CAT Exam Dates: Past, Present, and Future

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The CAT exam date for 2017 hasn’t been announced yet–but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for it! Photo by FirmBee.

Confused about the CAT exam date? Not surprising! Over the past few years, students taking the Common Admission Test (CAT) have seen the CAT exam date change annually. While some are predicting that the 2017 CAT will be given in November, we’re not certain of that yet. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have not released the test dates—and probably won’t until July! But that doesn’t mean we’re totally in the dark. Here’s what we do know about past exams to give you your best shot at preparing for the 2017 CAT, and keep checking back on the blog. We’ll update you as more information becomes available.

The CAT Exam Date in 2015 and 2016

In short? Most recently, in 2016, test-takers took the CAT on Sunday, December 4. But in 2015, the test date fell on Sunday, November 29. And before that, IIMs had offered both a Saturday and a Sunday option for testing (November 16 and 22, 2014). Overall, the recent movement to only Sunday suggests that we should expect to see the exam fall on a Sunday in the last week of November or first week of December in 2017. That may be frustrating, but there is some flexibility. For the past few years, test centers have offered both morning and afternoon sessions. Still, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your choice of slots.

CAT Exam Date 2017

Because many test-takers have school or work commitments during the week that would prevent them from taking a three-hour exam, it’s logical to expect that the 2017 CAT exam will be offered on a weekend day. This will probably a Sunday, with two possible time slots. No matter what, you can expect the testmakers to allow you plenty of time to prepare for a precise date. They traditionally issue the annual advertisement during the last week of July, with registration then open for most of August and September.

Other Important CAT Dates

The 2017 advertisement, which we can expect at the end of July, will provide more specific dates for all 2017 CAT exam activities, including the period in which you’ll be able to download your admit card to the exam. Keep in mind that while students in previous years may have received their results earlier, test-takers in 2015 and 2016 didn’t/won’t receive their results until the second week of January during the following year.

What Does This Mean for Me?

If you’re planning to take the CAT in 2017, keep your schedule open for November and December! CAT exam dates change from year to year, and nobody except the IIMs can tell you with any certainty when the date will be before the official announcement. Even though it may be annoying to schedule so far in advance, succeeding on the exam will open up exciting new academic and career paths—so keep your eyes on the prize and look out for that summer 2017 announcement!

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