CAT 2019: Exam Date, Registration, Syllabus, Preparation, Books

CAT 2019 exam date is November 24, 2019, as confirmed by IIM Kozhikode in its Media release dated July 26, 2019. IIM Kozhikode who has released the CAT 2019 notification is conducting CAT exam this year. CAT 2019 Notification is a comprehensive information document about the CAT exam 2019 and contains details about the key changes in CAT 2019 exam, CAT dates for Registration, Admit Card, Mock Test among others apart from the CAT 2019 Exam pattern. All the MBA programmes in IIMs where admission is through CAT exam 2019 are listed in the notification.


CAT 2019: Key Changes

The CAT 2019 exam will have the following changes over Last year:

  • The exam is conducted by IIM Kozhikode
  • CAT Exam 2019 Date is November 24, 2019
  • The number of Test Cities for CAT 2019 increased to 156 from 147 last year
  • An option to choose 4 out of 156 test cities will be available while applying for CAT 2019
  • CAT 2019 Exam duration remains of 3 hours
  • CAT exam 2019 will be conducted in two separate sessions-Morning and Afternoon
  • CAT 2019 Exam will be divided into MCQs and Non-MCQ type questions
  • Tutorials to understand the format of CAT 2019 Test and question pattern will be available on the CAT website from October 16, 2019

It is officially announced by IIM Kozhikode now although had announced it months back that CAT 2019 Exam date is November 24, 2019. Common Admission Test (CAT) 2019 is the mandatory entrance exam for admission to MBA 2020 in 20 IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India. The exam is therefore referred to as IIM CAT and is conducted by IIMs on an annual basis.


CAT 2019 Exam will be conducted by IIM Kozhikode in two sessions on Sunday, Nov 24, 2019, as a computer based test at more than 400 testing venues in 156 test cities across the country. More than 2 lakh candidates are expected to appear in Common Admission Test (CAT) 2019. CAT is conducted by one of the older IIMs every year. Last year 2.41 lakhs candidates had registered and applied for CAT exam.

CAT 2019: Key Facts
Following are the salient features of CAT 2019 exam:

CAT Full Form
Common Admission Test, conducted on yearly basis for MBA admission by one of the 6 older IIMs
CAT 2019 exam date
November 24, 2019
CAT 2019 Exam sessions
Conducted in 2 sessions – Morning & Afternoon on same day
CAT 2019 Convening IIM
IIM Kozhikode
Type of CAT exam
CAT 2019 is a computer based exam but not an online exam
CAT 2019 Application Fee & Process
Rs.1900/-, application process is online only
Application fee for IIMs
CAT 2019 Registration Fee covers application fee of all 20 IIMs
Maximum Age Limit to apply
No Age Limit, Graduates with 50% marks can apply
Number of Questions in CAT 2019
100 questions divided in 3 sections
Time duration of CAT 2019 exam
3 hours with individual time limit of 1 hour for 1 section
Name of sections and number of questions
VARC-34 Questions; DILR-32 questions; Quant-34 questions
Difficulty level of CAT exam
Moderate to Difficult
Order of Sections
Pre-fixed, no change allowed
Colleges Accepting CAT 2019 for MBA admission
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, JBIMS & 500 other MBA colleges

CAT 2019 Important Dates
Complete CAT 2019 exam schedule beginning with CAT 2019 Notification, registration & application start dates is shared below:

Important Dates
CAT Exam Notification Date in News Papers
July 28, 2019
CAT 2019 Registration Start Date
August 7, 2019
Last Date to Apply for CAT 2019
September 18, 2019
CAT Exam Registration & Application Fee
CAT Exam Admit card Download Start date
October 23, 2019
Last Date for CAT 2019 Admit Card Download
November 24, 2019
CAT 2019 Exam date
November 24, 2019
CAT 2019 Result date
January 7, 2020

CAT exam is the largest MBA entrance test leading to admission in top MBA colleges of India. CAT Exam will offer admission opportunity for MBA admission in 2020 to 20 IIMs and more than 500 other top MBA/PGDM colleges including FMS, SPJIMR, MDI, among others . CAT exam will have a combination of MCQs and Non-MCQs to provide level playing field to the students of all streams. No change in the CAT 2019 exam pattern has been announced. The CAT exam duration remains of three hours with 100 questions divided in three sections, as was the last year.


CAT 2019 Eligibility
If you have completed Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks or completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA), or are in the final year of Bachelor’s degree you can appear in CAT exam. There is no Age bar to apply and appear for CAT exam.


CAT 2019 will therefore offer a stiff competition for admission to top MBA colleges accepting CAT. Over the years the candidates applying for CAT aptitude test leading to IIM admission have been increasing year after year.


CAT 2019 Notification
The CAT Notification 2019 has been published on July 28 in all the leading news papers and after one week of its publication IIM CAT exam registration starts on August 7. The CAT Notification 2019  contains details about CAT Registration dates, CAT Admit card dates, CAT exam date and CAT Result Date. Apart from this, the CAT official notification has details about the CAT Eligibility criteria and the details about the MBA programmes offered by all the 20 IIMs.


CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
Registration process for CAT 2019 starts on August 7, 2019 at 10 AM. The CAT registration  process will remain open for more than one and a half month. The last date to apply for CAT 2019 is September 18, 2019. During the last three years, CAT exam application last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons.

CAT 2019 Exam Registration & Application Process
Registration process for CAT 2019 starts after a week from the date of CAT exam notification. As such the CAT registration  process will start on August 5, 2019 at 10AM and will remain open for more than one and a half month. During the last three years, CAT exam application last date was extended by 5-7 days due to various reasons. The last date to apply for CAT exam is to close on September 18, 2019 going by the past trends.


CAT 2019 Exam: Pattern

  • 180 Minutes Exam: CAT exam is a computer delivered test of 3 hours duration but it is not an Online Exam
  • 100 Questions: CAT exam will have 100 questions divided in 3 sections of VARC, DILR and Quantitative Ability.
  • 25% No Penalty Questions: Out of 100 questions in CAT 2019, more than 25 questions will not have negative marking. CAT 2019 is divided into MCQ and Non-MCQ type of questions and the Non-MCQs do not carry negative marking. In case any non-MCQ has negative marking, a few MCQs are changed to no negative marking questions.
  • 70-75% CAT Questions with Negative Marking: More than 70% questions in CAT 2019 are of MCQ type and will carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Minimum CAT Score Requirement by IIMs: A Minimum qualifying score between 70 and 90 percentile in CAT 2019 is required by IIMs in each of the 3 sections to shortlist candidates for final admission round
  • Other Criteria with CAT score: Apart from High score in each of the 3 sections in CAT exam, you need to have good academic profile, diversity, to get into IIMs.

CAT 2019 Exam Syllabus
During the last 3 years, CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. The biggest change is in type of questions some of which are no penalty questions now. Most of the changes in CAT syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section. The topics and number of questions in VARC section have changed. Similarly a few changes in CAT syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section also.


Although CAT exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs, it overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.


CAT Exam 2019: Preparation
The best way to prepare for CAT exam is to devise your own preparation strategy and then find out whether you need to join CAT coaching institute.


CAT exam toppers  have advised following CAT preparation strategy:

  1. Choose Best CAT Preparation Books
    Making the right choice of subject-wise CAT preparation books to crack CAT 2019 is the first step in your CAT preparation journey. It is better to choose the best CAT preparation books for each of the 3 sections in CAT exam namely Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. If you make a wise choice of books, your CAT preparation journey is well begun.
  2. How to Prepare for VARC for CAT 2019  
    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension is the first section in CAT Exam. The composition of VARC Section in CAT is:
CAT 2019 VARC Component
Comprehension and Verbal Ability pattern
Section Name
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Total VARC Questions
Total Verbal Ability Questions
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the section
60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer
Difficulty Level of Verbal Ability Questions
Moderate to High
No Negative Marking Questions in CAT Verbal Ability section

Best Books for VARC Preparation for CAT 2019:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha
  • Arihant Book on Verbal Ability: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh..
  1. How to Prepare for DILR for CAT 2019?
    Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is the 2nd Section in CAT 2019. The section is divided in two parts DI with 16 questions and LR with 16 questions:
CAT 2019 DILR Section
Questions in DILR 2019 Section
Section Name
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Total DILR Questions
Number of Data Interpretation Problems for CAT
Type of DI Questions for CAT
Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 DI problems
Total questions Based on Data Interpretation problems for CAT
Number of Logical Reasoning Problems
Total Questions Based on LR problems
Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 LR problems
Bifurcation of DI & LR Based Questions
12 MCQs for DI & 12 for LR
4 Non-MCQs for DI and 4 for LR
DILR Time to attempt the complete section
60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer
Difficulty Level of DILR Questions
Moderate to High
Number of DILR questions with No-Negative Marking

Best DILR Preparation Books
More than one best CAT preparation books are available to prepare for DILR:

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • Other Material for CAT preparation on DILR by Arun Sharma like practice questions, solved test papers, Mock tests are also available
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri..
  1. How to Prepare for Quant for CAT 2019
    Quantitative Ability (QA) in CAT exam is the last but most important section which can improve or reduce your CAT score substantially. Arithmetic is the key to crack the Quant in CAT exam. The composition of Quantitative Ability for CAT 2019 is on the following pattern:
Quant 2019 Section
Composition of Quantitative Aptitude Questions for CAT
Section Name
Quantitative Ability
Total Questions in Quant 2019
Type of Quant Questions
24-27 MCQs with negative marking
7-10 Non-MCQs without Negative marking
Quant 2019 section time
60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer
Difficulty Level of Quantitative Ability Questions
Moderate to High

Best Books for Quant preparation for CAT 2019
Different preparation strategy focused only on Quantitative Aptitude questions on different topics is required to get through the QA section in CAT. Following are the most recommended books for Quant preparation:

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by  Sarvesh K Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal.
  1. Prepare with Previous CAT Exam papers
    CAT Previous Year Papers are the best guide to prepare for the CAT question paper 2019. IIMs have now started to officially release the CAT Question Paper. So far, IIMs have released the actual CAT previous year question papers for the year 2017 and 2018..
  2. Prepare with CAT Mocks
    IIMs will release the CAT exam full length Mock Test in the third week of October 2019. However, the past CAT Mock tests are available to prepare for the CAT 2019 exam. IIM-CAT official mock test with 100 questions helps and guides to understand the exact CAT exam pattern since the CAT pattern goes on changing every year. CAT Mock is a good preparation tool. The official CAT Mock Test is the most authentic source to familiarise yourself with the actual CAT exam pattern, changes in topics in CAT 2019 syllabus, sectional composition, type and pattern of questions expected in CAT exam and the scoring pattern..

CAT 2019 Mock: Key Points
IIMs have incorporated three important changes in release of CAT Mock Test:

  1. Separate CAT Mock Test Navigation Guide PDF is Released
  2. Separate login link is provided for candidates with normal vision
  3. Login Link is separately provided for the candidates who have low vision with two magnifying glass icons at the top of the screen. You can click on icon to zoom-in and click on icon to zoom out the question



CAT 2019 Admit Card
CAT Admit Card download will start immediately with the release of the CAT hall ticket by IIMs. IIMs will upload the CAT Admit card at 5 PM on October 24, 2019. The CAT admit card release date may be extended by a few days in case the last date of registration for CAT exam is extended. The last date to download the CAT Admit Card is CAT 2019 exam date


CAT 2019 cutoffs for Admission 2020
IIMs announce CAT score cut-offs for shortlisting every year. These are the minimum overall and sectional CAT score cut offs required by the IIM to shortlist a candidate for final selection round. The CAT score cut-offs for the batch 2020-22 is expected to remain as under:

Name of the IIM
Required CAT 2019 Percentile
Weightage in Shortlisting for 2020-22 batch
IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Calcutta
IIM Bangalore
IIM Lucknow
IIM Indore
IIM Kozhikode
IIM Tiruchirappalli
IIM Ranchi
IIM Visakhapatnam
IIM Udaipur

CAT Full Form
CAT is the abbreviated form of the Common Admission Test. For the last 5 decades since IIMs have been conducting the Common Admission Test for admission to their various PGDM programs, the full form of CAT is seldom used except in the release of CAT notification, advertisement and other official CAT documents. So despite carrying the official full form Common Admission Test, the exam is more known by CAT – the abbreviated form of Common Admission test.

CAT 2019: Important Points

  • Low-Cost Exam: CAT Registration and CAT exam application fee is taken together comes to Rs.100 per IIM for General category and Rs.50/- per IIM for Reserved category. No fee to be paid to apply for any individual IIM
  • One Day Exam: CAT exam will be held in a single day on Sunday, November 24, 2019, in Morning and Afternoon sessions. CAT is a Computer Based Test. Earlier it was held in 15 to 20 days testing window till 2013 by IIMs. Since 2014, CAT exam testing window has been shortened to one day only.
  • 45 Days CAT 2019 Registration Window: The CAT Application process opens on August 5 and will close on September 18, 2019
  • Dual Degree Accepted: A candidate with a dual bachelor’s degree should mention the academic scores of both the bachelor’s degree program in CAT application form
  • Single Fee for MBA Admission: CAT 2019 provides admission opportunity in 20 IIMs with the single point payment of CAT registration fee of Rs.1900/- for General candidates and Rs.950/- for reserved category.
  • Choice of 50 MBA Programmes in IIMs: CAT 2019 offers a choice of more than 50 management programs in 20 IIMs without any additional application fee for admission.

CAT 2019 Result & IIMs’ Admission Process
CAT exam result will be declared on January 7, 2020 in morning hours. Immediately after the CAT result declaration, IIMs will start announcing their shortlist on the basis of CAT scores and other parameters in their shortlisting criteria for final selection round. The final admission offer will be made to the candidates in the months of April/May 2020 by IIMs

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