CAT Cutoff 2023: Sectional Cutoff, Results and Admissions to Top MBA Institutes

Updated on 19th February 2024 | 11:59 am | #CATCutoff

The minimum marks required by a candidate in CAT to be selected for further admission rounds is called the CAT cutoff. After the CAT exam candidates keep an eye on the cutoff lists to see which colleges and institutes would accept their CAT scores.

Alongside the overall CAT cutoffs are the sectional cutoffs. If a candidate clears the overall CAT cutoff but fails to clear the sectional CAT cutoff, they will not get a call from the B-School.

CAT 2023 was held on 26th November 2023 and the results were released on 21st December 2023. B-schools have started to release the shortlists for further interview rounds.

Get the Detailed CAT 2024 Syllabus

Factors Affecting CAT Cutoff

There are several different factors that can affect the CAT Cut Off:

Number of Test Takers for the CAT exam: If the number of test-takers increases, the CAT Cutoff generally increases too. This is because while the number of people that the college calls for the further processes is generally the same, the increase in the number of test-takers means that people getting admission calls are at higher CAT Cutoffs.

The difficulty level of the exam: On the other hand, an increase in the difficulty level of the CAT exam would lower the percentiles. This is the case due to a drop in the score of a majority of candidates.

The number of seats in the institute: When the number of seat increases, the colleges calls more people to fill these seats which leads to a decrease in the CAT Cutoff. Also, for a limited number of seats in one of the top B-schools, the cut-offs would be very high and competitive.

University/College Repute: The reputation of a university and the cutoff score go hand in hand as top institutes will get the best candidates with high percentiles applying for their programs. So a university that changes to a rank of a higher reputed institute would consequently have a higher cutoff.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

CAT Cutoff 2023: Results for the IIMs

The CAT cutoffs for percentile-based calls of general category candidates are high. According to the trends over the past few years, the CAT Cut offs for IIMs are:


CAT Cut off (2023)

IIM Ahmedabad

99.5 %ile

IIM Bangalore

99.5 %ile

IIM Calcutta

99.5 %ile

IIM Lucknow

99 %ile

IIM Kozhikode

98.5 %ile

IIM Indore

98 %ile

IIM Shillong

97 %ile

IIM Udaipur

96 %ile

IIM Ranchi

97 %ile

IIM Raipur

96 %ile

IIM Rohtak

96 %ile

IIM Trichy

96 %ile

IIM Kashipur

96 %ile

IIM Sirmaur

96 %ile

IIM Bodhgaya

93 %ile

IIM Vizag

96 %ile

IIM Amritsar

96 %ile

IIM Jammu

93 %ile

IIM Nagpur

96 %ile

IIM Sambalpur

96 %ile

IIM Mumbai

97 %ile

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

CAT Cutoffs for Non-IIMs

While most aspirants aim to get into the older IIMs as they are considered to be the best B-schools in India, not everyone can accomplish this goal. However, there are several other colleges that have almost the same level of repute as the IIMs. Some of these colleges include SP Jain, FMS, MDI Gurgaon, IIT Delhi, JBIMS, NITIE, etc. The CAT Cut Offs for these colleges are often times as high and occasionally even higher than that of the IIMs.


CAT Cutoff

FMS Delhi

99.3 %ile+


97 %ile+

MDI Gurgaon

95 -96 %ile +

VGSOM (IIT Kharagpur)

94 %ile+


98 %ile +

IIFT Delhi

98 %ile +

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

What exactly does the CAT Cut Off mean?

The CAT 2023 exam had approximately 3.3 lakh registrations out of which more than 2.8 lakh candidates appeared. This makes it difficult for colleges to select the ideal candidates from this vast pool. An added complexity to the criterion is that other colleges will also be selecting candidates for their own batch simultaneously.

Therefore, the business colleges decided to bring in something called the CAT Cutoff. This represents a basic percentile requirement which the colleges decide upon based on:

  • Reputation of College
  • Number of Aspirants for the college

These two factors are somewhat inter-related because the better the reputation of the college, the more the number of candidates who would want to gain admission there.

There are certainly other factors such as the quality of the faculty, the placement record and even the location of the college. The last factor matters because if there are two colleges with an equally competent student base, companies would rather visit the college which is closer to their location. It is due to this reason, that colleges tend to crop up in industrial hubs such as Mumbai and Bangalore.

Can an average student clear the CAT cutoff?

Being an average student does not necessarily mean that you are someone with a poor academic foundation and weak analytical skills.

You need to understand that you have what it takes to get into an IIM and are viable to crack any sort of examination that comes in your way, provided you work smartly and analyze your own learning pattern. Consistency is mandatory. Focus on your objectives and re-invent your working pattern in other formats.

Meticulous management of your time will help you stay focused. Breaking up your studying time into small chunks helps concentrate more and mind mapping can straightaway hit the nail on the coffin and help you ace CAT or any competitive test for that matter.

What to do with CAT Cutoffs

The CAT exam represents a milestone in the life of several candidates. Therefore, they need to plan their entire CAT Exam Preparation extremely carefully. This is where the CAT Cut Off and the CAT Score come into play.

Every candidate has a basic idea of what they can achieve in the CAT exam with a good level of preparation. Keeping this in mind, the candidate needs to build a shortlist of Business Scores that they can aspire for. While making this shortlist, the candidate must acknowledge the selection criteria and usual CAT cutoff scores of said institutes.

These selection criteria are usually available on the college website itself or on some other internet source. With the help of the selection criteria, the candidate can make a realistic estimate of the Business Schools that the candidate has a fair chance of getting selected.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

How to Clear CAT Cutoff 2023

Summarize the course curriculum - Identify and prioritize the topics that require the most amount of attention that require deep learning. You can refer to the previous year's CAT question papers, question banks framed specifically for the candidates and the individual weightage of each section in the CAT exam.

Devote your time to Online Sectional Tests
  • The test series and sectional tests allow candidates to prepare themselves according to the different sections of the CAT exam and identify their weaker areas. It is an easy-to-use prep tool that would help candidate analyze their performance at every step.
Plan your Schedule
  • The limited time between today and the CAT Exam means the need to establish a sound schedule for how to prepare for CAT. This plan needs to cover all the major areas and requires the candidates to have a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses.

Segregation of Time

  • Over the period of 1 month, the time to be spent on each section has to be carefully sub-divided so that every section receives adequate attention. After all, each section in the CAT exam also has its own sectional cut-offs which means that focusing on a couple of sections to maximize the score is not possible. While planning the schedule, the candidate needs to ensure that they assign adequate time to each section and maximize their score at the same time.
Video lectures on QA and Reasoning by experts
  • It is extremely important for the candidate’s CAT Preparation that they attend as many video lectures as possible in this 1-month period. At this stage of time, the candidate should be prepared to attend a lecture every second day if not every day, even if he/she is a working professional. This will ensure that they have the maximum amount of exposure when they actually sit for the CAT Exam.
Mock Practise Tests
  • It is important to practise tests and analyze the mocks given so that the candidate can keep track of their progress and identify the areas where some additional efforts might be required. Also, get in touch with previous exam analyzes and the latest exam notifications related to shifting of the exam dates, change in the syllabus, paper pattern and dynamic ranking scheme that is to be followed that particular year. Additional information adds up to your knowledge.
Get in touch with your Peers and Faculty Members
  • Aligning yourself with a training expert can help you in a number of unanswered ways. This is why candidates prefer to stay in touch with the academic team, search for daily updates on the student portal and buddy up with ex IIM Alumni who can be torchbearers in times of need. A good networking circle sets a benchmark in making you academically polished, strong and noticed.
Download the CAT Syllabus PDF


The CAT Cutoff is just another tool that the candidate has in his locker. It gives the candidate a better idea of where they need to focus their efforts and the kind of CAT Score and CAT Percentile that they need to aim for. This is especially important because while aiming for 100%ile is good, there should also be a realistic target for the candidate to chase.


Yes, for admissions to the IIMs, 85% in 12th is sufficient. Getting admission to an IIM is dependent on various factors, along with 12th scores. The profile of the candidate, the CAT score, and the performance in the GDPI round together determine whether a candidate is admissible for admission or not.

Yes, candidates who score a high percentile might still not make the cut for IIM-A as the CAT scores are not the only criterion for admission to an IIM. The performance of the candidate in further admission rounds, the overall profile, including 10th and 12th grades, work experience, qualification, etc, also plays a role in the final score given to the candidate.

A good CAT percentile is necessary for the interview shortlisting and each IIM has a separate minimum cutoff as mentioned above. However, the final decision for admission to any IIM is based on various factors including profile, diversity, CAT scores, and other factors.