IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs IIM Call Cut Off - What's the Difference

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliPublished On: November 20, 2020 | CAT

IIMs release the CAT percentile cut off for eligibility for its admission process. However, not all candidates who are able to clear the eligibility cutoffs of IIMs are shortlisted for the WAT / PI round based on the IIM call cutoffs. Find out here.

IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs IIM Call Cut Off - What's the Difference

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) have a long and elaborate admission process for their flagship Post Graduate Programmes (PGP). Every candidate seeking admission to the prestigious institutes must first go through the selection process of the institutes. He/she must have an understanding of every step in the process.

Admissions to the IIMs are based in the Common Admission Test (CAT). CAT scores are used by IIMs to shortlist candidates for the second round of admissions i.e. the WAT / PI stage. CAT scores are also given weightage in the final selection criteria of IIMs. It is important to understand how IIMs use CAT scores in their admission process.

CAT Percentile Predictor 2020CAT College Predictor 2020

IIM Admissions On CAT Percentile

Every IIM aspirant must be aware of the fact that each IIM announces their CAT cut off percentile score. In the 2020 admission-criteria of IIM Ahmedabad, the institute declared that it did not increase the CAT cut off from 80 percentile. However, every CAT aspirant knows that it is just not possible to receive a call from IIM Ahmedabad with 80 percentile score in CAT, even though a candidate has cleared the eligibility criteria.

This because the actual cutoff for MBA admissions at IIM Ahmedabad is much higher than that. In fact, a 99+ percentile score is recommended for anybody aspiring for admission at the institute. There is a huge difference between the CAT eligibility cut off released by IIMs and the actual cutoffs based on which candidates are invited for admission. In this article, we take a look at this difference and what causes this huge gap.

Also Read:List of Courses Offered at IIMs: Check IIM MBA Online, Certificate & Integrated Courses

IIM Eligibility Cut Off

IIM Eligibility cut off is the minimum CAT score that a candidate must have to be eligible for applying to the admission process of IIM. The IIM eligibility cutoff is released in the official admission policy of individual IIMs and can be different for each institute. This cutoff is released before the declaration of CAT results and clearing this cut off does not guarantee that a candidate will be called for further rounds of admissions at IIMs.

IIMs release the cutoffs as percentile scores required by a candidate in each section as well as the overall percentile required to be eligible for admission. Further, the eligibility cut off is different for each category of candidates. As an example, here is a table providing the detailed eligibility cut off of IIM Lucknow for PGP 2021 admissions.

CategoryVRCDILRQAOverall Percentile Rank

IIM Call Cut Off

IIM Call cut off, on the other hand, is the actual minimum CAT percentile that a candidate must have to be shortlisted for the admission rounds at IIMs. IIM Call Cut Off is actually the percentile rank of the lowest position holder in the list of candidates selected for the admission process of an IIM.

There is no official call cut off of the IIMs. Each institute releases their individual merit list and cut off of candidates who are called for the final rounds of admission the institute. The call cut off is also released as section-wise and overall CAT percentile and is different for each category of the candidate.

Also Read: List of Courses Offered at IIMs: Check IIM MBA Online, Certificate & Integrated Courses

IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs Call Cut Off

In all the IIMs, there is a difference between the eligibility cut off and call cut off. This is because while the eligibility cut off is released by the institute as per their discretion, the call cut off is influenced by the number of applications released by a particular IIM.

Therefore, while IIMs are free to keep the eligibility cut-offs same every year or change them as they desire, the IIM Call Cut Off is different every year as it would depend on the performance of the applicants and how many people have actually applied for admission.

To understand this better, take a look at the table below

Name of IIM

CAT Eligibility Cut Off Percentile

IIM Call Cut Off Percentile

IIM Ahmedabad


99 - 100

IIM Bangalore


99 - 100

IIM Calcutta


99 - 100

IIM Lucknow


97 - 98

IIM Indore


97 - 98

IIM Kozhikode


97 - 98

IIM Udaipur


92 - 94

IIM Trichy


94 - 95

IIM Raipur


94 - 95

IIM Vizag


92 - 94

IIM Nagpur


95 - 96

IIM Amritsar


95 - 96

IIM Bodh Gaya


92 - 94

IIM Jammu



IIM Sambalpur



IIM Sirmaur



IIM Shillong

No Overall Cut Off


IIM Kashipur


94 - 95

IIM Ranchi


94 - 95

Also Read:Compare IIM Lucknow vs IIM Indore: Which is Better?

IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs Call Cut Off: Reason Behind the Difference

As can be seen from the table above, it is clear that there is a vast difference between the eligibility cut off and call cut off of various IIMs. This difference exists because there is a difference between calculating each of the two cutoffs released by IIMs.

IIM eligibility cut off specifies the minimum score that the institute will accept for calling a candidate to the WAT / PI round. However, the IIM Call Cut Off is only released when the institutes start shortlisting the candidates from the top of the merit list.

IIMs receive applications from thousands of candidates but they do not call everybody for the interview. IIMs only shortlist around 3 times the number of seats available in their course. Hence, if an IIM has a sanctioned intake of 500, it will shortlist 1500 students for the WAT / PI stage.

In order to shortlist the candidates, IIMs create a merit list. Only the candidates who have applied for the IIM through the CAT application form and cleared the IIM eligibility cut off are considered in the merit list. Out of these candidates, IIMs will select the top 1500 as per their CAT scores. Candidates with higher scores will be given preference in admissions.

Top IIMs such as IIM A, IIM B and IIM C are able to shortlist candidates ranking in the top 1 or 2 percentile of CAT i.e. candidates with a  98+ percentile score. Hence, their call cut off lies in that bracket only even though their eligibility cut off is much lower.

New IIMs such as IIM Bodh Gaya, Kashipur etc. are not preferred by the top-rankers and hence their last selected candidate holds a much lower rank, which is usually around 92 to 94 percentile.

One very important thing to note is that if IIMs never shortlist a candidate who has a lower rank than their eligibility cut off. At the same time, having a higher rank than the eligibility cutoff does not guarantee admission to any IIM.

Also Read:Top Ten Non-IIM Colleges that accept CAT Scores in India

Factors Affecting IIM Call Cut Off

While the IIM Eligibility Cut Off is pre-determined and does not change throughout the academic year, the IIM Call Cut Off does not exist until the CAT results are announced and IIMs release the list of candidates shortlisted for the WAT / PI process. Given below are some of the major factors that can influence the call cut off of an IIM.

  • The number of candidates that have applied for the IIM.

  • The number of candidates that appeared for CAT.

  • The number of sanctioned intake in the PGP course of an IIM.

Taking admission in an IIM is not simply about the clearing a particular CAT cut off. The admission process is holistic and IIMs consider many factors including the academic background, work experience, CV, soft skills etc. of a candidate before granting admission to their course.

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