CAT 2020 - Dates, Registration, Eligibility, Exam Pattern & Syllabus

  • By Kirti Yadav
  • 18 March 2020

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Important: IIM Indore is releasing all notification pertaining to the CAT exam 2020 on Sunday, July 26, 2020, with important dates and details about the national entrance exam. CAT 2020 – Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) conducts Common Admission Test (CAT) every year for admission to postgraduate and fellow management programs offered by them. The score/percentile of this management entrance exam is also considered for admission to over 100 non-IIMs participating B-Schools. It has been decided that IIM Indore will be conducting CAT exam 2020. Professor Harshal Lowalekar, faculty and admissions chairman at IIM Indore has been appointed as CAT 2020 coordinator. The CAT Entrance Exam is a computer-based test, where a mix of 100 MCQ and non-MCQs are asked from Quantitative, Verbal Reasoning, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. CAT 2020 exam date is to remain 29th November 2020, on a single day and in two sessions - morning and evening. The commencement of the online CAT 2020 registration is 8th August. Last year, more than 2.4 lakh management aspirants applied for CAT exam.

IIM CAT 2020: Common Admission Test

CAT 2020 Highlights

Name of Exam Common Admission Test
Commonly known as CAT
Exam conducting body One of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
Purpose For admission to MBA, PGDM, PGP, Executive & Fellow programs
Level of Exam National
Registration begins August 4th 2020
Score/Percentile accepted by 20 IIMs and all other B-schools of India
Periodicity of CAT Once every year
Eligibility Criteria Graduation with 50% marks in any discipline from a recognized University or a final year student of bachelor’s degree
Total number of questions 100 questions divided into 3 sections
Duration of Exam 3 hours (1 hour for 1 section)
Mode of Exam Computer-Based Test
Type of questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Descriptive-type questions (Non-MCQs)
Difficulty level Moderate to Difficult
Percentile required for admissions to top MBA colleges 90 - 95+ percentile
CAT 2020 Exam Date 29 November 2020

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CAT 2020 Notification

Mainly, one of the old IIMs is entrusted with the task of conducting the Common Admission Test (CAT). This year, IIM Indore is expected to conduct this national level exam. Going by the previous year trends, the CAT 2020 notification is expected to be released in the last week of July. It will reveal the CAT exam schedule, exam pattern, application fee and registration process details etc.

CAT 2020 Important Dates

The candidates aspiring and preparing to take CAT this year must keep themselves updated with all the important dates related to this exam. To make the task of keeping a track of CAT 2020 schedule effortless, we have listed all the significant events and their corresponding dates here in the table below. With the release of exam notification, all the important CAT dates 2020 will be revealed. However, till then, the candidates can check the tentative dates as mentioned in the table below. The candidates must keep a regular check on the CAT 2020 important events and their dates so that they don’t miss any deadline.

S. No. Events Dates
1 CAT 2020 notification to be released in 1st August
2 Online registration to commence from 4th August 2020
3 Last date to submit the application form 18th September 2020
4 CAT admit card to be released in 24th October 2020
5 Admit card will remain available till 29th November 2020
6 CAT 2020 exam date 29th November 2020
7 Result to be declared on 5th January 2021

CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for writing CAT has been listed by IIMs, which has remained fixed over the years. These eligibility norms form the basic conditions which must be satisfied by every CAT aspirant. Failure in not meeting the CAT 2020 eligibility criteria will lead to disqualification of candidature at later stages of selection, as IIMs verify the eligibility at the time of admission. Therefore, all the candidates planning to take CAT 2020 must ensure that they fulfil the eligibility criteria of the CAT as mentioned below.

  1. Anybody having a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized College/University or an equivalent qualification as recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India is eligible to sit for CAT.
  2. The candidates pursuing the third year of graduation, preparing to appear for final exams or waiting for result announcement of final exams can also take this management entrance test.
  3. Candidates who have professional degrees such as CA/CS/ICWA are also eligible to apply for CAT 2020.
  4. All the above-mentioned candidates, if belonging to General category must note that they should obtain a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in their Bachelor/Professional degree. However, this minimum percentage of marks for SC/ST and other reserved category candidates is 45%.
  5. There is no age restriction to appear for the Common Admission Test.

CAT 2020 Reservation Criteria

IIMs, Government Institutes and the majority of other B-schools follow the reservation norms as laid by the Government of India. A certain percentage of seats is kept reserved for granting admission to candidates belonging to reserved categories, such as SC/ST/NC-OBC/PWD. At the time of CAT 2020 online registration, such candidates are required to furnish their reservation status by uploading the respective certificates. The proforma and forms for these reserved category candidates are made available on the official website of IIM-CAT. The table below provides the category-wise CAT 2020 reservation criteria –

S. No. Category Reservation Percentage of Seats
1 Non-Creamy - Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC) 27%
2 Scheduled Caste (SC) 15%
3 Scheduled Tribe (ST) 7.5%
4 Persons with Disability (PWD) 3%

CAT 2020 Registration

It is expected that CAT 2020 application form will be released in the first week of August. CAT 2020 registration process will completely be online. The interested candidates will have to register themselves on the official IIM CAT website for procuring their login Id and password, only after which they will be able to access the application form of CAT. The last date to fill and submit the online CAT application form 2020 is most likely to fall on the 18th of September 2020. Details required for initial CAT 2020 registration are as follow –

  1. Name of Candidate
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Email ID
  4. Mobile Number

Obtain the application form by logging on the CAT 2020 web portal as an existing user. In the CAT application form, the candidates will be required to fill the following details –

  1. Personal Details
  2. Academic Details
  3. Details of Work Experience
  4. Details of IIM Programs the candidates wish to pursue along with the interview city
  5. Filing the CAT 2020 exam cities to appear for the test
  6. Making the payment of application fee

Apart from filling these details, the candidates will also be required to upload the category certificates (if required) and passport size photograph & signature in the defined size and format in the form.

CAT 2020 Application Fee

For submitting the application form, the candidates will have to pay a non-refundable application fee. The amount of CAT application fee was increased last year, so there are chances that it may not see any further increase this year. The registration fee can be paid in online mode only. The table below provides the category wise application fee and its mode of payment. This fee amount is as per the last year’s notification and will be updated, in case of any revision.

Category of Applicants Amount of Application Fee Mode of Payment (Online Only)
General and NC-OBC Rs. 2000 Credit Card / Debit Card / Internet Banking / Cash Card & Wallet
SC/ST/PWD Rs. 950

CAT Application Form Correction The candidates are always advised to fill the details very carefully in the application form. Also, to verify and cross-check the same before final submission as an option to edit them is not provided. However, last year was an exception, the CAT applicants were provided with a CAT application form correction window, during which they were able to make changes in a few predefined fields of the form. It is expected that CAT 2020 aspirants may also be provided with the opportunity of application form correction. However, we still suggest and strongly advise the students to fill the details correctly in the form so that no editing is required.

CAT 2020 Test Cities

CAT exam is conducted across the major states and cities of the country. Various CAT exam centres are set up in each city for accommodating the lakhs of CAT aspirants. Last year, this management entrance exam was held in 156 cities.

  • The list of CAT test cities is modified every year and the final list is released along with the notification.
  • CAT 2020 aspirants will have to fill 4 preferences of CAT exam cities 2020 in the application form. The exam conducting body then allots one of these cities and the exam centre to appear for the test.
  • The details of the allotted CAT 2020 exam centre will be provided in the admit card of the candidates.

Some of the CAT exam cities have been provided in the table below. The updated list of states and CAT test centre 2020 will be provided here with the release of CAT 2020 advertisement.

CAT 2020 Exam Cities
Port Blair New Delhi Kurnool Tirupati Faridabad
Vijayawada Visakhapatnam Gurgaon Ahmedabad Dibrugarh
Chandigarh Jammu Mysore Gwalior Pune
Mumbai Shillong Cuttack Ludhiana Patiala
Chennai Hyderabad Lucknow Noida Dehradun

 CAT 2020 Admit Card

Admit card of CAT is an important document which must be furnished by the candidates on the exam day for getting permission to enter the test centre and sit for the exam. 24th October 2020, the CAT 2020 admit card will be issued to the duly registered candidates. It will be available only in online mode for the candidates to download. CAT 2020 Id and password will be required to download and print the admit card.

  • The CAT hall ticket 2020 will provide details of the candidates such as their name, category, application no., date & slot of the exam, details of allotted CAT 2020 test centre and other exam day guidelines.
  • Along with the admit card of CAT 2020, the candidates will be allowed to carry a valid photo Id proof and scribe affidavit (if required) on the exam day.
  • The candidates are advised to keep a copy of CAT admit card saved for future usage, as the link to download the same will be disabled after the completion of the exam.

Along with the notification, the CAT 2020 test pattern will also be made available. The exam pattern will unfold the basic structure of the CAT exam, such as the number of sections or questions, details of these sections, type of questions, mode of exam, duration etc. The salient features of expected exam pattern of CAT 2020 are as follow -

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Mode of Exam Computer Based Test (CBT)
Duration 3 Hours (180 Minutes)
No. of Sections 3
Name of Sections 1.  Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VRC) 2.  Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) 3.  Quantitative Ability (QA)
Time to complete each section 1 Hour (60 Minutes)
Total Number of Questions 100
Types of Questions Both, MCQ and Non-MCQ
Calculator On-screen calculator will be made available

The candidates can refer to the table below for details on all the 3 sections, division of questions among these sections and the time allocation.

Sequence of Sections in CAT Name of Section No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Total No. of Questions from each section Minutes allotted for each section
1 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VRC) 24 10 34 60
2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) 24 8 32 60
3 Quantitative Ability (QA) 27 7 34 60
Total 75 25 100 180

CAT 2020 Marking Scheme

Knowing the marking scheme of CAT is equally important as it gives the candidates an idea about how their answers will be evaluated and awarded marks. CAT 2020 marking scheme can be understood conveniently from the table below.

Total number of Questions in the exam 100
Marks for each question 3 (For MCQ & non-MCQ)
Total Marks 300 (100*3)
For marking a correct answer 3 marks will be given
For marking an incorrect answer (MCQ) 1 mark will be deducted
For answering Non-MCQ incorrectly No mark will be deducted
For leaving the questions unanswered No mark will be awarded or deducted

CAT 2020 Syllabus

For CAT, there is no predefined syllabus nor is it released officially by the IIMs. However, one can devise the CAT 2020 syllabus by analyzing the past few years exam and listing the topics and sub-topics from which the questions have been asked in the test. To save the precious time of the aspirants, the CAT syllabus 2020 for all the three sections has been provided in the table below.

CAT 2020 Syllabus - Topics to be studied from 3 sections

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Quantitative Ability Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
Caselets and Tables, Venn Diagrams, Combination of two or more types linked to each other, Calendars, Cubes and Clocks, Bar Graphs and Column Graphs, Seating Arrangement, Line Charts & Pie Chart, Logical Sequence, Number and letter Series, Binary Logic, Syllogism Number Systems, LCM & HCF, Mixtures & Alligations      Trigonometry,  Speed, Time & Distance, Profit, Loss & Discount, Inequalities, Quadratic & Linear Equations, Complex Numbers, Ratio & Proportion, Averages, Sequences & Series, Probability, Simple & Compound Interest, Permutation and Combination, Functions, Coordinate Geometry, Logarithm Verbal Reasoning, Synonyms & Antonyms, Grammar or English Usage, Facts Inferences Judgments, Fill in the blanks, Reading Comprehension, Analogies and Reverse Analogies, Correction in Sentence, Jumbled Paragraph and Close Passage, Summary Questions

CAT 2020 Preparation Tips

There is no definite timeline or secret mantra for CAT preparation. Anyone determined to crack CAT 2020 just needs to start preparing for the same today. Before commencing with the preparation of CAT 2020, take a mock test, in order to understand your current aptitude level. This will help in analyzing the kind of hard work and time you are required to put in your preparation. Thereafter, the candidates can follow the below listed CAT 2020 preparation tips which can help them crack this exam with good percentile.

  • Go through the syllabus and jot down all the topics that you need to study for CAT.
  • Prepare a month-wise study schedule devoting equal time for the 3 sections and try sticking to same.
  • Grab some of the best books for CAT preparation and start studying. Enroll for coaching if required.
  • Take mock tests at regular time intervals to keep a check on your preparations.
  • Stay regular and focused on your studies. Also, keep the motivation level at par.

CAT 2020 Sample Papers

Sample papers or model CAT test papers must be used by the CAT 2020 aspirants to enhance their preparation. The CAT sample papers are prepared by experts and coaching academies keeping in mind the current exam pattern and syllabus. The candidates can purchase the sample papers and practice papers of CAT 2020 in the online and offline market. Regular practice from the CAT 2020 sample papers will boost the confidence of the candidates and also they will get familiar to the test pattern.

CAT 2020 Mock Test

CAT mock tests are online test series devised specifically for the candidates preparing for CAT 2020. IIMs will release the official CAT mock test on the official website in the month of October. Only the registered candidates will be able to access this official mock test of CAT 2020. Various private coaching Institutes and renowned education websites also provide CAT mock tests. The students can purchase them online and write those tests to analyze their level of CAT 2020 preparation at different stages and time intervals. CAT mock test will help the candidates in identifying their weak and strong areas so that they can prepare for the test effectively. The experts have always been of the view that the candidates should not just write mock tests but invest their time in reviewing the same.

CAT 2020 Result

The result of CAT 2020 will be announced in the month of January 2021, probably in the second week. It will be uploaded online on the official website of IIM CAT. For checking the CAT 2020 result, the candidates will have to log in to their student account using their respective Id and password. Also, the overall CAT 2020 percentile will be sent to the candidates via SMS on their registered mobile numbers. The CAT result 2020 will disclose the following –

  1. A scaled score of each section
  2. Total score obtained
  3. Section-wise percentile
  4. Overall percentile

CAT 2020 Score Card CAT result will be made available in the form of CAT 2020 scorecard. The candidates can download it online only. It will not be sent to the candidates through post or email. The scorecard of CAT 2020 will be December 31, 2018.

CAT 2020 Cutoff

CAT 2020 cutoff is the minimum marks which will be set up the IIMs and other B-Schools, based on which they will shortlist candidates for the further rounds of selection. This cutoff is determined after taking into consideration mainly the number of candidates who took CAT and the difficulty level of the exam. Both, overall and sectional cutoff applies for admission to IIM and other B-schools of the country.

Colleges accepting CAT 2020 Score

Around 4000 seats are expected to be filled in 20 IIMs using the CAT score. Apart from IIMs, there are hundreds of Management Institutes in India including Sunstone which grant admission to MBA and other post-graduate management courses on the basis of CAT score.

About Sunstone

Sunstone is a leading higher education service provider that works with academic institutions in up-skilling students to boost their employability. With an aim to contribute to a future-ready workforce across diverse domains who possess practical skills, Sunstone gives students an immersive opportunity to work with industry leaders on live projects and internships.

Sunstone is committed to democratising opportunities and helping higher education aspirants achieve the future they envision by connecting learning and career growth with better opportunities through a fluid skill-development experience. Sunstone’s training programs are designed for hybrid delivery with an unparalleled focus on soft skills and personality development. 

Currently, Sunstone offers career-oriented training interventions for undergraduate and postgraduate students at 30+ institutions across 25 cities.

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