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CAT 2018 Counselling: Dates, Procedure, Selection, Seat Allotment

Updated On - June 25th 2018 by KRITIKA GUPTA

CAT Counselling 2018 will not be a centralized process. IIMs do not conduct CAT counseling or allot colleges to candidates. They select candidates on the basis of CAT Result, academic background, work experience, etc. for the pre-admission rounds. The national level management is scheduled for Novemeber 25 in online mode. CAT Result is expected to come out in the second week of January 2019.

IIMs send personalized call letters to qualifying candidates. 10 out 19 IIMs have their own selection procedure. It includes Written Ability Test (WAT) and /or Group Discussions, and Personal Interview. The selection process of 9 newest IIMs is conducted by IIM Rohtak. This year, nearly 4000 seats in IIMs will be filled through CAT 2018.

CAT CutoffCAT CollegesCAT Cutoff for Non-IIMs

CAT score is also used non-IIM institutes like FMS, SPJIM, MDI Gurgaon, etc. for selecting candidates. Read on to know more about the counselling procedure of the Common Admission Test, who will conduct CAT 2018 counselling, schedule, seat matrixs etc.

CAT 2018 Counselling Date(s)

CAT Counselling begins from the third week of January 2018. Given below are the important dates related to CAT Selection Procedure 2018:

Release of CAT 2018 ResultSecond week of January 2019
Commencement of CAT CounsellingSecond week of January 2019
CAT Option Entry DatesThird week of January 2019
Classes begin fromJune 2019

Check all CAT 2018 Important Dates

CAT Counselling Procedure 2018

Candidates are assigned a venue when the counselling sessions are held. This venue is mentioned on their 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

  • Candidates selected 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. 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 on 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 marksheet and Passing certificate
  • Class XII marksheet 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 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 2018

  • This is the second stage of the CAT selection process, after the declaration of cutoff.
  • Candidates are invited by colleges 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 19 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 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 clearly. 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 the 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 candidate must focus on time management too.
  • A candidate must try to put in as many clear ideas in their essay as possible.

ReadCAT 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 for 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

ReadTips 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 generally face a panel of 2-4 interviewers.
  • 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 2018:

  • 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 about your strengths/weaknesses
  • Questions from your GD
  • Do you have any questions from us?

What is IIM Selection Procedure?

  • Each IIM will publish their IIM Cut off 2018. 
  • These cutoffs will serve as a parameter for shortlisting candidates for admission in management courses in the IIMs.
  • There are multiple factors which affect the 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.

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

Aggregate CAT Score38
Graduation Marks3
SSC (12th) Marks2
Work Experience2
Diversity Factor: Gender2
Diversity Factor: Academic Discipline3

CheckIIM CAT Cut offs

CAT Reservation Criteria 2018

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)3
Total Percentage of Reserved Seats52.5

Check Here CAT Reservation Criteria 2018

CAT Seat Intake (Updated)

There are 19 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 Bangalore382
IIM Calcutta462IIM Lucknow419
IIM Indore450IIM Kozhikode375
IIM Shillong120IIM Ranchi120
IIM Rohtak120IIM Raipur120
IIM Trichy102IIM Udaipur120
IIM Kashipur90IIM Nagpur60
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 is same for all.
  • The admission criteria for foreign nationals will be a valid GMAT Score.

CheckCAT Participating Institutes with Fee

*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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