CAT 2020 Exam Dates, Pattern, and more


CAT 2020

CAT 2020

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CAT 2020 is the most popular management entrance exam in India, conducted by one of the older IIM’s on a rotational basis. It is a gateway to all 20 IIMs and other top B-schools in India. With high paying management and entrepreneurship job opportunities, the number of CAT aspirants have also been increasing over the years. Long term preparation will give an edge to the candidates over others. A strong preparation ensures conceptual clarity and accurate problem-solving approach.

  • With CAT aspirants on the rise every year, more than 2.5 lac candidates are expected to appear for CAT 2020.
  • CAT tests a candidate’s Quantitative, Verbal/reading, Data Interpretation and Reasoning Skills.
  • The paper has 100 MCQ & Non-MCQ questions that are to be completed in 3 hours.
  • With growing demand of management courses, there are several top colleges offering admissions to their MBA programs.

CAT 2020 Highlights

CAT 2020 Conducting Body To be Announced Soon
CAT 2020 Official Website website
Duration 3 Hours (180 Minutes- 60 Minutes for Each Section)
Number of Sections 3 (Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning)
CAT Application Mode Online
Exam Mode CBT
Medium of Exam English
CAT Marking Scheme +3 marks for the correct answer -1 mark for an incorrect answer
CAT Help-desk 1800-2090-830 | website

In order to start an effective preparation process, aspirants should be thorough with CAT 2020 Exam Pattern and Syllabus.

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

CAT exam pattern is unpredictable and undergoes some changes each year. For now, no change in the paper pattern has been notified by the IIMs. However, modification in the level of difficulty of the exam is expected. Continuing on the lines of the previous year exam pattern, CAT 2020 will consist of 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. You need to ensure high score in each of the sections as there is also a sectional score cut off in IIMs for shortlisting.

Quick Highlights of CAT Exam Pattern are discussed below:

  • Mode of Exam: Computer-based test
  • Total Questions: 100
  • Number of Sections: Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
  • Exam duration: 3-hour duration exam, where one hour is assigned to each section.
  • Questions with negative marking (MCQs): 75
  • Questions without negative marking (non-MCQs): 25
  • Marking Scheme: +3 marks for correct answer; -1 mark for wrong answers.

cat exam pattern

CAT 2020 Detailed Syllabus

IIM’s do not release an official CAT Syllabus. However, based on previous year question papers, we have curated below the most frequently occurring topics. An in-depth knowledge of CAT 2020 Syllabus forms the basis of your preparation journey. It is designed to assess the prospective admission-seekers’ suitability for MBA education.

Check below the most important topics for CAT Exam Preparation:

Quantitative Ability Data Analysis & Sufficiency Logical Reasoning Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
Geometry Graphs Critical Reasoning Verbal Reasoning
Arithmetic Progression Column Graphs Visual Reasoning Syllogisms
Installment Payments Bar Graphs Assumption-Premise-Conclusion Contextual usage
Ratios and Proportions Line Charts Assertion and reasons Analogies
Arithmetic Mean Pie Charts Statements and assumptions Sentence completion
Logarithm Graphs representing Area Matrix arrangements Idioms
Work and Time Venn Diagram Coding and Decoding Sentence Correction


CAT 2020: Preparation Tips for Beginners

  • Work on your Graduation Marks and overall Personality Development: If you’re in the final year of your graduation and you’re planning to take CAT 2020, then work towards your final grades. It is essential to prepare for the selection process of top B-schools and that doesn’t happen overnight. You must improve your communication skills and enhance your awareness of social, political, economic, national issues. Adopting such strategies shall help you in improving your chances of clearing group discussion and personal interview rounds of management colleges.
  • Make your Basics stronger: Having a strong hold on basics can be one of the most important factor in the preparation of an exam like CAT. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work towards improving the same. You will save a lot of time in the exam if you’ve conceptual clarity in your approach to solve the problems.
  • Keep a track of CAT 2020 dates: To have an accurate preparation schedule, you must keep a track of the updates regarding the dates of CAT 2020. Plan your timetable accordingly to avoid last moment chaos.
  • Organise your Study Material: For a popular exam like CAT, there is no shortage of study material in the market or at other platforms. However, having multiple study resources can be confusing and stressful. Therefore, research well about the accurate study material that you will use. Once you start preparing, make notes for future reference and stick to your sources instead of trying to cover topics from everywhere.
  • Work on your Accuracy and Time Management Skills: Accuracy and time management are the two pillars of acing any competitive exam. In order to achieve the same, you need to practise. Solve previous year papers and take mock tests to ensure your growth in this area.

Recommended Books for CAT 2020

CAT is one exam that requires a rigorous practice. Candidates often get confused in regard to which CAT Books or study material to refer to. They look for the material which all toppers have sworn by. This is bound to happen since their no dearth of CAT Preparation Books in the market. The most recommended books for CAT 2020 are tabulated below:

Section Book Name Author Name/Publisher
Quantitative Ability How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs Sarvesh K. Verma
Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning CAT 2020 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT Sharma and Upadhyay
PSC for VA for CAT Exam

Nishit Sinh

CAT 2020 Sample Papers/ Previous Year Papers

CAT Sample papers/ Previous year papers are the best source to prepare for the exam as they:

  • Improve accuracy and time management skills.
  • Prepare one mentally for the actual test.
  • Help in identifying one’e strengths and weaknesses.
  • Confirm the accuracy of study material and guidance opted.

The links to download Previous year papers of 2018 and 2017 are as follows:

Papers  Links
2018 Slot 1 Paper Download
2018 Slot 2 Paper Download
2017 Slot 1 Paper Download
2017 Slot 2 Paper Download

CAT 2020 Notification

  • The official notification for CAT 2020 is expected to be out on July 29, 2020.
  • The conducting body will announce the schedule for CAT at the official website

All exam related events and dates are mentioned below. Make sure you do not miss upon any of these.

Event Dates (Tentative)
CAT 2020 Official Notification July 29, 2020
CAT 2020 Application Form August 8, 2020
CAT 2020 Form Correction Window September 27- September 30, 2020
Release of CAT Admit Card 2020 October 24 – November 25, 2020
CAT 2020 Exam Date November 25, 2020
CAT Result Date 2020 Second Week of January 2021

CAT 2020 Eligibility

In order to be eligible for CAT Exam, an aspirant must be a graduate degree holder in any stream. Candidates appearing in the final year/semester of their degree program can also apply for CAT 2020.

  • Candidates with CA/CS/ICWA degree (Gen: 50% & SC/ST/ PWD: 45%) are also eligible.
  • As for CAT Age Limit, there is no minimum/ maximum limit defined. There is also no restriction on the number of attempts.
  • The percentage requirement for the exam is different for different categories. It is explained in the table below:
Category Percentage Required
General and OBC 50%
Scheduled Caste 45%
Scheduled Tribe 45%
Persons with Disabilities 45%

Why is it important to verify eligibility criteria before applying?

  • Wrong information provided at the time of registration will result in rejection of the application form.
  • The required set of certificates will be verified at the time of the interview, failure to do so will not be considered for admission.
  • Mere fulfillment of minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for short listing by IIMs.

CAT Reservation Criteria 2020

A certain percentage of seats in IIMs are reserved for SC, ST, OBC, PwD and EWS candidates. The table given below provides an overview of the same:

cat reservation

Category Reservation (%)
Scheduled Caste (SC) 15

Scheduled Tribe (ST)

Non-Creamy – Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC) 27
Person with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD) 5
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) Up to 10%

CAT 2020 Application Form

CAT 2020 Application Form is expected to start from August 8 – September 26, 2020.The entire procedure will be conducted in online mode only at website.

Quick Facts:

  • CAT Registration Form: 5-page documents
  • Registration Window: Minimum for 45 days
  • CAT Application form is a part of Registration form only.
  • IIMs sends unique CAT registration ID and Password to login into the online portal of the Common Admission Test.
  • Applying online will mean that you have to opt for the relevant management programs in all the 20 IIMs mentioned in the registration form.

Documents Required to complete CAT Registration

  • Academic history
  • Mark sheets (10th /12th/ Degree/Diploma)
  • Work experience (if any)
  • Certificates (if any)
  • Scanned images of your passport size photo and signature
  • Debit/Credit cards, Net banking

cat registration

Steps to Apply for CAT 2020

Registration for the exam is usually a four-step procedure. Read the instructions mentioned at the start before beginning to fill up the form. In case of filling incorrect information not only the candidature will be treated as invalid but CAT registration fee will also be forfeited. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Registration – Visit the official website of CAT and enter your email id, phone number, and date of birth.

Note: Number and ID must be active and valid, as the entire communication related to the exam will be notified on it.

Step 2: Fill CAT Application Form – Enter your personal details, contact information, academic details, work experience, program preference and exam center preference.

Note: In case, any information is found incorrect, there is a risk of application rejection. A one-time facility to make corrections in the form is also provided. 

Step 3: Upload Documents – Scan and Upload your documents (Photograph, Signatures & Required certificated) according to CAT 2020 Photo Size, Dimension, Format and Other Details

Note: You can resize the documents using MS Paint or MS Office Picture Manager. The steps are available on the link given above.

Step 4: Payment of Application Fee – CAT 2020 Application Fee can be paid online via net banking/credit card/ debit card. Mentioned below is the category wise application fee for CAT 2020:

Category CAT 2020 Application Fee (in Rupees)
General/ OBC 1900
PWD 950
SC/ ST 950

CAT Application Form Status

  • After CAT Application Form is finally submitted, an email, a pop-up message on the screen and a message on the registered mobile number are sent related to the status of the application.
  • As the process of applying for CAT 2020 is completely online, no delay can occur during final submission.
  • If the application form is successfully submitted, the application status is “Successfully Submitted” else “Application Rejected”.

CAT Application Form Correction

  • It may be possible that some of the candidates had entered incorrect details due to lack of proper information or documents.
  • As CAT Exam is an important exam, the exam authority allows candidates to make corrections in few entries only.

Registrations in Non-IIMs for CAT 2020

  • There are various institutions or B-schools accepting CAT Scores.
  • Non-IIM Institutions interested to avail CAT 2020 scores must download the MoU and Application Form available at website.
  • This facility is available for the academic session 2020 – 2021 only.

Steps to Register are given below:

1: Visit the official portal of IIM Calcutta.

2: Click on CAT 2020 link, available on the right side of the screen.

3: Click ‘Downloading of MOU and the Application Form’

4: Payment of Annual Fees and Mode of Payment.

5: Fill up the Application Form and MOU and send the scanned copies duly filled-in, signed and stamped along with the required enclosures (mentioned inside application form) over email.

Note: Program Brochure can be sent separately along with other hard copies as stated above.

6: Send duly filled-in, signed and stamped MOU (two copies), Application Form (single copy) in original and other supporting documents (hard copies) as specified in MOU and Application Form to Admissions Office of IIM Calcutta latest by July 25, 2020 at the following address:

CAT Center, C/o Admissions Office,
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta,
Diamond Harbour Road, Kolkata 700 104

CAT 2020 Admit Card

  • Admit Cards for the management exam will be available from October 24 on wards at the official website of CAT 2020.
  • CAT Hall Ticket contains personal details and exam related details such as test venue, session.
  • It is a provisional document and must be supported at the test center with a valid photo id issued by Govt of India.

Documents Required with Admit Card

  • Aadhaar Card
  • Voter ID Card
  • Passport
  • PAN Card
  • Driving License
  • Photo ID issued by current education institute or employer among others.

Discrepancy in CAT 2020 Hall Ticket

In case of any discrepancy found in CAT Admit Card, candidates can contact the exam authority for the corrections. They can contact the CAT Help-desk at the following details:

Toll-Free Number: 1800-2090-830

Help-desk email address: website

CAT 2020 Exam Centers

  • CAT is conducted in exam centers spread across around 140 test cities in India.
  • Candidates are required to provide the preference of their exam center while registering for CAT 2020.
  • Preferences for up to 4 CAT test cities can be provided in the form. The time slot for CAT Examination is generally allocated randomly.

CAT Result 2020

CAT 2020 Result is expected in the 2nd week of January 2020. The conducting body of CAT 2020 will release the scorecards at the official website. An SMS will also be sent to all test-takers, informing them about their CAT Percentile. CAT Score is valid for 1 year. 

The step-wise process to obtain CAT result is given below:

  • Visit the official website of CAT
  • Click on ‘Download CAT Score Card’.
  • You will be redirected to the login page.
  • Enter your User Id and Password.
  • You will be redirected to your candidate’s account page.
  • Click on Download Scorecard link and download it for future correspondence.