CAT 2023: Registrations Open, Exam Date Out, Syllabus, Pattern, Important Details
Prepare for the CAT Exam 2023 with InsieIIM! Find the updated syllabus, exam pattern, and previous years' question papers to boost your chances of success.Last Updated: Aug 8, 2023Registerand stay updated with cat preparation.
IIM Lucknow will conduct the CAT Exam 2023 on November 26th, 2023. Registrations will start from the 1st week of August and the last date to register will be the third week of September at 5 pm on the official CAT website. Stay updated with all the important details around CAT 2023!
Candidates preparing for the CAT exam 2023 must know all the exam details such as important dates, CAT syllabus, eligibility, exam pattern, previous year question paper, etc. We have covered all these details on this page.
The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of India's most popular management entrance exams to get admission to the prestigious IIMs and other top MBA colleges. It is a computer-based aptitude test and is conducted at a national level by one of the IIMs every year. IIM Ahmedabad was responsible for conducting CAT 2021 and CAT 2022 will be conducted by IIM Bangalore, and now, CAT 2023 will be conducted by IIM Lucknow.
Around 2 Lakh aspirants appear for the CAT exam every year. In 2022, according to Prof M P Ram Mohan, IIM Ahmedabad faculty and convener of the CAT 2022 exam, “Around 2.22 lakh candidates appeared for the exam out of 2.55 lakhs registered eligible candidates.” The numbers are expected to be similar or more this year.
CAT 2023 Highlights
|Name of Exam||CAT (Common Admission Test)|
|CAT 2023 Conducting Body||IIM Lucknow|
|CAT Official Website||iimcat.ac.in|
|Frequency of CAT exam||Once every year|
|CAT Application Process||Online|
|CAT Application Fees||INR 2300 for the General category
INR 1150 for the Reserved category
|Minimum Marks Eligibility||50% and 45% in Graduation for GN & Reserved category respectively|
|Duration of CAT Exam||2 hours since 2020|
|Number of Sections||3 Sections:
|Number of Questions||66 approximately|
|Medium of Exam||English (Exam is conducted in CBT mode)|
|Admission||20 IIMs + Various other Institutes|
|Courses Offered||MBA/ PGDM in various streams|
|CAT Helpdeskfirstname.lastname@example.org; 1800-2090-830|
Important Dates For CAT 2023
CAT exam 2023 date is 26th November 2023, Sunday. CAT exam registration 2023 will start on 2nd Aug 2023 (Wednesday) and end on 13th Sep 2023 (Wednesday). Other important dates are mentioned in the table below:
|CAT 2023 Notification Date||31st July 2023 (Monday)|
|CAT 2023 Registration Form Starts||2nd Aug 2023 (Wednesday)|
|CAT 2023 Registration Last Date||13th Sep 2023 (Wednesday)|
|CAT Form Correction Date||4th week of September 2023|
|CAT Official Tutorial Release Date||1st week of November 2023|
|CAT Admit Card Download||27th Oct 2023 (Friday)|
|CAT 2023 Exam Date||26th November 2023 (Sunday)|
|CAT 2023 Answer Key release||1st week of December 2023|
|CAT 2023 Result Date||2nd Week of January 2024 (Tentative)|
CAT 2023 Notification
CAT 2023 Notification is released on the official website. IIM Lucknow will conduct the CAT 2023 exam and the exam date is Nov 26th, 2023, and registration starts on 1st week of August 2023 and closes on the third week of September 2023 at 5 pm. Candidates are advised to register well in advance to avoid any last minute-hassle. The duration of CAT 2023 would be 2 hours.
The exam would contain 3 sections- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability and candidates would be given exactly 40 minutes for each section.
Know More About CAT 2023:
CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria
To appear for the Common Admission Test, candidates need to fulfill the CAT eligibility criteria as defined by the exam conducting authorities.
CAT Eligibility 2023:
- Candidates need to have a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in any discipline from a recognized university.
- Candidates must have scored at least 50% in graduation. For reserved category candidates, the minimum aggregate marks are 45%.
- Students in the final year of graduation can also appear for the CAT exam.
- Candidates with CA/CS/ICWA degrees also satisfy the CAT eligibility criteria.
- Candidates with CA/CS/ICWA degrees also satisfy the CAT eligibility criteria.
- There is no limit on the number of attempts for the CAT exam.
New Eligibility Rules Introduced In 2023:
In 2021, the criteria of minimum grades for appearing for the CAT entrance exam were eliminated. This exception was made to ensure that candidates who finished their bachelor's degrees in 2022 and 2023 are fairly represented. Candidates could enter the “Promotion/ Pass” option in the CAT application form instead of marks.
CAT 2023 Reservation Policy:
The reservation policy is based on the norms specified by the Government of India. As per rules OBC, SC, ST, and the EWS category candidates can avail of 27%, 15%, 7.5%, and 10% reservation benefits during the time of admission process respectively.
CAT Registrations 2023
The registration process for CAT is expected to begin in August 2023 and candidates can apply for it through the official CAT website once the notification gets released and the registration link gets active. To successfully register for CAT 2023, applicants must know the stepwise process of how to fill out the CAT exam form.
How To Apply For CAT 2023?
Documents Required To Fill CAT 2023 Application Form:
- Class 10th and 12th, Bachelor’s degree and/or higher education mark sheet.
- List of IIM programs you wish to apply for.
- If you belong to NC-OBC, SC, or ST category, download the caste certificate from the CAT Website, enter the required information, self-attest it, and upload its scanned copy as a PDF document.
- If you belong to the PwD category, download the PwD certificate from the CAT website, fill it out, self-attest it, and upload its scanned copy as a PDF document.
- The size of the photo and signature must be Less than 80 KB and the correct format is .jpeg/ .jpg. Also, note that the Image Resolution must be 150 px/ inch.
|Scanned Document||Correct Dimension|
|Photograph||45 mm (height) x 30 mm (width)|
|Signature||35 mm (height) x 80 mm (width)|
How To Fill The CAT Application Form 2023?
The step-by-step process of filling out the registration form online for the CAT Exam is given below.
- CAT Registration
- Submit the CAT Application Form
- Pay Application Fee
Step 1: Registration For CAT 2023
To apply for the CAT exam 2023, the candidates will have to register on the official website. Follow the steps given below:
- Open the official CAT website in a new window
- Click on 'Register' under the 'New Candidate Registration' tab
- Enter your name, date of birth, email ID, mobile phone number, and nationality
- Click on the 'Generate OTP' tab
- On successful registration, an OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number
- Verify CAT registration by entering the OTP in the given field
Step 2: Filling Up CAT Application Form
After verification, the candidate will receive a user ID and password on the registered email ID and mobile number. To fill out the form, log in again using the CAT 2023 user ID and password to access the application form.
The CAT application/registration form has six sections. Candidates are required to fill in relevant details on all the pages of the form for successful submission. The details related to the six sections of the CAT application form 2023 are as follows:
- Personal Details: In this section of the CAT application form, the candidates are required to enter details such as name, date of birth, father’s name, category, gender, nationality, communication address, email ID, mobile phone number, etc.
- Academic Details: In this section, the candidates have to enter class 10 and 12 exam scores, bachelor’s degree details and mark sheet, and details of other professional courses (if any)
- Work Experience: If a candidate has relevant work experience, they need to fill in details such as the name of the company, duration, etc., in this section
- Programmes: In this section, the candidates have to select the IIM institutes of their choice and the MBA programmes they wish to opt for
- Test City: In this section, test city preference is to be marked. The candidates can select up to six cities in order of preference from one to six
Exam Centers For The CAT:
|CAT Test Cities|
CAT exam is conducted at multiple exam centers across India. The list of CAT exam 2023 test cities will be released along with the exam schedule. Candidates will be given the option to choose up to six cities for the allotment of the CAT 2023 test center. Check below, CAT 2022 test cities for reference:
Step 3: Payment Of CAT Registration Cum Application Fee
The third and last step in CAT registration is the payment of the application fee. After filling in all details in the first five sections, click on 'save and continue' to proceed to the fee payment window.
CAT 2023 Application Fee:
The CAT 2023 Application fee will be confirmed once the notification is released. Candidates can make online payments by any of the mentioned modes. Last year, the CAT exam registration fees were increased by 10%. Based on 2021, the application fee is as follows.
How To Make Corrections in CAT 2023 Application Form?
After the window for correction in the application form opens again, log in using your ID and Password on the "Registered Candidate Login" page on the official CAT website and upload the new images (for photograph and signature) and change your test city if required.
CAT Exam Pattern 2023
CAT Exam is conducted in an online mode and is a computer-based test. Until 2019, the CAT paper pattern used to be of 180 minutes or three hours (sectional time-limit of 60 minutes) and 100 questions but the CAT exam pattern was revised in 2020.
Now, the CAT exam pattern is of 120 minutes or two hours with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes. Earlier, the PwD candidates used to get 20 minutes extra in each section, but from 2020 onwards, they get only 13.20 minutes extra.
- The CAT Exam is conducted in the English language only.
- The exam has three sections- VARC, DILR, and QA
- Candidates appearing for the CAT exam have to solve both MCQ and Non-MCQ questions.
- There is a sectional time limit for each section.
- There is a negative marking of 1 mark for every wrong answer, and every correct answer is 3 marks. Please note that there was no negative marking for TITA (Non-MCQs) questions.
CAT 2023 exam date will be finalized after the release of the notification. If the test continues to be for 2 hours, it is expected that last year's CAT exam pattern will be followed.
The distribution of questions across the 3 sections in 2022 was as follows:
|Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)||24||19||5|
|Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)||20||15||5|
|Quantitative Aptitude (QA)||22||14||8|
Timing For Different Slots On The Exam Day
The CAT exam is conducted in several slots throughout the day. Until 2019, there used to be two slots of 3 hours each. Since 2020 the exam has been conducted in three slots of two hours or 120 minutes each (40 minutes per section). The following are the three sessions and test timings:
- Slot 1- Morning session (8:30 am - 10:30 pm)
- Slot 2- Afternoon session (12:30 pm - 2:30 pm)
- Slot 3- Evening session (4:30 pm - 6:30 pm)
CAT Marking Scheme
The CAT exam has different marking schemes for MCQ and Non- MCQ questions. For every correct answer, 3 are awarded for both MCQs and Non-MCQs. A negative marking of one mark is only applicable for MCQ questions. There is no negative marking in CAT for TITA (Non- MCQ) questions.
|Type of Questions||Correct Answer||Incorrect Answer|
The CAT entrance exam syllabus consists of three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. There is no defined syllabus across the sections but based on previous year's papers and trends, given below is a refined list of topics that turn up in the exam.
Quantitative Ability Syllabus For CAT 2023:
1. Time, Speed & Distance
2. Time & Work, Pipes & Cisterns
3. Simple Interest & Compound Interest
4. Ratios, Proportions & Variations
5. Percentages, Profit & Loss, Discount
6. Averages, Mixtures & Allegations
1. Inequalities & Modulus
2. Functions & Graphs
3. Linear & Quadratic Equations
6. Algebraic Identities
7. Maxima Minima
1. LCM and HCF
2. Divisibility Rules
3. Base Change
4. Finding the Unit's Place, Ten's Place of a number
5. Cyclicity, Number of trailing zeroes
7. Prime Factorisation
9. Indices & Surds
Check: Quant Formulae Cheat Sheet
Geometry & Mensuration:
4. Coordinate Geometry
5. Lines and Angles
1. Permutations & Combinations
3. Set Theory (Including Venn Diagrams)
4. Binomial Theorem
5. Arithmetic, Geometric, and Harmonic Progressions (Sequence & Series)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Syllabus For CAT Exam 2023:
2. Pie Charts
3. Bar Graphs
1. Number, Symbol, Letter Series
3. Blood Relations & Family Tree
5. Binary Logic
6. Games & Tournaments
7. Linear & Circular Arrangements
8. Team Formations
9. Order & Ranking
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Syllabus For CAT 2023:
1. Para jumbles (Tips)
2. Para Completion
3. Statements & Assumptions
4. Fill In The Blanks
5. Sentence Completion
CAT Study Planner:
The number of hours required to prepare for the CAT is a subjective topic and depends on several external factors. To help you plan your CAT prep journey, InsideIIM's CAT Study Planner outlines the recommended number of hours required to devote to complete the gamut of the CAT exam syllabus, the ideal distribution to each topic and section based on when you start your CAT exam preparation.
Please note that the number of hours is indicative. Spend as much time as you require to thoroughly complete a topic, especially if it's an important topic.
AI-Based Profile Evaluation Tool:
Cracking the management entrance examinations and getting into some of the top management schools is not a cake-walk; things become even tougher when you add to the mix the importance of profiles in the selection process.
To help you get a realistic idea of whether your profile is good enough to make it to any of the top business schools, we present to you InsideIIM's AI-Based Profile Evaluation Tool!
Based on our extensive research, we have developed a tool that will match your profile with the profiles of the students who have made it to top business schools in India and give you a match percentage.
How To Prepare For CAT Exam 2023?
The CAT entrance exam consists of three sections - VARC, DILR and QA. It is important to prepare for all three sections comprehensively.
Candidates preparing for CAT 2023 should have a complete understanding of the exam structure. The preparation phase is usually divided into three phases
1. Conceptual Clarity:
This phase of CAT preparation involves making a preparation plan, understanding all the concepts across the three sections, and knowing their applications. Developing calculation techniques, reading speed, vocabulary, problem-solving abilities, and different formats of puzzles, all of this form a part of this phase.
2. Regular Practice and Learning Shortcuts:
Consistent practice is required to become comfortable with the kind of questions in the mock tests. Consistency helps in developing new tricks to solve the questions, reducing the time limit per question, and helping in attaining better accuracy. In this phase, start developing a thorough understanding of their strengths and weaknesses to develop mock-taking strategies going ahead.
3. Mock Taking and Analysis:
This is the most crucial part of the preparation phase. Aspirants are advised to get a good and reliable CAT mock test series which gives them a great mix of questions and also a detailed analysis of their performance. Based on the analysis, aspirants can build on their performance and improve.
Mock Test for CAT:
|Topic||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|VARC||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here|
|DILR||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here|
|Quant||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here|
Section-wise Preparation Strategy For CAT 2023
CAT Preparation Books:
Check out the best books for CAT exam preparation available to cover the entire CAT exam syllabus.
Quantitative Ability Books For CAT:
- NCERT mathematics books (6-10)
- How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
- Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
- Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Sinha
Verbal Ability Books For CAT:
- How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT by Nishit Sinha
- Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
- High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin
- Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improving your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that you are able to sail through the reading comprehension section with great speed and understanding of the content.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:
- A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal
- How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book by Arun Sharma
- How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book by Arun Sharma
- Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit Sinha
General Knowledge Books For XAT, SNAP & Other Exams:
Considering the current format for the G.K. section of XAT, SNAP, or any other exam, they focus mainly on the Current G.K. rather than a static one. It is always better to read a newspaper for current G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.
In case you don't like reading newspapers daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.
To prepare for Static G.K., you need to broaden your overall scope in the following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chand's Advanced Objective General Knowledge.
CAT Previous Year Question Papers:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you with an edge. These CAT exam questions papers can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.
Free Mock Tests For CAT- Mini Mocks: The most important component of the entire CAT preparation journey is the Mocks. Hence, it’s imperative to have good quality CAT mock test series in the kitty to amplify your performance. To help you optimize your CAT preparation and reinforce the concepts you've painstakingly learned, InsideIIM brings to you the Free CAT Mock Test Series- Mini Mocks. These timed mini-quizzes, which last no more than 20 minutes per test, allow you to put your CAT preparation to the test and understand where you stand compared to over 6000 of the most enthusiastic and dedicated CAT aspirants. Through these tests, you get-
- Daily tests comprising CAT-level questions covering all three sections of the exam, i.e., VARC, DILR, and QA. You also get access to over 90 pre-existing mini-mock tests covering all three sections of the exam, i.e., VARC, DILR, and QA.
- Free daily tests that mimic the actual CAT exam interface, along with detailed solutions after completion of tests.
- A minimum of 25 hours of practice questions to help you optimize your CAT preparation, absolutely free of cost.
- Basic test performance analytics including percentile, leaderboard ranking, and average time spent per question.
- Opportunity to compete with 6000+ of the most dedicated CAT aspirants from different academic and professional backgrounds.
- Access to the InsideIIM Q&A section to discuss mock tests, and engage with and learn from serious CAT aspirants.
CAT Admit Card 2023
The admit card for CAT 2023 exam will be issued to registered candidates on the official website. It is expected to be tentatively released in the fourth week of October. The admit card is a mandatory document to be carried to the exam center. Given below is the process to download CAT admit card:
- Open the IIMCAT website
- Click on "CAT 2023 admit card"
- Enter CAT ID and password
- Go to the 'admit card' tab
- Open the CAT 2023 admit card and download it as a PDF
Things To Carry On CAT 2023 Exam Day:
- CAT admit card
- Valid Identity Proof
- Additional photograph
- Self-declaration issued with CAT admit card
- Covid safety-related items such as sanitizer, face masks, etc.
- Name change document (If Required)
- Medical Certificate & Scribe Affidavit (If Required)
Things Not Allowed On CAT 2023 Exam Day:
- Calculator, watch, phone, iPad, or any other electronic item
- Eatables and beverages
- Bags and purses
- Metal jewellery and accessories
- Jackets and clothes with pockets
- Footwear with thick soles
CAT Exam Analysis
Based on the difficulty level across sections, CAT experts provide detailed CAT Exam analysis including expected cut-offs and percentiles, the trend of questions, etc.
These insights are valuable for the preparation of CAT 2023 aspirants.
Based on the analysis, CAT mentors predict the expected percentiles for the particular year. The predictions made for 2021 can be used as a benchmark for 2023 as well.
CAT 2023 Results
Based on the past year's trends, the CAT result date is expected to fall in the first week of January 2024. CAT result is released in the form of a scorecard and applicants can log in to the official CAT website to access it.
The CAT result scorecard contains each candidate's sectional scaled scores and percentile. The scaled scores are normalized raw scores, based on the difficulty level of the slot he/she had appeared for and the scores of the top scorers in that slot.
CAT Response Key:
The CAT 2023 response sheet will be released on iim.ac.in, in the first few days of December 2023. Candidates can log in and download the CAT response sheet which includes the questions asked, the applicant’s response to it, and also the answer key. Based on this, candidates will be able to calculate the raw score, estimate the percentile and prepare for the CAT results.
Next Steps After CAT Results:
The CAT result for 2023 will get released on the official website in the first week of January 2024. Post that, the list of candidates shortlisted for the next level of selection will be made available on the website of the respective IIMs. Each IIM will send interview letters to the shortlisted candidates directly. The criteria for shortlisting vary across IIMs. Please visit the admission websites of the respective IIMs for further information. Check out the latest IIM selection criteria for all the top IIMs here.
Now that you know where you stand, the next step is to know which B-Schools you should target. Here is a compiled list of MBA colleges that might give you a shortlist call. Read on!
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CAT 2023 FAQs
Q. What is the CAT exam?
Ans: The CAT exam stands for Common Admission Test. It is a national-level entrance test conducted by one of the IIMs in the country for admission to the PGP/MBA programs of the IIMs and other top MBA colleges.
Q. When will the CAT 2023 registration begin?
Ans: Based on past year trends CAT 2023 exam registrations will begin in the first week of August. The application forms will be available online on iimcat.ac.in.
Q. How to apply for the CAT exam?
Ans: Once the CAT notification gets released on iim.ac.in, candidates can apply for it. The application process includes-
- Registration for CAT
- Filling up the personal information
Q. When is the CAT exam held?
Ans: Official CAT Dates 2023 are yet to be announced. Usually, the CAT exam is held on the last Sunday of November, therefore it is expected that the CAT exam 2023 will be held on the 26th of November 2023.
Q. Is the CAT exam tough?
Ans: The difficulty level of the CAT exam for MBA admissions is generally moderate to difficult. The difficulty is a subjective topic and differs based on the preparation level of the candidates. Candidates can refer to the CAT previous year's CAT papers to have a better understanding of the level of questions.
Q. Who is eligible for the CAT Exam 2023?
Ans: The CAT exam eligibility criteria allow any candidate with a graduate degree from a UGC-approved university/ college with a minimum of 50% marks for the General category and 45% for the reserved category to apply for the exam. Apart from this, candidates with a professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) and also final year students, satisfy the CAT eligibility criteria.
Q. Is the CAT exam necessary for pursuing MBA from IIMs?
Ans: Yes, CAT However, for pursuing MBA from other colleges you can also take other management exams like XAT for XLRI Jamshedpur, MAT & CMAT for JBIMS, SPJIMR, etc., NMAT for NMIMS Mumbai & other campuses, SNAP for SIU institutes, IBSAT for IBS Hyderabad & other campuses.
Q. Is it necessary to write the CAT exam for pursuing MBA?
Ans: No, it is not compulsory to take the CAT exam for MBA. However, if you wish to pursue MBA from the top IIMs or other top MBA colleges in India, CAT is a mandate.
Q. What are the sections in the CAT Exam?
Ans: As per the latest CAT exam pattern, the CAT exam includes three sections
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
- Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
Q. Is there any sectional time limit on the CAT exam?
Ans: Yes, there is a sectional time limit in the CAT exam. Until 2019, the total exam duration was 180 minutes with 60 minutes each allotted to Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. Since 2020 the total exam duration has been 120 minutes, with 40 minutes allotted to each of the three sections.
Q. Are there any sectional cut-offs in CAT?
Ans: Yes, every IIM releases sectional CAT cutoffs. Candidates have to mandatorily secure the minimum CAT percentile in each section along with the overall cut-off to get an interview call from the respective IIM.
Q. How many times can a candidate appear for the CAT exam?
Ans: There is no such limit set for the number of attempts for the CAT exam. Candidates can take CAT for as long as they want, provided they fulfill eligibility criteria.
Q. How to score the 99th percentile in CAT Exam?
Ans: To score a high percentile in CAT, aspirants need to follow a structured approach in their preparation which involves conceptual clarity, practicing, revising, and mock analysis across the three sections. This is followed by coming up with refined exam strategies to optimize the test score. Candidates can enroll themselves in several mock test series to finetune the preparation. Finally, it is always advisable to know all about the exam from start to end to avoid confusion.