The Common Admission Test (CAT) for admission to MBA and other PG management programs at the Indian Institutes of Management. CAT is known to be one of the most difficult entrance examinations to crack. Recently, unofficial data related to the number of applicants actually turning up for the exam compared to the number of candidates who register have surfaced on the internet. Based on it, in the previous year CAT exam, 190144 candidates turned up to take the CAT exam although the total number of registered candidates were 227835 roughly translating to 83.45%.
As per unofficial sources, the number of CAT candidates who registered and those who actually took the test can be checked from the reference image below. It can be seen that the highest number of candidates who attended the test after registering are from the EWS category. Among 5851 registered candidates from the EWS category, 5300 actually attended the test. Similarly, out of 161275 registered candidates from the General category, only 134038 showed up and took the test. In the OBC (NCL) category, out of 37979 registered candidates, only 32915 candidates showed up.
The column at the extreme right (see image above) indicates the number of candidates who appeared in the test as opposed to the number of candidates who registered for CAT in percentage. Academic mentors publishing such unofficial information are of the view that the high level of competitiveness of the exam is the leading cause for such reduction in the number of candidates actually appearing for the test after registration. While some candidates register but are rejected due to incorrect submission of application form, others succumb to peer pressure and decide to skip the test even after registering.
One of the fundamental reasons behind the high level of competitiveness of the CAT exam is that the conducting IIM never specifies any pre-defined syllabus of the exam. In the previous year CAT exam, the question paper was based on the three sections of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA). The lack of a predefined syllabus means that candidates cannot just read text books to crack the exam. Instead, one must analyse past year papers and identify the type and nature of questions asked and then prepare for the exam accordingly.
The Indian Institutes of Management are reportedly known to ask tricky and unexpected questions in the Common Admission Test. It is one of the reasons as to why, one cannot pass the test by simply practicing question banks, past year papers and mock tests. Passing the CAT exam demands that candidates have in-depth knowledge and understanding of conceptual subjects. Without such understanding, it is impossible to attempt conceptual questions.
CAT exam is conventionally conducted in the month of November every year. The official notification for CAT 2021 is expected to release by last week of July 2021. Candidates intending for admission to MBA, PGP and Doctoral programs in Management at the IIMs or other listed institutes have to take the test and qualify in it. Aspirants are therefore advised to keep a close eye on the official website i.e. iimcat.ac.in and start preparing for the exam in advance.