IIM Kozhikode

What is Common Admission Test (CAT)

In continuation to Top MBA entrance examination in India, in this article we try to understand the mother of all MBA entrance examinations, CAT.

CAT is conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) for admission to their flagship programme, post graduate programme (PGP), in management and for various other management related courses. It mainly tests candidates in areas like Quantitative aptitude, Data sufficiency, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and English Grammar skills.

CAT had moved from a paper based test to computer based one in 2009. Last year the exam was conducted in 2 sessions on a particular day. This marked lot of improvement and efficiency in terms of quality of test experience as well as the number of days it used to take for conducting CAT.

The admission process followed by IIMs include a two step process where past academic record, performance in CAT and other parameters like work experience matter to clear the first round. Those candidates who cleared the first round will be called for further evaluation by a written test/Group Discussion and Personal Interview. All these evaluation parameters are put together to give final admission for PGP.

Currently CAT is used for admission by all 19 IIMs and other prominent government and private institutions like IITs, FMS Delhi, NITIE (Mumbai), SP Jain (Mumbai) and others. Total number of seats available in all IIMs put together amount to approximately 3,700 (final number is not available in public domain) and out of these 2,500 seats are available in old IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode).

Reservation policy adopted by Government means that the number of seats available in open category are few. As per admission guidelines followed by IIMs, 15% of seats are reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, 7.5% are reserved for candidates from scheduled tribes and 27% for candidates belonging to other backward castes leaving 50.5% for candidates in open category and people with physical disabilities. So someone aiming to make it to IIMs in open category have to be in the top 1~1.5% of exam taking students in CAT to get decent number of calls for second round.

Out of 40 top B-schools in India, nearly 30 B-Schools accept CAT scores. Below is the list in alphabetical order:


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