Syllabus

For the CAT exam, there is no predefined syllabus. The syllabus is mainly from the middle school topics of Maths, and English with some generic logical reasoning questions. A few of the details of CAT syllabus are:

  • CAT Quantitative Aptitude:The syllabus for CAT quantitative aptitude mainly includes topics from class 8-10 like geometry, algebra, number system, etc.
  • CAT Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation:The logical reasoning section is very generic and a wide variety of questions based on seating arrangement, direction sense test, etc. are included. The data interpretation section includes questions mostly based on data caselets and graphs.
  • CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: In this section, comprehension passages are given followed by a few questions. Apart from that, few of the grammar-based questions like sentence completion, jumbled sentences, etc. are asked.

Eligibility Verification
If an applicant is shortlisted for WAT and PI by any of the IIMs, he/she has to comply with the following eligibility verification:

  • Marksheets and Degree Certificate

Shortlisted candidates are required to produce all the original mark sheets and submit attested photocopies in support of their eligibility at the time of their interview. Also, if a candidate is selected for a particular programme, he/she is also required to submit the original degree certificate and marksheets of all semesters/years along with their respective attested copies at the time of joining the programme.

  • Reservation Category Requirements

For ST, SC, NC-OBC and DA candidates, if shortlisted, are required to show their original caste/class and/or Disability certificate and submit a copy of the certificate at the time of the interview. Also, a candidate selected for a programme will have to submit the original certificate of qualifying degree and attested copy of the same for verification.

  • Candidates in the Final Year of Graduation

Candidates appearing for the final year bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification examination are required to produce an original certificate from the Principal/Registrar/Director of the University/institution certifying that the candidate has obtained 50% marks or equivalent (45% for the SC, ST, and DA category candidates) based on latest available grades/marks at the time of interview. He/she is also required to submit an attested copy of the original certificate (for category candidates).

  • For the Post Graduate Programmes of IIMs, if the candidates are selected, they will be allowed to join the programme PROVISIONALLY ONLY if they submit a certification the Registrar/Principal of their college/institute mentioning that they have completed all the necessary requirements including appearing for supplementary exams, if any (the results may, however, be awaited) for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/ equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate. Also, one must obtain at least 50% marks or equivalent grade and should submit an attested copy of the graduation mark sheets and their qualifying degree certificate.
  • The deadline for submission of the mark sheet and the certificate is 31st December 31, 2018. IIMs also state that“NON FULFILMENT OF THIS CONDITION WILL AUTOMATICALLY RESULT IN THE CANCELLATION OF THE PROVISIONAL ADMISSION.” In such cases, provisional admission will also be cancelled if it is found that the certificate is incorrect or has any discrepancies later. IIMs does not allow any individual to join any of their programmes in case a candidate fails tocomplete all the requirements for a bachelor degree on or before June 30, 2019. After June 30, 2019, the IIMs would allow admissions to any candidate.


Admission Process

It should be noted that individual IIM shortlists candidates for their second stage of selection independently.
The selection process includes a Written Ability Test (WAT) and a Personal Interview (PI). The performance of individuals in CAT 2018 exam will be an important component in the overall selection process.
IIMs also consider previous academic records of the candidates, relevant work experience and other similar inputs while shortlisting and ranking the candidates at various stages during the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs. For more information, one may refer to the admissions policies on respective IIM’s website.


CAT Exam Registration

CAT exam registration is only available online. The application form is released by the conducting IIM on the official CAT website and applicants are required to fill out the details. The CAT 2018 registration has already started from 8th August and will continue till 19th September. A correction window will also be available later. It is important for the candidates to be careful while filling in the details as any discrepancies later may result in the cancellation of the complete application. The complete details about the registration process are available in the linked article.