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FAQs: All You Need To Know About CAT 2023

Last updated on: August 21, 2023 11:02 IST
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September 13 is the last date to apply for the Common Admission Test 2023.
I always recommend to do the registration early on.
Go through the form carefully and be sure about all the data that you are intending to fill in, advises Aashish Sood.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

The Common Admission Test (CAT), one of India's largest and most competitive entrance examinations, conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is scheduled to be held on Sunday, November 26, 2023.

Performance in CAT 2023 will help enable admission into some of the top ranked management colleges in the country, including the

CAT 2023 will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow.

The last date to register for the exam is September 13, 2023.

There is no change in the CAT 2023 syllabus this year.

The CAT 2023 exam is divided into three sections -- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability.

There will be three slots with a time duration of two hours per slot.

The total number of questions in the exam has been reduced to 66 from 100.

I have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you sail through some of the doubts you might have while filling the CAT 2023 application form.


1. What's the best time to fill the form for CAT 2023?

I always recommend to do the registration early on.

Go through the form with a fine-toothed comb and be sure about all the data that you are intending to fill in.

You must remember to complete the payment in the last couple of days.

When you register and don't pay, you would get periodic reminders from the Web site to complete the payment option.

Also, while you are at it, it would be a good idea to make a new e-mail ID which would be discarded after the entire process. This would ensure that your primary e-mail ID remains spam free.


2. What's the best time to fill CAT 2023 form to get a centre of my first preference?

There is no correlation to where you get your centre vis a vis when you fill CAT 2023 form.

The slots and centres are randomly allocation figuring in your preferences.

You may fill the CAT 2023 form at your convenience. Just remember that if your centre is more than 100 km from your place of residence, you must plan to reach there a day before, maybe book a room somewhere close by.

This way you can relax and be in the best state of mind before the exam.


3. What is the list of documents to upload along with the CAT 2023 application?

The only documents you need to upload are:

  1. Passport size photo
  2. Digital signature
  3. Category certificate with affidavit
  4. At a later stage, there will be requirement for another authorisation form in case if any candidate needs to carry medical implants like metal/pacemaker/lumbo sacral belt/knee pad/neck belt/asthma pump/diabetes pump/medicated tinted glass etc. due to medical reason.


4. Can I upload any photo or signature on the CAT 2023 form?

There are very clear guidelines on what constitutes as a valid photo or signature.

The absence of an acceptable photo might increase chances of your application getting rejected.

So, make sure to get an updated photo. Also, the exact same picture needs to be pasted in hard copy on your admit card also, otherwise entry to the test centre may be denied.


5. What subjects should I mention from my Class 10 or 12 marksheet?

The total marks of all subjects that appear in the Class 10 and 12 mark sheet/grade sheet would be considered irrespective of the Board's regulation.


6. How do I convert my CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) to percentage?

  • For CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), multiply your CGPA by 9.5
  • For GGSIPU (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University), multiply your CGPA by 10
  • For Delhi University, multiply your CGPA by 9.5
  • For other colleges, compute the aggregate percentage of marks obtained as per the norms of the University/Board.  If no norms exist, enter the aggregate percentage of marks obtained for all years/semesters of the degree course.


7. I'm in final year of college. I don't have a degree. Am I eligible for CAT 2023? What marks do I input since I don't have my final result?

Any student who is in her/his final year of bachelor's degree is eligible for CAT 2023.

Even if you don't have a degree, once you get an admission, you get a provisional degree from your college.

It forms the basis of MBA admission. I worked for two years after my graduation. And I got my degree collected by a friend, while I was doing my MBA!

As for your marks, you will upload your last known CGPA, converted to percentage.


8. Is work experience important for CAT 2023? Will internship be counted as a work experience? If I was working part-time along with my graduation, will it be counted?

Part-time/project/internship/articleship/pre-graduation work experience should not be entered and will not be counted as work experience for CAT 2023 and MBA admission.

Other than that, it doesn't matter what kind of work experience you have. As long as you have the supporting paperwork, for point allocation purpose, teaching in a school is same as working in an MNC.


9. I am involved in the family business. How can I mention my entrepreneurial skills in CAT 2023 form?

If your family business is a registered organisation, you can mention it under work experience. However, you need to:

  • Have an experience letter.
  • Valid bank account statement and/or salary slips.
  • Neither of the above two matters if you don't have fundamental knowledge of the work that you are claiming to do. That will be the easiest way for me to assess whether you are telling the truth or not!


10. I have a career gap before/after graduation. How can I hide it in the CAT 2023 application form?

You can't hide your gap year in CAT 2023 form and you shouldn't. The good thing is that you are aware of a gap.

What was the reason for the career gap?

Some critical illness?

Your plans fell through?

Were you trying something else, but didn't work out?

You need to create a storyline to justify your gap.

Skilling courses, internships etc can justify the gaps.

You need to work out an explanation by the time you reach your interview stage.


11. Where do I upload my CV points, certificates etc on the CAT 2023 form?

You don't need to upload your CV and certificates while filling CAT application form.

There will be an appropriate time when the CAT results are declared. At that time, the B schools will send a Performa for you to fill.

Once you get a call from a specific B-school, they will send a link to you where you would have to fill all such information like strength, weaknesses, role model etc


12. I don't have an updated EWS/Category certificate to upload

Upload whatever version you have. Just remember to download undertaking format from the CAT Web site and fill it.

Make a combined PDF of your category certificate and this undertaking and UPLOAD THAT with your application.


13. What all courses should I select in the CAT form?

As a thumb rule, fill all the PGDM courses.

Fill FPM/PhD courses only if you ready for a long-term commitment and are looking at teaching as career.

Fill niche courses like HR/Data Analytics only after a proper assessment of your interest areas. In case you aren't really sure, fill them all.


14. Do I register for non-IIM institutions as well by clicking on the link on the landing page?

A candidate cannot register for non-IIM institutions.

The link on the landing page is for non-IIM institutions to register themselves and pay to collect CAT scores for their selection process.

So, unless you represent any MBA institution, that link is not for you!


15. What are the different criteria used for MBA selection at b-schools?

  • Marks in Class 10
  • Marks in Class 12
  • Marks in graduation (May even differ from stream to stream)
  • Work Experience (type of work experience isn't mentioned anywhere)
  • Gender
  • Diversity factor
  • Performance in GD/PI/WAT
  • Last but certainly not the least, your CAT/entrance exam score


How to apply and prepare for CAT 2023? Ask rediffGURU Aashish Sood

Aashish Sood is an IIM-Lucknow alumnus who has been teaching Maths and Quantitative aptitude to MBA aspirants for over a decade. He also mentors management student hopefuls for the group discussion and personal interview rounds that follow competitive examinations. He has appeared for CAT seven times since 2016 and scored in the 99.9X percentile.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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