CAT Eligibility 2020

Nupur Kaushik Updated On: 10 Jan, 2020 13:58 IST

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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.

The CAT (short for Common Admission Test) will be conducted in the month of November 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.

As per the CAT eligibility criteria, candidates must fulfill the following conditions:

  • 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. [For candidates belonging to SC/ST/PWD categories, the minimum is 45%]. This is the primary CAT eligibility 2020, and the candidates must fulfill the same to be eligible for the CAT exam 2020.

  • Candidates taking the final year examination of their Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent qualification examination were allowed to apply as per the CAT eligibility 2020 rules. One of the other important rules as per CAT eligibility is that the candidates who have completed degree requirements but are awaiting results are also eligible to apply for the exam.

  • 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.

  • One of the final aspects of the CAT eligibility is that the candidates who have completed a professional degree (CA/ CS/ ICWA) with the required percentage are also eligible to apply.

  • 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. 

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.

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

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.

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.

Is there any 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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