The Ultimate Guide To CAT

October 2, 2023 | 4:43 PM By your-space
cat exam


The Common Admission Test, commonly known as CAT, is one of India’s most prestigious and competitive entrance exams for management programs. Conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), CAT serves as a gateway for admission into top-tier business schools and MBA programs across the country. If you’re planning to pursue an MBA in India, this comprehensive guide to CAT is an invaluable resource, offering essential information based on publicly available sources.

Your performance in the CAT exam is directly linked to how well you cover the topics outlined in the CAT syllabus. Before you start your CAT exam preparation, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the CAT syllabus to create an effective study plan.

The CAT exam consists of three main sections:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): This section assesses a candidate’s proficiency in the English language, including reading comprehension, sentence correction, and critical reasoning.
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR): This section evaluates the ability to interpret complex data, make decisions based on information, and solve logical puzzles.
  3. Quantitative Ability (QA): QA measures mathematical and quantitative skills, including topics like algebra, geometry, number systems, and arithmetic.

– Each section in CAT is scored individually.

– The total CAT score is calculated by combining the scores of the three sections.

– The selection process for MBA programs typically includes CAT scores, academic performance, group discussions, written ability tests, and personal interviews.

The CAT syllabus encompasses various sections that you must master to excel in the exam and secure admission to prestigious business schools. Clearing the CAT exam opens doors to various prestigious management programs, including MBA, PGDM, and executive programs. It offers opportunities to enhance leadership skills, gain business knowledge, and access a wide range of career paths in the corporate world.

For many CAT aspirants, coaching plays a crucial role in achieving success. 

Here are some key benefits and considerations for beginners:

  1. Structured Learning: CAT coaching institutes provide a systematic approach to cover the entire syllabus, ensuring that aspirants don’t miss any essential topics.
  2. Expert Faculty: Reputed coaching centres have experienced faculty who offer guidance, shortcuts, and strategies to tackle CAT questions effectively.
  3. Practice Material: Coaching institutes offer comprehensive study materials, practice tests, and mock exams to help candidates prepare rigorously.
  4. Time Management: Regular practice and time-bound tests help improve time management skills, a critical aspect of CAT.
  5. Peer Learning: Interaction with peers from diverse backgrounds can provide valuable insights and different perspectives.
  6. Current Affairs Updates: Staying updated with current affairs is essential for the CAT exam, and coaching centres often provide materials and guidance in this area.

 Types of CAT Coaching:

As a CAT aspirant, you can choose from various coaching methods:

  1. Classroom Coaching: Traditional classroom coaching involves attending physical classes conducted by experienced faculty members.
  2. Online Coaching: Online coaching offers flexibility, allowing aspirants to access study materials and attend live or recorded classes from anywhere.
  3. Test Series and Mock Tests: Some aspirants opt for test series and mock tests provided by coaching institutes to assess their preparation.
  4. Self-Study: Self-motivated aspirants often rely on books, websites, and online forums for guidance.

The choice of coaching method should align with your preferences, learning style, and individual needs.

 How to Choose the Right CAT Coaching Center:

Selecting the right coaching centre is crucial for your success in CAT. Here are steps to make an informed decision:

  1. Research: Research and gather information about coaching institutes, including reviews, success rates, faculty profiles, and location.
  2. Visit Institutes: If possible, visit coaching centres in person to assess the learning environment, infrastructure, and teaching methodology.
  3. Attend Demo Classes: Attend demo classes to understand the teaching style and faculty’s approach.
  4. Talk to Alumni: Connect with former students to learn about their experiences and outcomes.
  5. Evaluate Study Material: Review the study material provided by the coaching institute to ensure it aligns with your needs.
  6. Consider Cost: Evaluate the cost of coaching and whether it fits within your budget.
  7. Check Current Affairs Support: Ensure the coaching centre provides resources for staying updated with current affairs.
  8. Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when choosing a coaching centre. It should feel like the right fit for your learning style and goals.

If you want to do better than most for the CAT, the next few lines are especially relevant to you. 

While coaching can be beneficial, self-study is equally important. Here’s how you can make the most of both:

  1. Regular Self-Study: Dedicate time for self-study to reinforce what you learn in coaching classes.
  2. Revision: Regularly revise what you’ve studied to ensure retention.
  3. Use Coaching Resources: Utilize coaching centre study materials, notes, and guidance effectively.
  4. Practice: Solve previous years’ CAT papers, take mock tests, and practice answer writing.
  5. Stay Updated: Read newspapers and magazines to stay updated with current affairs.
  6. Online Forums: Participate in online CAT forums for discussions, doubt-solving, and peer support.
  7. Seek Guidance: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from coaching faculty when you face challenges.

In conclusion, the CAT is a significant milestone for MBA aspirants in India, and proper guidance and preparation are essential for success. Whether you choose coaching or self-study, a well-structured plan, consistent effort, and determination are key to achieving your CAT goals. This guide provides you with valuable information to kickstart your CAT preparation journey based on publicly available facts and insights.


Q1. What is the scoring pattern in the CAT exam?

A1. CAT employs a scoring system that assigns marks for correct answers and imposes penalties for incorrect answers. As of the last publicly available information, you receive +3 marks for a correct answer and -1 mark for a wrong answer in objective-type questions.

Q2: What is the eligibility criteria for appearing in the CAT exam?

A2: As per publicly available information, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks or an equivalent CGPA. There is a relaxation in eligibility criteria for SC, ST, and PwD candidates. Final eligibility details may vary each year, so it’s essential to check the official CAT website for the latest information.

Q3: Can candidates use calculators during the CAT exam?

A3: No, candidates are not allowed to use calculators or any electronic devices during the CAT exam. They must rely on manual calculations.

Q4: How is the CAT exam different from other MBA entrance exams like XAT or MAT?

A4: While all these exams are used for MBA admissions, each has its unique structure and syllabus. CAT is primarily used for IIM admissions and focuses on analytical and quantitative skills. XAT and MAT have variations in sections and topics and are accepted by a broader range of B-schools.

Q5: Are there any age restrictions for taking the CAT exam?

A5: As per publicly available information, there is no specific age limit for candidates taking the CAT exam. Candidates of any age can apply as long as they meet the educational eligibility criteria.

Q6: Can candidates retake the CAT exam if they are not satisfied with their scores?

A6: Yes, candidates can retake the CAT exam in subsequent years if they are not satisfied with their scores. There is no restriction on the number of attempts.

Q7: What are some popular CAT coaching centres in India?

A7: There are several popular and reputable CAT coaching centres in India known for their quality guidance and successful track records. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of coaching centres can vary, and the best choice for you may depend on factors such as your location, budget, and learning style. Here are some well-known CAT coaching centres in different cities across India Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow etc. :

   – Career Launcher

   – TIME (Triumphant Institute of Management Education)

   – IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd.

   – Bulls Eye

These coaching centres offer a range of programs, including classroom coaching, online coaching, test series, and mock tests. Before enrolling in a coaching centre, it’s advisable to research and visit multiple institutes, inquire about their faculty, teaching methodology, study materials, and track record, and consider feedback from past students. Additionally, you can explore online CAT coaching platforms, which offer flexibility and convenience for preparation, especially if you are unable to attend physical classes. Ultimately, the choice of coaching centre should align with your individual requirements and goals.


Read more:-

Top CAT Coaching Centres in Bangalore

5 Best CAT Coaching Institutes in Jaipur

Top 3 CAT Coaching Institutes in Raipur

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