Is CAT Exam Tough? Learn the Difficulty Level and Tips to Ace

Author : Akanksha

Updated On : May 23, 2024

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Overview: CAT exam is one of the most sought-after MBA entrances of our country. Aspiring candidates like you often ponder to this question "Is CAT exam tough". The standard of this exam is so that it stands among the toughest exams for MBA admissions in top B-schools.

The CAT exam is designed to assess your aptitude based on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Quantitative Ability (QA). Having a grasp on these sections is crucial for you to succeed int the CAT exam.

In this blog besides answering the question "is CAT exam tough", we will cover many other aspects like why it's considered challenging, its difficulty level, and most importantly how can you overcome this challenge and ace in the exam.


Learn More: How to Prepare for CAT in 6-Months

Nature of CAT Exam: How is CAT Exam Tough

Given its comprehensive nature, it's natural to ask, "Is the CAT exam tough?" When we talk about the toughest exams in our country, the CAT entrance exam is always part of the discussion.

Nowadays, management has become a prominent and feasible career choice for many aspirants who wish to move ahead in the business and corporate world. Many candidates want to get into the top B-schools in the country. As almost all B-schools accept the scores of one single common entrance tests, the competition rises.

Because of this reason, the CAT exam is conducted every year by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). IIMs are the top choices for candidates who want to pursue postgraduate management programs like an MBA.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Check: CAT Exam Marking Scheme 2024

Is CAT Exam Tough? Let's Find Out

CAT exam is definitely one of the toughest exams of our country as the selection into the top b-schools of our country like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, XLRI, etc. becomes a little challenging because of the high cut offs of these institutes.

As per the data, you must know that around 3.3 lakhs candidates applied for CAT exam 2023. Around 60 students fight for a single seat of an IIM. The competition rises every year (see the table below)

Read More: What is CAT Exam Full Form

What is CAT Exam?

Here’s a brief overview of the CAT Entrance Exam 2024: 

CAT Exam Particulars CAT Exam 2024 Details
CAT Full Form Common Admission Test (CAT)
Conducting Institute IIMs
Exam Frequency Once a year
CAT Exam Date 2024 Sunday, November 24, 2024 (tentatively)
Eligibility Criteria Graduation with 50% aggregate (45% for SC/ST students)
Number of Applications in CAT exam 3.28 lakh (in 2023)
Exam Purpose Study at IIMs, SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, IMT and over 1,200 B-Schools in India
Courses Offered Through CAT Exam MBA/ PGDM
No. of test cities for CAT Exam 150

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Check: CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria 2024

Is CAT Exam Tough?

What Makes CAT the Toughest Exam of the Country?

To answer the most pondered over question "is CAT exam tough", let's see the reasons of why it is considered the toughest exam of India.

  1. Standard Questions: The questions in the CAT exams do not just contain application of formulas. Rather it requires a high level of critical and most importantly analytical thinking to comprehend the conceptual questions from the fundamental concepts. The complexity hence becomes high.
  2. Competitive Nature: As you saw the above statistical chart, it must be understood that aspirants like you are pulling themselves for the limited seats.
  3. Time Bound Online Test: The entrance test is completely time bound. As per the CAT 2023 paper pattern, there were 66 conceptual questions which are to be solved in 120 minutes with a sectional timing of 40 minutes. This requires aspirants to maintain the speed as well as accuracy.
  4. Complicated Syllabus: The syllabus of the CAT exam is never released by any official authority beforehand. It becomes tricky for candidates to prepare for an entrance from a syllabus based on CAT previous year's question papers which are asked from a wide range of topics.

Strategies to Overcome the CAT Exam Difficulty Level

Now that you got the answer to the question "is CAT exam tough", it's important that you prepare for this tough competition and high difficulty level. Following are the tips for you to escalate your CAT exam preparation:

  • Simplify and streamline the approach for your CAT exam preparation by taking a mock test. This initial step helps you identify your starting point and set your goals. A pre-preparation mock test highlights the areas you need to improve.
  • After understanding your current standing and target, clarify all fundamental concepts and their applications.
  • Take mock tests regularly to familiarize yourself with the CAT's question types, key concepts, and strategies for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Logical Reasoning (LR), and Quantitative Ability (QA) sections.
  • Based on your strengths, develop a strategy for efficiently covering the entire syllabus and begin taking sectional tests to deepen your understanding of each subject.
  • Finally, revision is critical. Once you've covered the CAT 2024 syllabus, dedicate time to revise thoroughly to reinforce your knowledge and improve your confidence before the exam.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Also Check: CAT Exam Preparation Books 2024 

Minimum Score Required to Get into IIMs Through CAT

CAT Cut off for IIM is announced to release the qualifying percentile in their official admission brochure. The table below provides the category-wise CAT Cut off for IIM for 2024:

IIM  General OBC EWS SC ST
IIM Ahmedabad 80 75 80 70 60
IIM Bangalore 85 75 75 70 65
IIM Kozhikode  85 75 75 65 55
IIM Calcutta 85 75 75 70 65
IIM Lucknow 90 82 82 65 60
IIM Mumbai 85 75 75 70 65
IIM Indore 90 80 90 60 50
IIM Raipur 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Rohtak 95 78 90 55 30
IIM Udaipur 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Kashipur 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Trichy 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Ranchi 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Shillong 75 75 75 60 50
IIM Visakhapatnam 80 70 72 45 35
IIM Jammu

Male- 90

Female- 87

Male- 72

Female- 70

Male- 68

Female- 65

Male- 52

Female- 50

Male- 37

Female- 34

IIM Nagpur 90 76.5 80 60 40
IIM Amritsar 85 75 85 55 40
IIM Bodh Gaya 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Sambalpur 74 74 70 54 40
IIM Sirmaur 92 74 70 54 40

The CAT cut off for different b-schools varies from college to college and is based on various factors such as the number of applicants, difficulty level of the exam, etc.

The CAT Cut off for IIMs varies from year to year. Generally, a student must get a percentile of 90+ to be shortlisted for the IIMs. 

Check: How to Prepare for the CAT Exam at Home?

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

Download Your Free CAT Prep Material

Fill your details

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is the CAT exam?

Is CAT tougher than IIT?

Is it difficult to score in CAT?

Can I do an MBA without a CAT?

Is CAT exam tough for average students?

Is CAT Exam Tough? Learn the Difficulty Level and Tips to Ace

Author : Akanksha

May 23, 2024

SHARE

Overview: CAT exam is one of the most sought-after MBA entrances of our country. Aspiring candidates like you often ponder to this question "Is CAT exam tough". The standard of this exam is so that it stands among the toughest exams for MBA admissions in top B-schools.

The CAT exam is designed to assess your aptitude based on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Quantitative Ability (QA). Having a grasp on these sections is crucial for you to succeed int the CAT exam.

In this blog besides answering the question "is CAT exam tough", we will cover many other aspects like why it's considered challenging, its difficulty level, and most importantly how can you overcome this challenge and ace in the exam.


Learn More: How to Prepare for CAT in 6-Months

Nature of CAT Exam: How is CAT Exam Tough

Given its comprehensive nature, it's natural to ask, "Is the CAT exam tough?" When we talk about the toughest exams in our country, the CAT entrance exam is always part of the discussion.

Nowadays, management has become a prominent and feasible career choice for many aspirants who wish to move ahead in the business and corporate world. Many candidates want to get into the top B-schools in the country. As almost all B-schools accept the scores of one single common entrance tests, the competition rises.

Because of this reason, the CAT exam is conducted every year by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). IIMs are the top choices for candidates who want to pursue postgraduate management programs like an MBA.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Check: CAT Exam Marking Scheme 2024

Is CAT Exam Tough? Let's Find Out

CAT exam is definitely one of the toughest exams of our country as the selection into the top b-schools of our country like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, XLRI, etc. becomes a little challenging because of the high cut offs of these institutes.

As per the data, you must know that around 3.3 lakhs candidates applied for CAT exam 2023. Around 60 students fight for a single seat of an IIM. The competition rises every year (see the table below)

Read More: What is CAT Exam Full Form

What is CAT Exam?

Here’s a brief overview of the CAT Entrance Exam 2024: 

CAT Exam Particulars CAT Exam 2024 Details
CAT Full Form Common Admission Test (CAT)
Conducting Institute IIMs
Exam Frequency Once a year
CAT Exam Date 2024 Sunday, November 24, 2024 (tentatively)
Eligibility Criteria Graduation with 50% aggregate (45% for SC/ST students)
Number of Applications in CAT exam 3.28 lakh (in 2023)
Exam Purpose Study at IIMs, SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, IMT and over 1,200 B-Schools in India
Courses Offered Through CAT Exam MBA/ PGDM
No. of test cities for CAT Exam 150

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Check: CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria 2024

Is CAT Exam Tough?

What Makes CAT the Toughest Exam of the Country?

To answer the most pondered over question "is CAT exam tough", let's see the reasons of why it is considered the toughest exam of India.

  1. Standard Questions: The questions in the CAT exams do not just contain application of formulas. Rather it requires a high level of critical and most importantly analytical thinking to comprehend the conceptual questions from the fundamental concepts. The complexity hence becomes high.
  2. Competitive Nature: As you saw the above statistical chart, it must be understood that aspirants like you are pulling themselves for the limited seats.
  3. Time Bound Online Test: The entrance test is completely time bound. As per the CAT 2023 paper pattern, there were 66 conceptual questions which are to be solved in 120 minutes with a sectional timing of 40 minutes. This requires aspirants to maintain the speed as well as accuracy.
  4. Complicated Syllabus: The syllabus of the CAT exam is never released by any official authority beforehand. It becomes tricky for candidates to prepare for an entrance from a syllabus based on CAT previous year's question papers which are asked from a wide range of topics.

Strategies to Overcome the CAT Exam Difficulty Level

Now that you got the answer to the question "is CAT exam tough", it's important that you prepare for this tough competition and high difficulty level. Following are the tips for you to escalate your CAT exam preparation:

  • Simplify and streamline the approach for your CAT exam preparation by taking a mock test. This initial step helps you identify your starting point and set your goals. A pre-preparation mock test highlights the areas you need to improve.
  • After understanding your current standing and target, clarify all fundamental concepts and their applications.
  • Take mock tests regularly to familiarize yourself with the CAT's question types, key concepts, and strategies for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Logical Reasoning (LR), and Quantitative Ability (QA) sections.
  • Based on your strengths, develop a strategy for efficiently covering the entire syllabus and begin taking sectional tests to deepen your understanding of each subject.
  • Finally, revision is critical. Once you've covered the CAT 2024 syllabus, dedicate time to revise thoroughly to reinforce your knowledge and improve your confidence before the exam.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Also Check: CAT Exam Preparation Books 2024 

Minimum Score Required to Get into IIMs Through CAT

CAT Cut off for IIM is announced to release the qualifying percentile in their official admission brochure. The table below provides the category-wise CAT Cut off for IIM for 2024:

IIM  General OBC EWS SC ST
IIM Ahmedabad 80 75 80 70 60
IIM Bangalore 85 75 75 70 65
IIM Kozhikode  85 75 75 65 55
IIM Calcutta 85 75 75 70 65
IIM Lucknow 90 82 82 65 60
IIM Mumbai 85 75 75 70 65
IIM Indore 90 80 90 60 50
IIM Raipur 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Rohtak 95 78 90 55 30
IIM Udaipur 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Kashipur 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Trichy 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Ranchi 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Shillong 75 75 75 60 50
IIM Visakhapatnam 80 70 72 45 35
IIM Jammu

Male- 90

Female- 87

Male- 72

Female- 70

Male- 68

Female- 65

Male- 52

Female- 50

Male- 37

Female- 34

IIM Nagpur 90 76.5 80 60 40
IIM Amritsar 85 75 85 55 40
IIM Bodh Gaya 92 74 70 54 40
IIM Sambalpur 74 74 70 54 40
IIM Sirmaur 92 74 70 54 40

The CAT cut off for different b-schools varies from college to college and is based on various factors such as the number of applicants, difficulty level of the exam, etc.

The CAT Cut off for IIMs varies from year to year. Generally, a student must get a percentile of 90+ to be shortlisted for the IIMs. 

Check: How to Prepare for the CAT Exam at Home?

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

Download Your Free CAT Prep Material

Fill your details

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is the CAT exam?

Is CAT tougher than IIT?

Is it difficult to score in CAT?

Can I do an MBA without a CAT?

Is CAT exam tough for average students?

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