CAT Eligibility Criteria

eligibility for cat

Thinking about taking the Common Admission Test in 2017? You’ll want to figure out your eligibility for CAT before doing anything else. Getting a high score on the CAT can make you eligible for great educational opportunities. However, make sure that you’re fully eligible to take the exam. Then you can begin the process of preparing. Also, if you want to take the CAT but aren’t sure you’re eligible, read on! The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the testmakers, require different qualifications for disadvantaged and disabled students taking the CAT.

Educational Eligibility for CAT

The testmakers haven’t yet announced what the criteria for the 2017 CAT will be. Still, the 2016 criteria give us a good sense of who the eligible candidates will be. These applicants fall into three main categories.

  • Applicants with Bachelor’s degrees. These should be from accredited universities. Furthermore, students should have at least 50% marks or the equivalent GPA.
  • Applicants with a professional degree, such as a CA, CS, or ICWA, with the same marks as the Bachelor’s candidates.
  • Students in their final year of their Bachelor’s degrees.

You’ll have to have your university or institution certify your marks. If the university doesn’t have a system for converting CGPA into marks accepted by the IIM, there’s a system for that. The testmakers suggest dividing your CGPA by the maximum CGPA possible, then multiplying by 100.

Student Eligibility for CAT

Students wanting to continue their studies right after their undergraduate degrees may wonder if they are eligible for the CAT. In many cases, they are. They will have to meet the same conditions as other candidates. If selected for an IIM program, they will have to submit a certificate from their university or institution to show that they have completed the requirements.

Disadvantaged and Disabled Eligibility for CAT

CAT eligibility for disadvantaged and disabled students is slightly different. They require only 45% marks or equivalent GPA. Furthermore, 15% of exam seats go to Scheduled Caste candidates and 7.5% to Scheduled Tribe candidates. 27% go to Other Backward Classes candidates. These candidates are from what is referred to as the “non-creamy” layer. This latter category requires 50% marks. Finally, 3% of seats go to Persons with Disability (PWD, who require 45% marks. For more about definitions of these categories, see the 2016 eligibility criteria.

Verifying Eligibility for CAT

Whether you apply as a general student or as an SC/ST/PWD candidate, make sure that you have the right documentation. This includes university certificates, medical certificates, and other paperwork as required. You can see the certificates and forms the IIMs used for the 2016 CAT on their website. However, it’s a good idea to wait until the IIMs make the 2017 forms officially available before filling them out. Remember, the IIMs can and do check eligibility for the CAT.

Finally, while the CAT does have minimum eligibility requirements, meeting them does not guarantee that you will make it to the next round of applicants. Your performance on the CAT itself, among other things, determines this. So once you’ve established your eligibility, it’s a good idea to start preparing for the exam as early and methodically as possible! David has a great overview of CAT subjects, and what it means to have a “CAT syllabus,” right here on the Magoosh blog.

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