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CAT : Examination Pattern 2010


Here is a dream career worth dying for! Completing a management program from the imminent Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) could cruise you in a rich salary soup, with 6 figures and even 7, if you are amongst the choicest one. Wait, we understand that it would not be okay to disturb you in your enthrallment of dream but before that you need to nab a thing called CAT which is the first step to the prestigious IIMs. However, this CAT is very nostalgic and that’s why we crop up here to “show you how” techniques of clearing the entrance test. (Courtesy:

Applying For The CAT

For applying to the CAT 2010, a candidate must hold a Bachelor's Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of candidates belonging to SC/ ST or Persons with Disability], of any of the Universities or Institutes recognized by the UGC or the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. The Bachelor's Degree or equivalent qualification obtained by the candidate must be of minimum three years duration after completing Higher Secondary schooling (10+2) or equivalent. Candidates in their final year of graduation/ equivalent qualification and those who have completed the exams and are awaiting results are also eligible for the CAT 2010. They must produce a certificate from the Principal / Head of the Department/ Registrar/ Director of the University / Institution certifying that he / she is currently in the final year awaiting final results.

Obtaining the CAT Application Form

The Common Admission Test application form and the bulletin can be obtained from the selected branches of Axis Bank on payment of Rs. 1300/- (Rs. 650/- for SC/ST candidates). However, under exceptional circumstances, CAT 2010 application form and bulletin can also be obtained from any of the IIMs by sending a crossed demand draft of Rs. 1300/- (Rs. 650/- for SC/ST candidates) drawn in favor of the respective CAT 2010 results would be available from January 2011. CAT results can be accessed on and also by using SMS facility or by sending an e-mail. SMS should be sent to 57333 after inserting ‘CAT test registration number date of birth (dd mm yy)’ or ‘CAT test registration application number’.

Sections In The CAT

  • Comprehension :

    This section requires examinees to read passages (about 700 words in length), following which they answer three to four questions relating to the passage. Rachita Loke, who gave the CAT exam last year, says, "This section is the toughest, as one has to read the passage with utmost concentration. Answering questions from the passage is even tougher, as they are hidden somewhere deep in the throes. Speed and concentration are extremely necessary here." Grimly, Kuresh says "It takes about five minutes to read a passage, leaving us with only 30-40 seconds to answer each question. That's injustice!"

  • Mathematics :

    This section has questions that deal with the basics of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Being an expert in mathematics, Rachita had no problem in solving this section. She says, "Each question in this section looks simple and straightforward, but on closer inspection, there was a smart trick cleavaged behind each query. I had to keep my eyes wide open to identify such stratagem." About his experience in solving this section, Kuresh says, "Practise made me perfect. After solving dozens of practice test papers, I identified where I made mistakes, and worked on rectifying them. When I did the Maths section in the CAT, I felt I was on home stretch."

  • Verbal :

    In today's corporate world, having good language skills are extremely important, especially in English. The "Verbal" section tests the grammatical and verbal skills of an applicant to check their understanding of the English language. Included amongst the questions are small passages (of which the examinees are expected to draw inferences), analogies, antonyms and synonyms, fill in the blanks, correcting sentences, arranging sentences in order, etc. Kuresh says, "This section was no sweat." Rachita agrees. Fondly remembering her CAT days, she adds, "In fact, I didn't know I was this good in English."

  • Data Interpretation :

    Popularly known as "DI", this section tests the analytical and logical skills of examinees by seeing how well they interpret data, which is in form of graphs, charts and tables. Explaining this section, Kuresh says, "We were required to answer questions based on the data available in graphs and tables. Analyzing the tables took some time, but once I got the hang of it, it was a breeze." Rachita was disappointed by the way she performed in this section. "It took loads of time to deal with the first 3 sections," she says, "so I wasn't left with a minimal amount of time to solve this section. I didn't answer a lot of questions because I wasn't sure of some answers. My logical skills took a thorough beating."


There are some institutes that offer study material and preparatory classes for the CAT.

Institute of Management Studies
1/45 Tardeo AC Market Building
Mumbai 400 034
Tel 4953100 / 4954637
Fax (022) 4931584

KITS (Khurana Information and Trading Systems)
United Business Center
311 Balaji Darshan
Tilak Road
Santacruz (W)
Mumbai 400054
Tel: 6492592. 6492595, 6051642
Fax: 6051643


IIM is not the only institute that considers the CAT score a criterion for admission. Management Development Institute (Gurgaon), BITS, MICA and others also depend upon the CAT for the admission of students to their courses. Some institutes prefer an applicant's CAT score over their own entrance test scores. That shows the importance of the CAT if you are trying to gain admission into management.

So, put on your thinking cap, retrieve that old mathematics book from your dusty cabinet and burn the midnight oil. Who knows, some day you might end up doing mathematics with loads of hard cash!

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