CAT 2023 Exam Day 10 Do’s & Don’ts, Testing Room strategy for 3 slots on Nov 26, 2023; Check CAT Centre Step by Step Flow Chart by IIMs

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Updated on November 17, 2023
With only few days remaining to take CAT 2023 exam on November 26, the key do's and don'ts will help you prepare for exam day and attempt your CAT exam better and improve your percentile in the exam. The set of CAT exam day Do’s & Don’ts as below, contains CAT exam day instructions and workflow when to reach, what are the things to carry for CAT exam, how to locate your seat and what should be your testing room strategy
CAT 2023 Do’s & Don’ts for Exam Day

The CAT 2023 Exam Day Guide by IIM Lucknow categorically advises to meticulously follow the CAT exam day do’s & don’ts. You need to make sure that the instructions for the things to carry for CAT exam are duly followed, so that you can appear in the exam without getting subjected to different type of problems before or during the CAT exam.

IIM Lucknow is conducting CAT 2023 exam on Sunday November 26 for 3.30 lakh candidates and will issue specific do’s and don’ts for all the CAT aspirants who have registered to appear in CAT 2023. The exam day do's and don'ts will help you take your CAT exam better and improve your percentile in the exam.

Before going to the exam centre, you must go through the CAT 2023 Exam day do’s & don’ts. The set of instructions contain when to reach, what to carry, what to avoid, how to locate your CAT exam centre, your seating place and what should be your testing room strategy on November 26. All your hard preparation for CAT 2023 may go waste if you do not get clear understanding for your CAT exam day. Your testing room strategy is very important and you must be aware how your CAT 2023 exam will begin, how you should answer the MCQs and non-MCQs in testing lab and what events will take place immediately before, during and after the CAT 2023 exam.  

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This article by shares in detail 10 important CAT exam day do’s & don’ts;  pre-exam day do’s and don’ts, exam day guide and testing room strategy how to approach and answer the questions in CAT exam: 

CAT 2023 Do’s and Don’ts: Getting Prepared for the Exam Day
A day before the CAT exam day, you should get prepared with following for the exam day:

1. Gather Required Documents
You will require hard copy of your admit card with your passport size photo affixed on it. If not done till now, download your CAT Admit Card from CAT Website, take print on A4 size paper, fix your identical photograph in the given space on it. Keep your Admit Card ready for the exam day.

Recheck following details mentioned in the Admit Card: Your Name, CAT Application Number,  PwD status, Date and Day of Test, Test Times and Session, Reporting/ Entry time at Centre,  Gate Closing Time at Centre, Test City, Test Centre address. The slot-wise CAT Test day schedule is as below:

CAT 2023 Exam Slot
Slot Timing
Reporting Time at the Test Centre
8.30 AM to 10.30 AM
7.00 AM
12.30 PM to 2.30 PM
11.00 AM
 4.30 PM to 6.30 PM
  3.00 PM

Check Photo Id: You will also need one of the original photo id like Aadhar card, Voter Id card, Student ID card, Employee ID Card, Driving License or any other original photo ID document acceptable at Exam centre. Keep it ready alongwith your CAT admit card

2. Visit your CAT Exam Centre a Day Before: Use Google Map Link
It is very much necessary. You should check the distance, mode of conveyance, time taken to reach at the testing venue by visiting the CAT exam centre a day before the exam day. This will help you avoid any delay and glitch during your commutation from your residence/place of stay to the testing venue.

It will be better to make prior necessary arrangements for travel, food, accommodation and any other expenses. Use the Google map link embedded on the electronic version of the Admit card to locate the Test Centre. Identify mode of transport and commute time at least a day before the Exam Day in order to reach the Test Centre on time on the day of the Exam

Use the Google map link embedded in the electronic version of the Admit Card to locate the Test Centre. Identify mode of transport and commute time at least a day before the Exam Day in order to reach the Test Centre on time on the day of the Exam.

3. Choose the Dress, Relax and Take a Good Night Sleep
Throw away your anxiety and relax a day before the exam day. Good sleep is necessary before the exam. All the CAT toppers have advised not to worry about the exam and have a relaxed and good sleep in the night before the exam. Choose the dress that you wish to wear on the exam day. However, make sure that your dress does not violate the CAT day dress code.  

CAT 2023 Exam Day Do’s & Don’ts: Check & Follow the Instructions
It is very important that you should know when to reach the CAT test centre, what you should or shouldn’t wear, which articles you should carry, how to locate your seat at the CAT exam centre and what should be your testing room strategy during the CAT exam. Shared below are these CAT 2023 exam day Do’s & Don’ts

The set of CAT 2023 exam days guidelines contain Do’s and Don’ts for the exam day. Let’s first begin with the important CAT exam day Do’s followed by Don’ts

Important Do’s for CAT 2023 Exam Day

3. Collect Your CAT 2023 Admit Card & Photo ID
The first thing to carry for the CAT exam is the hard copy of the CAT 2023 Admit Card which is the most important document to be carried on the Exam Day.  Another most important thing to carry for CAT exam day is your original photo ID proof as advised in your CAT Admit Card namely – Aadhar card, College ID, Employer ID, Driving License, Passport, PAN Card, Voter ID, Identification Affidavit along with the Admit Card

4. Arrive at CAT Centre in Time
CAT 2023 exam will be held in three slots – Morning, Afternoon and evening on November 26, 2023. The exam time and reporting time at the CAT centre is given here. You must reach the CAT test centre in time as per your allotted exam slot, otherwise you may not be allowed to enter the CAT 2023 test centre:

CAT Exam Slots on Nov 26, 2023
Reporting Time
Gate Closure Time (No entry allowed inside the test Centre)
CAT 2023 Slot-1: From 8.30 AM to 10.30 AM
7.00 AM
8.15 AM
CAT 2023 Slot-2: From 12.30 PM to 2.30 PM
11.00 AM
12.15 PM
CAT 2023 Slot-3: From  4.30 PM to 6.30PM
  3.00 PM
  4.15 PM

You are advised to positively report at the CAT exam centre at the designated reporting time as it will take more time for completion of security check and biometrics as social distancing norms are followed.

5. Locate Your Testing Room & Seat: No Display Outside the Test Centre
You will not find Display of Seating Arrangement outside CAT Exam Centre. Mapping of 'Candidate Application Number and the Lab Number' will NOT be displayed outside the test venue, but the same will be provided to the candidates individually at the time of the entry of the candidate to the test venue and post their Admit Card and Photo Identification Proof verification. So don’t panic and go inside the test centre first.

6. Type of Woollens & Other Article Allowed Inside CAT Test Centre
You can wear Socks, plain Pullovers/Sweaters/Cardigans (without any pockets) inside the Exam lab. Candidates with metal implant, pacemaker, etc. in their body should bring a supporting medical certificate of the same at the Test Centre.

However, all other personal belongings would be kept aside. IIMs/CAT Test centre authorities would not take any responsibility for any loss of the items.

On Arriving At CAT Exam Centre: Follow the Flow Chart
The CAT day work flow that shares how you should proceed on arriving at the test centre is shared below:

cat flow chart

7. Use Wash Room Before the Exam
You will not be allowed to use wash room during the exam, so use it before the exam begins. Besides, you are required to maintain silence and remain in Queue keeping social distancing norms during - entry to the Test Centre; frisking process; document verification & biometric verification; and exiting the Test Centre after the exam  

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8. Ensure to Mark Attendance
Mark your attendance in the Form with signature when asked for in the CAT testing room after biometrics

CAT 2023 Test Taking Do’s: Testing Room Strategy
How to approach and answer the questions in CAT exam, which type of questions to attempt first are the parts of your key Do’s on CAT exam day and are shared below:

9. Answer CAT question by Using Mouse
At the Console, use the Mouse to select the right Option as answer for an MCQ and to use the on-screen Keyboard to answer a non-MCQ. Avoid use of key board of the Console as it will lock your computer

10. Non MCQs: Choose to Answer First
Answering a Non-MCQ is easier as you will have to simply key in the correct answer of the question in the given space. Besides all the Non-MCQs in each section are no penalty questions, so you lose nothing even if your answer is wrong.

Although the on-screen calculator is available during the exam, CAT toppers studying at IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR have suggested to avoid on screen calculator for calculations as it is more time consuming. Instead they advise to use your brain power for calculation and save time. So, unless well versed to use it, avoid the use of on screen calculator.

After the Exam, handover the duly signed CAT Admit Card to the Invigilator present in the Exam Lab. Also, return the writing pad with all pages intact after the completion of the CAT Exam to the Invigilator.  

CAT 2023 Exam Day 10 Don’ts
After going through the CAT exam day do’s, it is also very much necessary to know what is prohibited at CAT exam centre. Below are shared 10 CAT day Don’ts

1. Don’t Wear Jackets, Jewellery, Shoes
IIM Lucknow has released a list of prohibited articles that you should not carry to the CAT exam centre on November 26, 2023. The candidates must not wear jackets, jewellery, digital watch, electronic gadgets, shoes.

Besides, candidates are not allowed to carry mobile phone, bag, wallets at the CAT test centre. If you are wearing or carrying any of these items, you will have to deposit them at Test Centre Entrance Gate. CAT exam centre will not be responsible for any loss of them.

2. Don’t Apply Mehndi (Henna) on Palm Side
Do not apply Henna (Mehndi) on the palm side. It is a very important CAT exam day don’t for the girl candidates who apply Mehndi regularly on their palms. Applying Henna (Mehndi) on palm side may be a hindrance in getting your biometrics captured. Avoid, applying any Mehndi on your fingers on palm side to avoid any problem inside the testing lab. On the day of the test, your digital finger print scan will be captured.

If your finger prints cannot be digitally scanned due to reasons like applying Mehndi / henna / any cosmetic colours etc., you will not be permitted to take the test. It is therefore, strongly recommended that you should avoid applying Mehndi on your hands (palm side) from now on till the CAT exam day.    

3. Don’t Arrive Late
Do not request entry into the Test Centre after the gates are closed. Make sure to reach at least half an hour before the exam commencement time.

4. Don’t Request Bio Break during Exam
Do not request for a bio-break while inside the Exam Lab unless it is a Medical emergency. No bio breaks are allowed during the 2 hours of the CAT exam.

5. Don’t Use Computer Key Board
Do not use the keyboard of your console at any point of time. Using it will lock your computer system and your precious time is wasted. Instead use mouse to answer the CAT questions

6. Don’t be confused in Using Navigation tools to answer CAT questions
While answering the questions, Candidates can use the following options:

Save & Next: Saves Response/Answer and moves to the next Question

Clear Response: Clears the selected Response/Answer for the given question only

Mark for Review & Next: Would mark the question for review for later. The question may either be answered or may not be answered. If answered, the Response/Answer would be recorded and also marked for review later. At the end of the section time, this question would be considered as ‘Answered’.

CAT 2023 has provided the facility to the aspirants to know the status of the question. The Question Palette displayed on the right side of screen will show the status of each question. There will be 4 colour symbols to indicate the status of the question on the right hand side of question-answer screen 

Green – Answered questions but not marked for review.

Red – Questions visited but neither answered, nor marked for review.

Grey – Questions not visited or viewed.

Violet – Marked for review but not answered.

Violet with a green tick mark as a subscript – Questions answered but marked for review

It will be better to practice on it with official CAT mock test and understand the process instead of getting confused on the Exam day.

7. No Companion Allowed Inside
Unless you are a PwD candidates and have asked for scribe, none of your friends and relatives accompanying you are allowed to enter beyond the Test Centre gate. Don’t ask them to come with you. Even if they come, they will have to go back from the test centre gate. So, do not involve yourself in any arguments with the security staff or test center staff for forceful entry.

8. No Cheating or Disturbance
Do not disturb other Candidates nor attempt to cheat or copy answers from others during the Exam. Avoid attempting to appear for CAT 2023 Exam more than once. Candidature will be cancelled if a candidate is found to appear for the test multiple times

9. No Change of Exam Centre/Console
Do not request for change of CAT Test Centre/Exam Lab/Console on the CAT Exam Day.

10. Don’t Waste Writing Pad
Do not waste Writing pad pages as it is distributed only once per Candidate during course of the Exam. Do not carry any page from the Writing Pad outside the Exam Lab after the test.

CAT 2023 test duration is for a total time of 2 hours. PWD/DA candidates with scribe requirements will be allowed an extra hour. All candidates will start the test at the same time when the invigilator signals to start. Candidates are to remain at their seats for the entire duration of the test even if they complete their test early. The sectional Submit button will be enabled only upon completion of sectional test time of 40 minutes.

CAT Exam Day – Key Activities and Time Slots

Approximate time for the activity
Shift 1
Shift 2
Shift 3
7.00 am
11.00 am
03.00 pm
Arrive at Test centre
(candidate’s reporting time)
Gate closes 15 minutes before the Test start time.
7.05 am 
11.05 am
03.05 pm
Locate your Test Lab number
1-5 minutes.
Candidate checks the location of the Exam Lab from Barcode Desk.
7.10 am
11.10 am
03.10 pm
Scrutiny of Admit Card
1-5 minutes.
First scrutiny of the documents done at the Entry gate.
7.15 am
11.15 am
03.15 pm
Deposit personal belongings
(mobile phone, bag etc.)
1-10 minutes.
Candidate deposit their personal belongings at the entry gate
7.25 am
11.25 am
03.25 pm
Frisking of candidates
3-5 minutes.
Assigned Security staff to frisk candidates.
7.30 am
11.30 am
03.30 pm
Document (id card and Admit Card) checking at the Test Lab entrance
1-10 minutes.
Document verification done.
7.40 am
11.40 am
03.40 pm
Candidates reach their Test Labs
1-10 minutes.
Candidate reaches Exam Lab.
7.50 am
11.50 am
03.50 pm
Candidates go to the Registration Desk and signs (manual) on attendance sheet
1-5 minutes.
Candidate signs Attendance Sheet available at the Registration Desk.
7.55 am
11.55 am
03.55 pm
Registration Process
1-10 minutes.
Candidate photograph captured and IRIS scanned as per process.
8.05 am
12.05 pm
04.05 pm
Candidates check their photo on the registration terminal
1-5 minutes.
Candidate verifies captured photo at the Registration Terminal.
to ensure it is their photo
8.10 am
12.10 pm
04.10 pm
Candidate sits at the terminal
1-5 minutes.
Candidate checks the allotted Console in the Exam Lab.  Pen and scribble pad placed at the terminal.
8.15 am
12.15 pm
04.15 pm
Login to Test screen
1-5 minutes.
Candidate completes first login.
8.20 am
12.20 pm
04.20 pm
Verify & confirm profile information
1-5 minutes.
Candidate verifies and confirms the profile Information, which he/she had filled during the CAT 2021 Registration.
8.25 am
12.25 pm
04.25 pm
Read & agree to Declaration
1-5 minutes.
Candidate reads all the instructions given for the Exam and clicks on “Accept”.
8.30 am
12.30 pm
04.30 pm
Test Starts
120 minutes.
Exam starts
10.30 am
02.30 pm
06.30 pm (07.10 pm for PwD candidates)
Test concludes & candidate shares the feedback
1-5 minutes.
After 120 minutes. Exam gets over and the feedback page is displayed on the screen.
Candidate shares his feedback.
10.35 am
02.35 pm
06.35 pm
Return Admit Card, pen and
Scribble Pad
1-5 minutes.
Candidate drops the Admit Card, pen and scribble pad in the boxes provided for the same
10.40 am
02.40 pm
06.40 pm
Exit Test Lab and collect the deposited belongings
1-5 minutes.
Candidate exits the Exam Lab and collects belongings (if any)
10.45 am
02.45 pm
06.45 pm
Exit the Test centre
Candidate leaves Test Centre.

For any issues during the test, you are supposed to raise your hand to notify the invigilator. Stay seated and explain the issue to the invigilator who approaches you. Under no circumstance, should you move from your seat until the end of exam time.

CAT 2023 Last Minute Preparation Tips are also shared by CAT toppers who are studying in IIMs, SPJIMR, IMT and other B-schools. Check last minute CAT 2023 preparation tips from toppers

Stay tuned to for more updates for CAT 2023 exam