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Common Admission Test For IIMs

Updated on July 6, 2012

CAT is the entrance exam for the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and another approximately 30 management institutes in India. The IIM usually admit about 950 students every year. The other institutes that use CAT for their selection process admit about 1500 to 1800 students every year. This makes the CAT the single most important management entrance exam in the country today.

CAT has been a two - hour paper with 3 or 4 sections for the last more than 15 years. While nothing can be said with certainly about the duratio and structure of the CAT paper. We can just get idea of the question section on bases of last four years.


CAT has invariably specified that the candidate may apportion the time of 120 minutes in any manner he wishes. However, every candidate has to show competency in all sections of the paper. This basically implies that each section has a minimum cut off mark that the candidate has to achieve. Cut-off will differ from institute to institute, but some minimum marks in each section would be necessary to qualify for most of the institutes that use CAT for their selection process.

Hence, the candidate has to be prepared such that he can attempt questions from all the sections of the CAT paper. He has also to allocate his time so that he can attempt sufficient questions from each section and clear the cut-off mark for all the sections. While a score of 30, 30, 30 in the three sections is numerically equal to a score of 45, 45, 0; the former candidate is much more likely to get an interview call than the latter would not have qualified in the third section. Candidate must, therefore, ensure that they divide their time approxmately equally across all the sections so that they can attempt fair number of questions from all the questions.

It should also be noted that question carry negative marks. CAT does not specify how much the negative marking is. This only means that the candidate would not be advised to indulge in blind guesswork. However, if e is able to reduce the possible options to two out of the given four, it will be worth while to mark the answer from among these two even if the candidate is not perfectly sure which of the two is correct.

Since, the CAT paper would put tremendous time pressure on candidate, it is also likely that a few of the questions attempted may go wrong. This should not depress the candidate from attempting as many as questions as he can.


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