Here is an article exclusively about CAT, with basic rules as well as an  interview of FAQs answered by Shubham Pansari, alumni of MIT who is currently pursuing his MBA from IIM-A.

  • Eligibility:
  1. Interested applicants must hold a genuine bachelor’s degree in any discipline and must have secured minimum 50% marks or its equivalent CGPA.
  2. In case you belong to SC/ST/DA (Differently-Abled), then the minimum mark to be secured by you is 45%.
  3. There is no age restriction in order to appear in CAT exam 2016.
  4. The candidates studying in the final year of graduation can also register for CAT provided that they qualify the same in due course of time as per the given eligibility criteria.
  • Examination date:
  1. The official notifications for CAT are generally released in June.
  2. This is followed by the commencement of registration in August.
  3. The Admit Cards are out by October, tentatively.
  4. The exam is generally held in November or December.
  • How to apply:
  1. Visit the official website of CAT, find the link to the CAT application form and open it.
  2. You will then be asked to register yourself by entering a few relevant details.
  3. After providing the details, a registration ID and password will be generated.
  4. Candidates are required to use that registration ID and password in order to fill up the application form.
  5. Now upload scanned form of your signature, photograph and necessary documents.

Documents to be kept ready before starting the registration process for CAT:

  •  Necessary past educational documents such as class X, XII and Graduation Degree certificate etc.
  • A genuine e-mail ID and phone number
  • Documents related to work experience
  • Scanned form of your recent photograph and signature

 Finally remit the application fee.

  1. For general and NC/OBC category candidates, the registration fee is 1,600 INR.
  2. For SC/ST/DA categories, the registration fee is 800 INR.
  3. The candidates must send their registration fee only through the official portal of the examination. 

Important Points:

  1. CAT registrations generally start in the month of August, tentatively.
  2. The registration process is generally held through the online mode only, on its official website.
  3. All candidates need to fill up the application very carefully. There should be no mistakes while filling up the application form.
  4. Candidates also need to select three exam centres as per their preference.
  • General Examination Pattern:
  1. CAT exam is a computer-based test.
  2. The candidates attempt the exam via assigned computer systems at the allotted test centres.


SectionNo. of questionsTime
Quantitative Ability (QA)3460 mins
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)3260 mins
Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC)3460 mins


  • Standard Score Distribution

For Non-MCQs, +3 marks for correct answer

For MCQs,

  1. +3 marks for correct answer
  2. -1 mark for incorrect answer
  3. No marks are awarded or deducted for unattempted questions.
  • Duration of Exam:

The duration of the examination is 180 minutes, i.e. 3 hours.

  • Selection procedure:


Each college shortlists candidates for the second stage of selection which may be independent of each other. The process may include Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI).


Shubham Pansari, Electronics and Communication engineer, completed his B.Tech from Manipal Institute of Technology in 2015. After 10 months in KPMG, Bangalore, he is now doing his post-graduation from IIM Ahmedabad.

“The CAT paper has eased out in the last couple of years, making speed the major differentiating factor at higher percentiles, as students tend to get a high percentage of questions correct. The pattern requires emphasis on pretty much everything because of that, as ‘can-be-left’s are in the picture anymore. My personal opinion for preparation for CAT is intense practice through Mock Tests instead of solving through books. It helps one practise at the required speed and builds concentration span. Also, one should go through their solutions to learn new and faster methods of solving questions.”

Means for preparation

There are two institutes offering coaching for CAT in Manipal, namely, Byju’s and TIME. But you can always join an online coaching too.

“I couldn’t join any classes for CAT along with my job at KPMG. I enrolled in a Test Series with Career Launcher for CAT, and again with CL for interview preparation. I referred to the books of Prof Arun Sharma for some basics in Verbal and Quant.

Arun Sharma’s books are easily available in bookstores/e-­commerce websites. There is a lot of online material available, but it is advisable to join a reputed test series, which helps you to prepare by timing the questions, comprehensive solutions and a way to track progress.”

On what points are students mostly evaluated in the interview?

Once CAT is cleared, the competition gets fierce as everyone seems to be just as good or better. It is of paramount importance that preparation for the interview is meticulously done. I would urge CAT aspirants to develop a habit of reading newspapers and magazines, and form opinions on major issues in the social, political, economic and technological spheres – the aim is to be able to have 5 minute conversations on these topics with your interviewer. One must be thorough with a few undergraduate subjects, especially those without work experience.”

“For B Schools, students are typically evaluated in 4 departments. Undergraduate studies, work experience, current affairs and career questions. Current affairs include a lot more of presenting and defending one’s stand on any issue, than just knowing the facts. Career questions are mostly about long and short term goals, aligning past and future works with the goals, “Why MBA?”, etc.

What questions were you asked in your interview?

Across interviews, I was asked roughly the following:

1. Why MBA? What are your long term/short term goals? How have you worked towards the goals so far?
2. Why go to manipal all the way from Kolkata?
3. What was your favorite subject during undergrad? They asked some questions on my favorite subject.  IIML people asked random questions without asking my favorite subject.
4. Current affairs. US Elections, Europe immigration issues, JNU, etc
5.What challenges did you face at work? How did you handle them? How did you improve the conditions? How would you handle it now?

  • Top Universities / Colleges:

“The tier 1 colleges for me would be IIM A, IIM B and IIM C, closely followed by XLRI, FMS and ISB. ISB admits through GMAT, XLRI through XAT, while others through CAT. Apart from these, leading colleges are IIM L, IIM K, IIM I, SP Jain, JBIMS, and MDI.

If you have any more queries you can always get in touch with Shubham Pansari.

Shubham Pansari
Shubham Pansari

Contact No. +919035127300

E-mail ID: [email protected]


-Compiled by Priyanjali Roychoudhury for MTTN


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