CAT Exam 2021: Notification, Application, Dates, Eligibility, Pattern, Books

CAT Entrance Exam Update:

CAT Entrance Exam 2021 is around the corner. Here’re the latest updates you should be aware of.

  • July 31, 2021: IIM-A released the CAT entrance exam notifications
  • 04 August 2021 (10 am onwards): CAT Entrance Exam 2021 registration gets underway.
  • 15 Sep 2021 (05 pm): The final date for registration for the CAT entrance exam.
  • 27 Oct 2021 (05 pm): CAT Entrance Exam Admit Card available for download
  • 28 Nov 2021: CAT entrance exam would be conducted across 156 cities India-wide.


IIM CAT exam for MBA 2021 is scheduled for 28 November 2021 across 158 cities India-wide. The mode is CBT (Computer Based Test). The application process is underway from 4th August 2021 (10 am) and will last till 15th Sep 2021 (05 pm). The applicants can download the CAT Entrance Exam Admit Card from 27th Oct 2021 05 pm onwards.

What is CAT Exam?

CAT stands for Common Admission Test. You can call it the most prestigious national-level MBA entrance exam. It is an entryway for enrolment in MBA, PGDM, and other management courses offered by SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, NITIE, and other leading B-colleges in India.

The exam is a yearly affair, organized by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). CAT entrance exam 2020 had 2.27 lakh takers. As the number of seats has increased this year, the number of takers is expected to go up. With Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) making elaborate arrangements, the entrance exam is expected to go smoothly even under the scare of the pandemic.

Where can you get admission via CAT?

Your performance in the CAT entrance exam can get you enrolments in 20 IIMs India-wide. They include:

  1. IIM Ahmadabad
  2. IIM Bangalore
  3. IIM Calcutta
  4. IIM Lucknow
  5. IIM Kozhikode
  6. IIM Indore
  7. IIM Shilong
  8. IIM Rohtak
  9. IIM Ranchi
  10. IIM Raipur
  11. IIM Tiruchirappalli
  12. IIM Kashipur
  13. IIM Udaipur
  14. IIM Nagpur
  15. IIM Amritsar
  16. IIM Bodhgaya
  17. IIM Sambalpur
  18. IIM Sirmaur
  19. IIM Vishakhapatnam
  20. IIM Jaipur

Besides IIMs, the CAT score can get you entry into MBA and PGDM courses offered by other leading B-schools.

  1. S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR)
  2. Faculty of Management Studies (FMS)
  3. Management Development Institute (MDI)
  4. Institute of Management Technology (IMT)
  5. Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS)
  6. International Management Institute (IMI)
  7. National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE)

Exam 2021 Highlights

As the CAT entrance exam for MBA is upon us, the test-takers need to be aware of a few key aspects of the test. From the full form of CAT and periodicity to the marking scheme and syllabus, here’s all you need to know about CAT 2021.

Particulars Details
Test Name Common Admission Test (CAT)
Conducted by IIM Ahmadabad
Exam type National level
Periodicity Once in a year
Score Availability Last week of December
Pattern of Test MCQs and Non-MCQs (TITA)
Number of Questions 76
Test Duration 2 hours
Negative Marking +3 for every correct answer
-1 for each wrong answer in MCQs
Non-MCQs do not attract negative marking
Syllabus Questions from VARC, QA, and DI & LR
Mode of Conduct Computer-based test
CAT 2021 Convenor Professor Ram Mohan
Exam Helpdesk No. 1-800-209-0830 (Toll-Free)
Exam Website
Receive the latest news & updates on CAT 2021 via SMS and e-mail for free. Just enter your details below:


How is CAT 2021 different from the previous exams?

IIM colleges conduct the CAT entrance exam each year on a rotational basis. That means the conducting body changes each year. In 2020, the conducting body was IIM Indore. This year, it is IIM Ahmadabad, helped by the partner agency, Tata Consultancy Service (TCS). It was in 2015 when last time IIM Ahmadabad convened the CAT entrance exam. Back then, it implemented a few changes to the test pattern that are still followed.

  1. The test window was restricted to a single day
  2. TITA (Type In The Answer) questions were brought into the equation. These questions do not attract negative marks for incorrect attempts unlike the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).

Some major changes in the pattern, slots, duration and sectional time limit were introduced in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  1. The exam slots were increased to three – Morning, Afternoon, and Evening.
  2. The time duration was brought from three hours to two hours.
  3. The number of questions was brought down from 100 to 76.
  4. The candidates were allotted 40 minutes per section

IIM Ahmadabad hasn’t made any changes in the pattern, slots, duration, and sectional time allotment for CAT 2021. However, other changes would apply, including:

Fee Hike: The applicants would be paying 10% more this year as compared to 2020 for CAT registration. The general category applicants require paying INR 2200 (previously INR 2000). On the other hand, the reserved category applicants need to pay INR 1100, instead of INR 1000.

Test cities have gone up: CAT entrance exam 2020 took place in 156 cities India-wide. This year, the number of cities has gone up to 158. The new included cities are Prayagraj (UP) and Madgaon (Goa). Over 425 test centres have been designated in the chosen 158 cities.

Test city choices have gone up: CAT 2021 allows candidates to opt for up to six cities for allotment of the test centre. The move has been initiated in the wake of the pandemic situation.

CAT in Covid Times: 

COVID 19 has been harsh on everyone. Even national-level exams were severely affected. However, the CAT MBA entrance exam 2020 went well despite the pandemic scare. Changes like three slots, reduced number of questions and time duration, and an increased number of centres were implemented to ensure COVID-appropriate behaviour.

According to Convenor, Prof M P Ram Mohan, the CAT entrance exam 2021 will go smoothly despite the pandemic. The conducting body would change its decisions and directions as per the situation while keeping in mind the safety of the test-takers and others involved. So, the test-takers are better off checking the official CAT website for the latest updates.

CAT Exam Dates to Remember

With the schedule for the CAT entrance exam already released, it’s important to know some key CAT Exam Dates for 2021.

  • It all began in the last week of July when IIM Ahmadabad released the notification for CAT 2021.
  • The application process initiated at 10 am on 4th August 2021 and would end on 15th September 2021 at 05 pm.
  • The applicants can download the CAT Entrance Exam Admit Card from 27th Oct 2021 05 pm onwards.
  • The window for correcting your form would be provided in the last week of September 2021.
  • The exam is scheduled for 28 November 2021 while the results would be available by Jan 2022.
Events Dates
Notification Releases on Last week of July 2021
Online Registration Starts From 4th August 2021 (10 am onwards)
Last date for Registration 15th September 2021 (till 5 pm)
Form Correction Last week of September
Availability of Admit Card 27 October 2021 (5 pm onwards)
Mock Test Starts Form To be notified soon
CAT Aptitude Test 28 November 2021
Responses released 1st week of December 2021
Answer Key Release 2nd week of December 2021
Result Announcement 1st week of January 2022

CAT Application Form 2021

CAT Application

CAT Application Form. 


  • CAT Application Form is available on Online Mode only.
  • The Application form will available in August 2021
  • The last date of filing the application form will be September 2021
  • Candidates can visit the CAT official website to fill the CAT Application Form.
  • Fill in the required details carefully, such as Personal Details, Educational Details, and other required details.
  • Upload recent passport size photograph and signature.
  • CAT Application form correction facility will be available from the last week of September 2021
  • Candidates can pay the Application Fee online mode.
  • After filling in all the details and payment take a printout of the Application form and save it for future use.

Application Fee

Thanks to a 10% fee hike, the general category test-takers are required to pay an application fee of INR 2200. The same for reserved categories (SC/ST/PwD) is INR 1100.

The CAT exam fees should be paid online via:

  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Internet banking
  • BillDesk
  • PayU
  • Paytm


Application Fee


INR 2200

Reserved (SC/ST/PwD)

INR 1100

CAT 2021 Registration – Transaction Fees

Besides the registration fees, the transaction fees would apply depending on the payment mode.

Mode of  payment

Transaction charges 

Credit Card (American Express)  

2.85% of the amount transacted, i.e. (INR 62.7 for GC) (INR 31.35 for reserved)

Credit Card (Visa & Master)

1.20% of the amount transacted i.e. (INR 62.7 for GC) (INR 31.35 for reserved)

Debit Card (Master/ Visa)

0.75% of the transacted amount worth over INR 2000 

0.90% of the transacted amount worth over INR 2000.

Net Banking

INR 20 per transaction

How to Fill CAT Application Form?

Candidates can follow the below step to fill the CAT Application Form.

  • Visit the Official website of IIM.
  • Fill the registration form carefully details like Name, Parents Name, Date of Birth, Email ID, Mobile Number.
  • After registration is completed visit the application form link and fill in all the required details like Personal Details, Educational Details, Work Experience, etc.
  • Upload your Passport Size Photograph and Signature
  • After filling the Application Form pay the application fee in the online mode.

Check How to fill CAT 2021 Application Form?

CAT Application Form Correction

To correct the CAT Application Form, candidates can follow the below step;

  • Candidates can visit the official website of the authority.
  • Need to login via registration number and password.
  • The application correction link will be there candidates can visit there and make corrections in the application form.
  •  Once the correction is completed saving, submit the application form and take a printout of the application form.

Check How to make corrections in the CAT Application Form?

CAT Eligibility Criteria

Before filling the CAT Form 2021, check out the Eligibility Criteria

  • Qualification: Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in any stream from any recognized college or university.
  • Percentage Criteria: In the qualifying exam, candidates must have scored a minimum of 50% marks for general and 45% marks in the case of SC, ST, and PWD candidates.
  • Appearing Candidates: Candidates appearing in the final year of the qualifying exam or who have completed the degree requirements and waiting for the result are also eligible to apply.
  • Other Qualification: CA/CS/ICWA professional degree holders are also eligible to apply.
  • Age Limit: No age limit for CAT.

See more:

CAT Exam Pattern

Below is the Exam Pattern for CAT 2021

  • Exam Mode: Computer Based Test (CBT).
  • Exam Duration: 180 minutes (3 hours). 60minutes duration will be allotted to complete each section.
  • Type of Question: Multiple choice type and subjective type.
  • No. of Question: 100 questions.
  • Marking Scheme: Three marks will be awarded for each correct answer.
  • Negative Marking: For multiple-choice questions(MCQs), one mark will be deducted for a wrong answer, and for questions other than MCQs no marks will be deducted. There will be no penalty of negative marking on wrong answers to Non-MCQs in the CAT Exam.
  • The 3 section are CAT 2021: Verbal ability and & Reading comprehensive(VARC), Data Interpretation& Logical Reasoning(DILR); Quantitative Aptitute(QA).
Section No. of Question Duration Total Marks
Quantitative Ability 34 60 Min 102
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 60 Min 102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 60 Min 96
Total 100 180 Min 300

CAT Exam Syllabus

The most desired management entrance exam in India does not have any prescribed syllabus, but based on previous year question papers and other trends below are the important topics that we need to prepare for CAT Exam. CAT Syllabus is comprised of four sections:

  1. Verbal Ability
  2. Quantitative Aptitude
  3. Logical Reasoning
  4. Data Interpretation

CAT Important Topics

Here we discuss the Important topics for CAT 2021 Exam.

Important Topics for Quantitative Aptitude

  • Number System
  • Trigonometry
  • Geometry
  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Functions and Graphs
  • P&C
  • Probability

Important Topics for Verbal Ability

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Para Jumbles
  • Sentence Correction
  • Vocabulary

 Important Topics for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Bar Graph
  • Table Chart
  • Caselet
  • Pie Graph

CAT Admit Card

The exam authority would make CAT Admit Card 2021 available for download from 27 October 2021, 05 pm onwards. The candidates require to visit CAT official website ( Once there, they should punch in their Registration No and Password and the system will make the admit card available for download. Next, the candidate needs to click on the ‘print’ icon.

The CAT Admit Card contains the detail like Candidates Name, Exam Dates, Candidates Photograph, Signature, Exam Center, etc.

CAT Exam Centers

CAT 2021 Exam will be held approx 157 cities all over India. the authority has been released the Exam Guide Line for the Exam, the CAT 2021 is scheduled to be conducted in the last week of November, Check Below the CAT Exam Centers.

Exam State Exam Cities
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Andhra Pradesh Chittoor, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Kurnool, Chirala, Nellore, Kakinada, Guntur, Rajahmundry, Vizianagaram, Vijaywada
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
Assam Silchar, Guwahati, Jorhat, Tezpur, Dibrugarh
Bihar Patna, Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Purnea, Darbhanga, Aurangabad
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Chattisgarh Raipur, Bhilai, Bilaspur
Delhi-NCR Delhi-NCR
Goa Goa
Gujarat Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Anand
Haryana Karnal, Hisar, Panipat, Ambala, Rohtak, Kurukshetra
Himachal Pradesh Shimla, Hamirpur
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu, Samba
Jharkhand Bokaro, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh
Karnataka Bengaluru, Mysuru (Mysore), Belagavi(Belgaum), Dharwad, Hubballi(Hubli), Kalaburagi(Gulbarga), Mangaluru(Mangalore), Shivamogga(Shimoga), Udupi
Kerala Trivandrum, Kannur, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Thrissur
Madhya Pradesh Ujjain, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Satna, Jabalpur, Sagar
Maharashtra Mumbai, Nagpur, Amravati, Pune, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad-Maharashtra, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Nanded, Nashik, Satara, Solapur, Ulhasnagar, Raigad
Meghalaya Shillong
Mizoram Aizawl
Nagaland Kohima
Odisha Sambalpur, Cuttack, Balasore, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal, Rourkela
Puducherry Puducherry
Punjab Amritsar, Mohali, Bhatinda, Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Mohali, Pathankot, Sangrur
Rajasthan Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Alwar, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Sikar, Kota
Tamil Nadu Madurai, Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Salem, Tirunelveli, Trichy

CAT Answer Key

After the exam is conducted, the IIM organizing the test this year will release the answer key. From the answer keys, candidates can evaluate their performance in the examination. The authority gives a facility, i.e. objection against the incorrect answer. If any answer they found wrong in the answer keys then they can object to this.

CAT Result

The IIM conducting the test will release the result of the exam in the third week of January 2022. Those who appeared for the CAT exam can download CAT results from the official website by entering their application number and password in the application form. In the CAT results, candidates’ scores are also mentioned which are useful for admission in the IIMs. The CAT result will be available via online mode. Candidates can follow the below-given steps to down the scorecard.

  • Visit the official website.
  • Click on the download scorecard button.
  • Fill in the required details in the resulting form.
  • Click on the download button.
  • Take a printout of the CAT Admit card for future reference.

CAT Cut Off 

Cut off are minimum marks that are required to crack the exam. CAT Cut Off is calculated based on candidates who appeared for the examination, the difficulty level of the exam, and seat availability in the different IIMs. Every IIMs have their own cut-off, but here we have listed a common cut-off score for each category with section-wise.

IIM Ahmedabad 100-99
IIM Bangalore 100-99
IIM Calcutta 99
IIM Lucknow 97-98
IIM Indore 97-98
IIM Kozhikode 97-98
IIM Amritsar 95-96
IIM Nagpur 95-96
IIM Sambalpur 95-96
IIM Trichy 94-95
IIM Raipur 94-95
IIM Ranchi 94-95
IIM Kashipur 94-95
IIM Vizag 92-94
IIM Udaipur 92-94
IIM Bodhgaya 92-94
IIM Shillong 90
IIM Sirmaur 90

CAT Counseling

Those who successfully clear the examination and are shortlisted for one of the IIMs and other participated institutes can go for a Counseling Process. Some IIMs also consider past academic marks and work experience while counselling. Those who are shortlisted in the written examination will go for some other test.

  • Written Ability test
  • Group Discussion
  • Group Activity
  • Extempore Activities
  • Personal Interview round

The final selection is based on the performance of the applicant in all four processes. Some new IIMs conduct their own common admission process(CAP). For this, they made their own Written Ability Test and Personal Interview rounds. IIMs will be responsible for releasing the final shortlisted candidate’s list for the various items.

How to prepare for CAT?

Below are few tips for Preparation Strategy for CAT 2021 examination:

  • Make a proper timetable for preparation.
  • Review your syllabus.
  • It’s vital to discover your weak point and find out how to overcome them.
  • Try to solve more and more problems every day.
  • Select Best Books for CAT Examination Preparation.
  • Solve a lot of previous year question papers will help you and give an idea about the difficulty level.
  • Attempt mock test.
  • Manage your timing.
  • Stress-free and take proper rest.

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FAQs Regarding CAT Exam 2021

Question: Who is eligible to take the exam?

Answer: A Candidates having Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks is eligible to take CAT Exam.

Question: When CAT 2021 Exam will be held?

Answer: CAT 2021 Exam will be held on November 21st, 2021.

Question: Can I use my coaching institute’s email address or a friend’s email address when registering for CAT?

Answer: No, Provide a valid Email ID, the authority will send all the CAT Application Forms regarding information to all the candidates by mail.

Question: How Can I Pay CAT Application Fee?

Answer: Candidates can pay the CAT Application Fee by using a Credit/Debit Card or by internet banking.

Question: I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree. Do I need to submit the overall percentage of marks or as per my University standards?

Answer: Yes, You must submit the overall percentage of marks or as per my University standards.

Question: What is the Age limit to appear for CAT Exam?

Answer: There is no age limit for CAT Exam.

Question: Can I appear for CAT for practice purposes, though I am aware that I am not eligible?

Answer: No, you must fulfill the CAT Eligibility Criteria to appear in the CAT Exam.

Question: What is the Application Fee for the CAT examination?


Category Application Fee
General/ OBC Category Rs. 2200/-
SC/ST/PWD Rs. 1100/-

Question: From where can I get the list of examination cities?

Answer: Candidates visit the official website of the authority to check the exam cities list.


Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

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