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CAT 2016 Score Calculation

It is a matter of concern for CAT aspirants that CAT is conducted in two sessions at different time slots. This confuses most of the aspirants of Common Admission Test (CAT) that on what basis will the marking be done and how will the ranks be allotted to them?

Since the examination is conducting on different days, candidates’ CAT score is subjected to normalisation. Normalisation process helps in equating marks and identifying candidate’s scores across multiple forms.  

Here is an overview on what is the scoring system in CAT and how is it normalised.


CAT 2016: Important Dates

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

ProcessExam DateRead More
Test DateNovember 27, 2016 
Result DeclarationMid of January 2017CAT 2016 Result

CAT 2016 Scoring Process

In CAT examination, a candidate is awarded three marks each for correct answer. However, it also applies negative marking, since one mark each is deducted for every wrong answer. Candidates may note that no mark will be deducted for an unanswered question.


Development of CAT 2016

CAT exam which is conducted on multiple days at multiple time slots generally maintains a uniform level of difficulty throughout the examination process. CAT examination is designed in a manner which makes it difficult for candidates to answer all the questions correctly and thus chances for a perfect score are minimal.

How are the CAT Exams Equated?

Equating CAT exams follows a psychometric process in order to adjust differences in difficulty level. The process is followed to keep a tab on comparable metric and be justified to candidates who test across multiple days.

There are three phases in equating the CAT Exam:

  • Exam creation
  • Post-equating
  • Scaling

General Normalization

Exam creation is a set of statistically-profiled questions. These questions are of comparable difficulty. These varied questions with the same difficulty levels are used in re-scaling candidate’s score to the metric of the item bank.


These questions are analyzed properly and their difficulty level is put in a common metric.

Then, the raw score of the candidate is scaled and scores are established accordingly. This helps in awarding ranks to the candidates.

Percentile rank is equated on the basis of percentage score that falls below a certain specified score. With the total scale scores arranged in rank order from the lowest to highest in 100 equally sized groups, a table with the total scale scores to percentile ranks will be created. After the scores are identified and arranged, high scoring candidate’s name will be identified from the top among high scorers and subsequent list of low scorers.

Normalization in CAT Exam

CAT follows an industry-standard and psychometrically sound three-step scoring process.

  • Raw scores are calculated. As mentioned above three mark each is awarded for a correct answer and one mark each is deducted for every wrong answer.
  • Through an equating process, raw scores are adjusted for variances in difficulty levels across the different test forms. Then through statistical properties candidates’ performance is judged on same questions asked in two or more different forms. These equating measures help to adjust raw marks accordingly.
  • Equating blocks in placing the equated scores on a common scale and create a range of scores which help in creating percentile rank.

Scoring in CAT

CAT scores are sub-normalised on the basis of three parts of the exam- Quantitative Reasoning, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Verbal and Reading Comprehension.

CAT score, which is valid for one year only, is converted into percentile form and the best scorer is highlighted at the top to up the level of competitiveness. The CAT score helps in short-listing of the eligible candidates for further rounds.

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