CAT 2018: Important Dates, Schedule, Pattern, Syllabus and Preparation Strategy

IIM Calcutta and IIM Kozhikode are the biggest contenders to convene CAT 2018, although any of the other top four IIMs can be assigned this responsibility. During the last  5 years, only these two IIMs have not convened the Common Admission Test (CAT). Both these IIMs are known for their  different approach to conduct the exam and may change the exam pattern and difficult level, if they convene CAT 2018.


Institute Involved in CAT 2018

Common Admission Test (CAT) 2018 is the computer based and is the largest MBA entrance exam in India for admission in 2019 to 20 IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI, JBIMS, IMI, IMT, NITIE, MBA programmes at IITs and hundreds of other top MBA colleges in India.


CAT 2018 will be conducted by IIMs on a Sunday in the month of November or December 2018 in two sessions and will be a three hours duration exam with 100 questions.


More than 2 lakhs candidates register and apply for CAT each year. In 2017, there were 2.32 lakhs candidates who had applied for CAT. It is expected that CAT 2018 exam is likely to see participation of higher number of MBA aspirants.


CAT 2018: Computer Based Test

CAT 2018 will be a computer based exam of 3 hours duration with 100 questions divided in 3 sections and will be conducted in more than 140 test cities in India on a Sunday in the last week of November or first week of December 2018. CAT 2018, as per the past trends will be conducted in two sessions – morning and afternoon.


CAT 2018 Important dates

Events Important Dates​ (Tentative)​
CAT 2018 Notification date July 28, 2018
CAT 2018 Registration start date August 4, 2018
CAT 2018 Registration ends September 20, 2018
CAT 2018 Admit card release date October 25, 2018
CAT 2018 Exam date November 25, 2018 (declared)
CAT 2018 Result date January 2019 second week


CAT 2018 convening body: One of the top six IIMs

Although name of CAT 2018 convening body and CAT convener is yet to be announced, one of the top 6 IIMs namely – IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode  is assigned the responsibility of CAT convening body. During past 6-7 years since their inception, the 14 new or newest IIMs have not been given the responsibility to convene CAT. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has remained the testing partner of IIMs to conduct CAT since 2014 and for CAT 2018 also.


Following top IIMs have convened CAT exam in last 5 years:

CAT exam year
CAT convening IIM
IIM Calcutta/IIM Kozhikode
IIM Lucknow
IIM Bangalore
IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Indore
IIM Indore


CAT Exam was held in 15 to 20 days testing window till 2013 by IIMs. However, since 2014, CAT exam testing window has been shortened to one day only. Accordingly, CAT 2018 MBA entrance exam will also be held in single day two sessions.



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CAT 2018 Notification will be released by the IIMs in the last week of July 2018 in all the leading news papers simultaneously.  CAT 2018 convening IIM will also release the CAT 2018 notification and CAT advertisement to online websites a day before it is published in news papers.


Immediately after release of CAT 2018 notification by IIMs, the CAT registration and application process will begin in about a week’s time preferably in the first week of August, 2018.


If you have completed Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks or completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA), or are in the final year of Bachelor’s degree you can appear in CAT 2018 exam. There is no Age bar to apply and appear for CAT 2018 exam.


CAT 2018 will therefore offer a stiff competition for admission to top MBA colleges accepting CAT. Over the years the candidates applying for CAT aptitude test leading to IIM admission have been increasing year after year


Important points about CAT 2018

  • CAT 2018 exam is a computer based exam of 180 minutes duration with 100 questions divided in 3 sections of VARC, DILR, Quant.
  • Around 70% questions in CAT 2018 will carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Answers of about 30% questions will be free from any negative marking penalty.
  • One of the top 6 IIMs will convene CAT 2018 exam
  • TCS – Tata Consultancy Services is the test taking agency for CAT exam 2018
  • High score in each of the 3 sections in CAT exam 2018 may lead to admission shortlist for the 2019-21 batch in 20 IIMs.
  • CAT 2018 MBA entrance exam is the low cost MBA entrance test as it provides admission opportunity in 20 IIMs with the CAT 2018 registration fee of Rs.1900/- for General candidates and Rs.1000/- for reserved category. CAT 2018 Registration and CAT exam application fee taken together comes to less than Rs.100 per IIM.
  • CAT 2018 exam will offer a choice of more than 50 management programmes in 20 IIMs without any additional application fee for admission to academic session 2019-21.
  • Apart from IIMs, top MBA Colleges accepting CAT Score 2018 include FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, IMI New Delhi, JBIMS Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, TAPMI Manipal, BIMTECH Greater Noida, GIM Goa, Great Lakes Chennai, LIBA Chennai, IFMR Chennai, XIM Bhubaneswar and hundreds of other MBA colleges accepting CAT.
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