What is CAT exam?- A Detailed Guide

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What is CAT Exam

There are many entrance exams in India which are really tough. Most of these entrance exams are a gateway to some of the best institutes in the country for studying. Most of these entrance exams are for admission to institutes for professional courses. These exams are tough to clear and most of the candidates can’t make it through them. Some exams are conducted for admissions in PG courses whereas some are conducted for admission in UG courses.

Here in this article, we are going to talk about such an entrance exam called CAT (Common Admission Test). This exam is conducted all over India on a yearly basis where lakhs of candidates appear to write the paper. Only by scoring good marks in this exam, one can get admission into the IIMs and other business schools of the country. Therefore it can be called as a gateway to the IIMs in India.

For those who don’t know, IIMs are the most prestigious institutes in India where students get to study business and management-related courses. In this article, we will discuss what is CAT exam? We will also discuss the eligibility criteria and various other things as well. So let’s start the article with some basic knowledge related to it.

What is CAT Exam?

The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test. It is an entrance exam that is conducted every year in the online mode. CAT is a computer-based exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs). On the basis of score in this exam, IIMs allow the students to enroll in any degree course offered by them. The score in this exam doesn’t only help candidates to get into IIMs but into many other business management institutes as well. Many other prestigious management institutes in India consider CAT exam scores before giving admission.

If we see institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), then they also consider the CAT exam scores to select the candidates for management programs from their institutes. Therefore most of the students who want to pursue a career as a management professional are always advised to attempt this exam. Prior to the year 2009, this exam was conducted simply with pen and paper. But in the year 2009, the authorities announced that they will make this test a Computer Based Test.

Since then this test is being conducted online on computers only. Although, in the initial year, the authorities faced some issues due to technical faults in the system. But later on, it was fixed and now this exam is conducted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). We are saying so because they manage the servers and other technical aspects of it.

Eligibility Criteria 

So for anybody who wants to attempt this exam must know about the eligibility criteria for it. We will explain to you the eligibility criteria below in a few simple points:-

1. First of all there is no age limit to attempt this exam. Candidates can apply for this test at any age.

2. The candidate should hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% aggregate. If the candidate belongs to SC, ST, and PWD/DA category the minimum aggregation limit for them is 45%. The degree should be given from a recognized board or university.

3. The candidates who are appearing for the final year examination of their bachelor’s degree can also apply for this test. If the candidate gets selected then such candidates will have to submit a certificate that they have completed the requirements for obtaining a bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification. The certificate should be issued from the Principal/Registrar of her/his College/Institute.

CAT Exam Pattern 

There is no fixed exam pattern for CAT as the authorities keep altering it. But for the last two years, it hasn’t changed much. So we will advise you to check the exam pattern every year because even some changes in the exam pattern can affect you. Therefore keep yourself updated with the latest notifications related to this exam.

CAT exam has three sections namely VARC, DILR, and QA. All these three sections test the candidate on various factors. For example, the VARC section tests the candidate with his/her Verbal Ability & Reading knowledge, the DILR section consists of questions related to Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and the QA section has questions from Quantitative Aptitude.

These sections consist of MCQs and non MCOs type questions, the students are required to solve both types. There are a total hundred questions asked in the question paper and candidates will have 3 hours to solve the question paper.

Now if we talk about the marking scheme then there are 3 marks for every correct answer. Whereas you will score -1 mark for every wrong answer to a Multiple Choice Question. There is no negative marking for the Non Multiple Choice Questions.

How to Register for CAT Exam?

The candidate who wants to give the exam can register themselves online. The process of registration and application for the exam can be done on the official website of CAT. The application form for the exam is released on the official website by the IIM which is conducting the exam. Aspirants have to fill the form very carefully and try to avoid making any mistakes in the form. Because due to even a single mistake in the application form the whole application can be rejected. Although, after some time the authorities will also make a link available for the correction in the application form. But still, it is better not to leave scope for it.

Final Words

So this was all the important information related to CAT Exam. As we have discussed in this article that CAT is conducted to give admissions into the IIMs. But nobody should consider that CAT is the only factor that gets somebody into the IIMs, but yes it one of those several factors. Apart from the CAT score they also consider your academic record and work experience. Your selection into an IIM also depends on your interview. So that is all for this article, if you like this article and find it informative then feel free to share it with your friends.

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