Frequently asked CAT Questions

You’ve got CAT questions, we’ve got CAT answers. Today, we’ll look frequently asked questions about the CAT!

What is the CAT?

If you’re jut starting to prepare for b-school in India, you may need the answer to this basic question. The CAT is the official entrance exam for graduate degrees at the Indian Institutes of Management, or the IIM. The IIM is a coalition of 20 top public business schools in India.

Do I need to take the CAT?

If you are an Indian resident and are applying to an IIM school, it’s probably best if you take the CAT. Now, it is true that IIM campuses will accept GMAT scores instead of CAT scores. However, the CAT is the only entrance exam that’s actually designed by IIM professors and faculty. The CAT is uniquely aligned to your future studies in a way that the GMAT isn’t.

However, if you are an international IIM applicant from outside of India, you don’t need to take the CAT. Not only that, but you can’t take the CAT. The CAT exam is only administered in India. As a result, those applying to the Indian Institutes of Management from outside India must submit GMAT scores instead of CAT scores.

Where can I find free CAT mock tests online?

There is unfortunately a shortage of high quality, trustworthy CAT mock tests online, free or otherwise. The good news is that there are two official online mock CAT tests online, designed by the IIM. For links to these tests and a detailed description of each practice CAT, see my post “Where to Find Free CAT Mock Tests Online.”

Can I find a good CAT syllabus?

Frustratingly, there’s no official syllabus for the CAT. This is because the CAT exam format is subject to change every year. Now, here’s the good news: it’s possible to predict the likely format of the next CAT, based on the content of past versions of the exam.

Many test prep companies have made unofficial-but-helpful syllabi for the CAT 2017. For a look at the upcoming unofficial syllabus for the test, check out Magoosh’s very own CAT exam syllabus for 2017. This will give you a good idea of the content on the upcoming CAT exam.

How do I register for the CAT?

You can register for the CAT through the official website of the IIM-CAT. However, you can’t register just anytime. Instead, you’ll need to wait for the annual registration period. Online CAT registration opens up from early August to late September each year.

How much does it cost to register for the CAT exam?

Like the CAT syllabus, registry fees can change a bit from year to year. However, registration costs are relatively low. In 2016, the registration fee for the CAT was Rs 800. (For international students reading this, Rs 800 is about 11 USD.)

When do I take the CAT, and when do I get my scores?

The CAT is administered in either late November or early December each year. Scores are released a month or so later, in January of the next year.

Where is the nearest CAT testing center?

The IIM has CAT test sites throughout India. For a list of the current CAT testing centers, see this article from Careers360.

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

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