What is a Good Percentile in CAT 2023? - Check Here

Abhinav Chamoli

Updated On: December 22, 2023 12:57 pm IST | CAT

Knowing what is a good percentile in CAT 2023 is crucial to estimating your chances of getting admission into your desired college. Here's what percentile one should score in CAT to get selected for IIMs and other top B-schools in India.

What is a Good CAT Percentile Score?

‘What is a good percentile in CAT 2023?’ is one of the most common queries of MBA aspirants. Well, the answer can vary depending on the college you are targeting. For admission to IIMs, a 97-98 percentile in CAT is considered good and for other leading B-schools, a CAT percentile between 90-95 is good. A good percentile score for CAT 2023, can be defined as one that helps you get admission into your dream college or university using your CAT result 2023. For most candidates, a 90 percentile in CAT or above is an excellent score. But, for some, a 95 percentile would not be enough, especially when seeking admission into the top 3 IIMs in India. 

A majority of CAT test takers score 80-90 percentile and become eligible to get admission in 100s of MBA colleges accepting CAT scores in this range. However, there are several other parameters for getting MBA admission other than the CAT percentile. The CAT result was declared on December 21, 2023, which means the CAT selection process will begin soon. In this article, we have mentioned all the information candidates would need to understand what is a good percentile in CAT 2023.

Also Read

CAT Score Vs Percentile 2023

CAT Attempts vs Percentile 2023

CAT Score Weightage in IIMs

Will Cut Offs for IIMs Drop Due to Difficult Quant Section in CAT 2023?

What is a Good CAT 2023 Score/Percentile?

The question 'What is a good CAT percentile 2023?' is incomplete and lacks context. The actual question should be 'What is a good score in CAT for XYZ college?' Without specifying the target college, any CAT score is meaningless. Therefore, a good CAT score is the one that helps you get into your desired college. This leads to the critical point that every CAT aspirant should keep in mind - setting a target is essential for CAT preparation, and your preparation strategy should be based on that target.

As each B-school has a different cutoff for shortlisting applicants, the definition of a good CAT score varies from institute to institute. For example, IIMs require a minimum of 95 percentile for admission, while other B-schools like IIFT, IITs, FMS Delhi, and SPJIMR accept CAT scores below 95 percentile. On the other hand, tier-3 B-schools might accept applicants with slightly lower-than-average CAT scores. Therefore, it is crucial to research the admission criteria of your target college and set a realistic target score accordingly.

What is a Good CAT 2023 Percentile for IIM Admission?

To answer this question, we need to see the number of seats in IIMs, the number of candidates appearing for CAT as well as the interest of CAT aspirants in a particular IIM. Roughly speaking, the total seats in IIMs is around 5,000 and the total number of aspirants appearing for CAT every year is around 2,00,000. Hence, you have to be in the top 5,000 candidates to be eligible for admission. And the top 5,000 candidates come in the 97.50+ percentile bracket. However, practically speaking, you can get into an IIM such as IIM JammuIIM Amritsar, etc. even with a 90 percentile CAT score.

When it comes to old private colleges vs new IIMs, many of the candidates prefer to take admission into a prestigious institute such as ISB HyderabadXLRI Jamshedpur, or SIBM Pune. This can be attributed to the poor availability of infrastructure as well as a lack of alumni network at these newly-built IIMs. However, as time passes by and these IIMs are shifted to their own campuses and start building their alumni network, the CAT score required to get admission to these IIMs will also increase.

However, for the top IIMs often called BLACKIS (IIMB, IIML, IIMA, IIMC, IIMI, IIMK), a good score in CAT is 99+ percentile. To get admission into these top-ranking IIMs, it is crucial to be in the top bracket of CAT scorers. And since many factors such as work experience, academic performance, etc. are given weightage in IIM selection criteria, even a 99 percentile score cannot guarantee admission.

Also Read: IIM Eligibility Cut Off vs IIM Call Cut Off

Good CAT 2023 Score for Tier-I, II & III B-Schools

Each institute will have a different minimum CAT score requirement to be eligible for admission. Other business schools that accept CAT scores are listed in the table below:

Tier

Minimum CAT score

Minimum Sectional Score

Tier I

200

80-85

Tier II

120

40-50

Tier III

100

30-40

How Many Questions to Attempt for 99+ Percentile in CAT 2023?

To achieve a 99+ percentile in CAT 2023, it's advisable to attempt around 41 questions with an accuracy rate of 85-90%. Below is a breakdown of the number of questions required to attain a 99+ percentile, 95+ percentile, and 90+ percentile in each section of the CAT 2023 exam.

CAT Percentile

Questions to Attempt in VARC

Questions to Attempt in DILR

Questions to Attempt in QA

Total Questions to Attempt

99+

14-15

10-11

13-15

40-41

95-999

13-14

9-10

12-13

35-39

90-95

11-12

7-8

11-12

29-34

85+

9-10

6-7

9-11

24-28

Understanding CAT Score & Percentile

CAT test-takers often get confused between the CAT score and CAT percentile and wonder whether these are the same things or two different terms. To clear this confusion, we have talked about the CAT score and CAT percentile in detail below. 

What is CAT Score?

The CAT score represents the total marks obtained by a student in the CAT exam, which is determined by its unique marking scheme. In simpler terms, a candidate's score is calculated by adding up their marks from all three sections of the exam - Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. To calculate the CAT score, one can use the following formula:

CAT Score = (No. of Correct Answers) * 3 - No. of Incorrect Answers

What is CAT Percentile?

The CAT percentile reflects a candidate's rank in comparison to other students who took the exam during the same time frame, based on certain parameters. It is a measure used to evaluate the percentage of students who have scored lower or higher than you on the merit list. Essentially, it indicates a candidate's position among all those who appeared for the CAT exam, which determines their ranking. The CAT percentile is an important factor to consider when analyzing CAT marks vs percentile, as it plays a vital role in determining a student's performance and competitiveness in the exam.

CAT Percentile = (R/N) × 100

where,

R= Rank of the candidates assigned based on scaled CAT score or total number of candidates who rank below you.

N= Number of candidates who appeared in CAT exam (all three sessions)

Let's understand CAT percentile calculation with an example. Suppose that 50 candidates appeared for the CAT exam. You have done well in the exam and scored 3rd rank on 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

That example also serves to show that you can never get 100 percentile in CAT since 100 percent of the candidates can never score less than you in the exam. CAT percentile not only depends on your score but also on what other candidates scored in the examination. Hence, it cannot be completely in your control.

What is CAT Scaled Score?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted in multiple sessions and each session has slightly different question papers. To ensure fairness and equity in performance comparison, a scaled score is generated through the normalization process. This scaled score may differ from the raw score in either direction. When calculating the scores for each session, the normalization process will be used to ensure that candidates are marked fairly and equally. The CAT normalization process assumes that the distribution of applicants' abilities is constant across all sessions, similar to the GATE score. The normalization procedure used by GATE takes into account variations in the level of difficulty of question papers across different sessions.

What is CAT Composite Score?

The CAT composite score is calculated for shortlisting candidates for the Written Ability Test, Group Discussion, and Personal Interview rounds of IIMs. Each CAT candidate's composite score is determined by calculating each candidate's score based on several factors. The parameters for CAT 2023 composite score will include:

  • CAT 2023 score (scaled)

  • Class 10 marks/percentage

  • Class 12 marks/percentage

  • Graduation marks/percentage

  • Work Experience

  • Gender Diversity

  • Academic Diversity

The formula for calculating the CAT Composite Score used by the IIMs is as follows:

CAT 2023 Composite Score

Also Read: Non-IIM MBA Colleges to Apply to Before & After CAT Exam

CAT 2023 Score vs Percentile

To understand what is good CAT percentile score, candidates must first know the CAT score vs percentile calculation. Check out the table below to know more:

Percentile

Score-VARC

Score-DILR

Score-QA

Overall Score

99.5%ile

44

35

40

101

99%ile

34

26

36

96

98%ile

32

28

30

90

95%ile

32

20

29

81

90%ile

29

17

26

72

85%ile

24

15

20

59

80%ile

20

12

15

47

Therefore, a good score in CAT can be different for each candidate. However, since the CAT is being taken for admission to IIMs, we should take a look at what is a good CAT score for gaining admission to IIMs. Check the following articles to figure out the colleges that accept different percentile ranges in CAT.

Top MBA Colleges Accepting Good CAT 2023 Percentile

Given below are a few of the top IIMs and other MBA colleges that will shortlist you for the final selection round of the MBA admissions in 2023 based on your CAT percentile/score:

How to Get a Good Score in CAT 2023?

Putting in targeted practice and study hours every day is the key to getting a good score in the CAT. You have to adopt new strategies and work on increasing your speed and accuracy as well. If you are targeting to be among the top achievers, you should put in calculated efforts for the same. Given below are some CAT preparation guides created by our experts that you should check out.

How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR

How to Prepare for CAT for Working Professionals

How to Prepare for CAT VARC

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability

Common Mistakes to Avoid During CAT Preparation

Importance of Vedic Maths in CAT


The Common Admission Test or CAT is one of those exams that are on the radar of every MBA aspirant. Most of the top MBA colleges in India accept CAT scores for admission to their MBA/PGDM programs. Nevertheless, as one of the most popular MBA entrance exams, CAT is also known for its fierce competition among its candidates. Candidates must leave no gaps in their CAT preparation if they wish to achieve a decent percentile score. The examination strategy that candidates rely on must be in accordance with the exam pattern. With proper time management and presence of mind, any CAT percentile target is achievable.

Related Articles:

What After CAT 2023? Here are Important Things To Do

How to Get Admission to Top B Schools with Low CAT Scores

CAT 2023 Cutoff for Top Private MBA Colleges

Top IIMs in India

CAT Toppers List 2023

Top Jobs After CAT 2023 Exam


If you have any queries, please write to us on the CollegeDekho Q&A Zone. You can even check our CAT 2023 College Predictor and CAT 2023 Percentile Predictor tools to get an idea of your results based on your performance in the CAT 2023 exam. Get help from our experts for admission into your dream MBA college. You can also fill out the Common Application Form (CAF) to target different colleges in one go.

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FAQs

How hard is it to score 99.9 percentile in CAT 2023?

It is very hard to score 99.9 percentile in CAT since it is one of the toughest and most challenging exams in India. Achieving a 99 percentile or higher on the CAT is difficult and demands a solid preparation strategy, a lot of effort, and commitment. To do well on this exam, students must strike a balance between speed and precision. One must devote at least 6-8 months to exam preparation.

Is it easy to get 85 percentile in CAT?

Yes, it is easy to get 85 percentile in CAT only if the student has done enough preparation and has all the exam basics cleared. A student who receives an 85 percentile score has performed better than 85% of the students who took the CAT exam. Students who scored at or above the 85th percentile on the entrance exam are likely among the top 15% to 20% of all applicants. 

Which colleges accept the 70 percentile in CAT?

Some of the reputed colleges accepting the 70 percentile in CAT are:

  • Universal Business School, Mumbai

  • SRIRAM Group of Institutions, Greater Noida

  • MATS University, Raipur

  • Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar

  • Jaipur National University (JNU), Jaipur

  • ICFAI University, Mizoram

  • IBS Business School, Pune

  • IBS Business School, Ahmedabad

  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

  • GNA University, Phagwara

  • GITAM School of Business

  • Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida

  • Asia-Pacific Institute of Management (AIM, Delhi)

  • Amity University, Noida

  • Amity University, Mumbai

  • Amity University, Jaipur

  • Amity Business School, Noida, etc.

Is 60 percentile score in CAT considered good?

A 60 percentile score in CAT is considered satisfactory as it can get you admission into tier 2 and tier 3 colleges in India. A CAT score of 90+ percentile is thought to be satisfactory for admission to the IIMs and top MBA schools.

How to achieve a good CAT percentile/score?

To achieve a good CAT percentile/score, a candidate needs to develop an effective study plan, progressive practice, take regular mock tests, etc. You must have a solid timetable when you begin your CAT preparation so that each component has adequate time to be covered entirely. Students will have 60 minutes for each section, thus efficiency is key while answering questions, especially in time-consuming sections like DI and QA.

What parameters are used to calculate the CAT score and percentile?

The following are the parameters used to calculate the CAT score and CAT percentile:

  • Class 10th scores

  • Class 12th scores

  • CAT Marks (scaled)

  • Working experience 

  • Diversity (gender and academic)

  • Marks in the qualifying examination for graduation, etc.

What is the difference between the raw score and the scaled score in CAT?

The actual score a candidate receives on the CAT exam is known as the CAT raw score. After that, a normalisation method transforms the raw score into a scaled score. For example, IIMs calculate the scores after normalising the raw scores for each CAT exam slot. This calculation depends on the number of test takers across the CAT exam slots. As a result, normalisation is used to determine the percentile score to compare all candidates on the same scale.

Can I get admission to IITs if I score a good CAT percentile/score?

Yes, a student can get admission to IITs if they score a good CAT percentile/score. Applicants would need a CAT score over 98 percentile for IIT Delhi and Bombay, 95+ percentile for IIT Madras & Kanpur, 90+ percentile for IIT Kharagpur, and 80% percentile for ISM Dhanbad based on the gradual analysis of the previous CAT cut-off.

Is 80 percentile in CAT considered good for top MBA colleges in India?

Yes, 80 percentile in CAT is considered good for top MBA colleges in India. Some IIMs and other prestigious MBA/PGDM institutions in India are among them. However, if you aim to get into IIM-BLACKI or colleges like FMS or SPJIMR, then you'll need to score above the 95 percentile.

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