CAT 2021: Full Form, Exam Date, Application Form, Syllabus, Result, Counselling

CAT Exam is one of the top competitive exams conducted for MBA admissions into top-notch b-schools. CAT Full form is the Common Admission Test. This entrance exam is conducted by a branch of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) every year.

CAT Exam is one of the top-rated management entrance exams in the country. The CAT Exam is conducted by IIM, where candidates will be ranked based on the CAT score to get admitted into India's best management colleges like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, and IIM Calcutta, etc. The exam is conducted online, and the results are announced on the official website

Latest News on CAT 

Latest Updates:

  • January 2, 2021: The results for CAT 2020 are released. Candidates who had participated in the examination can find the direct link to check the scorecard mentioned in our CAT Results page.


What is the CAT Exam?

The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test. CAT Exam 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 100 B-schools across India. It is conducted and administered by one of the IIMs on a yearly rotational basis.The top 6 IIMs which conducts the CAT Exam are IIM  Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Lucknow, IIM Ahmedabad. The CAT exam is usually conducted on the last Sunday of November of the first Sunday of December.

  • Purpose: CAT 2021 exam helps aspirants to get admission in Top Management Colleges in India. The number of applicants for CAT 2021 is expected to be more than 2 lakh. Last year around 2.41 lakh candidates had registered themselves for this exam. It is conducted once every year.
  • Programs Offered: Through CAT Exam, IIMs offer MBA, PGP, PGP-FABM, PGPEM, PGDM, EPGP PGPSM, PGPWE, PGDHRM, PGPEX, and PGPBM.
  • Level of Difficulty: CAT 2021 is an aptitude test designed to evaluate an applicant's Quantitative, Verbal/reading, Data Interpretation, and Reasoning Skills. After analyzing CAT previous year papers, it is evident that Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) has always been the toughest section in the paper. VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section complexity is mostly moderate and QA so far has always been the easiest. More details on the Syllabus and Exam Pattern for CAT 2021 is part of this article.
  • CAT Scores: CAT 2021 Scorecard contains percentile marks. Candidates attempting 63-67 questions with the right responses can expect a decent CAT Percentile. However, the percentile is a relative measure of the performance as it depends on how good/bad other test takers perform.
  • Application Fee Payment: Payment of CAT 2021 Application Fee can be made online via Debit Card/ Credit Card/ Internet Banking only. Offline payment is not accepted.
  • Admissions and Placement: More than 50 institutes offering masters or postgraduate diplomas in management across India consider the CAT 2021 exam score as valid criteria for admission every year
CAT Exam Highlights
Exam Name CAT
Full Form Common Admission Test
Conducting Authority Indian Institute Of Management
Exam Mode Online
CAT Exam Purpose Admission in top management colleges in India.
CAT Exam Duration 120 minutes
CAT Exam Level National Level
Exam Website

CAT 2021 Exam Date

The conducting authority will declare the CAT 2021 exam date on the official website. The CAT 2021 Exam date will be announced shortly. The dates will be updated as soon as the conducting authority mentions it on the official website.

CAT 2021 Exam Dates
Important Events Dates
Official Notification To be announced
CAT 2021 Application Form Start Date To be announced
CAT 2021 Form Last Date To be announced
CAT Tutorials on the official website To be announced
CAT 2021 Form Correction Date To be announced
CAT 2021 Mock Test Release Date To be announced
CAT 2021 Admit Card Release Date To be announced
CAT 2021 Exam Date To be announced
CAT 2021 Answer Keys To be announced
Answer Key Objection Window To be announced
CAT 2021 Final Answer Key To be announced
CAT 2021 Results Date To be announced

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must ensure that they satisfy all the necessary criteria before applying to the CAT 2021 Exam. The eligibility criteria specified by the conducting authority will be mentioned in the official notification. In detail information about the CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria is provided in order make the process easier for the aspiring candidates.

Who is Eligible for CAT 2021 Exam?

  • To satisfy CAT 2021 eligibility, candidates need to have completed their graduation degree with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks or obtained an equivalent CGPA from a recognized university or educational institute.
  • 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 not CAT maximum age limit inorder to provide aspiring candidates an opportunity to realize their dream of persuing Managemnet course from reputed colleges of Inida, 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 forForeign 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 the CAT exam. 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.
  • General category candidates and candidates under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) need to have obtained a minimum score of 50% in any of the Bachelor's degree programs.
  • Reserved category (SC/ST/PWD) candidates must have obtained a minimum of 45% aggregate marks. Check the table below for the minimum percentage required for the following categories:
CAT 2021 Exam Eligibility Criteria
Category  minimum PERCENTAGE OF marks
General and OBC/ EWS 50%
Scheduled Caste (SC) 45%
Scheduled Tribe (ST) 45%
Persons with Disabilities (PwD) 45%

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 Exam 2021.

CAT 2021 Syllabus

CAT 2021 syllabus will include all the topics be based on questions asked. CAT exam 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. CAT Syllabus or CAT 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 its 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 CAT 2021 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 CAT 2021 entrance exam syllabus for logical reasoning is provided below. Candidates should ensure that they cover all these important topics first and then move on to the others. Praticising more number of questions will help in performing better in the CAT 2021 Logical Reasoning section.

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

For more information regarding the CAT full syllabus, visit CAT Syllabus 2021.

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

A thorough understanding of the CAT 2021 Exam Pattern can give a candidate a competitive and strategic advantage in terms of preparation and securing high scores. The CAT 2021 Exam Pattern is discussed at length below:

  • The CAT 2021 Exam Pattern will consist of 3 sections with a total of 76 questions. Section-wise scores are very important as CAT requires the candidate to qualify section-wise cutoffs as well.
  • 3 marks will be awarded for each correct answer and 1 mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer. No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions.
  • CAT 2021 examination will be conducted Online (Computer-based test).
  • CAT 2021 paper will consist of 2 types of questions: MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) as well as non-MCQs.
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension are the broad sections that will be covered in the CAT 2021 exam pattern.
  • Candidates will be provided 2 hours (120 minutes) to complete the exam which accounts for 40 minutes per section. Candidates cannot switch between the different sections.
  • The order of the sections will already be fixed and hence candidates will not be able to choose the sections randomly while answering.
  • In the CAT Exam, more than 25% of the questions will not have negative marking. The questions will be of two types which are the MCQs and the Non MCQs. Non MCQs will have no negative marking usually. Incase if they have negative marking then a few MCQs will have no negative marking.
  • More than 70% of the MCQs will have negative marking and hence the aspiring candidates are requested to be very cautious while attempting the questions.
  • CAT Exam Marks awarded for every right answer is 3.
  • CAT Exam Marks deducted for every wrong answer is 1.
  • The score obtained in the CAT Exam will be converted into percentile after the normalization process of the CAT scores of all the sessions.

Given below is a table with the key highlights of the CAT 2021 Exam Pattern.

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern
Category Details
Mode Online i.e. Computer-based Test (CBT)
Question Type Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ's)
Duration 2 Hours or 120 Minutes
CAT Exam Marks 228
CAT 2021 Marking Scheme

+3 Marks for Correct Answers

-1 Marks for Wrong Answers

No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions


Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability,

Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension

Medium/Language English

CAT 2021 Logical Reasoning Important Topics 

The common admission test 2021 exam paper will consist of 24 questions. The questions that are important will be based on the specified topics. A table consisting of the name of the topic and the expected number of questions appearing from that particular topic is provided below to help candidates concentrate on the important topics of the CAT 2021 Syllabus.

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern Logical Reasoning
Topic Expected Number of Questions
Seating Arrangement, and Data Arrangement 2-3 Questions
Graphs Related 5-6 Questions
Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams 2-3 Questions
Blood Relations 2-3 Questions
Clocks and Calendars 1-2 Questions
Assumption and Binary Logic 1-2 Questions
Puzzles 1-2 Questions
Tables and Caselets 3-5 Questions
Data Sufficiency 3-5 Questions

CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Important Topics 

The common admission test 2021 exam paper for quantitative aptitude will consist of 26 questions, both MCQs and TITAs. The Duration given will be 40 minutes. The questions that are important will be based on the specified topics. The table provided below has the list of topics and the corresponding number of questions that will be asked from that topic.

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern Quantitative Aptitude
Topic Expected Number of Questions
Number System, Basic Arithmetic 4-8 Questions
Algebra 3-5 Questions
Geometry & Mensuration 3-5 Questions
Time, Speed, and Distance 1-3 Questions
Probability 1-2 Questions
Permutation & Combination 1-2 Questions
Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets 1-3 Questions
Profit, Loss, and Discounts 1-2 Questions
Time and Work 1-2 Questions
Simple Interest and Compound Interest 1-2 Questions

CAT 2021 Verbal Ability Important Topics 

The common admission test 2021 exam paper for verbal ability will consist of 26 questions. The questions that are important will be based on the specified topics. The various topics of the Verbal Ability section and the corresponding number of questions which will be asked form those topics is provided below.

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern Verbal Ability
Topic Expected Number of Questions
Reading Comprehension 15-18 Questions
Para-Jumbles 3-4 Questions
Para-Summary 2-3 Questions
Sentence Completion and Correction 2-3 Questions
Fill in the Blanks 1-2 Questions
Odd Sentences 1-2 Questions
Vocabulary Based 1-2 Questions

CAT 2021 Registration

The Online CAT 2021 application form will be rolled out in July 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 is mentioned below. 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 Exam.
  • Step 2: Register yourself for CAT 2021 by entering your 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.

Note: Candidates are advised to keep checking this section for the latest updates about the exam pattern for CAT 2021.

CAT 2021 Application Form

After completing the above-mentioned registration process, candidates can proceed to fill out the CAT 2021 application form. On successful completion of the CAT online form filling an email, a message on the registered mobile number will be sent confirming the status of the candidate's CAT 2021 Application Form. The application status is “Successfully Submitted” if the application gets accepted or else “Application Rejected” is shown indicating any mistake made during the process.

How to apply for CAT 2021 Exam?

The application process of CAT 2021 is a four-step procedure which is mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Registration: Candidates have to register to the CAT Test and then proceed to fill the CAT Test Application Form.
  • Step 2: Fill CAT 2021 Application Form: This step will ask a candidate to provide details like personal details, contact information, academic details, work experience, program preference, and exam centre preference for CAT 2021 Application Form completion.
  • Step 3: Uploading Documents: Upload scanned images of your recent passport size photograph, signature, and other required documents as asked in the process. Make sure you check the specifications before uploading any of these files. Candidates belonging to the reserved category have to produce the necessary documents. For instance, OBC candidates must produce the OBC Certificate for CAT 2021 Exam.
  • Step 4: Payment of Application Fee: CAT 2021 registration fees can be paid online using a debit/credit card or net banking. Find category-wise application fees for CAT 2021:
CAT 2021 Application Fee
Category Fee (INR)
General/OBC INR 2000
PWD INR 1000
SC/ST INR 1000

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() x 45mm(height) 80KB - JPEG/JPG 150Pixel (min)
Signature 80mm() 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 entrance exam 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 at any circumstances.

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

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 application form) through email.
  • Step 6: Stamped and signed MOU (2 copies), Application Form (single copy) in original and other hard copies of documents as specified along with Application Form must be sent duly filled to the Admissions Office of IIM Indore to its address given below:

    CAT Centre, C/o Admissions Office, Indian Institute of Management - Indore,

    Prabandh Shikhar, Rau - Pithampur Rd, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, PIN CODE - 453556

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

CAT 2021 Admit Card

CAT 2021 Admit Card will available for download from the official website 10 days prior to the exam. CAT 2021 Hall Ticket will have the applicant's details and information regarding the test such as test venue, session, etc. Hall ticket will facilitate a candidate's entry into the CAT entrance exam hall provided it is presented with any other valid Govt. ID Proof of the candidate. Candidates belonging to reserved categories should verify whether the right category has been mentioned in the CAT 2021 Admit Card.

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

  • Step 1: Visit the official website of the CAT Entrance Exam.
  • 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: If any discrepancy is found in the CAT 2021 Admit Card, candidates must notify the authority for corrections. Moreover, if the candidate finds any difficulty with the registration or application form then he or she may contact the CAT centre with the below-given contact details.

Documents to be carried to the CAT 2021 exam center

Any 1 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.

CAT 2021 Exam Centres

CAT 2020 was conducted in 156 cities across India. Students could select 6 exam centres i.e they can provide 6 preferences for the test venue in CAT 2020 Application Form. It can be expected that CAT 2021 will also be conducted in 156+ cities Given below are the cities and the exam centres for CAT 2021.

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
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
Uttarakhand Dehradun, Roorkee
West Bengal Durgapur, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata, Kalyani, Siliguri, Burdwan, Asansol.

CAT 2021 Answer Key

The CAT 2021 answer key is generally released within 10 days from the CAT exam date. As per the official notification released by the official authorities of Indian Institute of Management, the CAT 2020 answer key was released on December 8, 2020. The candidates had the option to raise objections on the CAT 2020 answer key along with valid proof between December 8, 2020 to December 11, 2020.

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.

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 CAT 2021 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 of the CAT Entrance Exam.
  • 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 cutoffs 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.

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 Entrance Exam 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. CAT 2020 was conducted in November. 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

Newspapers and magazines are essential to crack CAT 2021 Group Discussion and Personal Interview Rounds. The Hindu, The Statesman, India Today, Business Line are among a few recommended newspapers and magazines. Books to crack the CAT 2021 exam are:

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

Changes in CAT Exam over the years.

CAT Exam was computerised 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 cmoomon admission test over the years. The table consists of the year of the exam, the total number of questions asked in the CAT exam and the number of questions in individual sections. The table also provides information about the number of MCQ and Non MCQs asked in 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 2017 100   
  • VA - 10 ( 7 Non MCQs)
  • RC - 24 (All MCQs)
  • MCQs - 23
  • Non MCQs - 11
  • DI - 16
  • LR - 16
  • MCQs - 24
  • Non MCQs - 8
 CAT 2016 100 
  • VA - 10 (All Non MCQs)
  • RC - 24 (All MCQs)
  • MCQs - 27
  • Non MCQs - 7  
  • 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.

CAT Exam 2020 Over-all Slot Analysis

It has been reviewed that CAT Entrance Exam Slot-1 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 2020 Percentile Predictor

  • CAT 2020 Results were announced on January 02, 2021. Candidates can download their scorecards from the official website. Candidates can predict their percentile using the CAT 2020 Percentile Predictor. This will help them to target specific colleges for admission.
  • Once the results have been declared, all participating institutes will release their cut off details for admissions. Candidates will be shortlisted based on their performance in CAT (percentile obtained).

CAT 2020 Cutoffs

The minimum percentile required to clear CAT 2020 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

CAT 2020 Admission Process

Candidates have to submit their original documents during CAT 2020 Counselling. There is no specific date for CAT 2020 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 2020 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)

Courses Offered by IIMs through CAT 2020

The following are the courses offered at prestigious IIMs to the candidates who qualify CAT 2020 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 2020 Exam.

Courses Offered By IIMs through CAT 2020
Institutions Programs
IIM Amritsar PGP
IIM Bodh Gaya PGP
IIM Calcutta MBA
IIM Kashipur PGP, EPGP
IIM Kozhikode PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, EPGP (Kochi Campus & IL)
IIM Nagpur PGP
IIM Raipur PGP
IIM Sambalpur MBA
IIM Sirmaur PGP
IIM Tiruchirappalli PGP, PGPBM, PGPM-HR
IIM Udaipur MBA
IIM Vishakapatnam PGP

Fellow Programmes in Management (FPM) [Doctoral]

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.

Fellowship Program Offered by IIM
Institutions Programs
IIM Ahmedabad PhD
IIM Amritsar FPM
IIM Bangalore FPM
IIM Bodh Gaya Ph.D. (FPM)
IIM Calcutta Doctoral
IIM Indore FPM
IIM Kashipur FPM & EFPM
IIM Kozhikode FPM
IIM Ranchi Ph.D., E.Ph.D
IIM Sambalpur PhD
RGIIM Shillong FPM
IIM Srimaur PhD
IIM Tiruchirappalli FPM
IIM Udaipur PhD
IIM Vishakapatnam FPM

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.

CAT Registration over the years is shown in the table below. The number of candidates who registered themselves for the CAT 2020 exam over the years is mentioned in the table below. The number of registered candidates gives an idea about the enormous competition that the CAT Test has and it will also help the candidates realize that they need high cat exam marks in order to get admission into top management institutes. Over 2.5 lakh aspiring candidates had registered for the CAT Exam in 2019, whereas this number fell to 2.27 lakhs in CAT 2020 due to COVID 19. Out of the 2.27 lakh registered candidates, only 1.90 lakhs appeared for the exam in 2020.

CAT Entrance Exam Registration Trends
Year Number of Candidates Year  Number of Candidates
2011 2,05,000 2012 2,14,000
2013 1,95,000 2014 1,97,000
2015 2,19,000 2016 2,32,000
2017 2,31,000 2018 2,40,338
2019 2,50,000 2020 2,27,835

Common Admission Test 2021 Highlights

A few advantages of taking up the common admission test 2021 is listed down below.

  • The sum total of the CAT application fee and the CAT Exam fee comes up to INR 100 per IIM for General Category Candidates and INR 50 for Reserved Category Candidates.
  • CAT Exam is now held in three sessions on a single one day unlike the earlier times where in the exam was conducted in 15-20 day window.
  • CAT accepts applications from dual degree holders and they will have to mention their academic score of both the degrees.
  • CAT Exam offers 50+ Management Programs in 20+ IIMs through a single window.

CAT Contact Details

Candidates can use the contact details provided below to address any queries or to get any clarifications regarding the CAT Exam.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

 The process to check the CAT result online is as follows:

  1. Visit the official website.
  2. Navigate to click on ‘Download CAT Score Card'.
  3. You will be redirected to the login page.
  4. Provide your User Id and Password.
  5. You will be redirected to the candidate's account page.
  6. Click on the Download Scorecard link and download it for future reference.

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.

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.

For PWD candidates, the following privileges are available:

  1. 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.
  2. Other allowed devices- an abacus without a calculator will be allowed for candidates suffering from visual impairment or hearing impairment.

Follow the steps given below to edit details in the CAT 2021 application Form:

  1. Open the official CAT 2021 website.
  2. Click on the “existing user” tab.
  3. Log in to the portal with the username and password.
  4. Check the date supplied in the fields.
  5. Edit the information that needs to be corrected.
  6. Click on “save “and continue once the whole form has been edited.

The following information must be kept handy:

  1. Candidate's name
  2. Candidate's DOB
  3. A valid email address
  4. Educational history
  5. Mark sheet of the previous qualifying examinations
  6. Additional certificates to be uploaded
  7. Scanned images of the passport size photo
  8. List of IIMs in the order of application

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.

There are 4300 seats. It has been the same for the last two years and there has been no official notification regarding any increase in the no. of seats.

No, all such edits can be made only before the fees have been paid. Certain information can be edited after the payment of application fee but most of it will be frozen and hence cannot be edited. The system thus provides you with the opportunity to register an account and login multiple times before actually hitting the final submit button.

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

Yes, except for the IIMs any other participating institutions will require the candidate's separate application for admission. This may include a separate application and registration fee as well.

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Discussion Forum


What is the CAT 2018 Application Form Release date?

Asked By: Anonymous 17 May 2018


Hi Yash,

CAT 2020 Application Form will release on 9th August 2020.

Good Luck!

Answer By: Getmyuni

17 May 2018


When will CAT 2018 Counselling start?

Asked By: Anonymous 17 May 2018


Hi Abha,

CAT 2020 Counselling will start from 22nd January 2020.

Good Luck!

Answer By: Getmyuni

17 May 2018



Hi Kavya,

25th September 2020 is the Last date to apply for CAT 2020.

Click here to know about other important dates related to CAT.

Answer By: Getmyuni

11 May 2018



Hi Shivani,

The top colleges that score CAT score are:

Click here to know about other colleges that accept CAT score.

Answer By: Getmyuni

11 May 2018


Hello Rahul,

The seats depend upon the colleges. and the fee structure for different college is different. 

Answer By: Getmyuni

11 May 2018

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