Common Admission Test (CAT), is computer-based test held in India. Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) conducts CAT exam to shortlist the highly qualified candidates for the postgraduate management programme. CAT exam is conducted every year by one of the IIMs institutes in India as per the policy. On basis of CAT exam, IIMs and many other B schools in India, offer admission to MBA, PGDM and likewise programs. In the year 2017, CAT exam was conducted by IIM Lucknow and the conducting body for 2018 exam will be revealed soon. Convener for CAT 2018 exam will be announced by June or July.

What should I know about CAT exam?

Candidates can take CAT once in a year. It is basically, a knowledge or skills tested which access candidates on the basis of Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation (DI), Data Sufficiency, Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Analytical Reasoning.

CAT Facts: In August 2011, even Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) decided to be a part of the exam. Since then, the IITs started using CAT score for admission instead of joint management entrance test (JMET).

CAT Exam

CAT is one of the kind of competitive exam in the world. The qualifying rate is one of two hundred. In 2013 the acceptance rate of IIM was 1.714%, which is the lowest rate in the world. In the beginning, CAT exam was based on paper and pencil test on a particular date all over India.

Later on May 01, 2009 it was declared that the CAT exam will be based on Computer-Based Testing. The responsibility was given to the American Firm Prometric to conduct the CAT exam from 2009- 2013. The first computer-based exam was spoiled due to some technical issues. Later in 2014 TCS bagged a 5-year contract to organize the test. CAT 2015 and 2016 was conducted for duration 180 min, consisting of 100 marks question (34 from Quantitative Ability (QA),34 from Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), and 32 from Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR).

CAT Facts: In 2017, there were 20 students who secured 100 percentile in CAT.

Eligibility for CAT

Eligibility criteria for CAT exam change every year. The information provided in this section is based on CAT eligibility criteria 2018.

  1. Candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree along with 50% CGPA or more and for SC, ST, Person with Disabilities(PWD)/Differently Able (DA) classification) with no less than 45% or equal CGPA.
  2. The degree held by the candidate should be approved by any of the university or educational institute that is combined by the act of the central or other instructive organization built by an act of Parliament or by the UGC or recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
  3. Candidates appearing in the final year of bachelor degree or equivalent exam and also those who have completed their degree and waiting for the result can also apply for the CAT exam. If the candidate gets selected will be allowed to join the programme after submitting the certificate by June 30, 2018. Certificates should be attested from the principal or registrar from his/her college/institution.

CAT Exam Pattern

CAT exam pattern is unpredictable. However CAT syllabus is a constant. The information provided here is based on CAT exam 2017. Candidates will be awarded by 3 marks for correct answer and -1 for the wrong answer. CAT exam consists of 100 objective type question.There is two type of score involved raw score and a scaled score. There is 3 section in the test.

Subject Question Marks Durations(min)
 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning  32  96  60
 Quantitative Ability  34  102  60
 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension  34 102  60
 Total  100  300  180

Admission Process of IIM

Different programme of IIM follows the different process for admission. Admission to two year PGP fellow program in IIMs for Indian resident is based on CAT score whereas one year full-time PGP programme for experience students is based on GMAT. Doctoral programme test requirement also vary, some IIM required candidates to present board research idea or take Research Aptitude Test(RAT) followed by the interview and score from the test like CAT, GAT, GMAT, and GRE. The final round involves interview round, whereas some IIMs involves different rounds like written assessment test and group discussion.

Reservation Policy

IIMs also follow the reservation policy as per the law of Indian constitution. candidates can check their seat distribution.

  • as per the law, 15% of the seat is reserved for the SC student.
  • 7.5% of the seat is reserved for ST student.
  • 25% is reserved for the OBC student.

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)

India Institute of Management (IIMs) is India’s leading institute to provide the quality of education in management and research. First ever Indian Institute of Management established in India was IIM Calcutta on November 13, 1961, and proceeded by IIM Ahmedabad on the same year. Later in 1973, a New IIM was established in Banglore. Following are the list of Indian Institute of Management. There are total 20 IIMs in the state of India.

Name of IIM State Year of Establishing
IIM Ahmedabad Gujarat 1961
IIM Calcutta West Bengal 1961
IIM Bangalore Karnataka 1973
IIM Lucknow Uttar Pradesh 1984
IIM Indore Madhya Pradesh 1996
IIM Kozhikode Kerala 1996
IIM Shillong Meghalaya 2007
IIM Raipur Chhattisgarh 2010
IIM Ranchi Jharkhand 2010
IIM Rohtak Haryana 2010
IIM Kashipur Uttarakhand 2011
IIM Tiruchirappalli Tamil Nadu 2011
IIM Udaipur Rajasthan 2011
IIM Amritsar Punjab 2015
IIM Bodh Gaya Bihar 2015
IIM Nagpur Maharashtra 2015
IIM Sambalpur Odisha 2015
IIM Sirmaur Himachal Pradesh 2015
IIM Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh 2015
IIM Jammu Jammu and Kashmir 2016


The programmes offered by the IIMs are postgraduate, doctoral, and executive education. Few programmes offered by all IIMs are similar to each other, but some offer unique programmes for a specialized purpose.

Postgraduate education

Postgraduate is a two year full-time management programme offered by all IIMs and it is equivalent to Master of Bussiness Administration(MBA). IIMs provides Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) to deserving candidates. The PGP is integrated of management programme, the courses offered in PGP are:

  • Accounting,
  • Behavioural sciences,
  • Finance,
  • Economics,
  • Human Resource Management (HRM),
  • Management Sciences and Information Technology,
  • Marketing,
  • Business operations,
  • Business Mathematics,
  • Public Policy,
  • Statistics and Decision Analysis,
  • Strategy and General Management

PGP is structured into six trimesters in two years. Since 2006, few IIMs institutes started offering one year PGP program for professionals having approx 5 years of experiences or more. The one-year programme was necessary because the normal two-year program is primarily for fresh graduate or graduates with less than 4-5 years of professional experience. One year programmes are fully integrated management programmes with no specialization but in 2-year programmes, candidates can choose the courses of interest.

Doctoral Education

This programme is aimed at preparing students for making a career in teaching or research in different disciplines of management, and for the careers like research and analytical abilities which requires a high degree. A student having the doctoral degree is awarded the title of Fellow of that institute(e.g. Fellow of IIMs Calcutta). This fellow program is similar to the doctor of Philosophy degree. Students receiving the fellowship every year gets to works in a specific research area of their interest.

Executive education

These programmes targets at working professionals, as well as these programmes, are short-term and/or part-time programmes known with different names such as Management Development Programme (MDP), Advanced Masters Program in Management of Global Enterprises (AMPM), and Executive General Management Programme (EGMP). These programmes are not considered as equivalent to the MBA or EMBA. Many IIMs like IIMC, IIMB, IIMK, IIM Kashipur & IIM Rohtak have partnered with 3rd party companies to enable these courses to be provided in a distributed model.

Other programmes

There are few programmes offered by IIMs which focus on various segments.

  • Six-month full-time Armed Force Programme(AFM) is offered by IIMs Ahmedabad aimed at military personnel.
  • IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore offer full-time programmes called Post Graduate Programme in Public Management and Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy Management in Public Management programme(PGP-PMP).
  • Two years part-time programme is offered by IIM Bangalore called Post Graduate Programme in Software Enterprise Management(PGPSEM) and executive general management education programme designed for the specific needs of professionals working in the software and information technology industry.
  • 5-years Integrated program in Management (IPM) a combined undergraduate-cum-graduate diploma offered by IIM Indore.
  • The only institute to offer a full-time Post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management (PGDHRM) programme is IIM Ranchi.

Top IIMs and the Management Courses Offered

Below is the name of IIM institutes that provides PGP programme and fellow programme.

Post Graduate Programs

  • IIM Ahmedabad – PGP, PGP-FABM, ePGP
  • IIM Amritsar – PGP
  • IIM Bangalore – PGP, PGPEM, PGPPM
  • IIM Bodh Gaya – PGP
  • IIM Calcutta – PGP-PGDM
  • IIM Indore – PGP (Indore, Mumbai), EPGP, PGP-HRM
  • IIM Jammu – PGP
  • IIM Kashipur – PGP, EPGP
  • IIM Kozhikode – PGP
  • IIM Lucknow – PGP, PGP-ABM, PGP-SM
  • IIM Nagpur – PGP
  • IIM Raipur – PGP, PGPWE
  • IIM Ranchi – PGDM, PGDHRM
  • IIM Rohtak – PGP, EPGP, EPGPX
  • IIM Sambalpur – PGP
  • IIM Shillong – PGP, PGPEX
  • IIM Sirmaur – PGP
  • IIM Tiruchirappalli – PGP, PGPBM
  • IIM Udaipur – PGP
  • IIM Visakhapatnam – PGP

Fellow Programs (FPM)

  • IIM Ahmedabad: FPM
  • IIM Bangalore: FPM
  • IIM Calcutta: FPM
  • IIM Indore: FPM
  • IIM Kashipur: FPM & EFPM
  • IIM Kozhikode: FPM
  • IIM Lucknow: FPM
  • IIM Raipur: FPM & EFPM
  • IIM Ranchi: FPM
  • IIM Rohtak: FPM
  • IIM Shillong: FPM
  • IIM Tiruchirappalli: FPM
  • IIM Udaipur: FPM
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