CAT Cut Off


Every CAT aspirant keeps an eye out for the CAT Cut off of all the top B-Schools so that he/she has an idea of what they are shooting for. The CAT Cut Off is the initial stage that must be cleared by the candidate to be considered for the further procedures. While the actual CAT Cut Off is far higher than the CAT Cut Off given by the colleges, these CAT Cut Offs must also be kept in mind to ensure that the aspirant has a realistic target for which they can aim.

The general trends for the top B-Schools are:

  • The Top IIMs as well as colleges like FMS and ISB Hyderabad require a CAT Score of over 99%ile to get a call for the interview rounds.
  • New IIMs like IIM Udaipur, IIM Trichy, etc. all have a CAT Cut Off of 90-95%ile for an interview call.
  • Baby IIMs have similar CAT Cut Offs as in the New IIMs but some can dip to 85%ile for the candidate with the right profile.
  • Tier 2 and Tier 3 Colleges can have CAT Scores and CAT Cut Offs of anywhere between 50 and 80%ile.

Apart from the overall CAT Cut Off that has been mentioned in above paragraph, most top B-Schools also have a sectional CAT Cut Off. If the candidate clears the over CAT Cut Off but fails to clear the Section CAT Cut Off, he/she will not get a call from the B-School.

CAT 2020 will be held in the last week of November with the final date being announced through the CAT 2020 Notification in the last week of July.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

What exactly does the CAT Cut Off mean?

The CAT Exam attracted almost 2,30,000 aspirants in CAT 2020. This makes it difficult for the colleges to select the ideal candidates from this selection. An additional complexity is that the other colleges will simultaneously be selecting candidates for their own batch.

Therefore, the Business Colleges decided to bring in something called the CAT Cut Off. 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 bigger the reputation of the college, more the number of candidates who would want to gain admission in the college.

There are certainly other factors such as 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 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.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

Can an average student clear CAT Cut off?

Being an average student does not necessarily mean that you are someone with poor academic foundation and weak analytical skills. It can simply mean that somewhere deep down, you have cast an overwhelming shadow on your own skill-set and have bought yourself to a decision that it is nearly impossible to crack a competitive exam. Also, you focus on learning and studying everything at ones and as a result, you procrastinate and incapacitate your own self confidence and problem-solving 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.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

Factors Affecting CAT Cut Off

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

  • Number of Test Takers
  • Difficulty Level of Exam
  • Number of Seats
  • University/College Repute

All these factors come into play when the final CAT Cut Off is decided. If the number of test takers increases, the CAT Cut Off generally increases. This is because while the number of people that the college calls for the further processes is generally similar, the increase in number of test takers means that those number of people can be found at higher CAT Cut Offs. On the flip side, when the difficulty level of the paper increases, the CAT Cut Off generally tends to decrease. The story is similar with the number of seats. When the number of seats increases, the colleges calls more people to fill these seats which leads to a decrease in the CAT Cut Off. The University Repute affects the CAT Cut Off when it changes as higher repute colleges tends to have higher CAT Cut Offs.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

Important Dates for CAT 2020 Cut Off

There is no announcement date for the CAT 2020 Cut Off. As mentioned above, the CAT Cut Off is fairly dynamic in nature which always leaves some amount of uncertainty for the aspirant. The Important Dates for CAT 2020 will be released through the CAT 2020 Notification which will be released in the last week of July.

Event Date
CAT 2020 Notification 29th July 2020
CAT 2020 Registration 5th August 2020
Registration Deadline 16th September 2020
Admit Card Availability 28th October 2020
CAT 2020 Exam 29th November 2020

Read CAT Exam Dates and Time to know more

CAT 2020 Sectional Cut Off

Get section & category wise cutoffs for IIMs

CAT 2020 Cut Off Date

The CAT 2020 Cut Off will be announced post the CAT 2020 Result. The CAT 2020 Result is expected to be released in the start of January 2021. Following the results, the IIMs are usually the first institutes to announce their initial shortlist for interview calls.

IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore are usually the first institutes to release their first shortlist of interview calls which gives the cut off. Following this procedure, the other IIMs along with other Tier 1 Colleges release their shortlist. With the shortlist, the CAT Cut Off can also be deduced using the percentile of the candidate with the lowest percentile who got a call for the college.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

CAT Cut Off for IIMs

The CAT Cut Offs for the IIMs for candidates from the general category are extremely high. According to the trends over the past few years, the CAT Cut Offs for top IIMs are:

  • IIM Ahmedabad - 99%ile
  • IIM Bangalore - 99%ile
  • IIM Calcutta - 99%ile

For the top three IIMs, the CAT Cut Offs are, as expected, extremely high. However IIM Ahmedabad definitely gives opportunities to candidates who have different profiles. So candidates from the B. Arts background can receive a call from IIM Ahmedabad with slightly lower percentiles as well. For the other old IIMs:

  • IIM Lucknow - 97-98%ile
  • IIM Kozhikode - 97-98%ile
  • IIM Indore - 97-98%ile

These IIMs have to reduce their CAT Cut Offs so that they can attract students other than those who have a chance at the top 3 IIMs. Thus by reducing the CAT Cut Off, the IIMs are able to attract a larger group of candidates.

For new IIMs and baby IIMs:

  • IIM Shillong - 95%ile
  • IIM Udaipur - 95%ile
  • IIM Ranchi - 95%ile
  • IIM Raipur - 95%ile
  • IIM Rohtak - 95%ile
  • IIM Trichy - 95%ile
  • IIM Kashipur - 95%ile
  • IIM Sirmaur - 90-95%ile
  • IIM Bodh Gaya - 90-95%ile
  • IIM Vizag - 90-95%ile
  • IIM Amritsar - 90-95%ile
  • IIM Jammu-90-95%ile
  • IIM Nagpur - 90-95%ile
  • IIM Sambalpur - 90-95%ile

Similar to the logic with IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode and IIM Indore, group of student targeted by these institutes is different from the students targeted by the top IIMs.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

CAT Cut Offs for Non-IIMs (Tier 1)

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 their dream. However there are several other colleges which 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.

  • FMS Delhi - 99%ile+
  • SPJIMR - 85%ile (More Profile Based)
  • MDI Gurgaon - 95%ile +
  • IIT Delhi - 98%ile +
  • JBIMS - 99%ile +
  • NITIE - 95%ile +
  • SJSOM (IIT Bombay) - 99%ile +
  • IIT Madras - 95%ile +
  • IMI New Delhi – 90%ile

These are the colleges which are counted amongst the best B-Schools in India which leads to the high CAT Cut Offs as indicated above.

Download the CAT Syllabus PDF

What to Do with CAT Cut Offs

The CAT 2020 represents a milestone in the life of several candidates. Therefore, they need to plan their entire CAT 2020 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 2020 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 needs to keep in mind the selection criterion that the Business Schools have.

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 Cut off 2020

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

Devote your time to online sectional tests

  • The test series is available on the LMS portal while a candidate is working on the training modules and activated once a particular concept has been taught. 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 that 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. All India Mock Test (based on the student variant) is yet another tool provided in the interest of self-evaluation and performance management.

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 each 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 practice tests

  •  It is equally important to 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 analyses and latest exam notifications related to shifting of the exam dates, change in the syllabus and paper pattern and dynamic ranking scheme that is to be followed that particular year. Additional information adds up to your knowledge. Period.

Get in touch with your peers and faculty members

  • Aligning yourself with a training expert can help you in a number of unanswered ways. Which 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 torch bearers in the 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 Cut Off is a 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.

Hope this article cleared some doubts you had about the CAT Cut Off!

All the best!