CAT 2019 Counselling: Dates, Procedure, Selection, Seat Allotment

Karishma Khatri Karishma Khatri
Content Curator

CAT Counselling 2019 is expected to begin from the 2nd week of January after the announcement of CAT 2019 Result. Candidates are selected based on CAT Result, academic background, work experience, etc. for the pre-admission rounds of IIMs. 
Latest: IIM Kozhikode has released CAT 2019 Answer keys PDFs on November 29, 2019 at

About CAT – CAT 2019 received a total of 2.44 lakh applications, which is the highest in the past 10 years. Common Admission Test or popularly recognized as CAT, is the most significant management entrance examination of the country. Read More

The exam is a gateway to 20 IIMs and 100+ premier management institutes and is conducted annually by one of the older IIMs on a rotational basis. CAT judges a candidate’s ability through 3 sections - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude. With CAT 2019 almost here, we wish all the aspirants good luck for the test day!

  • IIMs send personalized call letters to the qualifying candidates. 9 out of 20 IIMs have their selection procedure. Check CAT Cutoff
  • It includes Written Ability Test (WAT) and /or Group Discussions, and Personal Interview. 
  • Admission to New IIMs is done through CAP or Common Admission Process. CAP is conducted by one of the New IIMs.
  • This year, nearly 4000 seats in IIMs will be filled through CAT 2019
  • CAT score is also used non-IIM institutes like FMS, SPJIM, MDI Gurgaon, etc. for selecting candidates. Check Other CAT Colleges
  • CAT Answer Key will be released before CAT Result, candidates can compare their responses and calculate their CAT Score.
  • CAT Result is expected to release in the first week of January 2019.

Read on to know more about the counseling procedure of the Common Admission Test, who will conduct CAT 2019 counseling, schedule, seat matrix, etc.

Check CAT Cutoff for Non-IIMs

CAT 2019 Counselling Dates

CAT Counselling begins from the third week of January 2019. Given below are the important dates related to CAT Selection Procedure 2019:

Release of CAT 2019 Result1st  week of January 2020
Commencement of CAT Counselling2nd week of January 2020
CAT Option Entry Dates3rd week of January 2020
Classes begin fromJune 2020

Check all CAT 2019 Important Dates

CAT Counselling Procedure 2019

Candidates are assigned a venue where the counseling sessions will be held. The venue will be alloted on the call letter sent on mail. Candidates have to report to the allotted center in person, with all the required documents. Given below are the steps for CAT Counselling:

Step 1: Receival of Call Letter

  • Selected candidates will receive call letters on their registered CAT email ID.
  • The call letter contains the following information-
    1. Registration link
    2. Last date to complete the registration
    3. Date of WAT/GD and PI
    4. The venue of WAT/GD and PI
    5. Slot of WAT/GD and PI

Step 2: Report to Venue and Verify Documents

  • Report at the allocated venue on the date mentioned in the call letter.
  • Reach the helpline center with the original and photocopies of the required documents.

Documents to be Carried:

Given below are the documents required at the time of CAT Counselling:

  • Class X mark sheet and Passing certificate
  • Class XII mark sheet and Passing certificate
  • Graduation degree certificates
  • Reservation category certificates (if applicable)
  • Interview Letters
  • CAT Rank Card

Step 3: Lock Choice

  • After the verification process, visit the official website of the college.
  • Fill the form to register.
  • Select and lock your choice before submission.
  • You receive an intimation via SMS or email.
  • After confirmation of the seat, visit the allocated institution and submit the seat allotment order.

CAT Selection Procedure 2019

  • This is the second stage of the CAT selection process, after the declaration of the cutoff.
  • Colleges invite candidates upon their performance in the admission test, academic performance, and relevant work experience.
  • Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI) are conducted form the main selection rounds.
  • Candidates who qualify all these stages get admission in the mentioned course.

Written Ability Test

  • Most of the IIMs have preferred Written Ability Test (WAT) on Group Discussion (GD) over the last few years.
  • It has been analyzed that 11 out of the 20 IIMs have removed the Group Discussion round from their selection process.
  • Although, a few IIMs like IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode still conduct both WAT and GD for the selection of candidates.

How is WAT Conducted?

  • Written Ability Test is designed to test a candidate’s critical thinking ability and their ability to formulate and communicate their thoughts. Given below is the pattern of WAT:
  • In WAT, the candidate has to write an essay on a given topic.
  • The time given to complete the test varies for different IIMs.
  • For instance, as per the records of last year admissions, candidates were given 30 minutes to complete the essay. While at IIM Lucknow, candidates were allotted 15 minutes to think and write the essay.
  • Proper practice of essay writing is the key to score well in WAT.
  • The structure is a consideration, but the candidate must focus on time management too.
  • A candidate must try to put in as many clear ideas in their essay as possible.

Read CAT GD/WAT and PI Experiences

Important Topics in WAT

The topics for essay writing can be from a variety of domains such as current affairs, government policies, topics of social importance, trade and commerce, etc. Some example of WAT topics can be:

  • Media Influence
  • Corruption in India
  • Women’s Reservation Bill
  • Should Petroleum Subsidy go away? 

Group Discussion (GD)

  • Candidates are generally divided into groups of 8-10 during a GD.
  • The students are asked to put forward their views on a given topic.
  • This round assesses the ability of a candidate to communicate their idea clearly to a group.
  • It also helps to shortlist candidates who can understand group dynamics and are good team players.
  • The topics for group discussion, again, can be varied for different IIMs and the discussion time too.

Important Topics for GD

The topics may range from National and International Politics, Current Affairs, topics of social importance, Government policies, etc. Some example of topics for Group Discussion are as follows:

  • Atheism: Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Donald Trump as the Next US President – the good and the bad
  • Cricket vs. Football
  • Excise Tax on Jewellers – Reasonable or Unreasonable

Read Tips to Ace Group Discussion in IIMs

Personal Interview (PI)

  • This round in CAT Selection Procedure outrages you from the mainstream crowd. This round is a mandatory round at all IIMs and termed as the most crucial.
  • The PI usually holds a weightage of 30-40% in the entire process
  • Candidates have to face a panel of 2-4 interviewers generally.
  • The key to success in the interview is- Be witty, funny, and confident at the same time.
  • To excel in this final frontier, candidates should be aware of the types of questions that are frequently asked in a personal interview.
  • The questions asked in an IIM interview range from questions about Personal life, Academic Record, Extra-curricular activities, work experience, outlook on contemporary issues, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions in PI

Given below are few expected or commonly asked questions in the PI round of CAT 2019:

  • Tell us something about yourself.
  • How did you choose MBA as your career? Why?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
  • Tell us the reasons to select you.
  • Do you have any regrets? (Academic related, life-related, etc.)
  • Past- related Questions.
  • Why do you choose to join IIM (city)?
  • Discuss your strengths/weaknesses.
  • Questions from your GD.
  • Do you have any questions from us?

What is IIM Selection Procedure?

  • Each IIM will publish its IIM Cut off 2019. 
  • These cutoffs will serve as a parameter for shortlisting candidates for admission in management courses in the IIMs.
  • Shortlisted candidates will appear for further selection rounds such as WAT and PI rounds.
  • There are multiple factors that affect the final selection of candidates in their desired IIMs.
  • The panel considers many aspects such as Academic Qualification, Work Experience, Extra-curricular activities, etc. for admitting candidates to the IIM.

Common Admission Process (CAP) 

  • New IIMs participate in CAP rounds for their selection procedure. 
  • CAP is conducted by one of the new IIMs. 
  • Participating IIMs forward its list of shortlisted candidates to CAP conducting IIM.
  • The conducting IIM then combines these lists and sends out calls to the shortlisted candidates for participation in further CAP rounds.
  • CAP consists of two rounds i.e. WAT (Written Ability Test) and PI (Personal Interview) rounds.
  • There is no Group Discussion round in CAP. 
  • To judge the performance of candidates, representatives from participating IIMs are present.
  • When the process is completed, conducting IIM will prepare the list of scores of candidates based on their performance and send it to the participating IIMs.
  • Each Participating IIM will then prepare its own final admission list separately , based on the candidate’s CAT scores, CAP scores, and Profile of the candidates. 

The weightage for each component, including CAT score for shortlisting of candidates is given below:

CAT 2019 Score25
Graduation Marks10
12th Marks5
10th Marks10
Work Experience10
Personal Interview30

Check IIM CAT Cutoffs

CAT Reservation Criteria 2019

A certain percentage of seats in IIMs are reserved for SC, ST, OBC and PWD candidates. The table given below provides an overview of the same:

CAT Reservation
CategoryReservation (%)
Scheduled Caste (SC)15
Scheduled Tribe (ST)7.5
Non-Creamy – Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC)27
People with Disability (PWD)5
Economically Weaker Section (EWS)Up to 10

Check Here CAT Reservation Criteria 2019

CAT Seat Intake 

There are 20 IIMs across India which offer admission to different specializations of MBA. Here is the total seat intake of various IIMs is given below:

CollegeNumber of SeatsCollegeNumber of Seats
IIM Ahmedabad385IIM Bangalore412
IIM Calcutta462IIM Lucknow436
IIM Indore550IIM Kozhikode353
IIM Shillong120IIM Ranchi155
IIM Rohtak180IIM Raipur210
IIM Trichy180IIM Udaipur180
IIM Kashipur210IIM Nagpur 60
IIM Vishakhapatnam60IIM Sambalpur140
IIM Bodh Gaya60IIM Jammu45
IIM Sirmaur60IIM Amritsar60

Important Points:

  • While the IIM MBA course design is different for each institute, the guidelines for IIM selection criteria and admission procedures are the same for all.
  • The admission criteria for foreign nationals will be a valid GMAT Score.

Check CAT Participating Institutes with Fee

CAT Counselling FAQs

Ques: Which IIM conducts CAT Counselling?

Ans: IIM CAT counseling is conducted by each of the IIMs for candidate’s admission in management programs in their institute. There is no particular IIM that performs centralized counseling for all management colleges. The admission process depends upon a candidate’s performance in CAT exam. 

Ques: Which factor plays a major role in getting admission in one of the IIMs?

Ans: Candidate’s performance in CAT exam is the major role in securing a seat in any one of the IIMs. After clearing CAT Cutoff, candidates have to qualify WAT, GD and PI. 

Ques: What are the documents required for CAT counseling?

Ans: The documents required for CAT counseling is given below:

  1. CAT Scorecard
  2. Class 10th Marksheet
  3. Class 12th Marksheet
  4. Passport Sized Photograph
  5. Admit Card
  6. Caste Certificate

Ques: What is the percentage reservation for different category candidates?

Ans: The reservation criteria for different categories are tabulated below:

CategoryReservation (%)
Scheduled Caste15%
Scheduled Tribe7.5%
Non-Creamy Other Backward Classes27%
Person with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD)5%
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)Up to 10%

Ques: On what basis do candidates are shortlisted for WAT/GD in IIMs?

Ans: Depending upon the candidate’s performance in CAT exam, IIMs shortlists the candidates for WAT and GD

Ques: What is the procedure to get an MBA admission in IIMs?

Ans: To get admission in MBA program of IIMs, candidates have to follow the steps given below:

  • Take CAT exam
  • Reach the cutoff laid down by IIMs
  • Get shortlisted for a further round of IIMs selection process
  • Appear and clear WAT and GD
  • Perform in PI and secure a seat in IIMs

Ques: Do class 10th and 12th aggregate considered in IIM admission process?

Ans: Yes, class 10th and 12th scores are also considered while offering admission to the candidates. Different IIMs have different percentage of weightage that is assigned to consider a candidate’s percentage in class 10th and 12th.

Ques: What are the number of seats offered by IIMs in MBA admission?

Ans: The approximate number of seats offered by IIMs is 3300 in total. This year, there may be a hike in seat offered by the IIMs into its management program.

Ques: Which IIM offers a maximum number of sears?

Ans: Though the number of seats offered by the IIMs may vary but depend upon the analysis, IIMs offering maximum seats into its management program are listed below:

  1. IIM Ahmedabad
  2. IIM Bangalore
  3. IIM Calcutta
  4. IIM Lucknow
  5. IIM Indore

*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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Shipra Gupta

I got 73% in CAT 2018, 54% in SNAPand 160 in NMAT. Xth: 83%XIIth: 81%BTech: 81% (From UTU, ECE. topper of my branch).I have around 3.4 years from TCS (IT) and is currently serving notice period. Right now I am having package of 4.5 LPA and have joining date in Accenture on 21st feb with 7.8 LPA.

15 Jan, 2019 00:20
Rajvi Shah

Which IIMs have removed GD from their selection process?

07 Jan, 2019 12:25

I got 85.8 percentile in CAT. Which colleges should i target where i realistically have a chance?

10 Jan, 2018 00:20
Bhawna Vedwal

Hello Rittick, You can apply in IIM Ahmedabad according to your percentile. To know more colleges please use this link: CUTOFF

19 May, 2018 10:53
Kritika Gupta

How does CAT help me in the selection of best B. School?

29 Jul, 2017 14:30
Sakshi Garg Expert

Hi Kritika, As CAT is a highly prestigious exam, Indian Institutes of Management and other top notch B-Schools prefer CAT Score for the admission in their MBA programs. So higher the rank in CAT, better is the chance of getting admission in the top management schools like IIM Ahmadabad, IIM Indore, etc. 

29 Jul, 2017 14:43

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