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CAT 2021 Eligibility

Updated By Abhinav Chamoli on 22 Jul, 2021 13:01

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CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

IIM Ahmedabad will prescribe the CAT 2021 eligibility criteria for all candidates appearing for CAT 2021. In order to be eligible, a candidate will be required to have a bachelor’s degree in any stream with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in aggregate. A 5% relaxation is provided to SC, ST and PwD candidates who are required to have 45% aggregate marks in the qualifying course. Candidates who are in the final year of graduation are also eligible for provisional admission through CAT 2021, provided that they satisfy the eligibility upon completion of their course.

The conducting IIM will release the CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria along with the official notification for the exam, which is expected on July 25. has prepared a PDF containing the tentative eligibility criteria for CAT 2021. It can be downloaded from the link given below.

CAT 2021 Tentative Eligibility Criteria [PDF] by CollegeDekho

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level MBA entrance exam in India, which is expected to be conducted in the online mode in the last week of November 2021. The CAT 2021 Application Process is expected to begin from August 2021 and will tentatively end in September 2021. Every year, CAT is conducted by one of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) on a rotational basis.

All those who wish to appear for the exam next year must go through the detailed CAT eligibility criteria before applying for it. The CAT 2021 eligibility rules mentioned above have to be followed strictly, and the candidates who do not comply with them are not allowed to register or appear for the exam. If the candidates apply for the CAT exam without satisfying the mandatory CAT eligibility norms, they are disqualified from the entrance exam. Given below is the category-wise eligibility criteria for CAT and other important information related to the exam.

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Candidates must also note that the MBA eligibility criteria of different MBA colleges in India may differ. It is also important to go through the eligibility criteria specified by a college before applying.

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria Overview

A brief overview of the CAT 2021 eligibility criteria has been given below.
Conducting body
IIM Ahmedabad
Notification date
July 25, 2021 (Tentative)
Exam date
November 28, 2021 (Tentative)
Academic qualification
Graduation from a recognized institute in any stream
Marks required in graduation
50% aggregate marks (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD candidates)
Age limit
No age limit
Both Indian and foreign nationals eligible
Work experience required

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria for General & NC-OBC Category

Given below is the expected CAT 2021 eligibility criteria for candidates belonging to the General and NC-OBC categories for CAT 2021.

  • Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized University or educational institution with a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA for General and NC-OBC candidates

  • Must have a score of 50% in graduation or its equivalent in any stream

  • Must have professional degrees such as CA/CS/ICWA with at least 50 per cent aggregate

  • OR Must be in their final year of graduation degree or awaiting results.

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CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria for SC/ ST/ PwD Category

Candidates interested in applying for CAT 2021 under SC, ST and PwD categories must take note of the following eligibility criteria.

  • Those who belong to the SC/ST/PwD categories must have 45 per cent aggregate in graduation (or its equivalent) in any stream.

  • They must have professional degrees such as CA/ICWA/CS with at least 45% aggregate.

  • OR Must be in the final year of their graduation degree or awaiting result.

NOTE for All Categories: Candidates in the final year of their degree courses, if shortlisted, will only be granted provisional admission through CAT 2021. Their admission would be confirmed only if they submit a certificate from their university or institution stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.

CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria for Equivalent Degrees

The calculation of a CAT applicant's percentage of marks is based on the procedure followed by the respective university or institution. In case there is no provision at the university or institution for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and multiplying the result with 100.

Note: During the CAT selection process at IIMs, the authorities may verify a candidate's eligibility at various stages. Another thing that candidates must keep in mind is that meeting the minimum CAT eligibility criteria will not guarantee admission in the IIMs. In addition, throughout the process of selection, candidates must maintain a valid and unique email account as well as a phone number.

CAT 2021 Age Limit

There is no age limit for any category of candidates who are applying for CAT 2021. Candidates of all groups can apply for CAT 2021 if they satisfy the eligibility criteria mentioned above.

CAT 2021 Reservation Policy

Based on the category of the students, a certain percentage of seats will be reserved for them in the IIMs as is required by law. Candidates from the reserved categories must go through the CAT eligibility requirements carefully before applying. The category-wise reservation given to candidates at IIMs can be checked below.

Seat Reservation Policy of CAT 2021

Category of Students

Per Cent of Seats as Reserved Seats



Scheduled Caste (SC)


Scheduled Tribe (ST)






Note: Being eligible for reservation under various categories does not guarantee admission at IIMs. Candidates are shortlisted if they fulfil the prescribed eligibility criteria, score the minimum required percentile in CAT and perform well in subsequent rounds of the admission process.

Also Read

Check Seat Reservation Policy at IIMs

Important Information for Reserved Category CAT 2021 Applicants

The cast certificate to be submitted by SC or ST category candidates should be in a format approved by the Government. Also, the caste/tribe that a candidate belongs to must be listed in the Government of India schedule. The caste certificate should clearly state:

(a) Name of the candidate's caste/tribe;

(b) Whether the candidate belongs to SC or ST category;

(c) District and the State or Union Territory of candidate’s ordinary residence; and

(d) the appropriate Government of India schedule under which candidate’s caste/tribe is approved by it as SC or ST.

Candidates must upload a copy of the SC/ST/NC-OBC/PwD certificate(s) at the time of CAT registration. Failure to do so will lead to the rejection of their CAT registration.

At the time of interviews, candidates must show the SC/ST/NC-OBC/PwD certificate(s) and submit a photocopy as well. If a candidate fails to do so during the selection process at IIMs, he/she will not be considered under the reserved category.

Also Read

How to Apply for Category Certificates (SC / ST / NC-OBC / PWD / EWS) for CAT 2021

Who is Not Eligible for CAT 2021?

Those candidates will not be eligible for CAT 2021 who:

  • Have not completed their Bachelor’s degree or any professional degree such as CS/CA/ICWA 

  • Have not completed their graduation but are pursuing a professional course and in the final year of the same

  • Belong to the general category and have secured less than 50% aggregate in graduation 

  • Belong to SC/ST/PwD category and have secured less than 45% aggregate in graduation

  • Have completed their graduation from a college or institution that is not recognised by either of AICTE/UGC/MHRD-Government of India

Procedure to Convert Percentage of Marks into Grades for CAT 2021

Sometimes, a candidate’s mark sheet contains marks in the form of grades or CGPA, which must be converted into percentage marks to help the authorities determine eligibility for CAT. Every University or Institution converts the CGPA or grade scores obtained by the candidates into percentage marks for the determination of the candidates’ eligibility. It must also be noted by the candidates that every University or Institution employs its own formula in converting the grade scores or CGPA into percentage scores. In case any University or Institution does not have a working formula to convert the grade/CGPA scores into percentage scores, then a universal formula will be deployed to calculate the percentile scores of the candidates. The formula is:

Additionally, candidates should refer to the guidelines for converting CGPA to Percentage specified by their university for more information.

Additional CAT 2021 Eligibility Facts

Here are some additional CAT 2021 eligibility facts that the candidates should know:

  • Aspirants who have completed their graduation in the old system are eligible to appear for CAT. The degree obtained by the candidates under such system must be approved and recognised by UGC.

  • Shortlisting of the candidates in the IIMs is based on various factors and does not depend only on the candidates fulfilling the CAT eligibility criteria.

  • The candidates must furnish their valid and working email address and cellular number throughout the entire selection process.

  • There is no maximum age limit to appear for the CAT exam.

CAT vs IIM Eligibility Criteria 2021

Many times, candidates ponder over the question if there is any difference in eligibility criteria of CAT and IIM. In order to ensure all the speculations over this question are put to rest, CollegeDekho provides the candidates with the only difference in the CAT and IIM eligibility criteria. Candidates who have graduated from the old two-year graduation system are eligible to take CAT but such candidates cannot pursue their desired management course from IIM. Candidates who want to pursue management at any of the IIMs after qualifying the CAT exam must have completed their graduation from the contemporary three-year graduation system. Except for this, there is no difference in IIM and CAT eligibility criteria.

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Want to know more about CAT

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Related Questions

Sir, I am a college student studying for the CAT. Could you please tell me how I should plan for it?

-Abhishek negiUpdated on May 11, 2021 08:21 AM
  • 1 Answer
Rahul Raj, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

We recommend that you go through our CAT 2021 Preparation Strategy & Study Plan Exam Page for CAT preparation. Other resources that may be useful in preparing for the CAT 2021 Entrance Exam are listed below:

If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more about the CAT Exam, please fill out our Common Application Form and one of our education experts will contact you and provide all the relevant ...


Hi, I am candidate of Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC). can i apply for CAT 2020 from SEBC category?

-Kunal shelkeUpdated on September 18, 2020 03:51 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

CAT 2020 does not have any seat reservations for Socially and Economically Backward Students (SEBC). You can find more information about the same in our article on the CAT 2020 seat reservation policy.

Please feel free to write back to us if you require any other information. For help with admission to MBA colleges in India, please fill our Common Application Form (CAF) or call our helpline number 18005729877.

Thank you.


I don't have any old EWS certificate and my new certificate will come after 16th sept. Can I submit the undertaking without any old certificate as of now??

-AyushiUpdated on September 18, 2020 02:47 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

You have to submit any available certificates with the CAT 2020 undertaking. However, CAT 2020 exam dates have now been revised and the deadline to submit the CAT 2020 application form has been extended to 23rd September to help candidates get sufficient time to arrange any certificates.

Please feel free to write back if you have any other queries,

Thank you.


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FAQs about CAT Eligibility

What will happen if a candidate applies for CAT without meeting the minimum percentage limit?

If any candidate applies for CAT without satisfying the minimum requirements then he/she will be disqualified from the exam.

Does CAT offer any reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD)?

Yes, around 5% of seats are reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD).

I have not completed my bachelor degree. Am I eligible for CAT?

No, candidates who have not completed their bachelor degree are not eligible for CAT.

What is the difference in eligibility criteria of IIM and CAT?

Candidates who have completed their graduation in the old two-year graduation system are eligible to appear for CAT but such candidates cannot pursue their desired management course from IIM.

How can I calculate the percentage from my CGPA for CAT registration?

To caculate the percentage from your CGPA, you need to multiply your CGPA with 9.5 and the result will be your percentage.

I have completed my CS professional degree. Am I eligible to appear for CAT?

Yes, candidates who have completed their CA/CS/ICWA professional degree with at least 50% marks are eligible to appear for CAT.

I am in the final year of my bachelor degree. Am I eligible for CAT?

Yes, you are eligible for CAT. However, you have to select yes for “Are you in the final year of Bachelor’s degree” choice while registering for the exam.

What is the reservation policy of CAT?

Around 7.5% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, 15% for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 27% for OBC candidates.

What is the minimum requirement for CAT examination?

Candidates who have completed their bachelor's degree with at least 50% marks in case of general category and 45% marks in case of reserved category are eligible to appear for CAT.

Is there any age limit for taking CAT?

No,candidates from any age group can apply for CAT.

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