When is CAT conducted? 

CAT is normally conducted every year during a 21 day testing window (estimate but may vary) in the months of October and November. A candidate can appear for CAT only once during the 20-day testing window.


CAT score is valid for how many years? 

The test score is valid for admission to the forthcoming academic year only.


Who is eligible to take CAT? 

The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) categories], 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 possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.


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. IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided at the website www.catiim.in.


Which are the top-notch institutes that take CAT score for their MBA or their PGDBM programs? 

CAT is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management as a pre-requisite for admission to various management programmes of IIMs, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) and few other institutions.


What is percentile ranking? 

A percentile rank is the percentage of scores that fall below a given score. For example: a 75 percentile would imply that your score is greater than or equal to 75% of the total CAT test-takers.


What is CAT pattern and what are the different sections? 

The CAT 2012 test development process was conducted in alignment with the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. The exam was designed with two sections: (1) Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, (2) Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. These two sections are consistent with the knowledge domains historically assessed by the IIMs and are also aligned with the content areas covered in equivalent global admission examinations that measure performance along similar scales.


Each of the two sections consists of 30 questions. To answer these 30 questions a maximum of 70 minutes are allotted. Section 1 usually consists of 20 questions from Quantitative Aptitude and 10 questions from Data Interpretation. Section 2 consists of 20 questions from Verbal Ability and 10 questions from Logical Reasoning.


Once the first 70 minutes of section one is over, the test taker cannot go back to that section. After the completion of the first section, the test taker can start the second section.


What is normalization process? How is it done? 

The three-step normalization process is outlined here and is supported by the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness.


Step 1: Raw Score is Calculated


Your raw scores are calculated for each section based on the number of questions you answered correctly, incorrectly, or that you omitted.


Correct Answer : +3 points for questions you answered correctly


Incorrect Answer: 1 point for questions answered incorrectly


Omitted: 0 points for questions you did not answer


This scoring methodology ensures that candidates are only awarded points for what they know, while having points deducted for inappropriate random guessing. This is a standard process in the testing industry and is a methodology employed in scoring similar admissions tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).


Step 2: Raw Score is “Equated”


Equating is a statistical process used to adjust scores on two or more alternate forms of an assessment so that the scores may be used interchangeably. Industry standard processes were used for equating, such as those outlined within the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness.


Step3: Equated Raw Score is “Scaled”


In order to ensure appropriate interpretation of an equated raw score, the scores must be placed on a common scale or metric. A linear transformation is used for this scaling process, which is an industry standard practice (Kolen & Brennan, 2004).


The IIM scaling model is as follows:


Section Scores = 0 to 225


Total Exam Score = 0 to 450


Three scaled scores are presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and two separate scaled scores for each section. As the two sections evaluate two distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores may not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.


What is the difficulty level of CAT exam? 

The CAT exam has been developed to accurately identify top performing candidates and that design makes use of a scaled score range of 0 to 450. In order to appropriately identify the top performing candidates, the CAT exam is, by design, a very difficult exam. As would be expected with the more difficult CAT exam, no candidate would likely answer 100% of the items correctly or achieve the top theoretical score. The exam design will accomplish the goal of identifying the top performing candidates who are, indeed, ranked at the top of the list. If the exam were designed to be substantially easier, it would be theoretically possible for a candidate to achieve a score of 450. However, an exam constructed to be that easy would not serve the distinct purposes of the IIMs.


Do I have any breaks during the test? 

No, You will not be given any breaks during the test.


Will I be provided with any scratch paper for rough work and calculations during the test? 

At the test centre, each candidate will be seated at a desk with a computer terminal and he/she will be provided with a pencil, eraser and scratch paper for calculations. Rough work cannot be done on any other paper/sheet, as nothing will be allowed inside the testing room. On completion of the test, candidates will have to hand all the scratch paper and stationery back to the Administrator.


How is the computer-based format different from the paper-based format? 

The format of the test is more or less the same except that a candidate reads a question on a computer terminal and clicks on the correct answer, instead of reading on a paper booklet and using a pencil to darken the ovals on an answer sheet.


Which are the premier institutes that have their own entrance exam? 

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) admits through SNAP


Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) admits through NMAT


Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) admits through its own exam


Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur admits through XAT


Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) admits through its own test


Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) admits through its own test


What are the categories available when applying for CAT? 

The different categories are the following:


A. General


B. Scheduled Caste (SC)


C. Scheduled Tribe (ST)


D. Non Creamy Other Backward Class (NC-OBC)


E. NC-OBC – Minority


Are the reservations for minorities in force today? 

The 4.5% of reservation for minorities among OBC Non-Creamy Layer is not in force today as the Honorable High Court Andhra Pradesh in PIL Nos 1, 22 and 56 of 2012 has set aside the resolution of MHRD dated 22.12.2011 through which a subquota of 4.5% in favour of OBC (minorities) from out of 27% quota for OBCs was carved out. The Central Government in consultation with the Dept. of Legal Affairs had filed a Special Leave Petition in the Honorable Supreme Court against the aforesaid Judgement and the same is pending consideration.

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