The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test (CBT) conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) as a pre-requisite for admission to various management programmes of IIMs.

Test Duration & Pattern (CAT 2014)


No. of Questions



1.Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation


85 minutes

2.Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning


85 minutes



2 hrs. 50 mins


ü  The candidate must be a graduate with 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of SC/ST/DA/PWD) or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the ministry of HRD, Government of India.

ü  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. (Candidate if selected needs to submit a certificate latest by 30th June 2013 from the Principal/Registrar of College/Institute stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.)

ü  There is no age based restriction for appearing in CAT

ü  There is no restriction on number of attempts ( however in one year you can attempt CAT only once)

How to apply

Once the notification of CAT is out a detailed description on how to apply for CAT in that particular year will be displayed in the official website ( ex: . Students can then follow the directions given in the website to apply for the CAT.


What is the syllabus for CAT

CAT is an ever changing and evolving examination so it is difficult to pin point the exact syllabus of CAT, however keeping in mind the history of CAT from the time it was a paper based test (i.e till 2008) to its present avatar (the CBT) we can broadly define the syllabus as follows:

Quantitative ability:

ü  Number System (basics of numbers, LCM/HCF, divisibility, remainder theorem and misc topics)

ü  Arithmetic ( Ratio, percentage, average, work and rate, speed time distance, profit and loss, SI/CI)

ü  Algebra ( Equations and progressions, inequalities , maxima and minima, Functions, Set-theory, logarithms, Permutation & Combination, Probability)

ü  Geometry ( Lines and angles, triangles, circle, polygons, volume and surface area, trigonometry, co-ordinate geometry)

Reasoning ability:

 ü  Analytical Reasoning (Puzzle type questions)

 ü  Mathematical Reasoning ( Reasoning sets based on number properties and mathematical aptitude)

 ü  Logical Reasoning


Data Interpretation:

 ü  Questions based on Graphs, pie-chart, tables etc ( most questions require calculation ability as well as logical acumen in interpreting the data)


Verbal Ability: 

ü  Reading Comprehension ( questions based on excerpts from literary sources e.g. Newspapers, journals, magazines, fiction and non-fiction popular books etc)

ü  Vocabulary ( questions based on word meaning  both direct as well as contextual)

ü  Grammar ( questions which check your command on English Grammar) 

ü  Verbal logic ( jumbled sentences, deductive logic, inductive reasoning, critical reasoning, paragraph completion, summary etc)


What after CAT? 

The CAT results are generally out by the first week of January. The candidates who get calls from the individual IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) are then required to participate in the final round of selection , which varies from one institute to the other. The final round can be a combination of the following: 

ü  Group Discussion : approx 10-12 students participate in a group discussion exercise where they discuss a topic that is given to them impromptu. Most of the GD topics are based on recent issues of significance but alternately they might be presented with abstract topics or CASE- STUDIES. Candidates have to display their communication skills and group dynamics in this round of selection. The GD stage is not an elimination stage. 

NOTE: of the 13 IIMS only IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode conducted Group Discussion as a part of the selection procedure. 

ü  PERSONAL INTERVIEW: Individual candidates appear for a question answer session in front of a panel of interviewers who ask questions from current affairs, work experience, academic knowledge etc.


ü  WAT (Written Aptitude Test) : All the IIMs conducted a WAT as a part of the selection procedure for the 2014 batch. The Written Ability Test is nothing but an essay-writing test with strict time constraints. Where IIM Bangalore allowed 30 minutes present one's opinion on a given topic, IIM Lucknow gave only 15 minutes to wrap it up, and at IIM Ahmadabad, time was a mere 10 minutes. Students need great command on essay writing skills and need be both fast and efficient to crack the WAT. The weightage on WAT can be approximately 15-20%.


PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the CAT score and the combined score of the second round , IIMs place great emphasis on work profile, academic background, extracurricular achievements etc. You can find about the weightage allocated to the same from the websites of the individual IIMs.


Do NON-IIM business schools accept CAT scores?


Yes, some of the top MBA colleges in India accept CAT scores, however you have to individually apply to the respective colleges to seek admission in their management programme. Here is a list of the top Universities/Colleges which accept CAT scores ( as of 2014).

1.       M.D.I ( Management Development Institute) Gurgaon 

2.       Department of Management Studies , IIT Delhi 

3.       Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras 

4.       Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay 

5.       Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi 

6.       Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee 

7.       National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai 

8.       Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSOM), IIT Kharagpur 

9.       Department of Industrial and Management Engineering (DIME), IIT Kanpur 

10.   School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad 

11.   Delhi School of Economics (DBE), New Delhi 

12.   Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad 

13.   International Management Institute, Delhi 

14.   TAPMI, Manipal 

15.   Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar 

16.   Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai  

17.   KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai