CAT'20 Exam Notification, Pattern & Cutt offs

Common Admission Test commonly known as CAT Exam is conducted for MBA admissions into top-notch b-schools. This entrance exam is conducted by a branch of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) every year. CAT 2020 will be conducted by IIM Indore.

CAT Exam is one of the management entrance exams conducted by IIM where candidates will be ranked based on the CAT score to get admitted into the best management colleges in India like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, and IIM Calcutta, etc. The exam is conducted online and the results are announced on the official website 

Latest Update:

  • July 29, 2020: The CAT 2020 examination schedule is announced. The registration window will be open from August 5, 2020 to September 16, 2020. The CAT 2020 Exam will be held on November 29, 2020. Check the detailed CAT 2020 Exam Date Schedule now. 
  • The CAT 2020 Examination Dates are subject to change based on the instructions provided by the central/state governments concerning the COVID-19 health crisis and safety precautions.


What is CAT Exam?

The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test. CAT Exam is the most popular national-level management entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) for admission to 20 IIM's and more than 100 B-schools across India. It is conducted and administered by one of the IIMs on a yearly rotational basis.

  • Purpose: CAT exam helps management course aspirants to get admission in Top Management Colleges in India. The number of applicants for CAT 2020 is expected to be more than 2 lakh. Last year around 2.41 lakh candidates had registered themselves for this exam. It is conducted once every year.
  • Programs Offered: Through CAT, IIMs offer MBA, PGP, PGP-FABM, PGPEM, PGDM, EPGP PGPSM, PGPWE, PGDHRM, PGPEX, and PGPBM.
  • Level of Difficulty: CAT is an aptitude test designed to evaluate an applicant's Quantitative, Verbal/reading, Data Interpretation, and Reasoning Skills. After analyzing CAT previous year papers, it is evident that Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) has always been the toughest section in the paper. VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section complexity is mostly moderate and QA so far has always been the easiest. More details on the Syllabus and Exam Pattern for CAT 2020 is part of this article.
  • CAT Scores: CAT Scorecard contains percentile marks. Candidates attempting 63-67 questions with the right responses can expect a decent CAT Percentile. However, the percentile is a relative measure of the performance as it depends on how good/bad other test takers perform.
  • Application Fee Payment: Payment of CAT 2020 Application Fee can be made online via Debit Card/ Credit Card/ Internet Banking only. Offline payment is not accepted.
  • Admissions and Placement: More than 50 institutes offering masters or postgraduate diplomas in management across India consider the CAT exam score as valid criteria for admission every year.

CAT 2020 Exam Date and Other Important Dates

  • The conducting authority will declare the CAT 2020 exam date and other important dates tentatively in July on the official website.
  • IIM will commence registrations tentatively from August 5, 2020. The last date to apply for CAT 2020 is expected to be September 16, 2020.

Given below are tentative dates of events for CAT 2020 Exam.

CAT 2020 Exam Dates
Important EventsDates (Tentative)
Official NotificationJuly 29, 2020
CAT 2020 Application Form Start DateAugust 5, 2020
CAT 2020 Application Form Last DateSeptember 16, 2020
CAT Tutorials on the official websiteTo be announced
CAT 2020 Admit Card AvailabilityOctober 28, 2020 to November 29, 2020
CAT 2020 Exam DateNovember 29, 2020
CAT 2020 Results AnnouncementJanuary 5, 2021

Note: All the dates mentioned above are tentative and will be updated once the conducting authority mentions it on the official website.

CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria

  • Educational Qualifications: To satisfy CAT 2020 eligibility, candidates need to have completed their graduation degree with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks or obtained an equivalent CGPA from a recognized university or educational institute. The college or institute that a candidate has studied in shall abide by the Act of Parliament or State legislature in India or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. Candidates who are in the final year of their UG courses are also eligible to apply for CAT 2020. Further, if that candidate gets admission into an IIM he or she will be allowed to join the programme provisionally only if he/she produces a certificate from the principal or registrar of the institute or university in which he/she has studied. The certificate must state that the student has completed all the necessary procedures for a Bachelor's degree. Moreover, this certificate must be issued on or before the stipulated time mentioned by the particular IIM in which the student secures admission.
  • Age and Number of Attempts: Under CAT 2020 eligibility, there is no restriction for the upper age limit of a candidate. Also, there is no limit to the number of attempts. Candidates need to fill information about work experience (if any) in the application form, however, it is not a criterion to be fulfilled to attempt the entrance exam.
  • Foreign Nationals: The eligibility that is needed for foreign nationals, PIO’s or NRIs is that they must have a Bachelors degree with a minimum of 50% (candidates of the SC/ST, PWD categories must have a minimum of 45%). The certification must be from any of the Universities that are accredited by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. Candidates who will be writing the final exam are also qualified to appear for the CAT exam. Those who have finished their studies and are expecting their results can submit an application for the exam too.
  • Reservation: Applicants who have a CA/CS/ICWA degree will also be considered eligible to apply for CAT. General category candidates and candidates under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) need to have obtained a minimum score of 50% in any of the Bachelor's degree programs, whereas reserved category (SC/ST/PWD) candidates must have obtained a minimum of 45% aggregate marks. Check the table below for the minimum percentage required for the following categories:
CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria
CategoryPercentage of minimum marks
General and OBC/ EWS50
Scheduled Caste (SC)45
Scheduled Tribe (ST)45
Persons with Disabilities (PwD)45

Aspirants have to mention caste or community details as per the CAT Caste Certificate Format specified in the application form. Students belonging to OBC (NCL) caste must produce the pertaining certificate wherever necessary for CAT Exam 2020.

CAT 2020 Syllabus Details

CAT 2020 syllabus is based on questions asked from various topics. CAT exam syllabus is divided into 3 sections which test the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability (VA), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). General Awareness is not part of CAT. Syllabus for CAT usually remains the same for every year. The only difference lies in the manner in the question format. For more information, visit CAT 2020 Syllabus.

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

A thorough understanding of the CAT 2020 Exam Pattern can give a candidate a competitive and strategic advantage in terms of preparation and securing high scores. The CAR 2020 Exam Pattern is discussed at length below:

  • The Exam Pattern for CAT 2020 will consist of 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. Section-wise scores are very important as CAT requires the candidate to qualify section-wise cutoffs as well.
  • 3 marks will be awarded for each correct answer and 1 mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer. No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions.
  • CAT 2020 examination will be conducted Online (Computer-based test).
  • CAT 2020 paper will consist of 2 types of questions: MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) as well as non-MCQs.
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension are the broad sections that will be covered in CAT exam pattern.
  • Candidates will be provided 3 hours (180 minutes) to complete the exam which accounts for an hour per section. 

Given below is a table with the key highlights of the CAT 2020 Exam Pattern.

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern
ModeOnline i.e. Computer-based Test (CBT)
Question TypeMultiple Choice Questions (MCQ's)
Duration3 Hours or 180 Minutes
CAT 2020 Total Marks100
CAT 2020 Marking Scheme

+3 Marks for Correct Answers

-1 Marks for Wrong Answers

No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions


Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability,

Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension


CAT 2020 Registration Process

The Online CAT 2020 application form will be rolled out on August 5, 2020 (tentatively). The last date to apply for CAT 2020 is expected to be September 16, 2020. The application form will be available online on the official website Before filling out the application form, candidates must register themselves. Once a candidate completes CAT registration 2020, IIM Indore (conducting authority) will send registration ID and password to the candidate which has to be used to login to the official website and complete the application process.

How to register for CAT 2020?

  • Go to the official website
  • Register yourself by entering your email id, phone number, and date of birth.
  • Candidates are advised to provide a valid and working mail ID & phone number as all further communications will be notified on the same.

CAT 2020 Application Form

After completing the above-mentioned registration process, candidates can proceed to fill out the application form. On successful completion of the application process an email, a message on the registered mobile number will be sent confirming the status of the candidate's CAT 2020 application form. The application status is “Successfully Submitted” if the application gets accepted or else “Application Rejected” is shown indicating any mistake made during the process.

How to apply for CAT Exam?

The application process of CAT 2020 is a four-step procedure which is mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Registration
  • Step 2: Fill CAT Application Form: This step will ask a candidate to provide details like personal details, contact information, academic details, work experience, program preference, and exam centre preference for CAT 2020 Application Form completion.
  • Step 3: Uploading Documents: Upload scanned images of your recent passport size photograph, signature, and other required documents as asked in the process. Make sure you check the specifications before uploading any of these files. Candidates belonging to reserved category have to produce the necessary documents. For instance, OBC candidates must produce the OBC Certificate for CAT Exam.
  • Step 4: Payment of Application Fee: CAT 2020 registration fees can be paid online using a debit/credit card or net banking. Find category-wise application fees for CAT 2020:
CategoryFee (INR)
General/OBCINR 1900

Documents required to fill the application form

Following documents must be kept handy while filling the CAT 2020 application form:

  • Scanned images of your passport size photo and signature.
  • An attested SC/ST/OBC certificate.
  • PwD Certificate signed and attested by respective authorities.

CAT Application Form Correction

Candidates tend to make mistakes while filling the application form. Since CAT is a major career deciding exam, the authority facilitates the candidates with an Application Form Correction window during which candidates can make changes to the information provided in their application.

How to Register for Non-IIM participating institutes in CAT Exam?

Follow the steps given below to register to Non-IIM institutes:

  • Step 1: Visit the official website
  • Step 2: Navigate to the CAT 2020 link which will be available on the right part of the screen.
  • Step 3: Click on "Downloading of MOU and the Application Form".
  • Step 4: Pay the required fees.
  • Step 5: Carefully fill CAT 2020 Application Form and MOU. Then send the scanned copies duly filled-in, signed, and stamped along with the required enclosures (mentioned inside application form) through email.
  • Step 6: Stamped and signed MOU (2 copies), Application Form (single copy) in original and other hard copies of documents as specified along with Application Form must be sent duly filled to the Admissions Office of IIM Indore to its address given below:

    CAT Centre, C/o Admissions Office, Indian Institute of Management - Indore,

    Prabandh Shikhar, Rau - Pithampur Rd, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, PIN CODE - 453556

    Note: The program brochure can be sent exclusively or separately along with the other required hard copies as stated above.

CAT 2020 Admit Card Download

CAT 2020 Admit Card will be available for download from the official website from October 28, 2020 onwards. CAT 2020 Hall Ticket will have the applicant's details and information regarding the test such as test venue, session, etc. Hall ticket will facilitate a candidate's entry into the examination hall provided it is presented with any other valid Govt. ID Proof of the candidate. Candidates belonging to reserved categories in the CAT exam should verify whether the right category has been mentioned.

Discrepancies: If any discrepancy is found in the CAT 2020 Admit Card, candidates must notify the authority for corrections. Moreover, if the candidate finds any difficulty with the registration or application form then he or she may contact the CAT centre with the below-given contact details.

  • 1800-266-3549

Documents to be carried to the exam centre

The following documents are needed that a student will need to carry with himself/herself along with CAT hall ticket to his/her allotted exam centre. Only one out of the below photo ID proofs is needed by the candidate at the time of appearing for CAT.

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

CAT 2020 Exam Centres

CAT exam will be conducted in 156 cities across India in 2020. Students can select 4 exam centres i.e they can provide 4 preferences for the test venue in CAT 2020 Form. CAT Exam Centres in Bangalore are many, here below we have enlisted the names of test cities in Karanataka.

KarnatakaBengaluru, Belgaum, Bidar, Mangalore, Mysore, Shimoga, Udupi, Ramanagara, Davanagere, Chikballapur, Mandya, Kolar, Hassan, Tumkur

There are many test centres in India across different states. Students can choose the best test centre for them as per their convenience. Go through the complete list of CAT 2020 Exam Centres

CAT 2020 Result

IIM is expected to release CAT 2020 Results in the 2nd week of January 2021. Scorecards will be published online along with the results. Candidates will be notified about their percentile via SMS. CAT scores will be valid for 1 year.

After CAT 2020 Results are announced, different institutes will start publishing their CAT 2020 Cut-off percentiles for further processes. 

How to check CAT Results?

  1. Visit the official website.
  2. Navigate to click on "Download CAT 2020 Score Card" notification.
  3. You will be redirected to the login page.
  4. Provide your User ID and Password.
  5. You will be redirected to the candidate's account page.
  6. Click on the Download Scorecard link and download it for future reference.

Based on the different cutoffs specified by participating IIMs, candidates can begin applying for the desired colleges and courses. CAT Results and the application to various IIMs is followed by a Group Discussion, Personal Interview and Written Ability Test. If not for an IIM, CAT scored are valid and considered in various other B-schools.

CAT 2020 Reservation Statistics

There are certain seat reservations in CAT offered by IIMs for reserved category candidates. These remain the same every year. The purpose of the reservation is to provide an equal opportunity to candidates of all sections of society to study at top B-schools in the country. The percentage of seats reserved indicated below:

CAT 2020 Reservation Statistics
CategoryPercentage of seats
Scheduled Caste (SC)15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST)7.5%
Non-Creamy–Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC)27%
Economically Weaker Section (EWS)Up to 10%
People with Disability/Disabilities (PwD)5%


  • During the application process, candidates are advised to provide all the correct information if they belong to any of the above-mentioned reserved categories. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of a candidate's application.
  • Candidates who successfully make it to the interview have to present the required set of documents. Failing to do so will result in the rejection of a candidate's application.

Preparation Tips for CAT 2020 Exam

CAT is often considered to be of the most difficult entrance exams in India. But with strategic preparation, once can ace this exam with very good scores. CAT 2019 was conducted last November. If you are preparing for the upcoming CAT 2020 exam, make sure to look into the syllabus and keep in mind the preparation tips given below.

  • Start with the basics: Basics are very important and one has to be thorough with the basics to solve all kinds of problems. To begin with, you can focus on topics like Arithmetic, Numbers, Geometry, and gradually build on your knowledge on other less important topics like Functions, Inequalities, Permutation, and Combinations, etc. It is also important to focus on the easier topics like Progressions, Logarithms, etc. As far as verbal and RC are concerned, it is very important to read a lot. Reading on a variety of topics is very important to improve efficiency. DI and LR practice a lot of puzzles and this will help you to ace this section.
  • Take Mocks: Equally important to basics is taking mocks. Take mocks in the beginning phase of your preparation. It will help you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can build your strategies accordingly and work your way to glory. The more mock tests you take, the more familiar you will become with the test.
  • Practice: It is important to stick to a practice regime and follow it religiously. Regular practice on this will strengthen conceptual knowledge as well as increase your speed. In this way, you can increase accuracy.
  • Time Management: Realistic time-table setting, planning ahead, and preparing months ahead is the best way to avoid burnout and also improve efficiency, speed, and accuracy. Identify your strengths and use it save time in the actual exam.

CAT 2019 Paper Analysis

CAT 2019 November exam was conducted on 24th November in two slots: Slot-1 and Slot-2. This year IIM Kozhikode was responsible to conduct CAT exam. The difficulty of the CAT exam 2019 was moderate as most of the appeared candidates were confident in getting a good score.

CAT Slot-1 Analysis

It has been reviewed that CAT Slot-1 was moderately difficult overall. The complexity of the English Comprehension section gave the students a hard time understanding the crux of the topic. The Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section was moderately difficult and the Quantitative section was the easiest of all.

  • Quant Analysis: The quant section of CAT 2019 consisted of 34 questions. The paper had MCQ type questions and non-MCQ type questions as well. There was no negative marking for the non-MCQ type questions. Each correct answer awarded 3 marks to the candidate whereas every wrong answer had a penalty of 1 mark. Candidates had to finish this section within 60 minutes. The pattern of questions from Quant section was as follows:
    • Algebra: 8-10 questions
    • Arithmetic: 8-10 questions
    • Numbers: 6-8 questions
    • Geometry: 5-7 questions
    • Modern Maths: 1 or 2 questions
  • DI & LR Analysis: CAT 2019 had 32 questions from the DI & LR section and was moderately difficult for the candidates to comprehend. Time allocated to attempt this section was 60 minutes. The number of non-MCQ type of questions has increased from 27 last year to 31 this year.
  • English Comprehension Analysis: CAT 2019 exam had a tough English Comprehension part which had 34 questions. This section had to be finished in 60 minutes. The para jumbles this year had 4 sentences instead of 5. Rest of the questions asked were in below fashion:
    • Reading Comprehensions: 24 questions from 5 passages
    • Verbal Ability: 10 questions
    • Para jumbles: 4 questions
    • Para Summary: 3 questions
    • Out of content questions: 3 questions

CAT Slot-2 Analysis

The DILR section asked in Slot-2 was easier as compared to that of Slot-1. Quantitative Aptitude section was easy when compared to last year but was lengthier when compared to Slot-1. 15+ questions were asked from Arithmetic only. English Comprehension & Verbal section was of the same difficulty as Slot-1. It was difficult when compared to what was asked in CAT 2017 and CAT 2018.

  • VARC Analysis: As compared to the forenoon session of the CAT 2019 exam, the questions were no cakewalk for the students. Reading Comprehension part of VARC was very tricky and involved heavy reading. The difficulty level was higher than in the previous year's paper. RC section had 4 passages of 5 questions each and 1 passage of 4 questions. Verbal Ability section had 10 questions asked out of which 3 were Odd One Out-type, 3 were Para summary questions and 4 were PFQs.
  • DI & LR Analysis: The difficulty of the DI & LR section was easier when compared to the previous year's paper. This section had 8 sets with 4 questions each (32 questions in all). Out of these 8 sets, 4 sets were easier to solve which is unusual in CAT's history. Candidates who had conceptual clarity would have solved this section with ease.
  • Quant Analysis: The quant section of the forenoon session had questions from Arithmetic (Time, Work & Distance, Profit & Loss, Ratios, Equations, Interest), Geometry, Algebra, Numbers, and Mensuration. The questions were easy to solve because of the less worldly questions. Moreover, some questions would get solved in no time. The questions asked in this section were 34 in all.

CAT 2020 Percentile Predictor

  • CAT 2020 Results will be announced on January 5, 2021 (tentatively as per the official website). Candidates can download their scorecards from the official website. Candidates can predict their percentile using the CAT 2020 Percentile Predictor. This will help them to target specific colleges for admission.
  • Once the results have been declared, all participating institutes will release their cut off details for admissions. Candidates will be shortlisted based on their performance in CAT (percentile obtained).

CAT 2020 Cutoffs

The minimum percentile required to clear CAT 2020 Cutoff for different sections according to the previous years is provided below. Previous year CAT cut off can be very helpful to the students to plan carefully for the current year's exam. It is important to note that there are section wise cut-offs as well. A candidate cannot perform extremely well in one section and neglect the other. This makes the exam far more competitive. Further, there are different cutoffs for different categories. 

CAT Minimum Percentile (Previous Years)

CAT 2020 Admission Process

Candidates have to submit their original documents during CAT 2020 Counselling. There is no specific date for CAT 2020 Counselling, as each IIM and each private college will conduct its admission or selection process on different dates and times. If a candidate is selected for a particular program in an IIM, an email will be sent to that shortlisted candidate. Criteria for shortlisting candidates also differ amongst the IIMs.

The list of shortlisted candidates for a particular IIM will be available on the website of the concerned IIM. Moreover, as each IIM follows a different admission process, one must visit the website of that particular IIM to learn about the admission policy followed.

Generally, the selection process involves a Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI). CAT Score will be given the foremost importance for selection. Some IIMs might even consider some factors like previous academic records and work experience. However, the weightage given to each of these parameters varies from one IIM to the other.

  • CAT Score
  • Personal Interview
  • Written Ability Test (WAT)
  • Academic Diversity Factor for Bachelor's Degree (ADFB)
  • Work Experience

Note: Each college gives different weightage to the criteria mentioned above. Most colleges, nevertheless, give maximum weightage to the CAT Score.

Documents to be carried to the admission centre

  • Original Marksheets (all semesters) and degree certificates
  • SC/ST/PWD/EWS candidates must produce relevant Class/Caste/Disability or pertaining certificate along with a photocopy.
  • Final year candidates must produce a certificate from the principal or registrar of the institute or university along with previous exam's mark sheet (minimum of 50% for General/EWS and 45% for SC/ST/PWD Category)

Courses Offered by IIMs.. 

The following are the courses offered at prestigious IIMs to the candidates who qualify CAT with flying colours.

Courses Offered By IIMs
IIM AmritsarPGP
IIM Bodh GayaPGP
IIM CalcuttaMBA
IIM KozhikodePGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, EPGP (Kochi Campus & IL)
IIM SambalpurMBA
IIM SirmaurPGP
IIM TiruchirappalliPGP, PGPBM, PGPM-HR
IIM UdaipurMBA
IIM VishakapatnamPGP