Common FAQ՚s CAT Examination

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What does the CAT judge?

It must be noted that the CAT is not a test of intelligence, it reflects whether you possess the essential aptitude to do well in the course you wish to pursue or not. This test focuses on your general scholastic ability.

  • CAT Scores: For years the CAT scores were kept secret and were available only to the management institutes affiliated in the form of percentiles. From 2002 however the CAT gives the students a scorecard allowing them to understand their section-wise and overall performance. The scorecards will be ultimately sent to all the students in February.
  • CAT Scorecard: The CAT scorecard does not give actual scores. The CAT being an aptitude test grades students on the relative scale. The scores are presented in two formats Percentage score (% score) and Percentile for each section and the overall test. A sample representation of the scores is given below:
  • Percentage (%) score: The % score reflects normalized percentage of scores attained by the candidate. It is a relative method of representing the score. This is not the actual % score.
  • Percentile: Percentile is the term which shows the student՚s relative performance position among the total students who took the CAT. For an instance, 98 percentile means that a student is in the top 2 percent of the population who appeared for CAT.
    Logic & DIQuantitativeVerbalTotal
    % Score Percentile% Score Percentile% Score Percentile% Score Percentile
  • Is there any fixed structure for CAT? No there is no fixed structure of CAT. The test can be in different combinations i.e.. . 4 sections (each timed for 30 mins or non-timed) , 2 or 3 sections again timed or non-timed etc. But the questions are based largely on the four areas, Problem solving, Data Interpretation, Reading Comprehension and Verbal ability.
  • What is the minimum score needed to crack CAT? No minimum score is there to clear the CAT, the score cut-off varies every year, as it is relative scoring.
  • Do we have to clear every section separately? Yes, you have to clear each section and do well in all the areas that are being tested.
  • What is the minimum cut-off for each section? Again the cutoff for each section differs for every year and the minimum cut-off is not known. But from our years of experience we believe that as a thumb rule an attempt of 70 % of the questions with an 80 % accuracy rate is required to clear the cut-off score.
  • Is the cut-off same for each section? The cutoff for each section also varies within a test and is not fixed.
  • I am an average student can I clear CAT? We believe that discipline, determination and purposeful practice will lead you towards success in the CAT. CAT is neither a test of intelligence nor is a measure of your intellectual capability. You can achieve a good score by extensive preparation and purposeful practice.
  • What are the other institutes, which accept CAT scores I don՚t get into IIMs? There are various institutes, which accept the CAT score as a pre requisite for admission. Some of the institutes are good and well recognized. Please click here for the list of other institutes.
  • How many hours do I need to study daily? As per IMS six months are enough for the preparation of CAT. In these six months students should show discipline and determination by studying regularly for atleast 2 hours each day.
  • What is an interview? An interview is a personality test. In an interview, the panel looks for a sound grasp of your discipline, self-awareness, clarity of goals, and a well-rounded personality.
  • Why do management institutes conduct interviews? The institutes call you for an interview because they don՚t know you, and they want to get to know you in order to assess if you have the qualities that would make a good manager. In a GD these qualities are revealed by your participation in the group. In an interview, the panel deduces these qualities from your answers.
  • What is a GD? A Group Discussion is a methodology used by the institute to gauge the candidates capability to function as a part of a team. In this methodology, the group of candidates are given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss the topic among themselves for 15 − 20 minutes.
  • Why GDs? The reason why institutes put you through a Group discussion and an interview, after testing your technical and conceptual skills in an exam, is to get to know you as a person and gauge how well you will fit in their institute. The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team. As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a member or as a leader. Therefore how you interact in a team becomes an important criterion for your selection. Managers have to work in a team and get best results out of teamwork. That is the reason why management institutes include GD as a component of the selection process.

Other Queries

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