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Common Admission Test

 

The Common Admission Test (CAT)is a computer based test held in India. The test scores a candidate on the bases of Quantitative Ability (QA)Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration programs. The test is conducted every year by one of the IIMs based on a policy of rotation.

In August 2011, it was announced that Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) would also use the CAT scores, instead of the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET), to select students for their management programmes starting with the 2012-14 batch. Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015 was conducted by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad) on November 29, 2015. IIM Indore held Common Admission Test for the two consecutive years 2013 and 2014.

Eligibility for CAT

The candidate must satisfy the below specified criteria's:
1. Hold a Bachelor's Degree, with no less than 50% or equal CGPA (45% if there should arise an occurrence of the aspirants having a place with Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PWD)/Differently Able (DA) classification)
2. The degree should be granted by any of the Universities consolidated by an act of the central or state statutory body in India or other instructive organizations built up by an act of Parliament or pronounced to be considered as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
3. Competitors appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and the individuals who have finished degree prerequisites and are anticipating results can likewise apply. If selected, such applicants will be permitted to join the program temporarily, only if she/he presents a certificate most recent by June 30, 2018 from the Principal/Registrar of her/his College/Institute (issued at the latest June 30, 2018) expressing that the competitor has finished every one of the prerequisites for acquiring the four year college education/identical capability on the date of the issue of the certificate.

Exam format

The Common Admission Test (CAT), like virtually all large-scale exams, utilises multiple forms, or versions, of the test. Hence there are two types of scores involved: a raw score and a scaled score.

The raw score is calculated for each section based on the number of questions one answered correctly, incorrectly, or left  unattempted. Candidates are given +3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect answer. No points are given for questions that are not answered. The raw scores are then adjusted through a process called equating. Equated raw scores are then placed on a common scale or metric to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores. This process is called scaling.

Test pattern and duration

CAT Exam Pattern is unpredictable and it changes every year. Since last two years, the structure of the test has undergone a few changes. As per the notification released by IIM Lucknow, there is no such change introduced in CAT 2017 Exam Pattern. CAT is a computer based test which consists of 100 objective type questions. There are 3 sections in the test:

  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

The Quantitative Ability and Verbal & Reading Comprehension sections consisted 34 questions each, whereas the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section had 32 questions. This distribution of questions was same for CAT 2015 and CAT 2016. Before this, the distribution  of questions were different. In CAT 2017, it is expected that number of questions in each section may vary as compared to the previous year.

For CAT 2017, IIM Lucknow has released some points related to CAT Exam Pattern such as-

  • A few questions in each section of CAT may be of non-MCQs type questions (TITA- Type In The  Answer).
  • Exactly 60 minutes will be allotted for answering each section.
  • Each question carries 3 marks and there is negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer.
  • No negative marking for non-MCQ type questions.
  • A virtual calculator (on-screen calculator) will be available throughout for the purpose of calculation.

The test takers cannot switch between the sections and have to attend the test in a particular order. The order of the sections is same for all the applicants-

  • VARC
  • DI & LR, and
  • QA

Four scaled scores will be presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and three separate scaled scores for each section. As the three sections evaluate distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.