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About CAT

Common Admission Test or “CAT” is a national-level entrance examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on a rotation basis every year. CAT scores are used by the IIMs and other top business schools in India such as SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, NITIE etc. for admission to their MBA, PGDM, and other management courses. CAT 2018 is expected to be held in November 2018. More than two lakh aspirants apply for CAT every year.

Important Dates for CAT 2018

Registration Start Date 8th August 2018

CAT Test Date 25th November 2018

Last Date of Registration 26th September 2018

Admit Card Download 24th October

CAT 2018 Result January 5,

CAT 2018 Exam Details

CAT 2018 will be held in the 3rd or 4th week of November 2018.It will be conducted in two sessions on the same day: morning (9 am to 12 pm) and Evening (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm).Candidates are allotted one of the slots randomly.

CAT 2018 Exam Date

CAT 2018 will be held in the 3rd or 4th week of November 2018.

It will be conducted in two sessions on the same day: morning (9 am to 12 pm) and Evening (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm). Candidates are allotted one of the slots randomly.

Medium of Examination

CAT 2018 will be conducted in ENGLISH only.

Mode of Examination

CAT 2018 will be a Computer-Based Test (CBT) and thus shall be conducted online.

Eligibility Criteria

The candidate must have completed his/her graduation (bachelor’s degree) or passed an equivalent qualifying examination from a recognized college or university.

He/she should have scored minimum 50% marks (45% for SC/ST/PWD). The bachelor’s degree must be of minimum 3 years’ duration.

CS/CA/ICWA candidates and candidates who are in their final year of college are also eligible to apply.

Age Limit

There is no age limit for taking CAT.

NRI/FN Candidates

NRIs and foreign candidates can apply to the institutes with their GMAT scores.

CAT 2018 Registration

Currently, the CAT 2018 registration portal is closed. The registration portal for CAT 2018 is expected to go online in the 1st or 2nd week of August 2017.

The CAT 2018 registration process will be completely ONLINE.

CAT 2018 Application Fee
General/OBC Candidates INR 1900
SC/ST/PWD Candidates INR 950

The application fee can be paid online with Credit Card/Debit Card/Netbanking.

Documents to be Uploaded

  • Colored Photograph – 35mm x 45 mm; JPG/JPEG/PNG format; Size: Less than 80 KB.
  • Signature – 80 mm x 35 mm; JPG/JPEG/PNG format; Size: Less than 80 KB.
  • Caste or Disability certificate (PDF format) in case of SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates

List of IIMs and their Programs through CAT

Post Graduate Programs in Management

  • IIM Ahmedabad: PGP, PGP-FABM, ePGP
  • IIM Amritsar: PGP
  • IIM Bangalore: PGP, PGPEM, PGPPM
  • IIM Bodh Gaya: PGP
  • IIM Calcutta: PGP-PGDM
  • IIM Indore: PGP (Indore, Mumbai), EPGP, PGP-HRM
  • IIM Jammu: PGP
  • IIM Kashipur: PGP, EPGP
  • IIM Kozhikode: PGP
  • IIM Lucknow: PGP, PGP-ABM, PGP-SM
  • IIM Nagpur: PGP
  • IIM Raipur: PGP, PGPWE
  • IIM Ranchi: PGDM, PGDHRM
  • IIM Rohtak: PGP, EPGP, EPGPX
  • IIM Sambalpur: PGP
  • IIM Shillong: PGP, PGPEX
  • IIM Sirmaur: PGP
  • IIM Tiruchirappalli: PGP, PGPBM
  • IIM Udaipur: PGP
  • IIM Visakhapatnam: PGP
Fellow Programs in Management (FPM) [equivalent to PhD]

  • IIM Ahmedabad: FPM
  • IIM Bangalore: FPM
  • IIM Calcutta: FPM
  • IIM lndore: FPM
  • IIM Kashipur: FPM & EFPM
  • IIM Kozhikode: FPM
  • lIM Lucknow: FPM
  • IIM Raipur: FPM & EFPM
  • IIM Ranchi: FPM
  • IIM Rohtak: FPM
  • IIM Shillong: FPM
  • IIM Tiruchirappalli: FPM
  • IIM Udaipur: FPM

CAT 2018 Exam Pattern (Based on Current Pattern)

Here is the CAT 2018 Slot-1 exam Analysis. The CAT 2018 Slot 1 got over at 12.00 Noon. CAT 2018 slot 1 was more difficult than CAT 2017.

While there was no surprise element in the test structure of CAT 2018 Exam Slot-1, it had number of changes as compared to last year. However, the overall exam pattern was same.

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis: Slot 1 Pattern
Total questions Non MCQs MCQs Difficulty Level
VARC 34 7 27 Moderate
DILR 32 8 24 Moderate to Difficult
Quant 34 12 22 Somewhat Difficult
CAT 2018 Exam Analysis: Key changes in exam pattern
  • Total number of Non-MCQ type of questions have increased to 27 in CAT 2018 as compared to 26 in CAT 2017 with different number of questions in each section as compared to last year.
  • Number of Non-MCQs in VARC section have increased to 7.
  • RC passages have been reduced to 4 in CAT 2018 from 5 in last year CAT. Each RC passage was followed by 5 questions.
  • Quant section had highest number of 12 Non-MCQs as compared to 10 Non-MCQs in CAT 2017 slot-1.
  • More Arithmetic intensive questions appeared in CAT 2018 slot-1.
  • No change in Scoring pattern: Scoring pattern in CAT 2018 has remained to +3 for correct answer and -1 for wrong answer for MCQs and +3 for correct answer and 0 negative marking for wrong answer in Non-MCQs.
  • Many non MCQS had answer options also. The correct answers had to be typed in the given space.
  • The first section on VARC had 34 questions.
  • Non MCQs were 7 without negative marking.
  • 4 RC Passages on Economics & Happiness, Use of Plastic Bags, War Memorial being built in Delhi and others appeared with 25 questions in MCQ format.
  • Most of the candidates found the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) questions more difficult and could not attempt beyond 10 questions out of 32.
Quantitative Ability
  • Quantitative Ability section despite having highest number of 12 Non-MCQs out of 34 questions was found on slightly higher difficulty side. Geometry part was however, found to be a bit more difficult in CAT 2018.

It is expected that CAT 2018 raw score between 155-165 could fetch a percentile of 98-99 in CAT 2018.

IIM Calcutta has published all the details about CAT Exam Pattern 2018 for the IIM CAT exam 2018 to be held on November 25, 2018 in Morning and Afternoon sessions separately. CAT exam pattern which carries slight changes for CAT 2018, has gone with perceptible changes since 2014 not only in CAT structure but also in content. Going by the tradition in changes in different type of questions in CAT, you cannot rule out a different CAT 2018 Exam pattern. Next 4 months will be a crucial period to devise a well chalked out plan for your CAT preparation as per the CAT 2018 pattern.

However, despite number of changes brought about during last 4 years in CAT exam pattern, the basics of the CAT exam have not changed. CAT exam pattern since 2015 has remained on the same lines. CAT 2018 exam pattern is also expected to remain as per the last 3 years CAT pattern, although there could be some minor changes in number and type of questions and their sectional composition. To make sure to bell the CAT 2018 with high score you need to begin your CAT exam preparation 2018 without waiting any longer.

As per the revised CAT exam pattern 2018, CAT 2018 will consist of 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. Each section is timed with the individual time limit of 1 hour. You need to ensure high score in each of the 3 sections as there is also a sectional score cut off in IIMs for shortlisting.

CAT Pattern 2018

  • Total Questions: 100
  • Number of sections: 3
  • Questions with negative marking (MCQs): 75
  • Questions without negative marking (Non-MCQs): 25
  • Score awarded for each correct answer: 3 marks
  • Negative marking (Applicable for wrong answers in MCQs): -1 mark

CAT 2018 pattern: Sectional composition

Section name
Total questions
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Total maximum marks
24 to 27
7 to 10
23 to 27
7 to 11
*VARC: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
*DILR: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
*Quant: Quantitative Ability

Is the CAT online test? Responding to this query IIMs, although accept that CAT paper pattern is computer based but whether CAT is online test, they say ‘No.’ Regarding the CAT exam pattern, IIMs say “CAT is not an online exam. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT); that is, a candidate will not take the exam on an internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.”

So the CAT exam pattern 2018, despite being a computer based exam, will not be an online exam. Sharing the key difference and USPs of CAT exam pattern, IIMs further elaborate “In the computer-based format, the candidate reads a question on a computer terminal and clicks on the correct answer. Additionally, the timer on the computer screen tells you the remaining time to complete the current section.”

CAT 2018 Exam pattern: Sections, sub-sections, Expected difficulty level

CAT exam pattern was totally revamped in CAT 2015 by IIM Ahmedabad and since then CAT exam pattern has followed the same CAT pattern for all the 3 sections. The key features of CAT 2018 sectional exam pattern are:

VARC: 1st section
  • Total questions: 34
  • MCQs: 24 to 27
  • Non-MCQs: 7 to 10
  • RC passages: 5
  • RC Based questions (All MCQs): 24
  • VA questions (Mix of MCQs & non-MCQs): 10
  • LOD: Moderate to Very difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • No Grammar or vocabulary based questions since CAT 2015
  • Verbal Ability questions remain confined to 3 topics only – Jumbled paragraph; Para summary; picking the odd sentence out of the jumbled sentences.
DILR: 2nd section
  • Total questions: 32
  • MCQs: 28
  • Non-MCQs: 8
  • Share of DI questions: 16
  • Share of LR questions: 16
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • Questions appear in set of 4
  • Time crunch is faced by test takers as questions are more time consuming
Quant: 3rd section
  • Total questions: 34
  • MCQs: 23 to 27
  • Non-MCQs: 7 to 11
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • More questions are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & speed, Work/days, Compound interest

CAT exam pattern 2018: Key facts

  • CAT 2018 exam is Computer based Test (CBT) of 3 hours duration.
  • CAT exam is divided into 3 main sections of 60 minutes each
  • The 3 sections in CAT exam 2018 pattern are – Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC); Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR); Quantitative Aptitute (QA)
  • There will also be sub sections within the 3 sections in revised CAT exam 2018 pattern. For example, the revamped CAT exam pattern for VARC consists of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension sub sections; DILR contains questions on Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning.
  • Candidates are not allowed to move between one section to other during the 1 hour assigned to the particular section.
  • CAT Test takers cannot leave their seats during the exam.
  • MCQs in CAT 2018 exam pattern will need you to pick out 1 correct answer choice out of 4
  • Non-MCQs in CAT exam pattern will require you to type-in the correct answer on the computer screen.
  • There may not be any answer choices for Non-MCQs in revised pattern of CAT 2018.
  • Each correct answer in CAT exam pattern will be awarded 3 marks whether it is MCQ or Non-MCQ
  • Each wrong answer for MCQ in CAT exam 2018 will be imposed penalty of 1/3 negative mark (-1 mark)
  • There will be no penalty of negative marking on wrong answers to Non-MCQs in CAT 2018 exam pattern
  • CAT exam pattern remains on the lines of CAT official Mock test released by IIMs a month before the CAT exam.

CAT Pattern: Changes since Computerization

CAT Exam pattern over the past 8 years since it was computerised in 2009 has gone for perceptible changes. CAT paper pattern prior to 2009 was paper-pen based. CAT exam format was changed from paper based exam to CAT online computer based test in 2009. Even after that CAT paper pattern continued changing from 3 sections to 2 and then CAT pattern was changed to 3 sections in 2015. Since then CAT is following similar pattern. CAT 2018 pattern also remains the same as that of CAT exam 2017 pattern with 3 sections and 3 hours time although the number of MCQs and Non-MCQs may change.

Total No of Qs
Difficulty level
Q break up
CAT 2017
VARC-34. RC-24, (All MCQs), Verbal-10 (3 MCQs, 7 non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Total-34. MCQs 23, Non-MCQs-11
CAT Pattern in the lines of last year with changes in non-MCQs in each section
CAT 2016
VARC-34, RC-24, (All MCQs), Verbal-10 (All non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Quant-34, MCQ-27, Non-MCQs-7
Moderate to difficult
CAT exam pattern on the same lines as of CAT exam pattern 2015 Non-MCQs in Quant reduced.
CAT 2015
VARC -34, RC-24 (MCQs), Verbal-10 (Non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Quant-34, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-10
Moderate to difficult
Time limit increased to 180 minutes; Sectional time constration of 1 hour re-introduced; Non-MCQs without negative marking penalty for wrong answer No questions on error correction and vocabulary.
CAT 2014
50 VARC-34 LR-16
50 Quant-34 DI-16
Moderate to difficult
Test time increased to 170 minutes; Sectional time constrain removed; More questions on error correction; RC questions based on reasoning Overall moderate exam.
CAT 2013
30 10 verbal 10 RC 10 LR
30 DI-10
Moderate to difficult
On the same pattern as last year. No new surprise element.
CAT 2012
30 (LR 10) 10 verbal 10 RC 10 LR
30 (DI 10)
Moderate to difficult (Difficulty level was more or less maintained to the same level.
Error correction-1 to 2, parajumbles-2, Completion of last sentence of paragraph-2, Out of context Sentence in jumbled paragraph -1 to 2, Fill in the blanks vocabulary words- 1 to 2, Words used in different ways-2, Reading comprehension – three passages with 3 to 4 questions each (Common question in almost all the sessions from 11th Oct.2012 to 6th Nov.2012 – Tone of the author-at least two questions in every session) New or surprise element – Two questions on ‘Out of context sentences in jumbled paragraph’ – Paragraph had to be placed in order and the out of context sentence had to be picked out. Permutations & Combinations, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Number Systems, Modern Maths.
CAT 2011
30(LR 10)
Moderate to difficult-LOD>2
Jumbled sentences, error correction, Vocabulary, RC, grammar Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Number Systems, Modern Maths
CAT 2010
Moderate to difficult-LOD>2
RC, Grammar, Parajumbles, sentence correction & completion,
Quant was tougher compared to CAT 2009. The areas were more calculation intensive and needed conceptual understanding.
CAT 2009
LOD=2 overall
Sentence rearrangement, Grammar, comprehension, correction of errors, sentence completion, Usage Vocabulary
Number System, Algebra, Mensuration, and Commercial Math.

CAT 2018 Selection Procedure

Every institute, including the IIMs, have different cut-offs and criteria for selection. The institutes take into account overall profile strength which includes one’s CAT score and also one’s 10th, 12thand graduation marks, work experience, extra-curricular activities etc. Based on their selection criteria, candidates are called for group discussion and personal interview (GDPI) rounds. The cumulative scores of all rounds are considered to decide the final merit list for each institute.


While there is no fixed or official syllabus for CAT 2018, there are certain subjects that are asked in CAT every year.

  • Quantitative Ability
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension.
  • Data Interpretation.
  • Logical Reasoning.

The CAT 2018 syllabus, based on CAT 2017, has been detailed below. The major topics covered in the syllabus include Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, English Language Skills among others. CAT 2018 official notification hasn’t been released as of yet but is going to release in the last week of July 2018 tentatively.

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Number System: GCD, LCM Remainder Theorems etc.
  • Percentage.
  • Ratio, Proportions & Variations.
  • Progressions i.e. Arithmetic Progression (AP), Geometric Progression (GP), Harmonic Progressions (HP) etc.
  • Permutation & Combination.
  • Probability.
  • Simple & Compound Interest.
  • Profit and Loss.
  • Mixture and Alligation.
  • Speed, Time and Distance.
  • Time & Work.
  • Mensuration.
  • Geometry: Straight Lines, Polygons, Triangles, Circles, Ellipses etc.
  • Coordinate Geometry.
  • Averages.
  • Functions i.e. Logarithms, Even & Odd, Representation etc.
  • Inequalities.
  • Quadratic Equations.
  • Set Theory.

A total of 34 questions (24 MCQs & 10 Non-MCQs) will be presented in this section. Each question will carry 3 marks each. A wrong answer will result in 1 mark deduction. The duration of this section will be 1-hour.

Data Interpretation

  • Data Tables.
  • Bar Charts.
  • Pie Charts.
  • Graphs (Line, Area).
  • Venn Diagram.
  • Data Analysis.

The section along with Reasoning questions will have a total of 30 questions (22 MCQs & 08 Non-MCQs).

Same marking scheme will be followed as QA section.

Analytical Reasoning Section

  • Arrangements-based questions.
  • Puzzles.
  • Syllogisms
  • Set Theory.
  • Venn Diagrams.
  • Binary Logic
  • Sequences and Series
  • Blood Relations
  • Direction Test.
  • Data Structures.
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Coding – Decoding.
  • Assertion and Reason.
Language Skills (English)

  • Reading Comprehension.
  • Para jumbles.
  • Synonyms.
  • Antonyms.
  • Fill in the Blanks.
  • Idioms.
  • Error-Spotting.
  • One-word Substitutions.
  • Analogies.

The section will have 34 question (24 MCQs & 10 Non-MCQs). Other particulars will be same as other section.

CAT 2018 Test Centers

CAT 2017 was held in 140 cities across the country. Though the test centers for CAT 2018 have not been officially announced, the current test centers in India are as follows:

Exam State Exam Cities
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Andhra Pradesh Chittoor, Kurnool, Nellore, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
Assam Dibrugarh, Guwahati
Bihar Aurangabad, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Purnea
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Chattisgarh Raipur, Bhillai
Delhi New Delhi
Goa Madgaon, Verna
Gujarat Ahmedabad, Anand, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara
Haryana Ambala, Bahadurgarh, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Palwal, Panipath, Rohtak, Sonipath
Himachal Pradesh Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu
Jharkhand Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Ranchi
Karnataka Belgaum, Bengaluru, Bidar, Chikballapur, Davanagere, Hasan, Kolar, Mandya, Mangalore, Mysore, Ramnagara, Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi
Kerala Kasaragod, Kochi, Kollam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Trivandrum
Madhya Pradesh Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Sagar
Maharashtra Ahmednagar, Amravati, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nanded, Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Ratnagiri, Satara, Solapur, Thane
Meghalaya Shillong
Odisha Balasore, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur
Puducherry Puducherry
Punjab Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Mohali, Pathankot, Patiala, Ropar, Sangrur
Rajasthan Ajmer, Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Sikar, Udaipur
Tamil Nadu Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelvelli
Telangana Hyderabad, Karim Nagar, Khammam
Uttar Pradesh Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mathura, Meerut, Noida, Varanasi
Uttarakhand Dehradun, Roorkee
West Bengal Asansol, Burdwan, Durgapur, Hooghly, Howrah, Kalyani, Kolkata, Sliliguri

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