The CAT 2023 season is in full swing, the forms are out and everyone is gearing up for the final leg of their preparation. With so many things to do and so much to study, errors unfortunately happen while filling the form.
No, not that form. The CAT form. But fear not, because we are here once again to save you from making errors that can at best, add stress to your life and at worst, affect your admission chances in your dream B-schools.
PS: Rajesh sir (the one and only!) has made this video detailing everything you need to know about filling the CAT form. This article is a list of top errors candidates tend to make every year.
1. Personal Details
It might seem hard to believe, but we tend to make errors in the most basic details, the very things that we take for granted, and that includes our names, mobile numbers and emails. (and basic calculation errors in Quant and DILR!)
When you open the CAT form, these are the very first things that you are asked to fill. You will get separate OTPs on both your mobile number and your email, to verify each separately. And don’t forget to note down your username and password! These details will be required in every step of the admissions process.
Remember to upload a recent photograph of yours. Also remember, you’ll be required to paste the same photo in your admit card so make sure to have at least a couple of extra copies of the same photograph with you. Click here for the official Photo Specifications.
2. Academic and Work Experience details
This is one of the sections of the CAT form where you need to be extra careful. Academic and work-ex details are used by all B-schools to prepare interview shortlists.
In the academics section, you need to fill out the details of your 10th, 12th (or equivalent) and Degree details. If you have a dual degree with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s enter the appropriate details in their respective sections. There are also options if you have more than one Bachelor’s degree or a Professional degree.
Check, double check, triple check your marks while filling out this section. At worst, an error here could end up costing you your admissions.
You also need to be careful while converting your CGPA to percentage. Usually, Boards/Universities prescribe a formula for this. The official registration guidelines clearly say “If any Board/University/Institution confirms that there is no scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and multiplying the result with 100.”
In the Work Experience section, you’re required to fill your work-ex duration till 31st July, 2023. Only full-time work experience after graduation counts. Any Part-time/Project/Internship/Articleship/Pre-graduation work experience is not considered. And this work experience has to be paid.
You can fill your category in the CAT form during the CAT 2023 registration process. A lot of candidates tend to get confused in this section. Please check that the certificates you are uploading are the original documents, and are in the correct format, as given on the official CAT website. It’s also extremely important to check the validity of your certificates.
For example, your NC-OBC Certificate needs to be issued by the Government of India and is valid for only 6-12 months depending on the state regulations.
4. Selecting Programmes
Another error candidates tend to make while filling the CAT form is being choosy while selecting particular IIMs or particular programmes. We highly recommend selecting ALL programmes of ALL IIMs at this stage. You never know what the future holds, and you can always decide not to appear for the next stage upon getting selected. The interviewers are not going to grill you about the number of programmes you have selected. Remember once you mention your choices, there is no way to go back and turn the time. Hence please for the love of CAT, select ALL!
5. Selecting Interview and Test Cities
You are required to fill in six choices for your preferred test cities, and you will be allotted a test center based on this order of preference, depending on availability. In rare cases, if you are not allotted any of the preferred cities, you’ll be given a nearby test city.
While you might be tempted to choose Goa as your preferred center to combine the trip your dad forbade you from going on, we recommend choosing cities that are close to where you stay or more importantly where you will be in November on the D-day. (Goa can wait! Maybe it can be your celebratory holiday after making it to the Holy Trinity!)
While selecting your interview cities, we recommend keeping them all in or around the same location. The majority of the interview season gets over in just a few weeks, and if your interview cities are far from each other, the constant traveling will take its toll and you might not be at your best during the actual interviews.
That is all! The 5 top errors candidates tend to make while filling the CAT form. Once you’ve filled in the details, don’t forget to double check everything before submitting. And it never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes go through the form as well!
Well, maybe not those eyes. But get a friend or family member to quickly check everything once. All the best folks! May your CAT form be error-free and your life be stress-free!
Akshat is a content specialist at 2iim. His other addictions include math, reading and writing.