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CAT 2018

Last Updated - September 12, 2017

CAT 2018: CAT is a national level online test conducted for admission to MBA/ PGDM in IIMs and top business schools of India. Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted annually on a rotational basis by Indian Institute of Management. CAT 2018 will be organised by IIM Delhi in December 2018. The official notification is expected to be released in the month of July 2018. 

  • The minimum eligibility criteria for CAT 2018 is graduation with minimum 50% marks and 5% of relaxation is given to the candidates belonging to SC/ST category.
  • CAT 2018 Registration will begin in August 2018. Since CAT Registration is an online process, thus do not send a hard copy of the CAT Application Form. 
  • The number of applicants that applied for CAT Exam last year was 2, 32, 434.
  • As per the analysis of last two years in CAT Exam Pattern, there is no change in the paper pattern.
  • The paper will have 100 questions both MCQs and Non-MCQs. Questions will most likely be covering the sections- Verbal Reasoning (34), Quantitative Ability (34) and Data Interpretation (32).
  • CAT Result will be announced in the month of January 2018.

Once the result is declared, candidates can start applying to colleges as per the Cut Off. CAT Cut Off is accepted by 20 IIMs and over 150 top private and public colleges for admission to MBA and PGDM programs. Post declaration of result, CAT Selection Process will commence for the admissions. Qualifying candidates will then appear in Group Discussion and Personal Interview.

CAT 2018 Exam Highlights

CAT 2018 Conducting BodyIIM Delhi
CAT 2018 Official NotificationJuly 2018
CAT 2018 Exam DateDecember 2018
Eligibility CriteriaGraduate with 50%
Participating InstitutesIIMs, IITs, FMS, ISB
Number of candidates appeared in CAT 20171, 79, 602
Mode of ExamOnline
Duration of Exam3 Hours (180 Minutes)
Types and Number of QuestionsMCQ and Non-MCQ (100 Questions)
Sections3 (Quantitative Ability, Verbal & Reading Comprehension, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning)
Courses OfferedMBA/PGDM

What is CAT?

  • Common Admission Test or CAT is the only entrance exam for admission in MBA and PGDM programs in top MBA colleges of India such as IIMs, IITs FMS and ISBs.
  • 20 IIMs and more than 136 Management Institutes participate in Common Admission Test.
  • CAT is open to all graduates who hold at least 50% marks in graduation.
  • The duration of CAT 2018 exam is 180 minutes and consists 100 questions. 
  • Negative marking is also applicable in CAT 2018 exam.
  • CAT 2018 will be conducted in online mode in December 2018.
  • For admission to IIMs, CAT qualifying candidates need to apply for all the IIMs separately.
  • Admission into IIMs is entirely based on marks secured in CAT and the performance of candidates in GD PI held at respective IIMs.

CAT 2018 Exam Dates

The official notification for CAT 2018 is expected to be released in the month of July 2018. Exam Dates will be released along with it. Candidates can start applying for CAT 2018 from August 2018. The table below elucidates the tentative schedule for CAT 2018 exam:

Online registration for CAT 2018 will start fromAugust 2018
Last date for online registrationSeptember 2018
CAT 2018 Admit Card will release inOctober 2018
Date of the CAT 2018 examinationNovember 29, 2018
Announcement of CAT Results2nd week of January 2019

Note: These dates are tentative.

CAT 2018 Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for the aspirants of CAT-2018 is specified below

  • Candidate should be the citizen of India.
  • Candidate should have hold of bachelor’s degree in any stream from any recognized university
  • There is no upper / lower age limit for the candidates appearing in CAT-2018.
  • Candidate should have hold of a graduation and HSC degree in any stream from a recognized University/Institute.
  • Candidates whose result is awaited are eligible for CAT-2018.Such candidates are required to submit the final result card of their qualifying degree before CAT Selection Process .
  • Candidate should have obtained minimum 50% marks in the qualifying degree. However, candidates belonging to the reserved category (SC/ST/Physically Disabled) are given the relaxation of 5% marks in the same.

CAT 2018 Reservation Criteria

Government of India has laid out some reservation policy criteria for admission of reserved category candidates in IIMs. The table given below shows the percentage of seats reserved for each category.

In case of seats reserved for PwD or DA candidates, following is the definition of disability as described in the Section 39 of PwD Act of 1995.

  1. Candidates with low-vision blindness
  2. Candidates with hearing impairment
  3. Candidates with loco-motor disability/ cerebral palsy

Candidates who suffer from these disabilities to the extent of not less than 40%, are eligible for reservation under this category. There is a predefined norm for the percentage of seats for the reserved categories. The table given below describes the percentage of seats reserved for each category.

Scheduled Castes (SC)15% seats
Scheduled Tribes (ST)7.5% seats
Other Backward Classes (OBC)27% seats
Physically Handicapped /PwD3% seats

CAT 2018 Application

Candidates can start the CAT registration in August 2018 followed by the filling of the CAT application form, uploading of important documents form, payment of required fee and submission of the application form. The online application can be filled through the official website of CAT at They must log on the official website and follow the following steps:

  • Candidate must check and must ensure their eligibility and other conditions like possession of an active and valid personal e-mail ID and a mobile number before applying for CAT 2018.
  • Candidate should register him/herself online by providing the required information.
  • The system will send two separate emails giving candidates User ID and Password on the registered email ID of the candidate.
  • Log on with the provided User ID and Password.
  • Complete the application form by filling in the correct and required information and upload the important/ required documents.
  • Submit the application fee of INR 1700/- (General category) through credit /debit card/internet banking of any bank.

Note: Application fee for SC/ST/PWD candidates is INR 850/- only.

  • After submission of the application fee, candidate can review and modify the application if required.
  • The final stage is the online submission of the application form.

Important documents to be uploaded with the application form:

  • Scanned passport photograph of .jpg or .jpeg format with the dimensions of 35mm x 45mm and memory size less than 80 kb.
  • Scanned signature of the candidate in .jpg or .jpeg format with the dimensions of 80mm x 35mm and memory size less than 80 kb.
  • Self-attested scanned copy of NC-OBC/SC/ST / PwD/DA Certificate in pdf format.

CAT 2018 Admit Card

CAT 2018 Admit Card will be available to download on the official website of CAT in October 2018. CAT Admit Card can be downloaded by following the given below steps:

  • Log on to the official website of CAT
  • Log in using your unique User ID and password, created at the time of filling CAT Application Form
  • Download the CAT Admit Card
  • Take the printout of the same

Note: Candidate will not be allowed to sit in the examination without the CAT Admit Card and a valid photo identity proof.

CAT 2018 Exam Centers

Candidates applying for CAT 2018 are given an option to choose 4 CAT test cities in order of their preferences. CAT authority makes best to allot the nearest test center to the candidates especially the females.

Generally, they are allotted the center as per the preferences filled by them. However, in case it is impossible to accommodate the aspirant in the preferred CAT Exam Center, then they are allotted the center closest to their preferred center of choice.

The details of the allotted CAT exam center will be mentioned in the admit card of the candidate. Out of all the 19 IIM’s only IIM Bangalore can change the venue of the allotted test center. IIM Bangalore also holds the right to cancel the same, as it deems fit due to administrative or any other reason.

Candidate must bring a government approved identification proof such as Pan Card, Voter ID, Aadhar Card etc. along with the CAT Admit Card on the day of examination in order to be allowed to enter the exam center.

CAT 2018 Exam Pattern

CAT exam is a computer-based test and it majorly consists of 3 sections- Quantitative Ability, Verbal & Reading Comprehension, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. CAT 2018 is a 3-hour duration exam and 1-hour is assigned to each section.

The paper will have 100 questions of both MCQ and Non-MCQ nature. For every correct answer, a candidate will be awarded 3 marks and 1 mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer. CAT Exam Pattern is shown below:


3 Hours


Exam Duration is 3 hours


+3 Marks


Each Correct Answer will be awarded 3 marks


-ve mark

-ve Score

1 mark will be deducted for an incorrect answer



Exam type

CAT 2018 is a computer based test


Objective & Numerical

Question type

Questions will be of objective & numerical in nature


100 MCQ & Non-MCQ

Total questions

There are 100 questions in CAT 2018

SectionsQuantitative AbilityData Interpretation & Logical ReasoningVerbal Ability & Reading ComprehensionTotal
Duration60 Min60 Min60 Min180 minutes

CAT 2018 Syllabus

CAT exam 2018 consists of 3 sections namely Verbal and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability.  Each section is further divided into multitude of topics. The topics covered in each section for CAT exam syllabus is detailed below:

Verbal and Reading ComprehensionVerbal Reasoning, Antonyms and Synonyms, Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, Fill in the Blanks, Syllogism, Analogies, Idioms
Data InterpretationArea Graph, Line Graph, Charts (Columns, Bar, Pie), Tables, Venn Diagrams
Logical ReasoningClocks and Calendars, Directions, Binary Logic, Coding-Decoding, Blood Relations, Linear and Matrix Arrangement, Syllogism
Quantitative AbilityNumber System, Geometry, Simple and Compound Interest, Profit and Loss, Quadratic & Linear Equation, Algebra, Permutation and Combination, Ratio & Proportion, Time & Work, Trigonometry

Each topic from CAT syllabus mentioned above is further divided into sub-topics. The division into sub-topics makes it easier to concentrate on the various aspects of a section and helps during preparation.

CAT Result

CAT Results is expected to be declared in January 2019. Candidates can check their CAT Results on the official website. Post declaration of result, each IIM will release their separate cut offs. On the basis of cut offs, candidates will be called for Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds for the admission process.

Follow the steps provided below to check CAT Result:

  • Visit the official website at
  • Click on “Result link”.
  • Enter your roll number and date of birth.
  • Check your CAT result.

After the declaration of CAT Result, candidates can check the merit list on respective IIMs for admissions. Also, each IIM will send interview letters to shortlisted candidates directly for GD/PI rounds.

Selection Procedure for CAT 2018

Candidates are selected for various MBA courses in different IIM’s on the basis of their score in the CAT exam. After the declaration of result, shortlisted candidates would appear in CAT Selection Procedure. The selection process further comprises of three stages conducted by the IIM’s separately for the shortlisted candidates. The three stages of selection are illustrated below:

  1. Written Ability Test: Candidates are given one or more topics on which they are required to write a brief essay in time duration 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
  2. Group Discussion: The second stage is a called GD in which 8-10 candidates are given a topic to discuss. This round is held to access the group dynamics of them.
  3. Interview: This is the final round of selection in which a candidate has to present himself before a panel of 4-8 interviewers. This round is set to test the academic background, work experience, hobbies, interests etc. of the candidates.

In recent years, IIMs have been known to prefer Written Ability Test over Group Discussion.

The cut-off for the IIMs is very high ranging generally in the bracket of 90-99 percentiles. The expected CAT 2017 cut-off will not vary much from the cut-off trend of the last year. The below-given table gives the expected cut-off in various top B- schools:

B-SchoolCAT 2016 Cut-off (expected)
UBS Chandigarh93+ Percentile
FMS, DU (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi)98.20 Percentile
DMS, IIT Delhi98+ Percentile
Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad90+ Percentile
SJMSOM, IIT Bombay99+ Percentile
Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon95+ Percentile
Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras95+ Percentile
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai95+ Percentile
Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB)90+ Percentile
Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai90+ Percentile
T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) Manipal85+ Percentile

CAT 2018 Participating Institutes

CAT examination is held every year by various IIM’s and there is no specific list of Institutes that participate in CAT. However, almost every top Business School accepts the scores obtained by the candidate in CAT examination.19 IIMs ,118 B-schools along with top B-Schools like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), FMS, SP Jain, MDI, etc. Participate in the CAT examination.

Here is the list of CAT Participating IIM’S along with details of the management courses offered by them:

S.No.Name of IIMMBA specialization offered
1IIM AhmadabadPGP, PGP-ABM , FPM
6IIM KozhikodePGP FPM
10IIM RothayPGP
11IIM ShillingPGP, PGPEX , FPM
13IIM UdaipurPGP
14IIM Bodh GayaPGP
15IIM VisakhapatnamPGP
16IIM SambalpurPGP, EPGP, FPM
18IIM NagpurPGP
19IIM KozhikodeExecutive Post Graduate Programme - Kochi PGP,EPGP .FPM, Campus, MDP,FDP

Note: Candidates are requested to apply for the institutes as per the availability of the desired course



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