Common Questions CAT - FAQ CAT

This post is created to ensure aspirants are fully aware of different aspects of CAT and they can find answers to their common doubts.

CAT is undoubtedly the biggest and the most prestigious MBA admissions exam of India

CAT is a management aptitude test conducted by the IIMs primarily to evaluate and shortlist candidates for the post graduate programme. It is a computer based exam available for eager and eligible candidates to register and take once a year.
As per Government of India norms, IIMs reserve 15% seats for SC candidates, 7.5% seats for ST candidates and 27% seats for NC-OBC candidates. 3% seats are also reserved for Persons with Disabilities on horizontal reservation basis. IIMs also provide scholarships to deserving students who need financial support.
Apart from IIMs almost all top college's accept CAT score for their MBA admissions.
Important Dates:
CAT Exam Date:     Mostly its 2nd or 3rd week of November
CAT Result Date:    Mostly its in End of December or Early January


Important Points:
- Do I need to fill forms of individual colleges or just filling CAT form is enough?
You need to fill application forms of each of the colleges individually except for IIMs. CAT is just an evaluation exams conducted by IIMs. While filling CAT form you need to opt for various IIMs you want to apply to.

- Are the application form for other non IIMs MBA college's free?
No, except for IIMs you need to pay for each college application form you want to apply to.

- When are the application forms of various MBA College's available (non-IIMs)?
Application forms availability date for different MBA college's varies. Mostly the application forms are available between Oct-Dec. You must keep a watch on the last date for filling application forms for various college's.

- Can I fill application form for MBA college's after CAT results are out based on my CAT percentile?
No, not in all cases. Most of the MBA college application forms are out before CAT results and the last date for application also falls before CAT result date. In all such cases where last date of application is before CAT results date you must fill the application form before the deadline to be considered eligible for admissions

- How many question should I attempt to get 99+ percentile?
Or 
How much marks should I score in CAT to get 95+ percentile?
This cannot be predicted and score to percentile mapping varies each year. To understand it better please go through below details:
Percentile is calculated based on a candidates marks compared to all other candidates. For example if there are 100 candidates attempting an exam of 100 marks and highest marks score by a candidate is  65 and lowest is -5 marks. Then candidate with 65 marks will have 100 percentile whereas the candidate with -5 marks will have 0 percentile. Other candidates percentile would be calculated relatively.
Another thing worth mentioning is if questions asked in a particular years CAT are easier then candidates with 250 out of 300 marks may just manage to get 90 percentile whereas if the paper is complex then candidates with 160 marks out of 300 may get 100 percentile.  
Hence to summarize percentile depends on below factors:
- Performance of other candidates compared to your performance
- Complexity of Questions
Thus this cannot be predicted and it will vary each year.


Test Duration 
The test duration is for a total time of 2 hours and 50 minutes (170 minutes). PWD/DA candidates with scribe requirements will be allowed an extra hour. All candidates will start the test at the same time. Candidates are to remain at their seats for the entire duration of the test even if they complete their test early. The Submit button will be enabled only upon completion of test time. If for any reason, the candidate has to leave the testing hall, he/she will not be allowed to re-enter the hall. In such circumstances, the test would be considered incomplete for the candidate. At no point during the test, the candidate should touch the keyboard. Doing so will lock the terminal. All answer choices should be made using the mouse

Test Format
The medium of the test is in English language for all candidates. The test has 100 multiple choice questions across two sections. The two sections are: 
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation : 50 Questions
Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning   : 50 Questions

Candidates may attempt any section first. The questions can be answered out of sequence too. And the candidate can also toggle between sections and attempt questions. An on-screen timer will mark remaining minutes for the test. Three (3) points will be awarded for each correct answer; one (1) point will be deducted for each wrong answer. There is no penalty for questions that are left unanswered. 

CAT Eligibility 
  • The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PWD)/Differently Able (DA) category) awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. 
  • The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the bachelor’s degree would be calculated based on the practice followed by the university/institution from where the candidate has obtained the degree. In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure certified by the university/ institution from where they have obtained the bachelor’s degree. In case the university/ institution does not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100. 
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. If selected, such candidates will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if she/he submits a certificate latest by June 30, 2015 from the Principal/Registrar of her/his College/Institute (issued on or before June 30, 2015) stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.
  • IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided at the website www.iimcat.ac.in. Applicants should note that the mere fulfilment of minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for short listing by IIMs. Prospective candidates must maintain a valid and unique email account and a phone number throughout the selection process.

Queries related with FORMAT OF CAT
Q.1) I hear that CAT will be held online. Is that correct?
Ans. CAT is a computer-based test (CBT) and not an Internet-based test (IBT) i.e. a candidate does not take the test on an Internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.

Q.2) How is the computer-based format different from the paper-based format?
Ans. The format of the test is more or less the same except that a candidate reads a question on a computer terminal and clicks on the correct answer, instead of reading on a paper booklet and using a pencil to darken the ovals on an answer sheet.

Q.3) Can I take the test from any computer?
Ans. No. A candidate will have to test on a pre-assigned workstation and will not have a choice to choose his or her workstation, in the testing venue chosen by him/her during the time of registration.

Q.4) What does a CBT test looks like?
Ans. A CAT practice test is available on the website www.https://iimcat.ac.in for candidates to get familiarised with the functionality and navigation of the actual test.

Queries related with TEST DURATION & PATTERN
Q.1) How many sections are there in the test?
Ans. There will be two separately timed sections in the test. The sections are (a) Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (b) Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning.

Q.2) How many questions are there in each of these sections?
Ans. There will be 50 questions in each section.

Q.3) Can I move back and forth between the two sections?
Ans. Candidates may attempt any section first. And the candidate can toggle between the two sections and attempt questions. An on-screen timer will mark remaining minutes for the test.

Q.4) What is the tutorial?
Ans. The tutorial provides a series of screens that will orient you to the computer-based CAT. This will give you an opportunity to try the various features, including how to navigate between questions in a section, review questions, etc. The tutorial has a total duration of 15 minutes and candidates are advised to go through it entirely before starting the actual exam sections. For a similar preview, candidates can take a tour of the CAT Practice Test.

Queries related with ELIGIBILITY, SCHEDULING & REGISTRATION for CAT
Q.1) Who is eligible to take the test?
Ans. The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste 
(SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) categories], awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the bachelor’s degree would be calculated based on the practice followed by the university/ institution from where the candidate has obtained the degree. In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the  procedure certified by the university/ institution from where they have obtained the bachelor’s degree. In case the university/ institution does not have any  
scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100. Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have 
completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of 
which are provided at the website Check Shortlisting criteria for each of the IIMS.
Check Shortlisting criteria for each of the IIMS

Q.2) Can I appear for CAT for practice purpose, though I am aware that I am not eligible?
Ans. No.

Q.3) Is there any age restriction for appearing in CAT?
Ans. No, there is no age restriction for appearing in CAT.

Q.4) What is the fee for the test?
Ans. The fee is Rs.1600. If you belong to the SC/ST category then you can pay a discounted fee of Rs.800.


Q.5) Can I use my coaching institute’s or a friend’s email address when registering for CAT?
Ans. No, you need to have a valid and unique email address.

Q.6) When will CAT be held and can I choose a test date?
Ans. CAT will be held during the November. Yes, you can choose a test date, test time, and venue across 36 cities all over India, subject to availability.

Q.7) From where can I get the list of test centres?
Ans. A list of test centres is available at below link:
List of CAT test centres

Q.8) When will I get my Admit Card?
Ans. a.) Soon after you fill-in, review, and submit your personal information during the online application, an automated confirmation email, which will contain your Application Summary, will be sent to the email address provided by you.
b.) After submitting your personal information, you are expected to continue registration by scheduling your test date, test time, and venue. Once you have submitted this scheduling information, a 2nd automated confirmation email, which will contain your CAT  Admit Card, will be sent to the email address provided by you. Only at this stage is your CAT registration complete.

Q.9) What details will be mentioned in the Admit Card?
Ans. The admit card will contain the name of the candidate, test date, time, venue, confirmation number, CAT Registration Number / Testing ID and instructions for the candidate.

Q.10) Will the Admit Card be sent to me as a hard copy by mail?
Ans. No. The admit card will be sent to the email address provided by you, only after you have filled in your online application and scheduled your test. It
is therefore, mandatory for you to have a valid email account throughout the selection process.
Note: Admit Card is a mandatory requirement in order to test. You must bring a print out of your Admit Card to the test centre.

Q.11) Are there any special provisions for Differently Abled candidates?
Ans. Yes. Please refer to the FAQs for DA Candidates for more details.

Q.12) What are the different time slots for scheduling the test for a typical testing day?
Ans. CAT 2014 will have 2 sessions each, Forenoon and Afternoon, on the two exam days. Candidates will be assigned to anyone of the four sessions, subject to availability and city preference.

Q.12) Can I appear for CAT more than once during the testing window?
Ans. No. You can appear for CAT only once per year. It will be deemed a fraudulent activity if one attempts to appear for CAT more than once in an year. Admit Cards and picture IDs of the candidates will be checked, and candidate pictures and biometric information will also be captured at the test centre.


Q.13) If I have made any mistake(s) while registering for CAT , can I make changes later to rectify?
Ans. If you make mistakes while entering the application data, you may login to  and select “Edit Profile” to make

changes to your personal details such as address or “Edit Application” to make changes to your application data such as educational information or interview
location. For security reasons, editing of candidate’s full name and username will not be allowed. To reschedule your appointment, select “Reschedule an
Appointment” to choose a different test centre, date and time of your test, of course, subject to availability. The ability to edit application profile and
registration details will be available until the registration window is closed 

Note: If you make changes to your profile or reschedule, you must carry the most recent admit card and attend the most recent test session.


Queries related with CAT Exam day
Q.1)What is the reporting time for the test?
Ans. 2 hours hours prior to the test time.
The forenoon session and afternoon sessions on both the days will be held from 9.30 am to 12.20 pm and from 3 pm to 5.50 pm respectively. One candidate can only appear for one slot. The reporting times for the forenoon and afternoon sessions are 7.30 am and 1 pm respectively.


Q.2) What are the identification documents required to be carried to the test centre?
Ans. Candidates will need to bring the following identification documents on the test day:
a. CAT Admit Card
b. At least one original (not photocopied / scanned copy) and valid (not expired) photo identification. The name on your photo identification must match your name as entered in the CAT application. Acceptable forms of photo identification are limited to Driver's license, Passport, PAN Card, Voter ID, College ID (supported with a valid ATM/Credit/Debit Card with your name), Employee ID, or a notarized Affidavit with Photo, Signature, Date of Birth and Residential Address. Photocopies of the original are not acceptable. Candidates will not be permitted to take the test if photo identification is not presented.


Q.3) Does the name need to match with the names appearing on the identification documents?
Ans. Your name needs to be exactly identical to the name on your school-leaving certificate.
Note: - If the name has been changed due to events such as marriage, you must show the relevant document mentioned below and submit a photocopy at the time of the test, interview and at the time of joining a programme.
Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, Legal Name Change Document


Q.4) What are the permitted materials I can bring with me to the test centre?
Ans. None. You will not be permitted to bring any personal items to the test centre, including but not limited to wrist-watch, pen, cellphones, calculators, etc.


Q.5) What is the duration of the test?
Ans. The CAT test is for a total duration of 170 minutes or 2 hours and 50 minutes.


Q.6) Do I have any breaks during the test?
Ans. No, you will not be given any breaks during the test.



Q.7) Will I be provided with any scratch paper for rough work and calculations during the test?
Ans. At the test centre, each candidate will be seated at a desk with a computer terminal and he/she will be provided with a pencil, eraser and scratch paper for calculations. Rough work cannot be done on any other paper/sheet, as nothing will be allowed inside the testing room. On completion of the test,
candidates will have to hand back all the scratch paper and stationery to the Administrator.



Queries related with CAT Scoring & Results
Q.1) How will my initial raw scores be calculated?
Ans. Your raw scores will be calculated for each section based on the number of questions you answered correctly, incorrectly, or omitted. You will be given 
+3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect answer. There will be no points for questions that are not answered. This scoring methodology ensures that candidates are only awarded points for what they know.


Q.2) What happens after my initial raw scores are calculated?
Ans. The CAT, like virtually all large-scale exams, will utilize multiple forms, or versions, of the test. While all forms are carefully assembled to ensure 
that the content is comparable, the difficulty of each form may vary slightly. Such minor differences in the overall difficulty level cannot be accurately 
measured until after all of the forms have been administered and the results analysed. To facilitate this comparison, each form will contain equating blocks 
comprising a pre-defined number of statistically profiled questions selected from a large item bank. By comparing candidate responses to these equating 
blocks across multiple forms, the ability level of the individuals can be evaluated and the precise difficulty of the forms calculated. The raw scores are 
then adjusted, as necessary, through a process called equating. Equating assures fairness for all candidates by allowing accurate comparisons to be made of performance across all of the test forms. Equated raw scores are then placed on a common scale or metric to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores. This process is called scaling.


Q.3) What scores will be presented to me on results day?
Ans. Three scaled scores will be presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and two separate scaled scores for each section. As the two sections evaluate distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in 
another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.


Q.4) Will I get to see my scores on the test day?
Ans. No.


Q.5) Within how many days can I expect the results?
Ans. CAT results are expected to be declared in last week of December


Q.6) How does one know if he/she has been shortlisted by IIMs for interviews?
Ans. More information will be shared by the IIMs after the CAT results are declared.

27 comments:

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  2. hello sir..... according to you approx how many questions should be correct to get 99 percentile??????

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Neha,

    Overall percentile depends lot of factors such as on level of questions asked, intelligence level of candidates etc. Its difficult to ascertain that with a particular score you can clear 99+ percentile; this is because percentile is a relative score, your score when compared to scores of others.

    Having said that, in general from past analysis of CAT I can suggest you that ideal attempt for :
    Quantitative Ability would be 55-65% of questions
    Data Interpretation would be 75-85%
    Verbal Ability would be 50-60%
    Logical Reasoning would be 80-90%

    This is assuming all correct attempts which means you are getting the above mentioned percentage scores in these sections.

    Improve your Verbal Communication as well for CAT
    Would recommend you to focus on spoken english as well, please form a group within your friend circle and have mock Extempore/ GDs/ Interviews/ Debates. This will not only help you in your MBA preparation(clearing GD/PI) but also for job interviews & will surely help in your overall personality/career development.
    I hope you should be able to organise such a session for half an hour everyday within your college campus or hostel.


    Learn Maths shorcuts & tricks
    Plenty of the are shared at:
    Tips, Tricks and shortcuts for CAT Quantitative Aptitude
    Tips, Tricks and shortcuts for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning


    Following are free study materials for CAT and other MBA exams
    Quantitative Aptitude Study Materials for MBA + Free Download
    Verbal Aptitude & English Study Materials for MBA + Free Download
    Data Interpretation & Logic Reasoning Study Materials for MBA + Free Download

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    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Admin, How many times can one appear for CAT?(i.e. Can I appear for CAT2013, CAT2014 and so on after appearing first time this year-CAT2012 ?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Naresh,

      Currently there is no restriction on number of times a person can appear in CAT.

      Would also recommend you to go through the gudidelines which I have mentioned at the below page:
      CAT Preparation-Recommended Guidelines for Beginners

      This would surely answer most of the question related with preparation.
      Feel free to ask any more questions.

      Keep Writing!

      One request:
      We desperately require your support to keep this free blog running, please do support us by sharing this site with all your friends, online MBA groups,

      All the best!

      Cheers!!!


      => Add us to your Facebook friend list

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  5. Thank you buddy for this information. Very helpful for all and written very well. Keep it up..

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    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey this is Preeti , this information is really a good one
    and gona work for all.
    thanks

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    1. Thanks Preeti, your appreciation motivates me to do better and better!

      Cheers!

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  7. If one is preparing for CAT, then can one appear in all the MBA level examinations held across the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anirban,

      Your CAT preparation surely helps you in tackling other MBA exams held in country too. Though you may have to put an extra effort in some of these exams which require slightly additional preparation (some of them ask GK questions as well)

      All the best!

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