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CAT 2019 result was announced on January 04, 2020. Common Admission Test (CAT), which is one of the popular management entrance exams in India was conducted on November 24, 2019. Almost, all good B-Schools in India accept CAT score. Many times, students are often confused about the terms CAT score and CAT percentile. Most candidates assume that both terms carry the same meaning. However, there is a wide difference between the CAT score and CAT percentile, to know the difference between CAT Score vs CAT Percentile, read the following.
CAT 2019 witnessed 10 candidates out of 2.09 lakh candidates scored 100 percentile in CAT. This year, candidates who scored 100 percentile in the CAT are from Engineering background. The highest number of toppers in CAT 2019 are from Maharashtra where four candidates scored 100 percentile. Almost 21 candidates scored 99.99 percentile, and 19 of them were from Engineering background.
Understanding the relationship between both is not only confusing but also complex. Some students also are in doubt with respect to the fact that the CAT score is presented in the percentile format instead of score. In general, the CAT percentile points to a candidate’s position among all applicants of CAT, based on which the ranking of the candidate is decided. Once the exam is successfully conducted, you will be able to check your estimated CAT score using our CAT Percentile Predictor here. And once the CAT result is out, you will also be able to predict and evaluate your chances of getting into an MBA college in India through the CAT College Predictor here. You can also read and go through the detailed CAT 2019 exam analysis here to estimate the required CAT score / CAT Percentile to study in your dream college according to the exam analysis of last year.
In this article, CollegeDekho has put down a detailed analysis of the riddle CAT Score vs Percentile. We hope that this analysis will help you understand the primary/ basic difference between score and percentile.
CAT Score vs CAT Percentile: Meaning
The aspirants must note that there is no specific method for CAT through which you can figure out the exact score you will have to achieve to feature in the elite list of CAT 99 percentile league. The percentile in the CAT exam is evaluated at par with the difficulty level of the exam. The difficulty level of the CAT exam is not constant ever year, and the evaluation process of CAT percentile changes every year. Before going through some examples associated with the CAT score and CAT percentile, you need to understand the exact meaning of CAT Score and CAT Percentile.
What is a CAT Score?
To understand the CAT score, one must first understand the Exam pattern and marking scheme of CAT Examination, both the things are explained in the following points:
- CAT examination has a total of 100 questions divided into 3 sections.
- CAT Examination has four Sections, that are as follows:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
- Maximum Marks for CAT Exam is 300
- Marking Scheme for CAT Exam is such that for every correct answer, +3 marks are allocated, whereas, for every wrong answer, 1 mark is deducted.
- There is no deduction of marks if the question is unanswered.
- Each section is evaluated and marked.
- Based on the above rules, the CAT Score of a candidate is prepared.
However, to calculate the composite score of students some other parameters are considered, based on other parameters, two candidates with the same on paper score may have different composite sores. Here are the other parameters that are considered while drawing a composite score:
- Class 10th Marks
- Class 12th Marks
- Graduation Percentage/ Grade
- Work Experience
- Academic Background
What is a CAT Percentile?
A percentile is regarded as a unit used to calculate/ evaluate the percentage of students above or below you in the merit list. For example, if you score 70 percentile in CAT, it means that 70% of students who appeared in the entrance test scored less than you. Therefore, candidates securing 70 percentile or above indicate their position in the top 30% of applicants who appeared for the exam.
Let us look at another example to make it clearer. If two lakh students gave the CAT exam, at least 20% of students (40,000 students) would come under the 80-100 percentile range. Therefore, the percentile secured by the candidates in the CAT exam is suggestive of their position and does not exactly indicate the marks they score in CAT exam.
Also Read: Top MBA Colleges for Women
CAT Score vs CAT Percentile: IIMs’ Scaling and Normalisation Process for CAT 2019
CAT exam is conducted in different sessions. IIMs follow a smart scaling and normalisation process for scoring with an objective to determine the merit of the candidates appearing for the CAT exam in different sessions. The scaling and normalisation process came into existence after the CAT was revamped into the computer-based test.
The normalisation process followed by IIMs for CAT exam ensures complete justice when it comes to appraising equity and fairness in performance across multiple sessions. CAT normalisation process is a clear practice of comparing the CAT scores of candidates across different forms and is similar to other popular entrance exams in India such a GATE. For normalisation across sections, IIMs use the percentile equivalence.
To put it simply, CAT normalisation process is based on the primary guesswork that in all sessions of the CAT exam, the ability of the candidates remains the same without any changes.
Let us try to interpret the CAT scoring system to get a fair idea of percentile more clearly. The CAT paper comprises of 100 questions and three marks are awarded to each correct answer while one mark deducted for a negative answer. The original score secured by the candidates in CAT is not based on this typical marking system due to the prevalence of the normalisation process.
In recent years, the normalisation process is not too aggressive as the CAT exam is being conducted in two slots on a single day (morning and afternoon). Therefore, the scaled score mentioned in the CAT scorecard remains too close to the actual marks secured by the candidates.
Also Read: Difference between GMAT and CAT
How to Calculate CAT Percentile?
Percentiles in the CAT exam are just like percentiles in other exams. The percentiles are just a representation/ indication of the number of people who are behind you in the test. The General formula to calculate percentile along with some of the examples in this regard are elaborated below.
Percentile = ( 1 - All India Rank(Total Candidates in the Exam) * 100%
Example 1: Let us assume that 50 candidates appeared for the CAT exam. You have done well in the exam and scored 3rd rank in the entrance test, which means that 47 students scored less than you. Now, your percentile should be calculated as follows: -
47/50*100 = 94 Percentile.
Therefore, you scored 94 percentile in CAT as per the above example.
Example 2: Let us assume that 2,000 candidates appeared for the CAT exam. You have topped the exam by securing the first rank, which means that 1,999 candidates scored less than you. Now, your percentile should be calculated as follows: -
1999/2000*100 = 99.95 Percentile.
Therefore, you scored 99.95 percentile in CAT as per the above example.
After having a look at the above examples, you might wonder how multiple people secure 100 percentile in CAT. It happens because of rounding off, which is explained below in detail: -
Example 3: Let us assume that 2,00,000 candidates appeared for the CAT exam. You have secured 6th rank in the exam, which means that 1,99,994 students scored less than you. Now, your CAT percentile should be calculated as follows:
199994/200000*100 = 99.997 Percentile.
Therefore, you scored 99.997 percentile in CAT as per the above example.
However, the CAT scorecard shows percentile up to two decimal digits. Therefore, we will have to round it off. If we will have round this off to two decimal places, we should round it up to 100 percentile.
CAT Marks vs CAT Percentile: CAT 2019
The table below explains the approximate CAT Marks and CAT percentile Approximations. Students preparing for CAT 2019 can refer to the table to get an idea of the relation between CAT 2019 Score and CAT 2019 Percentile:
Minimum Marks Scored in Quantitative Analysis
Minimum Marks Scored in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
Minimum Marks Scored in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
110 – 120
94 – 107
Note: The above-mentioned comparison is made based on the previous year’s data of CAT. Candidates who score above 90 percentile in CAT have chances to get a call from IIMs.
CAT Score vs CAT Percentile: CAT 2018
CAT exam occurs in two-shifts, morning and evening, here is the estimated CAT score and CAT percentile for the morning and evening shift of CAT 2018.
CAT Score vs CAT Percentile: CAT 2018, Morning Shift
Here is the estimation of CAT Marks and CAT percentile of the year 2018 to help students preparing for CAT 2019 an idea:
Note: The above-mentioned score is based on the data of CAT 2018 percentile and score. There may be a change in score and percentile for CAT 2019.
CAT Score vs CAT Percentile: CAT 2018, Evening Shift
The table given below is showing the CAT 2018 exam analysis for the evening shift. Students aspiring to appear for the CAT 2018 exam can have a look at the following table:
The CAT percentile and CAT Score required to study different MBA specialisations in the same University can be different.
To get the list of colleges for different percentile ranges, read the following articles:
- College list: 80-90 Percentile
- College list: 60-70 Percentile
- College list: 50-60 Percentile
- Top B-Schools that Accept less than 90 percentile
Apart from CAT, many MBA colleges accept other examinations, here is a list of all the MBA exams: