Everything You Need to Know About CAT Exam 2023

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CAT 2020

For students willing to enter the management domain, the CAT or Common Aptitude Test tops the list of popular management exams. Conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), CAT continues to be a highly recognized competitive exam for MBA aspirants. Every year, more than 3 lakh students prepare to sit for the CAT examination which makes it a tough nut to crack. As a matter of fact, apart from 20 IIMs, the CAT score is accepted by more than 1200 Business Schools in India. Before you start preparing for the CAT Exam 2023, it is crucial for you to know all the details of the examination from eligibility to important dates, syllabus as well as the selection process. So, we have come up with a comprehensive guide to critically analyze the CAT Exam 2023.

Particulars Details
Exam CAT or Common Admission Test
Conducted By Computer-Based Test with MCQs and Non-MCQs
Level of Exam National
Syllabus Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC); Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning; Quantitative Ability (QA) 
Pattern of Exam Computer Based Test with MCQs and Non-MCQs
No. of Exam Cities 155
Frequency of Exam Once a year
Date of Exam 26 November 2023
Fees General: INR 2,300 SC/ST/OBC: INR 1,150
Eligibility Graduate with 50% marks (general) and 45% marks (SC/ST students)
Course Offered MBA/PGDM
Official Website https://iimcat.ac.in

CAT Exam 2023 Schedule

While planning to clear one of the leading management exams in the country, candidates need to have a well-structured plan to support their vision. Knowing all the important CAT Exam 2023 dates will help students formulate their plan of action.

Event  Date 
CAT Exam 2023 Notification Releases  30 July 2023
CAT Exam 2023 Registration Begins  2 August 2023
CAT Exam 2023 Registration Closes  20 September 2023 at 5 PM
CAT Exam 2023 Admit Card  25 October 2023
CAT Exam 2023 26 November 2023
CAT Exam 2023 Answer Key Releases Last Week of November 2023
CAT Exam 2023 Result  First Week of January 2023

CAT Exam 2023: Exam Centre Guidelines

To successfully conduct the CAT examination 2023 and to avoid any sort of overcrowding at the exam centers, official authorities of IIM Lucknow will make the necessary arrangements for the smooth operation of the exam. Here are some guidelines:

  • The most important guideline that candidates must follow is that they shall definitely have identity proof at the entry gates such as driving licence Aadhar card ration card passport PAN card, etc.
  • Every candidate must carry their CAT exam 2023 admit card at the exam hall as it serves the purpose of a hall ticket for entry.
  • It is mandatory for candidates to maintain social distancing from each other at the point of entry and exit of the test center.
  • During the entire exam, candidates will be under the surveillance of CCTV
  • It is important to note that no piece of jewellery, high heels, or shoes will be allowed inside the exam center.

CAT Exam 2023 Eligibility

Below are the key eligibility requirements for the CAT Exam 2023:

  • The candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in any field from a recognized or accredited university. 
  • It is necessary to have an overall percentage of at least 50% or equivalent to apply for the CAT Exam. However, students belonging to SC, ST, and PWD categories get a concession of 5%, making the mandatory percentage 45% or equivalent. 
  • Students who are currently in the final year of graduation can also apply for the CAT Exam. 

CAT Exam 2023 Application Form

According to the CAT 2023 schedule, the authorities have released the application form on 2 August 2023. The candidate need to make sure that they fullfill the eligibility and apply for the exam. Given below is the registration and application process the CAT exam:

How to Register for CAT 2023

There are 3 steps in the registration process as mentioned below:

  • Generate the login credentials at your registered e-mail address.
  • Fill out the details academic as well as personal details.
  • Pay the registration fee.

Steps to Fill the CAT 2023 Application Form

  • Navigate to the official website of CAT.
  • Click on the active link of the application form.
  • A new page will pop up and enter details such as name, date of birth, e-mail address, mobile number, country, etc.
  • Then submit and generate the OTP on the registered mobile number and e-mail address.
  • Log in using the sent credentials and add details as asked in the form.
  • Upload the necessary documents such as a passport-size photograph, signature, valid government ID card, and academic marksheet in a set format and size.
  • Then, you can select 6 cities for the exam center.
  • Pay the application fee and submit the form after rechecking.
  • Take the printout of the form for future reference.
  • Wait for the release date of the admit card.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023

As per the latest pattern of CAT Exam 2023, the paper is divided into three main sections – Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, and reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. Candidates get 40 minutes to complete each section means they will get a total 120 minutes to finish the exam. To have a better idea about the number of questions and associated time for the same you can refer to the table given below.

Sections Number of Questions Time in Minutes
Quantitative Ability 22 40
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 20 40
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 24 40
Total 66  120

Section-wise CAT Exam Pattern 2023

It is expected that CAT Exam 2023 will likely follow the CAT Exam 2022 section-wise exam pattern:

Sections Total Questions MCQs Non-MCQs
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 19 5
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 15 5
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 22 14 8
Total 66 48 18

Note: There is a negative marking of 1 mark for every wrong answer and every correct answer is of 3 marks. Please note that there was no negative marking for Non-MCQs.

Also Read: How to Prepare for Competitive Exams?

Also Read: CAT Exam Pattern 2023

CAT 2023 Slot

The CAT Exam 2023 will take place in three sessions, the timings of the slots are mentioned below:

  • Slot 1 – Morning session: 8:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Slot 2 – Afternoon session: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Slot 3 – Evening session: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Syllabus for CAT 2023 Preparation

The CAT Exam comprises 3 broad sections with each of them explained below:

1. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

The QA section contains questions related to basic mathematics with a 10+2 level of difficulty. Fundamental topics of mathematics like Arithmetics, Geometry, Percentage, Average, Ratio and proportion, Simple Equations, Word Problems, Quadratic Equations, etc. are a part of the QA section of the CAT Exam. Most of the questions asked in CAT are application-based.

2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The DILR section comprises questions based on the given data which can be in the form of tables, graphs, pictographs, charts, or tables. Candidates have to study the given data and answer the given questions accordingly. The logical Reasoning section, on the other hand, includes questions from topics like Network Problems, Seating Arrangement, Ranking and Order, Venn Diagrams, Problems on Cube, etc.

3. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The section on Verbal Ability in the CAT Exam contains questions related to the usage of English Grammar. Problems related to the Cloze test, arranging paragraphs, and completion of a paragraph using suitable words, synonyms, antonyms, word meaning, etc. are covered in this particular section. Reading comprehension is also part of the VARC section. 

Marking Scheme

It is important to note that for every correct answer, plus three is awarded to the candidate, whereas for a wrong answer, there is a deduction of 1 mark. Based on that, the total marks for each section are explained below:

Section Total Marks 
Quantitative Ability 102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 96
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 102
Total Marks 300

Application Fee 

While applying for the CAT Exam 2023, candidates have to pay a fee to submit their application successfully. Payment for the same can be made online through Debit Cards, Net Banking, and Credit Card facilities. The application fee amount is described below:

  • General: INR 2,500
  • Reserved: INR 1,150

Selection Process

Based on how a candidate performs in the CAT Exam, a percentile and a score are assigned to them after which the process of selection to your dream business school begins. Here’s a stepwise guide to run you through the selection process of popular business schools in India: 

Step 1: The first step for all candidates is to prepare for the CAT Exam 2023 and secure the highest marks in their potential. After the evaluation of all answer keys, cutoffs are prepared by B-Schools. Candidates meeting set cutoffs are eligible to sit for the next round which would be conducted by that particular B-School. 

Step 2: This includes Group Discussion and Written Ability Test and only those candidates meeting the cutoff for a particular college would be participating in these rounds.

Step 3: The final round of the CAT selection process is a Personnel Interview in which candidates are evaluated on the basis of knowledge, common sense, communication skills, speaking abilities, etc. 

Step 4: After the completion of all the rounds, candidates are given certain scores on the basis of which the counseling process is conducted for the commencement of seat allocation. The following parameters are also considered while formulating an overall score for a candidate: 

– Class 10th Percentage 
– Class 12th Percentage 
– Graduation Percentage 
– Work Experience 

CAT Exam 2023 Cut Off

Every year institutions announce their CAT cut-off according to which the candidates can apply to the institution they fall under. All the institutions whether private or government, release their cut-off list. Tabulated below are the expected cut-offs for CAT 2023 of a few IIM- 

IIM Ahmedabad (Tentative)

Category  VARC DL & LR  QA  Aggregate 
General 70 70 70 80
NC-OBC-cum-Transgender 65 65 65 75
SC 60 60 60 70
ST 50 50 50 60
PWD (General, SC, NC-cum-Transgender, SC) 60 60 60 70
PWD (ST) 50 50 50 60

IIM Bangalore (Tentative)

Category  VARC DL & LR  QA  Aggregate 
General 80 75 75 85
NC-OBC-cum-Transgender 70 65 65 75
SC 70 65 65 75
ST 65 60 60 70
PWD (General, SC, NC-cum-Transgender, SC) 55 55 55 65
PWD (ST) 50 50 50 60

IIM Lucknow (Tentative)

Category  VARC DL & LR  QA  Aggregate 
General 85 85 85 90
NC-OBC-cum-Transgender 77 77 77 82
SC 55 55 55 70
ST 50 50 50 65
PWD (General, SC, NC-cum-Transgender, SC) 50 50 50 65
PWD (ST) 77 77 77 82

IIM Calcutta (Tentative)

Category  VARC DL & LR  QA  Aggregate 
General 75 80 80 85
NC-OBC-cum-Transgender 65 65 70 75
SC 65 65 70 75
ST 60 60 65 70
PWD (General, SC, NC-cum-Transgender, SC) 55 55 55 65
PWD (ST) 55 55 55 65

Tentative cut off of various colleges and universities across India-

Institutes Expected CAT 2023 cutoff (Percentile) 
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi 98+
Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi 98.20
Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 99+
Management Development Institute, Gurgaon  95+
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras 95+
Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar 90+
S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai 85+

Tips to Crack CAT Exam 2023

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CAT is considered to be one of the toughest exams in India, hence, one must put their best foot forward in order to crack CAT 2023. If you also aspire to attain a reputable management degree from one of the top colleges in India, here are some efficient tips and tricks that will help you ace the CAT examination- 

  • Start your preparation as early as possible and spend ample time on it. End-moment preparation is of no good use and may lead to utter confusion. 
  • You must begin by analysing the CAT syllabus. Jot down the syllabus of every section as well as what all concepts are covered under each section through this you will easily get familiar with the concepts that you have to study.
  • Approach every section with level 0. Yes, you must begin your preparation for CAT from scratch. Begin by forming your base on every topic and do not rush at the step. 
  • Make notes and formula sheets for all the sections so that you can quickly revise them even if you are not studying 
  • Out of all the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section is considered to be the toughest one, hence, take your time with the section and practice as many questions as you can.  
  • Do not forget to go through the sample papers as well as previous years question paper which will help you have an idea about the upcoming question paper. 


When should I start preparing for CAT 2023? 

To crack the CAT exam 2023 you need preparation that is 6 to 8 months long. Once you cover the entire syllabus for the given duration,  you may devote at least 1.5- 2 months to a thorough revision of the entire syllabus. If you are looking forward to attempting CAT 2023, make sure you wrap up your syllabus by August- September and then for revision. 

What is the fee for the CAT exam? 

The application fee for CAT 2023 is INR 2,500.

Is the CAT score valid for 2 years? 

As mentioned on the official website, the validity of the CAT score is only 1 year.

Which IIM will conduct the CAT 2023 exam?

One of the top IIMs conducts the CAT exam. IIM Lucknow conducted CAT 2023 on 26 November 2023.

When will the CAT Exam 2023 application process begin?

CAT Exam application process will begin on 2 August 2023. The official notification for the exam was released in the last week of July 2023.

I am pursuing graduation from correspondence. Will I be able to apply for the CAT Exam 2023?

Yes, you are eligible for CAT 2023 if you are in the final year of graduation and have an aggregate of 50% and higher in the first two years.

Hence, we hope that we cleared all your doubts regarding the CAT Exam 2023. If you are planning to appear for a competitive exam, our Leverage Edu mentors can guide you throughout the preparation process thus helping you ace the test and get successfully shortlisted into your dream university.

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