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Common Admission Test (CAT) Examination 2010


The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most prestigious, toughest & sought after entrance examination India has seen, and is jointly structured by IIMs situated at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Indore, respectively. The exam is a gateway for congregate of aspirants wanting to swarm the golden gates of IIMs.(Courtesy - Education Times).


An applicant who have, at his discretion a graduation degree from a recognized university with a passing 50% marks is said to be entitled for the CAT test. CAT scores are though accepted by numerous institutes as the admission criteria for their programs. However, different institutes have rolled out their very own entrance examinations, like Xavier’s XAT, etc.

Exam Applicable To

There is no university that accepts the CAT scores. Since CAT is conducted by the IIM, which is a set of autonomous institutes, only autonomous institutes accept CAT scores. Note that until very recently, the exam was only for the IIMs. The list however, changes every year and there is no way of knowing the exhaustive list. However, a good sample would include the following... The Indian Institutes of Management,

  • MICA (Mudra Institute of Communication)
  • TA Pai, Manipal
  • IMT, Ghaziabad
  • MDI, Gurgaon
  • Goa Institute of Management
  • Institute of Technology and Management (multiple locations all over India).
  • Institute of Management Development & Research, Pune.

Exam Dates

The CAT entrance exam for IIMs is generally held once a year in the month of November. This year also the paper is expected to be taken in the same month, but an official press release is expected from the IIMs regarding the same. Unlike previous years, CAT will be held for 12 consecutive dates at Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Guwahati, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Patna, Pune, and Vishakhapatnam.

Pattern of the Entrance Test

Barring some changes with the passage of time and situational based demands, the pattern of the paper is followed in the following ways and under the following points, respectively.

  • Mathematics- 50 Marks which consists of 10 marks for data sufficiency and 40 marks for geometry, distance, ratios, number, interests and percentage chapters respectively form the basic crust for the subjected choice.
  • Data Interpretation- For 35 Marks.
  • English- 50 marks with cut off as varied and accordingly absorbed for analogies, finding odd words & the likes, error spotting & unjumbling of jumbled sentences, etc.
  • Reading Comprehension-For 50 Marks (classically 6-8 passages).

Advantages (Pros)

On doing the test, one often feels that the test was ingenious. The questions that are tough are not sturdy simply because of tedious calculations, but because of the abstract knowledge obligatory. The exam is premeditated in such a way that rote learning, memorization, endless hours of preparing and other such beast force methods do not capitalize results by them. Theoretical indulgent is ought to have phenomenon. The exam is rather homogeneous in layout.

Disadvantages (Cons)

Absolute lack of transparency looms large mostly. No one gets to know how much they have scored. No one knows how the institutes construe/use their scores. Also, no one knows how much of the admission decision dependant is on the CAT score alone. Thus, such a lack of precision is not anticipated from management institutes of IIM fame, at least. Although many non-IIM institutes have started accepting CAT scores, the appliance charge of these institutes is still mysteriously far above the ground. The CAT is principally a test of Math and English. Logical and Analytical Reasoning is nearly not in attendance (except for some verbal reasoning). IIM aspirants who have not studied math at their graduation level stand slight prospect of scoring the least marks obligatory in the quantitative fragment.

Experts Opinion on how to prepare and nail the CAT in its very own den

"Like most exams, good study material, a study plan, a group of friends for group-study, some coaching are all required. However, due to CAT being one of the older MBA entrance exams, a lot of the study material is outdated. Then again, if you have even somewhat above average vocabulary, then spending weeks learning a list of words and their synonyms shall be a very bad investment. But several students spend weeks, often months learning synonyms. (This might make sense for the GRE, but will yield poorly for CAT). Also, one needs to ensure that one indeed understood a particular question and topic before proceeding. Too often, students are satisfied simply by getting the right answer. The idea is to focus on the right approach and speed building.” "It is also noteworthy to distinguish between one coaching class and another. Students should certainly check the credentials, methodology and faculty of the coaching classes before enrolling. The CAT coaching class industry is characterized by a lot of institutes that start with a big bang and are non-existent in a year or two. “If at all you do get a call: Different institutes have different procedures that follow. Most have a filtration process before final selection on the basis of Group Discussions and Personal Interviews. Some institutes (e.g. MICA), conduct a supplementary exam of their own.” Mr. Ajeet Khurana, the director of KITS, Mumbai who has been preparing students for MBA entrance tests of diverse forums, was quoted as saying on numerous factors doing the rounds of the mind of students involving the jinxed paper.

Useful Tips for Group Discussion and Interview

Keeping oneself fully engrossed and updated on all the current happenings in and around the vicinity by developing a habit of reading newspapers and magazines of diverse natures can yield fruitful results for a perspective aspirant. One should also grow his/her communication skills by choosing various personality development programs just like the one currently offered by KITS. A preparation of daily schedule or plan will also give an applicant insight as to how much is his preparations in synchronization with the requirement of a CAT level preparation.

Final Words

“Typically calls from the IIMs come during the end of February to the mid of April. As far as other institutes are concerned, they continue as till July. Sometimes, the date of the final exam of commerce students clashes with the dates of the G.D or the interview.” “Though, not too much can be done about the clashing of dates. However, if one is prepared in advance, one just needs to invest half a day for the GD and interview sessions. If indeed you have an exam at the same time as your GD and interview, you could try talking to the MBA institute about it. But past instances reveal that this does not usually bear fruit.” Another expert from the KITS was quipped as saying.

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