Is CAT Exam Tough

Is CAT Exam Tough

CAT: Common Admission Test 2024

CAT with the full form of the Common Admission Test is an entrance exam to become part of IIMs for MBA courses. The Common Admission Test 2024 is a highly competitive examination for admission into reputed management Indian colleges. This blog will go through CAT Exam Fees, CAT exam Syllabus, level of CAT exam, CAT vs NEET, IIT vs IIM, VARC CAT Syllabus, CAT Quant Syllabus, CAT DILR Syllabus, Best book for CAT VARC, Qaunt, DILR, best classes for CAT exam, and answer to some questions such as Does CAT exam have negative marking, is there reservation in cat, can we give cat exam after 12th, and how to prepare for cat exam.

Before we dive deep into detailed information about Common Admission Test 2024, let me answer to few questions.

1. Does CAT exam have a negative marking?" Yes, it does, which adds to the challenge of the test. details are in upcoming paragraphs.
2. Is there reservation in CAT? “ Yes, there is. Details are in upcoming paragraphs.
3. Can we give the CAT exam after 12th?" The answer is no. Details are in upcoming paragraphs.

CAT Exam Overview

CAT Exam Body: Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on a rotational basis.
Frequency: Once a year, usually in November.
Purpose: Admission to management degree courses (MBA, PGDM) at IIMs and other Indian top B-schools


Qualification: Bachelor's degree for general category with minimum 50% marks and for SC/ST/PwD candidates with minimum 45%.
Final Year Students: Allowed to sit in the CAT exam.

Is there reservation in CAT?

Yes, there is a reservation system in place for the CAT exam and the subsequent admission process to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other participating institutions. The reservation policies are in accordance with GOV’s guidelines. (GOV: Government of India)

Reservation Categories and Percentage

Scheduled Caste (SC): 15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST): 7.5%
Other Backward Classes - Non-Creamy Layer (OBC-NCL): 27%
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS): 10%
Persons with Disabilities (PwD): 5%

Eligibility for Reserved Categories

SC/ST/OBC-NCL: Candidates must have a valid category certificate issued by a competent authority.
EWS: Candidates must have an income certificate issued by a competent authority to avail of this reservation.
PwD: This category includes candidates with benchmark disabilities, including but not limited to blindness, low vision, hearing impairment, and locomotor disability. A valid disability certificate is required.

CAT exam fees

The CAT exam fees vary from category to category of CAT students. Here are the details for the CAT 2024 exam fees:

CAT 2024 Exam Fees

For General and NC-OBC Candidates: INR 2400
For SC, ST, and PwD Candidates: INR 1200
Payment Details: The fees are non-refundable and non-transferable; the payment can be made online through net banking, debit card, or credit card.

Exam Pattern

Duration: 2 hours.
Sections: English known as VARC, Math known as QA, and Reasoning known as LRDI.
Total Questions: VARC 24 + QA 22 + DILR 20 = 66 Questions
Marking Scheme: Register for NMAT by GMAC
Apply online through the NMIMS website
Attend Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview

Application Process

Application Period: Begins in August and ends in September.
Application Fee: Varies by category (typically around INR 2000 for General category, INR 1000 for SC/ST/PwD).
Registration: Online through the official CAT website.

Important Dates (Tentative for CAT 2024)

Notification Release: July 2024
Registration Starts: August 2024
Admit Card Release: October 2024
Exam Date: November 2024
Result Declaration: January 2025

CAT Exam Syllabus

CAT Exam 2024 appears with three sections: first is English that is known as VARC and full form is verbal ability and reading comprehension, second is Math that is known as QA and full form is quantitative ability and third is Reasoning known as DILR and full form is data interpretation and logical reasoning.

Number of Questions and Duration

VARC: 24 Questions and Duration 40 minutes.
QA: 22 Questions and Duration 40 minutes.
LRDI: 20 Questions and Duration 40 minutes.

level of CAT exam

The CAT exam is known for its high difficulty level and is considered one of the toughest entrance exams for management programs in India. Let us understand the different difficulty levels of the CAT exam in all sections.

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Reading Comprehension (RC): Passages are often complex, covering a wide range of topics, including abstract concepts, science, technology, economics, and literature. Questions can be inference-based, making them challenging.
Verbal Ability (VA): Questions such as para-jumbles, sentence correction, and para-summary require a good understanding of grammar and strong comprehension skills. The questions will challenging, time-consuming, and tricky.

2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Very Difficult
Data Interpretation (DI): This involves interpreting data from graphs, tables, and charts. The questions require not only mathematical skills but also the ability to analyze and draw conclusions from the data provided. The difficulty can vary, with some sets being straightforward and others very complex.
Logical Reasoning (LR): Involves puzzles, arrangements, and logical deductions. The questions will be hard and they need a clear thought process and the ability to handle complex information. The unpredictability and variability in question types add to the difficulty.

3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Topics Covered: Includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number systems, and modern mathematics (permutations and combinations, probability).
Nature of Questions: Questions can range from straightforward to highly complex problems requiring multiple concepts and calculations. The time pressure adds to the difficulty as candidates need to solve problems quickly and accurately.

Overall Difficulty

Competitive Nature: The CAT exam is highly competitive as seats are limited with more than 3 lakh Candidates.
Time Management: Each section has a time limit, and candidates need to balance speed and accuracy.
Adaptive Difficulty: While the exact difficulty can vary each year, the exam is designed to test not just knowledge but also problem-solving ability, analytical skills, and decision-making under pressure.

Additional Information

The application fee covers the cost of applying to all IIMs and other participating institutes.
Completion of payment, email or SMS for confirmation is shared.
Important Points to Remember
Keep a copy of receipt.
Double-check all entered details before making the payment.
In case of any payment issues, contact the CAT helpline or your bank immediately.
Visit official website regularly for updated information

Important Points

Documents: Candidates have to upload scanned docs and certificates while filling the form. There will be crosscheck of docs later.
Cut-Offs: Reserved category candidates typically have lower cut-off scores compared to the general category.
Seats: The number of seats reserved in each IIM varies based on the total number of seats available.
Application Process: The application form for the CAT exam includes sections where candidates can indicate their category and upload the necessary certificates.


The CAT exam and NEET exam are highly preferred entrance test. however, they are taken for two different goals and for different fields of study.

CAT Exam

Purpose: The purpose of CAT exam is to opt MBA degree course mainly from IIMs, Indian Institutes of Management.
Eligibility: Graduates or final year of graduation.
Exam Structure:
Sections: Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability (RCVA), Quantitative Ability (QA), and Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI).
Duration: 2 hours (120 minutes), with 40 minutes for each section.
Question Type: MCQs and non-MCQs
Frequency: Once in year in the month of November.
Difficulty Level: High, as it is a competitive exam for entry into top management programs.
Acceptance: Accepted by IIMs and many other top B-schools across India.

NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test)

Purpose: Purpose of NEET is to opt medical courses such as MBBS and BDS) in Indian colleges and universities.
Eligibility: 12th passed or 12th students with Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, and English.
Exam Structure:
Sections: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (Botany and Zoology).
Duration: 180 minutes (3 hours).
Question Type: MCQs.
Frequency: Conducted once a year, usually in May.
Difficulty Level: High, as it is the primary exam for entry into medical colleges in India.
Acceptance: Indian medical and dental colleges.

Key Differences

Field of Study: CAT is for management programs, while NEET is for medical courses.
Eligibility Criteria: CAT requires a graduate degree, whereas NEET is for students completing or who have completed Class 12.
Exam Structure and Duration: CAT is 2 hours long with three sections focusing on aptitude, while NEET is 3 hours long with three sections focusing on science subjects.
Frequency and Timing: Both exams are conducted once a year, but in different months (CAT in November, NEET in May).
Note: Both exams are highly competitive and require rigorous preparation, but they cater to entirely different career paths.


Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are premier institutions in India, but they cater to different fields of education and career paths. Here's a detailed comparison:

IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology)
Purpose: IITs are primarily focused on engineering, technology, and applied sciences.
Programs Offered:
Undergraduate: B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology), Dual Degree (B.Tech + M.Tech).
Postgraduate: M.Tech (Master of Technology), M.Sc, MBA (in some IITs), and Ph.D.
Entrance Exam:
Undergraduate: JEE Main and JEE Advanced.
Postgraduate: GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) for M.Tech, JAM (Joint Admission Test for M.Sc) for M.Sc, and CAT for MBA.
Undergraduate: Completion of Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
Postgraduate: Relevant undergraduate degree.
Focus Areas: Engineering, technology, physical sciences, computer science, and related fields.
Reputation: IITs are renowned globally for innovation and search contributions.
Career Prospects: Graduates often pursue careers in engineering, research, academia, and technology sectors. Many also go on to pursue higher studies abroad.

IIM (Indian Institutes of Management)
Purpose: IIMs are focused on management education and training future business leaders.
Programs Offered:
Postgraduate: MBA (Master of Business Administration), PGP (Post Graduate Program in Management), Executive MBA.
Doctoral: FPM (Fellow Program in Management), which is equivalent to a Ph.D.
Entrance Exam:
Postgraduate: CAT (Common Admission Test) is the primary entrance exam for MBA and PGP programs.
Postgraduate: Graduate or final year of Graduation.
Focus Areas: Management, business administration, finance, marketing, human resources, operations, and related fields.
Reputation: IIMs are highly regarded for their management education and are considered among the best business schools in India and globally.
Career Prospects: Graduates frequently embark on careers in business leadership, consultancy, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurial ventures. Many also hold leadership positions in top corporations.

Key Differences

Field of Study: IITs focus on engineering, technology, and sciences, while IIMs focus on management and business administration.
Programs Offered: IITs offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in technical and scientific fields, while IIMs primarily offer postgraduate programs in management.
Eligibility Criteria: IITs require a background in science and mathematics for undergraduate admissions, whereas IIMs accept graduates from any discipline for their MBA programs.
Career Paths: IIT graduates often enter technical, engineering, and research roles, while IIM graduates typically pursue careers in business management, consulting, and finance.
Reputation: Both are prestigious institutions, but they are recognized for excellence in different fields.
Note: IITs and IIMs are both top-tier institutions in India, but they cater to different educational and career aspirations. Choosing between them depends on whether one's interest lies in engineering and technology or in business and management.

VARC CAT Exam Syllabus

The CAT exam syllabus is very vast that includes wide range and good number of English, Math, and Reasoning topics. They have some formal names also such VARC is an English section known as Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), QA known as Quantitative Ability and DILR known as Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. To deal with each section, CAT aspirant should work on the details CAT exam syllabus and How to prepare for CAT exam syllabus. VARC CAT is the first section of CAT exam thus you should first find out the best books for CAT exam for VARC section. Here you are with list of concepts, CAT prep strategy, and the best book for CAT exam VARC.

CAT VARC: Reading Comprehension

Types of Passages: Contemporary issues, historical events, abstract topics, science and technology, and literature.
Question Types: Main idea, inference, tone of the passage, fact-based, vocabulary in context, summary, and application-based questions.

CAT VARC: Verbal Ability

Para-Jumbles: Rearranging sentences to form a coherent paragraph.
Odd One Out: Spotting the sentence that disrupts paragraph coherence.
Para Summary: Summarizing a given paragraph in a concise manner.
Sentence Correction: Grammar-based corrections in sentences.
Completion of Sentences: Filling in blanks within sentences.
The CAT exam does not have a fixed syllabus, so it is important to stay updated with any changes or trends in recent years. Regular practice and a good understanding of fundamentals across these topics are key to performing well in the exam.

Hoe to prepare for CAT VARC Section

1. Consistent Practice: Consistent engagement with simulation exams and past papers is crucial for familiarizing oneself with the test format and level of challenge.
2. Focused Study: Identify weak areas and focus on improving them. Work on progress of concept in order as learning requirement.
3. Time Management: Work on answering questions within a set time frame to enhance your pace and precision.
4. Conceptual Clarity: Develop a robust grasp of basic principles across all three categories.

The Best Book for CAT VARC Section

1. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT" by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay:
2. "Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha:
3. "The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha:
4. "Reading Comprehension for the CAT" by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay:
5. "A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning" by R.S. Aggarwal:

CAT Quants Syllabus

For a thorough approach to each section, a CAT candidate should delve into the specifics of the CAT exam syllabus and preparation strategies. As the Quant section is the initial segment of the exam, it's crucial to first identify the best book for CAT quant syllabus. Below, you'll find a detailed list of the quant syllabus, how to prepare for Quant syllabus, and the best book for CAT Quant section.

Quantitative Ability (QA)

Number Systems: Properties of numbers, divisibility, remainders.
LCM and HCF: Least common multiple and highest common factor.
Percentages: Calculations involving percentages.
Profit and Loss: Problems on profit, loss, and discount.
Simple and Compound Interest: Interest calculations.
Ratio and Proportion: Proportions, ratios, and variations.
Averages: Calculations of averages.
Mixtures and Alligations: Problems involving mixing substances.
Time, Speed, and Distance: Problems on movement and travel.
Time and Work: Problems on work and efficiency.

Basic Algebraic Identities: Simplification of expressions.
Linear Equations: Solving linear equations.
Quadratic Equations: Solving quadratic equations.
Inequalities: Solving algebraic inequalities.

Geometry and Mensuration
Lines and Angles: Properties and theorems.
Triangles: Properties, theorems, and area calculations.
Circles: Properties and theorems.
Polygons: Properties and area calculations.
Coordinate Geometry: Distance formula, section formula.
Mensuration: Volume and surface area of solids (cubes, cylinders, cones, spheres).

Modern Mathematics
Permutation and Combination: Counting principles, arrangements, and selections.
Probability: Basic probability, conditional probability.
Set Theory: Basics of set theory, union, intersection.

How to Prepare for the CAT Qaunt Section

Regular Practice: Engaging regularly with mock exams and previous year papers is essential to get accustomed to the test format and difficulty level.
Targeted Learning: Pinpoint your weak areas and concentrate on improving them. Progress systematically through concepts based on your learning needs.
Effective Time Management: Practice answering questions within a specific time limit to boost your speed and accuracy.
Strong Conceptual Foundation: Ensure a solid understanding of fundamental principles across all three sections.
1. Best Books for Quantitative Aptitude (QA) Section of CAT Exam
2. "How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT" by Arun Sharma
3. "Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT" by Sarvesh K. Verma
4. "Quantitative Aptitude for CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha
5. "The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha
6. "Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations" by R.S. Aggarwal
7. "Quantitative Aptitude for CAT & Other MBA Entrance Exams" by Trishna Knowledge Systems

CAT DILR Syllabus

To effectively tackle each section of the CAT exam, candidates should deeply explore the exam syllabus and devise robust preparation strategies. Given that the CAT DILR section is the first part of the exam, it's essential to start by selecting the most suitable book for the CAT DILR syllabus. Below, you will find a comprehensive outline of the DILR syllabus, preparation methods, and recommendations for the best book to master the CAT DILR section.

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation and (LRDI)

Data Interpretation
Graphs: Bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts.
Tables: Data presented in tabular form.
Caselets: Data presented in small case studies.
Venn Diagrams: Problems involving set theory and Venn diagrams.
Data Sufficiency: Determining if provided data is sufficient to answer questions.

Logical Reasoning
Arrangements: Linear and circular arrangements.
Puzzles: Seating arrangements, puzzles involving logical deductions.
Blood Relations: Family tree-based questions.
Syllogisms: Logical argument questions.
Venn Diagrams: Logical deductions based on Venn diagrams.
Calendars and Clocks: Problems involving time, dates, and calendars.
Cubes: Problems involving painted/unpainted cubes.
Binary Logic: True/false statements.

How to Prepare for the CAT DILR Section

Consistent Practice:

Regularly engage with mock exams and past papers to adopt the toughness of CAT exam.

Focused Learning:

Identify your weak areas and focus on improving them. Progress systematically through concepts based on your specific learning needs.

Efficient Time Management:

Practice answering questions within a set time limit improve accuracy.

Robust Conceptual Foundation:

Ensure a thorough understanding of fundamental principles across all sections.

Best Book for CAT Exam DILR

1. "How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT" by Arun Sharma
2. "Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha
3. "Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency" by Ananta Ashisha
4. "Trishna’s Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning for the CAT and Other MBA Examinations" by TIME
5. "A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning" by R.S. Aggarwal

Final CAT Exam Prep Tips

VARC: Read a variety of topics, practice RC passages regularly, improve vocabulary, and practice para-jumbles and sentence completion.
DILR: Practice different types of graphs, puzzles, and logical reasoning questions. Focus on accuracy and speed.
Average Salary: INR 17-20 lakhs per annum
QA: Strengthen basic concepts, practice extensively, and take mocks on regular basis to improve accuracy.

Best Classes for CAT Exam

For aspiring CAT candidates, finding the best classes for CAT preparation can significantly impact their success. Many students opt for CAT coaching to receive structured guidance and expert insights. With the advent of technology, CAT coaching online has become increasingly popular, offering flexibility and access to top-notch resources from the comfort of home. Online classes provide interactive sessions, comprehensive study materials, and personalized feedback, making them an excellent choice for effective CAT preparation.

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