CAT Exam 2024: Date, Pattern, Syllabus, Eligibility, Admit Card and Free Mock Tests



13 May, 2024

CAT Exam 2024: Date, Pattern, Syllabus, Eligibility, Admit Card and Free Mock Tests

The biggest exam of the year is here! CAT exam admit card 2024 dates are out and we are here to tell you everything about it. Here are the latest details on the CAT exam pattern, CAT syllabus, CAT questions, CAT exam fees, CAT exam eligibility, free CAT exam mock test and CAT exam expected cut-off. If you’re aiming to be the next business leader, you need to get into the best business school through CAT. Come along with us to find out everything about the CAT exam. This is the ultimate guide!

What is the CAT Exam?

The CAT exam is known as the Common Entrance Test. CAT is an entrance test which is given to get admission to top B business schools including 20 IIMS. The CAT exam is conducted once a year. It has 66 total questions and 198 total marks. It is divided into 3 sections – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). The CAT exam expected cut-off changes every year according to the previous marks obtained. The total fees for CAT exam application is Rs.2,400 for the general category and Rs. 1,200 for SC/ST and PwD.

Purpose of the CAT Exam

The purpose of the Common Entrance Test (CAT) is for more than just admission, it is also:

  • To get you into top Indian business schools, including IIMs.

  • To test your skills through skill assessment tests such as verbal, quantitative, and reasoning skills.

  • You can get high scores in top MBA programmes and successful careers.

  • You can get higher placement chances if you’re in one of the most successful business schools.

Important Dates for CAT Exam 2024

Event Date
CAT 2024 registration start date August 2, 2024
CAT 2024 last date to apply September 21, 2024
CAT 2024 application correction date September 25–28, 2024
Release of CAT 2024 admit card November 7, 2024
CAT 2024 exam date November 24, 2024 (Sunday)
CAT 2024 notification release date July 30, 2024
CAT 2024 answer key release date December 5, 2024
CAT 2024 results date December 21, 2024

Highlights & Exam Pattern of the CAT

Parameter Detail
Name of the Exam Common Admission Test (CAT)
Conducting Body IIM Calcutta
Exam Level National
Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
Exam Frequency Once a year
Mode of Exam Computer-Based Test (CBT)
Sections Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Quantitative Aptitude (QA)


Aspect Detail
Total Number of Questions 66
Types of Questions Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs
Number of Questions per Section VARC: 24, DILR: 20, QA: 22
Marking Scheme +3 for correct answers, -1 for wrong answers (MCQs)
Exam Duration 120 minutes (40 minutes per section)
Score Sheet Validity Duration 1 year
Medium of Exam English
Official Website IIMCAT
Admit Card Website Same as official website

Eligibility Criteria

The following are the specific eligibility conditions for taking the CAT exam:

  • Bachelor’s degree with 50% aggregate (45% for SC/ST/PwD).

  • You should be a bachelor’s passed or in your last year of bachelor’s

  • CA, CS, or ICWA holders are eligible if they meet the minimum percentage requirement.

Registration Process and Fee

The registration process is very simple. Here are the simple 4 steps to register yourself for CAT exam 2024:

Create an Account at the official CAT website

  • Fill out the application form with personal, academic, and other required information.

  • Choose Test Centres to 6 choices.

  • Pay the fee online (INR 2,400 for General, INR 1,200 for SC/ST/PwD).

Application Fee

The application fee for CAT is distributed in this manner:

CAT Test Mode CAT Application Fee (in INR)
CAT Test Mode Computer-Based Test (CBT)
CAT Application Fee INR 2,400 (General)
INR 1,200 (SC/ST/PwD)

CAT Required Documents

In order to fill out the application you would be required to submit the required documents, such as:

  • A valid government-issued ID (e.g., Aadhaar, PAN, Passport, Voter ID).

  • Your marksheets or certificates from Class 10 onward.

  • If applicable, proof of SC/ST/OBC-NCL/EWS/PwD status.

  • Your recent passport-size photo and a scanned signature.

CAT Admit Card

You can easily download the admit card through the official website by logging in your credentials. An admit card is mandatory to appear for the exam.

Exam Type Admit Card Date
CBT (Computer Based Exam) 25th October, 2024 (expected)

CAT Exam Centre 2024

Here is the latest exam centre for 2024:

Test Cities Test Date:
24th November, 2024
Mumbai Jaipur
Delhi Ahmedabad
Pune Bangalore
Kolkata Chennai
Lucknow Hyderabad

CAT 2024 Exam Syllabus

The CAT exam 2024 is made to test most of your skills. It has three different sections to cover most of the skills:  Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

Here is the exam syllabus for CAT 2024: 

(I) Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Verbal Ability

  • Reading Comprehension

(II) Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Data Interpretation

  • Logical Reasoning

(III) Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

  • Algebra

  • Geometry and Mensuration

  • Trigonometry

  • Arithmetic

  • Modern Mathematics

  • Profit and Loss

CAT 2024: Section Wise Distribution of Question Paper

Here’s the complete structure for the CAT 2024 exam:

Section Total Questions Total Marks Time (Minutes)
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 72 40
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 60 40
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 22 66 40
Total 66 198 120

Top Business Schools Accepting CAT Scores

Here are some top business schools that accept CAT scores:

  • Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs):  Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Calcutta

  • Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi

  • Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon

  • SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai

  • National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai

  • Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), including Delhi and Bombay

  • Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad

  • Xavier Institute of Management (XIM), Bhubaneswar

CAT 2024: Expected Exam Cut-off

Here’s a table with the shuffled expected cut-offs for various IIMs and top business schools for the CAT 2024 exam:

Institute Expected Cut-off (Percentile)
IIM Shillong 90
IIM Kozhikode 97-98
IIM Calcutta 99
IIM Amritsar 95+
IIM Lucknow 97+
IIM Nagpur 95+
IIM Ahmedabad 99-100
IIM Bangalore 99-100
IIM Indore 97+

CAT Important Exam Guidelines

  • You should arrive at the exam centre 60 minutes before the test.

  • Bring your CAT admit card, valid photo ID, and any other required documents.

  • Listen to the invigilators and follow their instructions.

  • Do not bring electronic devices like mobile phones, calculators, or smartwatches into the exam hall.

  • Remember that each section has a strict time limit.

  • Be aware that incorrect answers in some sections incur negative markings. Leave questions that you do not know.

  • If you encounter a tough question, stay calm, skip it, and return later if time permits.

CAT Preparation Tips

Here are some last-minute preparation tips for you:

  • Set a daily schedule.

  • Take daily mock tests

  • Work on subjects where you’re struggling.

  • Study from reputable books and online sources.

  • Analyse your mock test results.

  • Balance your preparation across sections.

  • Take breaks for the mind and body to relax.

  • Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep.

Free Mock Tests

Many platforms provide free mock tests for students, here is the list and links for some of the free mock tests you can try before the CAT exam:

Platform Website Link
Unacademy Career Launcher
TIME Institute Embibe
Oliveboard Hitbullseye

Logging Out

If you are a business dreamer then this exam would help you achieve all of them. If you want to get into the top business schools then CAT exams are the key towards success. The CAT 2024 has three different sections and it has a total of 66 questions. The exam centres are distributed around the country where you can commute according to your centre. Once you pass the expected CAT percentile you will be able to get admissions to over 20+ IIM colleges. Lastly, do not forget to take breaks while you prepare for the CAT exam. You’re going to be great! All the best!


Q1. What is CAT exam used for?

The CAT exam is used to get admission to Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in some of the top business schools in India, including 20+ IIM colleges.

Q2. Is CAT exam only for MBA admission?

The CAT exam scores can be used to get admission to different courses including PhD, PGP, MBA, and FPM courses.

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