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All You Need to Know to Ace CAT Selection Procedure

CAT is unanimously renowned as one of the toughest exams to clear. Every year organising institutes receive more than 200,000 applications for the exam. However, owing to the seats available in IIMs and other leading MBA colleges, the success ratio in CAT is as low as 0.3%. Yep. That means you cannot be sure to get a call from top IIMs even if your percentile is 98%. CAT Selection Procedure comprises selection rounds/tests conducted by CAT Participating Institutes (IIMs and other top b-schools) to analyze students. The pattern of the test usually varies slighlty from institute to institute.

CAT Exam in itself is a tough nut to crack, but even if you managed to ace it and fall among the top percentile scorers, what lies ahead is a stiff road. While CAT Score matters much during MBA admissions, but it is not the only factor. Performance of students in CAT selection procedure that follows CAT Result declaration is an equally important factor in final selection and seat alloment.

Your upcoming CAT Selection Procedure could include following tests/activities:

  • Group Discussion
  • Written Ability Test
  • Personal Interview
  • Group Activity

CAT Selection Procedure for IIMs

Indian Institutes of Management are premier management institutions, renowned for their state of the art study curriculum. The cutoff for the 20 IIMs can goes as high as 100 percentile with last students being considered at lowest of 98-97%ile.

Shortlisted students for IIMs are called participate in the Selection Process post announcement of CAT Result. Old IIMs (IIM-A, IIM-C, IIM-B, IIM-L,IIM-K,IIM-I, IIM-S) conducted their selection procedure separately, while remaining 13 other IIMs conduct their selection procedure through Common Admission Process (CAP) rounds.

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General Process of Selection Process at all IIMs include Group Discussion followed by Written Ability Test and Personal Interview.

CAT Selection Procedure for Non IIMs

There are some elite non IIM Institutes as well that accept CAT scores for admission in their MBA/PGDM Programs. The list includes some really great options such as IMT Ghaziabad, MICA, MDI Gurgaon and others. Selection Process at Non IIM Institutes accepting CAT Scores could include Group Activity in addition or in place of Group Discussion. Institutes such as IMT Ghaziabad and MICA particularly conduct Group Activity for the shortlisted students.


Group Discussion in CAT Selection Process

Group Discussion is the most preliminary round of Selection Procedure for most of Institutes including IIMs and Non IIMs. The topic at Group Discussion ranges from Current Affairs to Economical/Fiscal related topics with even Abstract Topics being discussed at few institutes.

Sample Topics for Group Discussion

  • Social ]edia – Impact on human behavior and society
  • India-US relations – Impact of Trump
  • One year of GST
  • Relevance of WTO in today’s global scenario
  • Facebook – Cambridge Analytica data scandal
  • EU’s GDPR – Impact on India
  • Flipkart-Walmart deal – Impact on India
  • Budget 2018-19 – Analysis
  • Door – Abstract GD Topic
  • Will artificial intelligence take away jobs?

Tips for Group Discussion

Group Discussion is aimed at checking participants’ ability and skills to contribute effectively towards goal accomplishment process.Group Discussions are necessary because business management is primarily a group activity and working with groups is the most important metric of being a manager. Here is how you should you approach the group discussion round


  • Clarity: Be clear about your opinion regarding the topic.
  • Listen: Be a great listener. Grab all the quantifiable thing you can from your partners. Analyze and React.
  • Articulate: Present your view confidence.
  • Examples: Provide examples while making any points.
  • Patient: Be Patient while listening to others. Give them their time.


  • Don’t initiate if you dont possess adequate knowledge about the topic.
  • Don’t get agitated while making any point
  • Don’t mention erratic statistics.
  • Don’t raise your voice to make a point.
  • Don’t splain.

WAT in CAT Selection Process

Written Ability Test is another such round in CAT Selection process. Written Ability Test (WAT) is pen-paper based writing test of 15 to 30 minutes duration. The test is designed to analyze candidates’ grasp of the language. Here are some do’s and dont’s for WAT in CAT Selection Process


  • Be Clear: Formulate an appropriate introduction, body and conclusion before you start writing.
  • Be neutral: Present clear line of thought in a structured manner.
  • Be Relevant: concentrate on the content of the topic.


  • Avoid using negatives in your write-up
  • Avoid behind too inclined towards your argument.


Personal Interview in CAT Selection Process

Personal Interview is the final level of test candidates have to participate in before beginning their journey in their dream colleges. Personal Interview revolves around students’ life and academia. The interviewers expect candidate to be patient and humble throughout the interview. Some important pointers to keep in mind while attending your next interview.


  • Make yourself heard clearly
  • Be in decent formal clothes, avoid wearing too flashy clothes
  • Be Prepared for general questions
  • Be informed about the institute and its offered programs


  • Avoid giving excuses
  • Avoid high pitched voice
  • Avoid arguing with interviewer

About CAT 2019

CAT 2019 is all set to be conducted on November 25, 2018. Online Registration for the exam is expected to commence in the month of August. Till then, best of luck preparing for CAT

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