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CAT For Admission In B Schools – All You Need To Know


CAT or Common Admission Test is a National level exam held once a year for admission into 20 IIMs and various other management institutes of India. The Test is held in 147 cities and the language is English. The Course Offered are MBA/PGDM and the official website is

CAT is conducted by one of the IIMs every year on behalf of IIMCAT. Each year, any one of the IIMs campuses is bestowed with the duty of holding the CAT exam.


In 2018 CAT was held by IIM Calcutta. CAT conducting institutes of previous years are –



2017 IIM Lucknow

2016 IIM Bangalore

2015 IIM Ahmedabad

2014 IIM Indore

2013 IIM Indore


CAT eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria include the minimum educational qualification of the candidate to take the test and it can vary from one institute to another. One must be a Graduate having minimum 50% marks in aggregate from a recognised university and must have followed the 10+2+3 system of education. However, students in the final year of graduation are also eligible to write the test.


Selection Process


CAT selection process is similar for all IIMs and includes selection on the basis of CAT score which is followed by Written Ability Test/Group Discussion/Personal Interview (WAT/GD/PI). Then comes the computation of Composite Score and Final Selection.


The selection process for the recently established IIMs – IIM Kashipur, IIM Raipur, IIM Ranchi, IIM Rohtak, IIM Tiruchirappalli and IIM Udaipur, IIM Amritsar, IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Jammu – is same and is called the common admission process (CAP). Here, the WAT-PI round is same for all the campuses and the candidates need not appear in WAT-PI rounds of each of the campuses one by one.


The offer of admission is given on the combined score taking into account various factors like CAT score, GD/PI score, WAT score (where applicable), class 10 score, class 12 score, graduation score, gender diversity, academic diversity, work experience et al.


CAT Cut off Marks / Selection Criteria / Admission Process


There are more the 250 MBA Colleges that accept the CAT score. All the B Schools publish their admission and selection criteria much ahead of the exam on their official websites.


The minimum percentile required to get shortlisted for next round of selection processes in order to get admission to B Schools is known as the CAT cut-off.  All the institutes have their individual cut-off marks which are released category-wise and those who meet the required criteria are called for the next round. CAT Cut-offs are published by the B Schools immediately after the CAT results are declared, while some IIMs publish their cut-offs before the result is declared.


However, only meeting the cut-off does not ensure admission to B-Schools. The aspirant needs to appear for the WAT-GD/ Personal Interview rounds and clear them before he/she can secure admission in a B-School.


A number of factors like difficulty level of the exam, number of aspirants who appeared for the exam, number of seats, ranking of the institute decide the CAT cut off marks for the institutes.  CAT results are generally declared in January, the WAT/GD, PI round is conducted by the B Schools during February and March, and the final offer letters are issued in the months of April and May.


Those selected for the WAT/GD-PI round, must carry the following documents:


Original and self-attested photocopies of marksheets of class X, class XII and Graduation


Original and self-attested photocopies of caste/class and/or disability certificate in case of SC, ST, NC-OBC and PwD candidates


Aspirants studying in the final year of graduation must carry an original certificate from the Principal/Registrar/Director of the university certifying that he/she has obtained 50% marks or equivalent (45% in case of SC, ST, and PwD candidates) in the last grade.


Here are the expected CAT Cut offs for General category students for the 20 IIMs –





Expected CAT cut offs


1.                  IIM Ahmedabad99 percentile
2.                  IIM Bangalore99 percentile
3.                  IIM Calcutta99 percentile
4.                  IIM Lucknow97-98 percentile
5.                  IIM Indore97-98 percentile
6.                  IIM Kozhikode97-98 percentile
7.                  IIM Amritsar95-96 percentile
8.                  IIM Nagpur95-96 percentile
9.                  IIM Sambalpur95-96 percentile
10.              IIM Trichy94-95 percentile
11.              IIM Raipur94-95 percentile
12.              IIM Ranchi94-95 percentile
13.              IIM Kashipur94-95 percentile
14.              IIM Vizag92-94 percentile
15.              IIM Udaipur92-94 percentile
16.              IIM Bodhgaya92-94 percentile
17.              IIM Shillong90 percentile
18.              IIM Sirmaur90 percentile



Expected CAT 2018 Cut off for General category students for Top Non-IIM MBA Colleges-



B Schools


Expected CAT cut offs


FMS, Delhi98
SPJIMR, Mumbai92
IMT, Ghaziabad90
JBIMS, Mumbai96
MDI, Gurgaon94
IMI, New Delhi90
XIM, Bhubaneshwar91
GIM Goa85
K J Somaiya, Mumbai86
TAPMI, Manipal80
FORE, New Delhi85
IFMR, Chennai80
IRMA, Anand80
MICA, Ahmedabad80
LIBA, Chennai70
XIME, Bangalore70


Courses Offered by IIMs through CAT Exam –


PGPEM (Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management)


PGP-ABM (Post Graduate Programme in Agri-Business Management)


PGP-Mumbai (Post Graduate Programme at Mumbai)


PGPSM (Post Graduate Programme in Securities Markets)


PGPBM (Post Graduate Programme in Business Management)


EPGPM (Executive Post Graduate Programme)


PGP (Post Graduate Programme)


PGPEX (Post Graduate Programme for Executives)


PGPWE (Post Graduate Programme for Working Executive)


PGPPM (Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management)


PGDHRM (Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management)


PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management)


PGP-UAE (Post Graduate Programme at UAE)


Changes in the exam pattern


Last year, few changes were made in the pattern of CAT by IIMCAT. There were fewer MCQs while questions requiring answers to be keyed in were more. The modified pattern has the exam paper divided into 3 sections with a total of 100 questions. Quantitative Aptitude (QA) includes 34 questions, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) includes 32 questions while Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) includes 34 questions.


What to keep in mind while going to write CAT


Read the instructions printed on the admit card carefully. CAT is a computer-based exam and candidates will be given pencil and scratch sheet for rough work. However, it is sensible to carry a pen or a pencil. Calculators, files or papers other than the admit card and identity proof, bags and wallets, ornaments, mehendi or colours applied hands, closed footwear and mobile phones are strictly banned in the exam centres.


Author: Baishali Mukherjee

Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, and Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.


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