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CAT 2016 Selection Procedure

Common Admission Test or CAT is the first step for admission to MBA program in IIMs. After the CAT Results are declared, the process for selection is rolled out. After the results for CAT 2016 are declared in January 2017, IIMs separately declare shortlist for candidates who are then called for the selection procedure.

Like previous years it is expected that the IIM CAT selection process will consist mainly of three components – Group Discussion (GD), Written Ability Test (WAT), and Personal Interview (PI). The CAT 2016 selection process may vary across the IIMs. However, Personal Interview round is common in all the participating 19 IIMs.

Over the years, however, IIMs have shown preference for Written Ability Test over Group Discussion and many IIMs have scrapped the GD round altogether.

CAT 2016: Important Dates

The CAT 2016 Exam Dates have been released on 31st July 2016.

ProcessExam DateRead More
CAT RegistrationAugust 8. 2016 – September 22, 2016How to Fill CAT 2016 Application Form
Online Tutorial and Sample Paper releasedOctober 18, 2016CAT Sample Paper
Admit Card DownloadFrom October 18, 2016, 01:00 pm till exam dayDownload CAT 2016 Admit Card
Test DateNovember 27, 2016 
CAT ResultJanuary 9, 2017CAT 2016 Result
CAT Sample PaperCAT RegistrationCAT Admit CardCAT SyllabusCAT preparation

CAT 2016 Written Ability Test

CAT Preparation doesn’t only incude preparing for the CAT Exam only. The aspirants must prepare for the subsequent rounds of CAT Selection process also. Over the last few years, IIMs have preferred BAbility Test (WAT) over Group Discussion (GD) round. 11 of the 19 IIMs have removed the Group Discussion round from their selection process. Although, a few IIMs like IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode still conduct both WAT and GD for selection of candidates.

Written Ability Test is designed to test a candidate’s critical thinking ability, and their ability to formulate and communicate their thoughts clearly. As part of Written Ability Test, a student will have to write an essay on a given topic. The time duration for the test can vary among the IIMs. At IIM Bangalore the test-takers were given 30 minutes, while at IIM Lucknow the test was of 15 minutes duration. At IIM Ahmedabad, the duration for this test was still lower, i.e., 10 minutes.A candidate must practice essay writing beforehand to score good marks in WAT. While structure is important, since time is limited, a student must not spend too much time in planning the structure of the essay. A candidate must try to put in as many clear ideas in their essay as possible.

The topics for essay writing can be from a variety of domains such as current affairs, government policies, topics of social importance, trade and commerce etc. Some example for WAT topics can be:

  1. Media Influence
  2. Corruption in India
  3. Women’s Reservation Bill
  4. Should Petroleum Subsidy go away? 

CAT 2016 Group Discussion

Group Discussion is an important part of the selection procedure for admission to IIMs. In this stage, generally a group of 8-10 students are given one topic. This round assesses the ability of a candidate to communicate their idea clearly to a group. It also helps shortlist candidates who can understand group dynamics and are good team players.The topics for group discussion, again, can be varied. The topics may range from National and International Politics, Current Affairs, topics of social importance, Government policies etc. Some example of topics for Group Discussion are as follows:

Atheism: Advantages and Disadvantages

Donald Trump as the Next US President – the good and the bad

Cricket vs Football

Excise Tax on Jewelers – Reasonable or Unreasonable

CAT 2016 Personal Interview

Personal Interview is a crucial component of selection procedure for IIM. Each IIM compulsorily holds a Personal Interview round for selection of candidates.

As part of the Personal Interview, a candidate may have to face a panel of 4 or more interviewers. The questions asked in an IIM interview range from questions about Personal life, Academic Record, Extra-curricular activities, work experience, outlook on contemporary issues etc.


CAT 2016 Shortlist Preparation

Multiple factors affect selection at IIMs. The panel for selection considers many aspects such as Academic Qualification, Work Experience, Extra-curricular activities etc. for shortlisting candidates for admission. The weightage for each component including CAT score for shortlisting of candidates is given below:

Aggregate CAT Score38
Graduation Marks3
SSC (12th) Marks2
Work Experience2
Diversity Factor: Gender2
Diversity Factor: Academic Discipline3


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