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The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly regarded national-level exam organized by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). Over 1,200 B-schools across India accept the CAT exam scores as a means of admission to their MBA/PGDM programs. The CAT exam is an online-based test conducted annually at 450 exam centres across 150 cities in India. The exam assesses a candidate's aptitude, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities, which are considered essential qualities for a successful manager. The CAT question paper consists of questions from Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. Although anyone with a graduation degree is eligible to take the CAT, the majority of applicants are students in the final year of their bachelor's degree program.

CAT 2024 Pattern

Total Questions in CAT 2024


Type of Questions

50-55 MCQs with negative marking and 10-15 Non-MCQs without negative marking


120 minutes

Marks for Each Correct Answer


Marks for Each Incorrect MCQ Answer


Difficulty Level

Moderate to High

Benefits of CAT Preparation in Final Year

The decision of when to take the CAT exam is ultimately up to the individual, but there are several benefits to taking it during the final year of undergraduate studies. Some of these advantages are discussed below.

1. Advantage in CAT Preparation

The preparation time for the CAT exam usually takes a minimum of nine to twelve months. For someone who is in their final year of graduation, this is a perfect opportunity to study for the CAT while also completing their final year coursework. This is particularly beneficial for students pursuing BTech, BSc, or BCom, as some of the subjects they are studying, such as Mathematics, can aid in their preparation for the Quantitative Aptitude section of the exam.

Also Read: CAT Bible: 11 Steps to Clear CAT Exam

2. Advantage in CAT Coaching

Compared to working professionals, final-year undergraduate students have the advantage of having more flexible schedules, allowing them to attend coaching classes for the CAT exam. Many working professionals who have succeeded in the CAT often cite lack of time as the reason for not taking coaching classes. While coaching may not be essential for everyone, it does provide a structured and organized approach to preparation for the exam.
You can also check out EduRev’s Complete Course on CAT.

3. No Gap Year

As previously mentioned, adequate preparation for the CAT requires a minimum of nine to twelve months. Thus, a candidate who has already completed their undergraduate studies will need to set aside this much time for preparation, resulting in a break between their undergraduate and postgraduate education.

4. No loss of Income

Many working individuals who aim to take the CAT exam often have to leave their high-paying jobs to solely focus on preparation. On the other hand, those who attempt to balance preparation and work face a challenging schedule. However, undergraduate student does not face this difficulty as they have the flexibility to concentrate on their CAT preparation.

5. Can earn Work Experience

The IIMs offer the option for selected candidates to defer their admission for up to two years, for those who desire to gain work experience before starting the PGP program. A portion of seats, approximately 10%, is reserved for this purpose. If a final year undergraduate student is accepted into an IIM program, they can choose to work for one or two years before commencing their studies.

How to prepare for CAT with EduRev Infinity?

EduRev Infinity Package for CAT includes:

Mock Test Series for Other MBA Exams: You also get Mock Test Series for other MBA Exams like SNAP, XAT, IIFT, NMAT, TISS-NET & others.

CAT Preparation Material

CAT Study Material on EduRev

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Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude

CAT 100 RCs for Practice

Crash Course for CAT Exam

Level-wise Tests for CAT Preparation

Mock Tests for CAT

How to Prepare for CAT Exam

CAT Bible: 11 Steps to Clear CAT Exam

How to Prepare For Quant in CAT

How to Prepare For VARC in CAT

How to Prepare For LRDI in CAT

How To Prepare For CAT Exam at Home

CAT Exam Previous Year Papers

120 Days Study Plan For CAT Exam

Interview Preparation Guide

Mock Tests Series for All other MBA Exams

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Can I cover the CAT syllabus in 2-3 months?

It is possible to cover the syllabus of CAT in 2-3 months with consistent and focused preparation. However, it requires a significant amount of dedication and hard work. It is recommended to have a well-structured study plan and to allocate sufficient time for each subject every day. It is also important to regularly practice mock tests and analyze your performance to identify strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that this timeframe is challenging, and you may need to compromise on the depth of your preparation.

Does the CAT syllabus change every year?

The syllabus for CAT (Common Admission Test) does not change every year. However, the pattern and structure of the exam can change. The exam typically consists of questions from verbal ability reading comprehension, data interpretation, and logical reasoning. The weightage given to each section and the type of questions asked in each section may vary from year to year. It is important to stay updated with the latest information and changes in the CAT exam pattern and syllabus.

Is the CAT syllabus similar to other MBA entrance tests?

The syllabus for CAT is largely similar to that of other MBA entrance exams in India such as XAT, IIFT, SNAP, etc. However, there can be minor differences in the specific topics covered and the emphasis given to each topic in each exam.

Which section of CAT holds the highest weightage?

The weightage given to each section in the Common Admission Test (CAT) can vary from year to year. However, typically the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section holds the highest weightage in the exam.

When should I start taking Mock Tests?

Typically, a comprehensive preparation for the CAT exam takes around 4-6 months. If you have 2-3 months of dedicated preparation time available, you should aim to complete the syllabus as soon as possible and start practicing mock tests by the end of the second month. This will give you enough time to revise the syllabus and identify areas where you need improvement before the actual exam.

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