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Why do IIMs Change the Pattern of CAT Exam Regularly

Ashish Chowdhary | Wednesday 7 November 2012 ( 0 Comment)

 CAT exam is one of the toughest management entrance exams in the world. CAT exam tests various skills in a candidate passing which, the candidate secures an admission into the prestigious IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management). The IIMs are known to produce top-class managers. With the changing demands of the world-class organisations, the managers are required to be equipped with various skills and devise their own strategies to tackle the situations. The IIMs know this very well and perhaps this is the reason for the IIMs changing the pattern of CAT exam regularly.


Changing CAT Patterns Over the Years

We, at CATapp, present below a bird's eye view of the changing CAT exam patterns and see the impact of the latest changed pattern of CAT exam (CAT 2011).




The Skills Tested by CAT from 1994 to 2011

Over these two decades, the IIMs have shifted their focus from speed to accuracy, from saving time to managing time, from being Jack of all (and probably master of none) to being master at one, from IIMs being dominated by engineers to giving equal chance to non-engineers to be in the IIMs, from decreasing the questions to increasing the time, and finally from being simple questions to being logic based test. Two most significant changes in CAT patterns that we can see are:

  1. CAT is increasingly becoming a test of logic alone.
  2. While the range of skills tested at CAT are still limited to 10th standard, the level of logic tested has increased tremendously.

CAT 2011 Paper Pattern

Considering the CAT 2011 paper, the pattern is a welcome change by many stakeholders. IIMs have tested how the candidates would strategise when they have only two sections. The two sections at CAT 2011 were:

  1. Section 1: Quantitative Ability (QA) and Data Interpretation (DI)
  2. Section 2: Verbal Ability (VA) and Logical Reasoning (LR)

Each section comprised of 30 questions with 70 minutes. The total duration of CAT 2011 was 140 minutes (a 5 minutes increase over CAT 2010). The specific weak areas for any candidate were at advantage due to combination of areas. This enabled the IIMs to enhance the diversity of student background.


Regular changes in the CAT exam patterns is keeping the coaching institutes on their toes. CATapp being a mobile app, is very well adapted to change rapidly with changing patterns since there is no infrastructure cost involved. Download our CATapp mobile application on your Android smartphone today, if you haven't done already.

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