The CAT (Common Admission Test) is a pre-requisite to qualify for the IIMs. However in recent years, for the benefit of students, many other institutes in the country also accept the CAT as their qualifying test. It is one of the toughest entrance tests in the world. The CAT tests you on two subjects English and Math. These subjects are further subdivided into areas, viz Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation,DataSufficiency, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning and Verbal Ability. The areas are clearly demarcated into sections, with the number of sections and their composition varying from year to year. Hence the structure of the CAT is not certain.The CAT is held once every year, on the last Sunday in November.
What does the CAT judge?
The CAT is not a test of intelligence, it only indicates whether you have the necessary aptitude to do well in the course you wish to study. This test also identifies your general scholastic ability.
For years the CAT scores were kept secret and were available only to the management institutes affiliated in the form of percentiles. From 2002 however the CAT gives the students a scorecard allowing them to understand their section-wise and overall performance.
The CAT scorecard does not give any absolute or actual scores. The CAT being an aptitude test grades students on the relative scale. The scores are presented in two formats Percentage score (%score) and Percentile for each section and the overall test. A sample representation of the scores is given below.
The % score represents normalized percentage of scores secured by the candidate. It is a relative method of representing the score. This is not the actual % score.
Percentile indicates student's relative performance position among the total students who took the CAT. For example 98 percentile means that the student is among the top 2 percent of the population who took the CAT.