The Common Admission Test (CAT), which takes place every year under the supervision of the IIMs, is the primary entrance examination for prestigious business schools offering MBA programs. CAT 2024 will enable students to apply for admission to the IIMs and other leading institutes for the academic session of 2024-2026.

To be considered for MBA programs, students need to successfully pass this examination and meet the required minimum scores. Only those who meet the cut-off criteria will proceed to the subsequent selection rounds conducted by the institutions.

Before deciding to take the CAT exam, individuals should visit the website and/or carefully review the program advertisement of the relevant IIM and specific programs. This is important to ensure that they have access to accurate and up-to-date information about the programs they intend to apply for, including eligibility criteria and admission procedures.

The candidates must also note that IIMs have no role in the selection process of non-IIM institutions.

Information sources:

CAT official website
Help Desk Number 18002108720


Event Tentative dates
CAT Official Notification June - July
Start Date for Registration July - August
Last Date for Registration August - September
Opening of Form Correction Window August - September
Admit Card Release Date September - October
CAT Exam Date October - November
CAT Results Announcement November - December

NOTE: The exam results are tentatively valid till December of the next year. (For example; the results announced in December 2022 are valid till December 2023).


  • The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PwD) categories].
  • Candidates appearing for the final year of the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. However, if selected, will be allowed to join the program provisionally, only if they submit a certificate stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.
  • Candidates are advised to visit the “CAT 2024 Eligibility” section of the CAT website.


  • 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, 27% for Other Backward Classes candidates belonging to the “Non-Creamy” layer (NC-OBC), up to 10% for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) candidates and 5% for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD)
  • To be considered for reservation, the applicable Central Government list as of the last date of CAT registration shall be binding and the eligible candidates must refer to it.
  • Candidates from reserved categories should pay close attention to the eligibility requirements before submitting their applications.

It is important to note that while the IIMs strive to ensure that candidates from SC/ST/NC-OBC/EWS/PwD categories are admitted per legal mandates, they must still meet the minimum eligibility criteria and achieve a certain minimum level of performance to be considered in the admission process. It is advisable for candidates to carefully read the latest information on the selection process implemented by each IIM, which can be found on the website.

NOTE: Category change is not allowed once the registration is done. The candidates are advised to pay attention while registering. SC, ST, and PwD candidates must upload a copy of their SC/ST/PwD certificates at the time of registration.


Steps for CAT Registration:

  • Visit the official website and click on “new candidate registration.”
  • Fill in the necessary basic details in the registration form and submit.
  • After verification, candidates will receive a unique user ID and password on their registered email and mobile number.
  • Proceed to fill out the CAT application form, providing the requested details.
  • Candidates should select the preferred programs they wish to apply for and choose the interview City for those programs.
  • They will have the option to choose up to 6 preferred test cities for the CAT exam.

Documents required for registration:

  • Photo
  • Signature
  • EWS/NC-OBC/SC/ST Certificate (if eligible)
  • PwD Certificate (if eligible)


As of 2023:

₹1150 SC, ST and PwD candidates
₹2300 All other candidates

NOTE: Candidate needs to pay the registration fee only once, irrespective of the number of

institutes he/she is applying for. Fees once paid cannot be refunded under any circumstances.


The CAT exam is held in 3 slots. While the exam pattern and syllabus are the same for all slots, the level of difficulty might vary. Here is an overview of the exam pattern for CAT:

Mode of Examination Online (Computer-based)
Medium of Examination English
Total Questions 66
Time Allotted 120 minutes
Questions Per Section VARC: 24DILR: 20QA: 22
Time Allotted per Section 40 minutes each
Type of Questions MCQs and TITA (Type in the Answer)
Marks Awarded for Correct Answer +3 for every right answer
Marks Deducted for Wrong Answer -1 for every wrong answer, TITA has no negative marking


Section No. of Questions Time Allotted Topics
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 40 minutes Reading comprehension, parajumbles, parasummary, verbal reasoning, etc.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 40 minutes Charts, graphs, arrangements, blood relations, puzzles, etc.
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 22 40 minutes Algebra, arithmetic, number systems, geometry, etc


Steps for Calculating CAT Overall and Sectional Percentile Scores (we have chosen the QA section for this example, similar process can be done for the other two section and the overall CAT percentile score as well):

Step 1. Determine the total number of candidates (N) who took the CAT exam, including all sessions.

Step 2. Assign ranks (r) to candidates based on their scaled scores in the QA section. If multiple candidates have the same scaled score, they will receive the same rank.

Step 3. Calculate the percentile score (P) for a candidate with rank (r) in the QA section using the formula: P = ((N - r) / N) x 100.

Step 4. Round off the calculated percentile score (P) to two decimal points. For example, scores equal to or above 99.995 are rounded off to 100, scores above or equal to 99.985 but less than 99.995 are rounded off to 99.99, and so on.

Step 5. Similar methodology is used to compute percentile scores for the overall CAT score and for the other sections (DILR and VARC) in CAT 2023.


The CAT results are expected to be published on the official website around December. These results usually remain valid until December.

In addition, the IIMs will announce the cut-off scores for the batches. It’s important to note that there is no centralized counseling process for the CAT exam, as each IIM has its own unique procedure for conducting interviews and subsequent admission rounds.