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CAT Exam 2021: Registration, Exam Dates, Preparation, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, and Cut off

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master | Updated On - Jul 22, 2021

CAT Exam 2021 will be conducted by IIM Ahmedabad in the last week of November 2021 and CAT registration 2021 will begin in August. To appear for CAT exam, candidates will be required to fulfill CAT Eligibility criteria i.e. 50% & 45% marks in graduation for GN and Reserved category candidates. While filling the application form, the online CAT Application fee 2021 that needs to be paid will be INR 2000 for GN and INR 1000 for SC/ST/PwD candidates. Also Check CAT 2021 Important Dates 

Common Admission Test (CAT) is an entrance exam to get into 2 year MBA programs at 20 IIMs in India. Every year CAT exam is conducted for over 2 lakh candidates to offer admission in 5000+ seats. Last year due to the COVID-19 situation, CAT Exam Pattern was revised and since this year CAT exam will be conducted by IIM-A, candidates are again expecting some changes in the pattern. Also Check CAT Syllabus

CAT 2021 aspirants can also download the section wise CAT Previous Years Question Papers and CAT Mock Tests to check their preparation level. Download CAT Sample Paper

CAT Exam Latest Updates:

  • July 20: As per the previous years' trends, CAT 2021 Official notification can be expected on July 25, 2021.
  • June 22: IIMs have already released the final admission list for 2021-23 MBA Batch, however, candidates on the waitlist of IIMs can check the previous year's waitlist movement. Check Here
  • June 15: CAT 2021 conducting body ‘IIM Ahmedabad’ appoints Prof M P Ram Mohan as convener of CAT examination. Check Here
  • June 8: IIM-R Director has suggested the formation of ‘CAT Corporation’ to conduct CAT in multiple languages & attempts. Read More

CAT 2020 had been conducted successfully by IIM-Indore and IIMs had released the final lists of CAT shortlisted candidates for the admission cycle. Know More IIM Common Application Process (IIM CAP). In the 2021-23 admissions, IIM Ahmedabad had decreased the weightage of CAT exam from 80% to 65%. This had increased the chance of candidates from diverse backgrounds to sit for the selection process. IIM Ahmedabad Selection Process

The Average CAT Cut Off to get into the top IIMs this year is 94 percentile, map your score to percentile. Check CAT Score vs Percentile mapper.

Common Admission Test Highlights

Particulars Details
CAT 2021 Conducting Body IIM-A
CAT Official Website iimcat.ac.in
Duration 2 Hours
Number of Sections 3 (Quantitative Ability-34, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension-34, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning-32)
CAT 2021 Application Mode Online
Medium of Exam English (Exam is conducted in CBT mode)
CAT Helpdesk cathelpdesk@iimcat.ac.in; 1800-2090-830

IIM Ahmedabad to Conduct CAT 2021

IIM Ahmedabad is conducting CAT 2021 and based on several changes introduced by IIM-A in CAT examination in previous years, candidates can expect some changes in the 2021 examination also. Majory the changes are expected in CAT 2021 exam pattern. Check Complete details at CAT Exam Pattern

  • IIM Ahmedabad introduced the 3 sections in CAT. Also, 32 questions in one section & 34 in the other two sections were introduced by IIM-A in 2015. The distribution of the questions is the same since 2015. 
  • Before that only 2 sections were there in CAT with 50 questions each. 
  • Due to the current situation of pandemic, candidates can also expect some changes in CAT exam pattern to ensure the safe and smooth conduct of the exam.  
CAT 2021 Important Dates

CAT Exam Dates 2021 (Tentative)

CAT Exam Dates 2021 mentioned below are tentative and will likely be finalized with the release of notification in July 2021. CAT 2021 aspiring candidates can bookmark this page & keep visiting to get the fastest update on CAT Exam Schedule & Dates

Events Dates (Tentative)
Issue of CAT 2021 notification July 25, 2021
Starting of CAT registration 2021 August 5, 2021
Last date for CAT registration 2021 4th week of September 2021 (Form Correction facility available for image correction)
CAT Admit card 2021 release date October 2021 (In Online mode only)
Date of CAT exam 2021 November 28, 2021
CAT Answer key 2021 release date December 2021 (Separate release of Provisional and Final answer Keys)
CAT Result declaration January 2022
CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

CAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus 2021

CAT exam pattern 2021 is likely to change because CAT 2020 was trimmed to 76 questions from 100 due to COVID-19. Also, this year CAT Exam will be conducted by IIM-A which is known for introducing major changes in the exam pattern therefore candidates are expecting some positive changes in the same. 

  • Time Duration & Total Questions: CAT test duration was also trimmed to 120 minutes from 180 minutes which is likely to be restored for CAT 2021 (final notification awaited). 
  • Total Sections: CAT consists three sections of Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension(VARC) & Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR).
  • TITA Type Questions – No Negative Marks: Around 25% or 20-25 questions will be TITA-type questions in CAT 2021. No marks will be deducted for wrong answers while answering TITA-type questions that means candidates can score high marks if they solve TITA questions with a 90% accuracy rate. 
  • MCQ Type Questions: Remaining 70-75% CAT question paper will have MCQ type questions only. Candidates will also face negative marks for marking wrong answers in the case of MCQ-type questions. 
  • CAT Marking Scheme: For every correct answer 3 marks will be awarded and a penalty of 1/3 negative marks is there for wrong answers. 
  • As per trends, CAT Syllabus is derived from 10th -12th standard chapters and largely remains undefined. IIMs releases a CAT Mock Test every year which highlights question types and syllabus.
CAT Exam pattern 2021

CAT Exam Syllabus 2021: Important Topics

Subjects Important Topics
Quantitative Aptitude Number, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Mensuration, Modern Maths, etc.
VARC Passages, Fill in the blanks, Para Jumble, Para Completion, Fact Inference Judgement, Sentence Correction, etc.
DILR Tables, Pie Charts, Seating Arrangement, Logical Deduction, Cause and Effect, Calendars, Clocks, Blood Relations, Venn Diagrams, etc. 

Difficulty Level of CAT Question Paper

Based on the experience of test takers and experts, the difficulty level and some of the important topics from the previous year’s CAT exam are provided in the table below. Also, in the 2020 CAT exam, the questions and time duration were reduced due to the COVID-19 situation.

CAT Section Total Questions CAT Slot 1 CAT Slot 2 CAT Slot 3 Topics
CAT VARC Paper Analysis 26 Difficult Easy Moderate RC, Para Summary, Odd Sentence, Para jumbles
CAT DILR Paper Analysis 24 Easy Moderate Difficult Sales Figures, Scheduling, Parking Slots, Votes polled
CAT Quant Paper Analysis 26 Moderate Moderate Easy Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry
CAT 2021 Preparation

CAT 2021 Coaching & Preparation

For the preparation of CAT exam 2021, candidates can take help from CAT Coaching. These days coaching is offered in both the modes online + classroom.

  • Many toppers have taken coaching of the entire CAT syllabus or single section depending upon the preparation level.
  • Before shortlisting any coaching institute make sure you take a mock test using CAT Previous Year papers to get an idea of which part of the syllabus should be focussed.
  • You should also ask for a demo class from the institute to get a feel of actual course delivery.

Check CAT Coaching Links:

CAT Preparation

CAT Preparation should constitute over 50% of time spent on solving mock papers and practice papers. The weak areas needs to be addressed with the help of self-study or some mentor or coaching institutes. CAT Exam is considered one of the most competitive exams in our country, given by lakhs of candidates each year to get selected in 21 IIMs located across the country. As the number of applicants increases each year, the exam is getting tougher day by day.

  • CAT Preparation time for an average candidate varies between 8-10 months. Many toppers have suggested solving mock papers for at least 6 months to get a hold over the exam. Read preparation strategy for all the sections
  • Sections like Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension is becoming a major hurdle. Conceptual questions are becoming less intensive with more occurrence of IQ based questions in every section.

CAT Books

Ekansh Agrawal (CAT 2020 99.98 Percentile) solved 60% of the book Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma. There are many books that can be preferred while preparing for CAT. Check out CAT Books for Preparation

Arun Sharma CAT Books Publication
How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for CAT McGraw Hill Publication
How to Prepare Logical Reasoning for CAT  McGraw Hill Publication
How To Prepare For Data Interpretation for CAT  McGraw Hill Publication
Other Best CAT Books Author
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Nishit Sinha (2016)
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension for CAT Meenakshi Upadhyay and Arun Sharma (8th Edition)
The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Nishit Sinha (2016)
Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis (2019)

Also Check:

CAT Preparation Tips from Topper’s Interviews

Key Takeaways from CAT 2020 for CAT 2021 Aspirants- CAT exam pattern is slowly moving towards an IQ-based Test rather than a Knowledge-based test. The test that earlier gave an upper hand to engineering students is now touching the level of GMAT.

Topper Subject Topper
CAT Topper Ravi Prinshu Preparation Tips CAT DILR Preparation Strategy 2021

To crack DILT focus more on Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables, Case Study Type of Questions

CAT VARC Preparation Strategy 2021 Start with the easy question and slowly progress to the moderate and difficult questions. Solve a maximum number of questions to improve speed while solving RC. 
CAT Quant Preparation Strategy 2021 Learn the shortcut and tricks from the internet. There are several free resources available from where you can get questions and answers as well as formulas with tips and tricks.

Quick Links:

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

Candidates can download the PDFs of CAT previous year question papers provided in the table below: 

Section & Slot Number CAT Question Paper 2020 CAT Answer Key 2020 CAT Question Paper 2019 CAT Answer Key 2019
CAT Quant Slot 1 Download  Download  Download  Download 
CAT DILR Slot 1 Download  Download  Download  Download 
CAT VARC Slot 1 Download  Download  Download  Download 

Download More PDFs:

CAT 2021 Registration

CAT Registration, Eligibility & Reservation 2021

CAT Registration 2021

CAT Registration can be made online at the official website iimcat.ac.in once the link gets activated. Once the official website gets live then the CAT 2021 aspiring candidates will be required to create the login credentials. After you need to follow the steps mentioned below: 

  • Do not forget to select or opt for the IIMs while filling the CAT Registration form. Either you can pick the IIMs in which you are interested to take admission else you can select all the IIMs mentioned in the list. 
  • Carefully enter all the details asked in the CAT Application Form like fill all the four exam center preferences carefully, entering academic details, etc. 
  • All the CAT 2021 aspiring candidates are advised to upload the required documents as per the mentioned specification only to avoid any inconvenience. Read More
  • Authorities may provide a small window for CAT form correction around September 2021.
  • CAT Registration fees as discussed in the opening lines is 2000 for general candidates and 50% rebate is offered for female and reserved quota candidates. The payment can be made online only.
Category CAT Registration Fee
General/NC-OBC  INR 2000
SC/ ST INR 1000
PwD/ DA  INR 1000

CAT Eligibility & Reservation 2021

  • CAT Eligibility is 50% in graduation for general candidates and CA, CS, ICWA degrees are also eligible to take the exam. There is no limit to take the CAT exam. CAT 2021 Eligibility
  • Reservation in the CAT exam is offered to the reserved quota students as per the GOI guidelines.
  • There is a 5% relaxation in the qualifying percentage and also the qualifying percentile is subsidized for such candidates. Check More about CAT Reservation details

CAT 2021 Admit Card & Exam Centers

CAT Registration is followed by the release of CAT Admit Card 2021 which can be downloaded from the CAT website from October 2021. The CAT Hall Ticket will be released in the fourth week of October 2021. Check the details around CAT 2021 Admit Card

CAT 2021 will be conducted in 425 test centers across 156 exam cities in the nation. The probability of conducting CAT in 2 slots rather than in 3 slots like that of CAT 2020 is high. Check CAT 2021 Exam Centers

CAT 2021 Marking Scheme

CAT Marking Scheme & Percentile

CAT score is the total marks obtained by a candidate in the entrance exam. Conventionally CAT is a 300 marks exam scored from 100 questions i.e. 3 marks per question and one negative mark for a wrong answer. The score is not widely circulated data for CAT but percentile. Many IIMs also consider sectional cut off. For example IIM Trichy sectional cut off is 80, 80, and 95 for QA, VARC & DILR respectively overall it is 94.

CAT Percentile Vs Marks

  • Percentile can be mapped with the score on the basis of this CAT Percentile vs Score analysis.
  • It has been seen that colleges like IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, IIM-I, IIM-K, IIM-L shortlist 99+ percentile candidates for the admission process.
  • With good attempts of around 18-20 and a raw score of 46-52 candidates can expect 98 to 99 Percentiles in the respective sections. On the other hand with good attempts of around 13-15 and a raw score of 35-41 candidates can expect a 95+ Percentile.
  • The relation between CAT Percentile and Marks varies for each section as it depends on the score normalization process. 
CAT percentile range CAT overall score
99+ 155-160
95-98 135-154
90-94 101-134
85-89 81-100
CAT 2021 Cut Off

CAT 2021 Cut Off & Selection Process

The selection process of IIMs does not consider CAT Cut off as only qualifying criteria instead they test students on further rounds of Written Aptitude Test (WAT) or Group Discussion (GD), followed by a personal interview round. A certain weightage from CAT Exam, GD/WAT, PI, and performance in graduation, 10th and 10+2 exam is considered to decide the selection. Checkout IIM Ahmedabad selection process in this snapshot.

IIM Selection process

Check out this answer on Collegedunia Q&A Platform around CAT Interview at IIM Calcutta What was Your IIM Calcutta Interview Experience like?

Approx. CAT Cut-Off Percentiles (General Category) Institutes
CAT Percentile 98.5+ IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, IIM-I, IIM-K, IIM-L, FMS, IIT- B, MDI-PGPM, RGIIMS
CAT Percentile 96.5+ IIT-D, SPJIMR, JBIMS, NITIE-PGDIM, MDI-PGP HR/IM, IIM-KS, IIM-RH, IIM-RN, IIM-RP, IIM-T, IIM-UP
CAT Percentile 94.5+ IIT-C, IIT-KH, IIT-KN, IIT-R, IISc-B, IIM-A (ABM), IIM-Asr, IIM-BG, IIM-L (ABM), IIM-N, IIM-Sam, IIM-Srm, IIM-V, MDI-M
CAT Percentile 90+ BIM, FSM, IRMA, IMI-D, IMT-G/N, KJSIMSR, MICA, NIRMA, PUMBA, SPJAIN-D/S, TAPMI, UBS-CHD
CAT Percentile 87+ BIMTECH-PGDM/IB, GLIM, IBS-ICFAI, IFMR, IMI-K/B, IMT-H LBSIM, LIBA, MFC-DU, MIB-DU, MHROD-DU, WIMDR-M
CAT Percentile 85+ AJKMCRC, BIMTECH-Retail/Insurance, IIFM, ISBM-P, IIMC (Mass Com Delhi), MISB, MBE-DU, WIMDR-B

CAT IIM Selection & Admission Process

Certain key changes have been observed in IIM Selection Process for 2021-23 admission process. CAT 2020 cut off has been reduced for 1st stag of shortlisting. Certain IIMs like IIM Rohtak are not considering sectional CAT cut offs. Instead, it would shortlist candidates on the basis of their overall CAT score. Allotted weightage to CAT 2020 exam has been reduced. More weightage has been given to academic performance and diversity. Female candidates will be awarded bonus marks in IIM Admission process. Many IIMs will not conduct WAT and will organize PI online.

What is CAP Admission Criteria in IIMs:

CAT Common Admission Process or CAT CAP is a centralized counselling process conducted for admission in the new IIMs and they are IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Kashipur, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Jammu, IIM Ranchi, IIM Trichy, IIM Udaipur.

  • Benefit of CAP counselling process is that the common rules or criteria are followed i.e the qualifying cut off will be the same for these institutes.
  • Also, a combined GD and PI round will be conducted for all the candidates and in the end, each IIM prepares its individual merit list to offer admission. 
  • Last year CAP counselling was conducted by IIM Kashipur. 

IIMs Waitlist Movement

  • Once the candidates are shortlisted for the final admission process, one more batch of eligible students is kept on the waiting list. If a student does not opt for admission in the institute, then that seat goes for the candidate in the waiting list. 
  • In simple words, we can say that IIM waitlist means or consists of the number of seats that move up from the waitlist to offer.
  • No IIM releases the list of waitlists of candidates publically, however, based on various sources like Quora, Blogs, Students interactions etc the data has been curated. Read More CAT IIM Selection Process
Type Total Intake Shortlisted Candidates Seats filled
IIMs Batch 2019-21 Batch 2020-22 Batch 2019-21 Batch 2020-22 Batch 2019-21 Batch 2020-22
IIM Ahmedabad 385 394 1220 1240 392 392
IIM Bangalore 441 458 1425 1556 441 458
IIM Calcutta 480 480 1990 1852 480 480

Last Year Waitlist Movement Trend

From the image provided below candidates can check the Waitlist Movement Trend of various IIMs.

waitlist movement trend

MBA College Accepting CAT Score (Above 90 Percentile)

College Total Fees (Approx) Average Placement Packages
Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM) Rs. 13,75,000 10 LPA
Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kgp Rs. 7,36,000 16.50 LPA
University Business School (UBS) Rs. 32,874 9.5 LPA
MICA Rs. 18,50,000 12.8 LPA
Delhi School of Management (DSM) Rs. 1,58,000 7.5 LPA
Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) Rs. 11,50,000 10.95 LPA
Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research Rs. 11,00,000 11 LPA
Institute for Financial Management and Research Rs 12,00,000 9 LPA
SP Jain Institute of Management and Research Rs. 16,25,000 22 LPA
Institute of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University Rs. 98,888 9 LPA
Institute of Finance and International Management Rs. 11,00,000 19 LPA
Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education Rs. 1,36,000-1,53,000 10.43 LPA
Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra Rs. 4,77,00 11.76 LPA
Institute of Public Enterprise Rs. 8,00,000 6.09 LPA
Balaji Institute of Modern Management Rs. 6,60,000 6 LPA
SCMS Cochin School of Business Rs.. 7,50,000 5 LPA
Department of Management Sciences, University of Pune Rs. 1,32,000 6.43 LPA
Woxsen School of Business Rs. 34,60,000 8.1 LPA
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management Rs. 12,25,000 4.5 LPA
DoMS, IISc Rs. 70,000 24.5 LPA
K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Rs. 11,93,000 5 LPA
Indian Institute of Forest Management Rs. 4,80,000 7.5 LPA
Indian Institute of Management Visakhapatnam Rs. 9,00,000 13.08 LPA
Trinity College for Management and Technology RS. 2,12,000 3 LPA
MNNIT Rs.1,01,902 7.82 LPA

MBA College Accepting CAT Score (80-90 Percentile)

College 80-90 Percentile College Above 85 Percentile
Fore School of Management Rs 15.98 lakh IMI, Delhi Rs 16.95 lakh
Goa Institute of Management Rs 16.98 lakh Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur Rs 12.05 lakh
International Management Institute, Delhi Rs 17.68 lakh Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli Rs 13.75 lakh
S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research Rs 17.50 lakh Delhi School of Management-DTU Rs 3.17 lakh
Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai Rs 15.26 lakh KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai Rs 7.08 lakh
Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management Rs 15.29 lakh Department of Management Sciences, Pune University Rs 1.33 lakh
T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal Rs 14.60 lakh Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur Rs 7.36 lakh
Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management development & Research, Bangalore Rs 11 lakh Department of Management Studies, IIM Madras Rs 7 lakh
Amity University, Gurgaon Rs 8.20 lakh Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee Rs 8 lakh
Amity University, Gwalior Rs 8.20 lakh School of Management, Manipal University Rs 6.86 lakh

MBA College Accepting CAT Score (60-80 Percentile)

With preparation for one of the most favored management entrance tests in the nation CAT, aspirants also are in search of colleges that will grant admission at specified scores. Top scorers are usually aware of which college they will get a seat in, but students with a relatively low score are unaware of where to head forward. So here’s a list of colleges divided between different CAT Percentile Range where students can seek admission with designated scores along with their fee structure for the degree program.

Candidates should not get confused about the colleges accepting low percentile not accepting higher CAT percentile. Seats will be granted on the basis of higher scores between two candidates.

The list below marks ten colleges in each percentile range, but does not follow any rank preference.

College 60-70 Percentile College 70-80 Percentile
Christ University Institute of Management, Bangalore Rs 17.87 lakh Alliance School of Business - Alliance University, Bangalore Rs 13.50 lakh
IILM Institute for Higher Education, Delhi Rs 12.90 lakh Amity Business School, Noida Rs 12.80 lakh
Institute of Management, Nirma University, Ahmedabad Rs 10.04 lakh Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida Rs 12 lakh
Amrita School of Business - Bangalore Rs 10 lakh Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon Rs 11.76 lakh
Acharya Bangalore B-School Rs 8.10 lakh Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, (XIME Bangalore), Hosur Road, Bangalore Rs 10 lakh
International School of Business & Media, Pune Rs 8.90 lakh Amity University, Mumbai Rs 10.00 lakh
AIMS Institutes (AIMS), Bangalore Rs 8.10 lakh CMS Business School, J.P. Nagar, Bangalore Rs 9.90 lakh
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani Rs 8.04 lakh RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Noida Rs 9.5 lakh
School of Petroleum Management-PDPU, Ahmedabad Rs 8.20 lakh Asia-Pacific Institute of Management (AIM, Delhi) Rs 9.65 lakh
New Delhi Institute of Management Rs 7.25 lakh Universal Business School, Sion, Mumbai Rs 8.78 lakh
Why to take CAT

What is CAT Exam?

CAT exam is the only gateway to get into IIMs. IIMs offer education from the best-qualified faculty and a chance to study with top-class students of India.  IIMs offer a considerable rise in paycheque and can offer up to 100% hike in the average pay. Internships and placements are offered by top firms like Goldman Sachs, TAS, JP Morgan, etc. Check out IIM Ahmedabad placement report to get an insight. if you have doubt about why to do an MBA then visit this page

Changes in CAT Exam Last Year

  • The application fee for CAT exam was increased from INR 1,900 to 2,000 for General category students and from INR 950 to 1,000 for SC/ST/PwD candidates.
  • Candidates can now select up to six cities for CAT Exam center choice. 
  • Also total CAT Exam slots were increased from 2 to 3 i.e. Slot 1- 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM, slot 2 - 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, slot 3 - 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
  • Last year the time duration of CAT exam was reduced to 120 minutes from 180 minutes i.e. 40 minutes for each section due to COVID-19 for that particular CAT exam only. 

CAT Exam Important Points

  • No Extra Fees to Apply for IIMs – CAT Registration Fee of Rs.2000/- for General candidates and Rs.1000/- for reserved category paid by the candidates during the time registration process is the only fees that need to be paid. There will be no extra fee charged to apply for admission in IIMs. 
  • Degrees Accepted – Dual Degree programs are also accepted while applying for CAT exam. 
  • CAT Exam Day – CAT exam is conducted in a single day in 3 slots. Earlier it was conducted on multiple days. Since the exam is conducted in multiple slots CAT Normalization method is used by the authority to calculate the percentiles. 
  • CAT Participating colleges & IIMs: After qualifying CAT 2021 candidates will become eligible to get admission in MBA programs offered by 20 IIMs without paying any additional application fee for admission process. Other than that various other MBA colleges also accepts CAT scores. 

Quick Links:

MBA Programs Offered by IIMs after CAT Exam

IIMs MBA Programs
IIM Ahmedabad PGP, PGP-FABM, ePGP
IIM Amritsar PGP
IIM Bangalore PGP, PGPEM, PGPPM, PGPBA
IIM Calcutta MBA
IIM Tirchy PGPM, PGPBM, PGPM-HR
IIM Kozhikode PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, EPGP
IIM Lucknow PGP, PGP-ABM, PGP-SM
IIM Bodh Gaya PGP
IIM Visakhapatnam PGP
IIM Indore PGP, PGP-HRM
IIM Jammu PGP
IIM Kashipur PGP, EPGP
IIM Nagpur PGP
IIM Raipur PGP
IIM Ranchi PGP, PGP-HRM
IIM Rohtak PGP, EPGPX
IIM Sambalpur MBA
IIM Shillong PGP, PGPEX
IIM Sirmaur PGP
IIM Udaipur MBA
CAT 2021 FAQ

CAT Exam 2021 FAQs

Ques. When can I apply for CAT Exam 2021? 

Ans. The application procedure for CAT 2021 begins from the first week of August 2021. The CAT application process will only be done online, and the application procedure will close in the fourth week of September 2021. Candidates will get a small window for correction of their application in the last week of September 2021. 

Ques. Will CAT 2021 be postponed? 

Ans. Various reports indicate that the CAT 2021 exam will not be postponed. As per the CAT 2020 convener, Harshal Lowalekar, there is very little chance that the CAT exam will be postponed or cancelled. However, considering the COVID-19 pandemic and other pertinent situations such as Government Directives at the time, there may be some changes to this. 

Ques. Are 6 Months enough for CAT Preparation? 

Ans. A time of 6 months is large enough to prepare for the CAT exam. Preparation largely consists of practicing questions and topics of the different questions. If done diligently, six months is enough to clear the CAT Cut Offs of major colleges. 

Ques. Is CAT Score valid for 2 years? 

Ans. No, the CAT scores are valid for a period of 1 year only. Post 1 year, candidates have to re-attempt CAT and clear the Cut Off again to secure admission to their preferred college. 

Ques. Who will set CAT 2021? 

Ans. The CAT Exam is managed and conducted by the first generation IIMs on a rotational basis, which includes the release of notifications, setting the CAT question paper, managing Cut Off etc. The Exam Conduction is handled by Tata Consultation Services, or TCS since 2014. 

Ques. Is a Calculator allowed inside the CAT Exam Center 2021? 

Ans. No, a calculator will not be permitted inside the CAT Exam Center 2021. You will be frisked outside most exam centers and will be asked to keep the calculator inside your bag if you are carrying one. However, an onscreen calculator will be available on the computer you will be attempting the exam on. The calculator can perform the most basic calculations. 

Ques. What is the difficulty level of CAT Exam? 

Ans. The CAT exam is generally considered to be tough. The Quantitative Aptitude Section is considered to be the most difficult section followed by the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section. 

Ques. Can a Third Year student apply for CAT 2021? 

Ans. Yes, third-year students can apply for CAT, i.e. candidates in the final year of graduation can apply for CAT. However, admission is subject to the candidates providing proof of graduation such as mark sheets, etc. to the college that they have been admitted to. 

Ques. Which is the best institute for CAT Preparation? 

Ans. Here are some of the best institutes for CAT Preparation - 

  • Career Launcher.
  • IMS
  • Triumphant Institute of Management
  • PT Education
  • Bulls Eye

Ques. Can an academically weak student clear the CAT Cut Offs? 

Ans. Yes, academically weak students can crack the CAT exam if they prepare for the exam properly and properly work on their weak points. However, candidates have to keep in mind that many IIMs have certain minimum academic criteria for admission. 

Ques. Is GK asked in CAT? 

Ans. No, GK is not asked in the CAT exam. However, other management exams such as XAT ask questions based on Current Affairs and General Knowledge.

Ques. What is the best way to prepare for CAT 2021?

Ans. CAT examination is a tough nut to crack and in order to qualify the examination, a year-long rigorous practice is required. Candidates who will be appearing in CAT 2021 can refer to CAT Preparation Tips (Hashlink) for better guidance.

Ques. Do I need to submit the overall percentage of marks like that in my bachelor’s degree while applying for CAT 2021?

Ans. In order to fulfill that CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria, you need to provide your overall percentage marks as per university norms.

Ques. I have changed my name after completing my Bachelor’s. Which name should I enter in my CAT application form? The previous one or the new one?

Ans. You may enter the changed name while filling up the CAT application form. However, you should also provide supporting documents to your changed name at the time of examination, interview, and admission process.

Ques. Can I appear for CAT 2021 from my personal desktop?

Ans. A candidate should appear for the examination at the prescribed date and exam center mentioned in CAT 2021 admit card. Attempting papers from workstations other than the mentioned ones will not be considered.

Ques. Is CAT score the sole criteria for getting admission into IIMs?

Ans. No, CAT score helps in shortlisting of candidates. The final admission list is declared on the basis of the marks scored in all rounds.

Ques. I have completed a dual degree program i.e. Bachelor’s and Master’s. Which course marks should I enter in CAT Registration?

Ans. You need to enter the aggregate marks of Bachelor degree under the bachelor’s score section and the same process should be repeated for Masters.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.

CAT 2021 : 4 answered questions

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Ques. What would my score have to be to get a call from any of the top IIM or other B-Schools like FMS, SP Jain, XLRI, ISB, MDI, etc.?

● Top Answer By Udita Mishra on 05 Jul 21

Ans. My brother is a CAT aspirant and has done extensive research on the cutoff for reputed B-Schools. Here is what he had to say about it.  Most of the colleges mentioned above take admission through CAT. So, if you are a general category student then you will need to score around 90-95% in order to get accepted at MDI, IMI, TAPMI, Great Lakes, KJ Somiya, and new IIMs.  In order to get admission at top IIMs, FMS, or ISB you will have to score at least around 98.5 or above.  XLRI takes admission through XAT and the cutoff is similar and around 99 percentile.  Hope this gives you some idea about the cutoff required for admission at these B-Schools.Read more
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Ques. How can a student with low academics get placed in B schools like XLRI, FMS, JBIMS, MDI, etc.?

● Top Answer By Damini Das on 28 Jun 21

Ans. It is important to know about the factors that might help you to get admission to B-schools. If you ask me, XLRI, MDI, JBIMS, and a few of the newer and baby IIMs have admission policies with distributed weight-age systems. Not only CAT cut off but also they do a selection on the profile basis. They check for job experience and other skill sets if any. You may face tough interrogation during the Interview process as you have low academic scores but it may also be overlooked if your CAT scores are high and your profile is good. Also, if you have any decent work-ex, it can make an impression on the selection committee. Moreover, you should score at least 60% in your academic career as most organizations require this. Exception cases are considered provided one is able to display significant tech skills/managerial qualities or a high score on the job requisite skills matrix. If in case you have less than 60%, you are already out of IIMs criteria and your chance to get into IIMs. Also, colleges like FMS give more weightage on CAT scores and less on academics.Read more
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Ques. What are my chances for IIM B,C or XLRI BM if I score 99.5%+ in CAT and XAT?

● Top Answer By Rahul Regi on 18 Jun 21

Ans. If you have a 99.5+ percentile in CAT, you have a good chance to get selected in IIM A, B, C, or XLRI. One of my friends was in a similar situation and these points helped him understand the proper requirements to get an interview call from these institutes. An overall good academic profile is definitely required. Mostly, the academics of college, 10th and 12th are considered.  In IIM interviews, there are several candidates with 90+ percentages in 10th and 12th, and 80+ percentages in engineering.  So, good academics can make a huge difference. Candidates in the SC category even get seats in IIM A, B, C, XLRI, etc with a 95+ percentile score in CAT and with some high academics.  So, the 99.5 percentile for an SC student is an excellent score. During the initial shortlisting, sports and other extracurricular activities don't matter much. But, in interviews, it can turn out to be an important point of discussion. For summer and final placements, extra-curricular definitely helps a lot. For the rest of IIMs, 90+ percentile is a sufficient score. There are several students with 91-92 percentile and got admission in IIM L, I, and K. So, the chances of new IIMs to shortlist such a candidate is very high. For XLRI, the score required for Business Management is 96 percentile, and for Human Resource Management, it is 93/ 94+ percentile in XAT. So, a student with a 99.5 percentile is sure to get shortlisted. Getting 99.5 percentile in CAT/ XAT is not an easy task, and requires a lot of hard work, dedication towards studies, and a never-give-up attitude. Such a score has good chances in all the top Business Schools in India.Read more
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Ques. What should be my CAT percentile and how can I get a call from IIM A/B/C/L/I/K, FMS and XLRI?

● Top Answer By Ajay Singh on 30 May 21

Ans. You will not get a call from IIM A or IIM B if your 12th marks are low. Neither IIM K will call you as they do not give weightage to 10th marks, but to 12th and graduation score. You can get a call from IIM-K if you have a percentile between 97-98. The percentile you need to get a call from other IIMs are as follows: IIM C- To get a call from IIM-C you need above 99.5 percentile, which is likely to decrease the increasing diversity. IIM L- You need above 99.2 percentile, which is likely to decrease the increasing diversity. FMS- You need 98.5 percentile and 99.5 percentile for conversion, XLRI- XAT score in BM should be 95 percentile for call and 99.2 percentile for conversion. And in HRM 90 percentile for getting a call, and 9 percentile for conversion.  Therefore, you need to work hard and get above 90 percentile to get a call from IIMs. Read more
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Comments


362 Comments
D
deep jyoti das
Please suggest me any books or guides to crack the exam.
S
shivangi srivastava

The most well known books for preparation of CAT examination are the ones by Arun Sharma which are divided section wise for: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude. Some other important books to crack the different sections of exam are mentioned in the link: CAT Books 2021.

S
sadim ansari
Can CAT also provide me scholarships?
S
shivangi srivastava

Yes, many reputed colleges like IIMs provide multiple scholarships to students based on their CAT scores, academic performance and economic background. There are also scholarships provided to aspiring students for financial assistance if they cannot afford the fee structure of their desired course. For more details, please check: CAT Scholarships 2021. 

S
sheetal chib
Is there any negative marking? Please analyze the CAT 2021 paper.
S
shivangi srivastava

The CAT paper consists of total 100 questions that are objective or multiple choice questions and subjective in nature. There is no negative marking in the paper for subjective questions however 1 mark is deducted for every wrong objective answer. For a detailed analysis of the paper, you can refer to: CAT 2021 Paper Analysis.

S
shatakshi patki
What are the main topics covered in DILR paper?
S
shivangi srivastava

The DILR section of CAT paper consists of topics like: Tables, Pie Charts, Seating Arrangement, Logical Deduction, Cause and Effect, Calendars, Clocks, Blood Relations, Venn Diagrams, Sales Figures, Scheduling, Parking Slots, Votes polled, etc. The complete syllabus is mentioned in the following link for your further reference: CAT 2021 DILR Syllabus.

M
mohammed najamuddin
How can I obtain the official mock test paper for CAT 2021?
S
shivangi srivastava

IIM releases the official mock test paper for CAT usually before the conduction of the examination. The mock test will be available on the official website from the 1st ?week of November, 2021 The step by step procedure to access the mock test paper is mentioned in the link for your help: CAT 2021 Mock Test.

D
drona
Are there any coaching centres in South India? What are the best institutes?
S
shivangi srivastava

Yes, there are many coaching centers located in South India a list of which is mentioned below:

  • Career Launcher – at Himayathnagar Center, Hyderabad
  • T.I.M.E. – Egmore, Chennai
  • IMS Learning Resources – West Tambaram, Chennai
  • T.I.M.E. – Narayanguda, Hyderabad
  • T.I.M.E. – Malleswaram, Bangalore 

The best institutes known for CAT preparation are T.I.M.E., Career Launcher, IMS and PT Education.

A
ammar zaheer ahmed
Give me a brief analysis of the VARC section and how to prepare?
S
shivangi srivastava

The total number of questions in VARC section is 34 where Reading Comprehension has 23 - 24 questions and Verbal Ability has 10 - 11 questions. 3 marks are awarded to every correct answer and 1 mark is deducted for wrong answer. The level is moderate to difficult. Some preparation tips to crack the section are: CAT 2021 VARC Preparation.

S
shaik kabeer
Give me section wise and complete cut- off at IIM Raipur.
S
shivangi srivastava

The expected cut- off for CAT 2021 to take admission in IIM Raipur is 94- 95. The sectional cut- off for QA, VARC and DILR is the same that is 80 for general category students. The total cut- off for OBC, ST and SC categories are 78, 40 and 60 respectively. For a more detailed cut- off, please check: CAT 2021 IIM Raipur Cut- off.

M
mizna harmain
What questions can they ask me in the Personal Interview round?
S
shivangi srivastava

Previous year, the panel that was present at IIM Bangalore asked students the following questions in the Personal Interview round:

  • Tell us about the production facilities of Maruti.
  • What was the issue in the Gujarat plant?
  • What is a wiring harness?
  • What do you design?
  • Which is safer, a heavy car or lighter car?
  • Who is more stable, short height or low height man?
  • Volkswagen diesel scandal
  • Opinion on Sharapova drug abuse case
  • Discussion about Serena Williams in the same case
  • Discussion on Tiger Woods and Shane Warne Affairs
U
utkarsha khatri
How to prepare myself for the Group Discussion round?
S
shivangi srivastava

During the Group Discussion round in CAT 2021, the candidates will be divided into a group of 8- 10 students and given a topic to discuss later. For preparation, you must present yourself politely, reframe your mind to have various ideas, analyze the topic and express your views in a firm and positive way. For more tips, please refer to: CAT 2021 Group Discussion Topics.

D
dharshini rajendran
Is there any reservation in this exam?
S
shivangi srivastava

Yes, there is certain reservation in CAT 2021 that is offered to students belonging to reserved categories as per the guidelines stated by GOI. There is a 5% relaxation provided to students of these categories and also a slight decrease in percentile. OBC, SC and ST students can get 27%, 15%, and 7.5% reservation during admission processes. 

S
sourajit mukherjee
Can you suggest me some tips to prepare for the VARC section?
S
shivangi srivastava

In VARC section of CAT 2021, the questions will be asked in a set of 3- 4 in the form of RC, sentence correction, fill in the blanks, etc. This section is basically to test your aptitude in English language, vocabulary and grammar. Some helpful preparation tips are mentioned in the following link: CAT 2021 VARC Preparation.

U
uma goenka
Is is necessary to solve mock test papers? Please provide me with some.
S
shivangi srivastava

It is not necessary but rather beneficial to solve mock test papers as it trains you for the actual examination in advance. The official mock test will be released on their official website in the 1st week of November, 2021. For more details and tips regarding the same, please visit: CAT 2021 Mock Test.

R
rinki mahapatra
What is the difficulty level of each section in CAT examination?
S
shivangi srivastava

The VARC paper consists of 26 questions where the difficulty has been: Difficult in Slot 1, Easy in Slot 2 and Moderate in Slot 3. Similarly, DILR includes 24 questions with easy, moderate and difficult levels. Lastly, the Quant section has 26 questions with moderate, moderate and easy levels respectively.

A
ankur jain
Can I get the detailed syllabus of Quantitative Aptitude?
S
shivangi srivastava

The syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude section includes certain topics like: Algebra, Geometry, Number Systems, Geometry and Modern Mathematics. A total of 34 questions are asked for 102 marks and difficulty level is moderate to high. The detailed syllabus is mentioned in the following link so you can analyze: CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus.

J
jatin sharma
How many questions will be asked in each section?
S
shivangi srivastava

The VARC and QA section in CAT 2021 will consist of 34 questions each whereas the DILR section will have 32 questions. The candidates will get a duration of 180 minutes to answer these 100 questions and the total marks allotted to the paper are 300. The paper will include objective and subjective type questions.

S
saurav kumar
What are the latest changes in the pattern of CAT paper?
S
shivangi srivastava

Due to the ongoing pandemic of covid- 19, the exam pattern of CAT 2021 has been revised and the latest changes witnessed a decrease in time duration that is from 3 hours to 2 hours. The total number of questions has also been reduced from 100 to 76. For more detailed pattern, please check: CAT 2021 Exam Pattern.

A
ashish singh
How much is the application fee for SC candidates?
S
shivangi srivastava

The application fee of CAT 2021 for SC and ST candidates is INR 1000. You can pay the amount through Credit card, Net banking or Debit card. The registration procedures for CAT is expected to commence from the 1st week of August, 2021 in online mode from the official website.

N
nafisa khatoon
Has the registration already begun? When is the last date?
S
shivangi srivastava

No, the registration for CAT 2021 has not begun yet. The application forms are expected to release online on their official website from the 1st week of August, 2021. The last date for submission of duly filled forms is in the 4th week of September, 2021 respectively. Therefore, you can keep checking the site for the same.

A
anuj singh chauhan
When will the examination be conducted?
S
shivangi srivastava

CAT 2021 examination is expected to be conducted in the month of November, 2021. The exam will be conducted in online mode as a Computer Based Test for a duration of 2 hours. The minimum eligibility required to appear for this examination is to have passed graduation with 50% marks for general candidates.