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Common Admission Test (CAT 2018) is a national level MBA entrance exam. Know here about CAT 2018 exam date, syllabus, preparation, question papers, cut offs. CAT is conducted every year by IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) on a rotational basis for the admission in IIMs and other top business schools like SPJIMR, MDI, FMS, NITIE and several more. You can apply with its score to get admission in MBA, PGDM and other management courses. Nearly 2 lakh candidates appear for CAT every year. It is expected that CAT 2018 will be held in November 2018.

There are many things that CAT aspirants want to know right now, such as: Which IIM will conduct CAT 2018? What is the CAT 2018 exam date? What is CAT 2018 Eligibility? How should I prepare? All the answers are here.

CAT 2018

CAT is one of the most important exams for entrance in B-school programs. Mostly all the B-schools consider CAT scores for admission. Many factors like hard work, time management, conceptual understanding combined together make one capable to crack CAT. In order to prepare effectively for CAT 2018, you need to be disciplined, work hard, have consistency and strong willpower. First, take a look at the expected timeline for the upcoming exam.

CAT 2018 Exam Date and other Important Dates

CAT 2018 important dates

The series of events, and their dates, that lead up to the exam are in the following table. You will get the up-to-date schedule upon publication of official IIM CAT 2018 notification.

CAT 2018 Dates
Name of IIM conducting CAT 2018 reveal May 2018
CAT 2018 Online Application Form Aug 2018
CAT 2018 Registration Last Date Sep 2018
Release of CAT 2018 Admit Card Oct 2018
CAT 2018 Exam Date Last Week of Nov 2018
Announcement of Result Jan 2019

The official website of Common Admission Test has been iimcat.ac.in for the past four years. The eam conducting IIM will publish exam dates there as per schedule.

Which IIM will conduct CAT 2018?

CAT 2018 conducting IIM

Any of the twenty IIMs can conduct the Common Admission Test 2018. However, there are higher chances of one of the older IIMs (Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore) conducting it.

IIMs that have conducted CAT in the past are:

  • 2017 – IIM Lucknow
  • 2016 – IIM Bangalore
  • 2015 – IIM Ahmedabad
  • 2014 – IIM Indore
  • 2013 – IIM Indore
  • 2012 – IIM Kozhikode
  • 2011 – IIM Calcutta
  • 2010 – IIM Lucknow
  • 2009 – IIM Ahmedabad

Question Paper with Solution

CAT 2018 question paper with solution

Last year’s question paper with solution is available. For the first time since the exam has been held online, question paper and answer key were released officially last year. It is a valuable resource for all MBA aspirants.

Since the exam was held in two slots, there are two separate papers. Thus you get two official CAT question papers to practice with.

CAT 2018 Syllabus

CAT 2018 syllabus

Let us be clear that the IIMs do not publish any “official syllabus” for this exam. However, this exam has been around for a long time, and exam mentors keep a close watch on the exam. They then prepare a syllabus for the purpose of giving shape to aspirants’, such as yours, preparation. The same (CAT 2018 syllabus) is given below.

Looking at the previous year question papers we have selected the most common sections which candidates need to prepare in order to crack CAT 2018. Have a look at it:

  1. Logical Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Ability
  3. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  4. Data Interpretation

CAT 2018 Syllabus of these sections are given below. Candidates can start preparing accordingly:

Quantitative Ability

  • Percentage
  • Ratio, Proportions & Variations
  • Number System: GCD, LCM Remainder Theorems etc.
  • Permutation & Combination
  • Probability
  • Simple & Compound Interest
  • Progressions i.e. Arithmetic Progression (AP), Geometric Progression (GP), Harmonic Progressions (HP) etc.
  • Profit and Loss
  • Speed, Time and Distance
  • Time & Work
  • Mensuration
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Averages
  • Geometry: Straight Lines, Polygons, Triangles, Circles, Ellipses etc.
  • Functions i.e. Logarithms, Even & Odd, Representation etc.
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Mixture and Alligation
  • Inequalities
  • Set Theory

This section may have total 34 question out of which 7 may be Non-MCQs. Each question will be of 3 marks and for every wrong answer -1 will be done. Time duration for this section is 1 hour.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Antonyms
  • Synonyms
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Para jumbles
  • Analogies
  • Idioms
  • One-word Substitutions
  • Error-Spotting

This section in CAT 2018 Exam may also contain total of 34 question out of which 10 may be Non-MCQs. Marking scheme is same as that of quantitative ability.

Data Interpretation

  • Data Analysis.
  • Data Tables
  • Pie Charts
  • Bar Charts
  • Venn Diagram
  • Graphs (Line, Area)

Logical Reasoning

  • Assertion and Reason
  • Arrangements-based questions
  • Set Theory
  • Puzzles
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Sequences and Series
  • Syllogisms
  • Blood Relations
  • Binary Logic
  • Direction Test
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Data Structures
  • Coding – Decoding

Data interpretation and logical reasoning combine as a single section. It may have 32 questions in total. Out of this, 8 may be Non-MCQs. Marking scheme will be same.

CAT 2018 Eligibility Criteria

CAT 2018 eligibility criteria

If no changes in CAT 2018 eligibility criteria are made then you can consider the below-mentioned criteria to check whether they are eligible or not.

  1. Candidate should have Indian citizenship or should be a citizen of India
  2. Candidate should have passed the Bachelor’s Degree or should be in final year of their Under Graduation.
  3. Overall percentage of candidate should be 50% in Bachelor’s Degree (45% for SC/ST/PWD candidates)
  4. Bachelor’s degree must be of minimum 3 years
  5. No upper or lower age limit
  6. CA/ ICWA/ CS candidates are also eligible to apply for CAT 2018
  7. NRI and foreign candidates can also apply in the institutes with GMAT score

Mode and Medium of CAT 2018

CAT is a Computer Based Test (CBT) which will be conducted online. Also, the medium of the exam will be English only. Thus candidates need to ensure that they prepare for CAT 2018 accordingly.

CAT 2018 Exam Pattern

CAT 2018 exam pattern

Duration CAT 2018 Exam will be 3 hours or 180 minutes and candidates are required to attempt all the 3 sections. Each section will have a time duration of 60 minutes.

CAT 2018 paper will contain both MCQ and subjective type questions with each question of 30 marks. Negative marking of -1 will be done for every wrong answer marked. However, there will be no negative marking for non-mcq type questions.

The 3 sections of CAT 2018 are:

Quantitative Ability – This section of paper may have a total of 34 questions. Out of which 7 are Non-MCQs subjective type. Candidates must ensure that they try to answer all the Non-MCQs as it does not have any negative marking. Maximum marks for this section may be 102 and time duration to attempt is 60 minutes.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension –  In this section of paper, applicants may get total of 34 questions. Out of which 10 may be Non-MCQs. Time duration to attempt this section is 60 minutes and total marks may be 102.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning – This is the 3rd section of CAT which may have 32 questions for candidates to attempt. Here total number of Non-MCQs (subjective type) may be 8. Maximum marks allotted for this section may be 96 and duration of time is 60 minutes.

In the table given below candidate can find properly explained expected exam pattern for CAT 2018

Section Total Number of Questions Number of Non-MCQs Duration Marks
Quantitative Ability 34 7 60 min 102
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 34 10 60 min 102
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 08 60 min 96
Total 72 28 180 min 300


CAT 2018 Selection Procedure

CAT 2018 selection criteria

Every B-school along with IIMs have its own selection criteria and cut-off list. All the things will be taken into account while considering the candidate for the seat. His/her CAT 2018 score, UG percentage, 12th and 10th percentage, working experience, extra curricular activities will be considered. Depending on the selection candidates will then be call for group discussion and personal interview rounds also known as GDPI rounds.

Based on all these things and cumulative score final merit list of each institute is prepared.

The 3 rounds of selection procedure of CAT 2018 are:

  1. Written Test- Candidate has to write on one or more topics a brief essay in the time duration of 15-45 minutes.
  2. Group Discussion- A round is held where 8-10 candidates are given a particular topic and they have to discuss on it. This is to check the candidates group dynamics.
  3. Personal Interview- In this round candidate has to present himself/herself before the panel of 4-8 interviewers. This is a final round and is held to check the candidates educational qualification, hobbies, interests and work experience.


How is CAT Percentile Calculated?

CAT 2018 percentile

CAT percentile is the basic idea to let a candidate know the number of students who scored less than him/her. It also decides the rank of applicant for the admission of management course in IIMs and top B-schools in India compared with other candidates who appeared for the same MBA/ PGDM entrance test.

The overall score for the exam is calculated and the percentile is allocated on the basis of it by following a simple calculation method.

Formula to Calculate CAT percentile:

CAT Percentile = [1 – (Your Rank in CAT 2018/Total Number of Candidates taking CAT 2018)] * 100

Let’s us understand this with an example:

Suppose a candidate got 3000 rank in CAT 2018 out of 100000 students who appeared for the exam. In this case percentile will be calculated as:

CAT 2018 Percentile= [1- (3000/100000)]*100= 99.7 percentile

This indicates that 99.7 percent of students  who appeared for the exam are below you. No one can get 100 percentile as it indicates the percentage of candidates below him/her including himself/herself. Moreover, percentile is calculated upto 3 decimal places and then rounded off to the nearest possible decimal.

CAT 2018 Expected Cut Off

CAT 2018 cut off

Generally, cut-off of IIMs is very high and may range between 90-99 percentile. Cut off for CAT 2018 will not vary much. Expected CAT cut off 2018 is given in the table below:

B-School Name CAT 2018 Cut-off (Expected)
SJMSOM, IIT Bombay 99+
FMS, DU (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi) 98.20
DMS, IIT Delhi 98+
UBS Chandigarh 93
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai 95+
Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon 95+
Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras 95+
Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad 90+
Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB) 90+
Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai 90+
T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) Manipal 85+

How to prepare for CAT 2018?

CAT 2018 how to prepare

CAT 2018 preparation can be divided into 2 parts one the basis of type of candidate who wants to appear for CAT 2018:

  1. First Time Appearing Candidate: If a candidate belongs to this class, he/ she can opt for full time online course. In this course faculty will assist the candidate with every aspects of examination and also be a guide and help him/her understand the concepts, applications and tricks too. Additionally, candidate gets lot of study material and mock test to prepare himself/ herself for CAT 2018. Once a candidate is done with the syllabus completion analyze the missing parts and work on it to improve the chances of getting to the merit list of CAT 2018.
  2. Re-attempting Candidate: If a candidate is unable to crack CAT 2017 in the first attempt, he/she must now analyze the weak spots and strong sections. Accordingly, a candidate can start taking sectional tests available online and workout on the weak sections to finally crack CAT 2018. Also, such candidates can go for Mock Tests and solve CAT previous years papers too.

Candidates appearing for CAT 2018 must remember that there is no tailor-made set pattern for CAT 2018 preparation. One can customize the preparation process according to his/her strengths, weaknesses, limitations and time. However, I would advise a candidate to be consistent while preparing for CAT 2018. Candidate needs to at least speare 3-4 hours every day and prepare for CAT 2018.  It takes approximately 7-8 months of extensive preparation to crack CAT 2018.

How Should I Plan for CAT 2018 in 300 Days

Also, looking at the current time it’s a long journey ahead. If you are thinking that is it late to start preparing for CAT 2018 or what is the best time to prepare for CAT 2018, I have an advice for you: It is never too late to begin what you always wanted to do.

Set a target to complete the syllabus by the last week of August 2018 so that sufficient time for revision is left. Thereafter, start taking mock tests, reading comprehension and LRDI every day as these sections can only be mastered with regular practice.

Most Recommended Books for CAT 2018

CAT 2018 books

For the candidates convenience we are recommending section wise books. These books are sorted after intense research and will definitely guide the candidate for CAT 2018 preparation:

Top Books for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)

Book Name Author Publications Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for Quantitative Ability For CAT Arun Sharma McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
The Complete CAT Digest Arun Sharma McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations Abhijit Guha Tata Mcgraw-Hill Publications Buy Here
Quantitative Aptitude For CAT And Other MBA Entrance Exams Trishna Knowledge Systems Pearson Publications Buy Here

Top Books for CAT Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)   

Book Name Author Publications Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning Nishit Sinha Pearson Publications Buy Here
Pocket Guide to Vocabulary Barrons Buy Here

Top Books for CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

Book Name Author Publications Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay McGrew-Hill Publications Buy Here
Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations Trishna TIME Publisher: Pearson Buy Here

CAT 2018 Test Centres

The exam was conducted in 140 cities in India last year. For CAT 2018 it is expected that list of test centres will remain same. However, there is no official announcements related to test centres. Once official announcement is made, CAT 2018 Test Centres List will be updated here.

CAT 2018 Registration and Application Form

CAT 2018 registration

Registration for CAT 2018 is expected to open in the month of August 2018. Applicants can fill in CAT 2018 application form once registration starts. Link to register for CAT 2018 will be provided here once it is available.

CAT 2018 Application Fee

Till date there is no official notification related to Application Fee of CAT 2018. But we can expect the fee depicted in the table below, on the basis of past year’s application fee.

Category CAT 2018 Application Fee
General/ OBC INR 1800
ST/SC/PWD INR 900

This fee is likely to change if IIM makes any changes in the fee structure for CAT 2018 Entrance Test.

How to do CAT 2018 Registration?

Candidates willing to register for CAT 2018 has to follow the steps given below and submit the application form on or before the last date.

Step 1: Candidates need to visit the official site of CAT IIM 2018. Official website will be http://iimcat.ac.in.

Step 2: Click on Register as New User. You can see this link only if form is available.

Step 3: After you register, you get user ID and password on email. Check it and now log In to the account.

Step 4: Fill in the details in CAT 2018 Application Form. All details should be correct.

Step 5: Upload the image of scanned photograph and signature.

Step 6: Pay CAT 2018 Application Fee.

CAT 2018 Admit Card

CAT 2018 admit card

Admit Card of CAT 2018 will be made available on the official site. Candidates who have successfully applied for CAT 2018 will be able to download the CAT Admit Card 2018 by logging into their account.

Admit card for CAT 2018 will be available in the month of October 2018. Candidates need to ensure that all the details provided on admit card is correct and in case of any discrepancy they need to immediately contact the concerned authority.

Also, it is advisable to retain CAT 2018 Admit Card as it will be required on every step of CAT 2018 Entrance Test process.

Link to download it will be provided below as soon as it is available.

CAT 2018 Result

CAT 2018 result

CAT Result 2018 will be announced in the month of January 2019. Candidates who have appeared for CAT 2018 will be able to see their results when it will be made available on the official site.

Direct Link to download the CAT 2018 Result will be provided here.

List of Colleges Accepting CAT Score

Below is the list of all IIM colleges present in India that accept CAT score for the admission in MBA/PGDM courses:

  • IIM Sirmaur
  • IIM Nagpur
  • IIM Calcutta
  • IIM Amritsar
  • IIM Bangalore
  • IIM Bodh Gaya
  • IIM Kashipur
  • Rajiv Gandhi IIM Shillong
  • IIM Tiruchirappalli
  • IM Udaipur
  • IIM Raipur
  • IIM Kozhikode
  • IIM Ranchi
  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Indore
  • IIM Lucknow
  • IIM Sambalpur
  • IIM Visakhapatnam
  • IIM Rohtak

Other Top 10 B-schools that accept CAT score for admission are listed below:

  • Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
  • Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
  • National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
  • Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  • Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
  • Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi
  • SPJIMR, Mumbai

Applying for IIM after CAT result

  • When you are filling CAT 2018 Application form, candidate must make sure that he/she marks all the IIM colleges along with programs like PGDM, FABM and many others.
  • After result declaration IIM will send candidate an email inviting for the final round if he/she is eligible for the seat in that IIM and meets the shortlisting criteria. Applicants must regularly check their mails for updates.
  • However, candidates may be required to fill application form once again stating academic qualifications and other important details.
  • Finally, prepare for the interview round and go with confidence to nail it.

Incase candidate does not receive the interview call letter he/she must start looking for other top business schools for admission. They can search for the ongoing admissions and apply for the same while declaring their CAT score.

To know the list of best B-schools accepting CAT score, candidates can see the list given above.

If candidates still have doubts or queries related to CAT 2018, they can ask us in the comment section below. We will try to resolve all the queries.

CAT 2018 registration is expected to begin in August 2018 and the application forms will be made available on the CAT 2018 official website of IIM. Applicants seeking assistance can ask queries here.

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