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All you need to know about CAT exams

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The Common Admission Examination, or CAT exam, is a management aptitude test that candidates must pass to be considered for MBA programs at institutes in the nation and around the globe. Every year, around two lakh people apply for the test. MCQs and non-MCQs from Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability make up for the contents of the CAT exam. The CAT score is valid for admission to Executive MBA, Ph.D., and FPM programs, apart from the MBA courses.

Eligibility

The CAT exam requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in any field. The following are the detailed CAT eligibility criteria:

  • To take the CAT 2022, candidates must have a bachelor's degree from a recognized university with a minimum of 50% (45% aggregate for SC, ST, and PWD/DA categories).
  • Candidates who have earned the necessary percentage in a professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) are also eligible to take the CAT exam.
  • Candidates in their final year of a bachelor's degree/equivalent qualification or those awaiting results are also eligible to take the CAT 2022 test.

CAT registration process

The CAT registration process is as follows - 

1. Go to the CAT website and generate an online form.

2. Click Register and generate an OTP using your name, email address, date of birth, cell phone number, and nationality. You will get an OTP through email. Verify your account by entering the OTP. You will get an email with your CAT ID and password.

3. Fill up the data - Log in using the same ID and password as before. Complete the sections for personal information, academic information, professional experience, and other details if required. Upload the required photo and signature in jpg/jpeg format with an image size of at least 80 KB.

4. Finish your application - Examine your application and make your payment.

6. Get the credential through SMS: Your ID, Password, and other CAT-related alerts will always be sent to your registered cellphone number via SMS. If you forget your username or password, you can check your messenger for the same. 

CAT selection process

The CAT selection process comprises the following steps- 

1. Candidates are shortlisted based on their CAT exam scores, previous academic scores, and work experience.

2. The following steps include - Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI)

3. Final shortlist or calls based on the student's performance in Stage 1 and Stage 2 performance

CAT Exam fees

  • The application cost for applicants from the General/OBC category is INR 2200.
  • SC/ST/PWD applicant's fee is INR 1100.
  • The application cost is paid entirely online with a credit/debit card or using Net Banking.

A dynamic marking system is used for CAT exams. Your total percentile is influenced by a variety of other factors. Every question is graded on its difficulty level as well as the number of persons who attempt it and answer it correctly. Every wrong answer will lead to minus marks. However, this does not apply to non-MCQ questions.

CAT Exam pattern

The CAT question paper is divided into three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Ability (QA), and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). Candidates must answer both multiple-choice and non-multiple-choice questions. 

The CAT design and curriculum may vary as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. The CAT exam pattern may change post the pandemic situation.

  • There were a total of 66 questions, with +3 marks awarded for correct answers and -1 mark subtracted for wrong answers in the year 2021.
  • The non-MCQ questions have no negative marking.
  • The CAT exam pattern includes questions in the MCQ and the non-MCQ pattern
  • The language of the examination is English.
  • This test has a time limit of 120 minutes (2 hours).
  • There is a 40-minute time restriction for each section (Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension)
  • A candidate may not switch sections until the stipulated time has expired. The students cannot attempt the questions from the previous part once they have moved on to another section.
  • This is a computer-based examination.
  • A calculator will be provided to the candidates for the exam.

List of documents required for the CAT Exam

  • The candidate's email address and phone number
  • Marksheets from 10th and 12th grades, as well as graduation certificates (if cleared)
  • A valid ID proof (Aadhaar Card/PAN Card/Voter Card/Passport, etc.) is required.
  • Along with their CAT 2022 application, candidates will be needed to provide specific CAT question papers such as a passport-size photograph, signature, and so on.
  • When scanning documents, it is important to make sure that the resolution is at least 150 pixels per inch.
  • The signature should be written in black ink on the blank page.
  • The signature and photograph must be in jpeg/jpg format, with a file size of no more than 80kb.
  • Other students must present their SC/ST/NC-OBC/EWS and PWD certificates, except General Category applicants.
  • Payment can be made by credit card, debit card, or net banking.

Exam preparation tips

Passing the CAT exam requires a special set of tips. We’ve listed them below - 

Follow the instructions 

The invigilator is the person who will assist you in locating your desk after you have entered the test room and with other minute queries that you may have. Candidates must be at the CAT exam center before the scheduled reporting time. Candidates should follow the invigilator's directions without hesitation. It is best not to override the invigilator and to carefully follow what they have to say.

Time management

If you think a question is difficult and will take a long time to solve, remember one of the most important CAT exam tips, and go to the next question if you are stuck at one. In the CAT exams, time will be valuable, and each time error will lead you away from your goal.

According to the CAT exam test design, applicants will have just 40 minutes each section to complete both MCQs and TITA questions before the next part appears on the screen. Candidates must bear the same in mind while completing the questions, according to one of the CAT 2022 tests 10 vital elements to know before trying an exam. If you think a question will take you longer than normal to solve, go on to the next one without thinking about it and try the questions that are simple and quick to complete.

Cross-check the answers

You mustn't waste any time left and revise your responses. Double-check the questions you've answered to be sure they're genuine and accurate. Mark the questions on the screen and return to them to double-check the answers during the final leg. Revise thoroughly. If you're still hesitant, skip that question since every incorrect response will cost you a point.

Take mock tests

Almost all of the top scorers admit that the mock test they took for the entire CAT syllabus had helped them to secure better marks. Giving CAT Mock tests is one of the finest ways to prepare for the entire CAT syllabus; it provides students with a simulated exam setting. Self-assessment, time management, accuracy in answering questions, and recognizing the exam day anxiousness level are all advantages that you get from taking up a CAT mock test.

Half of your CAT preparation should consist of mock tests taken equally from the CAT syllabus. They imitate the actual test and go a step farther than simply going over the questions in your head. You'll be able to time yourself and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Give as many full-length and sectional tests post you have completed your exam preparations.

Every CAT applicant should keep these key elements in mind. The CAT test may be easily aced with thorough study and effort. Candidates are encouraged to check out for more mock exams, sample 

papers, previous year questions, and video lectures to prepare comprehensively for the entire CAT syllabus.

Exam syllabus

The exam syllabus for CAT exams includes the following components.

Quantitative aptitude

Your arithmetic abilities will be tested in this area of the CAT entrance exam. Basic Math, Algebra, Number Systems, Geometry, and other topics are covered in this paper. Practice problems including profit and loss, fundamental arithmetic, and practice examinations are some of the ways that you can improve your scores on this front.

Logical Reasoning and Data interpretation

Logical reasoning and data interpretation are yet other important aspects of the CAT syllabus. Problems like seating arrangements, direction sense, Venn Diagrams, Bar Diagrams, and other data-related questions will put your logical thinking abilities to the test. You can practice tackling question papers from previous years' questions. To secure better grades in the CAT admission test, concentrate on themes like blood connections, syllogism, and logical order.

Verbal ability and reading comprehension

You'll be given comprehension passages to read and will be requested to answer questions on them. There will also be tasks in this area that will put your grammatical abilities to the test, such as sentence completion, jumbled sentences, statement kinds, and more. Keep in mind that the more you read, the better. Make reading newspapers and articles a regular habit, as well as work on your vocabulary.

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