MBA is quite a sought after degree for many people. Some people view it as an escape to greener pastures, while others see it as an opportunity to learn more and explore different fields before making their final career decisions.
An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for Entrance Exams of which the most popular is CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam.
The CAT Exam 2021 will be convened by one of the prestigious IIMs following CAT 2020 which was convened by IIM Indore. The CAT Exam eligibility is generally not changed too much by any of the IIMs so as to allow the maximum number of candidates in the exam. This also automatically means that the more worthy candidates will be able to qualify for further rounds. One more reason for this relatively conservative strategy is that the institutes have a backup to the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria in the form of the Eligibility Criteria of the individual institutes.
In order to give the CAT Exam, the candidates have to be eligible for it according to the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria of 2021. While the official criteria will be released along with the CAT 2021 Notification, the CAT Exam Eligibility 2021 is not expected to change too much from the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria of 2020 and CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria of 2019.
A common doubt amongst final year students planning on giving CAT is regarding their eligibility for the CAT Exam. The final year students of all Bachelor's degrees are welcome to give CAT with the caveat that they will clear their Bachelor's with the required percentage (45% or 50%). If the candidate is unable to clear their Bachelor's with the required percentage, their results in the further admission processes will be rendered null and void.
While the IIMs convene the CAT Exam, their eligibility Criteria is not exactly the same. There are some small points of contradictions that every candidate dreaming of studying at the IIMs should be aware of. While there is no age limit for both the CAT Exam eligibility as well as the IIM eligibility, the 2 years Bachelor’s degree which is accepted by CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria is not accepted by the IIMs which require a 3 years Bachelor's degree for their Management Programs.
Apart from this, there are no contradictions between the CAT Exam Eligibility and the IIM Eligibility.
After the CAT Exam Eligibility and the CAT Exam itself is cleared, the goal of every student is to enter the IIMs; the highest regarded MBA Colleges in India. However the IIMs are government-run institutions which mean that they follow the government policies about reservations for the under-privileged categories.
The Reservation also consists of reservation for Differently Abled Individuals or Persons with Disability. In order to avail of the Caste Based Reservation, the candidates are required to provide proof in the form of the SC/ST/OBC Certificate in the application form. Following this, the original may be required during the final admission process. The standard formats for the caste certificates are provided on the official CAT website so that there is some uniformity and verification of the certificate can be done relatively easily.
These reservations are as follows:
|Other Backward Classes of NC-OBC||27%|
|Person with Disability||5%|
This reservation means that a general category candidate has just over 54% (54.5% to be exact) seats available to him/her. The total number of seats available in the various IIMs is around 4000. With the reservation status as it is, the number of seats available to candidates from the general category is just over 1900. With the addition of 20 or so top Institutions, the General Category candidates have approximately 4000 seats to compete upon.
This shows the level of competition for each seat in the top B-Schools for a candidate in the General Category.
The PwD will include candidates who have the following problems/disabilities:
These conditions make the candidates eligible for the PwD category in all the colleges under CAT. There is however a caveat that the candidates should have at least 40% of the handicap mentioned above to be eligible. The candidates with disability are also given 20 minutes more per section keeping in mind their condition. For candidates with vision related issues, a scribe will be provided at the center along with a wheelchair for candidates who have locomotive disability or blindness.
The breakup between freshers and candidates with Work Experience in CAT generally oscillates between 40% and 60%. Thus, the number of final year students appearing for CAT each year is quite significant. For these candidates, the first step that they need to clear is the CAT Exam Eligibility 2021. In order to comply with the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria, the candidates need to furnish some additional documents such as:
It is essential for every student to go through the CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria before they start the CAT Preparation in earnest. The reason for this is that some candidates may be ineligible for the CAT Exam which would mean that the CAT Preparation would be waste of the candidate's time. More importantly, the candidate should be aware of the documents that he/she may be asked to furnish during the CAT Registration Process as well as the further admission processes. The documents required for the further processes of different colleges can be easily found online and the candidate would be well advised to keep those documents ready for inspection at the time.
The CAT 2021 Notification is expected to be released on the month of July while the CAT 2021 Registration is expected to begin in the second week of August. The CAT Registration Deadline would be near the end of September with around 10 days of correction window post the Deadline for students who have made errors in the CAT Registration. The CAT Exam is expected to be held in the last week of November with the results being declared in the first week of January, 2022. This is the expected timeline which would be confirmed with the CAT Notification in July. More information about the CAT Notification along with an overview of all the basic aspects of the CAT Exam can be found on this page.