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Analysis: CAT over the last 5 years

The CAT exam is the common entrance exam of MBA, which is conducted to gain admission to 11 Indian Institutes of Management and over 150 B-schools this year.

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Among all the management exams, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is considered to be one of the toughest nuts to crack.

Analysis: CAT over the Last 5 Years
The first step to attain the dream of pursuing MBA is to take the MBA entrance exams conducted by the various institutes of India. CAT or the Common Admission Test, which is conducted by Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to gain admission to 11 Indian Institutes of Management and over 150 B-schools is taken by over two lakh MBA aspirants each year. In this article of, you will know about the yearly pattern of CAT, the eligibility and the probable dates of importance for CAT 2011.  

CAT was initiated by IIMs. Among all the management exams, CAT is considered to be one of the toughest nuts to crack. Good performance in CAT ensures good chances in the IIMs and over a hundred other Top B schools. CAT which was held every year on the third Sunday of November in a paper pencil format has now been changed to computer based test since the year 2009. Let us have a look at the pattern and analysis of the CAT over the past five years.

Analysis: CAT Over last five years:



No. of Questions

Difficulty level


Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning




Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

25*3 = 75



Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

DI LR - 25, QA - 25, VA – 40 = 90



Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

20*3 = 60

Easy - Moderate


Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

20*3 = 60

Moderate - Difficult

CAT2010 Analysis
CAT 2010 followed the same pattern as that of CAT 2009 with 60 questions in total, 20 in each section. The difficulty level of the exam was from moderate to difficult. The tough sections were Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. In the initial days, the Quantitative Ability section was tough but in the later days, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section became more difficult and calculation intensive in nature which gave tough time to the test takers. The Verbal Ability section however maintained the similar pattern and the questions were of moderate difficulty level.


CAT Eligibility
The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50 per cent marks or equivalent CGPA [45 per cent in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA)categories], awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament 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.

The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the bachelor’s degree would be calculated based on the practice followed by the university/institution from where the candidate has obtained the degree.

In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure certified by the university/ institution from where they have obtained the bachelor's degree. In case the university/ institution does not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.

Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. 


CAT Application Process
The candidates have to first wait for the CAT 2011 notification which generally comes out in the last Sunday of August every year. It will give you the list of the important dates, way to buy the CAT Voucher and other necessary details. You should then buy the CAT voucher. Registration should be done online in Candidates must have a valid email id as IIMs will do all the communications by that email id only.

Important Dates for CAT 2011
CAT 2011 will be held in a 20 day window in between Saturday day, October 22, 2011 and Friday, November 18, 2011.

The other important dates of CAT 2011 are as follows:

Sale of CAT 2011 Vouchers: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 to Monday, September 26, 2011
Registration for CAT 2010: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 to Wednesday, September 28, 2011
CAT 2011 Result: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Result Valid for Printing: Monday, December 31, 2012

Participating Institutes
The number of IIMs is going up. With just 7 till last year, the current number of IIMs is 13. To the list of IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Calcutta, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong, IIM Indore, the ones which started functioning since last year, IIM Ranchi, IIM Rohtak and IIM Raipur have been added. IIM Trichy, IIM Kashipur and IIM Udaipur have also started to function this year.

Although the total number of B-schools that will consider CAT 2011 scores is 136, which is less than the number of B-schools which accepted CAT 2010 scores, which was 147, the encouraging sign this year has been the entry of new institutions who have enlisted themselves for considering CAT 2011 scores.

Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad (MICA), which did not accept the scores of CAT exam since 2009, will accept the score this year onwards. Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB), the prominent B-School in Eastern India which is known for accepting XAT scores is also there in the list of institutes accepting CAT 2011 scores.

The other national institutes that have joined CAT this year are: Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur; Department of Management Studies, School of Management, Pondicherry University; Faculty of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University; National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli; Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal; National Institute of Technology, Calicut; National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal; University of Hyderabad, School of Management Studies.

Various national universities will accept CAT 2011 scores for their department of management studies. Some of the prominent names are Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi ; University School of Management, Kurukshetra University; The Business School, University of Jammu; University Business School, Punjab University; University of Lucknow, Institute of Management Science and University of Calcutta, Department of Commerce, West Bengal.

The prominent private B-schools which will accept CAT 2011 scores are: International Management Institute (IMI), New Delhi & Kolkata; Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon; T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal; IFIM Business School, Bangalore; Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai & Bangalore; K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai; S P Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai; Xavier Institute of Management (XIM) Bhubaneswar; Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM), Tiruchirappalli; Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Greater Noida; Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM), Kolkata etc.