CAT Full Form

What is the Full form of CAT?

The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test. CAT is a computer-based examination conducted by IIM to shortlist candidates for the postgraduate programme. The test includes three sections.

  • VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)
  • DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) and
  • QA(Quantitative Ability).

Overall it’s an online exam of three hours split into one hour for each portion. The IIMs (Indian Management Institutes) started this test and are selecting candidates for various Post Graduate and Fellow/Doctorate programmes courses through the exam. The CAT exam is conducted once a year.

Brief history of CAT test

  • It was announced in August 2011 that IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IISc (Indian Institute of Science) will now use the CAT scores instead of the JMET (Joint Management Entrance Test) to select candidates beginning with the 2012-15 batch for their management programmes.
  • Until 2009 CAT was a paper-based examination administered every day for all candidates.
  • The pattern, number of problems, and length have significantly changed over the years.
  • On 1 May 2009, it was revealed that CAT would be a computer-based test.

Eligibility criteria for CAT

The applicant must satisfy the conditions set out below.

  • Should hold a bachelor’s degree of not less than 50% or equivalent CGPA, and 45% for SC (Scheduled Caste), ST (Scheduled Tribe) and PWD (Persons with Disabilities) or DA (Differently Able) category.
  • The degree should be awarded by any of the institutions constituted by an act of the central or state legislative body in India or by other educational organizations established by an act of Parliament. Also approved to be regarded as a university under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, with an equivalent qualification recognized by the HRD Ministry, Govt of India.
  • Competitors arriving for the final year of the bachelor’s degree or similar qualification examination and individuals who have achieved the preconditions for the degree and are awaiting results can also apply.

Examination duration and pattern

  • Each year, the exact pattern of the CAT exam differs.
  • A mock examination was provided for the 2018 CAT.
  • CAT is a computer-based exam consisting of three parts, Verbal and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and QA.
  • The divisions on QA and VARC were composed of 34 questions each, while the portion on DI & LR had 32 problems.
  • Since CAT 2015, the distribution of questions has remained the same. Before this, questions were presented differently.


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