As Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) maintain a measured silence over CAT answer key and question paper release, top B-schools accepting CAT scores for MBA admission process have demanded a more transparency in the testing system. Careers360 spoke to top non-IIMs to understand their concerns related to the most prestigious MBA admission test.

Though, B-School directors say CAT requires transparency at multiple levels, they believe that release of question paper and answer key remain of utmost importance. According to them, such steps will only generate a greater level of trust in the coveted MBA exam, which is the gateway for IIMs and many other top B-schools in India.

CAT should not be a secretDr Ashok D

VIT Business School Dean Dr D Ashok says that IIMs should not maintain secrecy on the questions it asks to candidates. He firmly suggests that “IIMs should release all 3 documents namely,
 question paper, answer key and answer sheet. Then the major issues related to lack of transparency can be addressed.” He adds that such documents also help aspirants who prepare for next year test.


Dr Harivansh Chaturvedi who is the Director of Birla Institute of Management Technology also says that releasing question paper and the answer keys would help IIMs in “enhancing the credibility of the exam system”.


Dr M P GuptaCan’t IIMs do it like XAT, AIPMT, UPSC!

B-School directors also refuse to accept IIMs’ claim that releasing answer key and question paper will make the testing and evaluation process complex. They question intention of IIMs on this asking why IIMs can’t do it for CAT Exam when XLRI does it for a similar exam called XAT. Prof M P Gupta, HoD, DMS-IIT Delhi says, “XAT conducting B-School, XLRI, releases the answer keys just after the exam. Thus, even before the results are out, candidates already know their expected marks and as a result, they are less anxious on the result day. These are some aspects which make XAT a highly credible entrance exam and IIMs should try to incorporate these into CAT as well in order to bring a higher level of transparency.” Prof P K Biswas

B-School directors also cite examples of other public competitive examinations where releasing question paper and answer key has
 become a norm for exam authorities. As Prof P K Biswas, Director, Institute for Financial Management and Research – IFMR, says, “I feel we should have more transparency regarding CAT exam. There should be no issue in publishing CAT questions and answer keys. In UPSC exam, for civil services most of the questions are available. So, why can’t we publish CAT questions?”


Dr Atish ChattopadhyayIMT Ghaziabad Director, Dr Atish Chattopadhyay says that IIMs should have started releasing the question paper and answer keys long back as it is happening with majority exams. “It is
 surprising that it has not happened till date. Take the example of pre-medical examination AIPMT. They received more than 6 lakh applications and every student can do an OMR check, know what the right answers are, and challenge each of the answers. Then, the answer keys are frozen before the announcement of results. So it is nothing new in India. Even in the AIIMS exam the same thing happens which is similar in scale to that of IIMs.” He adds that if IIMs still resist from releasing the question paper and answer keys then people will more often doubt their testing process.


The IMT director, who was the then Dean of MICA in 2016, had changed the testing processes to publish raw scores of MICA test for candidates. “There was so much of hoopla regarding this when I was at MICA. We changed the selection process. We made everything very-very transparent. Transparency today is not an option!” he says.


Why do IIMs hide normalisation formula?Prof Sanjiv Bansal

One of the key concerns among CAT aspirants is the lack of transparency which happens in the form of normalisation, a complex algorithmic process that raises various doubts and questions among the test-takers. B-schools say that IIMs should try and again take cues from another major B-School entrance exam, XAT, which is conducted in a highly transparent manner and leaves not an iota of doubt among the aspirants.  Prof Sanjeev Bansal, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Amity University says that the formula or computation method of CAT score normalisation should be mentioned clearly in the CAT website to bring more transparency in the system.


Dr Rishikesh KrishnanSome B-schools say that IIMs can scrap the normalisation process by conducting CAT in single slot. Prof M P Gupta of DMS-IIT Delhi says, “XAT takes place in one time slot all over India and
 this eliminates the need for any normalization of marks that happens among different slots.” 

Despite being part of the CAT testing system, the IIM directors that Careers360 spoke to, evaded a direct reply on whether question paper and answer key should be released, saying that such questions should be best directed to the IIM committee that works on CAT.


IIM Indore Director Dr Hrishikesh T Krishnan, who spoke on this issue, said that CAT is already held in a transparent manner. He, however, added that “improvement is a process and suggestions that can make the process better can always be considered.”

Also Read

IIMs! Don’t use testing partner as shield to evade CAT answer sheet release
SC order strict on release of answer sheet; IIMs remain non-committal on CAT

IIMs must release CAT Question Paper and Keys for transparency, says CAT expert Arks Srinivas

CAT Troubles: Will IIMs address these problem areas bothering CAT takers every year?


Stay tuned to for more news and updates on CAT 2016.



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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8300 out of 8300 Questions

I have 76% in 10th, 88% in 12th and 80% in graduation. Addition to that i have a 2 years work experience. How MUCH percentile do i need to score in cat to get a call from IIM ABC ?

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 30th Mar, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

As per the details provided, you have decent academic record and its really good that you have 2 years of work experience. It'll give you an edge in selection process. Also, if you belong to general category, then to get a call from IIM A,B,C you should focus on getting a minimum of 98 percentile in cat.

All the best


Hlo....mam or sir! Im Rajlaxmi frm Odisha.. How to preparation for CAT ... during bba 2nd yr... how to crack CATexam ..

Prateek Sinha 30th Mar, 2020

Prepare for the syllabus according to the weight age of each section.  Give mock tests and improve upon your timing skills. if you join a coaching class it would be good as you will get a clearer idea.


why these exams are conducting

Aniket Sharma 29th Mar, 2020

hi lramprasad,

CAT is commencing on 25th November in 2020. So it does not need to get postponed/cancel due to corona virus. The situation should get better till November. So, we can't argue why CAT is conducting.

Please elaborate your query and provide more details so that we can help you better!!



Can i apply for MBA at JK Lakhmipat University if i have not given CAT?

Megha 29th Mar, 2020

Hello Abhishek !

Yes ,you can apply at JK Lakhmipat University if you have not given CAT , because as per their eligibility criteria for getting admission their the candidates must have appeared in CAT/MAT/ATMA/XAT/CMAT or any other national level entrance test.

In case the candidate has not appeared for any of the mentioned tests, they will have to appear in the JKLU Management Entrance Test (MET) to qualify for the programme.

So, you can apply there by appearing in their Entrance test.

Hope it helps !


What is the CAT exam pattern ?

Aashima Puri 29th Mar, 2020

Hello aspirant, hope you are doing well!

CAT ( Common admission test) is a very reputed entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admissions into various colleges for MBA. The duration of the exam is 3 hours for all the categories and 4 hours for the PwD category. The sectional duration for each section is 60 minutes each whereas it is 80 minutes for the candidates of the PwD category.

The total number of questions asked in the entrance exam are 100. It is a computer based examination.

Candidates lose 1 mark for each incorrect answer and gain 3 marks for every correct answer. No marks are deducted for the questions which the candidate didn't attempt.

The examination consists of 3 sections namely - Quantitative ability , Data interpretation & logical reasoning and Verbal ability and reading comprehension. These sections consists of 34,32 and 34 questions each respectively.

The candidates are not allowed to switch between the sections. He/she can move to the next section only after attempting the previous section which he/she was completing. Though, the candidates are allowed to switch between questions within the same section.

These were some of the main points to be kept in mind for the CAT exam.

Further you can go through this link to know everything about CAT exam.

Hope it helps! All the very best for your future endeavours!

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