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Business Standard

CAT applicants up 26% this year

Chitra Unnithan & Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

The competition to get a seat at the coveted Indian Institutes of (IIMs) is getting tougher with each passing year.

Compared to an estimated 230,000 Common Admission Test (CAT) applications received in 2007, the country's seven IIMs have till date received around 290,000 applications – a 26 per cent rise. Last year, the rise was 21 per cent.

The test, a gateway to the IIMs and other leading B-schools, will be held on November 16 this year. There are 116 non-IIM institutions which will use CAT 2008 scores. These institutes offer 13,000-15,000 seats.

"We have received around 60,375 applications this year from candidates whose test centre choices are Delhi and Lucknow. This year, the submissions were kept open for four more days after the last submission date, which was September 5," says Saji Nair, chairperson (admissions) at IIM Lucknow.

While IIM Bangalore has received 62,465 applications from aspirants who have chosen Bangalore, Hyderabad or Pune as test centres, IIM Indore has received 28,000 applications from those who have chosen Bhopal, Gurgaon, Indore or Noida as test centres.

The numbers imply that only one out of every 170 students who take CAT will make it to the IIMs this year. Only 4,000 to 5,000 get an interview call, going by the last few years’ data. However, there are only 1,700 seats (last year, it was 1,500) for the next two-year programme (2009-11), which warrants further elimination.



2006 190,000
2007 230,000
2008 (till date) 290,000

“We believe more students will appear for CAT this year considering the slowdown and the fact that jobs will be at a premium. We had seen a similar situation in 2001, when there was an almost 100 per cent jump in the number of students appearing for CAT,” Shiv Kumar, director, Career Launcher, an MBA test-preparing institute, had earlier told Business Standard.

First Published: Tue, September 30 2008. 00:00 IST