CAT 2014, the changed examination pattern & How to crack CAT 2014

by Sarika Singh

CAT 2014 examination dates have been announced, the exam will be held on November 16, 2014 & November 22, 2014 and the last date to submit the CAT 2014 application form is September 30, 2014.

Nowadays CAT 2014 application process is at its peak and for this reason, we have sorted some valuable information for the help of the CAT aspirants. CAT (Common Admission Test) is a pre-requisite exam for taking admissions into the various management programs of the top 150 B-Schools in India including Indian Institute of Management studies-IIMs. Per year lakhs of students appear for the CAT exam which is a computer based standardized test and its evaluation is made on the basis of knowledge skills of the aspirants in quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning.

How CAT 2014 is different ?

Important announcements have been made by the IIMs regarding changes made in the examination pattern and  the procedure to conduct the exam. From this year CAT Exam will be organized by the Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS), earlier it was conducted by Prometric, a U.S Company established in the test administration industry.

  • TCS has bagged the opportunity to conduct the CAT exam for the next 5 years and will be responsible towards ensuring a tamper proof & smooth delivery of CAT Exam.
  • Earlier the test was conducted over a period of 7-10 days but now the test will be conducted in two days comprising four sessions leading to the convenient conducting procedure.
  • From this year, candidates have to follow the online payment procedure through VISA/Debit/Credit Cards as offline vouchers won’t be available.
  • Duration of the exam has been decreased from 170 minutes to 140 minutes.
  • The syllabus will contain two sections and each will have 50 questions instead of 30 as it was earlier.

Eligibility Criteria for CAT 2014

Candidates who have completed Bachelors’ degree (or equivalent) with a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA can apply for CAT 2014. For SC/ST and PwD (person with disability) candidates require a minimum of 45% in graduation. Students pursuing final year of the Bachelors’ degree can also apply for the CAT exam.


As announced by the Government of India, 15% of the seats are reserved for SC candidates, 7.5% for ST candidates and 27% for NC-OBC (Non creamy layer) candidates.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants can register themselves for CAT 2014 on the website Registration window for CAT 2014 opens on August 6, 2014 and will close on September 30, 2014. After making successful registration, the students have to fill up the CAT 2014 application form.

Examination Fee: Rs. 1600 for General category candidates and Rs. 800 for SC/ST & PWD.

CAT Exam Selection Procedure

In India, there are total 13 IIMs and each of them shortlist candidates on the basis of Writing Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview. To get shortlisted for second stage, the most important aspect is the performance of the candidate and thus, is considered as an important component in the admission procedure. Other institutions accepting CAT scores for admission into management programs shortlist candidates as per their own admission criteria but marks attained in the Common Admission Test is considered to be essentially important.

CAT 2014 Result

CAT 2014 scores will be announced in third week of December, 2014.

How to prepare for CAT 2014  as per the changed examination pattern

As the new pattern has been announced for CAT 2014, applicants might be facing questions about the way they need to prepare themselves for the exam. So after examining  these changes, we have come up with a brief about the syllabus and the examination pattern for CAT 2014.

CAT 2014, The Changed Examination Pattern & How to crack CAT 2014


  • This year aspirants have to solve two sections instead of three, as it was done earlier till 2013.
  • In the first section, questions of Quantitative ability and Data Interpretation will be asked and in the second section candidates have to solve Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning.
  • Each section will have 50 questions instead of 30 as it was earlier and time duration for solving out each section will be of 70 minutes. So, in total, candidates will get 140 minutes for solving out the paper as compared to CAT 2013 which was of 170 minutes.
  • One important point that students must keep in their mind is that only after solving the first section they would be able to go on the second section and returning to the previous one will not be possible anyhow. Also, it’s possible to move on to the second section only after completion of the first 70 minutes. Aspirants trying to solve out the second section can submit it without being bounded to the remaining 70 minutes allotted for section 2.

Advisable Steps for CAT 2014 Aspirants in order to improve their performance

Examination Experts are analyzing the fact that this year Common Admission Test as comprising changed examination pattern is going to be more advantageous for candidates.  As the new announcement clarifies that the CAT 2014 Examination Paper will contain two sections for 70 marks each, so students can compensate for their weak area with the other area in the same section.

Candidates without being tensed about the changed pattern should focus on the basics of the preparation along with their proper application of the concepts.

Aspirants are recommended to take CAT Mock Tests in accordance to the changed pattern before the actual examination, because these tests will provide them an opportunity to analyze their areas of improvement and thus, a better chance will stand for them in CAT 2014. The main focus of the candidate should be on maximizing his/her score in the given 70 minutes for each section. Thus, without worrying about anything, aspirants should make preparation with integrity & continuity, which will lead them to attain success in CAT 2014 exam.

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