Kiarra Gaba, Blogger at Edumarz

CAT(Common Admission Test) is a complete computer-based test for candidates who aspire to get admission in graduate management programs. CAT was a paper-based test before 2009. With time the pattern, modes, and durations changed. The American firm Prometric was entrusted to conduct CAT online from 2009 to 2013. CAT is open to all graduates and is conducted to get admission into any management programs of IIM’s(Indian Institutes of Management) and all top B-schools across the country.



Exam name

Common Admission Test



Held by

IIM’s (Indian Institute of Management)

Exam level


Exam frequency

Annual (once a year)

Exam mode

Online (computer-based)

IIM’s included

20 IIM’s


2 hours (Note: the pattern of the examination including questions and durations keeps changing with time so make sure you check the official website before appearing for the exam)

Types of questions

MCQ and non- MCQ

Help desk



Official website



  • For registration, the candidates need to visit the official website first to apply for CAT.

  • After you login into the official website, register yourself as a new user and generate a new user ID and password.

  • Then login with the credentials and fill the application form.

  • The form will require your personal details, work experiences, academic results and experience, your preferred test city, etc.

  • Once you fill the form make sure that you check it entirely before submitting it because the website doesn’t allow correction once the form is submitted.

  •  After the form submission, you need to pay the fee through any online mode like net banking, credit/ debit card, etc.

  • The candidates will receive the payment confirmation through email.



  • The candidate must hold a graduation degree with a minimum of 50% or equal CGPA. Whereas 45% for SC/ ST/ PWD/ DA(Differently Abled).

  • Final year students appearing for the bachelor’s degree can also apply. 

  • But the final year students/ applicants need to present their bachelor’s degree certificate at the time of admission.

  • The degree must be presented by the university or institution that is consolidated by the act of the central / state statutory body in India. 

  • Candidates are expected to visit the official website to check the recently updated eligibility details before applying. 




2 hours

Slots available 

3( morning, afternoon, and evening)

Total questions

66(varies every year)

Exam sections


VARC section

24 questions(approx)

DILR section

20 questions(approx)

QA section

22 questions(approx)

Negative marking

-1 mark deducted for every wrong answer 

Positive marking

+3 marks awarded for every right answer 

Exam mode




The CAT exam has three sections that test different skills and aspects of the candidate’s excellence. All three sections have different topics covered that need to be prepared. The topics are :


  1. Averages

  2. Ratio & Proportion

  3. LCM and HCF

  4. Percentages

  5. Profit and Loss

  6. Interest (Simple and Compound)

  7. Speed, Time and Distance Time and Work

  8. Number System

  9. Algebra

  10. Geometry/Mensuration

  11. Pure Math

  12. Venn diagrams

  13. Linear Equations

  14. Quadratic Equations

  15. Complex Numbers

  16. Logarithm

  17. Progressions

  18. Binomial Theorem

  19. Surds and Indices

  20. Inequalities

  21. Permutation and Combination Probability Functions

  22. Set Theory

  23. Mixtures and Alligations

  24. Coordinate Geometry

  25. Trigonometry



  1. Data comparison from Table

  2. Graphs

  3. Bar charts – Simple, Stacked, Composite Bar charts

  4. Pie charts

  5. Caselets

  6. Data Analysis

  7. Direction sense

  8. Team formation

  9. Seating Arrangement

  10. Blood Relation

  11. Clocks

  12. Calendars

  13. Binary logic

  14. Logical Sequence

  15. Assumption

  16. Premise

  17. Conclusion

  18. Linear and matrix arrangement

  19. Input-Output

  20. Series

  21. Syllogism

  22. Cubes

  23. Rows

  24. Set Theory

  25. Venn Diagrams

  26. Network Diagrams

  27. Quantitative Reasoning

  28. Puzzles



  1. The main idea in the passage

  2. Assumption

  3. Inferences, Statements, Arguments

  4. Synonyms-antonyms

  5. Phrasal meaning & Usage

  6. Para Summary

  7. Jumbled paragraphs 

  8. Odd sentence out of Jumbled paragraph

  9. Error Corrections

  10. Sequence of sentences

  11. Vocabulary usage

  12. Fill in the blanks

  13. Completion of Paragraph

  14. Analogies

  15. Critical Reasoning

  16. Sentence Completion



The best material to prepare yourself for the CAT exam or the books that candidates need to cover to pass through the exam are :

  1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

  2. Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by  Sarvesh K Verma

  3. How to prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma

  4. How to prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma

  5. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  6. CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri 

  7. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  8. CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri

  9. Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal

  10. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay

  11. ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha

  12. Arihant Book on Verbal Ability: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh



The fee structure for candidates can also vary with time, so the aspirants are required to give a look at the latest changes in the fee before they apply.

General/ unreserved category

INR 2,200(approx)

SC/ ST/ OBC Category




Courses offered by IIMs through CAT vary. It usually offers postgraduate, doctoral, and executive programs. But a few institutions also offer Fellowship Programs in Management(FPM). Courses thereby offered through CAT are :

  1. PGP (Post Graduate Program in Management) 

  2. PGP- FABM (Food and Agribusiness Management) 

  3. PGPEM (PGP in Enterprise Management) 

  4. PGPPM (PGP in Public Policy and Management) 

  5. EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Program in Management) 

  6. PGPSM (PGP in Sustainable Management) 

  7. PGPWE (PGP in Management for Working Executive) 

  8. PGPBM (PGP in Business Management) 

  9. FPM (Fellow Program in Management)

The syllabus for effectively clearing CAT is never precise. It usually varies depending on the recent CAT exam pattern. The changing syllabus or pattern can be checked over the official website or the websites dealing with the same information.


  • RESULT :


  • The result is always announced online.

  • To check your result you need to visit the official website.

  • The candidates who appeared for the test are informed via email about the result being available online.

  • The candidates are required to fill in their user ID and the password that they generated at the time of registration to view the result.

  • Once the result appears on your screen make sure you download it and print it out too for future reference.

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