CAT Exam Pattern history – Common Admission Test, also known as CAT, has evolved over the years in terms of mode of examination, type of questions, number of registered students, exam pattern, and so forth. Previously, The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IIS) used to select candidates based on their scores in the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET), but since 2011 they adopted CAT Examination as the basis of the selection process for their Management Program. Similarly, the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi (FMS) had their entrance test – FMS which got discontinued from 2012, after which CAT was used. Thus, the evolution of the CAT examination has been widespread. Currently, almost all the B-schools abide by the CAT exam pattern and accept CAT scores. Be it an IIM or a Tier-3 B-School, all of them have accepted CAT exam scores as their criteria for selection.
It has been observed that IIMs over the past few years have introduced several changes, therefore MBAP brings you a detailed analysis of the CAT evolution for the last ten years to make candidates aware of the changes and suggests changes that might appear in the coming years. Let’s take a closer look.
The table below states the number of slots and windows in which the CAT was held over the last ten years.
The online format of the CAT examination was introduced first in the year 2009. It was a big change for the 2009 CAT takers as it was happening for the first time. It turned out to be a huge challenge for them because before 2009 the examination used to be conducted in paper-based mode, wherein the students used to mark their answers on the OMR sheet. This was the first step towards the evolution of CAT.
Due to the shift in the mode of CAT examination, the duration of the exam was also increased to 2 hours and 15 minutes. Candidates also witnessed many technical glitches as the mode was new and the time limit was exceeded thus leading to a re-test.
The most important change in this year turned out to be a reduction in the number of sections.
It was IIM-A who conducted the CAT Examination this year. The authorities reduced the number of sections in CAT from three to two. The two sections were a combination of 2 subjects namely:
Both these sections had 30 questions each, making a total of 60 questions.
As there was a reduction in the number of sections, the authorities imposed the section wise time limit to attempt a particular section. This change was very much welcomed by the students as it helped them in effective decision making and reduced the chances of wasting time on a particular CAT question.
2012 – 2013:
Whatever changes occurred during the year 2011, remained constant for the next couple of years. There were no significant changes in the CAT exam pattern during these years.
An important change turned out to be an increment in the number of questions in each section. Each section used to have 30 questions previously. But it was increased to 50 per section since 2014.
Introduction to on-screen calculators.
With the introduction of calculators embedded within the screen, it became very easy for the candidates to do all the complex calculations in no time. This addition to the exam served as an upper hand for the candidates in the CAT Examination.
The second change was the change in the CAT exam pattern:
The key change this year happened to be the change in the schedule.
CAT examination usually used to take place in the last week of November. But in 2016 it was for the first time that CAT was held in the first week of December (December 4th). There were 2 slots this year.
2017 – 2018:
Whatever minimal changes happened in the previous years, they remained constant. There was no change in any step for these two years.
In 2019, several changes were introduced in the application process for the CAT examination.
The registration fee was increased from Rs.1800 to Rs.1900 for general/NC-OBC categories. Also, it was increased from Rs.900 to Rs.950 for SC/ST/PWD categories.
This year faced a lot of changes in the CAT exam pattern:
One common thing in the CAT exam pattern in all the years was the scheme in which questions of CAT were marked:
The number of sections i.e., 3 – VARC, DILR, QA however kept changing over the years.