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CAT 2018: Registration begins August 8

July 30, 2018 10:06 IST
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September 19, 2018 is the last date to apply for the Common Admission Test to be held November 25, 2018.

CAT 2018: September 18 is the last date to apply

The Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) has released the official notification and detailed brochure for CAT 2018 on July 29, 2018 declaring the important dates and salient features of the exam.

The national-level exam will be held in two slots on Sunday, November 25, 2018 in computer-based mode.

According to convenor of CAT 2018, Prof Sumanta Basu, the application procedure will begin from August 8 and continue till September 19, 2018.

The MBA exam is a gateway for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top MBA institutions.

The good news for CAT takers is that there has not been any major change in the CAT 2018 exam pattern.

The IIMs conduct the exam on a rotational basis and it is after seven years that IIM-Calcutta has taken over the reins to conduct the CAT 2018 on behalf of all Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

What's new in CAT 2018?

The notification reveals that five new cities have been added to the list of exam cities.

The convener also mentioned that the test centres would be spread across 147 cities this year.

The application fee has increased from Rs 1,800 for General and NC-OBC candidates to Rs 1,900 and from Rs 900 for SC, ST and PWD category candidates to Rs 950.

Who is taking part in CAT 2018?

With a tag of being the most competitive management entrance exams, CAT is the gateway to flagship two-year MBA programmes at all 20 IIMs.

The exam score is also accepted by many other top Business schools for shortlisting of candidates for next stage of admission process.

The list of top B-schools accepting CAT scores includes FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, JBIMS Mumbai, DMS IIT Delhi and SPJIMR Mumbai, to name a few.

Since last year, Singapore Management University located in Singapore has also started accepting CAT score for its admission.

Basis CAT scores, candidates are filtered for next level of admission process to management courses like PGP, PGDM, PGPEM, EPGP, PGPBM, PGPEX at the participating B-schools.

CAT 2018 at a glance

  • The computer-based exam will be conducted across 147 centres for duration of three hours in two slots.
  • Around two lakh candidates are expected to appear for approximately 5,000 coveted seats in the IIMs alone and other B-schools
  • The registration for CAT will commence on August 8, 2018 and continue till September 19, 2018 (5 PM). The entire process of application and fee payment will take place in online mode only. A fee of Rs 1,900 for General category candidates and Rs 950 for SC/ST/PWD category candidates must be submitted at the time of application.
  • The CAT 2018 exam pattern has remained the same as last year.
  • An online CAT mock test prior to the actual test will be offered to aspirants from October 17, 2018, on the official website.
  • Post the exam, the result of CAT 2018 is expected to be declared in the second week of January 2019 in the form of score card.
  • As the final step of selection, shortlisted candidates have to appear for the selection rounds which will be followed by the announcement of final merit list.

CAT Exam Pattern

The computer-based test will have duration of three hours and carry 100 objective-type multiple choice and non-multiple-choice type questions.

The syllabus of CAT covers three sections as listed in the table below.


No. of MCQs

No. of Non-MCQs

Questions from each section

Total Marks

Time allotted to each section (minutes)

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)






Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)






Quantitative Ability (QA)













Marking Scheme

Each correct answer fetches one mark, while an incorrect response will result in deduction of one mark.

On the upside, there is no negative marking scheme for non-MCQs or TITA (Type in the Answer) questions.


The IIMs had introduced subjective questions for the first time in 2015.

To attempt these questions, candidates have to type the answers in the space provided with the help of a mouse through a virtual keypad. These questions do not come with options.

Know the Admission Procedure through CAT

The selection procedure for the final admission shall take place after the announcement of CAT 2018 result.

The shortlisted candidates are called for the next level of admission rounds which may include Writing Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI). 

Additionally, some institutes such as IMT Ghaziabad and MICA conduct Group Activity or Group Exercise instead of Group Discussion. in the months of February to April.

Though selection criteria vary from institute to institute, the final selection by different institutes is based on the following broad parameters:

  • The CAT 2018 percentile
  • Past academic records
  • Work experience, etc.

Lastly, a final merit list is prepared by each management institute carrying the list of students selected for admission to their respective management programmes.

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