“CHESHIRE Puss, would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice.

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the CAT.

This excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic Alice in Wonderland, beautifully sums up the dilemma most MBA aspirants grapple with once the results of the written entrance tests are out, if not before.

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Just imagine that the Cheshire cat in this anecdote to be the actual CAT, and the student will find himself asking similar questions, “Which way to go? Which institute to chose?


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The one with the lower fee, strong alumni base and excellent proclaimed placements? Or the one with good residential facilities, excellent faculty and a great research culture? Or should I simply go for the B-School in my hometown in which it is relatively easy to gain admission?”

Myriad questions like these zip across his mind but the answers lie within him only. One has to clearly ask himself (as the cat asks Alice), what do I really want from an MBA? Is it merely placements? A brand with higher equity? If the answer to these is ‘Yes’, then all he needs to do is collect the placement statistics of the institutes, sort them in the descending order and the preference list is ready.

Thereafter it is a question of seeing the cut-offs and going for the one with highest average placement salaries which you can get into with your scores.

Or is one looking for a great learning experience which can only be provided by interacting with the best brains? Is one looking to enrich one’s personality and pick up essential skills which will help him perform in the corporate world for a lifetime? Is one interested in the social/rural sector? If the answer to the last one is ‘Yes’, for example, then one needs to consider the likes of IRMA-Anand, TISS-Mumbai, MANAGE-Hyderabad etc.

In fact, if the answer to any of the questions in this paragraph is ‘Yes’, then you need to do a little more research, find out from your teachers, and of course, seniors. Visit the college websites and rankings, to get a clear insight into what life is like in the various institutes so as to know the key statistics.

To help one make an informed choice, we have asked leading experts to guide you on the topic and it is hoped that you will benefit from their perspectives on various issues which have been presented in this edition.
In addition, a very practical listing has been presented here which will help you chose MBA institutes to apply to, clearly based on the CAT percentile (or equivalent) that you have obtained. For e.g. let us say you have obtained 75 percentile. Now, this lies exactly on the border of Tier 6 and Tier 7 institutes we have presented here.

Therefore, one should choose a few institutes from Tier 6 and a few from Tier 7 based on your answers to the questions asked earlier in the article. As a safety net, we would also advise you to apply to at least one college from Tier 8.

Overall, applying to 10-odd colleges should be good enough if you have the requisite breadth in your selections. As another example, if you have obtained 82 percentile, you are in the plump middle of Tier 5. In this case, you should apply to about 5 institutes from Tier-5 and 2-3 each from Tier 4 and Tier 6.

Go ahead, conquer your dreams! 

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 Some B-schools may not be particular about a minimum score and look at the overall profile of the candidate before issuing a GD/ PI call.

The above table includes inputs received from coaching institutes like CareerLauncher, IMS and T.I.M.E., and tempered with Careers360 knowledge-base


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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8464 out of 8464 Questions

I have a 9 CGPA in 10th, 89% in 12th, 5.8 CGPA in B.Com. and 6 CGPA in M.Com. So how much do I need to score in CAT for admission in NIBM, Pune being a General? Also, I have done internships in reputable organisations along with few diplomas.

Anuja 27th May, 2020

Dear Aspirant,

NIBM is one of the finest Institute in India

According to some past year data, the cut off through CAT ranges between 85-90 percentile general category

But the safer score could be more than 90 percentile. As cut off may differ every year depending upon how many candidates appear the exam and difficulty level of the exam

Hope this helps

All the best


i am a ca student My profile Class 10th 10 cgpa Class 12th 95% Bcom (open) 71% Ca cpt AIR 10 Marks 92.5% Ca ipcc 67% Went into depression in feb 2018 Recovered now But lost my interest in ca Now aiming for cat 2020 will i get good iim if I score well in cat?

Yash Dev Student Expert 27th May, 2020

Hello student yes you've a very well academic background you'll definitely get admission in top MBA colleges if you've score good marks in CAT entrance examination and PI. But if your first aim was CA and you've clear till 2nd stage with good score I'll suggest you not to Quit now its okay if you get demotivated for some time but CA course need lot of patience and hard work you're just few step away to become a chartered accountant so ask yourself if you really want to quit or its something else.

Feel free to comment if you have any doubt

Good luck


93% in 10th(ICSE), 84% in 12th(CBSE), 8.0 CGPA in grads(B.E Jadavpur University). Please evaluate my profile for top IIMs through CAT.

Shivang Dubey 27th May, 2020

Hey Mohit

Indian Institute of Management have set criteria for calling candidates for Interview round to which 10th, 12th and Graduation marks contribute. The AR is very crucial for overall CAT score, which is calculated through 0.5*(10th marks) + 1.5*(12th marks) + 2.5*(Graduation marks). [for IIM Ahmadabad]

In your case, you need to score at least 99.5+ percentile in CAT written examination to be called for esteemed and old IIMs'.

Later to which, you will be facing WAP and Personal Interview round, and if you excel in all rounds, your admission would be successful.


Where can one gain knowledge from experiences of industry personalities and their careers?

Apoorva Student Expert 27th May, 2020

Hello dear student,

there are so many places where you can gain knowledge from the experiences of the personalities from the industry directly. You can attend workshops organised by them and gain understanding of their experiences. Then you can attend their seminars , webinars etc . That ways will be easier and helpful. While you can also just Google it and read all about them.

Thank you


CAT cut off to get admission in alkesh dinesh mody institute of management??

Anuja 27th May, 2020

Dear Aspirant,

To get admission in Alkesh Dinesh Mody through CAT exam you have to apply to the All India Quota seats in the cap round counseling process

So the cut off is around 90-95 percentile at that time as the seats are less in All India Quota

Hope this helps

Feel free to ask doubts in comment section

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