Release CAT Answer Key and Question Paper for more transparency, demand non-IIMs
Updated on Nov 7, 2016 - 5:44 p.m. IST by Team Careers360
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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 7966 out of 7966 Questions

Hi, can you suggest me the best colleges at 84.58 percentile in CAT. Im a female, non engineer, general category aspirant. My score in 10th/12th/Grad : 8.2 CGPA/89%/7.2 CGPA

Sampriti Student Expert 22nd Jan, 2020
You have a pretty decent CAT percentile and hence you should check out these colleges.
  • LBSIM Delhi
  • LIBA Chennai
  • BIM Trichy
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • XISS Ranchi
  • XIME Bangalore
  • KMT Nagpur and Hyderabad campuses

They are very good colleges with good placements and great ROI.You can easily get an average compensation package of 7-8 lakhs.

Good Luck

when can we give CAT exams?? when should we start preparations for CAT exams??

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020
Arpita, CAT exam is usually held every year tentatively in the month of November and the results are announced in the month of January. With all the 20 IIMs conducting their admissions based on CAT score, no time is early for CAT preparation. Unless you score 95 percentile and above, it is difficult for admission in IIMs. 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.

which mba colleges are best suited for 84 percentile in cat 2019?

Sampriti Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020
You have a pretty good CAT percentile and you can easily get a call from some of the best B schools in the country like
  • LIBA Chennai
  • BIM Trichy
  • XISS Ranchi
  • XIME Bangalore
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • IMT Nagpur and Hyderabad campuses
  • ICFAI Business School Hyderabad and other campuses
  • IFMR Chennai and other colleges

All these colleges are equally good in terms of industry reputation and placements. But if you're interested in marketing or finance you should go for BIMTECH, ICFAI and IMT campuses and BIM. They are the best in this list. But if you're planning to study Human Resource then XISS and LIBA would be the best option. All the colleges provide good ROI and you can easily get an average compensation package of 7-8 lakhs from these colleges.

Good Luck

sir my jee main percentile in jan exam is 85.4059364. can I get admission in NIT. I m in Gen cat

Sunil Kumar singh 21st Jan, 2020

Hi dear,

You have got 85.4059364 percentile in JEE main that means your rank should be 126875. This rank can increase in number of student in april month will increase. You can also calculate your rank as

Rank=(100-your percentile)×869010÷100

With this rank you have very low chance to get any NITs as you belong from general category. You can predict your college here

Hope it helps


Which is the best academy to take cat coaching in India, both online and offline...

Sampriti Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020
You can join either TIME or Carrer Launcher. Both of them are equally good in terms of faculty and study materials. IMS is also pretty good and comes right after these two. All of them have good success rate. All of them usually charge above 40000 as the course fee.

But if you don't want to invest such a huge amount of money you can study from various books available in market like Arun Sharma and Sarvesh Verma for quantitative aptitude and magazines like The Economist and TIME and TOI newspaper for the English portion. Along with that do buy the mock test series from the above Institutes which will give you a good knowledge of all the kinds of questions generally asked in CAT,XAT or other exams.

All the very best
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