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CAT - MBA Entrance Exam – An Overview

Swati Gill | Tuesday 19 April 2011 ( 0 Comment)

CAT is the entrance exams that many students give every year to enter into MBA. it is the gateway to get an MBA Degree. CAT is the access to the elite of management colleges in India, like the IIMs. The Common Admission Test (popularly known as CAT), is an ability test; it is the most popular test among forthcoming management students because it is accepted by the best institutes. It is one of the most demanding entrance exams conducted across the world for most of the graduate colleges.

CAT is used as the criteria to pick out applicants for admissions to the six IIMs and the best B-schools in India and abroad too. CAT is one of the leading MBA entrance exams conducted in India, every twelve months. The scores of CAT are accepted by more than 75 non-IIM Colleges across India, many of which are ranked in par with IIMs.

Eligibility for the masters in management at all B-Schools and to give the IIM-CAT is at least a three-year bachelor's degree in any discipline from a renowned university with not less than 50% Marks. IIM, the leading business-schools of the country (and counted among the best in the world) carry out this test every year as one of the selection process to get the best and prospective students for the next round of admission process that will comprise of their personal interview and a group discussion (popularly known as GDPI) for their MBA and Fellow-ship programmes.

All students appearing for their final year examination are also qualified to appear for CAT. There is a belief by some people that CAT is not an examination for selection but rather a way to reject those who cannot get themselves to set their minds working for 2.5 hours without any break. As said it is the aptitude test of a candidate to test all his abilities. Later in the GDPI his reasoning and communication skills abilities are also tested. So, CAT is not a cake that everyone can eat. You need to work throughout the year. If you think that studying for a fortnight or a month will give you success then it is a dream that will not come true. The cut out percentage is so high that students even getting good scores are left from admission into the best B-Schools.

This entrance exam covers questions in five broad areas such as verbal ability and reasoning, reading comprehension, quantitative skills, data interpretation and logical reasoning. The CAT examination demands proficiency across all sections of the paper. Therefore, how many questions are there is not important, what is important is how many questions and how well you have answered those questions. This will check your competitive skills too. It demands capability in all sections across the paper.

A distinctive CAT paper can have questions between 75 and 150. This test evaluates a student’s presence of mind and ability to perform under pressure. The procedure for giving the CAT is announced every year through the leading newspapers in the month of August and the admissions to the course beginning in the second half of June of the following year. The CAT is conducted every year in the month of November.

CAT questions are of multiple-choice nature having four/five alternate answer choice and the candidate will have to mark it on a special Optical Reader answer sheet. All sections have different marks.

There is no strategy that can be applied to select the easiest question. Doing something like that will only waste time, instead leave the lengthiest questions for the last to be answered. Usually students are in a hurry to complete the paper which might lead to answering them incorrectly. Therefore, even if the candidate is successful in completing 50% of the paper he is through, as far as he has answered them CORRECTLY.

Personal or Postal Coaching will be helpful in CAT Preparation. The reason why one preparing to give CAT should attend these coaching classes is that they teach you short cuts and you will also get to know the question types by answering the mock test that they conduct on regular intervals. There are very good Coaching Institutes - Bulls Eye, Ascent, TIME, IMS, Roots Education and Career Launcher. It is difficult to say which of them, is the best, as everything depends on the faculty training the candidates. Thus, before joining any coaching class, be clear with all the details and try to know all the details by consulting with the present students.

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