Common Admission Test

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Common Admission Test
Acronym CAT
Type Computer-based standardized test.
Developer / administrator Jointly conducted by the IIMs. Technical support is provided by TCS.
Knowledge / skills tested Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Data Sufficiency, Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Analytical Reasoning.
Purpose Admission to post-graduate management programs (MBA, etc.) in IIMs and various other Indian universities and colleges.
Year started 1950 (1950)
Duration 3 hours.
Score / grade range 0-450
Score / grade validity 1 year
Offered Once a year (usually in November).
Countries / regions 354 centres in 99 cities and towns all over India.
Languages English
Annual no. of test takers Decrease 173,738 in 2013[1]
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) with at least 50 % marks or equivalent GPA (45 % in case of SC, ST, PWD candidates). Final year undergraduate students also eligible.
Fee 1600 (US$24) for general category candidates.[2]
800 (US$12) for SC / ST / DA (PWD) category candidates.
Scores / grades used by Various business schools in India.
Website (for CAT 2015)

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test held in India. This test scores a person on the bases of quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration programs. The test is conducted every year by one of the IIM's based on a policy of rotation. In August 2011, it was announced that Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) would also use the CAT scores, instead of the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET), to select students for their management programmes from 2012-14 year.[3] Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015 will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad). IIM-Ahmedabad will conduct CAT 2015 on November 29, 2015. IIM Indore was holding Common Admission Test from last two years.[4]


Before 2009, CAT was a paper based test conducted on a single day for all candidates. The pattern, number of questions and duration have seen considerable variations over the years.

On 1 May 2009, it was announced that CAT would be a Computer Based Test starting from CAT 2009. The American firm Prometric was entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the computer based test.[5] The first computer based CAT was marred by technical snags.[6] The issue was so serious that it prompted the Government of India to seek a report from the convenor.[7] The trouble was diagnosed as 'Conficker' and 'W32 Nimda', the two viruses that attacked the system display of the test, causing severe slow down.[8] CAT 2014 was conducted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as the contract of the previous test agency Prometric had come to an end. CAT 2014 was a 170-minute test consisting of 100 questions(50 from quantitative ability & data interpretation and 50 from verbal ability & logical.


CAT is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management as a pre-requisite for admission to various management programmes of IIMs, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) and few other institutions.

CAT 2014 had a 170-minute test consisting of 100 questions(50 from quantitative ability & data interpretation and 50 from verbal ability & logical reasoning).

Exam format[edit]

The Common Admission Test (CAT), like virtually all large-scale exams, utilises multiple forms, or versions, of the test. Hence there are two types of scores involved: a raw score and a scaled score.

The raw score is calculated for each section based on the number of questions one answered correctly, incorrectly, or omitted. Candidates are given +3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect answer. No points are given for questions that are not answered. The raw scores are then adjusted through a process called equating. Equated raw scores are then placed on a common scale or metric to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores. This process is called scaling.

Test Duration and Pattern[edit]

The CAT 2014 had only two sections. The first section is Quantitativ170 minutes with no sectional time limits.

Three scaled scores will be presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and two separate scaled scores for each section. As the two sections evaluate distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.[9]

CAT New Pattern: The CAT 2015 will be divided into three sections:

  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA) having 34 questions
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) with 32 questions
  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) with 34 questions

The total duration for the exam is 180 minutes and will be having 100 questions. Candidates will not be allowed to switch between sections, unlike previous year. First time in the history of CAT, applicants will be allowed to use basic on screen calculator for calculation. The tutorial for changed pattern of CAT 2015 Exam will be declared on 15th October, 2015. [10]

CAT Registration in Numbers Over The Years[edit]

Let us have a look at the number of Registration in the past years, as shown by the following graph:

Number of Registration in CAT over the years[11]
Year Approximate number of Registration

Number of candidates appearing for the examination[edit]

The number of candidates taking the CAT has varied over the years, as shown by the following graph:

Number of candidates appearing in CAT[12]
Year Approximate number of candidates appearing

First slot of CAT 2014 exam was held on 16 November and 22 November 2014 in India with a total of 167830 candidates appearing for the test.[13] The CAT 2014 Result has been announced on 27 December 2014.[14]

CAT 2015 Admit Card release date postponed to October 25 from October 15[edit]

IIM Ahmedabad has postponed the Admit Card date of CAT 2015 to October 25 from October 15, which was the original date for admit card release. The new date has been announced in an official website of CAT.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "CAT replaces JMET in IIT, IISc". Deccan Chronicle. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "India’s No.1 B-school IIM-A, to administer CAT 2015". 
  5. ^ "CAT to go online from this year". Business Line. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Snags hit 7,000 candidates at CAT". The Hindu. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Govt seeks report from CAT convener on exam disruption". Times of India. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "IIM-A names two viruses that caused CAT chaos". The Economic Times. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Scoring in CAT, (Prometric Services)
  10. ^ CAT 2015
  11. ^ CAT Registration in Numbers Over The Years
  12. ^
  13. ^ CAT 2014 first day first slot analysis, ( Education News)
  14. ^ CAT 2014 result announced, ( Education News)

External links[edit]