CAT 2020 – Eligibility, Fees, Dates, Exam Pattern & Syllabus

CAT or Common Admission Test, which is a computer-based test for those looking to get into a graduate management program, covers aspects such as Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning as well as Reading Comprehension.

The exam is conducted every year by one of the IIMs or the Indian Institute of Management on a rotational basis. Given that there many that wish to get into the field of management, there are over 2.4 lakh students that register for the Common Admission Test each year since it serves as the gateway to some of India’s top MBA institutes, IIMs as well as over 1200 other business schools.

CAT 2019 was conducted by IIM Kozhikode on 24 November 2019, and its results were announced on 4 January 2020 while this year’s CAT (CAT 2020) will be conducted either on the last Sunday of the month of November or on the first Sunday of December and the results of the same shall be announced in January 2021; the CAT 2020 exam notification shall be announced in the month of July, and the registration process for the same shall begin in as well (it shall begin in the month of July and shall close by the end of September).

It is after the announcement of the results that IIMs shall begin with the process of shortlisting candidates for admission. This article provides some key information and details about the CAT 2020 examination, such as the eligibility criteria, the dates, the pattern of the examination as well as the syllabus, the registration procedure, the fees, declaration of results, the cut-offs along with CAT 2020 preparation.

Eligibility Criteria CAT 2020

The following is the eligibility criteria for those who can register for CAT 2020:

  • Must have a graduation degree having secured an aggregate of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (cumulative grade point average) or
  • Must have a professional degree such as CA/CS/ICWA having secured 50% marks or equivalent CGPA or
  • Those in the final year of graduation are also eligible to register for the CAT 2020 exam.

It must be kept in mind that the percentage of marks obtained by the candidates shall be calculated on the basis of the formula practiced by the institute or university, and in the event that there is no scheme to convert the CGPA into its equivalent marks at the said institute or university, it would be derived by dividing the candidates’ CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and the result shall then be multiplied with 100.

Dates for CAT 2020

The following are the tentative dates for the examination; the final dates pertaining to the test shall be updated in the month of June: –

Notification release 4th week of July 2020
Beginning of registrations 4th week of July or 1st week of August 2020
End of registrations 4th week of September 2020
Form correction 4th week of September 2020
Release of mock test and official tutorial 2nd week of October 2020
Release of admit card 3rd week of October 2020
CAT 2020 examination 29 November 2020 (tentative)
Release of answer key 2nd week of December 2020
Declaration of results 1st week of January 2021

Registration cum Application Procedure CAT 2020

The registration procedure for the exam shall begin the last week of July and will end by the third week of September. Those wishing to apply would have to fill out an application form and would need to pay a registration fee; the CAT 2020 application form will be available on the IIMCAT website. The following is the registration process that needs to be followed: –

  • In a new window, open the CAT 2020 website.
  • Click on ‘New Registrations.’
  • Provide personal details such as name, date of birth, phone number, email address.
  • An OTP shall be sent to the mentioned email address and must be used to authenticate the phone number as well as the email address.
  • Follow the subsequent instructions.
  • In the prescribed dimensions, upload a scanned signature as well as image.
  • Make the payment in order to complete the process.

Registration Fees CAT 2020

Candidates registering for the CAT 2020 exam shall be required to pay a registration fee, which has been divided on the basis of the candidates’ category. The following are the fees for registering for the exam:

Category CAT Fees
General/NC-OBC Rs 1900

Admit Card CAT 2020

The registered candidates shall be issued an admit card online which needs to be downloaded as it is mandatory for candidates to carry it (2 copies) to the examination hall along with a photo id card issued by the Government of India (digital copies of the same shall not be accepted). The following is the procedure to download the admit card: –

  • In a new window, open the CAT 2020 website.
  • Click on ‘Login.’
  • Click on the ‘Admit Card’ tab.
  • Click ‘download’ to save a copy of the admit card.

Test Cities CAT 2020

CAT 2019 was conducted in 156 cities, and while the final or updated list of cities where CAT 2020 will be conducted shall be released at the time of registration, the below-mentioned are the cities where the examination is expected to be held:

Port Blair Hamirpur Mumbai
Guntur Jammu Nashik
Nellore Bokaro Satara
Vijayawada Dhanbad Palghar
Kakinada Hazaribagh Ulhasnagar
Rajahmundry Jamshedpur Shillong
Visakhapatnam Ranchi Aizawl
Kurnool Belagavi (Belgaum) Kohima
Tirupathi Bengaluru Balasore
Vizianagaram Hubballi (Hubli) Cuttack
Itanagar Mysuru (Mysore) Sambalpur
Dibrugarh Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) Berhampur
Silchar Shivamogga (Shimoga) Dhenkanal
Guwahati Dharwad Bhubaneswar
Tezpur Mangaluru (Mangalore) Rourkela
Jorhat Udupi Puducherry
Aurangabad-Bihar Kannur Pathankot
Darbhanga Ernakulam Ludhiana
Arrah Kollam Amritsar
Muzaffarpur Kottayam Bhatinda
Bhagalpur Kozhikode Patiala
Patna Thrissur Jalandhar
Mohali Trivandrum Sangrur
Chandigarh Bhopal Ajmer
Bhilai Nagar Jabalpur Jaipur
Bilaspur Ujjain Sikar
Raipur Gwalior Alwar
Delhi Sagar Jodhpur
Faridabad Indore Udaipur
Gurugram Satna Bikaner
Ghaziabad Bhopal Kota
New Delhi Jabalpur Madurai
Greater Noida Ujjain Chennai
Noida Gwalior Salem
Meerut Sagar Trichy
Panaji Indore Coimbatore
Ahmedabad Satna Vellore
Mehsana Amravati Tirunelveli
Vadodara Jalgaon Hyderabad
Anand Nagpur Karimnagar
Rajkot Pune Warangal
Gandhinagar Solapur Allahabad
Surat Navi Mumbai Bareilly
Ambala Ahmednagar Kanpur
Hisar Kolhapur Muzaffarnagar
Karnal Nanded Agra
Kurushetra Raigad Gorakhpur
Panipat Thane Lucknow
Rohtak Vasai Varanasi
Shimla Aurangabad Aligarh
Jhansi Moradabad Dehradun
Haldwani Roorkee Asansol
Durgapur Bankura Burdwan
Kolkata Hooghly Kalyani

Exam Pattern CAT 2020

The CAT 2020 exam pattern is prescribed by IIMs and is expected to remain the same as CAT 2019, with slight changes. Here are some key points of the exam pattern:

CAT Exam Pattern: Highlights

Exam timings Slot 1: 9 am to 12 pm

Slot 2: 2 pm to 5 pm

Number of sections Three
Section names
  • VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension)
  • DILR (Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning)
  • QA (Quantitative Aptitude)
Exam duration 60 minutes per section (180 minutes total)
Language of the question paper English
Total questions 100
Questions in each section
  • VARC- 34
  • DILR-32
  • QA-34
Number of answer choices Four
Question types MCQs and non-MCQs
Difficulty level per section
  • VARC- easy to moderate
  • DILR- moderate to difficult
  • QA- difficult
Total marks 300
Marking scheme
  • Three marks awarded for each right answer
  • Negative marking of 1/3 for each wrong MCQ answer
  • No negative marking for non-MCQ questions

Syllabus CAT 2020

The CAT 2020 examination shall consist of three sections with both MCQ and non-MCQ type questions (a total of 100 questions), which will together amount to 300 marks. The following are the three areas or topics that the exam shall cover:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension or VARC, which shall consist of 34 questions.
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning or DILR, which shall consist of 32 questions.
  • Quantitative Aptitude or QA, which shall consist of 34 questions.

Question Paper CAT 2020

The CAT 2020 question paper shall follow the same pattern as the previous year papers and shall consist of 3 sections; Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude (in this particular order).

The examination is conducted online, and the candidates shall be allowed to spend 60 minutes on each section (total 180 minutes/ 3 hours) and shall not be able to select the order of the questions to answer. In order to prevent the paper from leaking, the question paper of Slot 1 is slightly different from that of Slot 2.

Answer Key CAT 2020

Before the CAT exam results are declared, IIMCAT releases the answer key, response sheet as well as question paper. The candidates, in order to calculate their scores and predict IIM interview calls, can download the answer key from the official website.

The CAT 2020 answer key shall be released in two phases, the first being the preliminary phase and the second being the final phase. After the preliminary answer key is released, candidates can raise an objection and can challenge the answer key if they think there are any incorrect answers. It is after evaluating the objections and revising the preliminary answer key, if necessary, that the final answer key is released.

Results CAT 2020

The results of the CAT 2020 exam shall be announced in the first week of January 2021, and the result cum scorecard shall be available on the official IIMCAT website; the candidates can download it from there. The result cum scorecard shall contain the candidates’ scaled scores (sectional and overall) as well as a percentile (sectional and overall). For those seeking admission to the MBA batch of 2021-2023, the CAT 2020 scores shall be valid. The following is how the CAT 2020 results can be downloaded:

  • In a new window, open the CAT 2020 website.
  • Click on ‘Login.’
  • Click on the ‘scorecard’ tab.
  • Click on the download button and then save a copy of the result cum scorecard.

IIM Admissions and CAT Cut-Offs

Admission to IIM through the CAT examination shall include a total of three stages, which are screening of the candidates on the basis of CAT 2020 scores, WAT-GD/PI round, and then the final selection. Those candidates that qualify the CAT 2020 examination shall, according to IIM procedures, have to appear for a written ability test or WAT or group discussion or GD and personal interview or PI, which shall be conducted by the institutes.

It is important to note that only the candidates that meet the CAT 2020 cut-off requirements shall be called the WAT-GD/PI round. After this, the candidates shall be scored on the basis of their CAT 2020 performance as well as their WAT-GD/PI performance along with some other parameters.

Here are the parameters which are considered for admission to IIM through the CAT exam:

Parameters Weight
Written Ability Test 10
Personal Interview 30
10th Board 10
12th Board 5
Graduation 10
Weighted work experience 10
CAT 2020 25
Total 100

It is important to keep in mind that the parameters and weights mentioned above are that of IIM Bangalore’s admission criteria and meant for the purpose of providing reference only. Each IIM has its own way of allotting parameters and weights.

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