CAT 2024: Exam on Nov 24, IIM Calcutta to conduct CAT in Multiple Slots; Check Key Dates, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, How to Prepare, Top Colleges

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MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
March 5, 2024
Common Admission Test (CAT) 2024 for MBA admission 2025 in all the 21 IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India, is scheduled on November 24, 2024, the last Sunday of the month. IIM Calcutta is likely to conduct CAT 2024 with more aspirant friendly changes in the exam. CAT 2024 registration process will be online and will begin in the first week of August 2024 with a registration fee of Rs.2500
CAT 2024 Exam Date

With more aspirant friendly changes expected in CAT 2024, IIM Calcutta is expected to conduct CAT 2024 with some new changes in test content and structure on November 24, 2024. Mandatory exam for MBA admission 2025 in all the 21 IIMs, CAT Exam Full Form is Common Admission Test. Like previous years, the CAT 2024 will also be conducted on the last Sunday of November. The process of changes in CAT may continue this year also. The CAT form 2024 for registration and application will open in August first week 2024 at https://iimcat.ac.in and will remain open for more than 45 days. 

Check Latest Updates: 10 IIMs CAP 2024 Process | 3 IIMs SAP 2024

CAT 2024: Important Dates
IIM Calcutta is likely to conduct CAT exam 2024. Important CAT 2024 dates and timelines including CAT Registration Date 2024, CAT 2024 Last Date to apply, CAT exam fees, CAT Exam date, CAT result date are as below:

CAT 2024 Important Dates & Timeline
Important dates
CAT 2024 Notification Date
July 28-29, 2024
CAT Registration Start Date 2024
August 4, 2024
CAT 2024 Last Date of Registration
September 15, 2024
CAT 2024 Registration Fees
Rs.2500
CAT 2024 Exam Date
November 24, 2024
CAT 2024 Result Date
January 4-5, 2025

All dates are Tentative  

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S P Jain Global Mumbai | Closing Soon | | Apply Now JAGSoM Bangalore | Closing Soon | Apply Now
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Woxsen University | Last Date: March 02 | Apply Now       Jaipuria Noida, Lucknow | Closing Soon | Apply Now
IMT Nagpur | Last Date: March 03 | Apply Now IMT Hyderabad | Closing Soon | Apply Now
SOIL Gurgaon | Closing Soon | Apply Now Mahindra University HYD | Closing Soon | Apply Now
IBA Bangalore | Closing Soon | Apply Now JIMS Rohini Delhi | Closing Soon | Apply Now

CAT 2024: Key Points

  • Only IIMs are the CAT 2024 Conducting Institutes
  • CAT 2024 likely to be conducted in three slots on November 24
  • Each CAT exam slot will have time duration of two hours
  • CAT Registration 2024 Process to Start from August 2024 first week
  • Candidates with 50% Marks in Graduation can apply for CAT 2024
  • CAT 2024 will be divided in three sections
  • Total Questions in CAT exam are 66.
  • IIMs release CAT Question papers with answer key after CAT exam each year
  • Apart from 21 IIMs, other top MBA colleges like FMS, IIFT, SPJIMR, IITs, MDI will offer MBA admission 2025 based on CAT 2024 score

Conducted by one of the older IIMs by rotation, CAT 2024 is the largest MBA Entrance exam for MBA admission 2025 in 21 IIMs and more than 1000 other top MBA colleges including FMS Delhi, IIFT Delhi & Kolkata, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, IITs among others that accept CAT score for MBA admission.  With CAT 2024 score, MBA admission opportunity at more than 20000 seats in top colleges, will be offered to the students for 2025-27 batch. If you are pursuing 3 years graduation and are in the 2nd year of your bachelor’s degree or if pursuing 4 years graduation and are in the 3rd year of your bachelor’s degree, you will also be eligible to appear in the CAT 2024. The registration fees for CAT 2024 is likely to go up at Rs.2500 from Rs.2400 in 2023.

CAT experts and toppers are of the view that CAT is not a very difficult exam but needs some smart and timely preparation to crack it with high score and as such to score 99 percentile in CAT, instead of cramming the heads with intensive knowledge based preparation, the need is to follow a smart IQ based preparation. More than 2 lakh candidates register and apply for CAT every year. 3.30 lakh candidates have applied for CAT 2023 registering an increase of 30% over CAT 2022 which saw 2.55 lakh applicants. Although IIMs are yet to announce the CAT 2024 Exam Dates, the CAT 2024 exam is likely to be held on November 24, 2024. 

Read below all about the CAT exam details - What is CAT Exam, what are its key features and highlights, what are Important Dates, what is revised exam pattern, Key changes in CAT syllabus, how to prepare for CAT, what should be the month wise and week wise CAT preparation plan, which are top CAT coaching institutes, which top MBA colleges will accept CAT 2024 exam score for admission 2024, Which are the CAT exam Centres in India and more 

Table of Contents

  1. What is CAT Exam?
  2. CAT 2024 Highlights
  3. CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024 for CAT entrance Exam
  4. CAT 2024 Registration & Application Process: How to Apply for CAT 2024?
  5. CAT 2024 Exam: Key Features & Highlights
  6. CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Key Changes & Revised Structure
  7. CAT 2024 Previous Year Exam Analysis
  8. CAT 2024 Exam Syllabus: Overall and Section wise syllabus
  9. How to Prepare for CAT 2024? Books, Coaching, Self Preparation for VARC, DILR, Quant
  10. Toppers’ Tips for CAT Preparation
  11. How do CAT Mocks help in CAT Preparation? CAT Preparation with CAT Mocks
  12. CAT 2024 Cut offs for IIMs for Admission 2024 through CAT
  13. CAT 2024 Cut off for Non-IIMs: Top MBA Colleges Accepting CAT other than IIMs
  14. MBA Courses Offered by IIMs through CAT
  15. CAT Exam Centers in India
  16. CAT 2024 Admit Card Release: How to Download?
  17. CAT 2024 Result & IIMs’ Final Selection Process
  18. Important Changes in CAT over the Years
  19. Important Points about CAT 2024
  20. FAQs on CAT: Answers by Experts

1. What is CAT Exam?
Common Admission Test - CAT 2024 is the mandatory entrance exam for MBA admission 2025 in all the 21 IIMs, FMS Delhi, IIFT Delhi & Kolkata, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, and hundreds of other top B-schools in India. More than two lakh candidates appear in CAT every year to explore admission opportunity in MBA programmes offered by IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India. Salient Points about the Exam are:

  • A computer based test conducted at more than 155 test cities and 400+ test venues
  • Since 2020, CAT exam duration is reduced to two hours from earlier three hours
  • The exam is divided into three sections of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning; Quantitative Ability
  • Each Section in the exam has to be attempted in a fixed individual time limit.
  • Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will offer admission 2025 based on CAT 2024 score only and will not accept any other test score

2. CAT 2024 Highlights: CAT Exam at a Glance
Following are the CAT 2024 key highlights like CAT conducting institutes, CAT exam full form, CAT Notification date, CAT exam details and other key highlights of the CAT exam 2024:

CAT Exam 2024 Full Form
Common Admission Test 2024
CAT 2024 Exam Date
Sunday, November 24, 2024
Total Questions in CAT 2024 Exam
66
No. of sections in CAT 2024 Exam & Questions
VARC: 24 Qs
DILR: 20 Qs
Quant: 22 Qs
CAT Entrance exam sessions
Likely to be Conducted in 3 sessions – Morning, Afternoon & Evening on same day
CAT 2024 Exam duration
2 hours for each slot
CAT 2024 Conducting Institutes?
IIM Calcutta; one of the older IIMs is the CAT 2024 conducting institute
CAT 2024 Testing Mode
Computer based exam at test centres but not an online exam
When to Check for CAT 2024 Notification
July 2024
Details to Check in CAT 2024 Notification
CAT Exam details, Application fee, Registration dates, MBA courses by IIMs through CAT 2024
Top MBA Colleges Accepting CAT 2024 for MBA admission 2024
21 IIMs, FMS, IIFT, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, IMT & 1000 other MBA colleges in India
How to Apply for CAT 2024?
Application process is online only
CAT 2024 Registration Fee
Rs.2500
CAT Official Website for CAT 2024 Form Filling

3. CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024
Below are the important points that determine CAT eligibility criteria 2024

  • A candidate with minimum 50% marks in graduation can appear in CAT 2024
  • A final year student in graduation can also appear in CAT 2024 conducted by IIM Calcutta
  • There is no age limit to apply and appear in CAT 2024  Read & Check your CAT exam Eligibility 

4. CAT 2024 Registration & Application: CAT 2024 Form Filling Process

  • CAT 2024 Registration process is online
  • You can register & apply for CAT 2024 online only on the official CAT website
  • CAT 2024 registration fee is to go up at Rs. 2500 /- for General candidates and Rs.1250/ for SC/ST/PWD candidate. CAT exam fee should be paid online only
  • The application process for CAT 2024 will open in August 2024 first week after release of CAT Notification 2024
  • You can complete CAT 2024 registration and application process in 3 major steps

1. Login to CAT website iimcat.ac.in and Create Profile
2. Fill in the Registration & Application Form
3. Make Online payment of CAT Registration Fee 

Read in detail step by step process how to register and apply for CAT 2024  

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Rajagiri Business School Kochi | Apply Now Jaipuria Noida, Lucknow | Closing Soon | Apply Now
XIME Bangalore | Closing Soon | Apply Now NDIM New Delhi (NDIM) | Closing Soon | Apply Now
Sparsh Greater Noida | Closing Soon | Apply Now SIES Mumbai | Closing Soon | Apply Now

4.1 CAT Registration Trends
3.30 lakh candidates have applied for CAT 2023 registering an increase of 30% over last year which witnessed 2.55 lakh candidates 2021, 2.29 lakh candidates applied for CAT and in 2020, more than 2.27 lakh candidates had applied for CAT. The rising number of CAT registrations signify that candidates have to compete with more candidates in CAT exam and need to score high to get shortlisted by top three IIMs and other top MBA colleges.

Although the trends in CAT registrations since 2010 show a downward journey initially, but from 2013 it has been showing a rising registration count reflecting the regaining trust of CAT aspirants and anticipation of better career opportunities after completing MBA/PGP from an IIM or other top B-school

CAT Year
Candidate Registrations (No. in lakhs)
% Increase/Decrease over last year
2023
3.30
30%
2022
2.55 
11%
2021
2.3
0.9%
2020
2.28
-6.6%
2019
2.44
1.2%
2018
2.41
4.3%
2017
2.31
-0.4%
2016
2.32
5.9%
2015
2.19
11.2%
2014
1.97
1.0%
2013
1.95
-8.9%
2012
2.14
4.4%
2011
2.05
--

Source: MBAUniverse.com Research & Analysis

5. CAT 2024 Exam: Key Features & Highlights
Following are the key features of IIM CAT 2024 exam details like CAT Full Form, Notification, CAT 2024 exam dates, Eligibility, Exam Structure among other details

CAT Full Form
Common Admission Test, conducted on yearly basis for MBA admission by one of the 6 older IIMs 
CAT Exam Date 2024
November 24, 2024
CAT Entrance exam sessions
Likely to be Conducted in 3 sessions – Morning, Afternoon & Evening on same day
CAT 2024 Conducting Institutes
IIM Calcutta (Old IIMs are the CAT conducting Institutes)
CAT Entrance Exam Mode
Computer based exam but not an online exam
When to Check for CAT 2024 Notification
From July 28, 2024 onwards, at MBAUniverse.com and in Newspapers
Details in CAT Notification 2024
CAT Exam details, Application fee, Registration dates, IIMs & their management programmes through CAT
Maximum Age Limit to appear in IIM CAT
No Age Limit, Graduates with 50% marks can apply
Number of Questions in CAT 2024
66 questions divided in 3 sections
CAT Exam Time Duration on CAT 2024 Exam Date
2 hours for each Slot
Sectional Time limit
40 minutes for 1 section
Name of sections and number of questions
VARC-24 Questions; DILR-20 questions; Quant-22 questions
Expected Difficulty level
Moderate to Difficult
Order of Sections
Pre-fixed, no change allowed
Top MBA Colleges Accepting CAT 2024 for MBA admission 2025
21 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, IMT& 1000 other MBA colleges in India
CAT Exam Fees 2024
Rs.2500/-
How to Apply
Application process is online only
CAT Official Website for CAT 2024 Form Filling
IIMCAT.AC.IN
IIMs’ Application Fee
No Separate Application Fee to apply for IIM.  Registration Fee covers application fee of all 21 IIMs 

6. CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Key Changes & Revised Structure
CAT exam since 2015 has remained on similar pattern. However, since 2020 due to Covid pandemic, the time duration and number of CAT questions have been reduced without change in pattern and structure of the CAT exam. The same pattern is likely to be followed for CAT 2024 also, as under:

  • 120 Minutes Exam: CAT 2024 is a computer delivered test of 2 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam
  • 66 Questions: Like last year, CAT 2024 exam will have 66 questions divided in 3 sections of VARC, DILR and Quantitative Ability. Prior to 2020, CAT exam used to have 100 questions divided in three sections
  • 18-20 No Penalty Questions: Out of 66 questions, there will be 18 or more questions which will not have negative marking. CAT 2024 exam 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.
  • 48-50 CAT Questions with Negative Marking: More than 48 questions in CAT 2024 are of MCQ type and will carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • CAT cut off Requirement by IIMs: A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile in CAT 2024 is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round
  • IIM Shortlisting Criteria: Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in the exam, if you have good academic profile with diversity, work experience, you are a preferred candidate to get admission into IIMs.

6.1 CAT Pattern 2024: Revised Structure of Question Paper
The table below shares the sectional order, number and type of questions in each section, questions with and without negative marking for each section for the 2 hours exam 

CAT 2024 exam components
MCQs (With negative marking)
 Non-MCQs (TITA Qs Without negative marking)
Total Questions
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
(Time limit: 40 Minutes)
19
5
24
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
(Time Limit: 40 Minutes)
15
5
20
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)
(Time Limit: 40 Minutes)
14
8
22
Total (Overall) (Time limit: 120 Minutes)
48
18
66

Source: Based on CAT 2023 Pattern  Read all about Revised CAT Exam Pattern 

6.2 VARC in CAT with Highest Weightage
As is evident from above, the section on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) in CAT is awarded highest weightage in the exam and its score can push-up or pull-down your percentile to a large extent as shared below 

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IMT Hyderabad Admission 2024 | Apply Now KIIT University MBA Admission Open | Apply Now
IBA Bangalore Admission 2024 | Apply Now CIMP Patna PGDM Admission 2024 | Apply Now
Amrita Business School Admission 2024 | Apply Now  MDI Murshidabad  Admission 2024| Apply Now 
IPE Hyderabad Admission 2024 | Apply Now Appejay School of Management | Apply Now
SSIM Hyderabad Admission 2024 | Apply Now Sri Balaji University Pune MBA | Apply Now

7. CAT Exam Analysis
Below is shared the CAT exam analysis for the 2023 exam

  • CAT 2023 Overall Exam Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Total Questions in CAT exam 2023: 66
  • Questions Split: 48 MCQs and 18 Non-MCQs            
  • CAT Sectional Division: VARC, DILR and Quantitative Ability
  • Section-1: VARC Pattern: Total No of 24 Questions with 19 MCQs and 5 Non-MCQs
  • There are 4 RC Passages with 16 Questions in VARC Section
  • Overall VARC Section has Moderate Difficulty Level
  • Section-2: DILR Pattern: Total No of 20 Questions divided into 15 MCQs and 5 Non MCQs
  • There are 2 LR Sets and each set is followed by 6 Questions
  • There are 2 DI Sets and each set is followed by 4 Questions
  • Section-3: Quantitative Ability Pattern: Total No of 22 Questions divided into 14 MCQs and 8 Non MCQs
  • Arithmetic has maximum number of 9 questions followed by Algebra & Geometry with 5 and 3 questions
  • Difficulty Level was Moderate
  • 99 percentile in the exam could be secured at a raw score of 90

Read in detail Complete CAT previous year Analysis 

8. CAT 2024 Exam Syllabus: Overall and Section wise syllabus
Although the exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs, it overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.During the last 5 years, CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. Major changes in CAT Syllabus 2024 are:

  • The Syllabus is changed and contains different type of questions with a combination of MCQs & Non-MCQs.
  • 25-30% Questions are no penalty questions now
  • Most of the changes in syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section as the share of Reading Comprehension based questions has increased as compared to Verbal Ability questions
  • A few changes in syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section with more focus on Arithmetic questions

8.1 CAT Syllabus Section-Wise

Sectional Division
Overview of Topics in the CAT Syllabus 2024
Weightage in exam
Quantitative Ability (QA)
 
Arithmetic, Modern Math, Number System Algebra, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Geometry
34-36%
Data Interpretation& Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Data Charts, Data Tables, Bar Graphs, Venn Diagrams, Seating arrangement, Team formation, Clocks & Calendars
30-32%
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Long & Short Passages Jumbled Paragraphs; Para-summary Picking the Out of context sentence from a jumbled paragraph
32-34%

Check Revised CAT Syllabus

9. How to Prepare for CAT 2024?
You can prepare for CAT with self preparation through Books, Mocks or through coaching as per your convenience. Shared below are the details of best CAT 2024 preparation books section wise, how to prepare for CAT with Coaching, how to prepare for CAT with self preparation, CAT Preparation with Mocks, CAT toppers’ tips and more:

9.1 CAT Preparation Books for VARC, DILR, Quant
The Best Books for CAT Preparation should keep pace with the IIM CAT changing pattern. Every year different types of questions appear in the exam. During the last few years, the CAT has been modified completely.  Most of the CAT preparation books in the market are based on the previous CAT exam pattern but the best CAT books shared here are the updated CAT preparation books which have incorporated changes with the anticipated question type in CAT exam. While choosing the best books for CAT preparation, it should be kept in mind that the books are conversant with the changed exam pattern and difficulty level. Few things to check in the books are:

  • Should Provide conceptual clarity on the relevant CAT topic
  • Rich on the exercises, practice questions and Mocks given after each topic
  • Caters your need to focus more on the weak areas with variety of practice questions  
  • Latest edition of CAT preparation Book offers the updated exam pattern and syllabus also

9.1.1 Section-Wise 10 Best books for CAT Preparation
If you are self-preparing for CAT or are preparing with the support of CAT coaching institute, in both the cases, the latest edition of the CAT books for preparation as shared below section wise will help you in getting more conceptual clarity, practice questions and attempting the sample papers

9.1.2. CAT Preparation Books for VARC

  • 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
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

9.1.3 CAT Preparation Books for DILR

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri, Publisher Career Launcher

9.1.4 CAT Preparation Books for QA

  • How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT by Arun Sharma, published by MGH Education
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh K Verma

Check & Read about the key features, price for Best CAT Preparation Books   

9.2. CAT Preparation with Top CAT Coaching Institutes
A few months of devoted preparation can enable you to crack CAT exam as it requires ‘Smart Preparation.’ You can join a coaching as it offers expert guidance. Key aspects of CAT preparation with CAT coaching

9.2.1 Benefits of CAT 2024 Preparation with CAT Coaching

  • CAT coaching institutes help you to prepare for CAT systematically without deviating from your preparation path.
  • While offering smart and intensive preparation for CAT exam 2024, the top CAT coaching institutes help you to minimize the wastage of time with optimum utilization.
  • There are 1 year, 6 months, 3 months and 2 months CAT preparation time modules offered by the good CAT coaching institutes that help you crack CAT with high score
  • If you need to clear the concepts and build your basics before practicing sessions, CAT coaching centers suggest to start CAT preparation with a 6 month time margin.

9.2.2 Top CAT Coaching Centers in India
The choice of CAT coaching mode depends upon your interest, time, money and preparation level while preparing for CAT 2024 exam. Shared below are the top CAT coaching institutes with their key centres and available options for coaching:

Top CAT 2024 Coaching Institutes
Class room or online Coaching
City wise CAT Preparation Center Location
TIME
Both
Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Gurgaon among total 100+ centres  
Career Launcher
Both
Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Gurgaon among 80+ centres
IMS
Both
Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow among 50+ centres  
Byju’s
Online
Online Coaching via Tablet anywhere in India & Abroad
2IIM.com
Online
Online coaching course with videos, quizzes, practice tests, and slideshows. Classroom coaching in Chennai only
MBAGURU
Both
Centres across Delhi located in CP, Rajouri Garden, Pitampura, Kailash Colony  
Arun Sharma’s Mindworkzz
Both
Mindworkzz has 3 centres in C P, Delhi and offers online coaching as well
Endeavor
Both
Lucknow, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune among 20+ centres across India
BullsEye
Online
Offers Online Coaching
Tathagat
Classroom coaching
Centres located in Delhi, Noida
Alchemist
Classroom coaching
CP-Delhi, North Delhi, West Delhi and Gurgaon

CAT coaching Institutes offering Attractive Discounts, Check program details of Top Institutes

9.3 Self & Coaching Mixed CAT Preparation
CAT preparation can be self, with the support of CAT online or offline coaching or a mix of both. To begin and advance with your CAT preparation experts suggest:

  • You should have strong basics with clarity on concepts
  • Improve your weak areas and strengthen your strong areas
  • Consistent revision is required with Mocks, practice tests, Quizzes
  • Prepare a list of topics as per the syllabus and improve on each of them
  • Form a peer group on social media for preparation
  • Focus more on RC in VARC section; focus equally on DI & LR and practice more Arithmetic questions to clear the section wise cut offs
  • Time Management with Accuracy & Speed is required. Consistently improve on them
  • Consult best CAT preparation books and attempt their practice questions
  • Read Interviews and tips from CAT Toppers studying at IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI, on their CAT preparation strategy published on MBAUniverse.com and other channels

9.3.1 Preparation for VARC, DILR, Quant
The section wise CAT preparation strategy is very important. Key tips to prepare for each section is as below: 

9.3.1.1 Preparation for VARC

  • Go through the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Syllabus 
  • Choose the Best books
  • Read the strategy for CAT Verbal Ability Preparation of past CAT toppers How to Ace CAT Verbal Ability
  • Questions on RC passages in CAT constitute 70% share and Verbal questions are 30%. So focus and practice more RC based questions to crack CAT

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): Composition

Total MCQs (With negative marking)
19
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
 5
Total Questions
24
Key Sectional Highlights
4 RC Passages with 18 to 19 MCQs; VA 5-6 Non MCQs divided into Para jumbles, Para Summary, and Out of Context Sentences

Check in Detail How to prepare for VARC 

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Welingkar Mumbai & Bengaluru | Closing Soon | Apply Now Jaipuria Noida, Lucknow | Closing Soon | Apply Now
S P Jain Global Mumbai | Closing Soon | | Apply Now JAGSoM Bangalore | Closing Soon | Apply Now
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Woxsen University | Last Date: March 02 | Apply Now       Jaipuria Noida, Lucknow | Closing Soon | Apply Now
IMT Nagpur | Last Date: March 03 | Apply Now IMT Hyderabad | Closing Soon | Apply Now
SOIL Gurgaon | Closing Soon | Apply Now Mahindra University HYD | Closing Soon | Apply Now
IBA Bangalore | Closing Soon | Apply Now JIMS Rohini Delhi | Closing Soon | Apply Now

9.3.1.2 Preparation for DILR
DILR is the 2nd section in CAT exam. It plays very important role to clear the cut off percentile. The section has equal number of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Questions. You need to practice more to score high in this section. Experts advise following tips to prepare for DILR:

  • Data Interpretation questions for CAT test your analytical skills of interpreting the Data given to you in the form of Table, Chart, Graph or in other form
  • Logical Reasoning for CAT constitutes 50% share in the newly created Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation Comprehension (DILR) Section in CAT
  • The goal of scoring high in CAT 2023 can be achieved with small but consistent efforts and time devoted to the DILR section.
  • DILR preparation for CAT requires you to first get as many as DILR practice questions for CAT
  • To move in direct DILR preparation direction, it will be better to refer to DILR questions for CAT with solutions

Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR): Composition

Total MCQs (With negative marking)
15
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
 5
Total Questions
20
Key Sectional Highlights
LR – 12 Ques
DI – 8 Ques
All in Sets of 6 & 4 Qs

Read Expert Guidance How to prepare for DILR

9.3.1.3 Preparation for Quant
Quantitative Ability (QA) is the last section in CAT exam. It can improve or reduce your CAT score substantially. To score high in this section, experts advise following tips:

  • A three dimensional approach is recommended on CAT Preparation for Quant section
  • Strengthen your basics and formulae in Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Modern Math and allied topics
  • Practise on variety of questions of different difficulty level
  • Finally solve previous CAT papers and Mocks for each topic. The more you do it, the more expertise in Quant section for CAT, you will get.
  • QA Sectional Composition

Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

Total MCQs (With negative marking)
14
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
  8
Total Questions
22
Key Sectional Highlights
High on Arithmetic. Other on Log, Geometry, Roots, Algebra 

Read Quant Preparation Strategy by Experts   

10. Toppers’ Tips for CAT Preparation
Previous Toppers studying at IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Udaipur, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI have shared with MBAUniverse.com their preparation strategy and how they overcame their weak areas and scored high. The last minute preparation tips from these toppers are very helpful in improving your score in the exam. Check Below   

CAT Topper
Studying At
CAT %ile
Profile
IIFT Delhi
98.38
Biotech graduate. Read More
IIM Calcutta
99.84
Graduate in Chemical Engineering. Read More
IIM Calcutta
99.68
Engineering Graduate and Software Engineer. Read More
IIM Ahmedabad
94.78
Chartered Accountant; Asset Management Expert. Read More
IIM Ahmedabad
98.49
Chartered Accountant; Work Experience at Barclays. Read More
IIM Calcutta
99.98
B-Tech in CSE from IEM Kolkata, worked with  Nomura. Read More
IIM Calcutta
99.72
B.Tech from IGDTUW, worked at Tata Motors. Read More
IIM Calcutta
99.91
B.Tech, from NIT Jamshedpur. Worked at EXL Services as Risk Analyst for a US bank. Read More
IIM Calcutta
99.95
BMS from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, DU, worked at DE Shaw. Read More
IIM Udaipur
94.72
BBA Marketing from Auro University Surat. Read More
IIM Udaipur
98.44
B.Tech from NITK Suratkhal, Worked in a pharmaceutical company. Read More

Read 100+ CAT Toppers’ Preparation Strategy 

10.1 How did CAT Toppers Prepare for Each Section in CAT? Check Strategy
Sectional CAT preparation strategy as followed by these toppers is shared below: 

CAT Topper
VARC
DILR
Quant
Shubham Bajaj; IIMC
1.Attempt 80% with 80% accuracy, much better than 100% attempt with 50% accuracy
2.VARC is not a lot about having a very good vocabulary knowledge or extremely great grammatical skills. It is more about comprehending what you are reading
 
1. Learn better methods for solving a particular LRDI set
2. Use Elimination Option, you can easily eliminate 2 options out of four and for the remaining 2 options, you need a little bit careful attention
 
1.Found Rodha YouTube playlist on Quants quite helpful for most of the basic understanding.
2.Referred to Prepzone daily events organized on the Facebook Page
3.Attended free workshops on topic wise discussion organized by CrackU on YouTube
 
Nancy Jain; IIMC
1.Read from various online platforms. The Hindu, The Indian Express, Medium, Knappily, Guardian were some of the major online platforms I followed
2. Made it a habit to read at least 6-7 articles/day
3. Solved questions from question banks of the test series
4.Also followed “Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Nishit K.Sinha
 
1.Started with getting familiarized with a variety of sets
2.Began with solving 4-5 sets/day
3.It is important to choose the right sets in the exam
4.Daily practice and proper analysing of the sets are very crucial for DILR preparation
 
 
1.Build up QA concepts
2.Followed “Quantitative Ability by Nishit K. Sinha” and made detailed notes
3.Used to revise my notes regularly from page-1 till the last
4. Motive was to achieve good accuracy while attempting questions
5.My mock strategy for QA was mainly to solve the questions in three phases:
1)I would first attempt the questions that could be solved within 1-2 mins
2)Next to the question which I could solve within 3-4 mins
3)Questions that are time-consuming but could be solved
In the end, if time permits, I’d solve the remaining questions.
Ekansh Gupta; IIMC
1.Started with 10 books, a mix of fiction and nonfiction books
2.Switched to CR practice over free resources like the GMAT club
3.Started practicing 4.VARC from previous year mocks, past CAT papers
5.Some telegram groups provide free VARC practice resources like RC a day or google form-based tests
6.Also enrolled for GEJO's VARC 1000 that helped me know the techniques or strategies I was missing. It was also a great practice resource too.
1.Previous mocks in a time-based environment was my strategy to tackle this section
2.Two YouTube resources that I followed were the LRDI master and Anastasis Shankar
1.Master individual topics and practice them as extensively as you can
2.I relied on the Cracku study room, used to practice there a lot
3.Was also active in some FB groups such as Elites Grid, Quantifiiers where I used to do freely available mixed practice sets
Nandan Goel; IIMC
1.VARC is one section which requires existing acumen and little of current preparation
2. I solely focused on mocks and sectional tests
3.I made a point of attempting every question in this section, unless I can’t understand the meaning of a problem.
1.Refined my basics using the material I had by attempting some questions from some chapters
2.Major preparation was through sectional tests and mock exams
3.There was no test in my student portal which was not attempted by me
1.Completed the material (TIME books) and had for 3 times, attempted each and every question.
2.Took sectional tests on a regular basis
 

11. How do CAT Mocks help in CAT Preparation? CAT Preparation with CAT Mocks
CAT toppers are of the view that taking Mocks is of utmost importance as it is a very important CAT preparation tool. How to take CAT mocks and how they will help in your CAT preparation is shared by CAT toppers as below:

Shubham Bajaj, IIM Calcutta  MBA student is of the view, “I was more or less dependent upon mocks for most of my preparation. And I wanted the mocks, where the number of people attempting the mocks are more. So, I chose Time and IMS (both having 15k people approx).” Key Tips shared by him are:

  • You need to keep solving the mocks on a regular basis, may be one mock or two mocks a week Even if a particular portion is incomplete, you should attempt the mock and test the concepts which you have prepared.
  • Also, for the chapters which are not completed, you will understand on how to have the roadmap for preparation for that particular topic.
  • Along with the mocks, mock analysis is extremely important. Giving 20 mocks and analyzing them is much better than appearing for 50+ mocks without analysis

Nancy Jain, IIM Calcutta  MBA student shares, “ Mocks played a major role in my CAT prep. I started with 1-2 mocks/week and eventually increased it to 1-2 mocks/day.” Key tips shared by her are:

  • Mocks provide with an environment almost similar to the actual exam D-day
  • With the help of mocks, you are able to keep a regular check on your performance
  • A proper mock analysis helps you understand your weak and strong areas.
  • Tweak mock strategies to remain prepared for the uncertainties  

Ekansh Gupta, IIM Calcutta  MBA student says, “Mocks were a very important part of my preparation strategy and starting from April'20 I gave around 40 full-length mocks till Nov'20.” Key tips shared by him are:

  • Main advantage that mocks provide you is to get habitual of the emotions that one faces during an exam. For eg if your one section was bad then mocks give you ample opportunity to learn from mistakes and how to control your emotions in the next sections
  • One other benefit that mock provide you if you are enrolled for two three mock series is a real-time analysis of your competition in actual CAT.

Nandan Goel, MBA student at IIM Calcutta  shares, “ Mocks played a really big role in my preparation. Around 40% of the time of my preparation went towards mocks. I attempted around 45 full mocks (2-hr mocks) and around 200 sectional tests.” Key tips shared by him to prepare for CAT through Mocks are:

  • Mocks give an idea about the different kind of questions and the level of stress which we can experience during the D-day
  • Mocks teach us how to manage the time while attempting the questions and also give checks to your state of preparation.

Read 100+ CAT Toppers’ Preparation Strategy  

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12. CAT 2024 Cut offs for IIMs for Admission 2024 through CAT
All the 21 IIMs including the top IIMs namely, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore in which average salary in placement is more than Rs.25 lakhs per annum, offer MBA admission through high CAT exam score. The required CAT cut off percentile in all these IIMs for admission 2025 is shared below.

Top IIMs
Minimum CAT Cut off percentile Required
80
85
85
90
90
90
92
90
IIM Udaipur
92
IIM Rohtak
95
IIM Kashipur
92
IIM Ranchi
92
IIM Raipur
92
IIM Bodhgaya
92
IIM Jammu
92
IIM Sambalpur
92
IIM Sirmaur
92
IIM Amritsar
85
IIM Nagpur
85
IIM Visakhapatnam
80

13. CAT 2024 Cut off for Non-IIMs: Top MBA Colleges Accepting CAT other than IIMs
More than Top 500 MBA colleges in India will accept CAT 2024 score for MBA admission 2025. Apart from 20 IIMs, other top MBA colleges with CAT cut offs in non-IIM category, include FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, SJMSoM IIT Mumbai, DoMS IIT Delhi among others. Some of the top colleges accepting CAT 2024 with their expected cut offs are as below:

Top MBA Colleges (Non-IIMs with CAT cut offs)
Expected CAT 2024 Cut Off Percentile for Admission 2025
97
94
85
DMS-IIT Delhi
90
SJMSoM-IIT Bombay
90
90
90
85
85
85+
85
80

Check and Read all about the CAT Accepting Colleges

14. MBA Courses Offered by IIMs through CAT
Apart from being the most important entrance test for the flagship 2 years full time post graduate management program (MBA/PGDM), CAT 2024 is the gateway for one year MBA programmes in IIMs and other prominent management institutes. Following are the various MBA courses and other management programs at IIMs in which admission 2025 is available through Common Admission Test 2024

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) 
MBA Courses Open for Admission 2024 through CAT 2023
IIM Ahmedabad
PGP, PGP-FABM
IIM Amritsar
MBA, EMBA, MBA-Business Analytics, MBA-HRM
IIM Lucknow
PGP, PGPEM, PGPBA
IIM Bodh Gaya
PGP
IIM Calcutta
MBA
IIM Indore
PGP, PGP-HRM
IIM Jammu
MBA
IIM Kashipur
MBA, MBA (Analytics), EMBA
IIM Kozhikode
PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, PGP-LSM, EPGP (At Kochi campus)
IIM Lucknow
PGP, PGP-ABM, PGP-SM
IIM Nagpur
PGP
IIM Raipur
PGP
IIM Ranchi
PGP, PGP-HRM, PGP (Business Analytics)
IIM Rohtak
PGP, EPGPX, EPGDSM
IIM Sambalpur
MBA, Executive MBA
IIM Shillong
PGP, PGPEX, PGPWE
IIM Sirmaur
MBA, MBA (T&HM)
IIM Tiruchirappalli
PGP, PGPM-HR, PGPBM
IIM Udaipur
MBA, MBA-DEM, MBA-GSCM, PGDBAWE
IIM Visakhapatnam
PGP, PGPEX, PGPDGM

14.1 Admission Process in IIMs through CAT
Step by Step IIM Admission process through CAT 2024 is shared below. Each of the 20 IIMs follow this admission procedure except the fact that 9 new and baby IIMs conduct Common Admission Process (CAP) to avoid multiple individual PI rounds.

15. CAT Exam Centers in India
CAT 2024 will be held in 160 test cities at more than 400 exam centres across the country. List of State Wise CAT Test Cities is given below in the Tabular Form

State
Test Cities
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Port Blair
Andhra Pradesh
Guntur; Kakinada; Kurnool; Nellore; Rajahmundry;  Tirupathi; Vijayawada;  Visakhapatnam
Arunachal Pradesh
Itanagar
Assam
Dibrugarh; Guwahati; Silchar
Bihar
Aurangabad; Muzaffarpur; Patna; Purnea
Chandigarh
Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh
Bhilai; Raipur
Delhi
Delhi; New Delhi
Goa
Madgaon; Panaji
Gujarat
Lucknow; Anand; Gandhinagar; Rajkot; Surat;  Vadodara
Haryana
Ambala; Bahadurgarh; Faridabad; Gurgaon; Hisar; Palwal; Panipath; Rohtak; Sonipat
Himachal Pradesh
Simla; Waknaghat
Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu; Samba
Jharkhand
Bokaro; Dhanbad; Jamshedpur; Ranchi
Karnataka
Banglore; Belagavi (Belgaum); Dharwad; Gulbarga; Hubli; Mangalore; Mysore; Udupi
Kerala
Ernakulam; Kasaragod; Kollam; Kozhikode; Malappuram;  Thrissur; Trivandrum  
Madhya Pradesh
Bhopal; Gwalior; Indore; Jabalpur; Sagar
Maharashtra
Ahmednagar; Amravati; Aurangabad; Jalgaon; Kolhapur;  Mumbai, Navi Mumbai; Nagpur; Nanded;  Nashik; Pune; Raigad; Satara; Solapur; Thane; Ulhasnagar
Meghalaya
Shillong
Odisha
Balasore; Berhampur; Bhubaneswar; Cuttack; Dhenkanal; Sambalpur; Rourkela
Puducherry
Puducherry
Punjab
Bhatinda; Chandigarh; Fatehgarh Sahib; Jalandhar;  Ludhiana; Mohali;  Pathankot; Patiala; Ropar; Sangrur
Rajasthan
Ajmer; Alwar; Jaipur; Jodhpur; Kota; Sikar; Udaipur
Tamilnadu
Chennai; Coimbatore; Madurai; Namakkal; Thanjavur; Tiruchirappalli; Tirunelvelli
Telangana
Hyderabad; Karim Nagar; Warangal
Uttar Pradesh
Agra; Allahabad; Barabanki; Bareilly; Ghaziabad; Gorakhpur; Greater Noida; Kanpur; Lucknow; Mathura; Meerut; Muzaffarnagar; Noida;  Varanasi
Uttarakhand
Dehradun; Roorkee
West Bengal
Asansol; Bankura; Burdwan; Durgapur; Hooghly; Howrah; Kalyani; Kolkata; Siliguri

16. CAT 2024 Admit Card
CAT 2024 Admit Card download will start from mid October 2024 on in the last week of October 2024. IIMs will upload the CAT 2024 Admit card on official CAT exam website 2024 iimcat.ac.in. The CAT admit card release date may be extended by a few days as has happened for CAT 2023 when the CAT admit card release was delayed by 2 weeks. The last date to download the CAT Admit Card is CAT 2024 exam date. 

3 Steps to Download CAT 2024 Admit Card

  1. Logon to CAT official Website iimcat.ac.in
  2. Enter CAT Login ID & Password & Click on ‘Admit Card’
  3. Click on Download & Take Print of CAT Admit card

17. CAT 2024 Result & IIMs’ Final Selection Process
CAT 2024 exam official result declaration date is 2nd week of January 2025. However, IIMs release the CAT result in the first week of January. It is likely that CAT 2024 result may be released on January 5, 2025 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 2025 by IIMs 

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IIMs release their individual admission process after CAT notification. The admission process in IIMs depends upon your performance in three major areas – Your CAT 2024 exam score; your academic record and performance in Personal Interview round. There are three stages through which IIM Admission Process is completed, they are:

  • Stage-1: Performance in CAT Exam
  • Stage-2: Shortlisting by IIMs for PI round
  • Stage-3: IIMs Final Selection Process 2025 comprising WAT & PI Round

Your final admission offer depends upon your performance in all the above three stages of IIMs selection process. While the older IIMs conduct their individual selection process, 9 new and baby IIMs conduct common admission process (CAP) for admission. Remaining IIMs conduct their individual selection process.

17.1 Top IIMs Conduct Individual Admission Process
IIM Lucknow, Lucknow, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong individually shortlist the candidates and conduct their own admission process that award high weightage to academics, diversity, work experience apart from CAT exam score

17.2 Common Admission Process (CAP) for 9 IIMs
The final selection process at 9 new IIMs is conducted as a common process. One of the six new IIMs co-ordinates this selection process which is referred to as Common Admission Process (CAP). The CAP 2025 will consist of common WAT and PI round for 9 new IIMs namely IIM Kashipur, Raipur, Ranchi,  Trichy, Udaipur and some of the newest IIMs like IIM Bodhgaya, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Jammu.

17.3 IIM Nagpur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Visakhapatnam to conduct individual admission process
IIM Nagpur, IIM Rohtak and IIM Visakhapatnam do not participate in CAP round and conduct their own final selection process to make admission offer to the students. The final admission offers will be generated as per the merit lists prepared on the basis of CAT scores, Academic profile, Work experience and gender diversity in accordance with the weightage awarded to each of these factors.  

18. Important Changes in CAT over the Years
Journey of IIM-CAT has witnessed substantial changes. In recent years, number of sections and type of questions in CAT have changed substantially. Important changes in pattern and conduct of CAT are shared below: 

  • CAT has changed from Paper Based to Computer based test
  • CAT now has 3 sections instead of 2
  • CAT has introduced 25 to 30 percent questions with No Negative marking

CAT Exam pattern over the past 12 years since it was computerized in 2009 has gone for perceptible changes. CAT paper pattern prior to 2009 was paper-pen based. CAT exam format was changed from paper based exam to CAT online computer based test in 2009. Even after that CAT paper pattern continued changing from 3 sections to 2 and then CAT pattern was changed to 3 sections in 2015. Since then, CAT is following similar pattern. CAT 2024 pattern also remains the same as that of CAT exam 2023 pattern with 3 sections and 2 hours time although the number of MCQs and Non-MCQs may change.

19. Important Points about CAT 2024
Key points to note about CAT exam are given below:

19.1 When CAT is Conducted?

  • CAT is conducted annually.
  • Now conducted preferably on the last Sunday of November every year
  • The exam is conducted on a single day in three sessions – morning, afternoon and evening with a duration of 2 hours for each session. From 2015 to 2019, CAT was 3 hour, two session exam.
  • The change in sessions and time duration is due to Covid-19 pandemic.

19.2 What is Mode of CAT?
CAT is a computer based entrance test of two hours duration

19.3 When to look for CAT Notification and complete CAT Information?
IIMs release all the details about CAT in leading news papers on the last Sunday of July every year. A day before this publication, the CAT convener sends the press release with important details about CAT on the designated web portals. The process to register and apply for CAT starts in the 1st week of August.

19.4 How difficult is CAT?
Despite being a highly competitive and most important MBA entrance exam in India, the difficulty level of CAT is considered moderate to high.

19.5 Scoring Pattern in CAT
Each correct answer in CAT is awarded with 3 marks. The raw score obtained in CAT is converted to scaled score and then converted to percentile score after allowing for equating and normalizing the scores for both the sessions in CAT.

IIMs and other top MBA colleges consider percentile awarded in CAT to shortlist the candidates for final selection round.

20. FAQs on CAT: Answers by Experts

Q. How many Questions are expected in CAT 2024?
CAT exam is expected to consist of 66 questions

Q. How difficult is the CAT exam
While some of the questions are of moderate difficulty level, some are more difficult

Q. Do IIMs provide any document and guide how to attempt CAT Exam?
IIMs release CAT practice test with complete navigation guide on the official website iimcat.ac.in. You can familiarize yourself with the functionality and navigation of the actual exam. You can also attempt Mock Tests CAT Mock Tests and CAT previous years question papers with answers at MBAUniverse.com

Q. Quant and DI questions require too much calculations. Can I take a calculator to the testing centre?
No, but the onscreen calculator is available throughout the exam. You can use that

Q. What is the Scoring Pattern in CAT? Do the wrong answers carry any penalty of negative marking?
The CAT question paper is divided into MCQs and Non-MCQs. Each correct answer in CAT 2024 is awarded +3 marks for all the questions but the MCQs carry a penalty of -1 mark for each wrong answer. For the Non-MCQs (Known as TITA Questions), there is no penalty of negative marking. Besides there is no penalty for any unattempted questions whether MCQ or Non-MCQ.

Q. How a Non-MCQ is different from MCQ type question?
For a non-MCQ type question, you must type the answer in the given space while for the MCQ you only need to click on the most appropriate answer option

Q. What is the number of Non-MCQs overall and section wise in the CAT question paper?
Out of the total overall questions in CAT exam, there are about 25% Non-MCQs. The same principle applies to each section. Exact number of Non-MCQs in CAT 2023 depends upon the total questions in the Exam.

Q. Can I choose the order of sections while attempting the CAT question paper?
No, You should answer the sections in a pre-specified order. This order is same for all the candidates. Besides, each section has an individual time limit of 40 minutes, so after the individual section time is over, you will be taken to next section automatically.

Q. Can I submit the paper early and leave the test center before the exam time is over?
No, the CAT paper cannot be submitted before the test duration of 2 hours is over. You can neither leave your seat, nor can leave the test centre early

Read More CAT Exam: Check Exam Date, Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation   

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