CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria 2019

CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria 2019

Regarded as one of the most difficult entrance tests, qualifying CAT is on the mind of every student who wishes to study in Top Management Colleges. For aspiring candidates, we have put forth this article which covers the 2019 CAT Eligibility Criteria. We have tried our best to provide you with a piece of comprehensive information regarding the matter. Please read on for details:

What is CAT?

Common Admission Test, also known as CAT, is a highly competitive qualification exam conducted by IIM for admission into their highly approved PGDM programs. Besides IIMs, CAT is also approved by many other leading institutions. So a good CAT score may be your passport to a high flying career.

It is a computer-based exam. This year, the number of CAT applicants has shot up to 2.44 Lakh. However, a critical look shows that, on an average 10 to 15% of students registering for the exam do not attempt it. That brings the actual number of candidates down. Also a sizable chunk of students taking CAT do not attempt it seriously. You’d argue that, more or less, this is the case with all the competitive exams. However, the point I am trying to put across is that one should not be dejected by the sheer number of candidates applying for CAT.

It is not the number of candidates but it is the quality of students seriously throwing themselves into it who makes the exam competitive. If you want to secure a seat in topline colleges, clearing CAT is one of the hurdles, other ones including getting a call letter from your targetted institutions and  getting through the personal interview and GD.

CAT Exam Eligibility 2019

According to the notification given on the official CAT website, here are the CAT Eligibility Criteria 2019:

  • The applicant must be a Graduate, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA. If the candidate happens to belong to Scheduled Caste(SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and  Persons with Disability (Pwd) categories, there is a relaxation of 5%. That means they must hold a bachelor’s Degree with 45% Marks.  
  • The degree must be awarded by any University or educational institution as incorporated by an Act of Parliament or State legislature in India or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
  • A candidate appearing for the final year of Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply. However, if selected, the student will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if they submit a certificate from the Principal/Registrar of their University/Institution (issued on or before the date as stipulated by the respective IIM) stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate.

In short, candidates applying for CAT should fulfill any one of the following conditions:

  • Completed a Bachelor’s degree with the required percentage of marks.
  • Completed a professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with the required percentage.
  • Should be in the final year of Bachelor’s degree with the required percentage.
  • SC/ST/PwD candidates should have a minimum of 45%. For General, EWS and NC-OBC candidates, the minimum is 50%.

It should be noted that the percentage of marks obtained by the candidate would be calculated based on the practice as followed by the respective University/Institution.

  • In the case of grades/CGPA, the conversion to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure as certified by the respective University/Institution. If any University/institution confirms that there is no scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and multiplying the result with 100.
  • IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process, the details of which are provided at the website Applicants should note that the mere fulfillment of the minimum eligibility criteria will not ensure consideration for shortlisting by IIMs. Candidates must declare and maintain a valid and unique email account and a phone number throughout the selection process.


As per the legal requirements, 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. 27% of the seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes candidates belonging to the “non-creamy” layer (NC-OBC). Up to 10% of the seats are reserved for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) candidates.

A word of advice

With the advent of the internet, we are living in the age of information. But, we should never overlook that readily available information on the internet, at times may be inaccurate or misleading.  Hence, we suggest you to go through this official link and check the eligibility carefully to avoid any last-minute surprise.

Closing note

We wish you luck with your career. Please feel free to reach out to us for more information about Exam Patterns, Marking Scheme, and Interview Process.

You have a chance; make it count.