CAT 2021 Application Form, Dates, Eligibility, Pattern, Syllabus and Cut Off

    Urvashi Singhal Urvashi Singhal
    Exams Prep Master

    The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) conducts CAT - a computer-based admission test taken to offer admissions to PG & Fellow management program offered by IIMs across the country. There are many renowned B-Schools and other management institutions in India that consider CAT score for granting admission to the students in MBA, PGDM & other PG management related courses.

    CAT (Common Admission Test) is considered as one of the toughest exams for management courses attempted by lakhs of students every year. The examination is organized once in a year. Students planning to appear for CAT 2021 exam can check the below-mentioned details regarding the exam notification, dates, application, pattern, preparation tips and much more.

    CAT 2021 Exam Dates

    The candidates can check CAT exam 2021 dates from the given table:

    Issue of notificationLast week of July 2021
    Starting of registration process1st week of August 2021
    Last date for registration4th week of September 2021
    Admit card releaseOctober 2021
    Date of examNovember 2021
    Answer key release dateDecember 2021
    Result declarationJanuary 2022

    CAT 2021- Preparation Guide

    CAT 2021- Sectional Preparation Tips 

    Quantitative Ability

    • Quantitative Ability covers the following areas of mathematics:
    • Algebra
    • Arithmetic
    • Geometry
    • Trigonometry
    • Mensuration
    • Modern Mathematics

    While preparing for QA, the students must follow the below-mentioned tips:

    • Make your foundation strong and revise your concepts. In case you don't know the basics of any topic, then solving the complex questions would be challenging for you.
    • You must learn the time-saving techniques such as learn the tables till 40, squares up to 30, cubes up to 20, etc so that you can crack at the exam within the time.
    • Make your formula book in which you can pen down the important and direct formulas and keep on revising them regularly.
    • You must practice solving the questions within 2 minutes as this is the average time which you will get in the exam for each question in the quant section.
    • While attempting QA in mocks, you can break the entire section into three parts according to their difficulty level from easy to moderate to difficult.
    • You can solve more questions in less time, rather than sticking to the question whose answer is not clear to you, you can move ahead and attempt the ones whose answers you know.

    Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

    • The candidates find DI/LR the most difficult among the three sections asked in CAT. In case you have not started preparing for this section in advance, then it will be difficult for you to score high in this section.
    • You need to get familiar with all kinds of graphs and charts that can come in DI and puzzles in LR.
    • Start practicing quick calculation, by learning the percentage equivalent of fractions you can save a lot of time in your exam.
    • Also, learn to solve puzzles like Sudoku and crossword which will sharpen your learning skills and ability to solve complex cases.
    • Attempt at least 20 questions or 4 sets each of DI and LR each day; each set of the questions takes 10-15 minutes to solve but you must try to solve them within 8-12 minutes.

    Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

    Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is the section that scares a lot of candidates giving the CAT exam. This section is designed to test the English skills of the candidates in a detailed way, this section includes the following types of questions-

    • Critical Reasoning
    • Grammar & Usage
    • Sentence Correction
    • Word usage
    • Fill in the blanks
    • Para Jumble
    • Para completion
    • Para Summary
    • Idioms

    While preparing for VARC, the students must follow the below-mentioned tips:

    • Start reading more to have a better understanding of this section, you can read fiction and non-fiction novels, newspapers, business magazines, etc.
    • You must learn the basics rules in grammar like articles, adjectives, tenses, modifiers, etc. and keep on practicing them as well.
    • Prepare a small dictionary in which you can pen down all the new words that you come across along with writing their meanings as well. you must revise your dictionary regularly.
    • Develop a habit of reading questions first before reading the entire passages, quickly view the questions so that you can have an idea of the difficulty level.

    Some of the common preparation Tips

    • The first step to begin preparing for CAT 2021 exam is to collect all the relevant study material. Start by learning the concepts of each topic in an elaborative way.
    • You must practice using a timer but do not use a calculator especially when you are practicing Data Interpretation.
    • You must practice each topic properly as it will help in assessing your strengths and weaker areas as well. You can make a list of your strong and weak areas and during the initial phase of studying, you can pay detailed attention towards strengthening your weak areas.
    • Pay attention towards solving the question papers of different styles, rather than solving 20 questions of one type, you must solve 4 questions of 5 types from each topic.

    Give mock tests

    You must start giving mocks tests as early as possible and don’t feel disappointed in case you scored less in the test. Mock tests are designed to help the students in recognizing their strengths and weaker areas so that they can put extra effort into improving their shortcomings. Analyze each mock test you give carefully, the more mock tests you give, the better understanding you will have. It is advised to give at least 1 mock test in a week and once you have finished the entire syllabus, you should start primarily on mocks and sectional tests. The students must do good test series for mocks which are easily available at the renowned coaching centers and online as well on the popular sites.

    Adhere to the time table

    The candidates giving CAT 2021 exam should make a proper time table so that they can practice according to it. By preparing a time table, the students can prepare for the exam accordingly and even the changes of scoring high in CAT exam also increases greatly.

    Best books to prepare for CAT 2021 Exam

    After having a brief idea about the pattern of the exam, the candidates must be aware of the best books as well through which they can study. It is important that the students refer to the right kinds of books which can help them in having a more accurate idea about the exam, its pattern and the overall syllabus as well. The following books will help aspiring candidates to do well in the exam.

    Books for Quantitative Ability
    How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CATArun Sharma
    Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation for CATNishit Sinha
    Quantum CAT: Quantitative Aptitude Common Admission Test for Admission into IIMsSarvesh K Verma
    NCERT Mathematics books for class 8th, 9th, 10th and 10+2


    Books for Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
    Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for CATNishit Sinha, Publisher- Pearson
    How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill
    How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CATArun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill


    Books for Verbal and Reading Comprehension
    Verbal Ability and Reading ComprehensionAjay Singh, Publisher – Arihant
    30 Days to More Powerful VocabularyWilfred Funk & Norman Lewis, Publisher- Simon & Schuster
    Business English and CommunicationClark Zimmer, Publisher- Mcgraw Hill Ryerson

    CAT 2021 Preparation- With or Without Coaching Center?

    Whether you want to join a coaching institute or not for CAT preparation is totally your choice, you need to take the decision regarding the same. The availability of time, your skills and the areas you wish to improve etc are some of the deciding factors which can help you in making the right decision. In case you opted for self-study, then you must understand how you should start preparing for CAT exam at home using the right books for CAT exam preparation and other appropriate study material related to CAT. Self-studying is not a bad idea and many of the CAT toppers have also opted for CAT preparation without coaching. So consider all the factors in deciding whether you want to join a coaching institute or want to do self-practice.

    CAT is considered as one of the most competitive exams in our country which is given by lakhs of candidates each year to get selected in 21 IIMs located across the country. With the number of applicants increasing each year, the exam is getting tougher day by day. To beat the competition and to secure well in this highly competitive exam, the candidates must start preparing for the exam ahead to get a call from any IIM. An extensive CAT preparation is of primary importance to have a bright future ahead. Best of luck for the exam and prepare well to get selected at IIM!!

    CAT 2021 Registration

    CAT 2021 Registration

    The below-mentioned CAT exam registration details will guide the candidates to have a better understanding:

    • The candidates need to do online registration by visiting the official website.
    • The candidates must get the official information bulletin before applying online for the exam and make sure that they have gone through the information carefully before proceeding with filling the form online.
    • The registration process will start in the month of August 2021 for the students giving CAT 2021 and the candidates are applied to fill the form till the last week of September 2021.
    • The candidates need to fill all the information accurately in the application form after that upload the scanned images of photograph and signature the duly filled form.
    • The images must be in JPEG format with a clear background.
    • The candidates belonging to the reserved category must upload the certificate for the same for getting relaxation.
    • The candidates have the choice to fill up to four test cities as per their convenience and preferred location.
    • After that pay the mentioned registration fee to complete the application process.
    • Now take a hard copy of the submitted form and keep it as a proof for further reference.

    CAT 2021 Registration Fee:

    • The candidates belonging to general/OBC category candidates need to pay INR 1800 plus processing charges.
    • The candidates belonging to SC/ST/PwD category have to pay INR 900 plus Processing Charges
    • The candidates can deposit the registration fee online through different ways including net banking, debit card and credit card only.
    • The candidates will not get the refund of application fee in any condition.

    CAT Application Form 2021 Correction

    The candidates applying for CAT 2021 will get a chance to make corrections in the form details and in this regard, the institutions will offer a correction window as well to the students for making the necessary changes in the application form.

    • The candidates can make corrections in the application form in September 2021.
    • The candidates have to visit the official site for doing changes in the application form.
    • They can login at the official website using their credentials including user ID and password.
    • The candidates must understand that they are allowed to make corrections in few particulars only in the form including changes in the address, gender, category, education details, work experience, exam city preference, and interview city preference etc.
    • Once the candidates have uploaded information like personal details, uploaded documents, communication address (including e-mail ID and Mobile Number), the details can’t be modified later.

    CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

    CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

    The below-mentioned information will help the candidates to know more about the eligibility criteria of CAT 2021 before filling the application form:

    • Qualifying exam: The applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized university/institute.
    • Minimum Qualifying Marks: The candidates who have got at least 50% marks (45% marks for the candidates belonging to SC, ST or PwD category) in the qualifying exam are eligible to apply for CAT 2021.
    • The students who are in the final semester of the Bachelor’s degree can also apply for the exam, subject to fulfillment of other conditions.
    • The candidates holding CA, CS or ICWA degree are also allowed to apply for the exam.
    • Age Limit: There is no age bar for giving CAT examination.

    CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

    CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

    The candidates applying for CAT 2021 must gather sufficient information about the exam pattern so that it becomes easier for them to crack the exam:

    • Exam Mode: The exam will be taken in online mode i.e. Computer Based Test.
    • Test Duration: The complete duration of the exam is 3 hours.
    • Number of Questions: There will be a total of 100 questions that will be asked in the exam.
    • Nature of Questions: The exam will include both multiple-choice and subjective questions as well.
    • Marking Scheme: For each correct attempt, the candidates will get 3 marks.
    • Negative marking: There is no negative marking in subjective questions while 1 mark will be deducted in case of the wrong attempt in the objective type questions.
    • Paper Section: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
    SubjectNumber of QuestionsMarksAllotted Time
    Quantitative Ability3410260
    Data adequacy and logical reasoning329660
    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension3410260

    The candidates planning to give CAT 2021 are advised to prepare as the prescribed CAT examination pattern. The students can prepare according to the paper sections i.e. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension and are recommended to begin their preparation early so that they can get enough time to revise the entire syllabus as well.

    CAT 2021 Syllabus

    CAT 2021 Syllabus

    Some of the important topics that can be asked in the CAT exam 2021 are mentioned below:

    Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

    • Data Interpretation: Data Sufficiency, Combination of Graphs, Bar Graph, Line Graph, Pie Chart, Caselet, and Tables etc.,
    • Logical Reasoning: Seating Arrangement, Statements, Matching Puzzles, Binary Logic, Blood Relations, Family Tree, Clocks and Calendars, Proposition, Sets, Venn Diagram, Syllogism, etc.

    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

    • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: Reading Comprehension: This section includes comprehension passages from where direct and indirect questions will be asked.
    • English Grammar: Grammar and verbal reasoning like Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Direct-Indirect, Active Voice Passive Voice, Verbal Reasoning, Antonyms, Synonyms, and jumbled sentences etc.

    Quantitative Ability

    Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Number System, Time & Work, Mensuration, Simple Interest, Modern Mathematics and Trigonometry etc.

    CAT Admit Card 2021

    The applicants giving CAT 2021 exam can download their admit card by visiting the official website for the same, the admit card is anticipated to be made available in October 2021. The candidates will get the admit card through online mode as there is no other procedure to get admit card. The candidates must login with user ID and password to download the admit card from the official website.

    Carrying admit card to the exam center is important in addition to carrying a valid identity proof as well. In case the candidates fail to show their admit card at the time of the exam, the authority has the right to bar him/her from appearing in the entrance test.

    CAT 2021 Selection Process

    The candidates must know that there is no centralized counseling held for admission, each institution has their own sets of rules and regulations to grant admission to the eligible candidates. IIM will invite the shortlisted candidates for admission directly by sending a call letter to them. Once the candidates get qualified in the CAT test then they also have to give Written Ability Test (WAT) which will be followed by group discussion and personal interview round as well for final selection.

    CAT 2021 Cut Off

    CAT 2021 Cut Off

    CAT cut off 2021 will be released after the declaration of CAT results. However, to take an idea of the minimum marks requirement in order to get into an IIM, candidates can have a look at the previous year cut off. Below we have provided previous year cut off category-wise of some of the prominent IIMs.

    CAT Cutoff 2019 IIM Rohtak

    CategoryQuantitative AptitudeData Interpretation and Logical ReasoningVerbal and Reading ComprehensionOverall
    General/ EWS70707095

    CAT Cutoff 2018 IIM Udaipur

    CategoryQuantitative AptitudeData Interpretation and Logical ReasoningVerbal and Reading ComprehensionOverall
    General/ EWS80808090

    CAT 2021 FAQs

    CAT 2021 FAQs

    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 as that in bachelor’s degree as per University norms?

    Ans. In order to fulfill that CAT 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 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 the examination from my personal desktop?

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

    Ques. How can I check if I belong to the Non-creamy layer of OBC?

    Ans. To check whether you belong to the non-creamy layer of OBC, you can visit the official website and check the list mentioned with the latest changes of inclusion and exclusion of groups.

    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?

    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


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