More Aspirants for CAT Means Tougher Competition

Calender Icon CAT Exam Date: 27th Nov 2022

More Aspirants for CAT Means Tougher Competition

Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this Article. If you want me and my team to help you with your MBA College Selection and "Get Unbiased Advice", Connect with us on WhatsApp . - Lavleen Kaur Kapoor

What makes a competition-based exam like CAT tough? Apart from the difficulty level of questions and strict marking scheme, it is the ‘competition’ among the students who sit for it. With a large volume of test takers competing for a limited number of seats, the race is hard.

CAT V/S Other Exams

  1. CAT is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after exams that every management aspirant wants to write.
  2. It is the gateway to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and at least 100 other b-schools across India.
  3. When compared to its counterparts like XAT, NMAT, SNAP or CMAT, the CAT exam sees very high number registrations every year.
  4. The table below shows the number of registrations in various management entrance exams:

MBA Exams in India

Aspirants Registering (approx.)

Common Aptitude Test


2,44,169 *

Xavier Aptitude Test



Common Management Admission Test



Symbiosis National Aptitude Test



NMIMS Management Aptitude Test



*CAT 2019 Media Release

CAT Exam & Registration Trend

CAT is a computer-based test which tests your aptitude, attitude and accuracy . It is conducted on a single day in two slots – forenoon and afternoon. Every year the CAT registration window is open for eight weeks and lakhs of students – freshers, experienced – apply for it.

Below is the CAT registration trend in the last five years:

CAT Exam Year

Total CAT Registered Candidates

Actual CAT Test Takers

CAT 2019



CAT 2018



CAT 2017



CAT 2016



CAT 2015



CAT Cutoff

Cutoff for a competition exam is a statistical measure of distribution which helps colleges shortlist probable candidates. Every year the cutoff for CAT varies. The factors that determine the CAT cutoff are:

  1. Based on Aspirants
    1. Total number of candidates appearing for the CAT exam.
    2. Calibre of the test takers who are competing for the seats.

  2. Based on Available Seats
    1. Total number of seats available in IIMs and other CAT participating institutes.

  3. Based on Exam Pattern & Scores
    1. Overall difficulty level of the CAT exam and individual sections – VARC, DILR & QA.
    2. Normalized scores in order to ensure uniformity in the overall performance of all candidates.

Speaking of the IIMs alone, they are known to screen applicants who have at least 95 to 96 percentile score. Thus, out of two lakh (approx.) students who sit for CAT exam, only 8 to 10 thousand candidates are shortlisted for nearly 3200 seats.

With large number of well qualified aspirants, hard & tricky questions, and limited number of seats, the CAT fight is surely fierce.

Stay informed, Stay ahead and stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous