CAT 2016 on December 4, 2016 for Admission to 20 IIMs

The CAT notification is out. The test will be held on December 4th, 2016. IIM Bangalore is conducting CAT this year. Students who haven’t started preparation have been given a lifeline as there are still more than 4 full months to CAT 2016! This is the first time in many years that the CAT is being held in December. Online registrations for CAT will begin on August 8th 2016.

( and will be your friends on this journey. Do get personal one-on-one counselling for CAT here. For over 500 stories on CAT, selection processes, Test prep and insight from toppers please visit this section on insideIIM.)

There seem to be no changes to test structure as compared to last year :

    • There will be 3 sections.

o Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
o Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
o Section III: Quantitative Ability

  • Test duration will be 180 Minutes. 60 minutes for each section.
  •  There will be a few questions which are not multiple choice questions and where the answer will have to be typed directly.
  • You cannot switch between sections but you can switch between questions within one section.
  • Tutorial to understand the format of the examination will be available on the CAT website from 18th October 2016.
  • Normalization will done in the same fashion as done over the last 2 years – similar to the GATE exam. We have covered this previously here.

While the structure of the test seems to be the same, we recommend that students ensure their preparation is thorough. CAT test setters have this unique ability to surprise – they will ask topics or question-types which are least expected! Just because a topic was very heavily represented last year doesn’t mean it will have the same weight this year. Be thorough and complete in your preparation and you will never have to worry about what is asked.

(CAT 2015 Analysis and Cutoffs)

The test will be conducted on a single day in 2 sessions. Student will be allowed to give preference of 4 cities and a slot from the two slots on that day. While CAT administrators will try their best to allot a centre of your preference it is possible you may not get the city or slot of your choice. In some rare circumstances it is possible you will not get a centre in any of the 4 cities you gave as your preference.

Since CAT went online in 2009, it has undergone many changes. It used to be a month long affair in 2009 (IIM A), 2010 (IIM Lucknow), 2011 (IIM Calcutta) and 2012 (IIM Kozhikode). Then in 2013 (IIM Indore) the number of days went down for the first time. In 2014, IIM Indore (yes, Prof. Rohit Kapoor and IIM Indore were in charge for 2 consecutive years to probably ensure smooth transition) moved from Prometric to TCS. It was also the year when CAT registrations moved online for the first time. The number of days were drastically reduced to 2 and there were just 4 slots. It was the first time that there were no complaints against normalisation simply because number of slots to normalise had been reduced to 4. In 2015, IIM Ahmedabad further reduced it to 1 day and 2 slots and also disallowed switching of sections. Non-MCQ questions were introduced for the first time last year. It seems the IIMs have finally settled on a format that works and IIM Bangalore will stick to it. However, our prediction has been that CAT will become a 1 day affair again based on this interview done 3 years back. It is also possible though that CAT could like GMAT become a year long affair once they are convinced about a format and the technology infrastructure that will be tamper-proof. Our bet is on the former. The highest number of students who took CAT was in 2008 – 248,000+ which was also the last paper pencil CAT. Since the time the CAT has been an online test, we haven’t seen those kind of numbers yet.

Students in the final year of their graduation – please read this. Proforma certificate format to be got from your university/school/college can be found here.

Eligibility conditions are the same as every year. In case you are not clear, please go through this. If you are a general category or OBC category candidate not managing 50% in your undergrad disqualifies you from taking the CAT.

Important Dates:

  1. Online Registration: 8th August to 22nd September 2016, 5:00 p.m.
  2. Download of Admit Card: 18th October 2016, 1:00 p.m. to Exam Day
  3. Test Date: 4th December 2016 (Sunday) (Forenoon & Afternoon Sessions)
  4. Release of Results: Second week of January 2017 (Tentative)

Some useful links for preparation

CAT – A detailed Verbal Preparation plan

Time-Table for Working Professionals

CAT 2015 Analysis and Cutoffs

( and will be your friends on this journey. Do get personal one-on-one counselling for CAT here. For over 500 stories on CAT, selection processes, Test prep and insight from toppers please visit this section on insideIIM.)

Contact Information for CAT 2016 


Help Desk email ID:

Help Desk Number: 1-800-266-3549
(Monday to Saturday 09:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m.; not available on National / Public Holidays)

Correspondence Address:
CAT Centre 2016
C/O Admissions Office
IIM Bangalore
Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore 560 076
Contact Number: 080-2699 3388

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