The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test held in India. The test scores a candidate on the bases of Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration programs. The test is conducted every year by one of the IIMs based on a policy of rotation. In August 2011, it was announced that Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) would also use the CAT scores, instead of the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET), to select students for their management programmes starting with the 2012-14 batch.
Structure of the CAT
There are 3 sections of the test
- Quantitative Ability (QA)
- Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC), and
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR).
The Quantitative Ability and Verbal& Reading Comprehension sections consist of 34 questions, whereas the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section caries 32 questions. Along with the objective type questions, there are some non-MCQ questions in each section. Candidates have to answer in the space provided to them.
The total duration of the test is 180 minutes or 3 hours. However, each section of the test has a time limit of 1 hour each. The test takers cannot switch between the sections and have to attend the test in a particular order. The order of the sections is-
- DI & LR, and
As per the marking scheme, each question carries 4 marks and there is negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer. There is no negative marking for the non-MCQ questions.
Four scaled scores will be presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and three separate scaled scores for each section. As the three sections evaluate distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do 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.
Eligibility Criteria for CAT
Candidates require minimum 50% aggregate mark in graduation in any discipline from a recognized institute. The candidates from SC, ST, OBC and DA category need an aggregate of 45% marks. Final year graduation students can also apply provided they can submit the graduation final marks to the institutes within the requisite schedule.
To succeed in the CAT Exam, go through MBAClub.in’s CAT Preparation Guide.
You can also read about other entrance exams in the list of main MBA Entrance Exams in India.