What is CAT entrance exactly?

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22 Sep 2016

What is CAT entrance exactly?

CAT is the doorway to the most desirable B-school of India, the IIMs i.e. Indian Institutes of Management. As of today, it is considered as one of the most sought after career routes by the young & dynamic graduates of our country. Furthermore, the CAT score is well accepted by other management institutes across India, few even hold a high reputation like IIMs. If we go by what survey says it is one of the world’s most challenging entrance examinations for any graduate and certainly one of the largest MBA entrance exams conducted annually in India.

CAT is an aptitude test with a varying pattern that changes almost every passing year. Usually, the question paper is divided into 3-4 sections. It is a mandate that the candidate has to perform equally well in every individual section. To make it simpler for our readers, in order to qualify for the Group Discussion (GD) and Interview stage a candidate should be able to score a certain number of marks in each of the sections. The minimum cut-off varies as per the discretion of the institutes.

However, cut-off scores required for many of the other colleges are every year slightly lower than those required for the IIMs. You have to be good in all the sections because getting a very high score in one or two sections at the cost of the others, therefore, would end up to nothing!

About the Online CAT Exam

CAT exam used to be an offline exam, ending a three-decade-old paper-pencil format; the IIM’s since 2010 have adopted a computer-based model for CAT which is CBT-CAT. The basic motive behind this decision is the increase in the number of CAT applicants in the past few years.

As per the new system, the CAT examination is held at various Prometric centers across the country. There are prescribed dates and applicants can select a test date from them. The locations of these centers are revealed to the candidate, generally only after all applications for the test have been received.

According to the IIMs, this computer-based CAT has resulted in ease of registration process, the flexibility of choice in the selection of test date, test experience, and better physical environment. There is enhanced security in terms of video monitoring and biometric identification of candidates.

 Eligibility Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SO, Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Person With Disability (PWD) Category] awarded by any recognized University of India
  • Or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s the degree/equivalent qualification examination and those, who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply

How to prepare for CAT

For preparing for CAT entrance examination candidate is required to practice all the sections equally and work hard on your weaker areas. Vocab is very vast so start preparing for it at least 6months before. You have to take proper coaching for CAT from an institute. It doesn’t matter whether the institute is a brand or is extremely popular rather your effort and your passion matters. If you want to clear CAT to look for an institute that is there to help you clear your basics first.

How to Apply for CAT?

Register online for CAT by logging to www.catiim.in, and follow the instructions given on the website. An important point to note is that a candidate needs to buy only one CAT form irrespective of how many IIMs he or she is applying to.