CAT Selection Process 2019

Nidhi Bahl Updated On: 10 Jan, 2020 13:53 IST

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CAT 2019 Selection Process

The CAT selection process is carried out in two rounds, which are conducted by the participating institutes once the results are out. Based on the candidates' performance in CAT, participating institutes shortlist candidates for further rounds, which may include Group Discussion (GD)/Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI). The selection process basis CAT score spreads out over a period of 3-4 months across all of the 20 IIM's in the country. MBA admissions are then finally concluded in the month of April. In 2019, over 2 lakh aspirants will appear for the CAT entrance exam. Out of them, only a few thousand will make it to the 20 IIM's in India located at Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bodhgaya, Bangalore, Indore, Kashipur, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Jammu, Nagpur, Ranchi, Raipur, Rohtak, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Shillong, Tiruchirappalli, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam.

Parameters for Final Merit List IIMs in India: 

The parameters for preparing the final merit list for admission in IIMs across the country is as follows -

Parametres Weightage
Common Admission Test 2019 score 25
Written Ability Test (WAT) 10
Personal Interview 30
Class 10 Board Results 10
Class 12 Board Results 5
Undergraduate Programme Final Score 10
Weighted Work Experience 10
Total 100

CAT Admission Criteria Factors

Note* - Please note that weightage for each parametre varies from IIM to IIM every year. The above parametre & weightage is an assumption based on IIM Bengaluru CAT 2019. 

While all IIM's follow the same selection process by and large, the CAT selection procedure is conducted separately at the participating institutes except for the new IIMs. Once the shortlisted candidates appear for these rounds, the list of selected candidates is released by participating institutes separately. Now that the CAT 2019 result is out, students should refer to the individual colleges' (IIM's & non-IIM's) cut-offs and selection criteria for admission. 

Here are the Selection Criteria for IIM - Lucknow, Ahmedabad & Kozhikode:


Eligibility Criteria for Shortlisted Candidates by IIMs:

Any candidate who is shortlisted for interviews by IIMs will have to comply with the eligibility criteria and verification that involves the following:

Degree certificates & mark sheet verification – Produce original as well as attested copies of certificates and mark sheets at the time of interviews. If selected, original degree and mark sheets of all semesters or years plus attested copies will have to be submitted at the time of joining. Documents required at the time of WAT/ GD and PI include: 

  • IIM interview call letter
  • CAT 2018 scorecard
  • The graduation mark sheet and certificate
  • Class 12 mark sheet and certificate
  • Class 10 mark sheet and certificate
  • Reservation category proof of certificate (if applicable)

Reserved category – Produce original as well as an attested copy of ST/SC/NC-OBC/DA certificates at the time of interviews. If selected, original certificates pertaining to reservation category plus attested copies will have to be submitted at the time of joining.

Final year undergraduate students – Produce an attested copy as well as an original certificate from the Registrar/ Principal/ Director of the institute or university stating that the candidate has obtained 50 percent marks or equivalent (45% in case of reserved category) based on latest grades/marks available. Their admission will be provisional until an original mark sheet and qualifying degree at the bachelor level is submitted before December 31, 2020. If a candidate is unable to submit requisites in time, his/her admission will automatically result in cancellation.

CAT 2019 Selection Process - Important Dates



CAT 2019 Exam Date

24th November 2019
CAT 2019 Result Date

4th January 2020

CAT 2019 Selection Process Begins

3rd Week of January 2020

How CAT Participating Institutes Shortlist Candidates

  • Every institute releases its own CAT cut-off percentile.
  • Those who meet the cut-off must apply to these institutes before the deadline.
  • The institutes then evaluate candidates based on their CAT percentile, past academic records etc.
  • Candidates who qualify based on the factors given above are shortlisted for the further stages of CAT selection procedure.

The selection criteria for different IIM's vary - for eg., at IIM Ahmedabad, is basis performance in CAT, WAT & PI. In addition, past academic qualifications, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements, work experience, etc. will also be taken into consideration. Similarly, IIM Bangalore's selection process includes CAT score, past academic performance, relevant work experience, writing ability test & personal interview. The newer IIM's like IIM Udaipur, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Visakhapatnam etc., will give more weightage CAT exam score amounting to 45-50%.  

Having said that, the final selection process for CAT 2019 will be as per the following:

CAT Selection Process

CAT 2019 Selection Process for IIMs:

Step 01: Shortlisting Basis CAT 2019 Percentile

CAT 2019 was conducted on November 24, post which, every IIM announced its individual CAT 2019 sectional cut-offs and CAT 2019 overall cutoffs & shortlist students. The minimum cut-off for the older IIM's is above 90 percentile for General candidates. The minimum cut-off for Reserved categories will be lower. The minimum cut-offs for the newer IIM's will range between 80-60 percentiles. Candidates fulfiling this criterion will be summoned for GD, PI/ WAT. 

Step 02: Group Discussion (GD) and Written Ability Test (WAT)

If you have the individual CAT-IIM cut-off basis CAT 2019, you will be called for either GD or WAT.

Step 03: Personal Interview (PI)

This is the final round before a student gets selected into any of the IIM's. Candidates are adjudged on various parametres such as overall academic performance, GK, communication skills, performance in previous rounds and presence of mind etc. 

Step 04: Individual Final Merit List

The admission criteria for each IIM will vary. But overall, the IIM's will release the final merit list basis: CAT exam score, Overall performance in WAT, GD and PI rounds, Class 10th and 12th Marks, Gender Diversity Factor, Work Experience & Reservations.

Selection Criteria for all 20 IIMs:

IIM Lucknow IIM Ranchi IIM Kozhikode
IIM Kolkata IIM Rohtak IIM Kashipur
IIM Udaipur IIM Ahmedabad IIM Bangalore
IIM Trichy IIM Bodhgaya IIM Indore
IIM Visakhapatnam  IIM Shillong IIM Amritsar
IIM Jammu IIM Sambalpur IIM Raipur
IIM Nagpur IIM Sirmour  

Note* - The newer IIMs viz - Ranchi, Rohtak, Raipur, Udaipur, Trichy, Kashipur will conduct a common counselling process known as Common Admission Process (CAP). This is in addition to WAP & PI. Each of these IIM's will also release a separate merit list basis a candidate's performance. However, there will not be any WAP & PI rounds for IIM Jammu & Sirmaur for CAT 2019. Instead, they will be evaluated on the basis of CAT 2019 score, past academic records, work experience & diversity. 

Common Admission Process for IIM's:

The following IIM's will follow the CAP basis CAT 2019 result - 

IIM Udaipur IIM Trichy IIM Ranchi
IIM Jammu IIM Sirmaur IIM Sambalpur    
IIM Kashipur IIM Bodhgaya  

Besides qualifying CAT 2019 cut-off & weightage of section parametres, all the IIM's listed above will conduct the WAT & PI. IIM Ranchi will conduct the CAP for CAT 2019. 

How will IIM Ranchi Conduct the CAP for CAT 2019:


  • All the participating IIM's will send the shortlisted candidates for WAT - PI to IIM Ranchi (for 2020 - 2022 admissions)
  • IIM Ranchi will conduct the WAT-PI round for all the CAP participating IIM's. Please note - qualifying CAT cut off and weightage of admission parameters remain common to all CAP participating institutes.
  • Post CAP, each participating IIM will asses the candidates’ performance in WAT, PI, CAT score, profile, etc. and make their individual merit list to make an admission offer.
  • The final list of selected candidates is displayed on the respective IIM's website. This will be available only to candidates with an institute login.


2020 IIM Shortlist Dates

IIM Ahmedabad 6th January 2020 (Released)
IIM Kozhikode 6th January 2020 (Released)
IIM Calcutta 7th January 2020 
IIM Lucknow 8th January 2020
IIM Bangalore 9th January 2020
IIM Indore 10th January 2020
IIM Shillong 18th January 2020
IIM Rohtak 24th January 2020
IIM Trichy 24th January 2020
IIM Udaipur 24th January 2020
IIM Ranchi  24th January 2020
IIM Kashipur 24th January 2020
IIM Raipur 27th January 2020
IIM Amritsar 22nd April 2020
IIM Bodhgaya 25th April 2020
IIM Nagpur  26th April 2020
IIM Vishakhapatnam 26th April 2020
IIM Jammu 10th May 2020
IIM Sambhalpur 15th May 2020
IIM Sirmaur 15th May 2020


CAT 2019 Selection Process for Non-IIMs

Due to the lack of a common admission system basis CAT in India, non-IIM's will have its own selection procedure. Similar to the IIM's, the selection process of other B-Schools in India will follow a similar pattern including - Group Discussion, WAT and PI, which will be assessed by the respective MBA college. Please note that the selection process may or may not include all of the above processes. For eg., IMT Ghaziabad and MICA conduct group activity or group exercise instead of group discussion. Some other PGDM colleges may choose to include all the three processes. 

Non-IIM MBA Colleges in India Region-Wise:

Region-wise MBA colleges in India accepting CAT scores
Region-Wise MBA Colleges in India Accepting CAT scores

If you wish to understand the detailed selection process of CAT participating colleges, please check out the links below:

How to Calculate CAT Percentile

Like other management entrance exams, the Common Admission Test (CAT) also involves the percentile calculation of the candidates. Percentile Calculation is extremely important as the IIMs and numerous other management institutes offer admissions in their various management courses basis the aspirants' percentile score. Calculating CAT percentile is a crucial step as it helps B-Schools shortlist eligible candidates for counselling. Every year, IIMs, as well as other business schools, release their respective cut-offs after the CAT exam is conducted. Those who clear the cut-offs are considered for further selection rounds such as Group Discussion (GD), Personal Interview (PI)/Written Ability Test (WAT).

CAT Percentile Calculation

First, test takers are allotted a particular rank as per their respective CAT scores. After rank allotment, the candidates' scores are normalised. The scaled CAT scores of these candidates are then converted to percentiles, which are calculated using the following formula:

CAT Percentile= [1- (Respective Rank in CAT exam/ Total no. of CAT candidates)] X 100

You can read about the detailed comparison between CAT Score and CAT Percentile here.

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