The Common Admission Test (CAT), for two-year Post-Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) as well as Fellow Programme in management (FPM), is held every year, normally in the month of November, for the session beginning July next year.
This is the first step in the process of seeking admission to these courses offered by the Indian Institutes of Management – Ahemedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shillong. The CAT is held at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Durgapur, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, greater Noida, Gurgaon, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Patna, Pune, Ranchi, Siliguri and Varanasi.Your selection to PGPM or FPM is based on your performance in CAT, Group Discussion, Personal Interview, Scholastic Achievements and Work Experience. PGPM, which is recognized as equivalent to M.B.A. by Indian and foreign universities, caters to those aspiring to pursue careers in Management and is awarded on satisfactory completion of two-year Post-Graduate Programme. The fellowship programme, on the other hand, is aimed at those interest in research, consultant and teaching. Fellowship is conferred on those who successfully complete all the requirements of this programme. Fellow is recognized as equivalent to PhD by the Association of Indian Universities and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
CAT Goes Online
Till the year 2008 Common Admission Test (CAT) sued to be held just like other competitive examinations in which a printed paper was given to the candidates and they were to mark the answers on a sheet provided with the paper.
From the year 2009 (CAT 2009) the test is going to be held online. The Common Admission Test (CAT) will be a Computer Based Test (CBT) similarly to the existing tests held for GMAT, GRE and TOFEL, etc. The test will be conducted in a window of then days i.e. from November 28to December 7, 2009 for CAT 2009. The Computer Based Test for CAT will be a candidate based friendly test in terms of flexibility in the selection date, ease of registration process, better physical environment and test experience.
The Computer Based Test is not an adaptive test like GRE and GMAT where attempting every question is mandatory. The candidate can make a choice of questions he/she wants to answer. Some highlights of the new system are:
- Common Admission Test will be a Computer Based test and not Internet based test i.e. the test will not be on an internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals, a candidate will read the questions on a computer screen and choose the answer by clicking the correction option.
- There will be no major change in the format of the question paper.
- A candidate can take test only at a designated venue selected by him/her.
- The candidates do not have to buy a bulk CAT bulletin. The process is going to be almost paperless. A candidate has only to buy a scratch Voucher from the branch of the designated Bank and later register online for CAT 2009.
- A candidate has the option to choose a test date, session (morning/afternoon) and venue across various centers all over India subject to availability. in the year 2009, the test will be held during the period from November 28, 2009 to December 7, 2009.
- The duration of the test will be 2 hours and 30 minutes including the initial 15 minutes tutorial. No breaks will be given during the test.
- The test consists of questions that evaluate a candidate’s quantitative, verbal and logical data interpretative abilities.
- There will be a total of three sections in the test and there will be about 60-70 questions in the test.
- At the test centre, each candidate will be seated at a desk with a computer terminal and he/she will be provided with a scratch paper for calculations. After the test the candidates must leave the scratch paper at the desk.
- The Computer Based Test (CBT) will be conducted over a period of then days. It means students appearing in different slots will get different papers. As per IIMs the tests will be standardized and will be almost of same difficult level so that the percentile performance of the students does not change irrespective of the paper he/she gets.
Eligibility Criterion For Post Graduate Programmes In Management
For all IIMs, the Minimum Eligibility Criterion for Admission to PGP is given below :
You must hold a Bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent GGPA (45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) / Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Persons with Disability (PWD) category), of any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under section 3 or UGC Act, 1956 or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. The Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent qualification obtained by you must entail a minimum of there years of education after completing higher secondary schooling (10+2) or equivalent. The basis of computing the percentage obtained by you in the Bachelor’s Degree would be based on the practice followed by University/Institution from where you have obtained the Degree. in case of the candidates being awarded grades / CGPA instead of marks, the equivalence would be based on the equivalence certified by the University/Institution from where they have obtained Bachelor’s Degree. In case the University Institution des not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by the IIMs by dividing obtained CGPA with the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying resultant by 100.
Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply. IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided at Selection Process of IIMs.
If you belong to SC or ST categories, your caste/tribe must be listed in the Government of India schedule. He caste certificate that you send to IIM should be in the Government approved format and should clearly state L (a) Name of your caste/tribe; (b) Whether you belong to Schedule Caste or Scheduled Tribe; (c) District and the State or Union Territory of your ordinary; and (d) the appropriate Government of India schedule under which your caste/tribe is approved by it as Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. A copy of the certificate must be sent to CAT Centre, C/O PGP Admission Office, Indian Institute of Management, Vastrapur, Ahemdabad-380015. Mention the Voucher Serial Number on the certificate, Failure to produce a copy of the caste certificate will result in the rejection of your CAT registration.
If you belong to the Non-Creamy Other Backward Classes (NC-O, BC) you must produce the NC-OBC certificate duly signed by competent authority and enclose its photocopy at the time of interviews. Moreover, teh certificate must be submitted at the time of joining programmes of any of the IIMs. Failure to do so during the post CAT selection process will result in your not being considered under the reserved category.
If you belong to Differently Abled )DA) Category, a copy of the DA certificate must be sent to CAT Centre, C/p PGP Admission Office, India Institute of Management, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad-380015. Mention the Voucher Serial Number on the DA certificate. Failure to produce a copy of the DA certificate will result in the rejection of your CAT registration. The DA certificate must be shown and a photocopy enclosed at the time of interview. Moreover, the DA certificate must be submitted at the time of joining programmes of any of the IIMs.
Various steps involved in Applying / Registration for Computer Based Test for Common Admission Test :
On the announcement of schedule for Common Admission Test a candidate has to obtain Voucher from the branch of designated Bank.
For CAT 2009, Vouchers can be obtained from branches of Axis Bank during the period from September 9, 2009 to October 1st 2009 for Rs. 1,4000 (Rs. 700 for SC/ST candidates). A candidate has to buy only one CAT 2009 Voucher irrespective of the number of institutions he/she is applying to.
The Voucher must be bought only in the name of the candidate as it appears in the school leaving certificate. The Voucher is not transferable and in no case it can be refunded. The details of the Axis Bank branches can be found on the website: www.catiim.in.
After purchasing the Voucher, the candidate has to register on line and no forms has to be filled and sent to IIM. To register for CAT 2009 go to website: www.catiim.in and follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
You must create log in information i.e. User ID and a Password. The user ID you can choose :
- A combination of up to 50 alphanumeric characters.
- contain no space or special characters.
The Password you choose:
- Must be at least 7 but no more than 20 characters long.
- Must contain at least one alpha and one numeric character.
- Cannot be your User ID.
- Must not contain any space.
- In case sensitive (upper and lower case matters).
After the successful submission of a candidate’s profile a copy of the profile will be sent to the candidate by email.
After the receipt of the copy of the profile, a candidate has to continue registration process to schedule an appointment to take Common Admission Test (CAT). You have to choose a site and you will be provided with the dates and time (sessions) available at that site.
You should identify the date / site / session where you want to take the test and click on the same. After finalization of your site / date / session, you will get a Admit Card with these details. The candidates have the option to reschedule the appointment during the period of registration i.e. September 9, 2009 to October 1, 2009.
Important Points To Remember
- The Bank voucher is non-transferable and must only be purchased in the name of candidate.
- The online Registration must be don carefully to avoid rejection at a later stage.
- You have to take the test on the schedule slot allotted to you. You do not need any computer experience or typing skill to take the test. There will be short tutorial of 15 minutes in the beginning of the test about the features of test.
- Reporting for the Test : If you have registered for Session 1 (morning session), you are required to arrive at the test centre no later than 8:30 AM. Testing will begin at 10 AM and end at 12:30 PM. If you have registered for Session 2 (afternoon session), you are required to arrive at the test centre no later than 2:00 PM. Testing will begin at 3:30 PM and end at 6 PM.
- You will need to bring the following items with you to the test centre :
- Admit Card : You must bring Admit Card with you to the test centre. you will not be allowed to take the test without it.
- Required Identification : You must present a valid (non-expired) form of photo identification before you can sit for the test. Acceptable forms of photo identification include: driver’s license, passport; PAN card; voter ID; college ID; employee identification card; or a notarized Affidavit with photo, signature, date of birth and residential address.
- Note : If you do not present an appropriate photo identification mentioned above, you will not be allowed to take the test.
- To ensure that all the candidates are tested under equally favorable conditions, the following regulations and procedures will be observed at each test centre. Your failure to follow nay of the testing regulation may result in your disqualification. Your performance at the test centre can be audio taped and videotaped.
- No reference materials, paper or study materials are allowed at the test centre. If you are found with these or any other aids, you will not be allowed to continue the test and your answer will not be scored. You will be provided with scratch papers and pencils to use during the test session. These items (used and unused) must be returned at the end of the test session. Removing scratch paper from the test centre will be considered an act of misconduct.
- Personal items, other than identification documents, are not allowed in the testing room. This includes cell phones, PDAs, BlackBerry devices, digital/analog watches, calculators and any other electronic or photographic devices. You will not have access to your personal items during the test. if you fail to follow the directions of the test centre staff, you will not be permitted to take the test. Any violation of this procedure during the test may result in cancellation of your scores, dismissal by the test centre staff, or banning from future testing. Test centers and IIM assume no responsibility for personal items or devices that your choose to bring into the test centers.
- There are no scheduled or unscheduled breaks. Once you have been seated at the test centre, you must remain in your seat during the test except when authorized to leave by a test centre staff member.
- Friends or relatives who accompany you to the test centre are not allowed to wait in the test centre or be in contact with you while you take the test.
- Candidates who engage in any kind of misconduct, disruptive or offensive behavior may be dismissed from the test. Examples are: giving or receiving help, taking part in an act of impersonation, removing test materials or notes from the testing room, using the rude or offensive language and behavior that delay or interrupt testing.
- Weapons are strictly prohibited at the test centre.
- Test centre administrators are not allowed to answer any questions pertaining to the test question on the test, you should answer the question to the best of your ability.
Advice to the students
The change in the testing method and environment will definitely affect the performance of the students. The familiarity with the online medium will affect the performance to the significant level. When reading from the computer screens the reading speed is estimated to drop by 20-30 percent from when reading from the printed paper. hence the sections that will have maximum impact are Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation as compared to other sections. The performance of the student will also depend on the format of the paper as it is being held online for the first time. In order to overcome the problem to some extent, the candidates are advised to get adequate practice on the computer. They should take online tests outside their homes at testing centers. Many online testing facilities are available in the market. The students must focus on the basics and fundamentals and should strengthen their vocabulary. The students should practice for reading on the computer screen so as to maintain good reading speed.
CAT Result and Short-listing
CAT 2009 result will be announced from Friday, 22 January 2010 onwards on the CAT website. Simultaneously, CAT website will also list the names of the candidates short-listed for interviews by IIMs for PGP. Each IIM will send interview letters to the candidates it has short-listed. The criteria for short-listing varies from IIM to IIM.
Interview Centre : The Interview will be held at the centre selected by the candidates. You must select the centre carefully from the list given below.
Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi
Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Indore, Kolkata
Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai
Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai
Bangalore, Shillong, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
Verification of Documents after Short-listing
If a candidate is short-listed for interview by IIM, he/she has to comply with the following eligibility
Mark Sheets and Degree Certificate : A candidate must show original mark sheets and submit photocopies to prove his/her eligibility at the time of interview, Further, if a candidate is selected for a programme, original degree certificate and mark sheets along with their photocopies be submitted for verification at the time of joining the programme.
Reservation Category Requirements : If short-listed for interview, SC, ST, NC-OBC, and DA candidates must show the original caste / class / disability certificate and submit a photocopy at the time of interview. Further, if a candidate is selected for a programme, original certificate and its photocopy must be submitted for verification at the time of joining a programme.
Candidates in the Final Year of Graduation : If short-listed for interview, candidates appearing for the final bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification examination must show an original certificate from the Principal / Head of the Department / Registrar / Director of the university / institution certifying that the candidate has obtained 50% marks or equivalent (45% in case of the candidates belonging to SC, ST and DA category) based on latest available grades / marks. He / she must submit a photocopy of the original certificate at the time of interview. For the PGP of IIMs, such candidates, if selected, will be allowed to join the programme provisionally only if they submit a certificate latest by June 30, 2010 from the Principal/Registrar of their college/institute (issued on or before June 30, 2010) stating that they have completed all the requirements (the results may, however, be awaited) for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate. Their admission will be confirmed only when they submit original mark sheet and degree certificate of having passed the bachelor’s degree / equivalent qualification referred to in certificate issued by Principal / Registrar of their college / institute. They must obtain at least 50% marks or equivalent. They also must submit a photocopy of the mark sheets and degree certificate. The deadline for submission of the mark sheet and the certificate is December 31, 2010. Non-fulfillment of this condition will automatically result in the cancellation of the provisional admission. IIMs would not allow any candidate to join their programme in case the candidate is unable to complete all the requirements for a bachelor degree on or before June 30, 2010. No admission will be offered to any candidate after June 30, 2010.