Application Forms for Common Admission Test (CAT)
Interested students can get the forms for Common Admissions Test (CAT) from some designated bank branches. Prospective students also have the option of registering online. One point that needs to be remembered is that the candidate needs to purchase only one CAT application form irrespective of the number of management institutes he/she is interested in applying to. Notification regarding the availability of CAT application form appears in almost all the dailies.
Eligibility Criteria for Common Admission Test (CAT)
For all IIMs, the minimum eligibility criterion for admission is that the candidate must pass with at least 50% marks at the graduation level. Candidates appearing for the final year graduation can also apply for the CAT examinations, however they are expected to produce a certificate from the Principal/Head of the Department/Registrar/Director of the university/ institution certifying that the candidate has obtained 50% marks or equivalent based on latest available graduation scores. The margin is 45% for the SC or ST candidates. The percentage of marks scored by the students in the bachelor's degree is calculated based on the common practice followed by the university or the institution from where the student has obtained the degree certificate. In case the candidates are awarded grades and not marks then the conversion of grades to the percentage of marks would be entirely based on the system certified by the concerned university or institution. And in any case, if the university or the institution does not have any policy for converting the obtained grades into equivalent marks then the equivalence is established by dividing the candidate's grades by the maximum grade of the student and then by multiplying the result with 100.
Courses Perused through CAT
Post graduate management courses are as follows -
* IIM Ahmedabad - PGP, PGP-ABM and PGP-PMP
* IIM Bangalore - PGP, PGSEM and PGPPM
* IIM Calcutta - PGP-PGDM and PGP - PGDCM
* IIM Indore - PGP and EPGP
* IIM Kozhikode - PGP
* IIM Lucknow - PGP and PGPABM
* RGIIM Shillong - PGP
* B. Fellow Programmes in Management (FPM) (which are equivalent to Ph.D) of IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhilwde, and IIM Lucknow.
Examination Pattern of CAT
There are four separate sections in the CAT question paper. They are mainly 'Verbal Ability', 'Reading Comprehension', 'Problem Solving' and 'Data Interpretation'. These sections comprise of multiple choice questions and are required to be answered only by using HB pencil on a computer coded answer paper. For every single incorrect answer the students would get negative marks. The IIMs change the pattern of question every year to avoid predictability. Deeper understanding of the various concepts and their applications is needed to become successful in the CAT.
Syllabus of CAT
There is no defined syllabus for CAT. It is basically an aptitude test which examines the knowledge and analytical skills of the candidates. The syllabus for this entrance examination changes every single year. The four main sections of Common Admission Test are as follows
* Quantitative Ability (QA): In this section, the questions are designed with a lot of emphasis on reasoning skills.
* Data Interpretation (DI): This section some data is presented to the candidates in the form of pie diagrams, bar graphs, etc to evaluate the candidate's skills at analyzing the given information. Data Sufficiency questions in this section are based on basic mathematics.
* Reading Comprehension (RC): This section has around 6-8 passages with an overall length of 4500-5500 words and about 50 questions to answer in a span of about 30 minutes. However, this too can vary according to the level of difficulty of questions.
* Verbal Ability (VA): This section explores the candidates' understanding of the English Language and also tests them on their Reasoning Skills. The questions in this section typically comprise of sentence correction, sentence sequencing, verbal reasoning etc.
Selection Process for CAT
The final results of the CAT are announced on the official website of CAT. After the written exam of CAT, the prospective candidates are ranked as per the scores obtained by them and the best of candidates are called by the IIMs, the most prestigious management institutes of the country. Other elite business management schools, which accept the scores of CAT for the admissions also send their call letters to the short-listed candidates. The candidates receiving the call letters need to buy the application forms of these institutes and apply to them separately. After the written test, the selected students have to undergo a group discussion and a personal interview. In group discussions students are posed with some significant topics about which they need to think and discuss and reach at an amicable conclusion. Personal interview is the final step of the selection process.
Common Admission Test or CAT is considered to be the most significant requirement for a student seeking admission to the prestigious business management schools of India. The percentile obtained in CAT is reviewed by the B-Schools of the country for short-listing the suitable candidates for admissions to their several MBA Programs. CAT is also considered as one of the most competitive entrance exams for judging the potential, knowledge and skills of the candidates interested in pursuing a career in business administration and management.