Increase in applicants indicates higher chance of getting more suitable candidates, says Prof. Sumanta Basu, CAT 2018 Convenor
Sreetama Datta, 06 Sep 2018, #
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CAT 2018 Convenor Interview - The application process for CAT 2018 has begun on August 8 and will end on September 19. While candidates are busy preparing for the exam, the CAT 2018 Convenor, Prof. Sumanta Basu, who is also the admission chairperson of IIM Calcutta, is preparing to administer the biggest MBA entrance exam of India in a glitch free manner. In an exclusive interview with Careers360, Prof. Sumanta Basu speaks about the exam pattern and how candidates should prepare themselves for CAT.

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According to Prof. Basu, the CAT exam pattern has reached a stable stage. While IIMs strive to bring diversity in classrooms, there is no compromise on the quality. “We expect academic diversity to play a significant role in improving the management education. That does not mean that the difficulty level will reduce,” says Prof. Basu. Read the full interview below.

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Excerpts from the interview: 

Careers360: Unlike the previous year, you have kept the CAT 2018 pattern unchanged this year. What is your thought process behind the same?

Prof. Basu: As I have already mentioned, the broad pattern will remain unchanged as the relevant team will attempt to address the concerns through the question making process itself.

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Careers360: Since the exam pattern has remained same, will the difficulty level go up this year?

Prof. Basu: Difficulty level has a subjective interpretation based on candidate's competency set, preparedness etc. The concerned team will attempt to check the relevant skillset of a candidate that are relevant to managerial aptitude, analytical acumen etc.

 

Careers360: Last year, experts and students shared the view that the difficulty level of CAT was easier, making it more conducive for candidates from non-engineering background. As a result, three candidates belonging to non-engineering education background secured 100 percentile. What is your take on this?

Prof. Basu: We expect academic diversity to play a significant role in improving the management education. That does not mean that the difficulty level will reduce. It expands the role of entrance examination to reach to a broader set of candidates without compromising the quality.

 

Careers360: What cautions do you suggest for candidates while filling the application form for CAT 2018?

Prof. Basu: Candidates may fill the application form in multiple attempts within the timeline mentioned.

 

Careers360: Over the last two years, CAT application numbers have increased much compared to the previous years. Do you think CAT 2018 applications will outnumber last year’s applicants?

Prof. Basu: We hope that happens. It indicates that the examination is able to reach to more number of candidates and it increases the chance of getting more suitable candidates. It is happening because of the continued attempt of obtaining geographical expansion (in terms of more number of cities) and of reaching to more prospective candidates through multiple relevant websites like Careers360.

 

Careers360: The application process of CAT 2018 had started on August 8, 2018, how has been the response so far? What is the total number of registration vis a vis application received so far?

Prof. Basu:  The total number including the of registrations and applications crossed one lakh and we expect an upsurge in the latter half of the deadline. 

 

Careers360: The application process was stalled from August 26 to 27. What was the reason for this, and do you plan to extend the application deadline owing to this?

Prof. Basu: This happened because of some internal process improvement. As of now, there is no change in the deadline but we will see the situation once the deadline is approaching and accordingly deliberate on these issues. The convenience of the candidates during the registration process is of importance to us.  

 

Careers360: Would the candidates get an option to correct the application form information? If yes, what is the schedule for the same?

Prof. Basu: Candidates may get an opportunity to upload photos of better quality in case the currently uploaded photo is not of acceptable quality. Otherwise, candidate may not be able to get an edit window option considering that a candidate is given the choice to complete the application form in multiple attempts with a preview option before submission. 

 

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

Prof. Basu: We seek fair, transparent and secure examination in CAT. We also look for increasing the convenience of the candidates in the test day by assisting them in whatever way possible.

 

Careers360: In a first, the CAT 2017 Question Papers and Answer Keys were released by IIM Lucknow last year. Do you plan to release the documents this year?

Prof. Basu: The concerned authority is working on this issue. This information will be updated once decided.

 

Careers360: What is your message for the CAT 2018 aspirants?

Prof. Basu: In order to succeed in a test like CAT, strong basics is a must. Hence, focusing on fundamentals will help students preparing for CAT 2018.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7193 out of 7194 Questions
31 Views

how to prepare for cat in 1 month

Anupam Kumar Student Expert 17th Oct, 2019

Hey there

Honestly there is a difference between just finishing the syllabus and preparing for selection in cat. See you can finish the syllabus if you'll work really hard in one month but trust me only unless you are extraordinary you won't be able to get selected for iims or other good colleges. But don't loose hope you should fight till last.

Check about cat

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://bschool.careers360.com/exams/cat&ved=2ahUKEwjm2eS65aPlAhXl8HMBHZS9ChAQFjAAegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw0WGtiQe_DqSNQSEEbxSdmI good luck

8 Views

I want to know where can I get mock tests for cat exam online?

Vishwaksen Gouda Student Expert 17th Oct, 2019

Hello sanket mane,

The CAT examination mock test can be found at many platforms but more comfortly and easily you can have free access on career360 platform here is the link where you can get CAT examination mock test

https://learn.careers360.com/test-series-cl-cat-2019/?utm_source=google-search&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign=cat-mock-test

All the best

10 Views

i m going to start my preparation for cat 2021. i dont want to join an institution for this so tell me how can i prepar for it to crack the cat.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Oct, 2019
CAT is an online examination of 3 hours duration.The questions in the exam will be of MCQ and TITA type totaling 100 questions. MCQ are multiple choice questions, for which candidates get multiple answer choices. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark. However Type in the Answer questions are exempted from Negative Marking.

CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability
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.

First things first, know the syllabus. And 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 because even Rome wasnt built in a day.


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.

Preparation tips:

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.

Preparation tips:

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.

Preparation tips:

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:
https://bschool.careers360.com/download/cat-ebooks

7 Views

i am to going start my preparation for cat 2021 , can you please tell me a better institution for coaching in delhi?

Anupam Kumar Student Expert 17th Oct, 2019

Hey there

for CAT preparation there are a lots of institutes in delhi but out of them only a few is worth joining. TIME and career launcher are undoubtedly good brands and give extraordinary results but alchemist and MBA Guru are also good as they pay more individual attention than the big brands.

Good luck

1 View

I am a SC category student. My Academic record is 83.60% (10th), 68.46% (12th) and 2.41/4.00 (Graduation). What should be my CAT score to get a call from FMS Delhi ?

Rehan Alam Student Expert 17th Oct, 2019

Dear Aspirant,

FMS or the red building of dream as they say is one of the most sought after management schools in our country. To get a call from such an institution with so much of competition is not an easy task. Even with the SC reservation you have to score a minimum of 98 percentile to get a call from FMS due to limited number of seats and such a high competition.

Hope this helps Thank you.

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