CAT Exam 2016 – All You Need To Know

Common Admission Test or popularly known as CAT exam is an entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management for admissions to their 13 management institutes across India for Master of Business Administration and similar management programs that they offer. Apart from these Management Institutes, there are a number of other business schools across India who consider CAT Exam score as their benchmark for admissions. CAT Exam is considered toughest of all the MBA entrance exams in India.

CAT exam date

CAT is usually conducted in the month of November every year for which online registrations starts in the month of August. You just have to sign up, log-in, create a profile and make online payment for the exam. Dates for CAT 2015 are expected to be released in July–August.

CAT Exam Eligibility

While the exam has basic eligibility criteria like the candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA, the 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. Validity of your CAT score will be one year.

CAT Exam Pattern

CAT Exam while every year comes up with a new twist there is no fixed pattern apart from generally having two sections the first section being Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and the second section being Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning each section sharing 50% of the marks.

CAT Exam Preparation

Since answering the CAT Exam paper is very tacky, preparing yourself for CAT exam plays a crucial role. Mastering entire syllabus alone doesn’t help scoring well in CAT exam but also planning how to answer your paper while managing the time equally for sections is what counts at the end of the day because there is cut off marks set to each and every section and also, there is time allocated to each section. So, neither your expertise in one section alone helps nor you answering all questions correct in that section and not even going through the other sections would. You have to learn how to answer your paper along with learning your subjects to crack this exam.

CAT Exam Syllabus

1. Quantitative Ability
Covers most of the high school and class tweleve maths. Questions can be on anything and everything of mathematics from Number Systems, LCM and HCF, Percentage Profit, Loss and Discount, simple and compound interest, problems on Speed, Time and Distance, Time and Work, Averages, Ratio and Proportion, Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Complex Numbers, Logarithm, Progressions, Binomial Theorem, Surds and Indices, Inequalities, Permutation and Combination, Probability, Functions, Set Theory, Mixtures and Alligations, Geometry, Co-ordinate Geometry, Trigonometry to Mensuration.

2. Data Interpretation
Data is given in the form of tables, charts or graphs. Mainly tests candidate’s interpretation skills. Questions contain Tables, Column Graphs, Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Chart, Venn Diagrams, Case lets or combination of two or more of these types linked to each other.

3. Logical reasoning
Logical reasoning questions can be on Number and Letter Series, Calendars, Clocks, Cubes, Venn Diagrams, Binary Logic, Seating Arrangement, Logical Sequence, Logical Matching, Logical Connectives, Syllogism and Blood Relations.

4. Verbal Ability
In this section questions are based on vocabulary, usage of English, sentence corrections, passages, facts, judgments and reading comprehension. Vocabulary questions test the candidate’s knowledge of the primary meaning of words, synonyms, usage, idioms and phrases, antonyms etc. Questions on grammar tests the candidate’s ability to identify and correct grammatical errors or grammatical strength of the candidate, questions on phrasal verbs, use of articles, prepositions, etc. Verbal reasoning questions are designed to test the candidate’s ability to identify relationship or pattern within the group of words or sentences.

Why take up CAT?

CAT is taken up by every prospective management aspirer because it is accepted by the top institutes like Indian Institutes of Management (IIM’s),Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT’s), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), apart from these most MBA colleges and business schools across India consider CAT scores for admissions to MBA or equivalent program though there are other exams like MAT, XAT, JMET, IIFT, SNAP etc which are accepted in some schools.

CAT Courses

There are a number of publications who offer best books to prepare for CAT. You also get ebooks and online CAT preparation courses and course materials one of which is which offers one of the best online CAT Exam coaching.

Top MBA colleges

There are more than 3000 MBA colleges in India among which below are considered top colleges.

Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi, Delhi
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA)
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB)
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC)
Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIMI)
Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK)
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIML)
Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai
S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai
XLRI Xavier Institute of Management, Jamshedpur

Department of Management Studies (DMS), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)
Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIMI), Mumbai campus
Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
Indian Institute of Management Raipur
Indian Institute of Management Ranchi
Indian Institute of Management Rohtak
Indian Institute of Management Shillong
Indian Institute of Management Trichy
Indian Institute of Management Udaipur
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Kolkata
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi
Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai
Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai


CAT is for Indian business schools. If you are planning for an MBA abroad then GMAT is what you have to take up. But having said this if you are not aiming at top ten colleges in the globe then MBA in India is better than any other college abroad. MBA from top Indian MBA institutes are valued worldwide as one among the best. Lots of students come from other countries to do their MBA in India.


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