Common Admission Test (CAT)

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are the top business schools in India that offer post-graduate management programs. There are seven IIMs (IIMB, IIMA, IIMC and others) across India, who rely on CAT (Common Admission Test) results as a major criterion for admissions. 250,000 candidates took CAT in 2008 for around 1500 seats. Such a tough selective process makes it hard to bell this “CAT”.
The eligibility criteria for admissions are as follows:

  • All original mark sheets, degree certificates along with their attested copies need to be submitted by the candidate at the time of personal interview.
  • Reserve category candidates must produce their original caste/class/disability certificate and submit an attested photocopy at the time of interview. Original certificate and attested copy of qualifying degree need to be submitted after admission.
  • Short-listed candidates, who are still appearing in the final year of their bachelor’s degree, are given a provisional admission. However, the admission is confirmed only after they submit their original degree before the given deadline.

The online entrance test is conducted through Prometric, which is a US based testing agency. CAT has multiple-choice questions and there is a negative marking also. One-fourth mark is deducted for every wrong answer. It has three sections with questions based on arithmetical problems, data interpretation, geometry, logical reasoning, statistical problems, English skills and puzzles. The process of admission to IIMs has the following steps:

  • The CAT is conducted on the third Sunday of November each year. The test duration is two and a half hours. The pattern of question paper varies each year to maintain the difficulty level.
  • The results are out by second week of January. The result is declared in terms of percentile, which is a relative method of calculating scores. For example a percentile of 99 shows that only 1% students have scored higher than you. The short-listing is based depending upon the Percentiles and CAT website shows the list of candidates selected for interviews by IIMs.
  • After clearing the CAT, eligible candidates are called for group discussion and personal interviews. Mostly, candidates securing 99 percentile or above are called for the next stage.

Finally, when after years of dedicated hard work and perseverance, a student passes out from these highly prestigious institutes; he literally has the world at his feet. The remuneration packages offered by various MNCs are in accordance with global standard. The toppers get rewarding pay packages to the tunes of rupees one crore or even more. So, give it your best shot, as it can change your life in a big way!

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