What is the CAT Exam?
CAT is the Common Admission Test for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes in 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top MBA colleges like FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, IMI New Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad and hundreds of other top MBA colleges in India. IIMs will offer admission on the basis of CAT 2020 only and will not accept any other test score. There are more than 150 cities and more than 400 venues where CAT 2020 will be conducted in India. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian institute of Science (IISC) also use CAT for admission to their Management programmes.

CAT 2020 Exam: Highlights & Key Features

Following are the salient features of CAT 2020 with details on CAT exam date 2020, CAT Notification, CAT eligibility among other key points


CAT Full Form

Common Admission Test, conducted on yearly basis for MBA admission by one of the 6 older IIMs 

CAT Exam date 2020

November 29, 2020

CAT Entrance exam sessions

Conducted in 2 sessions – Morning & Afternoon on same day

CAT Entrance Exam 2020 Convening IIM

IIM Indore

CAT Entrance Exam Mode

Computer based exam but not an online exam

When to Check for CAT Notification 2020

On July 27-28, 2020 on and in News papers

Details in CAT Notification 2020

CAT Exam details, Application fee, Registration dates, IIMs & their programmes

Maximum Age Limit to appear in IIM CAT

No Age Limit, Graduates with 50% marks can apply

Number of Questions in CAT 2020

100 questions divided in 3 sections

Time duration of CAT 2020

3 hours

Sectional Time limit

1 hour for 1 section

Name of sections and number of questions

VARC-34 Questions; DILR-32 questions; Quant-34 questions

Difficulty level of CAT 2020

Moderate to Difficult

Order of Sections

Pre-fixed, no change allowed

Colleges Accepting CAT 2020 for MBA admission

20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, JBIMS & 500 other MBA colleges in India

CAT 2020 Application Fee


How to Apply for CAT

Application process is online only

IIMs’ Application Fee

No Separate Application Fee to apply for IIM. CAT  Registration Fee covers application fee of all 20 IIMs 

Eligibility to Appear in CAT 2020

A candidate with minimum 50% marks in graduation can appear in CAT 2020. A final year student in graduation can also appear in CAT conducted by IIMs. However, there is no age limit to apply and appear in CAT 2020.


CAT 2020 Important Dates

Following are the CAT 2020 important dates for different activities related to the CAT exam 2020:



CAT Important Dates

CAT 2020 Notification Date

July 27, 2020

CAT 2020 Registration Start Date

August 4, 2020

Last Date to Apply for CAT 2020

September 18, 2020 

CAT 2020 Registration & Application Fee


CAT 2020 Admit card Download Start date

October 24, 2020

Last Date for CAT 2020 Admit Card Download

November 29, 2020

CAT 2020 Exam date

November 29, 2020

CAT 2020 Result date

January 5, 2021 

(All dates Tentative)


CAT Exam Details 2020: Pattern

CAT exam details and exam structure since 2015 have remained on similar pattern with time duration, number of questions and sections as under:

  • 180 Minutes Exam: CAT is a computer delivered test of 3 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam
  • 100 Questions: CAT will have 100 questions divided in 3 sections of VARC, DILR and Quantitative Ability. Earlier CAT used to have 60 questions divided in two sections and had only MCQ type questions with negative marking.
  • 25% No Penalty Questions: Out of 100 questions in CAT 2020, more than 25 questions will not have negative marking. CAT 2020 is divided into MCQ and Non-MCQ type of questions and the Non-MCQs do not carry negative marking. In case any non-MCQ has negative marking, a few MCQs are changed to no negative marking questions.
  • 70-75% CAT Questions with Negative Marking: More than 70% questions in CAT 2020 are of MCQ type and will carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Minimum CAT Score Requirement by IIMs: A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile in CAT 2020 is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round
  • Other Criteria with CAT score: Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in CAT 2020 exam, you need to have good academic profile, diversity, to get into IIMs.

CAT 2020 Exam Syllabus

During the last 4 years, CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. Major changes in CAT Syllabus 2020 are:

  • CAT Syllabus is changed and contains different type of questions now.
  • 25-30% Questions in CAT syllabus are no penalty questions now
  • Most of the changes in CAT syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section as the topics and number of questions in VARC section have changed.
  • A few changes in CAT syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section with more focus on Arithmetic questions

Although CAT exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs, it overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Mode of CAT

CAT is a computer based entrance test of three hours duration with 100 questions divided in three sections and has a time limit of one hour for each section. 


MBA Programmes Offered by IIMs through CAT

Following are the various management programmes at IIMs in which admission is available through Common Admission Test 2020:



Post Graduate Programmes (PGP)/MBA

IIM Ahmedabad


IIM Amritsar


IIM Bangalore


IIM Bodh Gaya


IIM Calcutta


IIM Indore


IIM Jammu


IIM Kashipur


IIM Kozhikode

PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, EPGP (Kochi Campus & IL)

IIM Lucknow


IIM Nagpur


IIM Raipur


IIM Ranchi


IIM Rohtak


IIM Sambalpur


RGIIM Shillong


IIM Sirmaur


IIM Tiruchirappalli


IIM Udaipur


IIM Visakhapatnam



Low Cost Exam: CAT Registration and CAT exam application fee taken together comes to Rs.100 per IIM for General category and Rs.50/- per IIM for Reserved category. No fee to be paid to apply for any individual IIM 

CAT Eligibility for General  & NC-OBC Candidates

  • The candidate must hold Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA.
  • Candidates who have completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with 50% marks 

CAT Eligibility for SC/ST/PwD Candidates

Reserved category candidates applying for CAT 2020 are eligible if they possess one of the following qualifications:

  • Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) category candidates need  45% marks in graduation 
  • Candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2020
  • Candidates who have completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with 45% marks 

CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students

  • The category wise CAT Eligibility for final year students is as under:
  • General/NC-OBC/EWS: CAT Eligibility for final year students in this category requires that the candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2020. They should score minimum 50% marks when the result is declared
  • SC/ST/PwD Candidates: CAT Eligibility for final year students in this category requires that the candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2020. They should score minimum 45% marks when the result is declared
  • If selected, the final year candidates will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if she/he submits a certificate latest by June 30, 2021 from the Principal/ Registrar of the College/Institute (issued on or before June 30, 2021) stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate  

CAT Eligibility Age

There is no CAT eligibility age bar for any category of candidates who are applying for MICAT 2020 exam.