CAT Exam 2021 details- Info, Exam pattern, Syllabus, Imp dates, Fees, Selection process

CAT exam 2021 details

CAT Exam 2021 Details

CAT Exam 2021 Details- about CAT exam, basic information, important dates, eligibility, exam pattern, syllabus, exam pattern Selection process


Common Admission Test, or more commonly known as CAT is a nationwide entrance exam to get into the MBA courses offered by the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) and several other esteemed B-Schools in the country. This is one of the most awaited entrance tests in the country, hence one of the most competitive as well. Consequently, only a few out of the total candidates sitting in the exam get through. So, make sure you read every detail carefully.

CAT Exam Basic Info

CAT Exam Conducting BodyIIMs (on a rotational basis)
CAT Exam ModeComputer Based Test (Online)
CAT Exam Question TypeMCQs and TITA (Type In The Answer)
CAT Exam Stages1
CAT Exam Sections Of Question Paper3(VARC;DILR;QA)
CAT Exam Total Questions76
CAT Exam Total Marks228 (3 each)
Negative Marking-1 for MCQ, No Negative Marking for TITA
CAT Exam Duration120 minutes (40 min each section)
No. Of Attempts Unlimited

CAT Exam 2021  

IIM Ahmedabad will be conducting CAT Exam 2021. Considering the current pandemic situation it has lifted the minimum marks required in graduation (only for candidates who graduated in 2021 or are in their final years). Also, the CAT registration fee has increased to Rs 2200 for UR/General category and Rs 1100 for SC/ST/OBC and other reserved categories. For CAT 2021, 10% of the total seats have been reserved for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).

Important Dates and Events

CAT 2021 Application Start DateAug 4, 2021
CAT Application Last DateSept 15, 2021(until 5:00 PM)
CAT 2021 Admit Card release dateOct 27, 2021
CAT 2021 Exam DateNov 28, 2021
CAT 2021 Results Jan 5, 2022 (Expected)

CAT 2021 Eligibility

Education Qualification 

  • Candidates graduated in 2019 and before

As per CAT eligibility criteria, anyone with a Bachelors’s Degree from a Government recognized University, with at least 50% (general category) or 45% (reserved categories) can apply for the exam.

  • For candidates who are completing their graduation in 2021 or are in their final year of bachelors program (graduation years- 2021, 2022) –

 Candidates with a “promotion or pass” instead of an “award of marks” certificate in any of the last two years of the graduate program can enter the “promotion or pass” option in the CAT 2021 Application form. This will allow the candidate to complete and submit the CAT 2021 registration form despite the requirements of minimum eligibility criteria (45% for Reserved Category and 50% for Unreserved category, or equal CGPAs respectively). This CAT eligibility relaxation is also applicable to the final year students with “award of marks”.

  • Candidates graduated in 2020 and 2021 – 

Considering that amidst the pandemic, different universities had their own unique patterns for the evaluation of final year marks, the CAT committee has decided to remove the minimum percentage requirement for those candidates who graduated in the years 2020 or 2021. 

Note: These changes have been implemented so as to ensure a level playing field for candidates who graduated or are to graduate during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Age Limit

There is no age limit for taking the CAT Exam. Anyone fulfilling the above educational criteria is eligible. A candidate can make unlimited attempts, according to current rules.

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

Considering the Covid situation, the exam pattern has been slightly changed. 

The question paper consists of three sections- 

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 

CAT Exam Old pattern

Total No. Of ques100 
Total marks300
Total duration3hrs (180 min)

CAT Exam New pattern

Total questions76
Total marks228 
Total duration2hrs (120 min)

There will be sectional time divisions, and the candidate is required to finish each section in a given period of time.

CAT Registration Procedure

Interested candidates can apply for the Common Admission Test 2021 online mode. The following are the steps in which you can fill the application form online: 

Step 1: First, Go to the official CAT 2021 website i.e.

 Step 2: Next, click “New Candidate Registration” on the right side of the webpage. 

Step 3: The CAT registration page will open. From there, aspirants have to enter the essential details such as, 

  • Name of the Candidate 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Email Address 
  • Country
  • Mobile Number

Step 4: After entering all the required details, click on “Generate OTP”. An OTP will be sent to your registered mail id. Enter the OTP in the required place to finalize your registration.

Step 5: Then log in to the candidate’s dashboard and fill the CAT Exam Application Form 2021 with required details like, 

  • Personal Details 
  • Other Personal Details 
  • Communication Address 
  • Emergency Contact Details 
  • Upload Documents (in a prescribed format and size) 

Step 6: Fill in the academic qualification, work experience details (if any). Enter other personal details, communication details, emergency contact details and upload all the required documents in a prescribed format.

Step 7: Then you will be asked to select the cities you prefer to be the exam centres. You will be required to choose six such cities. 

Step 8: Lastly, check all the details that you entered and , after making the payment of the requisite fee, your application process for CAT 2021 Exam will be completed.

Application fee Registration:

  • For General Category Candidates: Rs 2200/- 
  • For SC/ ST/ PwD: Rs 1100/- 
Mode of paymentTransaction Charges for CAT 2021 registration
Credit Card (Master/ Visa) 20% of the transaction amount and subject to a minimum of Rs 5. 
Credit Card (American Express)85% of the transaction amount and subject to a minimum of Rs 5. 
Debit Card (Master/ Visa)0.75% of the transaction amount for value up to Rs 2000 and subject to a minimum of Rs 5. 
0.90% of the transaction amount for value above Rs 2000
Net BankingRs 20 per transaction 
Other payment methodsPayU, BillDesk, and Paytm Selection process 

The Selection Procedure for CAT 2021                                               

The selection procedure for IIMs for CAT 2021 consists of three rounds:

  • Round 1: CAT 2021 Result and IIM Shortlist 
  • Round 2: WAT and GD-PI rounds 
  • Round 3: Final Selection and Eligibility Verification 

Round 1: CAT 2021 Result and IIM Shortlist 

Once the CAT 2021 results are announced, IIMs shortlist dates are released and all IIMs begin their shortlisting process. Individual IIMs will release cutoff 2021 based on the CAT score. The list of new IIM shortlisted candidates for the next CAT Counseling will be available on the respective IIMs’ website. 

Each IIM will then send interview letters directly to the shortlisted candidates. The CAT IIM selection criteria for shortlisting is varying across IIMs. 

Round 2: WAT, PI, and GD Rounds 

All candidates who meet the CAT 2021 cutoff can move on to the next stage of the IIM selection process for MBA i.e. Written Ability Tests (WAT), Personal Interviews (PI), and Group discussions (GD). Candidates are evaluated on the basis of general knowledge, communication ability, performance in previous rounds, and presence of mind. 

Round 3: Final Selection and Eligibility Verification 

Any candidate listed for a personal interview at IIMs must

comply with the eligibility and verification for the CAT final selection process. 

At this point, candidates get marks based on their academic performance. Here is a breakdown of the parameters selected by the candidates: 

CAT ParametersWeightage
CAT 202125
Class 1010
Class 125
Weighted Work Experience10

NOTE: The table above contains the parameters and weightage of IIM Bangalore for the CAT exam. The

weightage of each parameter will vary from year to year for each IIM. 


The detailed information of the CAT 2021 Examination has been outlined above. It is hoped that it will prove to be helpful for candidates who are aspiring to sit in this exam. It is suggested to all the candidates to read the details carefully, before starting the preparation for this exam. 

CAT 2021 Application Details” – Check here

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