CAT 2021: Exam Date (Nov 28), Admit Card, Pattern, Syllabus

Exam Date

Nov 28, 2021

Oct 12, 2021 | Management


CAT is an entrance exam conducted by the IIMs every year for management aspirants seeking admission to the best B-Schools of the country. Around 1000 institutes of the country accept CAT scores for admission. This exam aims to test the candidate's aptitude in Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude. The registration for CAT 2021 started on Aug 4, 2021 and ended on Sep 22, 2021. The application form correction started on Sep 25, 2021 and ended on Aug 27, 2021. The exam will be conducted on Nov 28, 2021.

Find all about CAT exam, such as the application process, eligibility criteria, hall ticket, and a lot more on this page.

Latest Updates for CAT:

  • Sep 29, 2021: CAT 2021 admit card to be released on the official website on Oct 27, 2021.
  • Sep 25, 2021: The CAT 2021 exam pattern to remain the same as 2020, but the total number of questions will be reduced.
  • Sep 24, 2021: The CAT 2021 application form correction window will be open from Sep 25, 2021, to Sep 27, 2021.
  • Sep 15, 2021: The last date to apply for CAT 2021 is extended to Sep 22, 2021. Interested candidates must apply before this date as it is unlikely that the conducting authority will give another extension.
  • Aug 4, 2021: The application form for CAT 2021 has been released. The last date to apply is Sep 15, 2021. Visit the CAT Application Form page for more information and the direct link to apply.


What is the CAT Exam?

The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test. CAT is the most popular national-level management entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) for admission of aspiring candidates to 20 IIM's and more than 1000 B-schools across India. It is conducted and administered by one of the IIMs on a yearly rotational basis.

CAT Exam Highlights
Exam Name CAT
Full Form Common Admission Test
Conducting Authority Indian Institute Of Management
Exam Mode Online
Exam Purpose Admission to the top management colleges of India
Exam Duration 120 minutes
Exam Level National
Exam Frequency Annual
Exam Language English
Official Website
  • Level of Difficulty: CAT 2021 is an aptitude test designed to evaluate an applicant's Quantitative, Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation, and Reasoning Skills. After analyzing previous year papers, it is evident that Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) has always been the toughest section in the paper. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section complexity is mostly moderate and Quantitative Aptitude so far has always been the easiest.
  • CAT Scores: CAT 2021 scorecard contains percentile marks. However, the percentile is a relative measure of the performance as it depends on how good/bad other test takers perform.
  • Admissions and Placement: More than 1000 institutes, offering masters or postgraduate diplomas in management across India, consider the CAT 2021 exam score as valid criteria for admission.

CAT 2021 Key Changes

There are certain changes that have ben made in the CAT 2021 exam. All the candidates are strongly advised to go through the changes mentioned below.

  • Revised Exam Pattern: The CAT 2021 exam pattern to remain the same as 2020, but the total number of questions will be reduced. Therefore, the candidates are advised to visit the website regularly to never miss an update.
  • Revised IIM CAT Exam 2021 Eligibility Criteria: Considering that there could be different evaluation patterns adopted by different universities across the country due to covid-19 pandemic, the CAT Committee has decided to remove the minimum percentage of marks (45% and 50% [or equivalent CGPA] respectively) for appearing for the CAT 2021 exam. This exception is made to ensure parity to candidates who have completed the bachelor’s degree in 2020, 2021 and will complete their bachelor's degree in 2022. Kindly note that this announcement is only applicable on the eligibility criteria for writing the CAT 2021. Candidates are advised to look at and follow respective institution specific admission policy. This is for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduates. For all the other candidates the minimin eligibility criteria is Graduation with 50% - General/ OBC-NC/EWS, Graduation with 45% - SC/ST/ PWD.
  • CAT 2021 Application Fee Increased: The fee has been increased by INR100 for SC/ST and PwD candidates (INR 1,100/-) while it has increased by INR 200 (INR 2,200/-) for General & NC-OBC category.
  • CAT 2021 Test Cities Increased: The number of CAT 2021 exam cities has increased to 159 this year compared to 156 in 2020.

    Removed CAT Test City- Ulhasnagar
    Added CAT 2021 Test Cities - Madgaon (Goa), Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), Srinagar (Jammu)

CAT 2021 Exam Date

The official notification about the CAT 2021 exam has been released. The application process has commenced on Aug 4, 2021, and will conclude on Sep 22, 2021. Refer to the information given below to know more about CAT exam date 2021 for MBA.

CAT 2021 Exam Dates
Important Events Dates
Official Notification Aug 1, 2021
Application Form Start Date Aug 4, 2021 (10:00 AM)
Application Form Last Date Sep 22, 2021 (5:00 PM)
Tutorials on the Official Website October 2021
Form Correction Date Sep 25, 2021 to Sep 27, 2021
Mock Test Release Date October 2021
Admit Card Release Date Oct 27, 2021 (5:00 PM)
Exam Date Nov 28, 2021
Answer Key December 2021
Answer Key Objection Window December 2021
CAT 2021 Final Answer Key December 2021
CAT 2021 Results Date January 2022

Read More: CAT Exam Dates 2021

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

CAT eligivlity criteria is essential from exam point of view. The conducting authority specifies certain eligibility conditions which every CAT aspirant needs to satisfy. Mainly, it would focus on the age limit, and the educational qualifications of the candidate. The conducting authorities also give some relaxations to the applicants belonging to the reserved categories. Find more details in this section.

Who is Eligible for CAT 2021?

  • Considering that there could be different evaluation patterns adopted by different universities across the country due to covid-19 pandemic, the CAT Committee has decided to remove the minimum percentage of marks (45% and 50% [or equivalent CGPA] respectively) for appearing for the CAT 2021 exam. This exception is made to ensure parity to candidates who have completed the bachelor’s degree in 2020, 2021 and will complete their bachelor's degree in 2022. Kindly note that this announcement is only applicable on the eligibility criteria for writing the CAT 2021. Candidates are advised to look at and follow respective institution specific admission policy. This is for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduates. For all the other candidates the minimin eligibility criteria is Graduation with 50% - General/ OBC-NC/EWS, Graduation with 45% - SC/ST/ PWD.
  • The college or institute that a candidate has studied in shall abide by the Act of Parliament or State legislature in India 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.
  • CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students: Candidates who are in the final year of their UG courses are also eligible to apply for CAT 2021.
  • Further, if that candidate gets admission into an IIM he or she will be allowed to join the program provisionally only if he/she produces a certificate from the principal or registrar of the institute or university in which he/she has studied.
  • The certificate must state that the student has completed all the necessary procedures for a bachelor's degree.
  • Moreover, this certificate must be issued on or before the stipulated time mentioned by the particular IIM in which the student secures admission.

CAT 2021 Age Limit

Under CAT 2021 eligibility, there is no restriction for the upper age limit of a candidate. There is no maximum age limit inorder to provide aspiring candidates an opportunity to realize their dream of persuing managemnet course from reputed colleges of India, regardless of the age.

Number of Attempts

Also, there is no limit to the number of attempts. Candidates need to fill information about work experience (if any) in the application form, however, it is not a criterion to be fulfilled to attempt the entrance exam.

CAT 2021 Eligibility for Foreign Nationals

The CAT 2021 eligibility that is needed for foreign nationals, PIO’s or NRIs is that they must have a bachelors's degree with a minimum of 50% (candidates of the SC/ST, PWD categories must have a minimum of 45%). The certification must be from any of the universities that are accredited by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. Candidates who will be writing the final exam are also eligible to apply for CAT. Those who have finished their studies and are expecting their results can submit an application for the exam too.

CAT 2021 Reservation

  • Applicants who have a CA/CS/ICWA degree will also be considered eligible to apply for CAT 2021.
  • Earlier general category candidates and candidates under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) needed to have obtained a minimum score of 50% in any of the Bachelor's degree programs, but considering that there could be different evaluation patterns adopted by different universities across the country due to covid-19 pandemic, the CAT Committee has decided to remove the minimum percentage of marks (45% and 50% [or equivalent CGPA] respectively) for appearing for the CAT 2021 exam. This is for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduates. For all the other candidates the minimin eligibility criteria is Graduation with 50% - General/ OBC-NC/EWS, Graduation with 45% - SC/ST/ PWD.
  • Aspirants have to mention caste or community details as per the CAT Caste Certificate Format specified in the application form. Students belonging to OBC (NCL) caste must produce the pertaining certificate wherever necessary for CAT 2021.

Read More: CAT Eligibility Criteria 2021

CAT 2021 Syllabus

CAT 2021 syllabus will include all the topics be based on questions asked. CAT syllabus is divided into 3 sections which test the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability (VA), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). General Awareness is not part of the CAT. The CAT exam syllabus usually remains the same for every year. The only difference lies in the question paper format. The syllabus or topics is provided below.

CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus

The CAT 2021 entrance exam syllabus for quantitative aptitude is provided below. All the important topics related to the CAT subjects is provided in order to help candidates understand the amount of topics to be covered before commencing the preparation process.

  • Arithmetic- Number System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distances
  • Algebra- Hypothesis of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation, and Combination, Sequence and Series
  • Percentages- Percentages and its applications
  • Trigonometry- Trigonometric Ratios, Heights, and Distances
  • Calculus- Minima and Maxima functions
  • Mensuration-Areas and Volumes – Rectangles, Squares, Triangles, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes and Cistern
  • Geometry and its Applications- Angles, Lines, Triangles, Circles
  • Ratio and its applications
  • Numbers and their applications

CAT 2021 Verbal Ability Syllabus

The CAT 2021 detailed syllabus for all the subjects will be available on the official website. The CAT syllabus pdf will have detailed list of all the topics involved in the syllabus. A list of important topics related to the verbal ability section is mentioned below to help candidates get a brief idea of the topics to be covered.

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Critical Reasoning (and its numerous applications)
  • Idioms
  • Analogies
  • Para Completion
  • Face Interference Judgment

CAT 2021 Logical Reasoning Syllabus

The Logical Reasoning section of CAT will have the following kinds of questions.

  • Direction Sense
  • Puzzles
  • Series
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Data Structures
  • Blood Relations
  • Arrangements
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Charts, Tables & Graphs (Bar Chart, Pie Chart, etc.)

The candidates can score well in this section by practicing various questions of each type. It is advised that candidates decide how much time to devote to each section before appearing for the exam.

Read More: CAT Syllabus 2021

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

The CAT 2021 exam pattern to remain the same as 2020, but the total number of questions will be reduced. It is very important for candidates to understand the pattern of the CAT question paper before appearing for the examination. It would help them devise an effective exam day strategy. CAT will be held online, as a computer-based test. The question will be divided into three sections. The candidates will be answering around 76 questions in total (based on 2020). Some key highlights of the CAT exam pattern are given below:

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern
Mode Online i.e. Computer-based Test (CBT)
Duration 2 Hours or 120 Minutes
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning,
  • Quantitative Ability,
  • Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension
Medium/Language English

The marking scheme for CAT 2021 is as follows.

CAT Marking Scheme
Questions Marks Awarded
Correct Answer +3 Marks
Incorrect Answer (MCQs only) -1 Mark
Unattempted Questions No addition or deduction of marks
  • +3 Marks for every correct answer
  • No negative marking

Other Important Details:

  • The score obtained in the CAT will be converted into a percentile, after the normalization process of the scores for all the sessions.

Read More: CAT Exam Pattern 2021

CAT 2021 Registration

The online CAT 2021 application form is available from Aug 4, 2021 to Sep 22, 2021. The application form will be available online on the official website. Before filling out the application form, candidates must register themselves. Once a candidate completes CAT 2021 registration, IIM (conducting authority) will send registration ID and password to the candidate which has to be used to login to the official website and complete the application process.

CAT 2021 Online Registration

The steps to be followed by the aspiring candidates to fill the CAT registration form are mentioned below. CAT exam uses the online mode of application. Candidates must register themselves first, and then proceed to fill the CAT 2021 application form. Application fee has to be paid after the successful completion of registration and filling the application form.

  • Step 1: Candidates have to visit the official website of the CAT 2021.
  • Step 2: Entering a valid email ID, phone number, and date of birth.
  • Step 3: Candidates are advised to provide a valid and working mail ID & phone number as all further communications will be notified on the same.

Read More: CAT 2021 Registration

CAT 2021 Application Form

Upon completing the CAT registration process, as mentioned above, the candidates will be able to access the CAT online application form. They will be required to enter various personal, contact, and educational details in the CAT application form. If the application has been filled successfully, the candidates will receive a text message on their registered mobile phones confirming it. The conducting authorities will also notify the candidates via text message, if their application gets rejected due to any conditions.

CAT 2021 Application Process

The candidates can follow the steps given below to enroll for CAT successfully:

  • Login: After completing the registration, the candidates will be sent the login credentials on their registered email IDs or mobile numbers. The candidates must make a note of those credentials and login in the official website using them.
  • Enter all the Details Carefully: The application form will require the candidates to enter various details. The candidates must fulfil this step with utmost care and attention. Mistakes of spelling or factual errors should be avoided.
  • Upload the Documents as Per the Given Specifications: The candidates will be asked to upload their photographs and signatures along with the form. The candidates must resize the documents as per the specifications given on the website. Candidates belonging to the reserved categories will be asked to upload their respective category certificates.
  • CAT Application Fee Payment: Lastly, the candidates must pay the application fee via Net Banking, Credit Card, or Debit Card. The category-wise application fee is mentioned below:
CAT 2021 Application Fee
Category Fee (INR)
General/EWS/NC-OBC INR 2200
SC/ST/PwD INR 1100

Documents Required to Fill the CAT 2021 Application Form

While filling the CAT 2021 application form, candidates need to have the soft copies of the necessary documents ready. The list of the documents which will be necessary while filling the application form is provided below. The documents should be in the specified size and format before uploading them.

  • Scanned images of your passport size photo and signature.
  • An attested SC/ST/OBC certificate.
  • PwD Certificate signed and attested by respective authorities.

Candidate can follow the below-mentioned guidelines while uploading the scanned photograph and signature for CAT 2021 Application Form.

CAT 2021 Document Specifications
Image/Documents Dimensions File and Format Size Image Resolution
Photograph 30mm(width) x 45mm(height) 80KB - JPEG/JPG 150Pixel (min)
Signature 80mm(width) x 35mm(height) 80KB - JPEG/JPG 150Pixel (min)

CAT 2021 Application Form Correction

Candidates tend to make mistakes while filling the application form. Since CAT is a major career deciding exam, the authority facilitates the candidates with an application form correction window during which candidates can make changes to the information provided in their application. Candidates must be very cautious while editing the information as another chance to correct the errors will not be provided under any circumstances.

How to Register for Non-IIM participating Institutes in CAT 2021?

Follow the steps given below to register to Non-IIM institutes.

  • Step 1: Visit the official website.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the CAT 2021 link which will be available on the right part of the screen.
  • Step 3: Click on "Downloading of MOU and the Application Form".
  • Step 4: Pay the required fees.
  • Step 5: Carefully fill CAT 2021 Application Form and MOU. Then send the scanned copies duly filled-in, signed, and stamped along with the required enclosures (mentioned inside the application form) through email.

Note: The program brochure can be sent exclusively or separately along with the other required hard copies as stated above.

Read More: CAT 2021 Application Form

CAT 2021 Admit Card

CAT 2021 admit card is a crucial document from exam point of view. The registered candidates will be able to download their respective hall tickets from the official website from Oct 27, 2021 onwards. It will encompass important details such as the candidate's personal details, roll number, address of the allotted exam centre, etc. If any are found, the candidates must get in touch with the concerned authorities immediately. At the time of exam, the candidates will also be required to keep a government-issued photo ID proof along with them.

Candidates can follow the steps given below to download the CAT 2021 admit card.

  • Step 1: Visit the official website.
  • Step 2: In the notification section, click on the 'Admit Card' link.
  • Step 3: Login using the credentials provided at the time of registration.
  • Step 4: View and download the admit card.
  • Step 5: Take a printout of the same.

Discrepancies on CAT Hall Ticket 2021

The CAT hall ticket will carry various important details. They must be checked very carefully. If the candidates find any errors on their respective CAT 2021 admit cards, they must contact the concerned authorities on the below-mentioned contact information:

Documents to be Carried to the CAT 2021 Exam Center

Any one out of the below-mentioned photo ID proof documents must be mandatorily carried along with the CAT 2021 admit card to the exam center on the day of CAT 2021: Aadhaar Card / Voter ID Card / Passport / PAN Card / Driving License / Photo ID issued by the current education institute or the employer.

Read More: CAT Admit Card 2021

CAT 2021 Exam Centres

CAT 2021 exam centres related information is crucial and the candidates must download the admit card to check the allotted test centre. The test city list for 2021 is tabulated below.

CAT 2021 Exam Centres
CAT Test State/UTs CAT Test Cities
Andaman & Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Andhra Pradesh Chittoor, Kurnool, Nellore, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
Assam Guwahati, Silchar, Dibrugarh
Bihar Aurangabad, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Purnea
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Chattisgarh Bhilai, Raipur
Delhi New Delhi
Goa Madagaon, Verna
Gujarat Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Anand
Haryana Ambala, Bahadurgarh, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Palwal, Rohtak, Panipat and Sonipat
Himachal Pradesh Solan, Simla
Jammu & Kashmir Jammu, Srinagar
Jharkhand Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Ranchi
Karnataka Bengaluru, Belgaum, Bidar, Mangalore, Mysore, Shimoga, Udupi, Ramanagara, Davanagere, Chikballapur, Mandya, Kolar, Hassan, Tumkur
Kerala Kochi, Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, Trivandrum
Madhya Pradesh Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Sagar
Maharashtra Ahmednagar, Amravati, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Nanded, Ratnagiri, Satara, and Thane
Meghalaya Shillong
Odisha Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur, Balasore, Rourkela
Puducherry Puducherry
Punjab Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Mohali, Patiala, Ropar, Sangrur, Mohali, Paghwara
Rajasthan Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur, Sikar, Alwar, Ajmer
Tamil Nadu Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Namakkal, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli and Thanjavur
Telangana Hyderabad, Karim Nagar, Khammam
Uttar Pradesh Agra, Allahabad, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi, Mathura, Bairelly, Prayagraj
Uttarakhand Dehradun, Roorkee
West Bengal Durgapur, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata, Kalyani, Siliguri, Burdwan, Asansol.

Read More: CAT Exam Centres 2021

CAT 2021 Answer Key

The CAT 2021 answer key is generally released within 10 days from the CAT exam date. Find more details related to the CAT answer key in the section below.

Steps to Download CAT 2021 Answer Key

Candidates can follow the steps given below to download the CAT 2021 answer key, and further raise objections if any.

  • Step 1: Visit the website,
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Candidate login’ link/button.
  • Step 3: Enter your login credentials to get to your dashboard.
  • Step 4: Dashboard will display answer key, question paper and response sheet for download.

Read More: CAT Answer Key 2021

CAT 2021 Result

IIM is expected to release CAT 2021 results in the 1st or 2nd week of January 2022. Scorecards will be published online along with the results. Candidates will be notified about their percentile via SMS. CAT scores will be valid for 1 year.

After CAT 2021 results are announced, different institutes will start publishing their cut off percentiles for further processes.

How to Check CAT 2021 Results?

Candidates can follow the detailed steps given below to check their CAT 2021 results.

  • Step 1: Visit the official website.
  • Step 2: Navigate to click on "Download CAT 2021 Score Card" notification.
  • Step 3: The site will be redirected to the login page.
  • Step 4: Provide the user ID and password.
  • Step 5: The site will be redirected to the candidate's account page.
  • Step 6: Click on the download scorecard link and download it for future reference.

Based on the different cut offs specified by participating IIMs, candidates can begin applying for the desired colleges and courses. CAT results and the application to various IIMs are followed by a Group Discussion, Personal Interview, and Written Ability Test. If not for an IIM, CAT scores are valid and considered in various other B-schools.

Read More: CAT Result 2021

CAT 2021 Reservation Statistics

There are certain seat reservations in CAT 2021 offered by IIMs for reserved category candidates. These remain the same every year. The purpose of the reservation is to provide an equal opportunity to candidates of all sections of society to study at top B-schools in the country. The percentage of seats reserved indicated below:

CAT 2021 Reservation Statistics
Category Percentage of Seats
Scheduled Caste (SC) 15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST) 7.5%
Non-Creamy–Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC) 27%
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Up to 10%
People with Disability/Disabilities (PwD) 5%


  • During the CAT entrance exam application process, candidates are advised to provide all the correct information if they belong to any of the above-mentioned reserved categories. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of a candidate's application.
  • Candidates who successfully make it to the interview have to present the required set of documents. Failing to do so will result in the rejection of a candidate's application.

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips

CAT is often considered to be of the most difficult entrance exams in India. But with strategic preparation, once can ace this exam with very good scores. If you are preparing for the upcoming CAT 2021 exam, make sure to look into the syllabus and keep in mind the preparation tips given below.

  • Start with the Basics: Basics are very important and one has to be thorough with the basics to solve all kinds of problems. To begin with, you can focus on topics like Arithmetic, Numbers, Geometry, and gradually build on your knowledge on other less important topics like Functions, Inequalities, Permutation, and Combinations, etc. It is also important to focus on the easier topics like Progressions, Logarithms, etc. As far as verbal and RC are concerned, it is very important to read a lot. Reading on a variety of topics is very important to improve efficiency. DI and LR practice a lot of puzzles and this will help you to ace this section.
  • Take Mock Tests: Equally important to basics is taking mocks. Take mock tests in the beginning phase of your preparation. It will help you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can build your strategies accordingly and work your way to glory. The more mock tests you take, the more familiar you will become with the test.
  • Practice: It is important to stick to a practice regime and follow it religiously. Regular practice on this will strengthen conceptual knowledge as well as increase your speed. In this way, you can increase accuracy.
  • Time Management: Realistic time-table setting, planning ahead, and preparing months ahead is the best way to avoid burnout and also improve efficiency, speed, and accuracy. Identify your strengths and use it to save time in the actual exam.

CAT 2021 Reference Books

CAT 2021 reference books will act as the most useful resource for candidates appearing for the CAT 2021 exam. The candidates can solve questions from these resources and ultimately score well in the exam. Newspapers and magazines are essential to crack the CAT 2021 Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds. The Hindu, The Statesman, India Today, Business Line are among a few recommended newspapers and magazines, which have quality articles. Apart from that, some highly recommended study-material for the exam is mentioned in the table below.

CAT 2021 Exam Reference Books
Book Author / Publication
How To Prepare For Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT Arun Sharma
How To Prepare For the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
How To Prepare For Quantitative Ability For CAT Arun Sharma
CAT Previous Year Papers (Solved) Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

Read More: CAT Books 2021

Changes in CAT Exam Over the Years

CAT was computerized in the year 2009. Since then, there has been significant amount of changes in the exam pattern of the common admission test. We have curated a table with the number of questions asked in the common admission test over the years. The table consists of the year of the exam, the total number of questions asked in CAT and the number of questions in individual sections. The table also provides information about the number of MCQ and Non MCQs asked each year.

CAT exam over the years
CAT year Total Number of Questions Verbal Ability &Reading Comprehension (VARC) Quantitative Aptitude (QA) Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
CAT 2020 76 26 (18 MCQs & 8 Non-MCQs) 26 (18 MCQs & 8 Non-MCQs) 24 (18 MCQs & 6 Non-MCQs)
CAT 2019 100
  • VA - 10 (10 Non MCQs)
  • RC - 24 (All MCQs)
  • MCQs - 23
  • Non MCQs - 11
  • DI - 16
  • LR - 16
  • MCQs - 24
  • Non MCQs - 8
CAT 2018 100
  • VA - 10 ( 7 Non MCQs)
  • RC - 24 (All MCQs)
  • MCQs - 22
  • Non MCQs - 12
  • DI - 16
  • LR - 16
  • MCQs - 24
  • Non MCQs - 8

CAT Exam Paper Analysis

CAT 2020 November exam was conducted on November 29, 2020 in three slots. It was conducted by IIM Indore. The difficulty of the CAT exam 2020 was moderate as most of the appeared candidates were confident in getting a good score.

It has been reviewed that CAT entrance exam was moderately difficult overall. The complexity of the English Comprehension section gave the students a hard time understanding the crux of the topic. The Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section was moderately difficult and the Quantitative section was the easiest of all.

  • Quant Analysis: The quant section of CAT 2020 consisted of 26 questions. The paper had MCQ type questions and non-MCQ type questions as well. There was no negative marking for the non-MCQ type questions. Each correct answer awarded 3 marks to the candidate whereas every wrong answer had a penalty of 1 mark. Candidates had to finish this section within 40 minutes.
  • DI & LR Analysis: CAT 2020 had 24 questions from the DI & LR section and was moderately difficult for the candidates to comprehend. Time allocated to attempt this section was 40 minutes.
  • English Comprehension Analysis: As compared to the CAT 2019 exam, the questions were no cakewalk for the students. The reading Comprehension part of VARC was very tricky and involved heavy reading. The difficulty level was higher than in the previous year's paper. CAT 2020 exam had a tough English Comprehension part which had 26 questions. This section had to be finished in 40 minutes.

CAT 2021 Cutoffs

The minimum percentile required to clear CAT 2021 cutoff for different sections according to the previous years is provided below. Previous year CAT entrance exam cut off can be very helpful to the students to plan carefully for the current year's exam. It is important to note that there are section wise cut-offs as well. A candidate cannot perform extremely well in one section and neglect the other. This makes the exam far more competitive. Further, there are different cutoffs for different categories.

CAT Minimum Percentile (Previous Years)
Category VRC DILR QA Overall
General 70 70 70 80
NC-OBC 65 65 65 75
SC 60 60 60 70
ST 50 50 50 60
PWD 60 60 60 7

Read More: CAT Cut Off 2021

CAT 2021 Admission Process

Aspirants must have complete informationabout the CAT 2021 admission process. Candidates have to submit their original documents during CAT 2021 counselling. There is no specific date for CAT 2021 counselling, as each IIM and each private college will conduct its admission or selection process on different dates and times. If a candidate is selected for a particular program in an IIM, an email will be sent to that shortlisted candidate. Criteria for shortlisting candidates also differ amongst the IIMs.

The list of shortlisted candidates for a particular IIM will be available on the website of the concerned IIM. Moreover, as each IIM follows a different admission process, one must visit the website of that particular IIM to learn about the admission policy followed.

Generally, the selection process involves a Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI). CAT Score will be given the foremost importance for selection. Some IIMs might even consider some factors like previous academic records and work experience. However, the weightage given to each of these parameters varies from one IIM to the other:

  • CAT 2021 Score
  • Personal Interview
  • Written Ability Test (WAT)
  • Academic Diversity Factor for Bachelor's Degree (ADFB)
  • Work Experience

Note: Each college gives different weightage to the criteria mentioned above. Most colleges, nevertheless, give maximum weightage to the CAT Score.

Documents to be Carried to the Admission Center

Aspiring candidates have to carry certain documents during the admission procedure to verfiy their eligibility. The list of documents to be carried is mentioned below.

  • Original Marksheets (all semesters) and degree certificates
  • SC/ST/PWD/EWS candidates must produce relevant Class/Caste/Disability or pertaining certificate along with a photocopy.
  • Final year candidates must produce a certificate from the principal or registrar of the institute or university along with previous exam's mark sheet (minimum of 50% for General/EWS and 45% for SC/ST/PWD Category)

Read More: CAT Counselling 2021

Courses Offered by IIMs through CAT 2021

As mentioned, the entrance exam has many benefits. CAT exam uses includes admission into courses offered at prestigious IIMs to the candidates who qualify the test with flying colors. The table given below consists of the name of the institutions along with their locations and all the programs offered by them. Candidates can apply for their desired course if they satisfy the eligibility criteria of the CAT 2021 Exam.

Other than Diploma in Management, IIMs offer FPM and EFPM which are equivalent to Ph.D. programs. EFPM stands for Executive Fellow Programme in Management and FPM stands for Fellow Programme in Management. IIMs which provide the FPM and EFPM are compiled below in the table.

Institutions Programs (PGP/MBA) Fellow Programmes in Management (FPM) [Doctoral]
IIM Amritsar PGP FPM
IIM Bodh Gaya PGP Ph.D. (FPM)
IIM Calcutta MBA Doctoral
IIM Jammu PGP -
IIM Kozhikode PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, EPGP (Kochi Campus & IL) FPM
IIM Nagpur PGP -
IIM Ranchi PGDM, PGP-HRM Ph.D., E.Ph.D
IIM Sambalpur MBA PhD
IIM Sirmaur PGP PhD
IIM Tiruchirappalli PGP, PGPBM, PGPM-HR FPM
IIM Udaipur MBA PhD
IIM Vishakapatnam PGP FPM

Fellowship Programs in Management (FPM) [Doctoral]

Note: Separate advertisements may be released for courses other than PGP by various IIMs. Candidates are expected to visit the official website of the concerned IIM and check the availability of the course, its eligibility criteria, admission process, and then apply for it.

The list of non-IIM institutes that accept the CAT score is available on IIMs have no role to play in the admission process of a candidate in Non-IIM institutes, that accept the CAT exam scores.

Lakhs of Management aspirants apply and appear for the exam every year. The top-tier management colleges of the country grant admission on the basis of candidates' CAT scores. The registration trends of the examination are discussed in this section. The candidates can find the number of candidates that applied for the examination. Over 2.5 lakh aspiring candidates had registered for CAT in 2019, whereas this number fell to 2.27 lakhs in 2020, due to COVID-19. Out of the 2.27 lakh registered candidates, only 1.90 lakhs appeared for the exam.

CAT Entrance Exam Registration Trends
Year Number of Candidates Year Number of Candidates
2015 2,19,000 2016 2,32,000
2017 2,31,000 2018 2,40,338
2019 2,50,000 2020 2,27,835

CAT Contact Details

In case of doubts or problems encountered during the application process, the candidates can reach out to the conducting authorities on the below-mentioned portals:

Phone: 1-800-209-0830
E-Mail: [email protected]


What is the marking scheme for non-MCQ questions in CAT Exam?

There will not be any particular marking scheme for non-MCQ/ TITA questions, but the right responses to these questions will add the score to the overall percentile.

What is the minimum percentage required to be eligible for the CAT 2021?

A bachelor\'s degree from a recognized institute is compulsory and mandatory for writing the CAT 2021 exam, this must meet the minimum percentage requirement of 50% in the qualifying examination.

Will candidates scoring less than the CAT cut-off marks, still get admission to the participating institutes?

The candidate must clear the minimum cut off. The candidate fails to qualify on not obtaining the cut-off marks. However, a private institute might still call you for an interview depending on their admission policy.

If I lose my hall ticket at the exam centre, will I still be able to appear for the exam?

Yes, you can download the admit card at the exam centre. You need to inform the authorities about the same and they will help you in downloading a duplicate admit card.

How can I check my CAT result online?

 The process to check the CAT result online is as follows: Visit the official website. Navigate to click on ‘Download CAT Score Card\'. You will be redirected to the login page. Provide your User Id and Password. You will be redirected to the candidate\'s account page. Click on the Download Scorecard link and download it for future reference.

What stationery should I be carrying on the CAT exam day?

CAT exam candidates are prohibited from carrying anything except admit card and the photo ID. A pen and paper will be given to you at the exam centre for rough work which you must return to the authorities before leaving the exam hall.

What is the deadline time for entering the CAT 2021 exam centre?

The candidates are advised to reach the exam centre at least 2 hrs prior to the exam, for smooth entry process inside the exam hall.

What kind of assistance will be provided to PwD candidates at the exam centre?

For PWD candidates, the following privileges are available: Scribe/ reader- candidates who are suffering from visual impairment or cerebral palsy will be allowed to bring along a scribe as an assistant, the scribe must have filled or submitted affidavits which ensure scribe\'s authenticity. Other allowed devices- an abacus without a calculator will be allowed for candidates suffering from visual impairment or hearing impairment.

What steps are supposed to be followed to correct details in the CAT 2021 Application Form?

Follow the steps given below to edit details in the CAT 2021 application Form: Open the official CAT 2021 website. Click on the “existing user” tab. Log in to the portal with the username and password. Check the date supplied in the fields. Edit the information that needs to be corrected. Click on “save “and continue once the whole form has been edited.

What are the particular information that must be kept handy before starting to fill the CAT 2021 application form?

The following information must be kept handy: Candidate\'s name Candidate\'s DOB A valid email address Educational history Mark sheet of the previous qualifying examinations Additional certificates to be uploaded Scanned images of the passport size photo List of IIMs in the order of application

I have worked as a part-time employee with a management firm. Will my experience be counted during CAT 2021 Registration?

No, part-time job experience will not be counted as work experience. Only full-time job experience of graduates will be considered as work experience.

I can't find the name of my university in the drop-down list. What should I do? 

If the name of your university is not mentioned in the drop-down menu, you must choose \'others\', and proceed further. 

Can the details in the application form be edited once I have paid the application fees?

The candidates must be very attentive and careful while filling the form. Candidates will be able to edit certain information after the payment of application fee, during the correction window, but most of the fields will be frozen.

How many institutes in total will use CAT score to provide admissions?

Almost 100 Indian institutes and 20 IIMs consider CAT score for admissions to post-graduate management programmes.

Do I have to apply separately for admission to different colleges?

Yes, except for the IIMs, all the other participating institutions will require the candidate to fill a separate application form for admission. This will include a separate application and registration fee as well.


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