IIMs to hold two sessions of CAT 2018 on November 25 across 147 cities

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will hold the Common Admission Test (CAT) this year on Sunday, November 25 2018 in two sessions, convening body IIM Calcutta said on Saturday.

Registrations for the entrance test into the 20 IIMs, along with over 110 non-IIM management institutes that use CAT scores, will open on August 8 and close on September 19, 2018. According to Sumanta Basu of IIM Calcutta, convenor for CAT 2018, the test will be conducted in centres spread across roughly 147 cities, up from 141 cities last year.  

Last year, CAT 2017 was held on November 26 across 141 test cities.

IIMs will offer candidates the option to select four test cities in order of their preference, with centres being assigned to candidates only after the last date for CAT 2018 registration. 

"Hence candidates need not rush to block slots and cities in the initial days of registration. We will try our best to assign candidates to their first preferred city," said Basu in an official statement.

In cases where this is not possible, the candidates will be assigned a city following their given order of preference. 

"In the rare case that a candidate is not allotted any of the preferred cities, he/she will be allotted to an alternate city. However, candidates will not be able to select the session because it will be assigned randomly," Basu added.

As usual, the entrance test will carry a duration of 180 minutes and will be divided into three sections, including Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA). 

Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and will not be allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. According to CAT tutorial experts, the restriction in movement across section during the test made by IIMs will be a boon for non-engineering candidates, since it provides a level-playing field for them with candidates from engineering background.

"Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type. Instead, direct answers will have to be typed on the screen. The tutorials will clearly explain this. Also, we will allow use of basic onscreen calculator for computation," Basu said in a statement.

The IIMs will also upload a tutorial to understand the format of the test on the CAT website from October 17 onwards. The website also contains a section on frequently asked questions (FAQs), which address candidates’ queries regarding the test. 

Once the registrations open on August 8, candidates will be required to pay the registration fee through online payment modes only, which include credit cards, debit cards and net banking. "After submission of the application, candidates will be permitted to download their examination admit card from 24th October, 2018 onwards, till the date of test," IIM Calcutta further stated.

Last year, total registrations for CAT 2017 had closed at over 231,067, marginally down by 0.59 per cent over the previous year 2016, which had seen registrations close at 232,436. Gender-wise, however, share of female applicants had risen marginally by 1.16 per cent.

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