Unlimited Access to Online Course Modules at a Click
Learn More

CAT Selection Process 2021 - Check IIM Admission Criteria

Updated By Abhinav Chamoli on 28 Nov, 2021 19:50

Get CAT Sample Papers For Free

CAT 2021 Selection Process

CAT 2021, which was conducted on November 28, is the common entrance exam for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and 2000+ other MBA colleges in India. The CAT selection process is carried out in two rounds. After the release of CAT 2021 results the CAT participating colleges begin conducting the selection process for CAT 2021. 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 based on CAT score is spread out over a period of 3-4 months for all of the 20 IIM's in the country. MBA admissions are then finally concluded in the month of April. Around 1.9 lakh aspirants appeared for the CAT entrance exam in 2020 out of the 2.27 lakh who had registered. In 2019, the number of students who appeared for CAT was 2.09 lakhs. Out of that, only around 5,000 make it to the 20 IIM's in India located in Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bodhgaya, Bangalore, Indore, Kashipur, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Jammu, Nagpur, Ranchi, Raipur, Rohtak, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Shillong, Tiruchirappalli, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam.

Related Articles
CAT Normalization ProcessWhat after the CAT exam? Here are Important Things To Do

Candidates who wish to know more about the CAT 2021 Selection Process will find all of the information available on this page. Know all about the CAT Selection Criteria, IIM Selection Process, IIM Common Admission Process right here.

Latest Updates

November 28, 7:30 pm: Slot 3 of the CAT 2021 exam was reported to be a bit difficult as compared to the other 2 slots with Quant being the most difficult section of this slot. Check the CAT 2021 Slot 3 question paper analysis for more details.

November 28, 4:00 pm: Slot 2 of CAT 2021 was Moderate in difficulty level with some students reporting that it was a bit easier than Slot 1. Check out the CAT 2021 Slot 2 detailed question paper analysis here.

November 28, 12:00 pm: Slot 1 of the CAT 2021 exam was reported to be Moderate but lengthy. The no. of questions dropped down to 66 this year. Check out the detailed section-wise analysis of CAT 2021 here.

November 27:Before going for the CAT exam, check the complete list of documents to carry to the CAT exam centre and make sure you have everything ready to go,

November 27:Aspirants appearing for the CAT 2021 exam tomorrow should note these important points to ace the exam.

November 27:As the big day draws closer, it is normal for CAT aspirants to feel more anxious. Check out these CAT last day preparation tips to help you relax and fare well in the exam.

November 26: Want to carry prohibited items inside the CAT exam hall due to medical reasons? Check all about the CAT 2021 authorization form here.

Upcoming Management Exams :

  • XAT

    Exam date: 02 Jan, 2022

CAT 2021 Selection Process Dates



CAT 2021 Exam Date

November 28, 2021
CAT 2021 Result Date

First week of January 2022

CAT 2021 Selection Process Starts

January 2022

IIM Shortlist Declaration

January 2022

IIM WAT-PI Process

February - March 2022

Receive Offer Letters from IIMs

April 2022

IIM Shortlist Status 2022-2024 Based on CAT 2021

IIMs will release the list of shortlisted students for admission to their 2022-24 batches post CAT 2021 result declaration. Candidates can check the latest available information about the IIM Shortlist Status available in the table below.


Shortlist Release Date

IIM Ahmedabad

January 2022

IIM Kozhikode

January 2022

IIM Calcutta

January 2022

IIM Lucknow

January 2022

IIM Bangalore

January 2022

IIM Indore

January 2022

IIM Shillong

January 2022

IIM Rohtak

January 2022

IIM Trichy

January 2022

IIM Udaipur

January 2022

IIM Ranchi

January 2022

IIM Kashipur

January 2022

IIM Raipur

January 2022

IIM Amritsar

January 2022

IIM Bodh Gaya

January 2022

IIM Nagpur

January 2022

IIM Vishakhapatnam

January 2022

IIM Jammu

January 2022

IIM Sambalpur

January 2022

IIM Sirmaur

January 2022

Similar Exams :

CAT 2021 Shortlisting & Selection Process

Candidates interested in taking admission to an MBA college through CAT must undergo the following selection process.

  • CAT Scores and Percentile are released for every candidate who appears for the exam in November.

  • After the declaration of CAT results, every institute releases its own CAT cutoff percentile.

  • Candidates who have filled the college's application form are considered for shortlisting based on the CAT scores only.

  • Shortlisted candidates are then called for selection rounds, including WAT, GD-PI process conducted by individual colleges.

  • The institutes then evaluate candidate's performance based on their CAT score, past academic records, performance in the interview, work experience etc. and create a merit list.

  • Colleges release their Merit List and Waitlist of candidates shortlisted for final admission.

  • Candidates included in the Merit List have to confirm their admission before a specified deadline or withdraw their seat.

  • Any seats lying vacant are allotted to the waitlisted candidates based on merit.

Colleges Accepting CAT 2021 Scores

List of MBA Colleges Accepting 50-60 Percentile in CAT 2021

List of MBA Colleges Accepting 60-70 Percentile in CAT 

List of MBA Colleges Accepting 70-80 Percentile in CAT 2021

List of MBA Colleges Accepting 80 - 90 Percentile in CAT

Top B-schools that Accept CAT Percentile Below 90 other than IIMs

IIM Cutoff 2021: CAT 2021 Cutoff for IIMs Section Wise & Category Wise

IIM Selection Process Based on CAT 2021

IIMs follow an almost common selection process of candidates for their PGP courses. However, the selection criteria for different IIMs vary slightly in terms of weightage.

As an example, IIM Ahmedabad considers various factors such as CAT 2021 Scores, WAT-PI Scores for selection. In addition to the factors mentioned above, past academic scores, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements, work experience, etc. are also 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 IIMs like IIM Udaipur, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Visakhapatnam etc. give more weightage to the CAT exam score amounting to 45-50%. 

Having said that, the basic structure of the selection process of individual IIMs remains the same and is conducted separately by individual candidates except for those colleges that participate in the Common Admission Process (CAP). Given below is the IIM Admission Process through CAT 2021.

Step 01: Shortlisting Basis CAT 2021 Percentile

The minimum cut-off for the older IIMs 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 called for the GD, PI/ WAT. 

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

If you qualify the individual CAT-IIM cutoff basis CAT 2021, 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 parameters 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 IIMs 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.

IIM Admission/ Selection Criteria 2022-24: Dates, Cutoff, EligibilityAre Old Private Colleges better than Newer IIMs?

IIM Shortlisting Eligibility Criteria Based on CAT 2021

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

Documents to be Carried at the Time of WAT/GD and PI

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.

Documents Required for WAT-GD-PI

  • IIM interview call letter
  • CAT 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 per cent 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, 2022. If a candidate is unable to submit requisites in time, his/her admission will automatically result in cancellation.

IIM Final Merit List Based on CAT 2021

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

CAT 2021 score
Personal Interview
Class 10 Score
Class 12 Score
Undergraduate Programme Final Score
Weighted Work Experience

Note* - Please note that weightage for each parameter varies from IIM to IIM every year. The above parameter & weightage is an assumption based on CAT 2020.

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.

IIM Detailed Selection Criteria 2021

Click on the links available in the table below to check the detailed selection criteria for each individual 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 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.

IIM Common Admission Process (CAP) 2022

Common Admission Process (CAP) 2022 is an integrated selection process in which several IIMs come together and conduct interviews for admission jointly. It is a common process that helps in cutting down the hassle of appearing for individual interviews for several institutes.

Candidates are shortlisted for CAP 2022 through their CAT 2021 scores and then they will be required to appear for the Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds for admission. The final scores from CAP 2022 are then sent to respective CAP participating IIMs and the institutes can then make their selections based on the scores.

The candidates are then not required to take part in individual selection rounds of IIMs but can be selected through the integrated process. However, the choice of participating in IIMs lies with individual institutes and only selected IIMs select candidates from CAP. Candidates must note that the selection criteria for colleges participating in CAP 2022 can still be different.

Given in the table below are the IIMs that are likely to participate in CAP 2022.

IIM UdaipurIIM TrichyIIM Ranchi
IIM JammuIIM SirmaurIIM Sambalpur    
IIM KashipurIIM BodhgayaIIM Raipur

The list of participating colleges in CAP 2022 will be updated here after the declaration of CAT 2021 results. The complete details about the Common Admission Process can be found in the article given below.

CAP 2022 - Dates, Centres, Shortlist Criteria, Selection Process

How will IIM Conduct the CAP Based on CAT 2021

  • All the participating IIM's will send the shortlisted candidates for WAT - PI to the IIM conducting CAP.
  • That IIM will conduct the WAT-PI round for all the CAP participating IIM's. Please note - qualifying CAT cutoff and weightage of admission parameters remain common to all CAP participating institutes.
  • Post CAP, each participating IIM will assess 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.

CAT 2021 Selection Process for Non-IIM Colleges

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

MDI Gurgaon Selection Criteria

IMT Ghaziabad Selection Criteria

Great Lakes Institute of Management Selection Criteria

Goa Institute of Management Selection Criteria

How to Calculate CAT 2021 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.

Also Read :

Want to know more about CAT

View All Questions

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.


Still have questions about CAT ? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

FAQs about CAT

How can I get selected in IIM basis CAT result?

You will have to perform well in the CAT entrance exam followed by the Written Test/ Group Discussion and Personal Interview (PI) round to get selected for IIM.

What documents are required at the time of WAT/ GD and PI round after CAT exam?

You will have to carry a copy of CAT score card, IIM interview call letter, 10th/ 12th mark sheet and graduation mark sheet while appearing for WAT/ GD and PI round.

How do the CAT participating colleges select candidates?

All participating colleges of CAT select candidates on the basis of their CAT scores and the past academic record. Besides this, the colleges will also conduct personal interview round for admission.

What is the formula to calculate CAT percentile?

You can calculate the CAT percentile using the formula: CAT Percentile= [1- (Respective Rank in CAT exam/ Total no. of CAT candidates)] X 100.

What is the Common Admission Process (CAP) after CAT exam?

CAP or Common Admission Process is conducted for admission to IIM Jammu, IIM Ranchi, IIM Kashipur, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Udaipur, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Bodhgaya and IIM Trichy. The selection process and dates will be common for these IIMs.

How tough is to get admission in any IIM basis CAT score?

You will have to perform well in CAT entrance exam and GD/ PI round to get admission in any IIM. The selection process of all IIMs is very difficult. Only those candidates who have performed exceptionally well in all rounds will be selected for admission.

What is the selection process of IIM A basis CAT score?

The selection process of IIM A comprises two steps: selection for the PI/ GD round and selection for admission. Candidates who perform well in CAT will be called for the GD/ PI round. Those who perform well in all the rounds will be selected for admission.

What is WAT that is conducted after selection basis CAT score?

WAT or Written Ability Test is an essay writing test conducted for 30 minutes. Candidates will have to write an essay on topics such as economics, business affairs etc.

What parameters are considered while preparing the final merit list by IIMs with CAT scores?

Some major parameters considered while preparing the final merit list are WAT, CAT scores, performance in Group Discussion and Personal Interview (PI) round.

Is the CAT selection process different for all colleges?

Yes, every college has its own selection process. Some colleges conduct GD/ PI round while other colleges might offer you admission directly on the basis of CAT scores.

View More

Latest Updates

Know best colleges you can get with your score