CAT Exam

CAT Exam

CAT exam is the largest MBA entrance test leading to admission in top MBA colleges of India. CAT Exam will offer admission opportunity for MBA admission in 2020 to 20 IIMs and more than 500 other top MBA/PGDM colleges including FMS, SPJIMR, MDI, among others. CAT exam will have a combination of MCQs and Non-MCQs to provide level playing field to the students of all streams. No change in the CAT 2019 exam pattern has been announced. The CAT exam duration remains of three hours with 100 questions divided into three sections, as was the last year.

CAT 2019 Eligibility
If you have completed Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks or completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA), or are in the final year of Bachelor’s degree you can appear in the CAT exam. There is no age bar to apply and appear for CAT exam.

CAT 2019 will, therefore, offer stiff competition for admission to top MBA colleges accepting CAT. Over the years the candidates applying for CAT aptitude test leading to IIM admission have been increasing year after year. 

CAT 2019 Notification
The CAT Notification 2019 has been published on July 28 in all the leading newspapers and after one week of its publication IIM CAT exam registration starts on August 7. The CAT Notification 2019  contains details about CAT Registration dates, CAT Admit card dates, CAT exam date, and CAT Result Date. Apart from this, the CAT official notification has details about the CAT Eligibility criteria and the details about the MBA programs offered by all the 20 IIMs. 

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
The registration process for CAT 2019 starts on August 7, 2019 at 10 AM. The CAT registration process will remain open for more than one and a half months. The last date to apply for CAT 2019 is november24, 2019. During the last three years, CAT exam application’s last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons.  

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
The registration process for CAT 2019 starts after a week from the date of the CAT exam notification. As such the CAT registration process will start on August 7, 2019 at 10 AM and will remain open for more than one and a half months. During the last three years, CAT exam application’s last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons. The last date to apply for CAT exam is to close on December 25, 2019 going by the past trends.

CAT 2019 Exam: Pattern

  • 180 Minutes Exam: CAT exam is a computer-delivered test of 3 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam
  • 100 Questions: CAT exam will have 100 questions divided into 3 sections of VARC, DILR, and Quantitative Ability.
  • 25% No Penalty Questions: Out of 100 questions in 2019, more than 25 questions will not have negative marking. CAT 2019 is divided into MCQ and Non-MCQ type of questions and the Non-MCQs do not carry negative marking. In case any non-MCQ has negative marking, a few MCQs are changed to no negative marking questions.
  • 70-75% CAT Questions with Negative Marking: More than 70% questions in CAT 2019 are of MCQ type and will carry a penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Minimum CAT Score Requirement by IIMs: A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile in CAT 2019 is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round
  • Other Criteria with CAT score: Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in the CAT exam, you need to have good academic profile, diversity, to get into IIMs.

CAT 2019 Exam Syllabus
During the last 3 years, the CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. The biggest change is in type of questions some of which are no penalty questions now. Most of the changes in CAT syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section. The topics and number of questions in VARC section have changed. Similarly a few changes in CAT syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section also.

Although CAT exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs,  overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.

CAT Exam 2019: Preparation
The best way to prepare for the CAT exam is to devise your own preparation strategy and then find out whether you need to join CAT coaching institute.  

CAT exam toppers have advised following CAT preparation strategy:

  1. Choose Best CAT Preparation Books
    Making the right choice of subject-wise CAT preparation books to crack CAT 2019 is the first step in your CAT preparation journey. It is better to choose the best CAT preparation books for each of the 3 sections in CAT exam namely Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. If you make a wise choice of books, your CAT preparation journey is well begun. 
  2. How to Prepare for VARC for CAT 2019  
    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension is the first section in CAT Exam. The composition of the VARC Section in CAT is:
CAT 2019 VARC Component Comprehension and Verbal Ability pattern
Section Name Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Total VARC Questions 34
Total Verbal Ability Questions 10
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the section 60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer +3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer -1
Difficulty Level of Verbal Ability Questions Moderate to High
No Negative Marking Questions in CAT Verbal Ability section 8-10

Best Books for VARC Preparation for CAT 2019:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha
  • Arihant Book on Verbal Ability: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh. 
  • How to Prepare for DILR for CAT 2019?
    Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is the 2nd Section in CAT 2019. The section is divided into two parts DI with 16 questions and LR with 16 questions:
CAT 2019 DILR Section Questions in DILR 2019 Section
Section Name Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Total DILR Questions 32
Number of Data Interpretation Problems for CAT   4
Type of DI Questions for CAT Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 DI problems
Total questions Based on Data Interpretation problems for CAT 16
Number of Logical Reasoning Problems 4
Total Questions Based on LR problems Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 LR problems
Bifurcation of DI & LR Based Questions 12 MCQs for DI & 12 for LR
 4 Non-MCQs for DI and 4 for LR
DILR Time to attempt the complete section 60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer +3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer -1
Difficulty Level of DILR Questions Moderate to High
Number of DILR questions with No-Negative Marking 8

Best DILR Preparation Books
More than one best CAT preparation books are available to prepare for DILR:

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • Other Materials for CAT preparation on DILR by Arun Sharma like practice questions, solved test papers, Mock tests are also available
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri. 
  •  How to Prepare for Quant for CAT 2019
    Quantitative Ability (QA) in the CAT exam is the last but most important section which can improve or reduce your CAT score substantially. Arithmetic is the key to crack the Quant in CAT exam. The composition of Quantitative Ability for CAT 2019 is on the following pattern:
Quant 2019 Section Composition of Quantitative Aptitude Questions for CAT
Section Name Quantitative Ability
Total Questions in Quant 2019 34
Type of Quant Questions 24-27 MCQs with negative marking
7-10 Non-MCQs without Negative marking
Quant 2019 section time 60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer +3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer -1
Difficulty Level of Quantitative Ability Questions Moderate to High

Best Books for Quant preparation for CAT 2019
Different preparation strategy focused only on Quantitative Aptitude questions on different topics is required to get through the QA section in CAT. Following are the most recommended books for Quant preparation:

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by  Sarvesh K Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal. 
  • Prepare with Previous CAT Exam papers
    CAT Previous Year Papers are the best guide to prepare for the CAT question paper 2019. IIMs have now started to officially release the CAT Question Paper. So far, IIMs have released the actual CAT previous year question papers for the year 2017 and 2018. 
  •  Prepare with CAT Mocks
    IIMs will release the CAT exam full-length Mock Test in the third week of October 2019. However, the past CAT Mock tests are available to prepare for the CAT 2019 exam. IIM-CAT official mock test with 100 questions helps and guides to understand the exact CAT exam pattern since the CAT pattern goes on changing every year. CAT Mock is a good preparation tool. The official CAT Mock Test is the most authentic source to familiarise yourself with the actual CAT exam pattern, changes in topics in CAT 2019 syllabus, sectional composition, type and pattern of questions expected in CAT exam and the scoring pattern.

CAT 2019 Mock: Key Points
IIMs have incorporated three important changes in the release of CAT Mock Test:

  1. Separate CAT Mock Test Navigation Guide PDF is Released
  2. Separate login link is provided for candidates with normal vision
  3. Login Link is separately provided for the candidates who have low vision with two magnifying glass icons at the top of the screen. You can click on an icon to zoom-in and click on icon to zoom out the question.  

CAT 2019 Admit Card
CAT Admit Card download will start immediately with the release of the CAT hall ticket by IIMs. IIMs will upload the CAT Admit card at 5 PM on October 24, 2019. The CAT admits card release date may be extended by a few days in case the last date of registration for CAT exam is extended. The last date to download the CAT Admit Card is CAT 2019 exam date. 

CAT 2019 cutoffs for Admission 2020
IIMs announce CAT score cut-offs for shortlisting every year. These are the minimum overall and sectional CAT score cut-offs required by the IIM to shortlist a candidate for final selection round. The CAT score cut-offs for the batch 2020-22 is expected to remain as under:

Name of the IIM Required CAT 2019 Percentile Weightage in Shortlisting for 2020-22 batch
IIM Ahmedabad 80 70%
IIM Calcutta 90 56%
IIM Bangalore 90 40%
IIM Lucknow 90 60%
IIM Indore 90 20%
IIM Kozhikode 90 75%
IIM Tiruchirappalli 90 100%
IIM Ranchi 95 100%
IIM Visakhapatnam 90 100%
IIM Udaipur 90 40%

CAT Full Form
CAT is the abbreviated form of the Common Admission Test. For the last 5 decades since IIMs have been conducting the Common Admission Test for admission to their various PGDM programs, the full form of CAT is seldom used except in the release of CAT notification, advertisement, and other official CAT documents. So despite carrying the official full form Common Admission Test, the exam is more known by CAT – the abbreviated form of Common Admission Test.  

CAT 2019: Important Points

  • Low-Cost Exam: CAT Registration and CAT exam application fee is taken together comes to Rs.100 per IIM for General category and Rs.50/- per IIM for Reserved category. No fee to be paid to apply for any individual IIM
  • One Day Exam: CAT exam will be held in a single day on Sunday November 24, 2019 in Morning and Afternoon sessions. CAT is a Computer Based Test. Earlier it was held in 15 to 20 days testing window till 2013 by IIMs. Since 2014, CAT exam testing window has been shortened to one day only.
  • 45 Days CAT 2019 Registration Window: The CAT Application process opens on August 5 and will close on December 18, 2019
  • Dual Degree Accepted: A candidate with a dual bachelor’s degree should mention the academic scores of both the bachelor’s degree programme in CAT application form
  • Single Fee for MBA Admission: CAT 2019 provides admission opportunity in 20 IIMs with the single point payment of CAT registration fee of Rs.1900/- for General candidates and Rs.950/- for reserved category. 
  • Choice of 50 MBA Programmes in IIMs: CAT 2019 offers a choice of more than 50 management programs in 20 IIMs without any additional application fee for admission.

CAT 2019 Result & IIMs’ Admission Process
CAT exam result will be declared on January 7, 2020, in the morning hours. Immediately after the CAT result declaration, IIMs will start announcing they are shortlisted on the basis of CAT scores and other parameters in their shortlisting criteria for final selection round. The final admission offer will be made to the candidates in the months of April/May 2020 by IIMs

CAT Exam

CAT exam is the largest MBA entrance test leading to admission in top MBA colleges of India. CAT Exam will offer admission opportunity for MBA admission in 2020 to 20 IIMs and more than 500 other top MBA/PGDM colleges including FMS, SPJIMR, MDI, among others. CAT exam will have a combination of MCQs and Non-MCQs to provide level playing field to the students of all streams. No change in the CAT 2019 exam pattern has been announced. The CAT exam duration remains of three hours with 100 questions divided into three sections, as was the last year.

CAT 2019 Eligibility
If you have completed Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks or completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA), or are in the final year of Bachelor’s degree you can appear in the CAT exam. There is no age bar to apply and appear for CAT exam.

CAT 2019 will, therefore, offer stiff competition for admission to top MBA colleges accepting CAT. Over the years the candidates applying for CAT aptitude test leading to IIM admission have been increasing year after year. 

CAT 2019 Notification
The CAT Notification 2019 has been published on July 28 in all the leading newspapers and after one week of its publication IIM CAT exam registration starts on August 7. The CAT Notification 2019  contains details about CAT Registration dates, CAT Admit card dates, CAT exam date, and CAT Result Date. Apart from this, the CAT official notification has details about the CAT Eligibility criteria and the details about the MBA programs offered by all the 20 IIMs. 

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
The registration process for CAT 2019 starts on August 7, 2019 at 10 AM. The CAT registration process will remain open for more than one and a half months. The last date to apply for CAT 2019 is november24, 2019. During the last three years, CAT exam application’s last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons.  

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
The registration process for CAT 2019 starts after a week from the date of the CAT exam notification. As such the CAT registration process will start on August 7, 2019 at 10 AM and will remain open for more than one and a half months. During the last three years, CAT exam application’s last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons. The last date to apply for CAT exam is to close on December 25, 2019 going by the past trends.

CAT 2019 Exam: Pattern

  • 180 Minutes Exam: CAT exam is a computer-delivered test of 3 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam
  • 100 Questions: CAT exam will have 100 questions divided into 3 sections of VARC, DILR, and Quantitative Ability.
  • 25% No Penalty Questions: Out of 100 questions in 2019, more than 25 questions will not have negative marking. CAT 2019 is divided into MCQ and Non-MCQ type of questions and the Non-MCQs do not carry negative marking. In case any non-MCQ has negative marking, a few MCQs are changed to no negative marking questions.
  • 70-75% CAT Questions with Negative Marking: More than 70% questions in CAT 2019 are of MCQ type and will carry a penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Minimum CAT Score Requirement by IIMs: A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile in CAT 2019 is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round
  • Other Criteria with CAT score: Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in the CAT exam, you need to have good academic profile, diversity, to get into IIMs.

CAT 2019 Exam Syllabus
During the last 3 years, the CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. The biggest change is in type of questions some of which are no penalty questions now. Most of the changes in CAT syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section. The topics and number of questions in VARC section have changed. Similarly a few changes in CAT syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section also.

Although CAT exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs,  overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.

CAT Exam 2019: Preparation
The best way to prepare for the CAT exam is to devise your own preparation strategy and then find out whether you need to join CAT coaching institute.  

CAT exam toppers have advised following CAT preparation strategy:

  1. Choose Best CAT Preparation Books
    Making the right choice of subject-wise CAT preparation books to crack CAT 2019 is the first step in your CAT preparation journey. It is better to choose the best CAT preparation books for each of the 3 sections in CAT exam namely Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. If you make a wise choice of books, your CAT preparation journey is well begun. 
  2. How to Prepare for VARC for CAT 2019  
    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension is the first section in CAT Exam. The composition of the VARC Section in CAT is:
CAT 2019 VARC Component Comprehension and Verbal Ability pattern
Section Name Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Total VARC Questions 34
Total Verbal Ability Questions 10
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the section 60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer +3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer -1
Difficulty Level of Verbal Ability Questions Moderate to High
No Negative Marking Questions in CAT Verbal Ability section 8-10

Best Books for VARC Preparation for CAT 2019:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha
  • Arihant Book on Verbal Ability: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh. 
  • How to Prepare for DILR for CAT 2019?
    Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is the 2nd Section in CAT 2019. The section is divided into two parts DI with 16 questions and LR with 16 questions:
CAT 2019 DILR Section Questions in DILR 2019 Section
Section Name Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Total DILR Questions 32
Number of Data Interpretation Problems for CAT   4
Type of DI Questions for CAT Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 DI problems
Total questions Based on Data Interpretation problems for CAT 16
Number of Logical Reasoning Problems 4
Total Questions Based on LR problems Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 LR problems
Bifurcation of DI & LR Based Questions 12 MCQs for DI & 12 for LR
 4 Non-MCQs for DI and 4 for LR
DILR Time to attempt the complete section 60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer +3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer -1
Difficulty Level of DILR Questions Moderate to High
Number of DILR questions with No-Negative Marking 8

Best DILR Preparation Books
More than one best CAT preparation books are available to prepare for DILR:

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • Other Materials for CAT preparation on DILR by Arun Sharma like practice questions, solved test papers, Mock tests are also available
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri. 
  •  How to Prepare for Quant for CAT 2019
    Quantitative Ability (QA) in the CAT exam is the last but most important section which can improve or reduce your CAT score substantially. Arithmetic is the key to crack the Quant in CAT exam. The composition of Quantitative Ability for CAT 2019 is on the following pattern:
Quant 2019 Section Composition of Quantitative Aptitude Questions for CAT
Section Name Quantitative Ability
Total Questions in Quant 2019 34
Type of Quant Questions 24-27 MCQs with negative marking
7-10 Non-MCQs without Negative marking
Quant 2019 section time 60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer +3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer -1
Difficulty Level of Quantitative Ability Questions Moderate to High

Best Books for Quant preparation for CAT 2019
Different preparation strategy focused only on Quantitative Aptitude questions on different topics is required to get through the QA section in CAT. Following are the most recommended books for Quant preparation:

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by  Sarvesh K Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal. 
  • Prepare with Previous CAT Exam papers
    CAT Previous Year Papers are the best guide to prepare for the CAT question paper 2019. IIMs have now started to officially release the CAT Question Paper. So far, IIMs have released the actual CAT previous year question papers for the year 2017 and 2018. 
  •  Prepare with CAT Mocks
    IIMs will release the CAT exam full-length Mock Test in the third week of October 2019. However, the past CAT Mock tests are available to prepare for the CAT 2019 exam. IIM-CAT official mock test with 100 questions helps and guides to understand the exact CAT exam pattern since the CAT pattern goes on changing every year. CAT Mock is a good preparation tool. The official CAT Mock Test is the most authentic source to familiarise yourself with the actual CAT exam pattern, changes in topics in CAT 2019 syllabus, sectional composition, type and pattern of questions expected in CAT exam and the scoring pattern.

CAT 2019 Mock: Key Points
IIMs have incorporated three important changes in the release of CAT Mock Test:

  1. Separate CAT Mock Test Navigation Guide PDF is Released
  2. Separate login link is provided for candidates with normal vision
  3. Login Link is separately provided for the candidates who have low vision with two magnifying glass icons at the top of the screen. You can click on an icon to zoom-in and click on icon to zoom out the question.  

CAT 2019 Admit Card
CAT Admit Card download will start immediately with the release of the CAT hall ticket by IIMs. IIMs will upload the CAT Admit card at 5 PM on October 24, 2019. The CAT admits card release date may be extended by a few days in case the last date of registration for CAT exam is extended. The last date to download the CAT Admit Card is CAT 2019 exam date. 

CAT 2019 cutoffs for Admission 2020
IIMs announce CAT score cut-offs for shortlisting every year. These are the minimum overall and sectional CAT score cut-offs required by the IIM to shortlist a candidate for final selection round. The CAT score cut-offs for the batch 2020-22 is expected to remain as under:

Name of the IIM Required CAT 2019 Percentile Weightage in Shortlisting for 2020-22 batch
IIM Ahmedabad 80 70%
IIM Calcutta 90 56%
IIM Bangalore 90 40%
IIM Lucknow 90 60%
IIM Indore 90 20%
IIM Kozhikode 90 75%
IIM Tiruchirappalli 90 100%
IIM Ranchi 95 100%
IIM Visakhapatnam 90 100%
IIM Udaipur 90 40%

CAT Full Form
CAT is the abbreviated form of the Common Admission Test. For the last 5 decades since IIMs have been conducting the Common Admission Test for admission to their various PGDM programs, the full form of CAT is seldom used except in the release of CAT notification, advertisement, and other official CAT documents. So despite carrying the official full form Common Admission Test, the exam is more known by CAT – the abbreviated form of Common Admission Test.  

CAT 2019: Important Points

  • Low-Cost Exam: CAT Registration and CAT exam application fee is taken together comes to Rs.100 per IIM for General category and Rs.50/- per IIM for Reserved category. No fee to be paid to apply for any individual IIM
  • One Day Exam: CAT exam will be held in a single day on Sunday November 24, 2019 in Morning and Afternoon sessions. CAT is a Computer Based Test. Earlier it was held in 15 to 20 days testing window till 2013 by IIMs. Since 2014, CAT exam testing window has been shortened to one day only.
  • 45 Days CAT 2019 Registration Window: The CAT Application process opens on August 5 and will close on December 18, 2019
  • Dual Degree Accepted: A candidate with a dual bachelor’s degree should mention the academic scores of both the bachelor’s degree programme in CAT application form
  • Single Fee for MBA Admission: CAT 2019 provides admission opportunity in 20 IIMs with the single point payment of CAT registration fee of Rs.1900/- for General candidates and Rs.950/- for reserved category. 
  • Choice of 50 MBA Programmes in IIMs: CAT 2019 offers a choice of more than 50 management programs in 20 IIMs without any additional application fee for admission.

CAT 2019 Result & IIMs’ Admission Process
CAT exam result will be declared on January 7, 2020, in the morning hours. Immediately after the CAT result declaration, IIMs will start announcing they are shortlisted on the basis of CAT scores and other parameters in their shortlisting criteria for final selection round. The final admission offer will be made to the candidates in the months of April/May 2020 by IIMs

CAT 2019 Eligibility
If you have completed Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks or completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA), or are in the final year of Bachelor’s degree you can appear in CAT exam. There is no Age bar to apply and appear for CAT exam.

CAT 2019 will therefore offer a stiff competition for admission to top MBA colleges accepting CAT. Over the years the candidates applying for CAT aptitude test leading to IIM admission have been increasing year after year.. 

CAT 2019 Notification
The CAT Notification 2019 has been published on July 28 in all the leading news papers and after one week of its publication IIM CAT exam registration starts on August 7. The CAT Notification 2019  contains details about CAT Registration dates, CAT Admit card dates, CAT exam date and CAT Result Date. Apart from this, the CAT official notification has details about the CAT Eligibility criteria and the details about the MBA programmes offered by all the 20 IIMs. 

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
Registration process for CAT 2019 starts on August 7, 2019 at 10 AM. The CAT registration  process will remain open for more than one and a half month. The last date to apply for CAT 2019 is September 18, 2019. During the last three years, CAT exam application last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons.  

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
Registration process for CAT 2019 starts after a week from the date of CAT exam notification. As such the CAT registration  process will start on August 5, 2019 at 10AM and will remain open for more than one and a half month. During the last three years, CAT exam application last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons. The last date to apply for CAT exam is to close on September 18, 2019 going by the past trends..

CAT 2019 Exam: Pattern

  • 180 Minutes Exam: CAT exam is a computer delivered test of 3 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam
  • 100 Questions: CAT exam will have 100 questions divided in 3 sections of VARC, DILR and Quantitative Ability.
  • 25% No Penalty Questions: Out of 100 questions inCAT 2019, more than 25 questions will not have negative marking. CAT 2019 is divided into MCQ and Non-MCQ type of questions and the Non-MCQs do not carry negative marking. In case any non-MCQ has negative marking, a few MCQs are changed to no negative marking questions.
  • 70-75% CAT Questions with Negative Marking: More than 70% questions in CAT 2019 are of MCQ type and will carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Minimum CAT Score Requirement by IIMs: A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile in CAT 2019 is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round
  • Other Criteria with CAT score: Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in CAT exam, you need to have good academic profile, diversity, to get into IIMs.

CAT 2019 Exam Syllabus
During the last 3 years, CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. The biggest change is in type of questions some of which are no penalty questions now. Most of the changes in CAT syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section. The topics and number of questions in VARC section have changed. Similarly a few changes in CAT syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section also.

Although CAT exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs, it overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.

CAT Exam 2019: Preparation
The best way to prepare for CAT exam is to devise your own preparation strategy and then find out whether you need to join CAT coaching institute.  

CAT exam toppershave advised following CAT preparation strategy:

  1. Choose Best CAT Preparation Books
    Making the right choice of subject wise CAT preparation books to crack CAT 2019 is the first step in your CAT preparation journey. It is better to choose the best CAT preparation books for each of the 3 sections in CAT exam namely Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. If you make a wise choice of books, your CAT preparation journey is well begun.. 
  • How to Prepare for VARC for CAT 2019  
    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension is the first section in CAT Exam. The composition of VARC Section in CAT is:
CAT 2019 VARC ComponentComprehension and Verbal Ability pattern
Section NameVerbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Total VARC Questions34
Total Verbal Ability Questions10
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the section60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer+3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer-1
Difficulty Level of Verbal Ability QuestionsModerate to High
No Negative Marking Questions in CAT Verbal Ability section8-10

Best Books for VARC Preparation for CAT 2019:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha
  • Arihant Book on Verbal Ability: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh.. 
  • How to Prepare for DILR for CAT 2019?
    Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is the 2nd Section in CAT 2019. The section is divided in two parts DI with 16 questions and LR with 16 questions:
CAT 2019 DILR SectionQuestions in DILR 2019 Section
Section NameData Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Total DILR Questions32
Number of Data Interpretation Problems for CAT  4
Type of DI Questions for CATQuestions are in sets of 4 based on 4 DI problems
Total questions Based on Data Interpretation problems for CAT16
Number of Logical Reasoning Problems4
Total Questions Based on LR problemsQuestions are in sets of 4 based on 4 LR problems
Bifurcation of DI & LR Based Questions12 MCQs for DI & 12 for LR
 4 Non-MCQs for DI and 4 for LR
DILR Time to attempt the complete section60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer+3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer-1
Difficulty Level of DILR QuestionsModerate to High
Number of DILR questions with No-Negative Marking8

Best DILR Preparation Books
More than one best CAT preparation books are available to prepare for DILR:

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • Other Material for CAT preparation on DILR by Arun Sharma like practice questions, solved test papers, Mock tests are also available
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri.. 
  •  How to Prepare for Quant for CAT 2019
    Quantitative Ability (QA) in CAT exam is the last but most important section which can improve or reduce your CAT score substantially. Arithmetic is the key to crack the Quant in CAT exam. The composition of Quantitative Ability for CAT 2019 is on the following pattern:
Quant 2019 SectionComposition of Quantitative Aptitude Questions for CAT
Section NameQuantitative Ability
Total Questions in Quant 201934
Type of Quant Questions24-27 MCQs with negative marking
7-10 Non-MCQs without Negative marking
Quant 2019 section time60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer+3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer-1
Difficulty Level of Quantitative Ability QuestionsModerate to High

Best Books for Quant preparation for CAT 2019
Different preparation strategy focused only on Quantitative Aptitude questions on different topics is required to get through the QA section in CAT. Following are the most recommended books for Quant preparation:

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by  Sarvesh K Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal.. 
  • Prepare with Previous CAT Exam papers
    CAT Previous Year Papers are the best guide to prepare for the CAT question paper 2019. IIMs have now started to officially release the CAT Question Paper. So far, IIMs have released the actual CAT previous year question papers for the year 2017 and 2018.. 
  •  Prepare with CAT Mocks
    IIMs will release the CAT exam full length Mock Test in the third week of October 2019. However, the past CAT Mock tests are available to prepare for the CAT 2019 exam. IIM-CAT official mock test with 100 questions helps and guides to understand the exact CAT exam pattern since the CAT pattern goes on changing every year. CAT Mock is a good preparation tool. The official CAT Mock Test is the most authentic source to familiarise yourself with the actual CAT exam pattern, changes in topics in CAT 2019 syllabus, sectional composition, type and pattern of questions expected in CAT exam and the scoring pattern..

CAT 2019 Mock: Key Points
IIMs have incorporated three important changes in release of CAT Mock Test:

  1. Separate CAT Mock Test Navigation Guide PDF is Released
  2. Separate login link is provided for candidates with normal vision
  3. Login Link is separately provided for the candidates who have low vision with two magnifying glass icons at the top of the screen. You can click on icon to zoom-in and click on icon to zoom out the question.  

CAT 2019 Admit Card
CAT Admit Card download will start immediately with the release of the CAT hall ticket by IIMs. IIMs will upload the CAT Admit card at 5 PM on October 24, 2019. The CAT admit card release date may be extended by a few days in case the last date of registration for CAT exam is extended. The last date to download the CAT Admit Card is CAT 2019 exam date.. 

CAT 2019 cut offs for Admission 2020
IIMs announce CAT score cut offs for shortlisting every year. These are the minimum overall and sectional CAT score cut offs required by the IIM to shortlist a candidate for final selection round. The CAT score cut offs for the batch 2020-22 is expected to remain as under:

Name of the IIMRequired CAT 2019 PercentileWeightage in Shortlisting for 2020-22 batch
IIM Ahmedabad8070%
IIM Calcutta9056%
IIM Bangalore9040%
IIM Lucknow9060%
IIM Indore9020%
IIM Kozhikode9075%
IIM Tiruchirappalli90100%
IIM Ranchi95100%
IIM Visakhapatnam90100%
IIM Udaipur9040%

CAT Full Form
CAT is the abbreviated form of the Common Admission Test. For the last 5 decades since IIMs have been conducting the Common Admission Test for admission to their various PGDM programmes, the full form of CAT is seldom used except in the release of CAT notification, advertisement and other official CAT documents. So despite carrying the official full form Common Admission Test, the exam is more known by CAT – the abbreviated form of Common Admission test.  

CAT 2019: Important Points

  • Low Cost Exam: CAT Registration and CAT exam application fee taken together comes to Rs.100 per IIM for General category and Rs.50/- per IIM for Reserved category. No fee to be paid to apply for any individual IIM
  • One Day Exam: CAT exam will be held in single day on Sunday November 24, 2019 in Morning and Afternoon sessions. CAT is a Computer Based Test. Earlier it was held in 15 to 20 days testing window till 2013 by IIMs. Since 2014, CAT exam testing window has been shortened to one day only.
  • 45 Days CAT 2019 Registration Window: The CAT Application process opens on August 5 and will close on September 18, 2019
  • Dual Degree Accepted: A candidate with dual bachelor’s degree should mention the academic scores of both the bachelor’s degree programme in CAT application form
  • Single Fee for MBA Admission: CAT 2019 provides admission opportunity in 20 IIMs with the single point payment of CAT registration fee of Rs.1900/- for General candidates and Rs.950/- for reserved category. 
  • Choice of 50 MBA Programmes in IIMs: CAT 2019 offers a choice of more than 50 management programmes in 20 IIMs without any additional application fee for admission.

CAT 2019 Result & IIMs’ Admission Process
CAT exam result will be declared on January 7, 2020 in morning hours. Immediately after the CAT result declaration, IIMs will start announcing their shortlist on the basis of CAT scores and other parameters in their shortlisting criteria for final selection round. The final admission offer will be made to the candidates in the months of April/May 2020 by IIMs

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