CAT Exam

Common Admission Test Exam

What is CAT Exam?

CAT (Common Admission Test) is a national level entrance examination, which is conducted for admission to management programs in Indian Institutes of Management (IIM's) and top B-Schools across the country. It tests a candidate on his quantitative ability, data interpretation skills, verbal ability and logical reasoning.

CAT also serves as the eligibility criteria for being admitted into the business administration courses in various IIM's spread across the country. The test is designed to evaluate the management aptitude of students by testing his analytical and communication skills. It demands up to three to four months of intense preparation.

The test is open to all graduates. Usually, CAT examination will be held in November every year. CAT is conducted online at the examination centres. In August 2011, it was announced that the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) would also use the CAT scores, instead of Joint Management Test (JMET).

IIMs spread across the country offer post-graduate, doctoral and executive education programmes. The flagship programme is the two-year post-graduate programme, which is residential in nature. The admission to the two-year post-graduate programmes in IIMs is purely based on merit in the Common Admission Test (CAT).

CAT Exam Highlights 

Exam name  Common Admission Test (CAT) 
Organised by  Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
Exam level  National 
Frequency Once a year 
Mode of exam Computer-based  
Number of IIMs 20
Application fee   Rs 2000
Application mode  Online 
Admit card mode  Online 
Duration of the exam  3 hours 
Type of questions  MCQ and Non-MCQ 
Official website
Help desk number 1800-209-0830

CAT 2020 Exam Dates

Aspiring candidates should check all the important dates such as registration date, application date, admit card date, exam date, result date and counselling date. 

Event Date
CAT 2020 Notification  August 05, 2020
CAT registration  August 5 to September 16, 2020
CAT correction facility  September 27 to 30, 2020
CAT admit card  October 28 - November 29, 2020
CAT exam date  November 29, 2020
CAT answer key  December 2, 2020 (tentative) 
CAT result  January 5, 2021 (tentative) 

CAT Notification 2020

The organising institute for Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 is IIM Kozhikode. According to the sources, the institute is expected to release the CAT notification 2020 on August 02, 2020. The registrations for the entrance exam will begin from the second week of August. The official website for CAT 2020 will be active after the release of notification. Interested candidates can visit to explore all the information about the CAT 2020 examination.

CAT Eligibility 

To apply online for the CAT examination, the candidate must hold a bachelor's degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of the candidates belonging to SC, ST and PWD categories. Students appearing for the final year bachelor's degree are also eligible for the examination. However, they have to produce the bachelor’s degree certificate at the time of admission. Candidates are advised to check the CAT eligibility details meticulously before applying online. 

Courses In IIMs Through CAT 

The CAT examination is conducted for admission to several Post Graduate Programmes (PGP), Doctoral and Executive programmes in IIMs spread across the country. Some institutes even offer Fellowship Programmes in Management (FPM) which is equal to PhD. List of courses offered in IIMs. 

  • PGP (Post Graduate Program in Management)
  • PGP- FABM (Food and Agribusiness Management)
  • PGPEM (PGP in Enterprise Management)
  • PGPPM (PGP in Public Policy and Management)
  • EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Program in Management)
  • PGPSM (PGP in Sustainable Management)
  • PGPWE (PGP in Management for Working Executive)
  • PGPBM (PGP in Business Management)
  • FPM (Fellow Program in Management)

List Of IIMs In India 

There are a total of 20 IIMs across the country. Explore the complete list of IIMs with the year of establishment and state located. 

S No Name Of Institute State Located Year Of Establishment
1 IIM Ahmedabad  Gujarat 1961
2 IIM Calcutta  West Bengal  1961 
3 IIM Bangalore Karnataka  1973 
4 IIM Lucknow Uttar Pradesh  1984 
5 IIM Indore  Madhya Pradesh  1996 
6 IIM Kozhikode Kerala   1996 
7 IIM Shillong Meghalaya  2007 
8 IIM Raipur  Chhattisgarh  2010 
9 IIM Ranchi  Jharkhand  2010 
10 IIM Rohtak  Haryana  2010 
11 IIM Kashipur  Uttarakhand  2011 
12 IIM Tiruchirappalli  Tamil Nadu  2011 
13 IIM Udaipur Rajasthan  2011 
14 IIM Amritsar Punjab   2015 
15 IIM Bodh Gaya Bihar  2015 
16 IIM Nagpur Maharashtra  2015 
17 IIM Sambalpur Odisha  2015 
18 IIM Sirmaur Himachal Pradesh  2015 
19 IIM Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh  2015 
20 IIM Jammu Jammu and Kashmir  2016

CAT Registration 2020

Candidates who are aiming to appear for the CAT entrance test should submit the registration form successfully. The CAT online registrations will be accepted between August 4 and September 18, 2020. At the time of registration, candidates have to select any four Test Cities as per their preference from the drop-down menu. After the last date of registration, candidates will be allotted one among the four preferred cities subject to availability. In the rare case that a candidate is not allotted any of the preferred cities, he/she will be allotted a nearby city. The candidates can download the admit cards in October/November. Explore the CAT registration process step by step. 

Note: All the candidates must declare and maintain a valid and unique email id and a mobile phone number throughout the selection process.

CAT Application Fee

Candidates have to pay the prescribed application fee to complete the CAT registration process. The application fee can be paid through net banking, debit card, credit card, BillDesk, PayU and Paytm.

  • For General Category Candidates – Rs 2000/-
  • For NC - OBC Category Candidates – Rs 2000/-
  • For SC/ST/PwD Category Candidates – Rs 1000/- 
  • For All Others – Rs 2000/-

CAT Reservation Criteria 

As per the legal requirements, 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC), 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, 27% of seats for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates belonging to the “Non-Creamy” layer (NC-OBC), and 5% for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD). The categories of disability are: 

  • Blindness and low vision
  • Deaf and hard of hearing,
  • Locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy
  • Autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness, and
  • Multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d)
  • Other 'specified disabilities' mentioned in 'The Schedule' of the RPwD Act 2016

CAT Test Centres

The test is going to be conducted across 140 test cities. Test cities will be mentioned below and the name of the test centre will be indicated in the Admit Card. IIMs reserve the right to change or cancel any test centre/city/change the test time and date at their own discretion. 

State Test Cities
Andaman & Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Andhra Pradesh Guntur, Kakinada, Kurnool, Nellore, Rajahmundry,  Tirupathi, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
Assam Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Silchar
Bihar Aurangabad, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Purnea
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh Bhilai, Raipur
Delhi Delhi, New Delhi
Goa Madgaon, Verna
Gujarat Ahmedabad, Anand, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara
Haryana Ambala, Bahadurgarh, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Palwal, Panipath, Rohtak, Sonipat
Himachal Pradesh Shimla
Jammu & Kashmir Jammu
Jharkhand Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Ranchi
Karnataka Belgaum, Bengaluru, Bidar, Chikkaballapur, Davanagere, Hassan, Kolar, Mandya, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Ramnagara, Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi
Kerala Kasaragod, Kochi, Kollam, Kozhikode, Malappuram,  Thrissur, Trivandrum
Madhya Pradesh Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Sagar
Maharashtra Ahmednagar, Amravati, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Kolhapur,  Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Nanded,  Nashik, Pune, Ratnagiri, Satara, Solapur, Thane
Meghalaya Shillong
Odisha Balasore, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela
Puducherry Puducherry
Punjab Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar,  Ludhiana, Mohali, Pathankot, Patiala, Ropar, Sangrur
Rajasthan Ajmer, Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Sikar, Udaipur
Tamil Nadu Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelvelli
Telangana Hyderabad, Karim Nagar, Khammam
Uttar Pradesh Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mathura, Meerut, Noida, Varanasi
Uttarakhand Dehradun, Roorkee
West Bengal Asansol, Burdwan, Durgapur, Hooghly, Howrah, Kalyani, Kolkata, Siliguri

CAT Exam Pattern 

The CAT is a computer-based test carrying a total of 100 questions. It contains both multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and non-MCQ questions. The duration of the exam is three hours. Check the complete details of the CAT exam pattern here. 

Name of Section  No of Questions  Total Marks  Duration 
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 34 102 60 minutes 
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 32 96 60 minutes 
Quantitative Ability (QA) 34 102 60 minutes 
Total 100 180 180 minutes 

CAT Admit Card 2020

The organising institute is responsible for issuing the CAT admit card. The online CAT admit card will be released during the last week of October. Candidates should download the admit card and check all the details such as personal and test venue details besides exam day guidelines. One should also save the soft copy of the admit card until the end of the admission process. According to the sources, the CAT admit card 2020 will be released on October 28, 2020 Check the steps to download CAT admit card online. 

CAT Syllabus 

The CAT exam consists of three subjects namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC). The syllabus remains the same for every year despite the changes in the number of questions. We advise students to check the CAT syllabus before preparation that gives an overall view of weightage topics. Download the CAT syllabus pdf file here. 

CAT Question Papers 

The previous year question papers and sample papers help aspirants in preparation. One should start their CAT preparation by solving these papers. Aspirants can download CAT question papers here. 

CAT Result 2020

The CAT 2020 results will be tentatively available starting from the second week of January 2021 on the CAT official website. The list of candidates shortlisted for the next level of selection will be made available on the website of the respective IIM's. Each IIM will send interview letters to the shortlisted candidates directly. The criteria for shortlisting vary across all the IIM's.

CAT Exam Analysis 2020

The CAT 2020 examination will be held across the country on November 24, 2020. The results of the examination were released in the second week of January. The competition in this examination will not be easy because this is the only way to get admission to the pioneer management institutes (IIMs) in the country besides top business schools. 

Over 2.24 lakh candidates have appeared for the CAT 2020 examination at more than 150 test centres. The examination was held in two sessions – morning and evening. Aspirants who have appeared for the examination found that the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) section was tough. While other sections such as Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA) were moderate compared to last year. 

Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension (VARC)

This section was a little bit tough to many test-takers. The pattern of the paper was different from the sample paper provided by the CAT organising body. The paragraphs in the reading comprehension consisted of around 500 words. For every passage, the candidates found 1-2 inference-based questions. In verbal ability, test takers have found four questions on para-jumbled, three questions on summary and three questions on odd sentence out.  

Data Interpretation And Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The DILR section surprised the candidates. The questions were easily cracked and there was an increase in the accuracy level. Very few sets had one difficult question. The logical reasoning sets were moderate to easy. However, the data interpretation questions were moderate. Many found that the questions on matrix adjacent cells, committees research/teaching/economist and petrol pumps were easy to do. 

Quantitative Ability (QA)

The quantitative ability section was easy compared to the previous year. If anyone compares the question paper with the last four years, they will find that the QA questions in the CAT 2019 were a bit easier. The options in the MCQ were confusing to many test-takers. The number system and logarithm questions had two questions each. However, the question paper was dominated by arithmetic and geometry. 

On the whole, the score of 155 to 160 could result in 99 percentile score in CAT 2019. A candidate who has attempted more than 60 out of 100 questions accurately can expect a good score. The good attempt for VARC and DILR is more than 24 and 16, respectively. However, a good attempt for quantitative aptitude is more than 20 questions. 

CAT Result 2020 Declared

The organising institute, IIM Indore, has released CAT result 2020 on January 2. Candidates who have appeared for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 held on November 29 can check the result on the official website.

Download CAT Result 2020

Candidates should use their login credentials such as user id and password to download CAT result 2020 score card. A total of 2,27,835 candidates have registered for CAT 2020 exam, of which 1,90,143 have appeared. 

4 January 2021
CAT 2020 Final Answer Key Released

IIM Indore has released the final answer key of CAT 2020. Candidates who had appeared for the CAT 2020 exam can download/access the CAT answer sheet by logging to the official portal.

Earlier, the exam authority has released the CAT answer sheet along with the candidate’s response sheet between December 8 to 11, 2020. The CAT final answer key is available in pdf format. 

1 January 2021
CAT Answer Key 2020: Objection Window To Close Today

IIM Indore will be closing the objection window of CAT answer key 2020. Candidates who had appeared for the written exam and want to challenge the provisional answer key till 5 pm. 

The official website reads, "The Objection Management tab for CAT 2020 will be active from 10.00 AM on December 8, 2020, till 5:00 PM on December 11, 2020. Candidates will be able to see the Answer Key as well as their Individual Responses to Questions during this duration."

The exam authority will consider the objections and prepare the final answer key. The CAT final answer key will be released along with the result.

11 December 2020
CAT Answer Key 2020: Check Individual Response Sheet

IIM Indore has released CAT Answer Key 2020 on the official website. Candidates can check their answer ley as well as their individual responses. It has also provided an option to challenge the answer key till December 11.

The official website reads, "The Objection Management tab for CAT 2020 will be active from 10.00 AM on December 8, 2020 till 5:00 PM on December 11, 2020. Candidates will be able to see the Answer Key as well as their Individual Responses to Questions during this duration."

8 December 2020
CAT Answer Key 2020 Will Be Released On December 8

The organising institute, IIM Indore, will be releasing CAT answer key 2020 on December 8 for all the slots 1, 2 & 3. One can access CAT 2020 answer key on the official website - 


Download CAT Answer Key 2020

The official website reads, "The Objection Management tab for CAT 2020 will be active from 10.00 AM on December 8, 2020 till 5:00 PM on December 11, 2020. Candidates will be able to see the Answer Key as well as their Individual Responses to Questions during this duration."

7 December 2020
CAT 2020 Answer Key Expected Soon
CAT 2020 Exam Analysis
CAT 2020 Exam Day Guidelines Released
CAT 2020 Official Mock Test Available
CAT Admit Card 2020 Released
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