CAT ENTRANCE : A Bird Eye View


CAT entrance or admission through CAT admission basis is strictly on basis on merit. Reservation is made as per the guidelines of the Indian Jurisdiction for Backward and Minority classes in the country. Every year around two hundred thousand students take part in the annual exam. Unlike the foreign universities which accept GMAT score for more than 1 year, a CAT aspirant has to prove his mettle every year and the previous year score becomes invalid, null and void. The rigorous test regime, the hype and euphoria surrounding the infamous (consider 2009 and 2005 CAT) CAT makes CAT entrance one of the toughest examinations in the world, if not the toughest.

All the students who succeed in clearing CAT are granted percentile scores based on their performance in three different sections i.e. Quant (mathematics), DI (Data Interpretation..tables etc) and English. These sections are further divided into some subsections that appear in CAT. Students have to show their competency across all these section to clear the CAT entrance.


The cat exam went online starting from the year 2009 and proved to be a disaster of sorts. Many fingers were raised against the IIMs for horrible conduction and execution of online format of CAT. A computer Virus was cited as the primary reason for the debacle and a lot of students faced the ire of erroneous preparation on part of the conducting authorities.

However, the IIM administrative body has remained unclenched when it comes to changing the format back to paper and pencil based. The CAT entrance remained online as a Computer Based Test and there is buzz in the air that it may change into Computer Adaptive test on lines of GMAT in the future. The CAT entrance and the CAT entrance exam are going to undergo drastic change the day this feature is implemented by the IIMs. The CAT entrance exam is conducted in or around November each year.


Apart from the IIMs that take part in the test, almost every college in India accepts CAT scores for admission into its programs. Colleges such as MDI, Delhi and many others are highly reputed institutes that rely on the score of CAT for intake of students into their management programs.

With the growing popularity of the MBA degree in India and abroad, the CAT entrance exam has also increased in popularity with time. Given the changing demands of the management scenario across the globe, the CAT entrance has also evolved. From being entirely a speed based test to a large extent, the exam has evolved on to become a more logical exam that demands clear fundamental knowledge and understanding of concepts.

Then there is a second stage of CAT entrance. This second stage of CAT entrance is the GD/PI and in some cases Case Study rounds that are conducted for the students who clear the written CAT entrance. Based on the final score that the student gets in these two stages, the final merit list is prepared. Reservation is made as per the guidelines laid by the authorities at the start and final intake of students is done.

This ends the CAT entrance period and the entrance into the IIMs starts in Mid June or July. Students with starry eyed dreams land up in the B-schools to become the managers of tomorrow who take the burden of the corporate world in days ahead !!