Relevance of CAT Score: Changing Paradigm at IIMs

  • Sep 20th, 2017
The Changing implication of CAT Score across IIMs

The quest to compete with global management education institutes have pushed the top b-schools of India, IIMs, to move towards a more comprehensive manner of evaluating an admission application. While earlier, CAT used to be the focus of any aspirant, and logically so, the importance of CAT score in decision to extend an offer for admission to an aspirant has changed vastly, and varies across IIMs. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for an aspirant to understand the role that his/her CAT score plays in final admission offer letter.

Understanding the confusion around this particular issue, Career2NextOrbit team carried out a meticulous research for admission process for batch of 2017-19 and this article shares the findings of the same.

Highlighting the outcomes of the Research:

  • Before anything else, your CAT score and solely your CAT score determines whether your application will be considered for any processing, whatsoever, for admission into IIMs. This is the minimum CAT score that a candidate should have for being considered. But this score is not 99 or 95+ percentile, but falls into three brackets of 90, 85 and 80 percentiles as outlined in the table below (for the batch of 2017-19).

Minimum CAT score to move to consideration set

(You will be surprised to not find IIM Shillong in this list. A unique case, as it is, please read the article further on to find out the process for this IIM. )

  • Once you have crossed the first hurdle, CAT score plays its role to various degrees in helping you get GD-PI-WAT call/Final admission call. We can divide the IIMs into 3 categories based on the role which CAT score plays.
  1. Category 1 (The New Borns): CAT Score can get you final Admission.
  2. Category 2 (The babies): CAT Score can get you GD-PI-WAT Call.
  3. Category 3 (The Veterans): CAT Score can be an enabler, but no guarantee for even a GD-PI-WAT Call.
  4. Category 4 (IIM-Shillong): CAT Score plays no role (except for Sectional Cut-off consideration).

It will be pertinent to mention here that while these categories’ nomenclature also is indicative of the age of these respective IIMs, there are outliers in each category as well.

1) Category 1 (The New Borns): IIM-Jammu, IIM-Nagpur and IIM Sirmaur fall into this category. The salient features are:

a) In their final merit list preparation, for the batch of 2017-19, GD-PI-WAT score didn’t play any role.
b) CAT Score was given 50% weightage.
c) 50% weightage was given to Academic Credentials, Work-Experience, Gender Diversity et al.

2) Category 2(The Babies): IIM Ranchi, IIM Udaipur, IIM Raipur, IIM Kashipur, IIM Bodh Gaya, IIM Amritsar, IIM Sambalpur and IIM Tiruchirappalli fall into this category. The salient features are:

a) CAT Score are the sole criteria for getting GD-PI-WAT Call.
b) The final merit list preparation has also got weightage for GD-PI-WAT Score.
c) The weightage of CAT score in the preparation of final list is different for different members of this group, and is as per the table below.

Weight-age of CAT score in final merit list preparation

3) Category 3( The Veterans): Consisting of 6 Old IIMs(IIM-A,B,C,L,K,I) and two newbies(IIM-Rohtak & IIM-Vizag) fall into this category. Their salient features are:

a) CAT Score alone can’t guarantee you a GD-PI-WAT call. There are other factors like Academic Credentials, Work-Experience, Gender Diversity Factor etc which also play a role. The percent weightage of CAT Score while preparing the GD-PI-WAT list varies from institute to institute and is as per the table given below: 

Weight age of CAT score in GD-PI-WAT shortlist

b) Post the GD-PI-WAT process, during the preparation of final list- these institutes (with the exception of IIM-Ahmedabad) consider CAT Score in varying weightage as per the table given below:

Weight age of CAT Score in Final merit list preparation

To sum up, while for new IIMs- CAT Score carries a significant importance (with couple of exceptions), old IIMs are gradually reducing the weightage of CAT Score. IIM Bengaluru and IIM-Indore are among the old IIMs which have the lowest weightage for CAT Score. The table below sums it up.

Summary of CAT Score


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