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Can we use calculator in CAT Exam? CAT examination policy

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

Updated On : September 14, 2023


Summary: Are you planning to take the CAT (Common Admission Test) for admission into a prestigious MBA program? One question that might be on your mind is whether you can use a calculator during the exam. In this article, we'll explore the CAT examination policy regarding calculator usage and its implications for candidates. Understanding this policy is crucial for effective preparation and success in the CAT exam. 

If you're planning to take the CAT (Common Admission Test) and get an MBA from a prestigious college, you might wonder if you can use a calculator in the CAT exam.

The CAT entrance exam is well-known for its rigorous nature and for assessing a candidate's problem-solving abilities.

Can we use a system calculator for the CAT exam?

In this article, we will look into the CAT examination policy regarding the use of calculators and the repercussions for aspirants like you. 

Can we use calculator in CAT Exam: CAT examination policy?

Let's explore the right answer! 

The Importance of the CAT Exam 

Before we get into calculator trouble, it's important to understand the importance of the CAT exam.

The CAT exam acts as a gateway to prestigious business colleges around India, offering admission to desired MBA programs.

As an aspiring MBA applicant, the CAT entrance exam is extremely important and can have a considerable impact on your future employment chances. 

cat 2023 super-30 course

cat 2023 super-30 course

CAT Examination Policy 

CAT allows the use of an on-screen calculator, which is a basic one. Any type of physical calculator is not allowed.

This policy is based on the premise that CAT examines your ability to answer complicated mathematical problems and do quick mental calculations.

The exam committee aims to assess your numeric aptitude, logical reasoning, and analytical skills without the use of physical calculators. 

Read more: CAT exam day instructions

Implications for Candidates 

Being unable to use a physical calculator during the CAT exam can be stressful for a CAT candidate at first. However, it is necessary to acknowledge the benefits of this strategy.

  • For starters, the time limit forces you to improve your mental maths skills, which can be beneficial in real-world business situations when quick calculations are essential.
  • Second, it levels the playing field for all candidates, assuring fairness by removing any advantage that physical calculator use may bring to some. 

Read more: CAT Eaxm preparation strategy

Developing mental math skills 

The CAT exam assesses your ability to analyse and answer numerical problems quickly. You're forced to improve your mental maths skills without the help of a physical calculator. 

  • Regularly perform mental calculations, beginning with fundamental arithmetic and progressively graduating to more complex processes.  
  • Remember that repetition develops perfection, and constant effort will result in increased speed and accuracy. 

Read more: CAT Exam Maths Syllabus

Adopting effective problem-solving strategies 

Without a physical calculator in the CAT exam, adopting effective problem-solving skills becomes essential.

Approximation, estimate, and breaking down large problems into simpler components are all useful strategies.

These strategies not only save time but also allow you to approach difficult questions carefully. 

Read more: CAT exam previous year question papers

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series

Mock tests and time management 

  • Mock exams are essential for passing the CAT entrance exam.  
  • Take mock tests under simulated exam conditions on a regular basis to become used to the calculator-free atmosphere.  
  • Focus on time management to ensure you finish the exam on time.  
  • Practise allocating adequate time to different sections and questions, refining your ability to prioritise and optimise your performance. 

According to recent statistics, the number of applicants for the CAT exam has been gradually increasing over the years.

In 2022, over 2.30 lakh applicants attended the CAT exam, indicating the competitiveness and demand for MBA programs.

This research emphasises the significance of thorough preparation, including refining your mental math ability, in order to stand out among an extensive number of applicants. 

Read more: Why is CAT Exam important?


Can we use calculator in CAT exam?

While not using a physical calculator in the CAT exam may seem daunting, it ultimately attempts to assess your aptitude and problem-solving ability in a fair and complete manner (And remember, the basic on-screen calculator can still be used on the computer). You can successfully overcome this challenge by focusing on developing mental math skills, applying effective problem-solving strategies, and practising in real-life situations. Remember that the CAT exam is a test of your determination, adaptability, and willpower, as well as your knowledge. Accept the challenge, keep focused, and do your best. Best of luck! 

Check: CAT Preparation Tips

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a calculator during the CAT (Common Admission Test) exam?

Why is calculator usage prohibited in the CAT exam?

What skills does the CAT exam aim to assess by not allowing calculators?

What are some effective problem-solving strategies to compensate for the absence of a calculator?

How can mock tests help me prepare for the calculator-free environment of the CAT exam?

How important is time management in the CAT exam, considering the absence of calculators?


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