What is the importance of the CAT Exam?


The Common Admission Test, also known as the CAT Exam, is the most competitive entrance exam for admission to IIMs and other reputed business schools across the country. This exam is convened by the IIMs on a rotational basis. Last year the examination was conducted by IIM Ahmedabad on November 28th. This exam assesses a candidate’s reasoning, aptitude and verbal ability skills.

All of the management entrance exams have some basic eligibility criteria. To be eligible for the CAT Exam, candidates must have received a minimum of 50% or equivalent in their Bachelor’s degree. There is a 5% relaxation for reserved category and PwD applicants, bringing the percentage to 45%. The convening body of CAT 2022 will be announced in the last week of July in the official notification of the IIMs. To obtain a good percentile, management aspirants must begin their preparations 6-8 months prior to the exam.

What are the Stages of the CAT Admission Process?

  • The first stage of the CAT exam includes the Computer Based Test (CBT). This exam is conducted in three slots on the same day. The exam takes place for a time duration of 120 minutes with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes each.

    • There are three sections in the exam: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension & Quantitative Aptitude. After the test begins, candidates will not be able to switch between sections. They can only take the test in sequential order.
    • There’s also an on-screen calculator, which eliminates the worry of intensive calculations and ensures accuracy. The exam consists of MCQs and TITA Questions. For TITA Questions, students will be allowed to type in their answers in the space provided on the screen.
    • In order to be well acquainted with the exam, candidates need to know the exam pattern and syllabus. On the basis of their performance in the CBT, candidates will be selected for the subsequent rounds.

  • The second stage is the GD/WAT. For this round, candidates will be chosen based on their performance in the CBT and their cut-off. It is important to stay up to date with current affairs and the latest group discussion topics in order to succeed in this round. Some of the important topics for GD are Economic Survey 2022, Covid-19 Third wave, Gati Shakti Master Plan etc. Candidates who achieve above 99 percentile in the CBT can expect to hear from top IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Indore. The cut-off differs amongst IIMs.

    • After these rounds are completed successfully, the IIMs will publish the final selection list on their official website. Most of the IIMs have replaced their Group Discussion round with the Written Ability Test (WAT).

  • The final round is the Personal Interview, in which panel members assess candidates based on a variety of factors. The IIMs will release the final selection list on their official website after these rounds are completed successfully.

The MBA degree is a highly sought-after degree and one of the most popular options for post graduate education. For aspirants who want to pursue their post-graduate management degree from the IIMs, the CAT Exam is important. The course curriculum equips candidates with the administrative skills necessary for an organization’s growth, enabling them to succeed in this globally competitive environment. This is why companies are always on the hunt for individuals who have graduated from top management schools and IIMs. Pursuing an MBA from the IIM or from the prestigious B-schools in the country is a dream for every management aspirant. The CAT Exam serves as a pathway to achieving this dream. The CAT scores are widely accepted by most top management schools.

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