About CAT 2021
CAT or Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national level entrance test, conducted once every year by one of the 20 IIMs on a rolling basis to provide admission for the MBA/PGDM course offered by 20 IIMs and more than 1,200 B-schools in India.
Over the years, the prestigious Common Admission Test (CAT) has been the gateway to several IIMs and business schools across India. Every business school aspirant dream of one day cracking this national level exam and getting into their dream IIM/business school. Being the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 has proven to be a struggle for many aspirants. Still, their preparation and efforts for this examination persist despite the hurdles, such as the prevailing pandemic.
Getting into one of the 20 IIMs or one of the 1200 business schools in India does not come easy with this examination. College students, working professionals, and even people looking to start a new venture work day and night in order to get through this high ranking exam and one day follow their passion.
Previous Year Statistics
Approximately two lakh aspirants appear for the CAT examination annually. This year the official website of CAT 2021 posted all the information regarding the application procedure and examination methods online on July 29th, and about 2.3 Lakh applications were received. The applications' count was lesser than the applications received in 2019, which was 2.4 lakh applications.
CAT Exam 2021: Key Element
CAT 2021 Important Dates
Important dates of CAT 2021 of the exam such as application form, admit card, exam, and result are listed below. Candidates must go through the dates related to the CAT exam by mentioned below table:
CAT 2021 Registration
CAT Exam 2021 registration process commences on August 4, 2021, till September 15, 2021. Candidates who want to participate in the exam have to apply for the exam by filling the application form through the official website of the CAT. It is an online process that involves the following steps:
Step 1: Registration
- Visit the official website of CAT – Click Here
- Generate login ID using email ID and phone number
- Verify your email id
Step 2: Application Form
- Re-login using unique CAT ID
- Fill in all the required details
- Upload scanned photograph and signature (Check the Dimension)
Step 3: Make Payment
- Pay the CAT 2021 exam Fee
Step 4: Submit
- Submit your application form
Slots and city allotment of conducting the CAT examination
After the application process completes, the applicants receive their required hall tickets and wait for the day they have been preparing for so hard. As discussed earlier, the CAT 2021 will get conducted by IIM Indore. It will be in CBT mode in 156 cities across India. It is scheduled to be conducted in three slots- morning, afternoon, and evening on November 28th, 2021. It is one of the changes brought in this year as there are now three sessions instead of the usual two sessions.
Points to Remember
Once the application gets completed, the applicants will wait for the day they have been preparing for so long and go through the final tips and tricks of writing the CAT examination. Applicants can utilize the last few months to revise their strong topics, solve previous year CAT papers with a self-timer, increase their speed of solving questions, and give mock exams.
CAT Eligibility Criteria v
To apply for the CAT exam, there is a set eligibility criterion that has to be met by the applicant.
- The applicant must possess a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized university or institute he or she must be on the verge of completing the final year of bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification.
- The candidate must have attained a minimum aggregate of 50% or CGPA equivalent.
- The candidate should have a professional degree in ICWA/CA/CS along with the minimum required percentage.
CAT Exam Pattern 2021
CAT is revered as a high-difficulty exam that consists of 3 parts, i.e., Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). These subjects get distributed among 100 MCQ (with four answer choices) and non-MCQ type questions, which are to be solved and answered in 2 hours, unlike the usual 3 hours. There will also be a sectional time limit of 40 minutes. It has a negative marking scheme, which ends up being quite heavy on several applicants.
Examination Pattern, Time Scheme, and Marking Scheme
- CAT exam 2021 entrance will going to be computer-based mode.
- The paper consists of MCQ and Non-MCQ questions.
- Total of 100 questions.
- The question paper is supposed to be of 300 marks.
- For each correct response, the applicant will get awarded 3 marks.
- For each incorrect answer, there shall be a deduction of (-1) 1/3 mark.
- There is no negative marking scheme for any of the subjective questions.
CAT Syllabus 2021
CAT is the foremost entrance exam conducted by every year by one of the 20 IIMs on a rolling basis for providing admission in different MBA/PGDM courses offered by 20 IIMs and more than 1,200 B-schools in India. The CAT exam consists of 3 sections, i.e., Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude. Tabulated below is the important topics covered by different sections in the syllabus of the CAT exam 2021:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
Rules and Regulations of CAT 2021
- Candidates have been informed not to bring in any items that could lead to malpractice, such as watches, mobile phones, bags, electronic gadgets, wallets, or stationery items.
- Candidates should also refrain from wearing or carrying any jewelry, shoes, and jackets.
- There will be arrangements made for the candidates to leave their belongings before entering the examination rooms.
- The candidate is supposed to arrive before the gates close and bring his CAT 2021 Admit Card and an acceptable government ID proof to enter the exam hall. Ensure that the candidate's photo and signature are printed clearly. Otherwise, the admit card will not be considered valid if the candidate's photograph or signature is not visible clearly.
- An invigilator will assist the candidate once he/she has entered the examination room. Examination authorities provide the candidate with the required stationery for solving the examination problems. Return the given stationary to the hall invigilator after the completion of the exam.
- It goes without saying, the students expect to be as cooperative as possible with the staff during frisking and other applicants inside the examination hall.
Changes in the CAT 2021 as compared to previous years
- Previously, the examination was 180 minutes in total, with a sectional limit of 60 minutes. But, this has now been revised to 120 minutes with a sectional limit of 40 minutes.
- This year also, there will be three sessions, as mentioned above. Previously there were three sessions, but this has now changed due to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Previously, applicants could have chosen four preferences for the cities they would like their examination center to be in. The preference list has been extended to six cities where the candidate would prefer to write the examination.
- The general category's application fees were changed from 1900 INR to 2000 INR for General category students and from 950 INR to 1000 INR for SC/ST/PWD candidates.
CAT Exam Centers 2021
CAT Exam 2021 is going to be held at 120 Exam Centres in 28 cities in India. Tabulated below is the list of exam centers.
Cut-off Percentiles for the Top IIMs in India through CAT in 2019
Cut-off percentiles for General Category, as usual, is highest and is lower for the minority categories such as SC/ST/PWD. Cut-off percentiles and sectional cut-offs for the examination in 2019 can be seen below:
Preparation for CAT 2021
Experts say that one requires a minimum prep of 6 to 12-months for anyone who wants to secure a 99+ percentile in the CAT exam. However, it also depends on their ability and skills. Applicants should aim to complete the entire core syllabus by August and avoid stretching it ahead as the exam is at the end of November. Applicants will certainly need time to revise their subjects and work on other aspects required for the exam, such as speed-building and accuracy building.
Mistakes to avoid
Along with working towards their strategy for the exam, applicants should also watch out for simple mistakes that could cost them heavily. From carrying the right documents, reaching the examination center on time, to avoiding calculation errors, all these are small things every applicant should keep in mind.
Considering the time limitation in mind, it is advisable that the applicant not spend more than a minute on each question and not rush through the questions as it could cause panic.
Skipping questions that require more time is smarter than playing a guessing game as the examination does have a negative marking scheme.
Advantages of Attempting CAT in the Final Year of Undergraduate
There are several advantages of trying the CAT exam in the last year of your undergraduate degree. Since students don't have a 9 to 5 job, they can utilize their free time to work towards the exam and not lose any income.
A graduate will have to take time aside as a gap year to prepare for the examination, whereas a student doesn't need to do so.
Another key benefit that students get is that they can gain work experience of up to 2-years after being admitted to a particular IIM, as IIMs permit these students to deter their admission before pursuing their PGP course. Approximately 10 percent of seats are kept aside for those students who wish to work before starting their masters.
FAQ Concerning CAT 2021
Q1. Can edits be made on the CAT 2021 application form once the payment is complete?
A1. No changes apart from the modification in photo and signature are allowed on the application form once the application fee is paid.
Q2. Is there an age criterion for CAT 2021?
A2. There is no age bar for writing this particular exam.
Q3. What is the fee structure for CAT 2021?
A3. For General Category applicants should pay Rs.2000 and SC/ST/PWD Category applicants should pay Rs.1000.
Q4. Can I use an alternate email ID, say of a friend, to register for the examination?
A4. Candidates need to mention their own original valid email ID to register.
Q5. Can I choose my exam slot?
A5. According to the candidate's city preference, the exam slot is allotted to the candidate, and he cannot select it as per his will.
Q6. Can I appear for the examination in more than one slot?
A6. No, one candidate can attempt the exam only once in one year. Hence, they cannot attempt more than a single slot.
Q7. What should I do if I do not receive my admit card?
A7. Contact the authorities well before time and look into your application procedure again.
- email address: email@example.com
- Toll- free line: 18002663549
Q8. When should the CAT admit card produced?
A8. Candidates need to produce the admit card to appear for the exam and get it printed well before the day of the exam. Candidates should affix their photograph and make sure their signature and photo are clear.
Q9. What password do I use to login to the portal?
A9.The SMS you have received is to be used. If the problem persists, then simply use your user ID, and the "forgot password" button shall be useful in the login process.
Q10. Can a candidate use any computer to give the CAT exam?
A10. One must undertake the examination from the allotted system only. Candidates cannot appear on any other system that has not been allotted to them.
Best wishes to all the aspirants of CAT 2021 from the CollegeMarg team!