The duration of the test is 2 hours and 30 minutes including initial 15
minute tutorial. No breaks will be given during the test. The test consists of
questions that evaluate a candidate’s quantitative, verbal, and logical & data
interpretation abilities. Therefore, there are a total of three sections in the
test. There will be about 60 questions in the test.
At the test venue, each candidate will be seated at a desk with a computer
terminal and he/she will be provided with a scratch paper for calculations.
After the test, candidate must leave the scratch paper at the desk. Rough work
cannot be done on any other paper/sheet, as nothing will be allowed inside the
Disclaimers Regarding Conduct of CAT
Disclosing, publishing, reproducing, transmitting, storing, or facilitating
transmission and storage of the contents of the CAT or any information therein
in whole or part thereof in any form or by any means, verbal or written,
electronically or mechanically for any purpose, shall be in violation of the
Indian Contract Act, 1872 and/or the Copyright Act, 1957 and/or the Information
Technology Act, 2000. Such actions and/or abetment thereof as aforementioned may
constitute a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term up to
three years and fine up to Rs. two lakhs. Candidates who want to appear for CAT
have to agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement at the time of the test.
Computer based testing is a proven and reliable process that is administered to
tens of millions of people each year. As with paper and pencil testing, or
virtually every other human endeavor, a very small number of problems could
occur that might prevent a test from being delivered and/or a result from being
generated. In the unlikely event this does occur, every effort will be made to
correct the problem, up to and including the administration of another test.
How to tackle the online CAT-2010
The most pressing question on the minds of the
students is 'How do I tackle the Online CAT?' However, the most obvious thing
that one notices in the question is the emphasis on the 'Online' aspect more
than the one on 'CAT'. Well the answer to this question is to keep it simple and
not to worry about the 'Online' format as much as the 'content' of the paper.
One can get familiar with the Online format through the "CAT 2010 Practice Test"
on http://catiim.in/ and through online mock tests.
The key to doing well on CAT has always been
1) Sound preparation
2) Getting the Basics right
3) Plenty of practice on Sectional Tests
4) Taking a good number of Full Length Mock CATs (Online) simulating all
'Sound preparation' encompasses looking at questions from previous years' CATs
and understanding the 'syllabus' of CAT. First, one should make a list of all
ics/areas on which questions have been asked in Quantitative, Logic & Data
Interpretation and the Verbal section.
Then, one should assess whether one is 'proficient', 'average' or 'needs
improvement' in each of those areas. The areas that fall in the third category
is what one should look at quickly addressing rather than hoping that questions
from that area do not come in CAT2010!
The IIMs, through CAT, test the students on their understanding of basic
concepts and this is where 'Getting the basics right' plays a vital role. Often
students look for the toughest material to practice without realising that their
understanding of concepts as simple as LCM & HCF is not as good as they think it
CAT has often trapped students with simple and elegant questions that probe into
their understanding of the basics. A quick recap of all the chapters in
Quantitative and the concepts involved in each of them would go a long way in
One key aspect of CAT has been its unpredictability in terms of the pattern, the
question types, areas emphasised and the difficulty level. However, CAT 2010 has
eased the unpredictability to an extent by mentioning the pattern beforehand (3
sections with a total of 60 questions).
Students should try to strengthen their performance in each section in terms of
speed and accuracy by practicing on a good number of sectional tests. Students
should also ensure that they get enough practice of all kinds of full length
papers through a comprehensive Mock series program.
This ensures that one is exposed to relevant and plausible question types which
increases one's capacity to deal with any surprise in CAT2010. However taking
lots of mocks is not the only preparation strategy - analysing the mocks after
the test is over and learning from ones mistakes is, in fact, a key step, which
students often overlook.
Finally, the most important ingredient in tackling CAT 2010 successfully is
self-belief - the conviction that the effort that one has put in over the past
months will yield positive results.
Constant worrying about the end result only makes the task much more difficult
So keep your spirits high and elevate your level of preparation in the next one
month leading upto CAT. Success will belong to those who can follow this advice
religiously and keep up their belief quotient.
mandates that the test taker perform equally well
in all sections of the test. It is not sufficient
to get a good score in the test as a whole - the
candidate also has to perform well in each of
the three/ four sections of the CAT paper. When
we talk of performing equally well, we have to
look at it as a relative measure. Among the one
lakh plus candidates expected to take CAT this
year, you should be able to score a certain number
of marks more than the average in each of the
selections in order to qualify. Hence you have
to aim at crossing a minimum cut - off mark in
each section to be eligible to get a call for
the Group Discussion (GD) and Interview stage.
The minimum cut-off required
in each section could vary from IIM to IIM and
also for each of the other 30+ institutes that
use CAT scores for their selection process.
It would be fair to assume that the cut - off
scores required for many of the other institutes
would be slightly lower than those required for
proper planning is not done, there is a danger
that one may actually get much more than the total
minimum required marks to be eligible for the
IIMs but one may not cross the cutoffs in a particular
section. This brings us to the basic rule that
applies to the CAT paper - do reasonably well
in every section rather than concentrating on
and doing extremely well in every section rather
than concentrating on and doing extremely well
in one/ two sections. Getting a very high score
in one or two sections at the expense of the others
would fetch you nothing and defeats the very purpose
for which you are taking the test!
key to crack the CAT exam is to keep your cool
and maintain your composure during the entire
length of the test. This may sound deceptively
simple but is easier said than done. The pressure
levels would be high, yes, but you have to use
your adrenaline to work faster and smarter. There
is no point getting bogged down at any point in
the paper. CAT does not require/ expect you to
attempt all or even nearly all the questions.
It is test of speed but not only of speed. Accuracy
is needed too!
is no great secret that the test itself comprises
a significant number of questions that are not
very difficult. The knack, then, would be to maximize
your score by completing the easy ones rather
than getting bogged down by the more difficult
ones especially since, no extra marks are awarded
for solving the more difficult questions.
within each section, there is very clear need
for a planned strategy of attempting questions.
Unless a clear cut timed strategy for attempting
the test is in place, there is every chance that
one may miss out on very easy questions which
may be at the end of the section and instead end
up solving all the difficult questions that may
have been given at the beginning. It is imperative
to realize that there is no rule that says that
the difficult questions will be at the end of
the section nor is there a rule that says that
easy questions are at the beginning of each section.
Then why should there be any discrimination while
attempting the questions? The common tendency
among students is to start the section from the
very first question. Much as it may be the best
starting point, it loses its relevance if all
the questions in a particular section are not
read. By not reading a question or a set of questions,
one is obviously at a disadvantage when compared
to a student who carefully plans out the time
limits within each section and ensures that he
or she picks and solves the easy questions given
in each section.
important point to note for the CAT exam is that,
there are no individual cutoffs for the areas
within a section. The instructions on the front
page of the question booklet of CAT clearly specify
that you should do equally well in all sections.
Hence, depending on your comfort level in each
of the areas, you should allocate the time for
the areas within a section.
is negative marketing in the CAT paper and for
every wrong answer a certain score is deducted
from your total. The IIMs do not disclose the
way they calculate the negative marks for the
Golden Rule that needs to be followed is to ensure
that there is no question which is unread at the
end of the test. This will ensure that all possible
easy questions have been attempted or at least
looked at. Unfortunately, CAT does not have any
special notations pointing to the easy questions
and neither do they scream out at you from the
paper. It is up to you to find them and make sure
you do most of them. The easy ones could be anywhere
- at the beginning, in the middle or at the end
- just about anywhere.