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Know what is CAT and All About CAT Entrance Exam

Cat Reading Book
IIMs reputable business schools

20 IIMs and more than 115 reputable business schools in India accept CAT scores, while a few overseas institutions also take CAT into consideration.


CAT Official Website:

Table of Contents


CAT, which stands for Common Admission test is one of the most prominent and the largest nationwide MBA entrance exam in India which allows aspirants to enroll in the best management institutes.

CAT Exam is administered by the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) on a recurring basis once in a year. It is a 120 minutes (160 minutes for PWD candidates) long Computer- based examination that is conducted across 400+ test centers in 156 Indian cities.

It facilitates admission into 20 IIMs that offer executive management education programmes in addition to undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate programs, and more than 100 B-schools around India.

In addition to IIMs, reputable B-schools that accept CAT scores include, to name a few, MDI Gurgaon, SP Jain Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, FMS Delhi, KJ Somaiya, Xavier Institute of Management & various IITs.


CAT Events CAT Exam Schedule
Release of CAT 2023 notification
July 30, 2023
CAT exam 2023 registration date
August 2, 2023
CAT exam 2023 last date to apply
September 20, 2023
CAT 2023 correction window
September 22, 2023 to September 25, 2023
Availability of CAT 2023 admit card
October 26, 2023
Release of CAT mock test 2023
November 8, 2023
CAT 2023 exam date
November 26, 2023 (Sunday)
Release of CAT 2023 response sheet and question paper
December 1, 2023 (11 AM)
Last date to challenge CAT 2023 answer key
December 3, 2023 (5 PM)
CAT 2023 result date
December 20, 2023


When submitting an online CAT 2023 application, follow the instructions:

  • Click “Register Now” to create your login credentials at the official website and enter the necessary information.
  • Your login information will also be sent to you through email and SMS, now you must log in using your user ID and password in the following step.
  • Fill up your CAT application form after that, and upload scanned copies of the required documents.
  • Simply signing in again will allow you to finish the CAT application form over numerous sessions.
  • You must include information on your employment history, if any, in addition to your personal and academic data and must also choose your desired programmes and an interview city from the list of alternatives.
  • Last but not least, you must pay the CAT application fee. You won’t be able to make any changes to the form after you’ve paid the fee. Check the form again before submitting it and making a payment.

Application Fee

  • Candidates in the General/OBC category must pay an application fee of INR 2300.
  • Candidates in the SC, ST, and PWD categories must pay a fee of INR 1150.
  • The method for paying the application fee is entirely online using a credit/debit card or net banking

Admit Card

It is necessary to download the CAT 2023 admit card from the official website.

Your exam center’s address, reporting time, exam timing, a Google Maps link to find the center, and other necessary exam day instructions are all displayed on your CAT admit card.

To present at the testing location, you must have a printout of your admission card.

Follow the instructions below to download your CAT 2023 admission card:

  • Log in to the website’s official page using your CAT user ID and password.
  • Select the link that says “Download CAT Admit Card.”
  • You can download and print a copy of your hall after it has been displayed. You can also store a soft copy of it for future use.

Do's and Don'ts on Exam Day

You need to have a few documents before the exam. The following is a list of items you must bring to the testing location:

  • Admission card Make sure to print two copies of your admissions cards with your photo on them.
  • Identity Validation: You must have a photo ID with you at all times (employer ID, PAN card, Aadhaar card, driver’s license, passport, voter ID).
  • If your name has recently changed, you must also have a certificate or document proving the change.

Note: It is important toeach section’s scaled scores and percentilesslots because the CAT is administered in the morning, afternoon, and evening slots on the same day.

As a result, IIMs use a formula similar to that used for GATE to normalize CAT scores.

The results are announced along with the scaled scores and percentiles for each section. This is done to make the scoring more fair and transparent. No candidates from either position are left in a favored or disadvantaged position in this manner.


Aspirants are advised to look into the eligibility requirements and make sure they meet them prior to doing anything else, including preparing for the CAT exam or applying for the CAT exam.

There is no age restriction for the candidates appearing for CAT. Candidates must fulfill the prerequisites below in order to register for the CAT 2023 exam

Academic Qualifications

  • Candidates hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or its equivalent.
  • Candidates who possess a minimum score of 45% for the SC/ ST/ PwD category and 50% for the open category.

Note: MHRD/AICTE: The University shall be considered as a university under Section of the UGC Act, 1956, or shall be declared annexed by an Act of the Parliament or the State Legislature of India.

Qualification Affiliation Percentage/CGPA
Bachelor’s Degree from any University/ Institute
Recognized by UGC
50% aggregate marks (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)
Engineering Degree - B.Tech/ B.E. from any University/ Institute
Recognized by MHRD/ AICTE
50% aggregate marks (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)
Students who appeared in the final year of the degree examination
Recognized by MHRD/ AICTE/ UGC
50% aggregate marks (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)

Final Year Students

  • Candidates who are in the final year of their bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply for the CAT exam. However, if chosen for further consideration, these students must complete their bachelor’s degree with the required grade and present documentation of this at the time of selection.
  • The certificate from the Registrar or Principal of the relevant Best CAT Coaching  in India institution or university should be submitted by the candidates. On the date the certificate is issued, it must specify that the applicant has satisfied all conditions for equivalent qualification. The candidate’s results in the subsequent admissions stages will be void if they are unable to fulfill these conditions.

Students with backlogs

  • It should be made clear that CAT applicants with academic backlogs from their graduate degree are still eligible to apply and register for the exam.
  • Any candidate who receives a degree score
  • of at least 50% (45% for the reserved category) may apply for the CAT 2023.
  • Answer the question “Are you in your last year of your bachelor’s degree?” when filling out the CAT 2023 registration form, “Yes” to the inquiry.

Reservation Criteria

The admissions selection criteria for IIMs will vary from institution to institution. They adhere to the restrictions on reservations imposed by the Indian government.

See the table below to learn about the CAT eligibility requirements for OBC, MBC, SC, ST, PwD, and General Category:

Category Reserved Percentage
NC-OBC (Non-Creamy Other Backward Classes)
SC (Scheduled Caste)
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)
Up to 10%
ST (Scheduled Tribe)
PwD (Person with Disability)

Candidates with Work Experience

  • There is no prerequisite for prior employment experience for candidates. There is no requirement to meet it, even if the CAT Application Form 2023 asks for it.
  • It should be mentioned that IIMs may give this work experience considerable weight during the final test. The actual weighting, however, has never been made public and will differ from one IIM to another IIM.

Person with Disability

Candidates can only take advantage of the PwD benefit after submitting the PwD certification issued by an appropriate authority.

The following provides information on the many sorts of disabilities recognized under the PwD reservation:

  • Blind or low vision applicants.
  • Candidates who have hearing problems.
  • Candidates with cerebral palsy or a locomotive impairment.

Marks Calculation

  • The method that each institution or university where the candidates received their degrees will use to determine the final score will be the basis for computing the CAT percentage.
  • Marks will be converted into percentages for CGPA and grades in accordance with a procedure approved by the relevant institution or university.
  • In a different scenario, the percentage will be determined by dividing the student’s CGPA by the maximum CGPA and multiplying the result by 100 if no institution or university offers any plans for change.

Who is Ineligible?

If the individual is pursuing a professional degree (CS, CA, or ICWA) without taking the bachelor’s degree exam. The candidate is pursuing a professional degree and Bachelor’s degree but has not yet finished both.

The candidate is ineligible to apply for the CAT if his or her degree score is less than 50% (45% for SC/ ST/ PWD candidates).

Things that are forbidden at the CAT center

  • Calculator, watch, phone, tablet, or any other electronic device are prohibited at the CAT center.
  • Metallic accessories jewelry.
  • Clothes with pockets, bags, jackets, and closed-toe shoes. Foods and drinks.
  • A medical certificate is required for anyone who has any type of metal implant in their body.

CAT Results

The CAT results are released in January. You can obtain a PDF version of the scorecard from the official website.

The ways to check and get your CAT 2023 result are as follows:

  • You can find a tab labelled “CAT scorecard/result” on the official website.
  • Please enter your password and linked CAT application number.
  • Select “scorecard” to see the “CAT score report” section.


The CAT 2023 exam format will probably be similar to the CAT 2022 format.

This suggests that there will be three slots available for the exam. The exam will include 66 questions and a total time limit of 120 minutes. Each portion will have 40 minutes allotted to it.

The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA) portions are anticipated to be in the same order. It is acceptable to perform calculations with a simple on-screen calculator.

There will be three sections in the CAT Exam:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

Let’s discuss about them in detail.

Verbalability & Reading Comprehension

The major goal of the CAT VARC part is to evaluate applicants’ proficiency in English as well as their ability to comprehend and interpret paragraphs, major ideas and central theme.

Reading comprehension passages have always dominated the VARC part, accounting for over 70% of the total questions. There were 24 questions (40 mins.) asked in this section last year.

In the Verbal Ability section, the following are the primary topics from which the questions will be drawn:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Para Completion
  • Para summary & Para jumbles
  • Odd One Out

A combination of questions from the reading comprehension sections and the verbal abilities part make up the entire exam.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT

The section on logical thinking and data interpretation tests the candidates’ ability to analyze data and comprehend logical premises. There were 20 questions (40 mins.) asked in this section altogether.              

Caselets, tables, charts, graphs, and typical reasoning subjects like arrangements, syllogisms, blood relations, etc. are extensively covered in DI-LR sets. This segment receives a high score since the questions are simple to answer but some students find this section a little tricky.

The data interpretation phase, on the other hand, is a little challenging and time-consuming.

This section has a number of perplexing data caselets, and in order to correctly answer the problem sets, aspirants must fully comprehend the data sets.

Quantitative Aptitude

The quantitative portion of the exam primarily focuses on the fundamental ideas and areas of arithmetic, number theory, algebra, measurement, geometry, and modern mathematics.

The majority of the questions in this part are in the areas of arithmetic and algebra. There were a total of 24 questions (40 mins.) asked in this section last year.

The five topics that make up the entire quantitative section are:

  1. Arithmetic
  2. Algebra
  3. Number System
  4. Geometry and Mensuration
  5. Modern math


With sufficient preparation and review of the syllabus subjects, the quantitative aptitude component of the CAT ranges in complexity from easy to fairly challenging.

List of important topics in Quantitative Aptitude:

  • Algebra
  • Alligations and mixtures Area
  • Problems on Age
  • Averages, Mean, Median and Mode
  • Boat Problems
  • Chain rule
  • Discount
  • Data Interpretation
  • Games and Races
  • Heights and distances
  • Inequalities
  • Number Series
  • LCM and HCF
  • Linear Equations
  • Logarithms
  • Number theory
  • Number System – Fractions, Decimals
  • Partnerships
  • Percentages
  • Pipes and Cisterns
  • Permutation and Combinations
  • Points, lines and angles
  • Probability
  • Profit and Loss
  • Progressions
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Ratio and Proportions
  • Remainder  theorem and unit digit
  • Sets and Venn Diagrams
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Simplification and Approximation
  • Speed, Distance and Time
  • Stocks and shares
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Surds, Indices, Exponents, and Powers
  • Surface area
  • Time and Work
  • Problems on Train
  • Trigonometry
  • Volumes
  • Work and Wages


  • There will be MCQs as well as TITA (Type In The Answer) questions in the exam.
  • Each right response receives three points. Each incorrect response is deducted one.
  • For questions requiring TITAs (type in the answer), negative marking is not permitted.
  • The portions are to be attempted in a specific order. Sections begin with VARC, then move on to DILR, and finally QA.

Evolution Of CAT Over Past 5 Years

The CAT exam’s pattern outline is provided below:

Year Time Duration Section No. of questions in each sections Total No. of questions
120 min.
24 / 20 / 22
120 min.
24 / 20 / 22
120 min.
26 / 24 / 26
180 min.
34 / 32 / 34
180 min.
34 / 32 / 34


  • PGP – Post Graduate Program in Management. The IIMs’ flagship programme, is on par with an MBA. It is a full- time, two-year curriculum that lasts for six trimesters.
  • PGDHRM – PGP in Human Resource Management. The IIM Ranchi’s flagship programme is this one. It is provided by IIM Indore, and other IIMs also offer related courses.
  • PGP- FABM (Food and Agribusiness Management). It’s offered by IIM-A, which shares the first year’s course with PGP. The emphasis in FABM’s second year is mostly on agriculturally related topics.
  • PGPPM – PGP in Public Policy and Management. It is a one-year programme run by IIM-B, and is designed to teach students about public policy and leadership.
  • PGPBM – PGP in Business Management. IIM Tiruchirappalli provides PGPBM. This two-year programme was designed to guide working executives toward more senior leadership positions.
  • PGPEM – PGP in Enterprise Management. IIM Bangalore offers this weekend course that lasts for two years. It is intended for those with a minimum of four years of professional experience.
  • PGP-ABM – PGP in Agri-Business Management. IIM Lucknow has expanded a two-year full-time curriculum for it. It is specially intended to foster the growth of agribusiness executives.
  • PGP-SM – PGP in Sustainable Management IIM Lucknow offers a two-year full-time curriculum in this area. It seeks to develop experts who are well-versed in social, economic, and environmental issues

Table representing the courses offered by various IIMs:

IIMs Courses offered
IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Amritsar
MBA / EMBA / MBA-Business Analytics / MBA-HRM
IIM Bangalore
IIM Bodh Gaya
IIM Calcutta
IIM Indore
IIM Jammu
Executive MBA / PGP in Health Care Management / PGP in Hospital Administration
IIM Kashipur
MBA / MBA (Analytics) / EMBA
IIM Kozhikode
IIM Lucknow
IIM Nagpur
IIM Raipur
IIM Ranchi
PGP / PGP-HRM / PGP (Business Analytics)
IIM Rohtak
IIM Sambalpur
MBA / Executive MBA
IIM Shillong
IIM Sirmaur
IIM Tiruchirappalli
IIM Udaipur
IIM Visakhapatnam
February 8, 2023

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