What is CAT exam? know all about CAT Exam

 What is the CAT exam?

As we know that The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test, and you should that the CAT is the most popular national-level management entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admission of aspiring students to 20 IIM’s and more than 1000 Business-schools in all over India. It is conducted and administered by one of the IIMs on a yearly rotational basis. CAT exam is usually conducted on the last Sunday of November month or the first Sunday of December month. In 2021 CAT exam is conducted on the 28th of November (Sunday).

Eligibility Criteria for CAT

  • Candidates of any age with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized University/ institute with 50% aggregate marks or equivalent CGPA(45% for SC/ST/PwD) can apply for the CAT exam 2021.
  • Final year students of graduation are also eligible to take CAT 2021.
  • No age limit.
  • No limit on the number of attempts
  • The obtained bachelor’s degree should be recognized by the MHRD.
  • If a candidate is in the final year and wants to appear for the CAT exam then the candidate should have a previous year pass certificate.
  • The candidate has at least 3 years of degree and an old degree which is of 2 years only also eligible for CAT exam but the university is recognized by UGC.

The program offered through CAT

Courses in IIMs through the CAT examination are conducted to get admission in several Post Graduate Programmes (PGP), Doctoral, and Executive programs in IIMs spread across the country. Some institutes even offer Fellowship Programmes in Management (FPM) which is equal to Ph.D. List of courses offered in IIMs. PG-FABM (Food and Agribusiness Management), PGPM (PGP in Public policy and management ), PGEM (PG in Enterprise Management), EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Program in Management), PGSM (PG in sustainable Management), PGBM (PG in Business Management), and FPM ( Fellow Program in Management).

CAT Exam Pattern, Test Structure & marking Scheme

Here is the detailed exam pattern and marking scheme of the CAT exam

CAT 2021 Section


Allotted Time

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)


40 minutes

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI)


40 minutes

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)


40 minutes



120 minutes

  • 3 marks for every correct response
  • Negative marking for every wrong MCQ which is 33% negative marking for one response.
  • No negative marking for wrong non-MCQ response

Detailed CAT Exam Pattern 2021

  • VARC Section: 4 Reading comprehension passages with 18 multiple choice questions, 8 Non-MCQs are subdivided into para summaries, para jumbles, and context sentences.
  • DILR: Data interpretation: 14 Questions, and Logical Reasoning:10 Questions. All in sets of 6 & 4 Questions.
  • Quantitative ability: High on Arithmetic, And Other on Geometry, Log, Algebra, Roots, etc.

Top 10 IIMs and their cut off score for CAT Exam

Here are the top Indian institute of management (IIMs) with minimum cutoffs which are taken from last year cutoffs of all the IIMs that are given below in the tabular form

Name of IIMs

Minimum Cut-off

IIM Ahmedabad


IIM Bangalore


IIM Calcutta


IIM Lucknow


IIM Indore


IIM Kozhikode


IIM Shillong


IIM Raipur


IIM Ranchi


IIM Rohtak


Top 10 Non-IIMs and their cut off score

Here are India’s top Management institutes with minimum cutoffs except for all IIMs which are given below in the tabular form

Name of Non-IIM Institution

Minimum cut-off needed

FMS, Delhi


MDI, Gurgaon


IMT, Ghaziabad


JIM, Mumbai


Indian Institute of Technology Bombay


Indian Institute of Technology Delhi


Indian Institute of Technology Madras


JBIMS Mumbai


Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur


Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur


What happens if you crack CAT Exam

As mentioned above, after qualifying for the CAT entrance test, candidates will have to appear for a further selection round. Admission criteria of IIMs and other Business-schools are different normally these tests are important for admissions writing Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), Personal Interview (PI). You can use the CAT score for abroad studies to get admission to abroad management universities and business schools.

Frequently asked questions about CAT exam

CAT exam is easy or hard?

The common admission test (CAT) is one of the biggest and competitive exams in the management field.

What is the minimum CAT score required to get admission in IIMs?

If you want to get admission to IIM you have to score 85 plus, then you have a chance in IIM Ahmedabad.

Minimum CAT to get a seat in FMS Delhi?

You have to score a minimum of 98 out of 100 in the CAT exam to get admission into the FMS Delhi.

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