CAT Exam 2021: All About Common Admission Test 2021 Registration, Eligibility, Syllabus and Pattern

catCAT 2021: To select candidates for admissions to different IIMs across the country, CAT exam is conducted. Admissions will be granted into Post Graduate Programmes in Management (PGP) and Fellow Programmes in Management (FPM) offered by the IIMs. The exam will be conducted at a national level by any of the IIMs hopefully in the month of November 2021. Score of CAT are also considered by different management schools for selecting candidates for admissions to MBA programmes. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline can submit their application for CAT in online mode.

IIM Ahmedabad may conduct CAT exam in 2021- as per the reports. 

CAT 2021 Exam Highlights

  • The candidates can apply for different programmes through a single registration form.
  • Registration fee is also to be paid only once, irrespective of the number of institutes the candidate is applying for.
  • Application process will be completely online and the exam will also be conducted online only.
  • Candidates must maintain provide a valid and unique email account and a mobile phone number during the registration process.
  • The applicants can either fill their registration form in one go or in multiple sessions as per their choice.
  • Mere qualifying the test does not guarantee selection into IIMs. Different criteria may also be considered for admissions.

CAT 2021 Important Dates

Below given are the tentative dates related to CAT 2021:

2021 Application Form
GD Goenka Univ 2021 Admission : Apply Now
Alliance 2021 Admission : Apply Now
SRM 2021 Admission : Apply Now
Amity University 2021 Admission : Apply Now
KIIT 2021 Admission : Apply Now
MIT ADT 2021 Admission : Apply Now
PDEU 2021 Admission : Apply Now
LPU NEST 2021 Admission : Apply Now
KIT 2021 Admission : Apply Now
Quantum 2021 Admission : Apply Now
EventsTentative Dates
Official notification release dateLast week of July 2021
Availability of online application form2nd week of August 2021
Last date for submitting the online form3rd week of September 2021
Admit card release date4th week of October 2021
Date of Common Admission Test4th week of November 2021
Result announcement2nd week of January 2022

Check: Best books for CAT exam

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Candidates fulfilling the below-mentioned eligibility criteria are eligible to apply for CAT 2021:

  • The candidate should hold a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks (45% in case of the candidates belonging to SC/ ST/ PWD category) or an equivalent qualification from a recognized university/ institute.
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) examination or those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply.
  • Those who have completed professional degree (CA/ CS/ ICWA) with least 50% marks (45% in case of the candidates belonging to SC/ ST/ PWD category) are also eligible.

CAT 2021 Application Form

The candidates can obtain the application form for CAT 2021 from the official CAT website. The form will be released only in online mode in the month of August 2021 (tentatively). The candidates who complete their CAT registration 2021 in time will be able to appear for the test.

  • In the application form, candidates’ basic personal, educational, professional and contact details will be asked.
  • The candidates will also have to upload important documents such as photograph, signature, caste and disability certificate in scanned format.
  • Applicants will also be allowed to provide the choice for test city and programme in which they wish to appear in the form.
  • After providing complete details in the application form, it can be submitted along with the application fee.
  • It is advised to keep a hard copy of the submitted application form and fee payment receipt in case of future reference.
  • There is no need to send any hard copy of any document to the CAT office.

Application fee:

  • The candidates can pay the application fee in online mode using their credit card, debit card, net banking, Paytm wallet and cash card and wallet.
  • Application fee will be Rs. 1900/- for General/ OBC candidates and Rs. 950/- for SC/ ST/ PWD category candidates.

CAT Exam 2021 Pattern

CAT 2021 exam pattern is given below as:

  • Mode of exam: Digital or Computer Based Test (CBT)
  • Duration of exam: 3 hours
  • Number of questions: 100
  • Total marks: 300
  • Type of questions: Objective type (MCQ) and Type In The Answer (non-MCQ) type
  • Marking scheme: Each question will carry 3 marks.
  • Negative marking:
    • MCQ type questions: 1 mark will be deducted for each wrong answer
    • Non-MCQ type questions: No negative marking
TopicsNo. of questionsMaximum marksDuration
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)3410260 minutes
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)329660 minutes
Quantitative Ability (QA)3410260 minutes
Total100300180 minutes

CAT 2021 Syllabus

The details of the CAT 2021 syllabus are given below:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): Reading Comprehension, Paragraph Summary, Paragraph Completion, Cloze Test, Fill in the blanks, Error Spotting, Sentence Correction, Para Jumbles and Word Usage
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR): Charts, Tables, Graphs, Venn Diagram, Syllogism, Arguments, Coding & Decoding, Data Sufficiency, Binary Logic, Course of Action, Logical Sequence, Clocks & Calendars, Blood Relations, Seating Arrangement, etc
  • Quantitative Ability (QA): Linear & Quadratic Equations, Logarithm, Average, Simple Interest & Compound Interest, Mixture & Alligation, Mensuration, Lines, and Angles, Coordinate Geometry, Mean, Median and Mode, Trigonometry, Probability, Permutation, and Combination, etc.

Check: Tips to prepare for CAT exam 2021

CAT 2021 Admit Card

  • CAT 2021 admit card to appear in the test will be made available on the official website.
  • Candidates will be able to download their admit card using their registration number and password.
  • A printout of the admit card should be taken and carried to the exam center or else the candidates will not be allowed to enter the exam hall.
  • The applicants must also carry a valid identity proof along with the admit card.
  • Venue and schedule of the test will be communicated to the candidates via admit card.
  • Admit card must not be damaged or mutilated under any circumstances otherwise it will not be considered as valid.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree. Do I need to submit the overall percentage of marks or as per my University standards?-

Answer- As per the CAT 2021 eligibility criteria, you must submit the percentage according to your university norms.

2. I have not completed my Bachelor’s degree/I am in the final year of my Bachelor’s degree. What marks do I need to enter in the Application Form?

Answer- As per the CAT 2021 eligibility criteria, you must provide the Aggregate Percentage up to the last marks statement received from the University.

3. I am not pursuing nor have I completed my Bachelor’s degree or any Professional degree like CA/CS/ICWA. Am I eligible to appear for CAT 2021?

Answer: As you are not appearing/have not completed any Bachelor Degree nor have you completed any Professional degree like CA/CS/ICWA you are not eligible to appear for CAT 2021.

4. Is there any age restriction for taking the CAT examination?

Answer: No, there is no age restriction for taking the CAT examination.

5. From where can I get the list of examination cities?

Answer: The list of examination cities will be available on the CAT website before the start of registration.

6. Can I appear for more than one slot for CAT 2021?

Answer: You cannot appear for more than one slot. It will be deemed as a fraudulent activity if you attempt to appear more than once for CAT 2021. To ensure that candidates have only one attempt, Admit Cards, Photo IDs, candidate pictures, and biometric information will be verified. Candidates who attempt to take the test more than once will be eliminated any time during the selection process.

7. What are the timings to contact the Candidate Helpdesk?

Answer: The FAQs, online guides, and videos are designed to enable self-learning. You are requested to use these tools to guide you through the entire process and help answer most of your queries. In case you still face issues, the CAT Candidate Helpdesk is available by phone, Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. To 6:00 p.m.

The CAT Candidate Helpdesk is closed on Sundays and on National/Public holidays.

8. Under which categories can I apply for CAT?

Answer: You can apply under the following categories:

  • General
  • Economically Weaker Section (EWS)
  • Scheduled Caste (SC)
  • Non-creamy Other Backward Class (NC-OBC)
  • Scheduled Tribe (ST)

9. Which documents must I submit if I belong to the SC/ST category?

Answer: If you belong to the SC or ST category, your caste/tribe must be listed in the Government of India schedule. For more information, refer the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment website www.socialjustice.nic.in/Home and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs website www.tribal.nic.in

  • The caste certificate that you upload in the Application Form should be in the Government approved format. The certificate format is also available on the CAT website under the Certificates section. Download and print the certificate, and clearly state the following:
  • Whether you belong to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
  • District and the State or Union Territory of your ordinary residence.
  • The appropriate Government of India schedule under which your caste/tribe is approved, whether Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
  • Signatures of required authorities.

10. Do I belong to the NC-OBC category?

Answer: To know whether you belong to the NC-OBC category, see the following website: www.ncbc.nic.in/Home Refer to the updated list of state-wise OBCs eligible for availing of the benefit of reservation, and information in respect of the creamy layer.

11. Do I belong to the EWS category?

Answer: To know whether you belong to the EWS category, see the following website: https://dopt.gov.in/sites/default/files/ewsf28fT.PDF.

12. Is CAT an online examination?

Answer: CAT is not an online examination. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT); that is, a candidate will not take the examination on an internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.

13. Can I take the examination from any computer?

Answer: A candidate must take the examination on a workstation assigned at the test centre based on the test cities selected while registering for CAT. The test centre details will be printed on the Admit Card.

14. What does a CBT examination look like?

Answer: A practice test will be available on the CAT website: www.iimcat.ac.in You can familiarize yourself with the functionality and navigation of the actual exam. The CAT 2021 Mock Test link will be available by the end of October 2021.

15. How is the computer-based format different from the paper-based format?

Answer: In the computer-based format, the candidate reads a question on a computer terminal and clicks on the correct answer from among the options given or types the answer in case of a question where no options are given. Additionally, the timer on the computer screen tells you the remaining time to complete the current section.
In the paper-based format, the candidate reads a question on a paper booklet and uses a pencil to darken the ovals on an answer-sheet. 

16. Can I bring a calculator to the testing centre?

Answer: Candidates are prohibited from bringing calculators to the testing centre. You may use the onscreen calculator that will be available throughout the exam.

17. Does CAT 2021 have a syllabus for examination preparation?

Answer: No, the CAT examination does not have a defined syllabus for CAT preparation. However, you can attempt the mock test to understand the pattern of examination and types of questions. Check the CAT website regularly for the announcement of the mock test.

18. What is the marking/grading scheme for CAT? Is there negative marking for a wrong answer?

Answer: For questions other than MCQs, 3 marks are assigned for ‘correct answer’ and no marks for ‘incorrect answer or no attempt’.

  • Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks.
  • An incorrect answer fetches -1.
  • No marks are given or deducted for unattempted questions.

19. Who is eligible to take the test under the PwD category?

Answer: As per the The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPwD Act 2016), persons with benchmark disabilities qualify for reservation of seats under the PwD category.

“Person with benchmark disability” means a person with not less than forty percent (40%) of a specified disability where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.
“Specified disability” means the disabilities as specified in the Schedule of the RPwD Act 2016.
The categories of disability are:

a) blindness and low vision,

b) deaf and hard of hearing,

c) locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy,

d) autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness, and

e) multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d).

f) Other ‘specified disabilities’ mentioned in ‘The Schedule’ of the RPwD Act 2016

Candidates are advised to go through the RPwD Act 2016 carefully to ascertain if they belong to the PwD category.
20. Which are the acceptable testing devices that I can use/bring to the test centre?
Answer: The approved means of testing assistance are:
Testing AssistanceApplicable forArranged by
Abacus (without calculator)Visually ImpairedCandidate
Hearing AidHearing ImpairmentCandidate
Wheel ChairLocomotor Disability/ Cerebral PalsyTest Centre, on request in the Application Form
Magnifying ScreenVisually ImpairedTest Centre on request (System inbuilt feature)
Scribe/ReaderVisually Impaired/Locomotor disability including cerebral palsy and other disabilities.Candidate
 

CAT 2021 Result

  • The result of the CAT 2021 online exam will be declared tentatively in the month of January 2021.
  • Result will be announced on the official website and an intimation regarding the same will be given to the candidates through email/ SMS.
  • Candidates who qualify the test will be able to download their score card from the website.
  • Those clearing the test will then be eligible for interview round or other selection process as applicable.

CAT 2021 Admission Procedure

  • Admission procedure including eligibility and cut-off will vary from IIM to IIM.
  • The selected candidates might have to Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) & Personal Interviews (PI) depending on the institute they are shortlisted for.
  • IIMs may also use previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience and other similar inputs in shortlisting of candidates at various stages.
  • Final admissions will be granted to the candidates after they successfully clear all the rounds as applicable.
  • Admissions to other business schools will be granted as per their specific rules and criteria.

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