The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all-India test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as an entrance exam for the management programmes of its seven business schools. About 240,000 students took CAT in 2009 for about 1500 seats in the IIMs.
The test is multiple-choice based and traditionally comprises three sections that span the domains of arithmetical problem solving, geometry, statistics, data interpretation, logical reasoning, puzzles, and English language skills. CAT is now held in a window of 10 days at the end of November each year. The test duration is two hours and fifteen minutes. The total number of questions has varied from 180 (prior to year 2000) to 150 (from 2001 to 2003) and has gradually decreased to 75 (in 2006 and 2007). However, in 2008 the number of questions increased once again and became 90 (40 in Verbal Ability and 25 each in Quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation). In 2009, CAT had 60 questions, 20 in each section. This trend has seen the CAT evolve from a speed-based test to an exam that evaluates fundamental abilities of candidates in the aforementioned areas. At the test venue, each CAT candidate will be seated at a desk with a computer terminal and he/she will be provided with a scratch paper for calculations. After the test, candidate must leave the scratch paper at the desk. Rough work cannot be done on any other paper/sheet, as nothing will be allowed inside the testing room.
CAT Selection Process
The CAT is the first step for admission to the IIMs. After the test, by the second week of January next year, the IIMs declare exam scores and put up a list of candidates who are eligible for the next stage of a group discussion and an individual interview. The scores are relative and are calculated on a percentile basis for individual sections as well as for the total. Candidates invited for the next stage usually possess total scores that are in excess of 99 percentile and, more importantly, also possess balanced high scores across all the individual sections. On 1 May 2009, it was announced that from CAT 2009 would be a Computer Based Test.
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 Selection Process of IIMs.
Note for SC/ST, NC-OBC, and DA Candidates
If you belong to SC or ST categories, your caste/tribe must be listed in the Government of India schedule. The caste certificate that you send to IIM should be in the Government approved format and should clearly state: (a) Name of your caste/tribe; (b) Whether you belong to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe; (c) District and the State or Union Territory of your ordinary residence; and (d) the appropriate Government of India schedule under which your caste/tribe is approved by it as Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. A copy of the certificate must be sent to CAT Centre, C/O PGP Admissions Office, Indian Institute of Mangament, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, 380 015. Mention the Voucher Serial Number on the certificate. Failure to produce a copy of the caste certificate will result in the rejection of your CAT registration. The caste certificate must be shown and a photocopy enclosed at the time of interviews. Moreover, the caste certificate must be submitted at the time of joining programmes of any of the IIMs. If you belong to the Non-Creamy Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC), you must produce the NC-OBC certificate duly signed by competent authority and enclose its photocopy at the time of interviews. Moreover, the certificate must be submitted at the time of joining programmes of any of the IIMs. Failure to do so during the post CAT selection process will result in you not being considered under the reserved category. If you belong to Differently Abled (DA) Category, a copy of the DA certificate must be sent to CAT Centre, C/O PGP Admissions Office, Indian Institute of Mangament, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, 380 015. Mention the Voucher Serial Number on the DA certificate. Failure to produce a copy of the DA certificate will result in the rejection of your CAT registration. The DA certificate must be shown and a photocopy enclosed at the time of interviews. Moreover, the DA certificate must be submitted at the time of joining programmes of any of the IIMs.
List of Non-IIM Member Institutions which have registered to use CAT 2009 Scores
You can find the list over here.
Some Common Questions Related to CAT 2009 have been answered over here.
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