CAT Exam

Knowledge Base

CAT exam details

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly competitive entrance exam for admissions in Master of Business Administration (MBA) / Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programs in India. CAT score is also accepted by some of the international universities for admissions in their post-graduate business administration programs. Primarily CAT qualified candidates seek admission in top business schools (B-schools) in India like Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Apart from IIMs, other top-notch B-schools in India like S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Management Development Institute (Gurgaon), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) consider CAT as a prerequisite for their admission process in post-graduate business administration programs. More than two lakh candidates seat for CAT exam every year to explore better career opportunities in post graduate business administration programs offered by top B-schools in India and this number is rapidly increasing every year.

CAT Organizing Institutions


Conducting Body

CAT 2020

IIM Indore

CAT 2019

IIM Kozhikode

CAT 2018

IIM Calcutta

CAT 2017

IIM Lucknow

CAT 2016

IIM Bangalore

CAT 2015

IIM Ahmedabad

CAT 2014

IIM Indore

CAT 2013

IIM Indore

CAT 2012

IIM Kozhikode

CAT 2011

IIM Calcutta

CAT 2010

IIM Lucknow

CAT 2009

IIM Ahmedabad


CAT Exam Pattern

In CAT Exam, Each Question carries 3 marks, and one mark is deducted for every wrong answer. For each of Non-MCQs, the mark allotted is 3 but there is no negative marking involved in this type of questions.
Due to pandemic situation, CAT 2020 was conducted by IIM Indore in 3 sessions, with a reduced number of 76 questions and reduced time limit of two hours.



Mode of the CAT 2021 exam

Computer-Based Mode (CBT)

Name of the Sections

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Duration of the CAT Exam

3 hours (180 Minutes)

  • 2 Hours (120 Minutes)


Number of Questions

100 questions

76 Questions (54 MCQs and 22 Non-MCQs)

Slot-wise Session

  • Slot 1: 8:30 am - 10:30 pm (Morning Session)
  • Slot 2: 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm (Afternoon Session)
  • Slot 3: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm (Evening Session)

Section-wise time duration

60 minutes per section (Total 180 minutes)

  • 40 Minutes for Each Section (VARC, DILR, QA).

53 Minutes 20 Seconds for PwD candidates for each section.

 Total marks of CAT

300 marks

228 marks


Marking Scheme

  • For every right answer: +3 will be awarded
  • For every wrong answer in MCQs: -1 will be deducted
  • MCQs left blank: No negative marking
  • No negative marks for Non-MCQs


Important Dates

Deadlines and important dates of CAT 2021 were released on 31st July. The details are given below.

CAT 2021 Events

CAT 2021 Dates

Notification release

31-Jul- 2021

Registration starts


Registration ends


Form correction

Last week of September, 2021

Admit card release


Exam date


Answer key release

First week of December, 2021

Answer key challenge process

First week of December, 2021

Final answer key release

Last week of December, 2021

Result declaration

Second week of January, 2022