Common Admission Test (CAT) is a comprehensive, national level entrance test for admissions to the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) and the leading business schools in India. Business schools and institutions across the country accept the CAT scores to grant candidates admissions to MBA courses. The IIMs are responsible for conducting the CAT.


  • The eligibility and selection process for CAT is extensive and candidates have to be careful at each stage to make sure they fulfill all the requirements.
  • Candidates must be Bachelors in any stream with a minimum score of 50% marks (45% for Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) candidates)
  • Candidates who are in the last year of their bachelor's degree program, OR those who are awaiting results can also apply for CAT.
  • However, it’s important to remember that mere fulfillment of minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for short listing by IIMs.
  • Candidates should have a valid email address and a phone number throughout the selection process.


If a candidate is selected for interviews by any IIM, these are the criteria the candidate has to fulfill: Candidate must show all the original mark sheets and submit attested copies to prove eligibility at the time of interview. Also the original degree certificate and mark sheets of all the semesters/years with the attested copies must be submitted for verification at the time of joining the MBA programme.

SC, ST, NC-OBC, and DA candidates must show the original caste/class/disability certificate and submit a photocopy at the time of interview.

Candidates in final year of bachelor's degree must submit the original certificate from the Principal/Registrar/Director of the university/institution certifying that the candidate has obtained 50% marks or equivalent according to the latest grades/marks.


The CAT tests the following skills in the candidate: Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. The questions are usually based on the high school level topics and test the basic skills & knowledge of the candidate in each of the topics.

The questions in the verbal ability are based on:

  • Vocabulary English Usage / Grammar 
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension:The passages in reading comprehension are one of the following types:
    • Social Science passage
    • Science passage
    • Business passage
    • Entertainment passage
  • Quantitative skills:The questions usually are divided into the following categories:
    • Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry.
    • Arithmetic Number Systems and Number Theory
    • Percentages
    • Profit and Loss
    • Simple & Compound Interest
    • Speed, Time and Distance
    • Pipes and Cisterns
    • Races
    • Averages
    • Ratio, Proportion
    • Mixtures and Alligations
    • Algebra
    • Linear and Quadratic Equation - Practice Questions
    • Logarithm Progressions - AP, GP, HP
    • Binomial Theorem
    • Inequalities
    • Permutation & Combination
    • Probability
    • Function
    • Set Theory
    • Geometry
    • Co ordinate Geometry 
    • Trigonometry 
    • Mensuration
  • Data Interpretation: Data Interpretation section can be broadly classified as comprising two types of questions.
    • Data Interpretation (DI)
    • Data Sufficiency (DS)
  • Analytical and Logical reasoning. Candidates have to analyse graphs, column graphs, Bar Graphs, Line charts, Pie Chart, Graphs representing Area, Venn Diagram, etc.
    • Logical reasoning section will test the candidates’ critical reasoning, visual reasoning, assumption-premise-conclusion, assertion and reasons, statements and assumptions, identifying valid inferences , identifying Strong arguments and Weak arguments, Statements and conclusions, cause and effect, Identifying Probably true, Probably false, definitely true, definitely false kind of statement, Linear arrangements, Matrix arrangements.
    • Puzzles, Syllogisms, Functions, Family tree - identifying relationship among group of people, Symbol Based problems, Coding and decoding , Sequencing , identifying next number in series, etc.


The test has the two sections as mentioned above:

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

CAT is a computer based test (CBT) which is conducted online. The questions are objective with multiple choice answers.

The candidates have to answer both the sections one after the other, and there are separate time limits for each section. The total time allotted for the test is 2 hours, 35 minutes. Candidates have to answer 30 questions in each section in 70 minutes. Once done with the first section of the test, the candidates cannot go back to the questions of the first section. Before the actual test starts, candidates are given a 15 minutes tutorial about how the computer based test works and how the candidates have to answer each question in each section. IIMs also make available a practice test to the selected candidates a few days before the actual test date.

For those candidates who are disabled, additional support will be provided as required.

How to Apply

The IIMs release CAT notification in a few business dailies and the official website of CAT - www.catiim.in

Candidates can acquire the CAT voucher from Axis Bank branches, and the registration for CAT has to be done online. All communication regarding the test is done via the email id provided by the candidate at the time of registration.

When candidates register for the test online, they also have the option to schedule their CAT test on one of the designated dates and at the designated centers.

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