CAT 2015 single-day testing to ‘enhance operational efficiency’, says CAT 2015 Convenor
Ashish Jha, 08 Jul 2015, #CAT
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Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay is Common Admission Test (CAT) Convenor for 2015.  Though a formal notification for CAT 2015 is expected by IIM Ahmedabad, the organizing institution for CAT 2015, in the last week of July only, Dr Bandyopadhyay is readying crucial changes in CAT exam scheme this year, including a 1-day test window to ‘enhance operational efficiency’ of the exam.

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In this interview with Careers360, the IIM-A professor shares his plans of turning the premier MBA entrance exam into a single-day test. Along this, he indicates to a likely change in the exam pattern of CAT, the gateway to prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and over 150 top B-schools in India. Dr Bandyopadhyay also shares his broad perspective towards current market equation and demand for good managers. He also speaks on expected pattern changes and ‘rationaliztion of weights assigned to different components of the test.”

Careers360: When is the CAT 2015 application process announcement expected?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay: The official CAT 2015 notification will be released on July 26th.

Careers360: How many IIMs will conduct admission through CAT 2015? What is the approximate number of seats with the IIMs through CAT 2015?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay: At present we have 13 IIMs and 6 more in the pipeline. It is expected that all the operational IIMs will conduct admission through CAT 2015.

Since there are quite a few new IIMs that have been set up in the recent past, it would be difficult to give any number in terms of the total seats that would be available to applicants in IIMs. For example, Nagpur is going to have 60 seats, which would be an addition to the number of seats as compared to 2014. 

Careers360: How will be the CAT exam pattern this year?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay:  Every year we review CAT and make certain changes- both operational and content. For CAT 2015, at an operational level, we are planning to have it on a single-day in two-sessions rather than on two-days in four sessions like last year.

Careers360: What is the thought process behind making it a single-day test?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay: This will help in enhancing operational efficiency and quality of the test content.

Careers360: So, will there be more exam centers this year?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay: Yes. In order to increase accessibility, the number of cities where CAT will be held is increased to 115 this year from last year's 99. We are also trying to accommodate the female candidates in centres near the city areas as far as possible so that the travel for them could be reduced.

Careers360: Are you also planning change in test pattern? If yes, why?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay: Regarding the content part, one of our concerns is, score in Quant dominates the percentile rank in CAT. As a consequence it brings in skewness to the selection process towards a particular set of candidates from a particular background. This year we intend to address it by making some changes in the test content and also by rationalizing weights assigned to different components of the test.

This we hope will create a level-playing field for all candidates, no matter what educational background they come from, and will remove skewness to a large extent that we referred to above. We believe such a move will help us identify candidates from varied backgrounds who will become future leaders in their chosen profession. Such a move will also help IIMs bring in greater diversity in the classrooms and will go a long way in enriching the learning experience.


Careers360: CAT is the most prestigious MBA entrance exam for top B-schools in India. Still, the number of applicants has been coming down. How big is this challenge for you this year?

Dr Tathagata Bandyopadhyay: Although in the past few years we have seen the number of applicants at a decline, there was a slight improvement last year. This year, we expect to improve further. Applications to CAT depend upon various macroeconomic factors. This year the economy seems to be on an upturn and with a good job market, we expect a rise in the number of applications.


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hi i am nc-obc female candidate .my 10 percentage is 96 and 12th percentage is 92 graduation 7.42 and cat percentile in range 80 to 83 .which iim call can i expect

KUNAL LANJEWAR 6th Dec, 2019

Hello Pooja,

Your academic career seems very good.  You have done good in CAT. 80 - 83 Percentile range shows that you can definitely expect IIM.

Talking about IIMs, as you might have researched about the last few years' cutoff, the cutoff for OBC of all IIMs range from 80 Percentile and above.

As per the rankings of IIMs, the top five IIMs are-

1. IIM Bangalore

2. IIM Ahmedabad

3. IIM Lucknow

4. IIM Calcutta

5. IIM Tiruchirappalli

You should definitely give priority for the above five IIMs and try to get admission there. Considering last few years' cutoff, you should definitely get admission in any of the IIMs.

Best wishes.


I want to know Ill appear for b design so I have to appear for both GAT and CAT or only CAT

Sharon Rose Student Expert 6th Dec, 2019

There are 2 sections in NIFT entrance 2020

  1. Creative Ability Test (CAT)
  2. General Ability Test (GAT)

Candidates who wish to get admission in B.Des must appear for both GAT and CAT. Candidates who seek admission in B.F.Tech you need to only appear for GAT. Those qualify the tests have to appear for situation test. So yes, if you want to get admission in B.Des then you need to appear for GAT and CAT. For information about syllabus, exam pattern etc you can refer our article by using the link below

I have got 84 marks in CAT 2019. Which are the best colleges i can apply for?

Yashu Shrivastava 6th Dec, 2019

Hello Rohit

There are many colleges where you can get admission if you got 80-85 percentile in CAT.

I am mentioning some best college where you can go with this score-

  • SP Jain Institute Of Research And Management,Mumbai
  • Xavier Institute Of Management And Entrepreneurship,Bangalore
  • Institute Of Financial And International Management,Bangalore
  • Institute Of Management Studies,Banaras Hindu University,Varanasi
  • Institute Of Financial Management And Research,Changambakkam

Here's the top 5 college where you can get admission if you varies between 80-85 percentile,also you can check more information about some other colleges here

Hope This Helps

Good Luck For Your Future!

1 View

I just appeared for the CAT 2020 and my projected percentile is around 88. I have CGPA 8.4 for 10th grade, 76.8 for 12th, and 6.78 CGPA for Graduation. I have 1 year of Work Experience as well. I would like to know if it is worth it to apply for XIMB. Usually the cutoff is around 90 percentile? 5th Dec, 2019

Hello there. Hope you are doing good. The cutoff for XIMB goes around 90 percentile every year. It could be high or low depending on the cutoff scores that varies every year. Since your score is near to 90 percentile and if you have a work experience that is worth considering for admission into MBA program. Then you can at least give it a try. You never know what will be the exact situation in the upcoming admission processes.

So, my suggest for you is to definitely give it a try.

I hope you found this answer helpful. Good luck for your future.

1 View

What is the cutoff for OBC in CAT & XAT for IRMA ? What is the good percentile to get converted in IRMA for OBC NCL? 5th Dec, 2019

Hello there. Hope you are doing good. I would like to tell you that the cutoff varies every year. There are several factors determining the cutoff such as:-

  • Number of candidates appearing in IRMASAT 2020 exam.
  • Level of difficulty of  IRMASAT exam.
  • Number of candidates passing IRMASAT 2020

However, based on previous years cutoffs, it is expected that the Cat and XAT cutoff for OBC NCL candidates will be somewhere around 70 percentile. For your reference, I am sharing a link with you which consists of all the necessary information of the exam along with the expected cutoff.

I hope you found this answer helpful. God luck for your future.

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