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The conducting body, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) has released the official notification for CAT 2016 on the official website and in national dailies on Sunday, July 31, 2016. As per the notification, CAT application process will start from August 8 and will continue till September 22, 2016 (5pm). Dismissing speculations about the changes in the pattern, IIM-B will follow the same test pattern as that of last years, and will conduct the test on Sunday, December 4, 2016. The officials did throw a surprise in terms of CAT schedule. CAT will be conducted on the first Sunday of December instead of November; which has been a trend over the past few years since the mode of CAT turned computer based. This year, CAT 2016 is conducted by IIM Bangalore in partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). This is the third year for TCS as the CAT conducting agency. Prof. Rajendra K Bandi has been appointed as the CAT 2016 Convenor.
Last year the, after witnessing the worst-ever application numbers for CAT, IIM Ahmedabad was forced to extend the application deadline by 5 days. But this time, IIM-B, avoiding such situation, has already provided about a 50-day application window, starting from August 8 till September 22. There have been no changes in the application process.
As per the CAT eligibility criteria, candidates with a bachelor's degree with minimum 50% marks are eligible to apply fo the test. CAT eligibility criteria also state that the aspirants applying for this national level test belonging to SC/ST category should be graduates in any discipline from a recognised institute or university with a minimum 45% marks in the aggregate or equivalent CGPA. Check CAT 2016 official dates below.
Important Dates of CAT 2016 (Common Admission Test)
31 July, 2016
Starting date of Online Registration
August 8, 2016
Last date of Application Form
September 22, 2016 (till 5 pm)
Issue of Admit Card
October 18, 2016 (from 1 pm)
Release of CAT 2016 exam pattern tutorial
October 18, 2016
Entrance Exam Date
December 4, 2016
Releasing date of Result
Second week of January, 2017
CAT 2016 Exam Pattern:
This year CAT 2016 exam pattern has remained similar to that of last years. However, the only difference is that the total number under each section is not specified, as it was earlier. The overview of the exam pattern is given in the table below.
CAT Exam Pattern
Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)
Quantitative Ability (QA)
Number of Questions
Verbal & Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
3:00 hours (180 minutes)
1 hour (60 minutes) for each section
MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and Non-MCQs
On Screen basic calculator will provide
For Non-MCQs(Multiple Choice Questions),
+3 marks for ‘correct answer’
Negative marks (or No marks) for ‘wrong or no attempt’.
The scoring scheme for MCQs (multiple choice questions) is:
+3 marks for correct answer
-1 marks for incorrect answer
No marks given or deducted for unattempted questions.
Although the exact number of questions and marking scheme has not been revealed in the CAT 2016 exam pattern stated in the official website, it is expected that these would be on the similar lines as that of last year. The non-MCQs and basic on-screen calculator for computations also continue to exist in CAT 2016. Mr Ramnath Kankadandi, Course Director CAT (T.I.M.E) said, “The exam pattern is the same as that for CAT 2015. The sectional timing of 60 minutes, on-screen calculator, non-MCQs from CAT 2015 are all present this year too. However, the number of questions - overall and in the sections - has not been specified."
Test window and slots:
As per the trend, CAT has been conducted in November every year. However, this year IIM-B announced that the test will be conducted on Sunday, December 4, 2016, in two slots. This is for the first time that CAT will be conducting in December since the introduction of the computer-based exam in 2009. This brings more time for the aspirants to prepare for the test.
Preferring the single day window, Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher said that the single day testing helps minimise controversies around normalisation processes. He even expected that CAT 2016 will see a higher number of test centres and a single day and single slot testing window. Echoing the thoughts, Arks Srinivas said, “I would be extremely happy if by CAT 2016, they conduct the exam in just one slot. The heartburn of flawed normalisation techniques would be gone and students can then compete and get judged on the same platform!”
CAT 2016 Application Process
The application window will open on Monday, August 8, 2016, 10 AM onwards. Although there has not been any change in the application process, the application fee has increased from Rs. 1600 to Rs. 1700 for General and NC-OBC candidates and Rs. 850 from the erstwhile Rs. 800 for the reserved category candidates. The test will be conducted across 138 cities in India. The candidates have to select 4 cities in order of preference on the basis of which their exam centre and slot will be allotted to them.
CAT Application Trend:
After witnessing the worst-ever application numbers for CAT 2015, IIM Ahmedabad was forced to extend the application deadline by 5 days. According to the IIMA officials, the total number of registrations received till the original registration deadline was 1, 38,000, compared to the registered 1.90 lakh candidates in the year 2015.
However, the fear of MBA crisis was allayed when the CAT 2015 registrations number increased to a total of 2.18 lakh, after the second deadline. Out of the total registered students, 1, 49,408 applicants were male and 69176 were female, and the rest of 80 applicants were Trans Genders. While the total number of applications received was 2, 18,664 and the actual number of test takers was 1, 79,602.
But this year, according to the experts, the positive sentiments in markets and economy might be the key factors to an increased number in registrations in CAT 2016 as well. “MBA dream of aspirants are directly related to their perception towards an economy. Today, people are more optimistic and job scenario has also improved which reflects in placements at B-school campuses,” says Sandeep Manudhane, Chairman, PT Education.
CAT Application trend over the past 9 years
No. of Registration
No. of Test Takers
CAT Registration in numbers over the years:
CAT 2016 Preparation Strategy:
The most important question to be answered for CAT 2016 test takers is to whether or not change their preparation strategy on the basis of IIM Bangalore’s announcement. The CAT preparations and CAT announcement do not go hand-in-hand. Before you prepare according to the exam pattern, you need to make your concepts clear in the 4 areas, which remain constant every year. One of the CAT 2015 toppers, Kanav Gupta suggests that it is not at all required to change your preparations according to the test pattern. “You just have to make a few adjustments here and there after the changes in pattern are announced. Use the changes in the test as your advantage and stay positive,” says Kanav, who is currently an IIM Indore student.
IIM Seats and programmes:
The scores of CAT 2016 will be accepted by 20 IIMs offering around 3750 seats. Apart from the IIMs the other CAT participating institutes include around 100 B-schools in India conduct their admission through CAT scores. The IIMs and the government B-schools follow the reservation criteria of seats as per the Government of India regulations.
Although it now predicted that the total number of registrations would be more than 2 lacs and that the entry to IIMs would not be easier, the aspirants should now brace themselves for a tough competition.
The following table will bring to you the total number of seats and the ratio of seats available per 1000 candidates.
Total number of seats at IIMs over the years
Seats available per 1000 candidates
Total number of seats at IIM
Some of the programmes offered via Common Admission Test (CAT) 2016 scores in IIMs and various top B-schools are:
IIM Programmes for admission through CAT scores
PGPEM (Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management)
PGPBM (Post Graduate Programme in Business Management)
PGP (Post Graduate Programme)
PGPWE (Post Graduate Programme for Working Executive)
PGPPM (Post Graduate Progamme in Public Policy and Management)
EPGPM (Executive Post Graduate Programme)
PGPSM (Post Graduate Programme in Securities Markets)
PGDHRM (Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management)
PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management)
PGPEX (Post Graduate Programme for Executives)
PGP-Mumbai (Post Graduate Programme at Mumbai)
PGP-ABM (Post Graduate Programme in Agri Business Management)
PGP-UAE (Post Graduate Programme at UAE)
CAT Topper Interview
What if I don’t take coaching? Can I still crack CAT?
CAT 2016: When and how to start preparations
CAT 2016: Know if you are eligible or not
Must read books for CAT
Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates
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Dear Akshat, CAT is exclusively conducted by the IIMs. So the selection for admission to any of the 20 IIMs is through CAT exam. Unfortunately no other score except for CAT score is accepted for IIM Ahmedabad. You can check their selection process at:
Dear Sai, IIMs look for Diversity factor in Academics. They have a special rating scale for Professional courses like MBBS,BDS, CA, etc. We shall help you with the admission process of IIM Ahmedabad just as an example to show how does the selection process work. There are 3 sections in CAT: QA, DILR, VRC. IIM A has released its 2019 cut off percentiles. Only those Candidates who have scored this percentiles will be shortlisted for further rounds. The cut offs are as follows:
VRC DILR QA Overall
General 70 70 70 80
OBC-Transgender 65 65 65 75
SC 60 60 60 70
ST 50 50 50 60
PWD 60 60 60 70
PWD-ST 50 50 50 60
On an average IIMs need a cut off 90 percentile and more for admission to their colleges. You can check the complete selection process of IIM A at:
Now based on these cut offs top 5 percentile from each Category will be short listed for WAT and PI. So inorder to be able to score these cut offs, you need to know the exam pattern and marking scheme. CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.
NCERT books will sharpen your basics and you need strong basics for preparing for any entrance examination. Once your basics are in place, because the time period for preparation is quite less, your preparation should be extensive and thorough.
Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.
Because this section involves mathematics and takes most of your time, your focus should be on solving the problems efficiently in the beginning. Even if it takes time, practise upto perfection. Practise as many questions as you can in the conventional way. As and when you get a grip on the subject, you can go for short cuts. Memorise tables, square roots, cube roots, conversion from percent to fraction, etc. Solve sample papers on Mathematics. In the beginning, do not worry about the time it takes. As you practise, you will get the hang of the subject and it will be easier for you.
In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.
Read articles from time to time. Follow newspapers, magazines, and watch the news channels and browse the internet to keep yourself updated. You will need a lot of reading to help you in the comprehension section. You will need speed to help you in this section and you can achieve that only by thorough practise and reading. Take time to understand the question because most answers are interlinked.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.
As this is the most tricky section, this needs a lot of practise. Solve as many sample papers as possible to get the hang of the section. Make notes when required. Regular practise can help you understand and solve the questions easily as time goes on.
Overall,once you know the syllabus, it's easier from there on.Go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months
We can recommend a few books for you:
NCERT books to cover the basics from 6th to 10th Class
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Saxena
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum for CAT by Sarvesh Sharma
How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha
You can also download free downloadable e books at:
NIFT has nothing to do with CAT or GAT. Those are the exams for MBA. NIFT is for admission in fashion courses.
The eligibilitiy is just marks of your 10th and intermediate. The main point is the candidate must have qualified both from a recognised board and must be having PCM as the compulsory subject.
The exam has an age limit to be 23 and there is 5 years relaxation for category reserved candidates.
For more information please check the article:-
Hope it helps!
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