CAT Examination – Everything You Need To Know

CAT Exam Guide

Welcome back to the page of FreshersTimes. As you have arrived at this blog you must have been exploring the career opportunities after the bachelor degree and especially in management sector.

Today MBA has become a great opportunity for all the candidates who want to kick off their career in management/administrative sector. For this, if one want to get admission in a well-reputed college than one need to write some entrance examinations like JEMAT, CAT, XAT, IIFT, etc.

However, presently we are going to discuss only one of these entrance tests, which is the most sought after examination these days i.e. CAT (Common Admission Test). it is India’s one of the most competitive examination, besides, it has currently become the prime choice of most of the candidates.

In this blog, we have tried our foremost to eliminate all your doubts regarding the CAT examination. After reading this online journal you can start your preparation with boost. We have also shared some of the important books which will help you in scoring more in the examination. Keep reading till the end.

What is CAT Exam?

The expanded form of CAT exam is Common Admission Test which is conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) each year. It is a computer based examination which tests your mental abilities/aptitude. CAT examination is a mandatory step before taking admission in these prestigious colleges. As the career options after any of the MBA programs like IIMs are exceptional, there is a lot of competition in the CAT examination.

This test is conducted in any of the IIMs colleges each year in the month of July. However, the finest colleges like IIT and IISc has also decided to select their candidates according to the CAT score for their management programs.

Examination fee

Interested general and OBC candidates need to pay the application fee of Rs. 1700/- and Candidates belonging to SC/ST/PH are to pay Rs. 850/- to IIMs through online mode.


A candidate who wishes to take the test of CAT must hold sufficient educational qualification, some of them are as follow:

  • Candidates must have passed a bachelor degree with 50% or equivalent from a recognized university. (Reserved category has an exemption of 5%)
  • Candidates, who are in the final year or waiting for the result, can apply for the exam provided that they will fulfill the above criteria at the mentioned date of notification.

If you already acquire all the above eligibility criteria and intend to clear this examination, don’t waste another second and start preparing for the examination.

How To Prepare For The CAT Exam?


If you are set at cracking this exam, first of all, you need to know the pattern and syllabus for the same.

Although the number of questions comprised in each section is changed every year by the authority, however, the basic pattern remains same. The basic blueprint of the examination is:

Marking scheme

The examination comprises of 100 marks and each correct answer will award you +4 marks, however, there is a negative marking of -1 marks for each wrong answer.


Second of all, before starting your preparation you should know the correct syllabus of the exam so that you will be putting your effort on the right track. We recommend you to note it down at once and don’t waste your precious time in futile topics.

Data interpretation and logical reasoning

  • Number and Letter Series
  • Calendars
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Binary Logic
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Cubes
  • Clocks
  • Syllogism
  • Logical Matching
  • Logical Sequence
  • Logical Connectives
  • Blood Relations
  • Case lets
  • Tables
  • Bar Graphs
  • Column Graphs
  • Line Charts
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Pie Chart
  • The combination of two or more types linked to each other.

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Number Systems
  • LCM and HCF
  • Averages
  • Profit, Loss, and Discount
  • Percentages
  • Speed, Time and Distance
  • Time and Work
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Surds and Indices
  • Inequalities
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Linear Equations
  • Complex Numbers
  • Logarithm
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Sequences and Series
  • Probability
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Set Theory
  • Functions
  • Geometry
  • Mixtures and Alligations
  • Trigonometry
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Mensuration

Reading Comprehension and Verbal ability

  • English Usage or Grammar
  • Sentence Correction
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Vocabulary Based (Synonyms Antonyms)
  • Jumbled Paragraph
  • Close Passage
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Facts-Inferences-Judgments
  • Analogies or Reverse Analogies
  • Meaning-Usage Match
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Summary Questions

Plan of Action

For the best results, you can join any reputed CAT institute in your area, or if you consider your mental aptitude is already sound than we have recommended some books for scoring superb in the exam.

Practice papers:

You have to solve as many practice papers as you can, it will not only boost your confidence but also improve your speed. And don’t forget to limit your time during the test. A wide range of books is available in the market related to practice sets. Some of them are: Face to Face CAT common admission test, previous years topic wise and year wise solved papers, etc.

Quantitative aptitude:

This section needs a lot of practice and knowledge of short-tricks as well as the concept. Regular practice of previous papers will increase your accuracy along with pace. In some question familiarity of approximation methods helps a candidate to perform better. Some of the books we recommend are:

  • How to prepare for quantitative aptitude- Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by Guha Abhijit
  • Quantitative Aptitude- RS Aggarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude-Nishit Sinha

Data Interpretation and logical reasoning:

It is a test of decision making and speed. The most important part of the preparation is the practice. Do take a daily test with limited timing. If you do not bind your clock during the test, it will be fruitless. Start your preparation with a topic wise short test, and then go for a full test. Remember, the knowledge of approximation helps a lot while solving DI questions. During the exam, the key to crack this section is the knowledge of identifying the easier question first. Some books we recommend are;

  • How to prepare for data interpretation- Arun Sharma
  • How to prepare for logical reasoning- Arun Sharma
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-Nishit K. Sinha

Vocabulary and Grammar:

Primarily you have to develop a habit of reading. Regular reading of newspaper will not only enhance your comprehension section but also improve your vocabulary part. You will learn very many new words every day. The best part in the newspaper for a CAT candidate is the editorial section. You should consider choosing good newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express, etc. For grammar part, the basic knowledge of parts of speech rules is enough; you can also improve your vocabulary section by using the books mentioned below.

  • High school English grammar and composition-Wren and Martin
  • Word power made easy- Norman Lewis
  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary-Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis.
  • The student’s companion- O’Brein

Some other colleges which consider CAT score for their admission

Owing to the flawless and sound quality test conducted by IIMs, Apart from the Indian Institute of Managements colleges, many other reputed colleges in India opt CAT score for admission in their own colleges. Some of these are:

  • P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR)
  • Management Development Institute (Gurgaon)
  • Jamanlal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS)
  • International Management Institute (IMI)
  • National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE)
  • Faculty of Management Studies (FMS)
  • Institute of Management Technology (IMT)

For Complete list of these colleges Click here

However, there are some top level colleges in India which do not need CAT score for their admission, to read the complete list click here. Therefore, you need not worry that the CAT exam is mandatory for the MBA courses.

Admission Procedure of IIMs-Programs

The procedure for the admission of these courses includes three major steps apart from CAT.

  • Written Ability Test
  • Group Discussion
  • Personal Interview

Final Step

The last step of admission procedure include the document verification, including the educational eligibility certificates, the authority also verifies caste certificates and other documents like identity proofs, address proofs, etc.

Important links

IIMs CAT official website



We believe the above content will surely help you in preparing for the examination. If you have any quarries/suggestion/corrections/or any other information, type in at the comment box below.

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The team of FreshersTimes Wishes you Best of Luck


Disclaimer: the examination data/results/imprints distributed on this site is just for the prompt data to the examinees and does not to be a constitute to be an authoritative record. While endeavors have been made to make the data accessible on this site as credible as it could be. We are not in charge of any accidental mistake that may have published in the information we have distributed on this site. We regret any misfortune to anyone or anything created by any shortcoming, inaccuracy or mistake of the data on this site

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