Admission into the seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) is based on your performance in the Common Admission Test (CAT). The IIMs conduct a two-year Post graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) and a Fellow Programme in Management (FPM).
PGPM is recognized as equivalent to MBA by Indian and foreign institutes. The fellowship Programme (FPM) is aimed at those interested in research, consultation and teaching. It is recognized as equivalent to Ph.D by the Association of Indian universities.
When is CAT held?
CAT is normally held in the month of November, for the session beginning July next year. Candidates who cross the cut off marks in the written test are told to appear for the Group Discussion and Personal Interview. Final selection is based on one's performance in the written test, Group Discussion, Personal Interview, Scholastic achievements and work experience. Your mastery over the English language plays a vital role in the selection process.
Candidates who have secured at least 50% marks (45% for SC/ST) in any discipline are eligible to appear for CAT. CAT traditionally is a multiple choice examination covering English language skills, logical analysis of data interpretation, and quantitative applications of mathematics, algebra and geometry. You must strive to do well in every section.
The test has the following components.
-Quantitative ability

-Data interpretation

-Data Sufficiency

-Logical reasoning

-Reading comprehension

-Verbal ability

-The test duration is of 2.5 hours.
Preparing for CAT
CAT requires intelligent and innovative preparation both mentally and physically. Maintain poise and composure during the entire length of the test.
Scan the paper once or twice to get a reasonable overview. Answer the easy questions in each section first. Skip what cannot be answered and move on. There is negative marking. So it is better to skip questions than answer them wrongly.
While preparing for general knowledge, you must give due importance to economics, politics, national and international issues. Try and improve your reading speed and comprehension. You should attempt as many mock-CAT tests as is possible. This should give you a feel of the exam as well as improving your confidence.
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