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

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: December 21, 2023 06:38 pm IST | 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 IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs IIM Call Cut Off here.

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

IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs IIM Call Cut Off: The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) has a long and elaborate admission process for their flagship Post Graduate Programmes (PGP). Every candidate seeking admission to prestigious institutes must first go through the selection process of the institutes. They must have an understanding of every step in the process.

Admissions to the IIMs are based on the Common Admission Test (CAT). The CAT exam for 2023 was successfully conducted on November 26, 2023, and the CAT result was announced on December 21, 2023. 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 2023CAT College Predictor 2023

IIM Admissions 2024 on CAT 2023 Percentile

Every IIM aspirant must be aware of the fact that each IIM announces their CAT cutoff 2023 percentile score. In the IIM Ahmedabad selection criteria 2024, the institute declared that it did not increase the CAT cutoff from the 80 percentile. This is expected to be the case in 2024 as well. However, every CAT aspirant knows that it is just not possible to receive a call from IIM Ahmedabad with an 80 percentile score in CAT, even though a candidate has cleared the eligibility criteria.

This is 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 cutoff 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

IIM Eligibility Cut Off 2024

IIM Eligibility cut off is the minimum CAT score that a candidate must have to be eligible for applying for the IIM admission process 2024. 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 cutoff 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 2024-26 admissions.

CategoryVRCDILRQAOverall Percentile Rank

IIM Call Cut Off 2023

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: IIM Shortlist 2024

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

IIM Mumbai8590-95

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 10 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 2023 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 intakes in the PGP course of an IIM.

Taking admission in an IIM is not simply about 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.

Related Articles
WAT (Written Ability Test) for IIMs and other MBA Colleges in IndiaCAT 2023 Score vs Percentile
Top B-schools that Accept CAT Percentile Below 90 other than IIMsList of Non-IIM MBA Colleges to Apply to Before & After CAT Exam

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What is the selection process at the Indian Institutes of Management?

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have a very strict and demanding selection process. It usually comprises several steps that evaluate the candidates' aptitude, employment history, communication skills, and academic standing. The qualifying requirements established by IIM Ahmedabad include a minimum degree of education (generally a bachelor's degree) with a minimum percentage or CGPA. Furthermore, applicants must show up for and be eligible for the Indian Institutes of Management's Common Admission Test (CAT). The CAT results are used to determine who gets shortlisted for the Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI). Aside from these, the shortlisting criteria could take diversity, professional experience, and academic standing into account.

What is the CAT qualifying cutoff for IIMs?

Since this CAT cutoff is intended to shortlist applicants for WAT and PI, it is also known as the CAT qualifying cutoff or the shortlist cut off. Put differently, a candidate can only participate in the WAT and PI rounds if they have met the shortlist cutoff or the minimal CAT score set by an IIM. You won't necessarily be contacted for WAT and PI if you pass the shortlist criteria. Whether you make the IIM call cutoff—which is consistently higher than the shortlist cutoff and announced following the announcement of the CAT results—will determine whether you are called for your interview.

What is the difference between CAT score and CAT percentile?

The candidate's overall exam score, or CAT score, is the sum of their correct and incorrect attempts as well as their unanswered questions.On the other hand, the position of an applicant relative to the other test takers is known as the CAT percentile. The percentile shows the overall proportion of applicants who received CAT scores that were lower than or equal to those of a specific applicant. A candidate's performance was superior to that of 97% of the CAT test takers that year, for instance if their CAT percentile is 97.

What is the difference between CAT qualifying cutoff and CAT final cutoff?

A candidate must meet the qualifying CAT cut off percentiles of an IIM in order to be qualified for the Written Ability Test (What) and Personal Interview PI round. This percentile must be met both sectionally and overall. These represent only the eligibility score; the selection score is not included. The final CAT cut-off percentiles of a candidate are the ones used for the final selection. The qualifying CAT cut offs are made available to the public prior to the CAT exam and are used as part of the MBA/PGP batch selection criterion for that year. There is no public release of the final CAT cut offs. Based on the candidates' choices for WAT-PI, the cutoffs are approximations. 

Which IIM gives CAT score the highest weightage during admissions?

At every IIM, CAT scores are a necessary component of the admission requirements for MBA admission. The CAT percentile is weighted most heavily at IIM Calcutta. When shortlisting applicants for the WAT-PI phase, the CAT scores are given 56% of the weight.

What weightage does Academic Profile have during IIM admission rounds?

The academic background of an applicant has an impact on their prospects of admission to IIMs. IIM's selection processes give a 12% weight to the applicant's academic background. The candidate will receive 4% each in the 10th, 12th, and UG grades if he or she received a grade of at least 60%; otherwise, 0%.

Which IIM has the lowest CAT cut-off?

IIM Ahmedabad has the lowest qualifying CAT cutoff of 85 percentile, according to patterns from prior years. Nevertheless, none of the IIMs or even other prestigious MBA schools formally release the final CAT cutoffs. With the exception of IIM Ahmedabad, whose qualifying cut off has lately been 85 percentile, all IIMs still have qualifying CAT cut offs that are over the 90 percentile.

What is the CAT cutoff for newer IIMs?

For candidates in the general category, the CAT cutoff range for the more recent IIMs is 90–95 percentile. The cut-off range is significantly lower for candidates in the Reserved category, estimated to be between 85 and 80. For PI shortlisting, the selection committee, however, places greater weight on the academic record of the applicants.

Who sets the IIM CAT cutoffs for MBA admission?

The cutoff for MBA admissions is set by each IIM separately. The cutoff is determined by taking into account the number of seats available, the average application score, the number of applicants, the highest score from prior years, and the CAT exam's difficulty level.

Is CAT cutoff equally important for Executive MBA courses at IIMs?

No, the CAT cutoff for IIMs' Executive MBA admission is not as important as it is for their flagship programs in management. CAT exam results are not as important for admission to Executive MBA programs as the candidate's job experience and personal interview has more emphasis during the selection process.

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