Top MBA Schools In India - Ranked By MBA Aspirants - 2019

CAT Exam 2019: Dates, Books, 2018 Paper, Pattern, Syllabus, Tips, CutOffs

What Is CAT Exam 2019?

The CAT exam or Common Admission Test 2019 or IIM entrance exam is one of the most popular national MBA entrance exams in India conducted by IIMs every year on random basis, majorly between IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, and IIM L. (Check: Most desirable b-schools in India | Cutoffs | Selection Criteria | Fee)

CAT 2019 aims to test a candidate's reasoning ability, mathematical prowess and proficiency in the English language. It also tests the ability to solve problems in a timed and high-pressure environment.

Common Admission Test (CAT) usually happens in late November or early December. The Date for CAT exam 2019 is 24th November 2019 and will be conducted in 2 slots (early morning & noon) of 3 hours each and has a validity (score) of 1 year.

The conducting body for CAT 2019 exam is yet to announced. Last year, CAT 2018 exam was conducted by IIM Calcutta. The exam was taken by approx 2 Lakh people and 11 candidates had scored 100 percentile. (check: CAT 2018 analysis)

Quick Fact: There are 12,411 seats in IIMs (20 IIMs in total)

Check: CAT Preparation Tips By IIM Students & Alumni


Important Links

CAT 2019 Syllabus CAT Exam Pattern CAT Prep Books
CAT Important Dates How To Prepare For MBA Interviews MBA Interview Experience
Things Not Allowed In CAT Exam CAT Score Vs Percentile CAT 2018: Quant Questions (Morning Slot)

CAT Videos: Why MBA?

Many a times aspirants are asked in b-school interviews, why MBA? What is something that they are looking forward to from an MBA? or something which they will only get after pursuing an MBA.

This is a big and a deciding factor whether they are going to get an admission or not because this is something which justifies your action and why you took it. It not only tells the interviewer how you analyse the things and take action currently but also how you will in future to some extent.

There are several questions which comes to your mind while deciding to do pursue MBA or appear for CAT or being asked to you during the interviews.

  • Why MBA?
  • Why Finance or Why MBA in Finance?
  • MBA with work experience or MBA as a fresher?
  • Why MBA in Operations?
  • Why HR?

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Webinars (CAT Exam Strategy Videos): How To Prepare For CAT Exam 2019?

How to start preparing for Common Admission Test | CAT exam is something which comes first in your mind, if this is your first attempt to crack CAT exam and get into your dream b-school. But that's not it, it is equally important for someone for whom this might not be their first attempt. The question which crosses their path is, how can they scale their existing score or improve. So, in-order to tackle that we have got a list of webinars conducted by CL faculty and current students of top b-school like IIM-L, IIM-Indore, etc., tackling different problems relating to CAT 2019 preparation.

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  • Important Links

 CAT 2019 Exam Schedule- Important Dates

CAT Exam Date 24th November 2019 (Sunday)
CAT Exam Registrations 2019 - Open July - August
CAT Exam 2019 Registrations - Close September End
CAT Admit Card - 2019 24th October - 25th November, 2019
CAT Tutorial Check Here
CAT Result 2019 1st week of January

Who Is Eligible To Write CAT Exam 2019? | CAT Eligibility Criteria

CAT Eligibility For Graduates, Professional Degree Holders & Working Class

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2019: General and NC-OBC

A candidate, with atleast 50% marks in his bachelor's degree/equivalent degree or higher or is in final year of pursuing the same from a university or professional institution recognised by the Parliament or State legislature or Ministry of HRD, Government of India or is a Deemed University, can apply for CAT exam 2019.

  • Submission of caste/class certificate at the time of registration for NC-OBC candidates

CAT 2019 Eligibilty Criteria: SC, ST and PwD

Any candidate, who secured more than 45% marks in his/her bachelor's degree/equivalent or professional degree or higher can apply for the CAT 2019.

  • Should upload the caste/class certificate at the time of CAT form registration.

CAT Eligibilty For Final Year Students

  • A candidate should be pursuing a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an institution recognised by Ministry of HRD or a Deemed University.
  • Should have a total aggregate marks above 50% for General/NC-OBC and 45% for SC/ST/PWD, so far.
  • Can have a backlog in exams but should attain the degree before joining the b-school, in-case selected.


Min. Graduation Marks Required

Caste/Class Certificate Required

CAT Exam Fee

General 50% No 1900
NC-OBC 50% Yes 1900
SC 45% Yes 950
ST 45% Yes 950
PWD 45% Yes 950


Why CAT 2019?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2019 is a direct gateway to the most prestigious management institutes of the country. If you feature above the 99th percentile of all applicants, you are highly likely to be shortlisted for management institutes such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozikhode and 14 other top IIMs.

You are also eligible to be shortlisted for premier non-IIM Institutes.

All of these institutes are responsible for refining and polishing a student to be at the top of the corporate ladder. At these institutes, you will be equipped with the most in-depth knowledge and technical expertise required to be at the helm of an organization. With Faculty having decades of invaluable experience and peers who belong to the creme de la creme of the country, your personality is likely to grow exponentially.

What's more, you are likely to be recruited by top global and Indian companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Nestle, ITC Limited, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, TATA Administrative Services, Aditya Birla Group, and many more such market leaders.

There is likely to be a significant escalation in your paycheck, along with the opportunity to work at some of the best offices across the globe.

But make no mistake, CAT or even admission into an IIM is not a guarantee of ready-made success. However, belonging to a premier management institute can be a safety net.


What is The CAT Exam Pattern|Syllabus?

The CAT exam pattern has been ever-evolving, going online in 2009, followed by multiple significant changes to the CAT paper pattern. CAT 2019 will follow the same pattern as CAT 2018.

  • The CAT exam consists of 3 sections - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VA RC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI LR), Quantitative Ability (QA).
  • The VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section consists of 34 questions, the DILR (Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning) section consists of 32 questions and the QA (Quantitative Ability) section consists of 34 questions, making a total of 100 questions to be solved during the exam.
  • Questions in each section must be solved within a time limit of 60 minutes, therefore amounting to a total of 180 minutes for the exam.
  • The CAT 2019 exam has negative marking, deducting 1 mark for each wrong answer and allocating 3 marks for each correct answer.
  • The CAT 2019 exam consist of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Type In The Answer (TITA) format of questions. The TITA questions do not have any negative marking. read more

CAT Score Vs Percentile - Over The Years

Year Attempts Required In Each Section Overall Score Reqd. For 99 - 100%ile
2018 18 - 28 160 - 250
2017 17 - 24 148 - 210
2016 17 - 25 155 - 220
2015 20 - 28 180 - 250

Webinar (MBA Interview Videos): How To Prepare For MBA Interviews - GD/PI/CAD/WAT

Believe it or not, CAT Exam is just a doorway to apply for the b-school you wanted to get into and doesn't guarantee anything. The actual preparation starts only after the CAT results are out. So, in order to help you with the selection process, we have a got you guys webinars' conducted by current students of top b-schools like IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Lucknow, etc. to help with the selection process of b-school, how can you tackle the questions asked during the interview, etc.

CAT 2018 Question Paper

Do you have what it takes to solve CAT 2018 quant section? We have CAT 2018 Quant morning slot below which follows the same marking scheme as original CAT exam. The only difference is we don't have a time limit on the same.

Click on the buttons inside the tabbed menu:

CAT 2018 Analysis: TIME Vs CL Vs IMS Vs 2IIM Vs HitBullsEye

CAT 2018 was a paper with unexpected surprises and challenges, and the Quantitative Ability section caused many aspirants to struggle.

In this article, experts assess the difficulty level of the test and estimate cut-offs. Read more..

CAT Results 2018 - Updates, Where To Apply, WAT/PI Shortlists, And More

CAT results 2018 will be out today i.e. on 5th January by 1 pm. Nobody knows when the results are going to be out but we won't be surprised if the CAT results will be declared before that.
Here's everything you need to know post CAT 2018 results.

  1. Where Should You Apply? Should You Take CAT Exam Again?
  2. Which B-Schools To Apply For At Different Percentiles?
  3. What To Do If You Have Calls from Old IIMs?
  4. What To Do If You Have Calls From New IIMs?
  5. What To Do If You Have Calls From Non-IIMs? And much more!

Which Institutes Consider The CAT Exam Scores?

A total of 111 management institute across the country consider an applicant's CAT score for the admission process, including 20 IIMs and non-IIM institutes such as SPJMIR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, JBIMS Mumbai, FMS Delhi, IRMA, IMT Ghaziabad, XIMB, Great Lakes Institute of Management etc. (click view more to check cut-offs & selection criteria)

Top MBA Colleges In India in 2019

The rankings below are based on the desirability of a b-school which is an outcome of a survey conducted by us (InsideIIM) in which the aspirants are asked to vote the mba colleges they consider best.


Rank (Based on Desirability) Names of Business Schools Ownership CAT Cut-Offs Selection Criteria B-School Fees (including hostel fees) Batch Size (Class of 2020)
1 IIM Ahmedabad Government
General - 80%
NC-OBC - 75%
SC/PWD - 70%
ST - 60%
Check here ₹23,00,000 399
2 IIM Calcutta Government
General - 90%
NC-OBC - 85%
SC/ST/PWD - 70%
Check here ₹21,00,000 463
3 IIM Bangalore Government
General - 90%
NC-OBC - 80%
SC - 75%
ST - 70%
PWD - 60%
Check here ₹21,00,000 430
4 FMS Delhi Government
VA-RC – 40%
QA – 30%
DI-LR – 30%
Check here ₹21,000 231
5 XLRI Jamshedpur Private
- ₹23,00,000 364
6 IIM Lucknow Government
Check here ₹14,16,000 451
7 IIM Kozhikode Government
General - 90%
NC-OBC - 80%
ST/PWD - 55%
SC - 65%
Check here ₹17,50,000 422
8 IIM Indore Government
General - 90%
NC-OBC - 80%
ST/PWD - 50%
SC - 60%
Check here ₹16,00,000 624
9 SPJIMR Mumbai Private
VA-RC - 75%
QA - 75%
DI-LR - 75%
CAT (Overall) - 85%
- ₹16,00,000 238
10 IIFT Delhi Government
- ₹17,82,000 173
11 JBIMS Mumbai Government
- ₹600,000 136
13 MDI Gurgaon Private
- ₹21,34,000 359
14 IIM Shillong** Government
General/NC-OBC - 75%
ST/PWD - 50%
SC- 60%
(above cutoffs are sectional)
- 179
15 TISS Mumbai Government
- ₹2,38,600 62
16 SIBM Pune Private
- ₹20,35,000 180
17 SJMSoM IIT Bombay Government
General - 90% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 81% (overall) | 72% (sectional)
SC/ST/PWD - 60% (overall) | 53.3% (sectional)
- ₹3,55,400 115
18 NITIE Mumbai** Government
- 241
19 IIFT Kolkata Government
- ₹17,82,000 153
20 DMS IIT Delhi Government
General - 98%
OBC - 91%
SC- 89%
ST - 70%
PWD - 85%
- ₹8,80,000 108
21 IIM Ranchi Government
General - 95% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 78% (overall) | 60% (sectional)
SC - 60% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 40% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
- ₹17,77,000 255
22 IIM Trichy** Government
General - 95% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 78% (overall) | 60% (sectional)
SC - 60% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 40% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
- 186
23 IIM Udaipur Government
General - 90% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 78% (overall) | 60% (sectional)
SC - 60% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 40% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
Check here ₹13,67,420 263
24 NMIMS Mumbai Private
- ₹18,50,000 630
25 IIM Rohtak Government
- ₹12,73,000 231
26 IIM Raipur Government
General - 95% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 78% (overall) | 60% (sectional)
SC - 60% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 40% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
- ₹12,61,200 209
27 Third Generation IIMs Government
(Bodhgaya, Sambalpur, Jammu, Sirmaur)
General - 95% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 78% (overall) | 60% (sectional)
SC - 60% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 40% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
General - 90% (overall) | 72% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 81% (overall) | 65% (sectional)
SC - 65% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST - 40% (overall) | 40% (sectional)
PWD - 55% (overall) | 40% (sectional)
EWS - 85% (overall) | 72% (sectional)
(Amritsar, Visakhapatnam)
General - 85% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 75% (overall) | 55% (sectional)
SC - 55% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 35% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
28 IIM Kashipur Government
General - 95% (overall) | 80% (sectional)
NC-OBC - 78% (overall) | 60% (sectional)
SC - 60% (overall) | 50% (sectional)
ST/PWD - 40% (overall) | 30% (sectional)
Check Here ₹13,15,200 256
29 MICA Ahmedabad** Private
- 180
30 DoMS IIT Roorkee* Government
- ₹9,21,760 77
31 VGSoM IIT Kharagpur** Government
General - 90%
NC-OBC - 80%
SC/ST/PWD - 75%
- 126
32 SCMHRD Pune Private
- ₹17,42,800 297
33 IMT Ghaziabad Private
- ₹17,50,000 500
34 DoMS IIT Madras* Government
- ₹8,00,000 65
35 XIMB Private
- ₹21,06,000 364
36 KJSIMSR Private
- ₹17,68,300 380
37 Great Lakes Institute of Management* Private
- ₹18,02,000 119
38 IMI Delhi Private
- ₹16,95,400 236
39 TAPMI Manipal Private
Check here ₹16,90,000 478
40 SIMSREE* Government
- ₹1,38,000 159
41 XUB Private
- ₹12,20,000 300
42 Welingkar Private
- ₹14,14,000 180
*For DoMS IIT Roorkee, DoMS IIT Madras, SIMSREE, and Great Lakes Institute of Management, and ISB Hyderabad, the batch-size figures are for the Class of 2019.

How Many People Give CAT (Common Admission Test)?

Over 2 Lakh applicants give the Common Admission Test every year. For instance, 2.31 Lakh applicants gave CAT 2018.

Also, read: 50 Things To Know About IIMs


  1. I am not an Engineer. Will I still be able to crack CAT 2019?

    Yes, you most certainly stand an equal chance as anyone else to crack CAT. CAT is an exam which is increasingly being designed to cater to non-engineers as well. While it is true that Engineers may have an additional advantage in dealing with numbers, that is not the case for everyone. Furthermore, top management institutes such as IIMs also have points for diversity, which is an added advantage for non-engineers.

  2. I am weak at Maths. How do I prepare for the QA section?

    Not everyone is highly proficient in mathematics. Therefore, to become good at number crunching, one must practice as much as possible. There are multiple online and offline resources to help you do this. A candidate very weak in Mathematics will take anywhere between 5-6 months to become CAT-ready. It is achievable.

  3. How to improve your reading speed and comprehension for CAT?

    Reading Comprehension for CAT is one of the important topics which you can't left un-attended. People usually find it difficult to cope up with the speed with the limited time span allotted to candidates during the CAT. So, how should one tackle it. Read more

  4. What happens after CAT? 

    If you meet the selection criteria set by various management institutes, you will be given a short-list call and will be invited for the next set of rounds to gain admission into the institute. This set of rounds will involve Academic Writing Tests, Personal Interview, Group Discussions and Extempore. Selection criteria for institutes can be different. For instance, the Common Admission Process consists of a GD round, but IIM Ahmedabad substitutes that with an AWT round.

  5. How much time does it take to prepare for the CAT exam?

    Ideally, a candidate will require 6-8 months to prepare well for CAT, although CAT 99 percentilers have been known to prepare for CAT in a duration of just 3-4 months as well.

  6. How long will my CAT score be valid for?

    Unlike other MBA competitive exams such as GMAT and GRE, the CAT score is valid only for a period of one year. However, if you would like to work/continue working for a year before joining your institute, some B-Schools can provide you with deferred admission as well.

  7. Can I prepare for CAT exam while working? Should I quit my job to prepare for the CAT 2019?

    You most certainly can prepare for CAT exam while working. In fact, it is recommended that you attempt CAT without leaving your job. Management institutes have marks for work experience, and this can boost your chances of being at a top B-School. Further, a lot of campus recruiters at your MBA institute would prefer industry experience, in which case you will have an advantage.

  8. What not to carry in CAT exam?

    Unlike other exams, in CAT, there are certain things/items which you cannot carry or allowed in the examination hall apart from your admit card and valid photo identification ID. The list of following things which are not allowed in CAT exam are:

    1. Shoes/socks
    2. Handkerchief
    3. Watch
    4. Pen/paper/pencil
    5. Wallet
    6. Mobile phone or any other electronic gadgets
    7. Jackets
    8. Calculator
  9. What do I need to do to get into IIM Ahmedabad? 

    If you belong to the General Category, you would need a score upward of 99 percentile to ensure a shortlist call from IIM A. Also, a good academic score in Class 10th, 12th and Graduation will play a major role in getting a shortlist call. An ideal candidate should have (90/90/80) in their 10th, 12th and Graduation.

    However, it is common for aspirants to be shortlisted with graduation scores as low as 60% (although that would have to be compensated for by a high CAT score).

    IIM Ahmedabad also provides diversity points to non-engineers whom it categorizes under 7 academic streams - A1 to A7.

Some other questions include:

  • How To Get In IIM After 12th?
  • How To Get Into IIM With Poor Academics?
Ask all your CAT queries on the InsideIIM Q&A Section