What is CAT?

CAT or Common Admission Test is a computer based all–India admission test. This examination is conducted jointly by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMS) and TCS (Tata Consultancy Services). The exam series started around the year 1950 and is conducted in 354 centers in 99 cities and towns over India. It serves as the gateway for all the Post-graduate students to business administration programmes in various IIMs, IITs, IISc, BIM-Trichy (Bharathidasan Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli), NIT (National Institute of Technology), FMS (Faculty of Management Studies) and few other institutions.

The year 2011 brought around a declaration in the month of August that IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and IISc (Indian Institute of Science) would be considering the CAT score instead of the JMET (Joint Management Entrance Test) for taking students in the management programs from the year 2012 to 2014. IIM Ahmedabad is to conduct CAT 2015 in the month of October/November.

Certain points to note

Keep in mind certain points before appearing for CAT:

  • Frequency : The exam is conducted annually based on IIM's rotation policy.
  • Duration of the exam: The time allotted for the exam is 2 hrs. 50 minutes.
  • Question pattern: A total of 100 questions 50 from quantitative ability and data interpretation and 50 from verbal ability and logical reasoning.
  • Score/grade range:  A three scaled score is usually given to each candidate. There is an overall scaled as well as two separate scaled score for each section. The scores are not correlative as the sections test entirely different abilities. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section and for an overall exam score.
  • Score /grade validity: 1 year
  • Format of Exam: The grading of the student is done on the quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning.CAT has multiple forms; hence it presents two types of scores a raw score and a scaled score.

Significance of CAT:

  • Prosperous career: Getting your MBA degree from the IIMs can help you build a bright career in the management sector.  
  • Corporate ladder: It pushes you a few steps up the corporate ladder, a much needed jump start in today’s world.
  • Creates value: It looks great on your resume and adds immense value to it.
  • Multiple benefits: Here, not only do you get to learn the nuances of Finance but you also get to be in a classroom of like-minded people who are dealing with case studies and people from the industry.