Common Admission Test

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CAT (Common Admission Test) is an all-India examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as entrance exam to select candidates for admission to various management programmes. Along with IIMs, many other institutes like Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research use CAT score in their admission process.

CAT is usually the first stage in the selection process. The institutes prepare a shortlist of candidates based on CAT score and several other criteria like 10th class percentage, 12th class percentage, Graduation percentage and work experience. The selection criteria and weightage assigned to each criterion, including CAT score might vary from institute to institute.

List of colleges accepting CAT score

A few colleges which accept CAT score for their admission process are:

  1. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
  2. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
  3. Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
  4. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow
  5. Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode
  6. Indian Institute of Management, Indore
  7. Indian Institute of Management, Shillong
  8. Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi
  9. Indian Institute of Management, Raipur
  10. Indian Institute of Management, Trichy
  11. Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur
  12. Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur
  13. Indian Institute of Management, Rothak
  14. Indian Institute of Management, Himachal Pradesh
  15. Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar
  16. Indian Institute of Management, Visakhapatnam
  17. Indian Institute of Management, Bihar
  18. Indian Institute of Management, Odisha
  19. Indian Institute of Management, Nagpur
  20. Faculty of Management Studies
  21. SP Jain Institute of Management and Research
  22. Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
  23. International Management Institute, Delhi
  24. National Institute of Industrial Engineering
  25. Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
  26. T.A. Pai Management Institute
  27. Sailesh J. Mehta School of Management
  28. Institute of Rural Management, Anand
  29. K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
  30. Welingkar Institute of Management and Research
  31. Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad
  32. Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar
  33. Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi
  34. Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Guwahati
  35. Institute of Management, Nirma University
  36. Goa Institute of Management
  37. National Institute of Technology, Trichy




Bachelor's Degree

The candidate must hold a Bachelor's Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PWD)/ Differently Able (DA) category) awarded by any of the universities incorporated by an act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or posses an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

Candidate appearing for the final year of Bachelor's Degree

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. If selected, such candidates will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if she/he submits a certificate latest a date specified by the CAT authorities from the Principal/Registrar of her/his College/Institute stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor's degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.

Points to Note

The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the bachelor’s degree would be calculated based on the practice followed by the university/institution from where the candidate has obtained the degree. In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure certified by the university/ institution from where they have obtained the bachelor’s degree. In case the university/ institution does not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.

Students in the final year of graduation and those who have completed graduation and are awaiting results can also apply.

Applicants should be careful in applying, as no change in category will be entertained after the closure of registration window.

The selection criteria during the second stage of selection process might vary from institute to institute.


As per the Government of India requirements, the reservation policy is as follows:

Scheduled Caste (SC)15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST)7.5%
Candidates of Other Backward Classes belonging to ‘non-creamy’ layer (NC-OBC)27%
Differently Abled (DA)3%


The CAT exam consists of three sections:

  1. Quantitative Ability
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  3. Verbal Ability

The first section can be broadly divided into the following topics:

  1. Number Systems
  2. Linear Equations
  3. Inequalities
  4. Quadratic Equations
  5. Progressions and Series
  6. Averages, Ratio and Proportion
  7. Time, Distance and Work
  8. Profit, Loss and Interest
  9. Logarithms, Surds and Indices
  10. Probability, Combinatorics
  11. Venn Diagrams
  12. Functions, Graphs and Statistics
  13. Geometry
  14. Data Sufficiency

The second section can be broadly divided into the following topics:

  1. Data Interpretation
  2. Logical Reasoning

The third section can be broadly divided into the following topics:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Grammar and Sentence Correction
  3. Para Jumbles
  4. Para Completion and Summary
  5. Vocabulary
  6. Miscellaneous

Format of the Examination

CAT is a 180-minute online exam with no breaks in between. There are three sections - 1.Verbal Ability, 2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and 3. Quantitative Ability. The first and third sections consist of 34 questions each while the second section consists of 32 questions. Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks and each wrong answer carries a penalty of -1 marks. No marks are awarded for unattempted questions. There is a sectional time limit of 60 minutes for each section and candidates are not allowed to switch between the sections. Candidates are expected to perform well in all the sections and most of the institutes accepting CAT score for admission have sectional cut-offs in additional to overall cut-off.

SectionDurationNumber of questions
Verbal Ability60 minutes34
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning60 minutes32
Quantitative Ability60 minutes34
Overall180 minutes100

Important Dates

RegistrationAugust 9 - September 20 2017
Admit Card DownloadOctober 18, 2017
ExamNovember 26, 2017
ResultsSecond Week of January, 2018