The Common Admission Test or as it is more commonly known the CAT exam is the gateway to the most prestigious B- schools in the country. It is conducted once every year in November and is conducted in the online mode. On a rotational basis, it is carried out by the IIMs. In 2020 IIM Indore is responsible for carrying out the exam. The results are released tentatively in January after which the further admission processes start for each of the colleges. His scores are valid for one year only.

Students start applying to colleges before the results are released. CAT is a highly competitive exam and every year more than 2 Lac students apply for it.  The marks of the CAT exam are used for admission to the business administration courses of many colleges apart from the IIMs as well, a non- exhaustive list of these colleges is also given. Many fellowship programs also consider CAT scores. The prominent colleges that accept CAT exam scores are all the IIMs, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, MDI Gurgaon, IRMA Anand and many more.

  • The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in the case of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PwD) categories], awarded by any University or educational institution as incorporated by an Act of Parliament or State legislature in India or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of Bachelor’s the degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. However, it may be noted that such candidates, if selected, will be allowed to join the program provisionally, only if they submit a certificate from the Principal/Registrar of their University/Institution (issued on or before the date as stipulated by the respective IIM) stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate.
  • Candidates applying for CAT 2020 should fulfill any one of the following conditions: 

– Completed Bachelor’s degree with the required percentage of marks*. 
– Completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with required percentage*. 
– Should be in the final year of Bachelor’s degree with required percentage*. *SC/ST/PwD candidates should have a minimum of 45%. For General, EWS, and NC-OBC candidates, the minimum is 50%.
– The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate would be calculated based on the practice as followed by the respective University/Institution. In the case of grades/CGPA, the conversion to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure as certified by the respective University/Institution. If any University/institution confirms that there is no scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.
 – IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided at the website Applicants should note that the mere fulfillment of the minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for shortlisting by IIMs. Candidates must declare and maintain a valid and unique email account and a phone number throughout the selection process.

The candidates are required to fill the online application form and give details such as their educational qualifications, work experience details, personal details, and upload soft copies of recent photo and signature.  The registration fee of the online application is as follows-
The official website for applying to CAT 2020 is-



CAT Exam 2020 Conducting


CAT Exam Mode

Online Mode

CAT Exam Date 2020

November 29, 2020 (Sunday)

CAT Exam Question Types

MCQs and Type- In- The-

CAT Application Mode

Online Mode

CAT application start date

August 5, 2020 (10 AM)

CAT last date for

September 23, 2020 (5 pm)

CAT admit card download

October 28, 2020 (Wednesday)




INR 1000

SC, ST, and PwD aspirants

INR 2000

all other aspirants


The basic exam pattern for CAT is known to be similar across the years with minor changes within the sections or the number of MCQ and non- MCQ questions are given.  

Total Questions in CAT Exam


Total Marks


Total Sections


Total Duration

180 Minutes

Negative Marking

-1 for Each Incorrect Attempt

+3 for Correct Answers

0 for not Attempted

Sectional Details

Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), and 
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (DILR)

For the CAT exam, there is no predefined syllabus. The syllabus is mainly from the middle school topics of Maths and English with some generic logical reasoning questions. A few of the details of the syllabus are:

  • CAT Quantitative Aptitude: The syllabus for CAT quantitative aptitude mainly includes topics from 8th to 10th standards like Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Number System, Modern Maths, etc.
  • CAT Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation: The logical reasoning section includes a wide variety of questions based on Linear Arrangements, Games & Tournaments Complex Arrangements, Number Based Puzzles, Critical Path, Team Selections & Groupings, etc. The Data Interpretation section includes questions mostly based on Caselets, Line & Bar Graphs, etc. 
  • CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: Reading Comprehensions (Commonly called as RCs) are the major portion of this section. Apart from that Verbal Ability Based Questions like Para Jumbled, Para Completion, Odd Sentences etc. are also asked. 


S.No.College NameLocationWebsite LinkCut-Off Percentile (Expected
for 2020)
1Indian Institute of
2Indian Institute of
3Indian Institute of
4Indian Institute of
5Indian Institute of
6Indian Institute of
7Indian Institute of
8Indian Institute of
9Faculty of Management
10Management Development
11Indian Institute of
12Indian Institute of
13National Institute of
Industrial Engineering
14Indian Institute of
15Indian Institute of
16Indian Institute of
17Indian Institute of
18SP Jain Institute of
Management and Research
19Indian Institute of
20Indian Institute of
21Indian Institute of
22Institute for Financial
Management and Research
23Great LakesChennai
24Department of Management
Sciences (PUMBA)
25ICFAI Business School (IBS)Hyderabad
26Lal Bahadur Shastri
Institute of Management
27T.A. Pai Management InstituteManipal
28International Management
29Welingkar InstituteBangalore
30Indian Institute of
31Xavier Institute of
32Indian Institute of
Financial Management
33Indian Institute of
34Jamia Milia IslamiaDelhi
35National Institute of
36Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasi
37Institute of Management
38BML MunjalGurugram
39Alliance UniversityBangalore
40Indian Institute of
41Amity UniversityNOIDA
42Panjab UniversityChandigarh
43FORE SchoolDelhi
44Nirma UniversityAhmedabad
45Institute of Rural
46Indian Institute of Mass
47Birla Institute of
Management Technology
Greater NOIDA
48Goa Institute of ManagementGoa
49Lovely Professional
50Loyola Institute of Business

The category wise and section-wise cut- off for IIM Ahmedabad for the year 2020 is as follows-


NC-OBC- Transgender65656575

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

CAT exam pattern of the last 3 years indicates that the section consists of two primary components:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Ability

Reading Comprehension:

  • Accounts for over 70% of the question (24 questions out of 34)
  • Question Format: MCQs with few TITA (Type in the Answer) questions
  • There are usually 5 passages in this section (3 larger ones and 2 smaller ones)

Verbal Ability:

  • Relatively small sub-section with only 10 questions
  • Includes questions in the form of:
    o Paragraph-jumbles
    o Summary questions
    o Picking the odd sentence out

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Section :

This has been the most challenging section according to the CAT exam pattern for the last 3 years. As the name suggests, the section consists of two parts:

  • Data Interpretation
  • Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation 

  • Consists of 4 sets usually which individually have 4 questions each.
  • These questions can be based directly on data that can be extracted from tables/graphs shown in the set or may require further calculation
  • MCQs and TITA Questions with usually 3 MCQs and 1 TITA Question per set

Logical Reasoning Section:

  • Consists of 4 sets
  • Based on Blood Relations, Arrangements, and combinations of topics
  • There is a combination of MCQs and TITA questions with one TITA question being part of each set

Quantitative Aptitude

This is the section that most candidates prepare for the most. This is because the CAT exam pattern and syllabus for this section is the most fleshed out amongst all the other sections.

It is the section which can make or break the exam for most candidates. It consists of 23 to 27 MCQs while the other questions are in the form of TITA questions. There is no specific division in terms of topics which carry higher weights compared to its compatriots. Thus, candidates have to go through the entire syllabus in order to be confident of scoring well in this section.

The CAT exam pattern and syllabus for the Quantitative Aptitude section consist of:

  • Number Systems
  • HCF & LCM
  • Profit, Loss and Discount
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Percentages
  • Speed, Time & Distance
  • Time & Work
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Averages
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Complex Numbers
  • Logarithm
  • Binomial Theorem 
  • Sequence and Series
  • Surds & Indices
  • Probability and Permutation Combination
  • Set Theory
  • Functions
  • Geometry and Mensuration
  • Mixtures and Alligations
  • Trigonometry

In the past, the CAT used to be famed for their difficult QA section but recently the IIMs have reduced the difficulty level of this section in order to accommodate non-engineers. This has also led to higher scores and cut- offs in this section.


The CAT 2020 Exam Pattern will constitute 3 sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), Quantitative Ability (QA). The CAT Exam is held as a Computer Based Test (CBT) with duration of 2 hours. Each section of the CAT exam is allocated 40 minutes and there is no concept of carrying that time forward to other sections.

The CAT exam pattern tends to change a bit over the years, however, for the past 4 years, it has remained constant. But CAT 2020 has added a new element to the table by reducing the exam duration from 60 minutes to 40 minutes per section. The number of questions per section will be confirmed by IIM Indore on 20th September. This change in the CAT 2020 Exam Pattern has come as a surprise to many candidates and has been enforced due to the COVID 19 Crisis.


SectionNumber of QuestionsTime Allocated
Verbal AbilityTo be Confirmed (TBC)40 minutes
Data Interpretation and
Logical Reasoning
To be Confirmed (TBC)40 minutes
Quantitative AbilityTo be Confirmed (TBC)40 minutes

Click Here to Check CAT Previous Year Paper Analysis of 2019 , 2018, 2017,2016.

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