CAT 2016: Factors that influence cutoff of IIMs and other top B-schools
Right after taking CAT, candidates worry whether they would secure the requisite percentile, which is primarily the cutoff considered by IIMs and other top B-schools for the next rounds of the selection procedure. If you have already appeared for CAT, you must be wondering what would be the cutoff this year and whether you would be among the chosen few by IIMs and other top B-schools. Apart from knowing the cutoff percentile, you should also know the factors or criteria which influence the actual cutoff percentiles. This article of Careers360 brings you the factors that influence CAT cutoff for MBA admissions.
Although IIMs announce the cutoff percentile for admission even before the CAT is conducted, they often change it based on various parameters.
Few factors which influence the CAT cutoff are listed below:
Difficulty level of questions
Number of test takers
Total number of seats
Let us now assess each of the criterion which impacts the CAT cutoff percentile for IIMs or other top B-schools.
Difficulty level of CAT
The difficulty level and the cutoff score are inversely proportional. If CAT paper is comparably tougher than the previous year, the cutoff will be lower and vice-versa. Here, the cutoff is not in terms of percentile, but in terms of score which is necessary to obtain 99 percentile, which is the standard cutoff percentile for the old IIMs and top B-schools. As Arks Srinivas, CEO, Vistamind says, “In 2015, getting 180 marks out of 300 resulted in candidates securing 99 percentile. However, due to a little tougher paper this year, it is expected that 165 marks would lead to 99 percentile."
An easy test denotes the percentage of candidates obtaining high score would be more, hence the competition would be higher since the number of candidates vying for admission at a particular cutoff percentile would go up. Similarly, when the test is of high difficulty level, the number of candidates vying for a seat at the same percentile cutoff would be lower as the overall performance level would go down. Hence, to balance ratio of seats and candidates clearing cutoff percentile, the cutoff is increased or decreased accordingly.
The following table brings to you the expected sectional and overall cutoff scores for CAT 2016
CAT 2016 Expected Cutoff
Hit Bulls Eye
Number of test takers
The number of actual test takers is another parameter which influences the cutoff score or percentile. In case of a higher number of test takers, the cutoff would be high and vice versa. More test takers imply that the number of candidates competing for a seat is higher. Hence, a higher number of test takers along with tougher exam will result in a lower cutoff as well.
According to IIM Bangalore, the exam conducting body for CAT 2016, out of 2,32,434 applicants, around 1.95 lakh candidates actually took the test. In 2015, the number of test takers was 1,79,602 only. Thus, the cutoff may be a little higher for CAT 2016. The following table brings to you the number of test takers and number of applicants over the years.
CAT Number of Application and Actual Test Takers over the past 10 years
No. of Registration
No. of Test Takers
Number of seats
The intake capacity of the B-schools also influences their cutoff percentile. If the number of candidates vying for a seat is more than the previous year, the cutoff will decrease and vice versa. Around 4250 seats are offered by 20 IIMs for the academic year commencing from 2017. On the other hand, the number of CAT 2016 takers is 1.95 lakh. This means, approximately 46 candidates are competing for one seat at IIMs. Last year, the intake for IIMs altogether was around 4230 and the actual number of CAT 2015 takers was 1,79,602. Thus, around 42 candidates were competing for one seat. Since, more candidates are competing for each seat, this may lead to a lower percentile cutoff.
The cutoff percentile also varies according to the category of the candidate. The categories of the candidate are as follows:
Other Backward Classes (OBC)
Scheduled Caste (SC)
Scheduled Tribe (ST)
Person With Disability (PWD) or Differently Abled Persons (DAP)
Based on Gender
The cutoff percentile is highest for the General category followed by OBC-NC, SC, DAP and ST. The IIMs follow the Reservation Criteria as per the Government of India regulation. As much as 27 per cent seats are reserved for the NC-OBC candidates, 15 per cent for SC and 7.5 per cent for ST candidates. Three per cent seats are reserved for PWD or DA category candidates. The three categories of disability are: a) low-vision/blindness, b) hearing impairment, and c) locomotor disability, cerebral palsy.
Most of the IIMs assign specific weight-age based on the female candidates in order to maintain gender diversity at the management classrooms. On the other hand, the transgender category candidates are considered under the OBC-NC category at B-schools like IIM Ahmedabad.
Overall selection criteria
While securing a high percentile may get you shortlisted for the selection rounds at IIMs, there is no assurance that you will convert the call and feature in the merit list. There are several other parameters which are considered by IIMs for the final selection. These factors include CAT score, past academic records (Class X, Class XII and Graduation), work experience, Diversity factors (gender and academic stream) and performance in Writing Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds. The weight-ages assigned to the parameters vary from IIM to IIM.
Hence, there is no assurance that securing 99+ percentile will get you the coveted admission offer letter from IIMs. At the same time, the cutoff percentile may be less than 90 percentile depending on the other criteria mentioned above. For example, the IIM Ahmedabad admission criteria for PGP batch 2016-18 had stated the minimum CAT percentile for the General category candidates to be 90 percentile, which was reduced to 80 percentile after the declaration of result. So if your score is high in the other parameters, you may get selected even if your CAT percentile is low.
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates on CAT Cutoff
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Questions related to CAT
can I use scale and divider and other gemotrical instruments in nift cat test
According official websites and our CAREERS360 sitethings which are allowed to be carried in exam hall is as follows:
Ball point pen (to mark the answers in the OMR sheet)
Lead pencils (of varying grades)
Dry colours (such as oil pastels/colour pencils/sketch pens etc.)
Check here to know all about NIFT entrance exam 2021 last minutes tips and important things to carry.
These should be written on admit card what to bring and what not in examination hall.
i am khushi sharma . i have scored 627 in neet cat- gen EWS . please let me know about the colleges in UP that i can go for with this score . also please tell if i can go for delhi colleges through AIQ . AIR - 9416 cat rank - 944
Firstly i would like to appreciate you for your efforts for scoring so much high in one of the most difficult exams of the country .
I can understand that this year despite of scoring such a high score you get such a rank but this shows that how much the competetion is rising and also the cutoff is going to rise so much high .
Yes you can apply like this because both of the counsellings are conducted separately but you will get more benefit via the state quota.
Chances for Delhi are unfortunately very less but in UP due to inc in seats due to AIIMS and JIPMER you are going to a very nice institution.
You can also use our collage predictor to understand your standing in the competetion:-
I wish you very best for a very Bright Career Ahead. I am always available for any further queries.
10th 74% , 12th 54% , BBA grad 84% Cat 16.25 percentile, caste SC . Is there any chances of getting into FMS BHU?
firstly i would like to congratulations you for scoring good marks in your study. And also congratulations for clearing CAT exam.
If you have secured the minimum cutoff of BHU’s FMS will be called for the admission process of the colleges which includes the GD/PI rounds.
The final selection of the candidates is made upon the performance of the candidates in CAT 2020 and the admission rounds. Here the academic record of the candidates is also considered.
Hence there is a chance of getting into FMS BHU .
Good Luck !
I have scored 386 in neet 2020 I have domicile of Gujarat and belong to ews category. which colleges can I get admission in within Gujarat or outside Gujarat? please guide me. cat rank 22585 AIR 201772
As per previous years records, you can get the following seats:
- Zydus Medical College and Hospital, Dahod
- Govt. Dental College & Hospital, Ahmedabad
- Govt. Dental College & Hospital, Jamnagar
- Ahmedabad Dental College, Bhadaj-Ranchodpura Road, Dist. Gandhinagar
- AMC Dental College, Ahmedabad
To know more, kinldy visit at:
Also you can use the college predictor tool link given below:
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