The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are some of the best B-Schools in the country and chances of getting through them are very low. That being said, the IIMs are some of the best business schools in India and are taught by some of the best faculty. Therefore, getting into an IIM is a very good thing for your career. Preparing for the IIM entrance can get you the IIM call which is one of the best things that can happen to you if you're an Indian student. This blog will tell you how to prepare for the IIM entrance

One of the biggest MBA entrance exams, CAT is conducted every year by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) on a rotational basis. CAT is a computer-based test held for admissions in elite B-Schools across India. A seat in these institutions promises high pay-packages and rewarding career in the corporate world. As such, CAT remains one of the most sought-after competitive examinations and attracts graduates from all streams. The score is not only accepted by the IIMs, but also by other 100+ top-notch B- Schools across the country. Approximately 4,000 seats are offered by the IIMs.

IIM Ahmedabad is likely to conduct CAT 2021 exam on November 28, 2021. Only a few months of preparation are left to crack CAT. The exam offers tough competition to get into IIMs or other top B-schools. Accordingly, the preparation for CAT 2021, the best and largest MBA entrance exam leading to admission in 20 IIMs and hundreds of other top MBA colleges in India requires a well-planned approach with time management. More than two lakh candidates appear in Common Admission Test (CAT) every year and the number is still rising giving a tough competition in MBA admission. The CAT exam is a gateway to India’s top MBA institutes, the IIMs and over 1200 other business schools. The exam is conducted by one of the IIMs on a rotational basis for IIMCAT.

CAT 2021 pattern

As per the revised CAT pattern, the CAT exam 2021 will consist of 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. Each section is timed with the individual time limit of 1 hour. Your plan to prepare for CAT 2021 needs to ensure high score in each of the 3 sections as there is also a CAT sectional score cut off in IIMs for shortlisting. Your preparation has to be as per the revised CAT pattern which is as under:


Section name
Total questions
  Total MCQs
(With negative marking)
  Total Non-MCQs
(Without negative marking)
Total maximum marks





*VARC: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

*DILR: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

*Quant: Quantitative Ability



Section Wise Exam Pattern For CAT 2021: Sections, sub-sections, Expected difficulty level
CAT exam was totally renovated by IIM Ahmedabad in 2015 and since then CAT has followed the same pattern for all the 3 sections. The section wise key features of CAT 2021 sectional exam pattern are:

VARC: 1st section

  • Total questions: 34 (For 3 Hours Test); 26 for 2 hours Test
  • RC passages: 4-5
  • Share of RC Based Questions: 70%
  • Type of RC Based questions: All MCQs with 1/3 negative marking
  • VA questions: 30%
  • Type of VA Questions: Non-MCQs without negative marking
  • LOD: Moderate to Very difficult
  • No Grammar or vocabulary based questions
  • Verbal Ability questions confines to 3 topics – Jumbled paragraph; Para summary; picking the odd sentence out of the jumbled sentences

DILR: 2nd section

  • Total questions: 32 (For 3 hours exam); 24 (For 2 hours Exam)
  • Share of DI questions: 50%
  • Share of LR questions: 50%
  • Type of Questions: MCQs: 70%
  • Non-MCQs: 30%
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Questions appear in set of 4
  • Time crunch is faced by test takers as questions are more time consuming

Quant: 3rd section

  • Total questions: 34 (For 3 hours test); 26 (For 2 hours Test)
  • Type of Questions: MCQs-70%; Non-MCQs: 30%
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • More questions are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & speed, Work/days, Compound interest


CAT 2021 Important Dates
Following are the CAT 2021 important dates like CAT Notification date, CAT exam date, and for other different activities related to the CAT exam 2021:

CAT Important Dates
 CAT 2021 Notification Date 
 July 24-25, 2021
 CAT Registration Start Date
 August 2-3, 2021
 Last Date to Apply for CAT exam 2021
 September 15, 2021 
 CAT 2021 Registration & Application Fee
 CAT 2021 Admit card Download Start date
 October 24, 2021
 Last Date for CAT 2021 Admit Card     Download
 November 28, 2021
 CAT 2021 Exam date
 November 28, 2021
 CAT 2021 Result date
 January 4, 2022 


CAT 2021 Exam: 
Following are the salient features of IIM CAT 2021 

 CAT Full Form
 Common Admission Test, conducted on yearly basis for MBA admission by one of the 6 older IIMs 
 CAT Exam date 2021
 November 28, 2021
 CAT Entrance exam sessions
 Conducted in 2 sessions – Morning & Afternoon on same day
 CAT Entrance Exam 2021 Convening IIM
 IIM Ahemdabad
 CAT Entrance Exam Mode
 Computer based exam 
 When to Check for CAT 2021 Notification
 On July 24-25, 2021 
 Details in CAT 2021 Notification 
 CAT Exam details, Application fee, Registration dates, IIMs & their management programmes through CAT
 Maximum Age Limit to appear in IIM CAT
 No Age Limit, Graduates with 50% marks can apply
 Number of Questions in CAT 2021
 100 questions divided in 3 sections
 Time duration of CAT 2021
 3 hours
 Sectional Time limit
 1 hour for each section
 Name of sections and number of questions
 VARC-34 Questions; DILR-32 questions; Quant-34 questions
 Expected CAT 2021 Difficulty level
 Moderate to Difficult
 Order of Sections
 Pre-fixed, no change allowed
 Colleges Accepting CAT 2021 for MBA admission   2022
 20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, JBIMS & 500 other MBA colleges in India
 CAT 2021 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 

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria 

Candidates having a graduation degree with an aggregate of 50 percent marks or equivalent CGPA (45 percent for reserved category) can apply for CAT 2021.

Candidates who have completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with 50 percent marks or equivalent (45 percent for reserved category).

Candidates in their final year of graduation degree are also eligible to apply for CAT 2021



Selection Process


On the basis of the CAT cut-off marks, IIMs and various b-schools shortlists the candidates. The shortlisted candidates are further called for Personal Interview (PI), Group Discussion (GD) and Written Ability Test (WAT). The admission will be done on the basis of the overall scores secured by the candidates in CAT score card, GD, PI and WAT. Apart from this, candidate’s academic performance and work experience is also taken into consideration at the time of admission. The IIMs have also release their own admission procedure and criteria for providing admission. The selection process varies B-school to B-schools.


Preparation Tips


Planning is the initial step for every task and for exam preparation it works too. But how one should prepare for CAT? And the answer is pretty simple, plan your study hours as per the syllabus. Go through the latest syllabus and exam pattern before start preparation. Refer the right study material and books that also contain the previous years solved question papers. Allot some of your time for rest also and don’t avoid revision.


MBA Programmes Offered by IIMs through CAT
Following are the various management programmes at IIMs in which admission is available through Common Admission Test 2021:

 IIM Campus
 Post Graduate Programmes (PGP)/MBA
IIM Fees *
 IIM Ahmedabad
Rs. 23.00 Lakh
 IIM Amritsar
Rs. 12.00 Lakh
 IIM Bangalore
Rs. 23.00 Lakh
 IIM Bodh Gaya
Rs. 10.60 Lakh
 IIM Calcutta
Rs. 23.00 Lakh
 IIM Indore
Rs. 17.07 Lakh
 IIM Jammu
Rs. 13.80 Lakh
 IIM Kashipur
Rs. 15.10 Lakh
 IIM Kozhikode
 PGP, PGP-BL, PGP-F, EPGP (Kochi Campus & IL)
Rs. 19.00 Lakh
 IIM Lucknow
Rs. 19.00 Lakh
 IIM Nagpur
Rs. 13.34 Lakh
 IIM Raipur
Rs. 14.20 Lakh (Excluding boarding charges)
 IIM Ranchi
Rs. 15.30 Lakh
 IIM Rohtak
Rs. 15.20 Lakh
 IIM Sambalpur
Rs. 13.03 Lakh
 RGIIM Shillong
Rs. 12.68 Lakh
 IIM Sirmaur
Rs. 11.75 (excluding international immersion programme)
 IIM Tiruchirappalli
Rs. 11.80 Lakh
 IIM Udaipur
Rs. 17.60 Lakh
 IIM Visakhapatnam
Rs. 10.70 (excluding international immersion programme)


 Excecutive MBA Programme Course Fee *
 IIM Ahmedabbad PGPX Rs. 25.00 Lakh
 IIM Bangalore EPGP Rs.25.89 Lakh
 IIM Culcutta MBA Ex Rs. 27.00 Lakh
 IIM Indore Rs. 20.00 Lakh
 IIM Kozhikode PGP BL Rs. 22.50 Lakh
 IIM Lucknow IPMX Rs. 23.50 Lakh

* There may be some variation in fees.

Recommended Business Magazines for CAT / MBA Aspirants

Business Today by India Today Group

Business Today by India Today Group

Business & Management Chronicle by Chronicle Publications

Business Line by the Hindu Group

Competition Success Review


Recommended Newspapers for CAT/ MBA Aspirants


Economics Time

The Hindu


The students who are giving the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2021 can also prepare from the unsolved question paper and model papers. When students will go through the unsolved question papers they will realize that the CAT exam pattern has changed over the years. It will help them to understand that they can never predict the CAT paper but they can keep their study focused.

Strategy We Follow:

CAT Specifics – 37 book+ !8 Sectional test +25 (Online + Offline full length tests) provided

Basics module – 5 books

Advanced Module – 4 books

Reference books –3 books