CAT examination 2009

August 22nd, 2009  |  Published in General Awareness

Common Admission Test(CAT) is an entrance exam for admission to post graduate management courses in all the Indian Institute of Management(IIMs) and various other management institutes. IIMs are undoubtedly the best management institutes in the country with a world wide reputation. Every year more than two lakh students appear for CAT and the competition is really tough for IIMs and the other reputed institutes. CAT aspirants start preparing for CAT much before the actual examination and often opt for specialised training.

Uptil last year CAT was a paper based test but from this time CAT will be a Computer based test that means a candidate will read questions and choose correct answers on a computer in the designated test centre. Also instead of a single day CAT will be conducted through a ten day window for different students where they will have different set of questions of similar difficulty level. Other than these there will be no change in the format of CAT.

CAT 2009 to be Online

The new computer-based test (CBT) will be embraced by IIMs across Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shillong, and will allow students to select a date convenient to them from a specified period of 10 days.

The new system is also expected to help the IIMs cope effectively with the increasing number of candidates every year. While around 95,000 candidates took CAT in 2003, the number rose to about 250,000 last year, reflecting a growth of over 163% and bringing the administrative system under severe pressure.

“With the online test, CAT will be similar to the GMAT test in its process. This will be definitely beneficial for the students as they can appear in the exam according to their suitability rather than a particular day”, says, Dr S P Parashar, Director, IIM-Indore.

The online CAT exam will be conducted on the pattern of similar international exams like GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test), with the only exception that the results will not be declared instantly.

Here’s the gist of information that the IIMs have released till date:

* The CAT will be held online for the year 2009
* Prometric ETS has been awarded the contract for conducting the test
* CAT 2009 will be conducted over a period of 10 days at the end of 2009-05-11
* Relevant details regarding the structure and the conduct of the examination to be released with the advertisement (normally in the month of July)
* Mr Subhashish Gupta, admission chairperson IIMB has said that the possibility of CAT 2009 being computer adaptive is quite remote.
* In all probability there will be 3 tests in a day. This means that there will be 30 tests over a period of 10 days.

Availability of forms for CAT 2009-2010:

CAT vouchers will be available through selected bank branches by the end of August 2009. After buying the voucher candidates will be supposed to apply online. The voucher will be available for Rs. 1400 for general candidates and for Rs. 700 for SC/ST candidates. Admit Cards will also be sent by e-mail to the candidates which they will have to print.

Important Dates(Proposed):

Availability of CAT voucher: By End of August, 2009

Last Date to buy CAT voucher: End of September, 2009

Date of CAT: End of November, 2009 (10 day window)

Eligibility criteria:

For general candidates: A candidate should have got atleast 50% or equivalent CGPA in Graduation.

For SC/ST candidates: A candidate should have got atleast 45% or equivalent CGPA in Graduation.

Final year candidates who will complete their gradudation in 2010 can also apply.

Pattern of Examination:

CAT is of two and a half hours duration having multiple choice questions from the followng sections:

  • Data Interpretation and logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Ability
  • Verbal Ability and Comprehension

Candidates are expected to perform well in all the three sections as there are separate cut-offs for individual sections as well. Each question has 5 options. A candidate gets 4 marks for a right answer and 1 mark is deducted for an incorrect answer.

CAT 2009 Results:

CAT 2009 results would be available from somewhere around January 2010. CAT 2009 results can be accessed on and also by using SMS facility or by sending a mail. SMS should be sent to 57333 after inserting ‘CAT test registration number date of birth (dd mm yy)’ or ‘CAT test registration number application number”. For getting CAT 2008 results by e-mail, candidates should register themselves between October 17, 2008 and November 30, 2008 by sending an SMS to 57333 with the following text: ‘CAT test registration number date of birth (dd mm yy) email identification

November 2008 will witness the last written CAT and from November 2009, the test will be conducted online.

Though this seems to be a drastic change, the internet-age students will surely be comfortable with it. Also B-School aspirants feel that it is a good move as it will make the test more transparent and error-proof. But if the exam is going to be conducted online, then all students will not be able to take up the exam on the same day. It will be conducted in staggered batches within a window period of a few months. The other change will be that instead of the current single exam paper, the online test will have several different papers of the same level of difficulty.

The online model will be similar to US exams like the GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) and the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) except that the results will not appear instantly. The IIMs will retain their control over the test, but the process of conducting the exam (including results and reporting of scores) will be outsourced.

The switch is said to have been decided upon due to the increasing number of candidates. The figure stands around 3 Lakh currently and is only expected to increase further and cross this in 2009.


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