CAT Score Range: What’s a Good CAT Score for B-Schools?

cat score range: what's a good cat score for b-schools?-magoosh

CAT score range: What’s a good CAT score for B-schools? Above 120 is a good place to start. Image by AlexanderStein.

If you’ve just taken the CAT, or are planning to take the CAT, you may be wondering about the CAT score range. More specifically, a lot of students ask What’s a good CAT score for B-schools? By “B-Schools,” or business schools, we’re referring specifically to the institutions that require the CAT exam: the twenty Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). In very general terms, scoring above 120 will place you in the 90th percentile, or with a score better than 90% of test-takers. Many B-schools will consider this a good CAT score.

How Do B-Schools Use the CAT?

Different IIMs weight the importance of the CAT differently. Some make it one of the most important admissions factors, while some considering it less important. All 20 institutions have different CAT cut-off scores, or the lowest scores they accept from admitted candidates. These are generally lower for candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds, or candidates with disabilities. The most competitive schools will usually accept candidates scoring in the 99th percentile or higher. Second-tier schools may take applicants will need to score scoring in the 70th percentile or even lower, with mitigating factors.

B-School CAT Score Ranges by Tier

As we’ve seen, a “good” CAT score depends on the institution you’re hoping to attend. For example, those applying to the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad—one of the world’s most competitive business schools–will find that scores above (and sometimes far above) the 99th percentile are considered good. On the other hand, third-tier schools may accept candidates with scores as low as the 50th percentiles. Here, though, IIMs often consider scores above the 70 percentile good. In terms of marks, the top percentiles break down as follows.

PercentileMinimum Composite (Overall) MarksMinimum Marks in Verbal Ability and Reading ComprehensionMinimum Marks in Data Interpretation and Logical ReasoningMinimum Marks in Quantitative Analysis

*Experts differ in opinion as to the exact score range in these categories, which may have shifted significantly between years.

CAT Score Range: What’s a Good CAT Score for B-Schools?

“Good” CAT scores vary depending on the competitiveness of the IIMs you wish to attend. However, based on what we know about business school admissions in India and percentile-to-mark conversion, we can infer what good scores might be. (If you’re uncertain about the tier of the IIM you wish to attend, you can find a brief summary of Indian business school tiers here).

  • Top-Tier Schools: Above 200, with sectional scores of between 80 and 85 (possibly lower in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning).
  • Second-Tier Schools: Above 120, with sectional scores in the 40s and 50s (possibly lower in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning).
  • Third-Tier Schools: Above 100, with sectional scores in the 30s and 40s (possibly lower in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning).

Even if you haven’t achieved these marks on the CAT, though, remember that different schools weight the importance of the CAT differently. Furthermore, other factors, including your employment history and school record, can be equally or more important.

And if you haven’t taken the CAT yet, remember that careful preparation can help you get the score—and the school—of your dreams! So keep working hard, and remember that even a few questions can make the difference when it comes to achieving your goals.

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

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