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CAT Full Form

Sudeshna chakrabartiUpdated On: September 22, 2023 06:13 pm IST

The CAT full form is the Common Admission Test organized by IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) to shortlist candidates for various Doctorate and postgraduate programmes. CAT is regarded as the most crucial career-defining exam as its score decides whether a candidate can pave the path to corporates as managers or not. This exam comprises objective-type questions with a time limit of 2 hours, well during Covid, the duration was increased to 2 hours and 40 minutes. 


What is CAT Full Form?

As mentioned earlier, CAT full form is the Common Admission Test, that opens exciting opportunities in reputed corporate firms by helping candidates get admission in the top management colleges in India. Be it the exam pattern, mode of test or duration, over the years, CAT underwent a wave of changes. Before 2009, it began as a paper-based test, however gradually it was updated into a computer-based test. The popularity of this entrance exam is indicated by the number of test takers on average across India. As per sources, in 2021, almost 191,660 candidates participated in the Common Admission Test (CAT full form).

If you see your future in a management position in a top corporate firm, our article is what you need to read. We will offer you a brief insight into the CAT exam pattern, eligibility requirements, application process and job opportunities after qualifying CAT.

Overview of CAT

CAT full form

Common Admission Test

Mode of exam


Conducting body

IIMs of India

CAT exam date 2023

26 November


2 hours

What is CAT or Common Admission Test (CAT Full Form)?

CAT or Common Admission Test is an entrance exam organized by the IIMs across India to evaluate whether a candidate is eligible to get admitted to any management program like BBA or MBA. The candidates need to complete three sections that consist of Logical reasoning, Reading comprehension & verbal ability and Data interpretation.

Logical reasoning: In this section, candidates are assessed based on their logical thinking skills and comprise questions on identifying various patterns and relationships.

Reading comprehension and Verbal Ability: Reading comprehension falls a vital part of any competitive exam. It evaluates the ability of a candidate to comprehend a given passage with their amazing reading skill. 

Data Interpretation: Candidates will be asked to solve questions based on data given in a graphical or tabular format.

CAT, full form of which is Common Admission Test, is perhaps the most challenging exam whereby the success rate on the first attempt accounts for just 5%. The aspirants need to work hard to fetch maximum marks in all three sections to stand out in this competitive environment. 

Who is Eligible to Apply for the Common Admission Test?

Those ambitious to take admission to one of the top IIMS of India must gather information regarding eligibility requirements to sit for the CAT exam. 

  • The candidates should hold a graduation degree with a minimum of 50% marks. For the backward classes like SC/ST/OBC scoring at least 45% is mandatory.
  • If an aspirant is in their final year of the graduation program, they are eligible to apply for CAT.
  • The graduation degree of a candidate must be awarded by an institution approved under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956.

 What is the Application Process for CAT?

The CAT application form is even the IIM admission form; so, the candidates are advised to keep their keen eyes on the official website of CAT to get all the major updates regarding registration, form fill-up day and exam date. A Common Admission Test (CAT full form) examinee has to go through three steps to enroll for this management program entrance. 

CAT Registration Highlights

CAT Registration prereuistes


Registration website

Test city options


Mode of application



  • INR 2300 for General/OBC
  • INR 1150 for SC/ST/PwD

Mode of payment

  • Internet banking
  • Credit/debit card

Important documents to upload

  • Passport size photographs
  • Scanned signature
  • Caste certificate

Apply for the CAT exam in 3 simple steps

First step: Registration

  • Browse the official website of CAT i.e.
  • Go to the new candidate registration tab and click on the register
  • Enter the details
  • Press the button on generate OTP
  • After successfully registering, you will receive OTP in your phone number
  • Verify the registration with the OTP

Second step: Filling out the Application Form

On successful registration, candidates will be able to fill out an application form that comprises six sections. Let’s check them out.

  • Academic details/educational background
  • Personal details
  • Work experience
  • Name of IIM the candidate wish to opt for
  • Test city preference
  • Fee payment

Third step: Fee payment

The last and final step that helps a candidate confirm to sit for the Common Admission Test (CAT full form) exam is paying the application fee. On completing the filling up process, you will find an option of payment, use with debit card, credit card, or internet banking for making the payment. 

What to Expect After CAT?

Is qualifying in CAT the end of your management college selection process? If you are pondering this question, the answer is no. The destination of your dream college still has few other levels to cross because the top IIMs intend to extract the best from the rest. Hence, after a candidate qualifies for the Common Admission Test, they should be prepared to undergo two tests comprised of a Written Ability Test and an interview. Well, these tests will vary as per institutes.

WAT (Written ability test): This test is conducted to evaluate a student's writing skills. In some institutes, WAT often replaces group discussion rounds. Aspirants need to solve questions based on their general knowledge and current affairs.

Personal Interview: This is the ultimate vital step to help students confirm admission to a reputed IIM. During the interview, candidates will be judged on their confidence level, presence of mind, and understanding of management concepts. 

How CAT can Prove Significant for MBA Students?

CAT is administered by India’s top six IIMs rotationally. Each year lakhs of students appear for this entrance to get admission at management colleges. Well, most undergraduate students raise a query regarding the use and benefits of this entrance exam. To help answer this common query, we have offered some of the top reasons to sit for the CAT below:

  • CAT is considered to be the toughest of all MBA entrance exams; hence, appearing for the entrance can help students get prepared for any other management admission tests like XAT, NMAT, or SNAP.
  • Qualifying CAT can open opportunities to join top B-schools. This is a mandatory entrance to get admission to top IIMs. So students aspiring to kickstart their academic journey in the management field must choose CAT.
  • This challenging entrance comprises questions on logical reasoning, English, and quantitative ability that somehow strengthen a candidate’s skills to solve questions and prove their caliber.
  • Students scoring exceptional marks in the common admission tests will get a great opportunity to seek admission to the best management college, and its addition to the CV can open better job prospects.

Important Updates Made to CAT Over the Years

CAT being an important entrance examination enabling MBA aspiranst to fulfill their academic goals has undergone significant updates. From 2015 onwards, its popularity has risen which resulted in changes in question patterns, sections, and others. Let’s explore some of the major updates.

  • Total questions

Before 2015, CAT aspirants had to answer around 100 questions that were asked from three sections. However, it underwent an update and the total number of questions was reduced to 66 but the sections remained the same.

  • Penalty questions

As per the new update, the question paper will comprise 18 questions out of the total questions that can penalize students for wrong answers. As the paper will be a mixture of MCQ and non-MCQs in case non-MCQs with penalties, negative markings will be removed from some MCQs.

  • CAT Cutoff Marks

To fulfill the aspiration of joining an IIM, students must aim for minimum qualifying marks in CAT. Candidates have higher chances of getting shortlisted if they succeed in securing the 70 to 90 percentile.  

Top 5 CAT Preparation Myths

As the Common Admission Test (CAT full form) is a popular entrance some mythical concepts are associated with its preparation, so let’s bust them one by one.

  • CAT Requires Expertise in Mathematics
  • Students hailing from the engineering field can only score higher in the CAT
  • Female candidates have fewer chances to qualify for CAT compared to male candidates.
  • Scores of Common Admission Test is only accepted by IIMs
  • It’s perhaps the most challenging and tough entrance exams

The MBA aspirants should rely on online sample papers of CAT, the full form of which is the Common Admission Test, to get an idea regarding the level of questions and mark allotment. Practicing mock tests and framing proper time management techniques can help you fetch good marks.


What is CAT full form?

CAT stands for Common Admission Test


What is the purpose of CAT?

Those who wish to join doctorate or postgraduate degree courses in any reputed management college must qualify in CAT.


Is the CAT exam tough?

Yes, CAT is regarded as the toughest competitive exam in India. You have score good marks in the three sections given in the exam


What are the passing marks in CAT?

You need to score a minimum of 90 percentile after the cutoff to get admission in any reputed management institute.


How much does an MBA graduate earn?

MBA graduates get the opportunity to work with the top corporate firms and their average salary ranges to 400000 per annum.