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CAT 2023: Eligibility Criteria, Pattern, Dates, Colleges & others for CAT - Notes | Study CAT Mock Test Series - CAT

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About CAT

  • 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 2023: Eligibility Criteria, Pattern, Dates, Colleges & others for CAT - Notes | Study CAT Mock Test Series - CAT

  • The CAT score is used separately by each institute along with other parameters, i.e. academic performance, work experience, group discussion, written assessment, interview performance etc. to select candidates. 
  • The weightage assigned to the CAT score may differ for each institute. Candidates are advised to read the weightage, process, and breakup for each institute on its respective website.

CAT 2023 Highlights

 Read below the key highlights of the CAT exam 2023.

CAT Features Details
CAT full formCommon Admission Test
Conducting IIMIIM Bangalore
Exam LevelNational
CAT syllabus
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
CAT pattern  Computer-Based Mode (CBT) with MCQs and non-MCQs 
CAT 2023 exam date 

4th week of November 2023

Duration of CAT Exam

2 Hours (120 Minutes)

Duration (Section-wise)

40 Minutes for (VARC, DILR, QA).

Each section -53 Minutes 20 Seconds for PwD candidates.

Session (Slot-wise)
  • Morning Session - 8:30 am - 10:30 pm
  • Afternoon Session - 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Evening Session - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Eligibility  Graduation with 50 % aggregate (45 % for SC/ST students) 

No. of Questions

66 Questions

Total marks

198 marks

Exam purposeAdmission into IIMs, SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, IMT, and over 1,200 B-Schools in India
Exam fees INR 2,200 (General category) and INR 1,100 (Reserved category) 
Exam helpdesk no. 

  1-800-210-1088 (Toll-Free)

Exam website http://www.iimcat.ac.in


CAT 2023 Important Dates

The notification for CAT 2023 registration will be released in August. Stay updated about exam notifications, dates, and other essential information by visiting the official website

Here are some of the tentative dates of CAT 2023:

Events

Dates

Notification Release Date of CAT Exam 2023

4th week of July 2023

Registration of CAT 2023

1st week of August 2023

Last date to fill out the Online Application form

2nd week of September 2023

Last date to submit the fees for the Application Form

2nd week of September 2023

Beginning of Application Correction for CAT 2023

3rd week of September 2023

Admit Card availability for CAT 2023

4th week of October 2023

Date Of Examination of CAT 2023

4th week of November 2023

Answer Key Release Date

1st week of December 2023

Last date to submit an objection

2nd week of December 2023

CAT 2023 Announcement of Results

1st week of January 2024

CAT 2023 Eligibility Criteria

CAT is an entrance exam for admission to PG-level management courses. Thus, the minimum qualification required is graduation. Check the CAT 2023 eligibility criteria below: 

  • In order to be eligible for CAT Exam, an aspirant must be a graduate degree holder in any stream. 
  • Candidates appearing in the final year/semester of their degree program can also apply for CAT 2023.
  • The minimum percentage criteria (45% and 50% for Gen. and reserved categories, respectively) were removed from CAT eligibility.
  • As for CAT Age Limit, there is no minimum/ maximum limit defined. There is also no restriction on the number of attempts.
  • There are no specifications about work experience in the CAT eligibility criteria. There are no limitations in the case of experience. Therefore both the freshers and experienced candidates can take the exam. However, some of the B-schools do consider work experience during admission.
  • For ST, SC, NC-OBC, and DA candidates, if shortlisted, are required to show their original caste/class and/or disability certificate and submit a copy of the certificate at the time of the interview.

Reservation

Category

Reserved Seats

Schedule Cast (SC)

15%

Schedule Tribe (ST)

7.5%

Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC)

27%

PWD(Persons with Disability)

3%

CAT Exam Pattern 2023

CAT exam is a Computer Based Test (CBT) conducted at multiple test centres across the country. The exam pattern was changed in 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  •  The total number of questions was reduced from 100 to 76 and the duration was reduced from 180 minutes to 120 minutes. 
  • The CAT pattern was revised again in 2021. The total number of questions was reduced from 76 to 66.
Mode of CAT exam Computer Based Test
Duration of exam 

Total: 120 minutes 

Section wise:40 minutes per section

CAT exam slots 

Morning: 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Afternoon: 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Evening: 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Number of questions 66
Total marks198
Language of question paperEnglish
Number of answer choices 4 
Question Type MCQ and non-MCQ
Marking Scheme 

+3 for every right attempt

-1 for every wrong attempt

0 for the wrong attempt in non-MCQ

  • Candidates will be allotted exactly 40 minutes for answering questions in each section and they will not be allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section.
  • Some questions in each section may not be of multiple-choice type. Instead, direct answers will have to be typed on the screen.  
  • The use of the basic on-screen calculator for computation is allowed.

CAT Sections and Weightage

The CAT question paper has three sections. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).
Here's the table below for the sectional distribution of questions and marks:

CAT Sections Number of Questions Marks Allotted 
VARC2472
DILR2060
QA2266


 CAT Reservation Criteria:

Category
Percent of seats reserved
Scheduled Class (SC)15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST)7.5%
Other backward classes - Non-Creamy Layer (NC-OBC)27%
Persons with Benchmark Disability  (PwD)5%
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)10%
  • As defined in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPwD Act 2016), “person with benchmark disability” means a person with not less than forty percent (40%) of a specified disability where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with a disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.
  • “Specified Disability” means the disabilities as specified in the Schedule of the RPwD Act 2016.
    The categories of disability are:
    (a) Blindness and low vision.
    (b) Deaf and hard of hearing.
    (c) Locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims, and muscular dystrophy.
    (d) Autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, and mental illness.
    (e) Multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d).
    (f) Other 'specified disabilities' mentioned in 'The Schedule' of the RPwD Act 2016.
  • For the purpose of being considered for reservations, the applicable Central Government list as of the last date of CAT registration shall be binding. No subsequent changes will be effective for CAT 2019 and any subsequent selection process of the IIMs.
  • The candidates should read the updated description of the selection process followed by each IIM on their respective websites. No change in the category will be entertained after CAT registration. The applicants are advised to pay attention while registering.

Registration

  • The candidates are required to register themselves within the time the registration window remains open. 
  • At the time of registration, the candidates have to select any four Test Cities as per their preference from the drop-down menu. 
  • After the last date of registration, candidates will be allotted one among the four preferred cities subject to availability. 
  • In the rare case that a candidate is not allotted any of the preferred cities, he/she will be allotted a nearby city.
  • Refer to the Step by Step Process article to know the registration process in detail.

Candidates must declare and maintain a valid and unique email account and a mobile phone number throughout the selection process. 

 Payment of CAT Registration Fee

  • Please note that a candidate needs to pay a registration fee only once, irrespective of the number of institutes he/she is applying for. 
    CategoryCAT 2023 Application Fee (in INR)
    General/OBC2300
    PWD1150
    SC/ST1150
  • SC, ST, and PwD candidates must upload a copy of their SC/ST/PwD certificates at the time of registration. 
  • Fee once paid cannot be refunded under any circumstances.

 Exam Format

  • CAT is a computer-based test, conducted in multiple cities. A candidate can select his / her test date and slot as per choice and availability.
  • Refer to the How to prepare for CAT article to know the detai

 CAT Syllabus

  • There is no specific syllabus for CAT 2023. The experts have laid out the CAT syllabus 2023 based on the previous years’ exam analysis and the topics covered. While there might be a few topics that will be added to the syllabus and some topics might get omitted, the overall syllabus is likely to remain the same.
    Sections
    Topics Covered

    Quantitative Aptitude

    Number: Number System, Sequence, Series, and Progression Arithmetic: Averages, Simplification, Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Profit and Loss, Speed, Time and Distance Algebra: Functions, Quadratic and Linear Equations, Inequalities, Logarithms

    Geometry and Mensuration: Geometry, Mensuration, Coordinate Geometry

    Modern Maths: Permutations and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Maxima and Minima, Trigonometry


    Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
    Unseen Passages, Analogies, Antonyms, Contextual usage, fill in the blanks, Para Jumble, Para Completion, Fact Inference Judgement, Sentence Correction, Meaning/Usage match.
    Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
    Tables, Data Sufficiency, Pie Charts, Case lets, Combination of Graphs, Analogies, Critical Reasoning, Seating Arrangement, Logical Deduction, Cause and Effect, Analogies, Binary logics. Calendars, clocks and cubes, Blood Relations, Venn Diagrams, etc.

 Admit Card of CAT 2023

  • Admit Cards for the management exam will be available from October 28 onwards at the official website of CAT 2022.
  • CAT Hall Ticket contains personal details and exam-related details such as test venue, and session.
  • It is a provisional document and must be supported at the test center with a valid photo id issued by the Govt of India.

 Documents Required with Admit Card

  • Aadhaar Card
  • Voter ID Card
  • Passport
  • PAN Card
  • Driving License
  • Photo ID issued by current education institute or employer among others

 CAT 2023 Result

  • CAT 2023 Result is expected in the 2nd week of January 2023. The conducting body of CAT 2023 will release the scorecards on the official website. An SMS will also be sent to all test-takers, informing them about their CAT Percentile. CAT Score is valid for 1 year. 

The step-wise process to obtain CAT result is given below: 

  • Visit the official website of CAT. 
  • Click on ‘Download CAT Score Card’.
  • You will be redirected to the login page. 
  • Enter your User Id and Password.
  • You will be redirected to your candidate’s account page.
  • Click on the Download Scorecard link and download it for future correspondence.

Candidates' CAT  scorecards will be made accessible on the CAT website. Candidates may also be intimated individually by SMS. The CAT results are likely to be declared by the second week of January 2023. The CAT 2023 score is valid only till December 31, 2024, and will accordingly be accessible on the website. Thereafter, no queries related to the issuance of CAT 2023 scorecards will be entertained.

 Normalization in CAT Scores

  • CAT is conducted in two sessions. Two different Test Forms are administered in two Test Sessions. In order to ensure fairness and equity in comparison of performances of the candidates across different test sessions, the scores of the candidates are subjected to a process of Normalization. 
  • The Normalization process adjusts for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalization across different forms, the scores are further normalized across different sections. The scaled scores obtained by this process are converted into percentiles for the purposes of shortlisting.
  • For reporting purposes, Scaled Scores for each section (Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Section III: Quantitative Ability (QA)) and Total along with the Percentiles are published.
  • The process of Normalization is an established practise for comparing candidate scores across multiple Forms and is similar to those being adopted in other large educational selection tests conducted in India, such as the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE).

Eligibility Verification     

If an applicant is shortlisted for WAT and PI by any of the IIMs, he/she has to comply with the following eligibility verification:

  • Marksheets and Degree Certificate: Shortlisted candidates are required to produce all the original mark sheets and submit attested photocopies in support of their eligibility at the time of their interview. Also, if a candidate is selected for a particular programme, he/she is also required to submit the original degree certificate and mark sheets of all semesters/years along with their respective attested copies at the time of joining the programme.
  • Reservation Category Requirements: For ST, SC, NC-OBC and DA candidates, if shortlisted, are required to show their original caste/class and/or disability certificate and submit a copy of the certificate at the time of the interview. Also, a candidate selected for a programme will have to submit the original certificate of qualifying degree and an attested copy of the same for verification.
  • Candidates in the Final Year of Graduation: Candidates appearing for the final year bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification examination are required to produce an original certificate from the Principal/Registrar/Director of the University/institution certifying that the candidate has obtained 50% marks or equivalent (45% for the SC, ST, and DA category candidates) based on latest available grades/marks at the time of interview. He/she is also required to submit an attested copy of the original certificate (for category candidates).
  • For the Post Graduate Programmes of IIMs: If the candidates are selected, they will be allowed to join the programme PROVISIONALLY ONLY if they submit a certificate from the Registrar/Principal of their college/institute mentioning that they have completed all the necessary requirements including appearing for supplementary exams, if any (the results may, however, be awaited) for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/ equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate. Also, one must obtain at least 50% marks or equivalent grade and should submit an attested copy of the graduation mark sheets and their qualifying degree certificate.
  • The deadline for submission of the mark sheet and the certificate is December 31, 2023,  (Tentative). IIMs also states that “NON FULFILLMENT OF THIS CONDITION WILL AUTOMATICALLY RESULT IN THE CANCELLATION OF THE PROVISIONAL ADMISSION.” In such cases, provisional admission will also be cancelled if it is found that the certificate is incorrect or has any discrepancies later. IIM does not allow any individual to join any of their programmes in case a candidate fails to complete all the requirements for a bachelor's degree on or before June (last week). After June, the IIMs would allow admissions to any candidate.

Top Colleges Under CAT

  • IIMs: IIMs are the member institutes that conduct and accept CAT scores by default and do not need any Institutional registration for CAT.
  • Non-IIMs: All the Non-IIMs whether Government or Private University Department; university affiliated college; Autonomous MBA college; or Private PGDM college, have to sign the MoU to accept CAT score and have to pay the requisite Institutional CAT Registration fee to IIMs. There are at present 20 IIMs.
    Other prominent B- Schools (not in any particular order) that accept CAT scores are:
    S.P. Jain Institute of Management ResearchIMT Ghaziabad
    NITIEK. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
    Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) DelhiMICA Ahmedabad
    MDI GurgaonSJMSOM (IIT-Bombay)
    VGSOM (IIT Kharagpur)Department of Management Studies (NIT Trichy)
    DMS (IIT-Delhi)TAPMI
    IMI DelhiXIM-B

Table: Cut off for Top IIMs

Top 10 11 Ms
CAT 2021 Cut off percentile (Minimum criteria)
IIM Ahmedabad80
IIM Bangalore85
IIM Calcutta85
IIM Lucknow90
IIM Indore90
IIM Kozhikode90
IIM Tiruchirappalli93
IIM Shillong90
IIM Udaipur93
IIM Rohtak95

Frequently Asked Questions related to CAT:

Question 1: Who is eligible to take the exam?

All candidates who fulfil the qualifying criteria mentioned below are eligible to apply for CAT:Graduate / Bachelor’s Degree minimum aggregate marks of 50% or equivalent CGPA (45% marks for reserved categories)

Final Year candidates are also eligible to apply for CAT.

Candidates holding a valid degree equivalent to Bachelor’s degree recognized by MHRD

In addition to this, applying candidates must also have Email ID and a phone number to complete the registration process for CAT.

Question 2: I am not pursuing or completed my Bachelor’s degree or any Professional degree like CA/CS/ICWA etc., Am I eligible to appear for CAT?

Any candidate who has not completed a Bachelor’s degree or any professional degree like CA/CS/ICWA etc is not eligible to apply for CAT.

Question 3: Can I appear for CAT for practice purposes though I am aware that I am not eligible?

Candidates cannot appear for CAT for practice purpose, if they do not meet the eligibility criteria. Also, appearance in CAT for practice purpose would be counted as an attempt, which doesn’t work in your favour.

Question 4: Is there any age restriction for taking the CAT exam?

No, there is no age restriction to take CAT

Question 5: I have not completed my graduation course but I am in the final year of a professional course, am I eligible for CAT?

No, only candidates who are in final year of their Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply for CAT. Candidates in the final year of their professional degree are not allowed to apply for CAT. Moreover, any candidate applying for CAT 2022 also has to qualify the minimum percentage criteria for CAT 2022.

Question 6: I am a General category candidate and got 49% in the Bachelor’s degree. I have also completed a Master’s degree with 51%, am I eligible to apply for CAT 2022?

No. As per the CAT 2022 notification, candidates need minimum 50% marks in their Bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for CAT 2022.

Question 7: I am a PWD category candidate with 44% in the Bachelor’s degree and 46% in the Master’s degree, am I eligible to apply for CAT 2022?

No. As per the CAT notification, candidate need minimum 45% marks in their Bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for CAT 2022.

Question 8: I have completed my Bachelor’s degree in May-June 2022 but have a backlog, am I eligible to apply for CAT 2022?

Yes. Candidates who are expected to complete their Bachelor’s degree in 2022 are eligible to apply for CAT 2022. However, they have to select ‘Yes’ in their application form to the question “Are you in the final year of Bachelor Degree”.

Question 9: When and how do I register for CAT 2022?

As stated in the table above, the CAT registration process will be floated from 4th August 2022 and is expected to end on 15th September 2022. The CAT 2022 application process is completely online and needs to be completed on the official portal www.iimcat.ac.in. You can also find valuable help resources and video tutorials to help you along the way to complete your application process there.

Question 10: How to change details in CAT 2022 Application?
There are three ways in which you can change / edit the information that you have submitted in your CAT Exam application.
1. Change Prior to the Payment of Fees:
     a. Details you can change: Academic Details, Exam Centres, Courses Selected
     b. Details you can’t change: Name, State, Date of Birth, Email ID, Phone Number
2.    Re-register for CAT Exam: For this you will need a fresh email id and phone number and would also have to repay the requisite exam fees
3.    During CAT Application Correction Window: Generally, CAT Application Correction Window is announced 10 days after the last day of registration. The window stays open for three days during which candidates can change the following details
      a. Percentage of Marks entered in the application form
      b. Work experience listed in the application form
      c. Course details entered in the form
      d. Test centres 

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