Key Details and Tips for the CAT 2020 Aspirants

By Editorial

CAT 2020 is one of the most popular exams for students who are planning to enroll in a post-graduate program or fellowship program in management. The CAT exam offers admission to various postgraduate management courses in India. Apart from the IIMs, IISCs (Indian Institute of Science), IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and other prominent management colleges across the country, CAT scores are needed for admitting students into management courses.

  • This year the CAT (Common Aptitude Test) exam will take place in over 350 exam centers on 29 November 2020, which will be conducted by IIM Indore.
  • CAT 2020 exam session notification has been released on July 29 at the official website 
  • CAT 2020 Exam Application form is available from August 5 onwards and candidates can register till September 16, 2020.
  • Further, the authorities also released CAT mock tests prior to the actual exam date, in order to give the applicants a basic idea about CAT Exam Pattern.
  • Mainly, the CAT scores are based on the following three sections that are Verbal Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, where each section is allotted a time limit of an hour.

CAT Exam Highlights:

Exam Name CAT (Common Aptitude Test)
Exam Type  National
Exam Mode Online (Computer-based)
Conducting Body One of the IIMs (IIM Indore for 2020)
Application Fee INR 2000 for General (INR 1000 for SC/ ST/ PwD)
Duration of Exam 180 minutes (3 hrs.)
CAT Centers More than 350
Validity of Score 1 year
Official Website

CAT Exam Important Dates:



CAT Official Notification  29 Jul 2020
CAT 2020 Registration start 05 Aug 2020
CAT 2020 Registration start 16 Sep 2020
CAT 2020 Admit Card 28 Oct 2020
CAT 2020 Exam Date 29 Nov 2020
CAT 2020 Result Jan 2020 

Click Here: CAT 2020 Important Dates

CAT Registration Process:

The CAT exam registration process can be done by candidates via an online form available at the IIM’s official website and are advised to go through the instructions prior to filling up the CAT application form. Students with a Bachelor’s degree from any recognized institute/ college/ university are eligible for the CAT exam. In case any of the information provided is found to be incorrect, the candidature will be treated as invalid.

  • Go to the official website and register for the exam. Candidates must provide an active and valid Mobile Number and email ID, as the entire communication related to the exam will be notified on the same.
  • Enter personal details like contact information, academic details, work experience, program preference, and exam center preference while filling up the application form.
  • Then further candidates need to scan and upload their documents (Photograph, Signatures & Required certificated) according to CAT Exam photo Size, dimension, format, and Other Details.
  • As per the official information, CAT Application Fee for the 2020 session is INR 2,000 for general category candidates and INR 1000 for SC/ ST/ PWD. The application fee can be paid online via net banking/credit card/debit card.
  • In case, any of the information provided is found incorrect, there is a risk of application rejection. But in the form, a one-time facility to make corrections will be provided. 

CAT Exam Pattern:

The exam is conducted in two sessions and the CAT exam pattern changes every year where each section consists of about thirty questions. The CAT exam include first two sections as Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation followed by Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section. 

Mentioned below is the mark distribution as per the exam pattern in the tabular format:


Total Questions



Total Marks

VARC  34 24-25 9-10 102
DILR 32 24 8 96
QA 34 25-26 8-9 102
Total 100 73-75 25-27 300


Section Wise Important Topics:

VARC: This section comprises 34 questions, out of which a minimum of 17 questions is from Reading comprehension (RC). Generally, candidates are suggested to give the first 40 minutes of their sectional time limit to the RC part of the section. Some of the important topics in the VARC section are tabulated below:


No. of questions

Reading Comprehension  22-24
Para-Summary 2-3
Para-Jumbles 3-4
Sentence Completion and Correction 2-3
Fill in the Blanks 1-2
Odd Sentences 1-2
Vocabulary Based 1-2


DILR: This section consists of 32 questions in total. The section is often considered to be the most unpredictable out of the three. From these sections, the important question types are based on the following topics:


No. of questions

Seating Arrangement 5-6
Data Interpretation 5-8
Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams 2-3
Blood Relations 2-3
Clocks & Calendars 1-2
Assumption and Binary Logic 1-2
Puzzles 1-2
Tables 3-5
Data Sufficiency 3-5


QA: This is considered to be the most crucial section for the candidates in the CAT exam. They need to solve 34 questions in 60 minutes. The exam pattern contains both MCQs and TITAs.  Some of the most important topics are tabulated below:


No. of questions

Number System, Basic Arithmetic 5-10
Algebra 6-7
Geometry & Mensuration 6-7
Time, Speed, and Distance 1-2
Probability 1-2
Permutation & Combination 1-2
Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets 1-3
Profit, loss, and Discounts 1-2
Time and Work 1-2
Simple Interest and Compound Interest 1-2


Tips for CAT Exam Preparation:

Aspiring candidates are advised to go through the following instructions in order to prepare for the CAT exam: 

  • In case a student is in their final year of graduation and is planning to apply for CAT exam, then they are advised to first work towards their final grades and improve their communication skills, as it is essential to prepare for the selection process of top b-schools and that doesn’t happen overnight. 
  • Make your Basics stronger by identifying strengths and weaknesses and working towards improving the same will save a lot of time in the exam. Possessing strong knowledge on the basics and conceptual clarity can be one of the most important factors in the preparation of an exam like CAT. 
  • Candidates must plan their timetable according to the CAT exam dates to avoid last moment chaos by keeping track of the dates.
  • There is a huge availability of study materials for a popular exam like CAT both online and offline. But sometimes, multiple study resources can be confusing and stressful. So, students are suggested to research properly about their choice of study material and stick to the same instead of trying to cover topics from everywhere. 
  • There are the two pillars of clearing the CAT exam that are Accuracy and time management. Any student can clear CAT with 100 percentile if they are provided with an ample amount of time. Candidates need to practice mock tests and solve previous year papers frequently in order to crack the exam.

How to Prepare for CAT 2020 Exam:

  • Follow CAT 2020 Exam Pattern and Syllabus.
  • Go for the Mode of Preparation, either Coaching or Self Study with proper strategy.
  • Break down the Preparation in section-wise and topic-wise.
  • Make a Time Table and schedule your preparation.
  • Check your preparation level frequently by taking Mock tests and Solving Previous Year Practice papers.

Click Here: Previous year CAT questions

Click Here: Mock Tests for CAT 2020

Books for CAT Preparation:

The tabulation below are some of the best books for CAT recommended by toppers to prepare for CAT exam:

Name of Books

Author Name

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri
Quantitative Aptitude for All Competitive Examinations Abhijit Guha
Data Interpretation for CAT Nishit K Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency  Ananta Ashisha
The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Nishit K Sinha


Top Platforms for CAT Coaching:

Mentioned below are some of the top platforms for both offline and online CAT coaching:

Offline Platform

Online Platform

TIME Byju’s
Career Launcher Unacademy
IMS Learning Center Testfunda
PT Education ExamNest


Previous year CAT Cutoffs:

Tabulation below is the list of institutes accepting CAT scores along with their cut-offs:

Name of Institutes

CAT Cutoff

IIM Ahmedabad 99.6
IIM Bangalore 99.5
IIM Calcutta 99.5
IIM Lucknow 99.5
IIM Rohtak 97.11
IIM Kozhikode 96.3
IIM Indore 94.7
IIM Trichy 94.0
IIM Raipur 90.0
Department of Management Studies (IIT Delhi), New Delhi 85-90
Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai 80-85
XIME Bangalore 75-80
KIIT School Of Management, Bhubaneswar 70-75
ISB&M Pune 70-75


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