CAT (Common Admission Test) is a computer based exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on rotational basis every year usually in November as benchmark for their business administration programs. Numerous other renowned management institutions across India like Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), International Management Institute (IMI), National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Management Development Institute (Gurgaon), and several others too rely on CAT exam to execute their enrollment process.

CAT Exam 2018: Expected dates

CAT Online Registration Close 1st Week of August 2018
AT Online Registration Start September 2018
Release of Admit Card 3rd Week of October 2018
CAT Exam Date Last Week of November 2018
Results Declaration Second week of January 2019


Candidates must fulfill the following criteria:

1. Hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA. The students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PWD)/Differently Abled (DA) category candidates must have at least 45% marks.

2. The degree has be awarded by any of the 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. Applicants who are appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and the candidates who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply. If selected, such candidates will be allowed to join the program provisionally, only if she/he submits a certificate from the Principal/Registrar of her/his College/Institute (issued on or before June 30, 2018) 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.

IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided on the official IIM website.


The selection process at various colleges differs but primarily includes a Written Ability Test (WAT) and a Personal Interview (PI). The weight age of CAT score too is not uniform at all the IIMs. It ranges from 20% at some most prominent college to 80% at the newest IIMs.

Previous academic records of the candidates, relevant work experience and other similar inputs play vital role during short listing and ranking of candidates at various stages. For precise details, one may refer the admissions policies on respective IIM’s website.


A candidate has to comply with the following eligibility verification if he/she is shortlisted for WAT and PI by any IIM,

• Mark sheets and Degree Certificate

Shortlisted candidates are required to produce all the original mark sheets and submit attested copies in support of their eligibility at the time of interview. Furthermore, if a candidate is selected for a programme, he/she is also required to submit the original degree certificate and marksheets of all semesters/years along with their attested copies at the time of joining the programme.

• Reservation Category Requirements

SC, ST, NC-OBC and DA candidates, if shortlisted, are required to show their original caste/class and/or Disability certificate and submit a photocopy at the time of interview. Also, the original certificate of qualifying degree and attested copy of the same should also be submitted for verification if a candidate is selected for a programme.

• Candidates in the Final Year of Graduation

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. However, it may be noted that such candidates, if selected, will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if they submit a certificate from the Principal / Registrar of their University/institution (issued on or before the date as stipulated by the respective IIM) stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the Bachelor‟s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.

Test pattern and duration

CAT Exam Pattern is unpredictable and it changes every year. Since last two years, the structure of the test has undergone a few changes. CAT is a computer-based test which consists of 100 objective type questions.

There are 3 sections in the test:

  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

The Quantitative Ability and Verbal & Reading Comprehension sections consisted 34 questions each, whereas the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section had 32 questions. This distribution of questions was same for CAT 2015 , CAT 2016 and CAT 2017. Before this, the distribution of questions was different. Followings are crucial points for CAT 2018:

  • A few questions in each section of CAT may be of non-MCQs type questions (TITA- Type In The Answer).
  • Exactly 60 minutes will be allotted for answering each section.
  • Each question carries 3 marks and there is negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer.
  • No negative marking for non-MCQ type questions.
  • A virtual calculator (on-screen calculator) will be available throughout for the purpose of calculation.

The test takers cannot switch between the sections and have to attend the test in a particular order. The order of the sections is same for all the applicants-

  • VARC
  • DI & LR, and
  • QA

Four scaled scores will be presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and three separate scaled scores for each section. As the three sections evaluate distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.