CAT Eligibility 2020

Updated By Shreya Sareen on 04 Aug, 2020 10:23

Registration Starts On August 05, 2020

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CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria

The CAT 2020 eligibility criteria had been prescribed by the conducting IIM. For all CAT 2020 applicants, a Bachelor’s Degree with minimum 50% marks in aggregate is the basic CAT eligibility 2020. Those who are in the final year of their Graduation were also eligible to apply for the CAT exam 2020. SC, ST and PwD candidates have a relaxation of 5% in graduation marks as per the CAT 2020 eligibility criteria.

Detailed CAT 2020 Eligibility 

The CAT (short for Common Admission Test) will be conducted on November 29, 2020, in online mode. The CAT 2020 Registration Process will begin from August 2020 and will end in September 2020. Every year, CAT is conducted by IIMs 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. Given below is the category-wise eligibility criteria for CAT and other important information related to the exam.

CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria for General & Non-Creamy Layer-Other Backward Groups (NC-OBC)

  • 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
  • Must be in their final year of graduation degree or awaiting results. However, such candidates, if shortlisted, will only be allowed to join the programme provisionally, if they submit a certificate from their University/institution stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.

CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria for SC, ST and PwD

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

CAT 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/rules, they are disqualified from the entrance exam. 

CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria for Equivalent Degrees

The calculation of CAT applicants' percentage of marks is based on the procedure followed by the respective University/Institution. In case there is no provision at the University/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 candidates' 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 2020 Age Eligibility

There is no age limit for any category of candidates who are applying for CAT 2020.

Also, MBA admission eligibility criteria may differ from college to college and region to region. You can check the details here.

CAT Eligibility Criteria

Upcoming Management Exams :

  • XAT

    Exam date: 05 Jan, 2021

CAT 2020 Reservation Policy

Candidates from the reserved categories must go through the CAT eligibility requirements carefully before applying. The category-wise reservation policies followed by IIMs are listed below: 

  • 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. 27% of seats are reserved for OBC candidates belonging to the “non-creamy” layer (NC-OBC).
  • 5% seats are reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwD). 

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.

How to Apply for Category Certificates (SC / ST / NC-OBC / PWD / EWS) for CAT 2020

Important Information for Reserved Category CAT 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.

CAT Seat Reservation Policy

Based on the category of the students, a certain percentage of seats will be reserved for them in the IIMs. The percentage of seats reserved for the category-based students is given below:

Category of Students

%age of Reserved Seats



Scheduled Caste (SC)


Scheduled Tribe (ST)


Check more details on CAT 2020 IIM Reservation here.

Who is Not Eligible for CAT 2020?

Those candidates will not be eligible for CAT 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

Sometimes, the candidate’s marksheet 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:

Additional CAT Eligibility Facts

Here are some additional CAT 2020 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.

Difference in the Eligibility Criteria of CAT and IIM?

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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Related Questions

How can I prepare for CAT 2020 on my own?

-AshishUpdated on August 01, 2020 02:30 PM
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student

You can start your preparation by checking all the important topics available in the syllabus of CAT exam. Since you are preparing for CAT exam, you have to prepare a schedule in such a way that you have enough time for the preparation of all the important sections of the exam. You can follow these strategies while preparing for CAT exam by own.

  • Go through the previous years questions paper in order to check what type of exam you can expect in the exam.

  • You must check the exam pattern so that you have an idea about the exam structure and marking scheme

  • Solve the maximum number of mock test papers and sample papers 

  • You are advised to read newspapers and magazines daily to improve your communication skills and vocabulary.

  • You can refer the best books suggested by experts and previous years toppers. You can also refer to separate books for all the sections.

  • Preparing notes during the preparation time will help you to revise all topics before going for the examination.

Apart from these, you can also refer to some of the articles provided below to know more about the preparation strategies for the CAT exam.

How ...


How to check the CAT answer key?

-AmanUpdated on August 01, 2020 02:29 PM
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student

CAT answer key will be uploaded on the official website of CAT after 2-3 weeks of the exam day. You can access the answer key after login to the official website. The complete procedure to check the answer key is provided below.

  • Visit the official website of CAT

  • Enter your login details i.e username and password

  • Once you have entered the details, click on submit button

  • A new page will appear on the screen containing the answer key

  • Choose the answer key for your respective shift

  • Download the CAT answer key

You are advised to take a print out of the admit card so that you can check the answer key whenever you want. Besides this, you can refer to the marking scheme of the CAT exam in order to verify your answers. The answer key will help you to get an idea about your scores before the release of the final result. If you have any other query related to CAT exam, you can get back to us.

Thank You


What is the difference between CAT and XAT Exam?

-AmitUpdated on July 29, 2020 11:21 PM
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student

CAT and XAT are two most popular management entrance exams conducted for admission to the top management colleges of India. Although both the exams are conducted for admission in MBA and PGDM Program, there are some differences in both the exams. We have listed some major differences between both the entrance exams below.

  • XLRI is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur while CAT is conducted by IIMs

  • The syllabus of XAT exam comprises GK section and Decision-Making section while CAT exam does not have any GK or DM section

  • The difficulty level of the XAT exam is comparatively higher than the CAT exam

  • Some top colleges that accept XAT Scores are XLRI, IMT, XIMB and SPJIMR

  • Top colleges that accept CAT scores are IITs, MDI, IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR, IMI. It must be noted that CAT scores are accepted at almost every MBA college.

  • Maximum marks for XAT are 1000 while maximum marks for CAT are 300

Besides these difference, there are many similarities between CAT and XAT such as exam mode, type of questions and total duration. You can check the exam pattern of XAT and CAT to know the detailed exam structure and marking scheme of both the exams ...


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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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