The Common Admission Test (CAT)

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The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all-India test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as an entrance exam for admission to the Post-graduate and Fellow Programs in management courses of several management institutes all over India including the IIMs. CAT is a computer based test (CBT) which is conducted on line around October/November every year in multiple cities. WAT/GD-PI rounds are conducted from February to April.


  • The candidate must be a graduate with minimum 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of SC/ST/DA/PWD) or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the ministry of HRD, Government of India.
  • 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.

Test Duration & Pattern:

The makers of CAT do not want it to become predictable, so they keep on changing its pattern. Analysis of  the last few years' papers reflects that allotted time for the paper has gone up significantly. For example in CAT 2000, there were 165 questions to be done in 120 minutes, while in CAT 2015 there were only 100 questions to be done in 180 minutes. Thus the real challenge in CAT is not the time constraint, it is the difficulty level of the paper. Apart from change in allotted time CAT has also undergone numerous changes in number of sections, marking scheme and question types. For example a significant feature of recent CAT papers (CAT 2015 onwards) was non MCQs in which correct answer had to be typed in the given space.

Here is a detailed analysis of the CAT papers over the past 7 years.