Tips For Your CAT Exam

A CAT exam or a Common Admission Test is considered the first rated exam across India to gain admissions for Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Although the pattern for CAT exam changes every year to bring in an element of surprise, the exam this year is not expected to have any major changes. The CAT exam will be held on a specified date in November. Although the format for the exam is not expected to change, many experts believe that the difficulty level for the exam may be increased. We attempt to answer a few questions that you may have about the all important CAT exam.


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CAT 2016 Eligibility Criteria

The most important criteria to be eligible for a CAT exam is your academic qualification. A candidate must possess a degree to apply for a CAT exam. The various academic qualifications that is acceptable to appear for CAT 2016 is given below:

  1. A Bachelor”s degree in any stream from a reputed university or an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, India.
  2. The minimum percentage required in your Bachelors degree is 50% to qualify for appearing in CAT 2016. This requirement is for General and NC-OBC students. The criteria for students falling in the reserved categories are 45% in a Bachelor degree.
  3. For students who have been awarded CGPA or grades, the conversion of CGPA or grades will be as per the process that is certified by the University.
  4. Students in the final year of their program or even those awaiting their results can apply for the CAT exam. In such exceptional cases, students will be required to provide a certificate that has been issued by the registrar / principal of the college / institution by the specified deadline. This certificate needs to state that the student has completed all the requirements of the course.
  5. A student holding a Bachelors degree in Engineering or Technology after complete their 10 + 2 or Post Diploma or Post B.Sc. is eligible to apply for the CAT exam.
  6. Candidates that hold a qualification that is equivalent to any Bachelor”s degree. This qualification needs to be recognized by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi.

CAT 2016 Reservation Policy

All Indian Institute of Management (IIM) follow the guideline for reservation set by the Central Government for admission into their MBA programs. The reservation norms are also made applicable to the CAT exam. All IIM”s have two types of reservations – Caste based and differently abled individuals.

Caste Based Reservation

All candidates who fall in the scheduled caste, scheduled tribe or NC – OBC category fall under this reservation policy. The percentage of seats reserved is as follows:

  • Scheduled Caste (SC) – 15%
  • Scheduled Tribe (ST) – 7.5%
  • NC – OBC – 27%

Candidates who choose to apply under this reservation policy are required to upload the SC / ST / NC-OBC certificate while filling their application form. The original certificate is also to be produced at the time of interview and admission.

Differently Abled Candidates

The criteria for differently abled candidates can be categorized as:

  • Low Vision Blindness
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Locomotor Disability

The reservation will be applicable only to can be availed only by candidates who suffer from the above disabilities to the extent of at least 40% and above. Each candidate must possess a medical certificate issued by authorized medical authority. The reservation for differently abled candidates in IIM”s is 3%.

CAT Exam Pattern

The test paper for a CAT exam consists of three sections – Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, and Reading and Language Comprehension. The paper lasts three hours, which means that candidates get an hour for each section. There are two types of questions asked – multiple choice and non multiple choice. For multiple choice questions, a candidate gets 3 marks for a correct answer, 1 negative mark for a wrong answer and no marks for not attempting a question. For non multiple choice questions, a candidate gets three marks for each correct answer and no negative marks for any wrong or un-attempted questions.

Quantitative Ability Paper

This paper focuses on various numerical problems and will test the candidate”s ability to apply mathematical knowledge to each question with precision and accuracy.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

This paper focuses on the aspects of data interpretation and logical reasoning. Data interpretation focuses on the candidates’ ability to take a given set of data and derive conclusions from it. Logical reasoning tests logical thinking and the ability to apply it to everyday problems.

Verbal & Reading Comprehension

This paper will feature questions from English grammar and language.

The number of questions that will be asked in each section is not fixed. Every CAT exam has had a different bifurcation of questions each year.


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Jimmy is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TechnoIndian.


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