CAT (Common Admission Test) is a computer based test given in india to test Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. It, according to Asian Survey of Exams, is considered to be toughest Exam in Asia and in India, followed by UPSC Civil Services Exam and IIT JEE.

The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree for qualifying CAT, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Differently Abled (DA) (It may also referred to as Persons with Disability (PED) categories], awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act or Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the bachelor’s degree would be calculated for CAT based on the practice followed by the university/institution from where the candidate has obtained the degree.  In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the CAT procedure certified by the university/institution from where they have obtained the bachelor’s degree.

CAT Eligibility and Reservations
CAT Eligibility and Reservations

In case the university/institution does not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.

Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply for CAT.If you are selected in CAT,such candidates will be allowed to join the CAT programme provisionally, only if he/she submits a certificate latest by June 30, 2012 from the Principal/Registrar of his/her College/Institute (issued on or before June 30, 2012) stating that the candidate has completed all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate.  IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the CAT selection process, the CAT details of which are provided at the website

Application for CAT should note that the mere fulfillment of minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for shortlisting by IIMs.

Prospective candidates must maintain a valid and unique email account and a phone number throughout the CAT selection process.

Reservations for CAT

As per the Government of India requirements, reservations for CAT is 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 7 ½ % for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.  27% of seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates belonging to the “non-creamy” layer.

For an updated list of state-wise OBCs eligible for availing the benefit of CAT  reservation, please see the list maintained by the NCBC at its website

You may also access information in respect of the creamy layer at as well as the clarifications issued by the Department of Personnel & Training on the definition of creamy layer and income criteria at

In case of NC-OBC category, the castes included in Central List of NC-OBC by the National Council of Backward Classes, Government of India as on September 28, 2011 (Last day of registration) will be used. Any subsequent changes will not be effective for CAT 2011.

As per the provision under section 39 of the PWD Act, 1995, 3% seats are reserved for Differently Abled (DA) candidates.  The three categories of disability are:

  • a) low-vision/blindness,
  • b) hearing impairment, and
  • c) locomotor disability/cerebral palsy.

This provision is applicable if the candidate suffers from any of the listed disabilities to the extent of not less than 40%, as certified by a medical authority as prescribed and explained in the said Act.

The candidates belonging to categories for which seats are reserved need to note and read the eligibility requirements carefully before applying.  It should be noted that while it is the endeavour of IIMs that the candidates belonging to SC/ST/PWD/Non-Creamy OBC categories join the programme in proportions mandated by the law, they have to meet the minimum eligibility criteria and a certain minimum level of performance in the admission process.

The candidates should read carefully the description of CAT admission process followed by each IIM on their respective websites.  No change in the category will be entertained after the closure of registration window, hence, the applications are advised to give attention while registering.