CAT 2021: Updated Exam Pattern, Preparation, Notification, Exam Date, Syllabus, Selection Procedure

CAT (Common Admission Test) is the premium entrance exam held by IIMs for admissions into top business schools.  This year, CAT 2021 will be held jointly by IIM Ahmedabad, India’s best b-school according to MHRD NIRF and TCS (Tata Consultancy Services). The CAT Exam score is accepted as a qualifier in over a 100 Business Schools. It is the most popular amongst the MBA Entrance Exams due to the vast number of colleges accepting the CAT Score including the top B-Schools in India such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IMT Ghaziabad, MDI Gurgaon, FMS New Delhi etc.

The CAT 2021 Notification has been released! For more information: Click here

CAT 2021 can go in 2 different directions when it comes to the CAT Exam. It can stick to the modified pattern of CAT 2020 or it can go back to the previous pattern of 100 questions. As per the CAT Notification, which was released on 31st July, 2021, there are 3 exam slots on 28th November (CAT Exam Date) which means that CAT 2021 is likely to follow the CAT 2020 Exam Pattern.This means that CAT 2021 Exam will have a duration of 2 hours with 76 Questions in total. The mode of examination will be online and non adaptive.

During the year 2017, IIMs, for the first time, released the CAT Question Paper and Answer Key, and this practice has continued in CAT 2018 & CAT 2019 as well. With this transparency leap, CAT exam, which is an official Indian Entrance exam, is now being accepted by international business schools as well. Since CAT 2017, the CAT Exam has released its question paper for public scrutiny which has convinced a few international business schools like Singapore Management University to accept the CAT score for admissions into their business programs.

The CAT Exam is also quite simple in terms of the procedures to be followed.

  • It starts with the CAT 2021 Notification which has been released as of 31st July 2021. The CAT 2021 Notification will also be announced in all the newspaper dailies and inform the candidate about the CAT 2021 Exam Date and the timeline of the CAT 2021 Registration Process (4th August 2021 to 22nd September 2021).

  • The CAT Registration is followed by the CAT 2021 Exam itself which will be held on 28th November 2021. A CAT Mock will be released just prior to the CAT 2021 Exam to give the candidate an idea of what to expect in the CAT 2021 Exam in terms of the test interface.

  • The concerned IIM for conducting CAT declares the final answer key before declaring the CAT result so that candidate checks his/her answers in the meantime. The last date to raise objections against the preliminary answer key is somewhere in the second week of December.

  • The final stage is the CAT 2021 Result and the selection procedures followed by the colleges to pick the best candidates for their college.

Read below for further details regarding CAT 2021 Exam, Notification, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Important Dates, Eligibility Criteria, Preparation strategy, and more.

The first milestone that every CAT aspirant looks forward to is the CAT 2021 Notification. The CAT 2021 Notification, which has been released on 31st July 2021, marks the start of the fervent CAT Season which kicks off in earnest around August-September picking up the pace in November & December and finally stops around June. The CAT 2021 Notification is the time when the serious CAT aspirants start counting down their days for preparation. The CAT 2021 Notification may reveal some details about the CAT 2021 Exam like:

  • CAT 2021 Exam Date: 28th November 2021

  • CAT 2021 Exam Registration: 4th August 2021 to 22nd September 2021

  • Any Changes in CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

Some other details about the CAT 2021 Notification and subsequent Registration are:

CAT 2021 Notification: Important Dates

  • CAT 2021 Official Notification Release – 31st July 2021
  • CAT 2021 Registration Commences – 4th August 2021
  • CAT 2021 Registration Completes – 22nd September 2021
  • CAT 2021 Issuance of Hall Ticket– 27th October 2021
  • CAT 2021 Exam Date – 28th November 2021
  • CAT 2021 Publishing the Solution Key - First week of December 2021
  • CAT 2021 Solution Key Challenge Process – First week of December 2021
  • CAT 2021 Declaration of Result – Second week of January 2022

CAT 2021 is an online CBT (Computer Based) mode to be held on 28th November, 2021. The CAT 2021 Notification has been released as of 31st July 2021 and also contains details like the number of preferred test centres a CAT aspirant can choose apart from the registration and exam date. CAT 2020 aspirants could choose six test cities which is an upgrade from choosing four test cities during CAT 2019 registration. The registration fee had also been increased by Rs. 200 (for candidates from the General Category) as compared to last year i.e. Rs 2200 (for open candidates) and Rs 1100 (for SC/ST/OBC/PwD).

Read in detail : CAT Notification

CAT 2021 Notification

CAT 2021 Registration Process

  • 1. Visit the CAT website - Visit www.iimat.ac.in to create your online application form 
  • 2. Click Register - Enter your name, email ID, date of birth, mobile number and nationality and generate an OTP. OTP will be emailed to you. Enter the OTP and verify your account. Your CAT ID and password will be emailed to you.
  • 3. Fill up the details - Login again using the same ID and password. Fill in the tabs related to personal information, academic information, work experience and six preferred cities. Upload the required photo and signature with image size not less than 80 KB and format no other than jpg/jpeg. 
  • 4. Complete your application – Complete your application by selecting your IIM preference. Review your application form and complete the payment.
  • 5. Login to your profile – Log in again using your ID and password and download the application form. You can also take a printout for future reference.
  • 6. Get the credential via SMS: You will always get your ID , Password and other CAT-related alerts as SMS on your registered mobile number. In case you forgot your username or password, you can refer to your messenger to find the same.

Here is a pictorial representation of CAT 2021 Registration:

CAT 2021 Online Application

The CAT 2021 online application form is usually divided into the following sections:

  • Personal Details
  • Contact Details
  • Academic Details
  • Work Experience
  • Choosing IIMs you want to apply for
  • Choose Test Centre and Interview City

On completing the information on the form, click 'Save & Next' option. As the next step, you will be required to upload your photograph and signature in the respective sections. The last step of the CAT 2021 registration process is the payment of the application fee via Credit/Debit Card or Net Banking.


CAT 2021 Application Fee

  • The application fee for General/OBC category candidates is INR 2200.
  • The application fee for SC/ST/PWD category candidates is INR 1100.
  • The mode of application fee payment is completely online through Credit/Debit Card or Net Banking.

CAT 2021 Test cities:

CAT 2021 is expected to be held in 157+ cities across all the major states/union territories of India. Candidates are expected to select up to six preferred test cities in CAT 2021 Application form.

All the relevant information regarding CAT 2021 test cities is available on the CAT 2021 website.

CAT 2021 test mode:

The CAT 2021 Exam is expected to be held in a non adaptive, computer-based mode. A CAT Mock will be released just prior to the CAT 2021 Exam to give the candidate an idea of what to expect in the CAT 2021 Exam.

CAT 2021 Application Update

In case of any image-scanning errors or resolution errors, IIM Ahmedabad, the test convenor, will provide a specific time window for you to re-upload your signature and photograph. It can be done by visiting the CAT official website and logging in using your specified ID and password. After that, you can re-upload the documents. In case of any other changes, visit cathelpdesk@iimcat.ac.in or 1800-2090-830

Important Note regarding CAT 2021

Please note that the details you enter regarding personal, academic or work cannot be changed. If you have made an error while entering them, you need to re-register on the CAT 2021 website. In such cases, the recent application will be counted. If you fail to re-register, your application will be negated.


As per the eligibility criteria of CAT 2021 charted by IIMs, candidates should fulfill the following parameters:

  • Candidates should have a Bachelor's Degree in any discipline from a recognized university or institute.
  • General and OBC-NC category candidates should obtain at least 50% marks in aggregate or equivalent CGPA. For reserved category candidates, the minimum percentage to secure is 45.
  • The duration of the graduation programme should be minimum 3 years.
  • Final year graduation students are also eligible to apply for CAT 2021 provided they complete their programme within the stipulated schedule.
  • There is no age limit for applying or appearing in CAT 2021.

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria for Reserved Categories

The CAT 2021 eligibility criteria for reserved categories as decided by IIMs are as follows:

  • 15% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC);
  • 7.5% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST);
  • 27% of seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC);
  • Upto 10% Seat Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS);
  • 5% of seats are kept reserved for Persons with Disability (PWD). The categories of disability include:
  • a) low vision blindness,

    b) hearing impairment,

    c) locomotor disability/cerebral palsy

  • Any candidate who wishes to apply for this category will be eligible if only he/she suffers from any listed disabilities to the extent of less than 40%, as certified by a medical authority.
  • Candidates applying for reserved categories are required to score a minimum cut-off score as per the norms of the IIMs.

While the CAT 2021 Exam Pattern has not been officially released in the CAT 2021 Notification, the presence of 3 slots on the CAT Day means that the CAT 2021 Exam is likely to remain a 2 hour paper following the pattern of the CAT 2020 Exam.

The order of sections will remain the same: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

The use of a basic on-screen calculator for computations is allowed.

The CAT 2021 Exam pattern is expected to return to the original form which is given below:

Section (Ascending Order) Number of questions Number of MCQs Number of Non MCQs (TITA) Sectional time
VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) 26 21 5 40 min
DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) 24 18 6 40 min
QA (Quantitative Aptitude) 26 20 6 40 min
Total 76 59 17 120 min

Marking Scheme

  • Every correct answer carries 3 marks.

  • Every wrong answer carries -1.

  • Negative marking does not apply to non-MCQs or TITA (type in the answer) questions.

  • The order of attempting the sections is predetermined.

  • Sections start with VARC, followed by DILR, and end with QA.

Here is what our experts have to say about the CAT 2021 Updated Exam Pattern

Based on the previous years' question papers, the subjects for CAT 2021 can be classified under the following categories:

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Ability

Each of these sections contains different types of questions. A highly-effective CAT preparation strategy includes dense familiarity with all the topics that fall under these categories.


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension


Verbal and Reading Comprehension sections consist of Reading Comprehension passages. Thorough practice of RC passages will aid in better understanding of longer and complex texts.

Verbal Reasoning questions involve analyzing the form and content of passages. Sometimes the questions herein can surprise the candidates. Previous years' paper contained the following types of questions under Verbal Ability:

  • Passage-based questions (5 passages; 3 passages with 6 questions each and 2 passages with 3 questions each)
  • Summary-based questions (3 questions)
  • Ordering sentences (4 questions)
  • Odd-sentence out (3 questions)

How to improve the VARC section?

If you are looking for help in VARC specifically for CAT 2021, please have a look at the following page.

What to keep in mind while answering RC passages?

According to CAT 2020, the number of RC questions can be 24 out of 34 VARC questions and according to CAT 2019, the number of questions will be reduced to 18 out of 26 VARC questions. In any case the weightage of Reading Comprehension questions is at least 70%, with respect to the entire questions. If we look at the RC questions closely, 2-3 of them are of moderate-difficult level and 10–12 is of easy-moderate level. There is a variation when it comes to easy and difficult passages which a candidate needs to keep in mind. If the passage seems to be complex, the questions following it may be easy and workable. If the passage seems easy to read, the questions related to the same might trick you. So, one needs to be scrupulous while reading the questions as much as while reading the passage. Here is a brief analysis of trends noticed in the RC sub section of previous year CAT papers:

  • The overall RC questions will range from 18-24
  • The candidate will be awarded 3 marks for answering a question correctly and will face a deduction of 1 mark for answering it incorrectly.
  • There will be at least four lengthy passages and 1-2 short passages. The lengthy passages will consist of 800 words approx. and the short passage will consist of 500 words (approx.)
  • The topics will be mainly based on politics, sports, psychology, economy, literature, mythology and abstract topics etc.

Also Check out :
Bes CAT preparation books

How to crack CAT?

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR) consists of charts and graphs of all kinds i.e. line, bar, and pie. These may appear individually or along with tables or other elements.

The questions in the Logical Reasoning sections are fundamentally word problems. However, they may also combine word problems with any of the aforementioned data forms. The form of questions asked in the DILR section may slightly seem complex and hence, consistent practice is the key.

If you are looking for help in DILR for CAT 2021, please have a look at the following page.

How to improve the DILR section?..

What to keep in mind for Data Interpretation?

CAT 2020 made the students jumpy with the difficulty of the Data Interpretation section. It is never a good idea to undermine the importance of this topic in the DILR section. Here are a few important pointers to remember about CAT Data Interpretation :

  • This section has an overall sectional weightage of 50%
  • DI contains multiple choice and TITA (Type in the answer) questions
  • The section has an individual cut off
  • The number of DI questions are expected to be equal to the number of LR questions
  • No marks are detected for the TITA questions.

What to keep in mind during LR?

  1. Number of questions in LR is between 16-20
  2. Sectional weightage of this section is 50 percent
  3. This section also contains either MCQ or TITA questions
  4. For every correct answer, three marks are awarded.
  5. For every incorrect MCQ answer, one mark is deducted
  6. No marks are deducted for TITA questions.

Take a personalized Logical Reasoning mock to warm up your basics.

Quantitative Aptitude

The question progression in the Quantitative Ability (QA) section may indeed seem heavy. From fractions to profit and loss to triangles and circles to exponents, etc., the escalation continues. Nonetheless, the calming feature of this section is the uniform pattern.

Questions under the QA section include algebra, arithmetic, geometry, modern math (including set theory, polynomials, probability, progressions, and permutations/combinations), and number systems (e.g. integers, primes, exponents).

The subjects' syllabus of CAT exam is definitely not confined. However, it follows a logical and standard pattern. This only means that once you're very familiar with the pattern, preparation gets more effective. Good luck for CAT 2021!

Important highlights of CAT QA 2021 syllabus:

The QA section is basically a calculation intensive section based on topics that candidates study in 9th and 10th grade. However, there is a plot twist. This is the last section of the paper and odds are that you would be low on stamina and more on exhaustion when you would approach this section. This section is known to usually surprise a candidate in terms of difficulty. You must keep a keen eye on the ball and not be in an autopilot mode while solving QA. We suggest that work in your favor is that you should start from the last question of the section and work your way upwards. The easier questions are scattered throughout the paper and all a candidate has to do is spot and answer, as determined by CL experts.

Visit our CAT 2021 Preparation Strategy page to know how you can follow a highly-effective preparation strategy for CAT devised by our MBA experts.

CAT'19 Exam Analysis : https://www.careerlauncher.com/cat/analysis-cut-off/

Despite the absence of rigid CAT syllabus, our experts have analyzed and provided a tentative CAT 2021 syllabus based on the past CAT trends. While there could be additions of new topics or removal of the old, CAT syllabus is expected to remain the same for the year 2021.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Ability

  • Synonyms Antonyms (Vocabulary Based)
  • Grammar or English Usage
  • Correction in Sentence
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Jumbled Paragraph and Close Passage
  • Analogies and Reverse Analogies
  • Meaning/Usage Match
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Summary Questions
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Facts Inferences Judgements
  • Caselets and Tables
  • Bar Graphs and Column Graphs
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Line Charts & Pie Chart
  • Combination of two or more types linked to each other
  • Number and Letter Series
  • Calendars, Cubes and Clocks
  • Binary Logic
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Syllogism
  • Logical
  • Matching
  • Logical Sequence
  • Logical
  • Connectives
  • Blood Relations
  • Number Systems
  • LCM & HCF
  • Profit, Loss & Discount
  • Percentages
  • Speed, Time & Distance
  • Time & Work
  • Simple & Compound Interest
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Averages
  • Quadratic & Linear Equations
  • Complex Numbers
  • Logarithm
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Sequences & Series
  • Surds & Indices
  • Inequalities
  • Probability, Permutation and Combination
  • Set Theory
  • Functions & Geometry
  • Mixtures & Allegations
  • Trigonometry
  • Coordinate Geometry & Mensuration
Read more

In 2017, IIMs, for the first time released the official CAT 2017 questions and answer key. Based on this continuing trend into 2018 & 2019 as well, the official CAT 2021 question paper can be expected to be released by the first week of December, 2021.

What should be a retaker's strategy for CAT 2021?

CAT retakers have a generic view when it comes to how to retake CAT. They usually choose to go for conventional offline training programs in place of online training programs. Offline programs, though having a comparatively lesser ROI, can ensure a student’s concentration for 2-3 hours straight and helps get that personalized attention. However, due to the rigid covid-19 safety guidelines introduced in order to encourage social distancing, students taking CAT for the second time are opting for CAT online classes as an alternative. Given below are some techniques you can avail while framing your CAT retaker’s strategy.

  • Building a strong foundation:: Strong concept knowledge would help you grasp the basic concepts and understand the exam pattern. If you aren’t aware of the exam pattern and the topics included in the syllabus, you will find it difficult to get through the trickier questions in the exam. Cracking a decent score is possible, but breaking into 98+ percentile can only be achieved once you are up to mark with your basics. As rightly pointed out, well begun is half done!
  • Going step by step: At the initial phase of the preparation, interactions with the faculty is a must. Here is when online classes come into action. It enables a candidate to take online mock tests, video lectures, CAT related exercises, online quizzes and convenient study material. Taking offline classes becomes more tiring for someone who travels all the way to attend classes after a long day. The weariness takes a toll on a candidate and makes him/her end in a state of confusion.  You’ve got to consider other elements related to the preparation along with the actual preparation. The expert faculty helps you diversify your solutions and develop a formulaic approach.
  • Attending Important lectures by the faculty: The online faculty varies from center to center but one thing that binds each one of them is to develop effective communication with their candidates regarding how to build important test-taking strategies. Students are also given a chance to learn at their own pace and can listen to the lecture again in case the concepts are unclear.
  • Highly Interactive Group Learning: CAT Retakers should make it a point to highly interactive webinars, wherein CAT aspirants can share their experiences, discuss and clear their queries and maintain a peer-to-peer relationship with their classmates. This also helps students stay aware of the competition level. The competition for CAT 2021 is going to be more than previous years because of the stay-at-home situation. Hence, candidates can see this as an alternative to study as per their comfort with zero commuting time and charges.
  • Engage in multitasking: You need to cross the bridge between basics and practice. During the actual CAT exam, you need to sit through a ton of questions without throwing in the towel. It is advisable to solve online assignments that will help you practice a set of 20-30 questions every day, breaking down datasets, enhancing your reading speed, solving puzzle-related questions and having the energy to complete the paper in a given amount of time.
  • Do not obsess about the questions: Once you have gained clarity over your concepts, the next phase of your preparation will be to donate less time and fuel in solving a question. Do not spend more and more time over a single question. This will give rise to undue agitation. While preparing for the cat through online preparation, try to confront your weaknesses and pick the correct approach in solving a question through mocks. Also, over a period of time, you will find it super easy to solve any kind of questions that are asked in CAT, scaled from easy to difficult.

 Also read: Importance of CAT mocks

CAT 2021 Admit Card

The CAT 2021 Admit Card will be released on 27th October 2021 as per the CAT 2021 Notification released on 31st July 2021. It will remain available for registered candidates till the day of the CAT 2021 Exam (28th November 2021). Candidates will be able to download their admit cards online by logging onto the official website with their unique credentials.

CAT Admit Card is one of the most important documents. One must carry a hard copy to the center on the exam day and keep it safe till the end of the admission

The CAT 2021 Exam will take place on 28th November 2021 as per the CAT 2021 Notification which was released on 31st July 2021. The CAT 2021 Exam will take place in 3 slots likely to early morning, forenoon and afternoon.


How to be ready on CAT 2021 exam date

  • Carry a print out of your CAT Admit card to your exam center.
  • Ensure that the photograph on CAT 2021 admit card is identical to the one uploaded during the online registration.
  • Note that CAT Admit Card is only valid on clear and legible printing of admit card, i.e., the photograph and signature must be neatly visible.
  • Carry at least one original and valid photo identification card. This ID needs to be produced for verification at the CAT exam center on the day of the exam.
  • Photo IDs that are valid and acceptable are: College ID, Employer ID, Driving License, Passport, PAN Card, Voter ID, Aadhar Card, and Identification Affidavit.
  • The candidate's photograph and signature on the ID should match the same on the Admit Card. The Photo ID card should not be damaged or smudged.
  • Locate your allocated CAT exam center and its accessibility a day before the test so there will be no defaults on the exam day.

CAT 2021 Exam Date: Do's and Don'ts

Do's

  • Do reach the allocated CAT exam center one and a half hours before the CAT exam is supposed to commence.
  • Please carry only your Admit Card & Photo ID Card inside the CAT test hall, nothing else is allowed.
  • Do allow candidates with disabilities to get into the test center first as they are allowed entry on priority.

Don'ts

  • Do not carry your cell phones, electronic gadgets, calculators, stationary items, papers, wallets, or similar things as they are not allowed inside the exam center on CAT exam date.
  • Do not wear any jewelry or other metal accessories because you will be asked to remove them before entering the exam hall.
  • Do not ask your friends or relatives to accompany you as they will not be permitted inside the test center.

Locating your seat at your CAT exam center

There is a Test System Number in your CAT Admit card. This unique number is provided for the purpose of identifying the floor / wing and your designated seat at the exam center.

For any other correspondence with your CAT exam center, you should provide your Registration Number and not the Test System number. Test System number is only needful for seat location/identification during the main exam date.


Inside the CAT exam hall

  • Before you enter the exam hall, you should use the washroom as you will not be permitted to go to the washroom during the exam.
  • You will be given a rough pad and pen for rough work. You should write your name and registration number on the rough pad. This rough pad will have to be returned at the end of the exam.

CAT 2021 Exam Centres

Similar to CAT 2020, CAT 2021 exam centers will be located in over 150 cities across India. The actual number of exam centers may vary depending on the number of participating candidates and the situation at the time.

During the exam registration process, candidates will have to select three CAT exam centers in the order of their preference. The final allotment of exam center is decided by the IIMs which are then reflected on the official CAT Admit Card.

Read more

CAT 2021 Mock Test

The official CAT mock test is usually released by the IIMs in the last week of October. It is created and shared with the candidates one month prior to the CAT exam. This way, candidates may practice and become familiar with the format and navigation process of the online test. Candidates can also familiarize themselves with the usage of the online calculator and timer. However, it must be noted that the CAT mock test is intended for practice purposes only. The questions therein cannot be considered as an insight to the actual questions due to the absence of qualitative similarity.

CAT 2021 Result

CAT result 2021 is expected to be released in the second week of January, 2021. The official CAT 2021 score card will be available for download online by entering your unique CAT ID and password on the official website (www.iimcat.ac.in). The CAT score card will include your detailed sectional and overall scaled scores and percentiles. The score cards are available online alone, hence, take a print out for further admission processes


Past CAT Trends

The table below contains past exam-result trends as an attempt to lay down the past exam mechanism of CAT.

YEAR

EXAM

RESULT

TOTAL STUDENTS TAKING CAT

2015

November 29th, 2015

January 8th, 2016

2,18,664

2016

December 4th, 2016

January 9th, 2017

2,32,292

2017

November 26th, 2017

January 8th, 2018

2,31,000

2018

November 25th, 2018

January 5th, 2019

2,41,000

2019

November 24th, 2019

January 4th, 2020

2,44,000

2020

November 29th, 2020

-January 2nd, 2021 (5 PM)

2,27,835


Steps to Check CAT Results 2021

When the CAT 2021 Results are declared, the candidates will be able to check it and download the score card by following the given steps:

  • Step 1

    Go to the official CAT website www.iimcat.ac.in.

  • Step 2

    Enter User Id and Password and login to your account

  • Step 3

    Click on 'score card for CAT 2021'.

  • Step 4

    Take print out of your CAT Result 2021 for reference/record keeping.

    Read in detail : CAT result

Predict CAT 2021 Percentile with Career Launcher

Although the official CAT result is after almost two months, it is an added advantage and a peace of mind to have an insight on the performance. Keeping this in mind, Career Launcher experts have created a percentile calculator for the purpose of score assessment. The link below is to help you predict/calculate your CAT percentile, so you can begin your college picking plan ahead of time.

Read this article on CAT Preparation Tips and know about how to better your CAT percentile by a considerable percentage and crack CAT with flying colors!

Read more

CAT 2021 Normalization Procedure

Since CAT is conducted in morning and afternoon slots on a single day, it becomes necessary to normalize the scores of all candidates from both slots. Therefore, IIMs normalizes CAT scores by using a formula similar to that applied for GATE.

The scaled scores for each section along with percentiles are declared along with the result. This is practiced for transparency and for equalizing the scores. This way, no candidates from either slot are left in an advantaged or disadvantaged position.

Read in detail : CAT Score vs Percentile

CAT cut-off is an indication of the minimum percentile score that is expected of a candidate to achieve for getting shortlisted by the participating institutes. While top B-schools are known to have a higher CAT cut-off range, the minimum cut-off varies from institute to institute.

CAT cut-off is generally dependent on certain factors like difficulty level of the exam, number of test-takers, number of seats, etc.

Find the below the tabulated 2021 CAT cut-off of top-tier IIMs for reference:

IIM

SECTION

GENERAL

OBC-NC

SC

ST

EWS

PwD (except ST)

PwD (ST)

IIM Ahmedabad

VRC

70

65

60

50

    -

60

50

 

DI&LR

70

65

60

50

    -

60

50

 

QA

70

65

60

50

    -

60

50

 

Aggregate

80

75

70

60

    -

70

60

IIM Bangalore

VRC

85

75

70

60

70

50

 

 

DI&LR

80

70

65

60

65

50

 

 

QA

80

70

65

60

65

50

 

 

Aggregate

90

80

75

70

75

60

 

IIM Calcutta

VRC

85

75

65

60

70

60

 

 

DI&LR

80

75

65

60

65

60

 

 

QA

80

75

65

60

65

60

 

 

Aggregate

90

85

70

70

75

70

 

CAT 2021 Selection Procedure

The selection procedure differs according to various participating institutes. However, the one uniform feature among all is the preliminary round selection where candidates are shortlisted based on CAT cut-off.

For the second-round selection, candidates will have to appear for the Group Discussion (GD) orWriting Ability Test (WAT)or both and Personal Interview (PI) rounds. The new IIMs have in fact started to conduct the Common Admission Process (CAP) where the shortlisted candidates from all participating IIMs appear for WAT and PI rounds jointly.

After the end of the CAT selection procedure, each IIM releases their separate merit lists. The final selection process of B-schools or the CAT selection procedure of participating B-schools is based on multiple criteria such as performance in CAT and GD/WAT and PI rounds and past academic records and or work experience. The criteria or parameters vary from institute to institute. IIMs release their detailed admission criteria after the CAT notification every year.

Also check: What is to be immediately done after CAT 2021?

Other MBA Exams

Apart from CAT, the other MBA exams are XAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT, MICAT, TISSNET and a few others.

This diagram gives you a representation of all the important MBA exams and the timeline.

Read in detail : MBA Entrance Exams Notifications 2021