Common Admission Test (CAT) Exam

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based examination conducted for admission in a graduate management program. IIMs have one of the stringiest selection processes and are known to produce the most successful managers in the country. It is a pre-requisite for admission to various Post Graduate and Fellow programmes of IIMs. Common Admission Test (CAT) scores are also allowed to be used by listed non-IIM member institutions. A list of such institutions is provided on the CAT website every year. The exam is conducted every year by IIMs on a rotational basis. The CAT exam offer more than 4000 seats for admission into their management programs.

Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates appearing for the Common Admission Test (CAT) entrance exam ensured that they met CAT eligibility criteria before they started filling the application form.
1. A candidate is eligible to appear in CAT if he/she holds a Bachelor's Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA. The candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) categories need to score at least 45% marks.
2. The degree must have been awarded by any of the recognized Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
3. Candidates appearing for the final year of Bachelor's degree or equivalent examination and those who have already completed degree examinations but are awaiting results are also eligible to appear in the exam.
There is no age bar to appear for CAT exam.

Reservation and category:

S.No  Category  Reservation 
1 Scheduled Tribe (ST) 7.5 per cent
2 Scheduled Caste (SC) 15 per cent 
3 Other Backward Classes (OBC) belonging to non-creamy layers 27 per cent 
4 Persons with disability  3 percent 


Registration for the exam needs to be done online in the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2019 official website. A registration form includes entering personal details, contact information, academic details, work experience, program preference and exam center preference. Candidates also need to upload scanned documents like Photograph, Signature, Category certificate (if any) and disability certificate (if any). The examination fees can also be pay through online process.
The exam is generally held every year in the month of November and December. The CAT examination is mostly divided in three sections: Verbal Ability, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation and Quantitative Aptitude. The exam contains both multiple choice questions and non-multiple choice questions. Wrong answer also carries negative marking. The exam duration is 180 minutes which contains 100 questions.
Once the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam is conducted, the IIMs announce their individual cutoffs marks. Candidates who qualify in CAT have to appear for further selection rounds. On the basis of candidate’s performance in the admission test, academic performance & relevant work experience, the candidates will be shortlisted for the second stage by any of the IIMs. In second stage, he/she has to appear selection rounds consist of a Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI). Based on the scores, applicants are eligible to take admission in the respective IIM or any business school listed under CAT.