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CAT 2021: Know Complete Details; Experts Say Mock Tests are Crucial

Common Admission Test- Briefly CAT opens the doors to step into the prestigious management institutes of the country to do Master’s in Business Management. More than two lakh candidates across the country will compete in this exam which is conducted once a year.
Changes and additions to the CAT test are natural. There are no changes in the sections asked in this test. Therefore, it is advisable for candidates to start preparation for DILR, Quantitative and Verbal Ability sections from now on. Efforts should be made to master the basics and concepts. Practice should be given priority in the same way.
- Kanakadandi Ramnath, Director, CAT Course, Time Institute.

The process of CAT-2021 has begun. IIM-Ahmedabad is conducting CAT this year. The test is likely to be conducted in the last week of November. So, it’s time to know about the exam procedure, how to achieve top score, how to get through group discussion, selection procedure etc. Let’s have a look.

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are the top Institutes for Management Education in the country. If you complete the PG course here, corporate companies welcome you with lakhs of packages. The first step to admission in such IIMs is through CAT.

Same as last year?
What will be the examination procedure this year, what questions will be asked, from which subject, will there be any changes in the syllabus? So many doubts… In fact experts say it will be somewhat difficult to say clearly about the exam procedure until an official statement is released for CAT. The reason is that every year there is an unexpected change in the CAT examination system. Experts opine that, it will be almost same as previous year’s exam.

Three sections
Last year (CAT – 2020) was conducted for two hours in all three sections
Section-A: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) –26 questions.
Section-B: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) –24 questions.
Section – C: Quantitative Ability (QA) –26 questions.
A total of 76 questions were asked. The test time was cut to two hours. Earlier, it was three hours. Last year exceptionally the test time was set at just two hours. It is also noteworthy that the test was conducted in three slots on the same day.

MCQ, non-MCQ
In CAT-2020, non-MCQs were asked to solve short sentences or problems along with objective type multiple choice questions. Non-MCQ questions were asked at the rate of 8 from VARC section, 6 from DILR and 8 from QA.

Start preparation now
The exam is likely to take place on the last Sunday of November this year. So if the candidates start the preparation from now on, they will be able to achieve a better score in the exam. This qualifies for the next stage selection process (GD / PI) conducted by IIMs.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
This is the section that tests the English communication and English subject knowledge of the candidates. If you want to excel in this, you have to master antonyms, synonyms and basic grammar. In the same way, Facts, Inferences, Jumbled paragraphs should be practiced. In Reading Comprehension of Passage-Based Questions, you need to master the Assumptions and Statements to the score.

Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning
This section, examines the analytical skills and logical thinking of the candidates.Practicetables, graphs, chart- based problems, to achieve a better score in this. In the case of logical reasoning, such as cubes, clocks, number series, letter series, seating arrangement should be practiced well.
Quantitative aptitude
This section is designed to fully examine the mathematical and arithmetic skills of the candidates. In order to give the correct answer to the questions asked, you have to master the arithmetic topics like percentages, ratios, distance, time related aspects. Concentrate Mathematical topics like Algebra, Modern Math and Geometry.

Strive hard to get specific cutoff marks in each section
IIMs specify sectional cutoff and overall cutoff to select candidates for the second phase. General candidates must obtain an overall cutoff of at least 85 percentile and a maximum of 90 percentile. Similarly 75 to 80 percentile is required in terms of sectional cutoff.

Concepts and Practice
Every section of the CATis crucial. Candidates need to act strategically to achieve a better score, percentile. First, look at the syllabus and get an idea of the concepts. After that, the preparation should be done based on the standard material. It is mandatory to practice after completing each topic. Candidates should identify the items that got more weightage in previous exam and focus on them.

Mock tests
Candidates are advised to appear for model tests and attempt as many mock tests as possible. Analyze the results and focus on topics that still need to be understood. Preparation and revision should be done simultaneously.

Crucial second phase
Seat in IIM is not confirmed just by appearing CAT. Because, IIMs consider CAT score as the first stage. Each IIM has a separate approach to the PG and PhD admissions in their institute. Based on the CAT score, applications are examined and group discussion, written ability test and personal interviews are conducted at the second stage for the eligible candidates. Specific weightage is given to these. Considering the past admission procedures of the respective IIMs, the CAT score has a weightage between 50 and 70 per cent and the GD / PI has a weightage between 30 and 50 per cent.

Group Discussions, Personal Interviews
Candidates are divided into a limited number of groups as part of the Group Discussions (GD) conducted by IIMs in the next phase. Every team is given a topic and asks it to discuss about it.

Each team consists of eight to ten candidates. Some IIMs also conduct a written ability test during GD. As part of this test, candidates are required to write their views on a specific topic. For those who are successful in both the stages and are on the merit list, there will be a personal interview at the end.

IIMs - PG Seats
Based on the success of CAT, students are required to enroll in PG Programs (MBA / PG Program in Management) at all 20 IIMs in the country. Apart from this, there is an opportunity to apply for admission in more than 500 B-schools like MDI-Gurgaon, FMS-Delhi etc.

Ahmedabad – 395 seats; Bangalore – 400 seats; Kolkata – 460; Lucknow – 500; Indore – 450; Nagpur – 130; Udaipur – 325; Trichy – 240; Kashipur – 240; Kozhikode – 480; Bodhgaya – 120; Rohtak – 264; Ranchi – 185; Sirmore – 120; Amritsar – 160; Shillong – 92; Raipur – 90; Jammu – 90; Sambalpur – 90; Visakhapatnam – 120 seats available.

CAT- 2021
Eligibility: Bachelor's degree with 50% marks (Bachelor's degree with 45% marks for SC, ST, PWD candidates).
Students in the final year of a bachelor's degree can also apply.
Online Application: Starts in August (Tentative).
CAT Date: November 28th, 2021(Tentative)
Official notification: Will be released in August.
Published date : 10 Jun 2021 05:32PM

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