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.


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Showing 8327 out of 8327 Questions

10th -70% 12th -56% (Science) bcom - 80% (SC candidate), if I get 100 percentile in CAT, would have I got call from IIM A or C ??

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020

Hii Biton,

Yes, there is a possibility for you as you belong to the SC category. But still there are  alot of factors taken into consideration while accessing your profile for giving a call for interviews bu top Business schools of India. You have a good chance provided you work on your communication skills and other skills. Also try doing internships and building your profile as these things will affect and may decide if you will be getting a call or not.

Hope it helps,



How to start preparing for CAT 2020 from basics? Which are the books to refer from? Will self study be enough? I need an answer that can clear all my doubts and motivate me to start my preparation. Each answer will be appreciated, thanks.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020
Almost all books available in the market are very similar in the nature of their content of study material but the important thing is what you make of it.

Here I can give you the list of books for each section that can help you accelerate your preparation to ace the tests.

CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.

Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.

There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.

if i obtain 80 marks in quantitative aptitude 80 marks in data interpection and 80 marks in verbal reasoning what is my total percentile of cat because my 10th and 12 marks is low ?

Ankit Dahiya Student Expert 6th Apr, 2020
Your CAT percentile has nothing to do with class X and XII marks.
The percentile indicates your performance relative to the other candidates. For example if you get 80 percentile it means your score is more than 80% of the appearing students.
The percentipe is calculated as:
P=(R/N) 100
where R=Rank of student and N=Number of students who appeared.

Follow this link for more information

Good luck

I have 96% in 10th 94 %in 12th and 7 3 cgpa in btech and around 18 months of work much do I need to score in CAT 2020 to get a call from IIMA/B /C or FMS ?

Prakarsh Kaushik 5th Apr, 2020


For getting in top B-schools of India like IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, FMS Delhi etc. you need good marks not only in in CAT but also in Class 10th, 12th and your graduation. If you have some work experience then it gives you more advantages.

There is no specific cutoff of percentile on which you can get into top IIMs. Since your marks in 10th, 12th is above 90% and in graduation above 7 CGPA with work experience, you can expect a call from IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C if you have at least 99 percentile in CAT .

For FMS also you should aim for 99+ percentile in CAT and also keep in mind that if you score 95+ percentile in VARC Section it will increase your chances of getting in.

Click at this link to know more about CAT -

Hope this was helpful


which is the best book for cat self study to crack cat examination

KUNAL LANJEWAR 5th Apr, 2020


Given below are the best books to refer for preparing for CAT examination:

1. For Quantitative Aptitude:

  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT 2019 by Sarvesh K Sharma

2. For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation :

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit K Sinha

3. For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension :

  • Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis
  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

Best Wishes.

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