CAT Is Biased In Favour Of Engineers – GD Monday

Welcome to Week 6 of GD Monday!

(To view and comment on the previous weeks GD Monday posts, please click here.)

When it comes to CAT, there are a lot of myths and tales around it. And one very famous one is – CAT is meant only for Engineers. But as it is said, there’s no smoke without a fire, could this assumed myth actually be the truth? What is your take on it? Tell us in the comments below!

This is how it will work:

1) Users can post their arguments in the comments section below by logging in through their User id.

2) You can argue and counter-argue on the topic for the entire week. You can even challenge your friends and make it more interesting!

3) The thread will be moderated by Team InsideIIM to ensure the discussion is kept relevant and is not abusive.

4) On Saturday, experts and industry professionals at InsideIIM (all ex-IIM, XLRI, MICA only) will rate each argument on the thread on the scale of 10 with some guidance.

This cannot replace the experience of the actual GD but this exercise will surely help you shape your line of thought. While we may not be able to help you here with your delivery, we ensure that if you go through these next few weeks with us on this thread you will markedly improve your content. Hopefully, there will be more substance when you actually speak in a GD after going through this exercise.

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Rahul Sudheendhara

I personally feel that the arguement that the CAT is biased for engineers is not totally correct.The CAT is an aptitude test and it tests one’s common sense and not the problem solving skills.The portion for CAT test is basic maths from 6th to 8 th standard and hence the CAT is an exam for all.The verbal part is not the Engineers cup of tea and hence there is no bias in favour of Engineers.

Nilasish Pal

But facts(all 100 %ilers being engg)and records from the past few years tells a totally different story. And sometimes we have to take on from the reccord books.

Krishna Sai Teja Valluru

Guys! That’s really derogatory to say. But the fact that 2/3rd of the applicants to CAT are engineers is an important factor to consider while discussing about why engineers are scoring the top percentiles!

Debjyoti Bose

But going by the current trend of change in syllabus and questions levels ,with more importance given to VA and DI section,it has become level play ground for all.


the main point is scoring well and getting in good college shud not b termed as ‘bad’, if those who can’t score well they shud work on themselves. and second thing the syllabus of cat is ofupto 10 standard which we all have studied.
so according to me its not biased rather whose dose well gets well.


The issue at hand is not really about CAT and Engineers. Such a topic is given to judge the maturity of candidates. The GD topic is an open invitation to analyze and talk about India’s education system, the MBA degree, the attributes that a manager needs to have, need for diversity in the work place and link it all back to the selection procedure. This will exhibit the depth of your knowledge and reading. Focusing narrowly on the topic alone may not give you too many marks as this is a topic which everyone will have an opinion on. How do you differentiate yourself?
@Rahul – 5.5/10 – For all the points we mentioned above. You need to start better and give direction to this topic. Opportunity wasted.


I concur with Rahul and I’d like to add that CAT is more of an exam to test on the feet thinking and adapting rather than looking down and solving every sum. Students with non engineer background with clarity in concepts too can crack it. Though the records say otherwise, I feel it’s all up to the individual

Debapriyo Mandal

CAT is not baised to engineer but baised in selecting the brightest minds. And unfortunately at the age of 17 almost every bright mind due to social pressure end up in rat race of becoming either an engineer or a doctor.

monishankar dutta

I think it would be unfair to say that CAT is biased in favour of engineers. But some feel that it is disadvantageous for non-engineers because a more than third of the exam tests ones mathematical ability. It is an exam which helps in selection of future managers and leaders. It is imperative that the selected people have sound verbal and reasoning ability and quantitative aptitude as well. Moreover, the quantitative ability portion is nothing but primary level mathematics which every graduate is expected to solve. The fact that CAT has also encouraged academic diversity by giving non-engineers greater weightage than engineers means that a non-engineer has an added advantage.


@monishankar – 6.5/10 – Mainly for focusing on the question what the exam is selecting – future manager and leaders. You lost your way post that by repeating. Good point on academic diversity but wish you had dug deeper to explain why it was done

Sai Teja R

I think most of the syllabus in cat is related to 6 to 10 th standard concepts and it tests ones thinking ability and it’s more of common sense rather than particularly focused on a category of students . So it’s common to all and irrespective of background any one can crack it

Pushparaj Singh

Sir, Agreed with your point. Question’s seems like 8th standard but when you’re going to solve then you will realized that it’s seems likes 8th but actually it’s a course of college level maths. “I’m saying as a perception of commerce student.

Kartik Somani

I think that cat is not biased in favour of engineers. What cat actually checks is your expertise at the basic concepts of maths and aptitude and your command over english language. A person with conceptual clarity of basic of mathematics will be easily able to solve difficult quant problems and Dilr caselets. And for english a person familiar with this language from childhood will crack that section. It doen’t depend whether you are an engine’er, it only depends on whether you read everything conceptually in your prevuous years.

Prashasti Nair

CAT is not biased in favour of engineers. The quantitative topics that are asked in CAT are from the areas which one studies in his 6th-10th std. The simple reason why people feel that it is biased because usually the engineers bell the CAT because of which the Non engineers develop a mind set that they can’t score more than engineers who are far better than then in quatitative section. This is totally a myth which one has to neglect.


@prashasti – 2/10 – No new point added. Just echoing what everyone has already said.

Pushparaj Singh

See, I am from commerce background, but still I feel that , Engineers’ have too much advantage in CAT because CAT is totally a maths test except English portion. Engineers’ are too good in Maths so no doubt they have advantage in DI as well as LR also. But it’s a harsh reality that without solving DI & math’s portion how could you become a manager. Manager has a role to solve unprecedented problems & without using analytical mind in this portion you can’t become a good manager. So take it as a healthy competition & achieve your target without worry of engineers’. 🙂

Diksharth Harsh

Hello. I want to add to this thing that it is nowhere even close to what Mathematics student study in their 11th , 12th or in the period of their graduation days. Whatever questions we face in the CAT are simply related to our knowledge, we grasped till 10th. The paper is immaterial to any particular branch. Also, adding to what Nikhil said in his comment that diversity factor is a thing which plays against the Engineeers.


2/10 – It doesnt matter what your background is in the argument. You should stay true to the issue and nothing else apart from it. In GDs it is better to not reveal your background, religious, politicial or education leanings.

Nikit Pathrabe

On the top CAT does have this academic diversity factor playing a major obstructing role in path of an Engineer so mearly saying CAT is only for Engineer won’t hold. As CAT don’t test for high level mathematics ,on similar scale it doesn’t test for any other literature acumen.. So things are equal on both side.. On contrary it is not in favour of an Engineer due to diversity..


Well, in my opinion, being an Engineer, especially a General category Male Engineer, is the biggest sin one can commit when writing CAT. The stacks are all against the male engineer to do well, and we can all see that over time CAT has become easier in Math and difficult in Verbal section. So I would like to concur with the majority’s opinion that CAT is a level playing field for everyone, and the system takes good care that it remains like that.

Sakshi Kochar

As CAT is a test for future managers and leader, it is designed to filter the sharpest minds from the rest. Being able to take out relevant information from data, work under pressure, taking right decision in terms of deciding where you devote your time ( when choose to answer some ques and not others) is all what CAT test.
Now when we look at the kind of problems it comes with to test these skills appears to be biased to engineers as engineers all through their years of study have developed the muscle well which could take care of 2/3Rd of the problems im CAT while others struggle to deal with them. I am of the opinion CAT tests what is required to be in the profession concerned. If you choose the profession you have to have the skill for that.

Diksharth Harsh

It is not like that Sakshi. Many engineers are even not happy to study mathematics. They get into colleges in their life because of Physics and Chemistry too. It is just a misconception that if a person is an Engineer, he can excel in Mathematics whenever he wants.

Though, I agree to your point that it is a test for future managers and leaders but shouldn’t that leader be adequate with the number game too. His/her decisions will affect the business and a proper declaration for the same can be achieved with the help a detailed analysis. So, to check over these things, 2/3rd paper is set in that manner. But, this won’t help them much in their interviews. One need to show their skills their, irrespective of their knowledge of Mathematics

Sakshi Kochar

Ofcourse diksharth, a skill with number is must for managers and leaders and thats what I meant when I said ” extracting relevant information from data “. And if u read my argument correctly, it was n’t againts engineers. But wouldn’t you agree, regarless how and why u got into engineering you studied numbers much more than other grads… And thats how you get a natural advantage here….. A person running daily would definitely have better leg muscles than who dont…

Soham Majumdar

What do we need to study in 2 years of MBA?.. Plenty of economics , Theory of general marketing , Organizational behavior ,public policy, human resource management etc. Now by closely looking at it one can identify the specifically 3 things needs to be tested before picking up a candidate-1) mathematical ability( Because study of economics without mathematics is impossible) 2) Logical ability 3) Comprehension. The argument that CAT is biased towards engineers is based on the fact that the type of problems may be tough for the non engineers. If the basic maths cannot be managed then how can it be expected that a student will manage Differential and Integration Calculus , Statistics (which are the basis of economics and finance) during the course? Second point is if type of maths makes CAT biased towards engineers then is the type of English (Grammar and Vocabulary) is making CAT biased towards “Literature” students?

Krishna Sai Teja Valluru

Majority of the non-engineers feel that CAT is more biased towards engineers because majority of the people cracking it are engineers. To some extent, it is correct as people who are good with numbers can crack 2/3 sections easily in CAT. But at the same time, to compensate this advantage for engineers, almost all the IIMs have diversity factor score in the overall assessment of the candidates. Here every engineer scores a ‘0’ other than for female candidates. So, I think this advantage to engineers in the CAT pattern is almost nullified as they might not be able to convert this advantage into an IIM seat. Almost all the sections that are being tested in the CAT examination are important for the future managers. So, every aspirant (be an engineer or an non-engineer) should be able to score in these sections to prove their competence for the position.


4/10 – Although narrow focussed again, well articulated and good structure to argument.

Sakshi Kochar

Is this feedback for the comment just above or all between this and your earlier comment? Kindly help.


This is only for Krishna. We haven’t evaluated all the arguments as the quality is low and everyone is repeating or are fighting with each other.

Kanav Gupta

Greetings my friends
I sincerely believe that Cat exam is not at all Biased in favour of Engineers. If you look at it carefully, in all the three sections, it is basically testing your problem solving ability, your time management skills and you ability to take decisions under stress.Also, the only advantage that an engineer would have, would be in the Quant section. Also, since Cat only askes questions based on the concept of what was studied upto class 10th, which everyone has studied.Everyone knows trigonometry, geometry numbers by the time one passes 10th grade…

Also when we will be taking up an MBA programme , we are required to study some economics based subjects in which we do require the knowledge of maths and that maths is on even higher level then the one asked in the CAT exam. So, if you can’t solve questions based on basic maths till class 10th, then how can you even think of understanding those economics subjects which require and even higher level maths?

Mridul Agrawal

Looking at the ratio of Engineers to Non- Engineers in top B-schools in general and IIMs in particular, it can be argued that Cat maybe skewed in favour of Engineers.
However, the paper gives equal weightage to Quants and Verval, also competence needs to demonstrated in All sections, so that there is no bias in filtering the students for next round.

Also, diversity points have been introduced- both Gender and Background, to ensure that students from diverse walks of life are selected, so that there is exponential learning and exposure amongst students.

Yamini Upadhyay

Cat is an aptitude exam. The fact that engineer’s dominate the top position is the outcome of quant, which i guess every engineer would agree is their strength. Also as compared to xat that has DM as a section that checks a persons decicive aptitude should be considered as a section in CAT as well, reason being it is 1. Interesting 2. Practical 3. Disparity between the engineering/ non-engineering background can be bridged.
Also to the ones claiming engineers are much smarter than the non- engineers, i guess you guys do realize the reason why you appear for cat is to do MBA which is MASTERS IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. This is enough to stop the unnecessary yapping i suppose. Every field is equal donot underestimate any field cause engineers you would earn money which may be spend on goods that an art student design, your tax payment will be done by a CA and many more. As far as the Cat pattern is concerned it can be made more flexible by adding a subject of each field like quant for engineering, tax/economic/accounts for a commerce, subject majored of the rest of the catagory.
Atleast will know that a student is strong in the field he/ she has taken up.


Adding a favorite subject a la UPSC is definitely an interesting proposition; however, picking a subject which may not have any relevance to Management at all is definitely not required in my opinion. Rather, the administration could make the test easier in terms of Quant and more challenging in DILR and VARC, which they have been doing over time.

Gurdiksha Alangh

Yes I do feel CAT is biased towards engineers. I can say that as for the past couple of years The level of difficulty has increased for the sections in which engineers tend to be naturally good at like quants and lrdi. Subjects that we non- engineers haven’t really had to deal with in our graduation years. There are three sections in Cat n two of these sections tend to be difficult for us non- engineers. So how can this be fair ? How can the paper not be for someone who has been studying to crack IIT from 11th grade ?!

Aman Shukla

Actually it is, it is biased in favor of engineers but there comes the obvious point that why it should not be? I mean engineers are good at problem solving involving numbers two out of three sections are basically problem solving involving numbers and apart from percentiles everything else is biased against engineers , if admissions were like that ranking based seat allocation without profile evaluation then I guess non engineers would not even try for MBA. So basically its more balanced if we consider the whole admission procedure.

Shivangi Nahata

CAT is not all biased towards engineers, in fact, you know what I think engineers are a lot biased towards CAT. The majority of engineers we see in MBA colleges is not due to the fact that CAT is biased towards them.It is just due to the fact that they are in a large number and so a large number of engineers are rendered unemployed.As we all know MBA colleges are trying their level best to maintain diversity in their institution, nonengineers are given points.They are being called at lower percentiles.What does it all show.And one more point as to why engineers are in a large no is that they are good at maths.And they are able to solve quant, data interpretation in a better way.And in no way, we can say they are helping engineers clear CAT because as we can all see that the level of quant is becoming easy day by day.So to conclude i want to say that no they are not biased towards engineers.

Nachiket Malpathak

The notion that CAT is for engineers is perpetuated mostly by non-engineers who think CAT math is hard. Honestly, it isn’t. Hard math is what we engineers do in our regular coursework. CAT math is aptitude based arithmetic and geometry. It’s really not that hard. Also it is wrong to assume that engineers are good at math and bad at verbal. I’m an engineer and I scored 98.xx in VARC but only around 90 in QA and DILR.


well.. according to me no exam is biased to any particular stream. those clear the requirement of the test they clear it. as in the moment the discussion is around engineer so let me tell u one fact, its not that engineers are only smart guys rather they are very much adapted to rigorous test preperation scenario from the very high school level. as a result apearing in competetive exams is very much usual for them. so according to me thats the basic reason y we see them scoring so well in cat and other exams.
thus, a piece of advice to those non-engineers ‘ start practicing’.