CAT 2016 Convenor Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi talks to Careers360 on different aspects of the national level MBA entrance exam. In this interview, Prof Bandi says that his endeavour is to “strengthen and retain the positive changes” in CAT paper implemented last year towards remaining fair to candidates from the different academic background.

As CAT 2016 Application continues till September 22, the CAT convenor cautions MBA aspirants to fill the application form cautiously as inaccuracy in the candidate’s information may lead to cancellation of their registrations also. In the interview, Prof. Bandi also talks on the measures taken to improve the test accessibility and test administration. He also advises CAT aspirants to equally focus on all test sections as he says that one can’t ‘compensate the weakness in one section with one’s strength in the other section, as the sections are timed’. Read more from this interview with CAT 2016 Convenor Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi.

Read full interview below:

Careers360: Unlike the previous year, you have kept the CAT pattern unchanged this year. What is your thought process behind the same?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: CAT aims to ensure that questions in the test do not give any specific advantage to candidates from any specific academic background or for a particular gender. Every question is carefully reviewed to ensure that it is academics and gender neutral. We want to strengthen and retain the positive changes made last year towards this.

Careers360: As the CAT Convenor, what are the aspects which you want to improve in the test administration?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: We are specifically working towards enhancing the accessibility of the test for PWD (Persons with Disability) category.

Careers360: What would be the total numbers of questions for CAT 2016?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: The number of questions varies and cannot be disclosed.


Careers360: Is the marking scheme going to remain same as last year?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: The marking scheme of CAT 2016 will remain the same as last year.


For questions other than MCQs, 3 marks are assigned for ‘correct answer’ and no marks for ‘incorrect answer or no attempt'.

The scoring scheme for Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) is as follows:

  • Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks.

  • An incorrect answer fetches -1.

  • No marks are given or deducted for unattempted questions

Careers360: What numbers are you expecting in terms of CAT registrations this year?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: We are not specifically working towards increasing the number of applicants. The credibility and utility of the test will influence the registrations for CAT. However, we would like to see an increase in the number of applicants from the non-engineering background and from female applicants as well. 


Careers360: The CAT 2016 advertisement in national dailies and on the website mentions CAT test centres as 135, whereas the press release reads total number of test cities as 138. What is the exact number of CAT test cities?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: The CAT 2016 advertisement said around 135 test centres. The details about test cities are available during the CAT application submission process, and the test centre details will be made available in the admit cards from October 18, 2016.


Careers360: After the test is conducted in 2 slots, what will be the CAT scoring normalization process used for equating the results?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: CAT 2016 will be conducted in two sessions. Two different test forms will be administered in two test sessions. In order to ensure fairness and equity in comparison of performances of the candidates across different test sessions, the scores of the candidates will be subjected to a process of Normalization. The CAT normalization process will adjust for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalization across different forms, the scores will be further normalized across different sections. The scaled scores obtained by this process will be converted into percentiles for purposes of shortlisting.

For reporting purposes, scaled scores for each section (Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Section III: Quantitative Ability (QA) and total along with the percentiles will be published.


Careers360: In 2015, CAT was changed to one-day two-slot test, and the same has been continued this year as well. Is conducting CAT in two slots a challenge? What are the measures you are taking to execute this smoothly?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: Over the years, we have systematically reduced the number of sessions of the test, and last year we conducted the test on a single day in two sessions.  We would ideally like to conduct the test in a single session, but for several operational reasons we have decided to continue with the option of two sessions on a single day.  We have added some new test cities to provide better accessibility to CAT applicants.  We have reviewed our faculty feedback from each of the CAT 2015 test venues. We also do a thorough inspection / audit of all the test centres before the Test, and ensure that any deficiencies in infrastructure are rectified before the test. 

Careers360: What cautions do you suggest for candidates while filling the application form for CAT 2016?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: Candidates should also pay attention to the details they enter while registering for CAT 2016, especially while entering the Aggregate Marks in the academics section.   Any inaccuracies in data, detected at any stage, will lead to the cancellation of the CAT 2016 application & scores.


Careers360: What is your message for the CAT 2016 aspirants?

Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: IIMs look for candidates with good competencies on all abilities. You need to do well in all three sections of CAT; you cannot compensate the weakness in one section with your strength in the other section, as the sections are timed. Remember that some questions in the test will not be of multiple choice-type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen. Also remember that, we will allow use of basic on-screen calculator for computation.


Also Read:

CAT 2016

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is droping a year after BBA for preparation of CAT is good option.

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 1st Apr, 2020

Hi Isha,

Don't take a complete drop instead work part-time/full time and prepare alongside for the Common Admissions test - CAT. Prepare step by step or get yourself enrolled for a weekends program with a good coaching institute depending on your preparation level. This will not only give you an edge over other freshers who will be applying but also will give you an idea on the stream/domain in which you want to pursue your MBA in.

For starters appear for a mock test or do a sample paper and access your preparation level as of now and then decide.

For more information on eligibility/entrance test/admission you can reach out to us.

Hope it helps,



hello everybody please help me i am from up obc category 1. should i get the benefits of state qouta in neet 2021 ?? 2. at least how many marks(rough idea ) i have to score to get government medical college mbbs in up ??

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 1st Apr, 2020

In 2019, under State Quota, 573 marks secured a seat in Bahraich Medical College under OBC Category. That was the cut off. This is in sharp contrast to 429 marks being the cut off in 2018. This is a proof that cut offs change every year. Cut offs change every year depending on various factors such as no.of Candidates appearing for the exam, no.of Candidates qualified, top NEET score and difficulty of the exam. So to be able to secure a seat in any GMC in UP, you need to score atleast 600 and above. Regarding reaping benefits of OBC benefits, if you have all the proof of documents in place, you are eligible for 27% of reservation by the virtue of belonging to OBC Category. To help you with your NEET preparation, we have NEET Knockout packages that you can check at: To help you during admission and counselling, we have


Is it possible for me to get into anyone of the IIMs if I have completed my bachelors degree from a tier 3 college with 85% & have 76% in 10th, 53% in 12th & no work experience?

Manisha Gupta Expert 31st Mar, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

You have an average Academic record so you need to target a little higher percentile than the closing cut-off.

After CAT result, Every Institute including IIM prepares a merit list to call students for next round of interview and WSAT which is based on your aggregate score which comprises of many factors such as CAT marks,
10th 12th and graduation percentage, work experience etc. with different weightages for different IIMs.

If you are targeting to get top IIMs like IIM A, B, C then try to score more than 99 percentile and for new IIMs try to score 95 percentile in CAT Entrance Exam. Other than IIMs, To get into top private colleges like FMS, JBIMS Mumbai, S.P Jain etc. You should have more than 96-98 percentile other than this for other private colleges you can get with 90+ percentile in CAT Entrance Exam.

Good Luck!


what is the Expected cutoff for neet 2020 for cat 3A and also what is the fees

Apoorva Student Expert 31st Mar, 2020

Hello dear student,

This is not how it works . As you need to put a give us the whole information / description of the question for which you want the information. Please tell us the state of domicile because every state the cutoff is very different. So please provide all the necessary details so that we can provide you with the expected cut off .

Thank you


Does anyone has enrolled to Takshzila online lectures for CAT 2020 please mention name.

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 31st Mar, 2020
Hello aspirant,
Takshzila online classes is one of the best options to prepare for CAT exams online. The faculties are really good at the subject knowledge and provides a clear concept clarity. There are various packages offered by the Institute which you can purchase from the following link:-

The level of teaching provided by the faculty is good enough for a serious aspire to crack CAT. For demo lectures you can visit their youtube channel and free resources available on their website.

Good Luck
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