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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