CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024

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The CAT Eligibility Criteria for 2024 outlines the requirements that applicants must meet to apply and take the exam. These conditions include academic qualifications, age limits, past academic performance, and other relevant factors. The official authorities responsible for conducting the CAT exam publish the eligibility criteria for each upcoming exam.
CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024 implies the set of conditions that you must fulfill in order to apply and appear for the exam. This refers to academic qualifications, age limits, past academic performance, and other related factors. Every year, the official CAT-conducting authorities release the eligibility criteria for the upcoming exam.
CAT 2024 will be held on 24th November 2024 tentatively. The conducting authority for this year’s CAT Exam will soon be announced. It will announce the eligibility conditions for CAT 2024, based on which candidates will apply for the exam. CAT 2024 official notification will be released in the first or second week of August. Candidates need to register for CAT 2024 on the official CAT website only. The applications are likely to remain open until mid-September 2024. After filing the necessary information and uploading the requisite documents, you will need to pay the application fee via any of the online methods.
If you are aiming for CAT 2024, you must check the eligibility requirements of the exam. This article sheds light on the details of CAT eligibility criteria and related requirements.
CAT 2024
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) conduct the computer-based test CAT (Common Admission Test). It is one of the toughest and most popular entrance exams for MBA/ PGDM admissions. A total of 21 IIMs and thousands of other B-schools in India accept CAT scores. One of the IIMs is given the responsibility to conduct CAT annually. More than two lakh aspirants appear for the CAT exam every year, hoping to get into their dream B-school. Due to the limited number of admission seats and high cut-offs, the competition is quite stiff for the exam.
The CAT Exam essentially tests a candidate's abilities in problem-solving, decision-making, and time management. It consists of three sections, including areas like Quant, Verbal, Reasoning, and Data Interpretation. In the last few years, there have been certain changes in the exam pattern, yet the difficulty level and complexity of the exam have remained the same throughout. To ace the CAT exam, you need to maintain good speed and accuracy in all three sections.
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CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024
In 2021, the CAT committee introduced certain exceptions in eligibility criteria due to the pandemic scenario. However, from 2022, the previous criteria have been restored. The rules and guidelines for CAT eligibility 2024 can be understood in the given respects:
Academic Qualification
Every year, students from different educational backgrounds apply for CAT. :
1. The candidate must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent, in any stream, with a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of SC/ST/ PwD candidates).
2. The candidate's bachelor's degree must have validation from any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament 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.
3. Candidates appearing for the final year of a Bachelor's degree or equivalent examination and those who have already completed degree examinations but are awaiting results are also eligible. Such candidates, if qualified, can join the course conditionally, only if they produce a certificate from the Principal / Registrar of their University/institution.
The candidate needs to submit the certificate by June 30, 2024 (issued on or before June 30, 2024) stating that the candidate has fulfilled all the requirements for obtaining the bachelor's degree/equivalent qualification on the date of the issue of the certificate. Further, even the candidates with backlogs can apply for CAT, but they must clear their pending subjects in order to seek admission to any B-school.
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4. The percentage of marks secured in bachelor's degree will be calculated based on the standard pattern followed by the concerned University/Institution.
In the case of CGPA or grades, the conversion is based on the process defined by the concerned university or institution. If any University/institution confirms that there is no scheme for converting grades/CGPA into equivalent marks, the method is to divide the candidate's CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiply the result by 100.
Age Limits
There are no age restrictions for CAT. So, you can take the exam at any age.
CAT eligibility criteria do not specify any necessary work experience. So, both the freshers and experienced candidates can take the exam. However, some of the B-schools do consider work experience during admission.
Number of Attempts
You can appear for CAT any number of times in a lifetime.
Did you Know: From 2011, the IITs and IISc started accepting CAT scores for MBA/M.Mgt., instead of JMET (Joint Management Entrance Test).
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Note: IIMs do not shortlist the applicants who are incapable of fulfilling the above-stated criteria.
The participating institutes verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process. (The details of the verification process are provided on the official IIM website.)

What is the difference between CAT and IIM eligibility criteria?
CAT eligibility criteria have not seen many changes over the years. However, in 2014, the authorities made a few changes, which led to clashes between CAT exam eligibility criteria and IIMs Admission criteria.
As per CAT 2024 eligibility requirements, applicants with even two years of graduation can sit for CAT, but they cannot pursue the management course at IIM unless they have a graduation degree with a minimum of three years duration. Besides, factors like work experience, extracurriculars, academic profile, and performance in the selection process do influence your admission to IIMs. While work experience is a mandatory requirement for some MBA programs in IIMs as well as some other institutes, it is not needed for taking the CAT exam. Except for this, the eligibility for CAT & IIM admissions remains the same.
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Who is not eligible for CAT 2024?
As defined by IIMs, the following conditions can make you ineligible for CAT 2024:
  • If you have neither completed any bachelor’s degree nor pursued one.
  • If you have completed any professional degree, but not a bachelor's.
  • If you score below 50% as General Category and below 45% as SC/ST/PwD candidates.
  • if your Bachelor’s degree is not recognized by AICTE/UGC/MHRD-Govt. of India.
What are the Reservation Criteria in IIMs?
IIMs follow the given reservation format:
Category Reserved Seats (In Percentage)
Schedule Cast (SC) 15%
Schedule Tribe (ST) 7.5%
Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC) 27%
PWD(Persons with Disability) 3%
Over the years, the eligibility for CAT has more or less remained the same since 2014. For more information, check the official CAT website.
Lastly, you must remember that eligibility in CAT is not a guarantee of admission to any of the prestigious B-schools. Your final admission is based on a wide range of parameters such as your profile, CAT score, performance in admission rounds (GD/WAT/PI), etc. However, you need to be familiar with the above information in order to provide the relevant details in your CAT 2024 application form. In case of any deviations, your application is liable to be cancelled by the authorities without notice.
FAQs Regarding CAT Eligibility 2024
1. What is the validity of CAT score?
CAT scorecard is valid for 1 year only.
2. Can I appear for CAT in my third year?
If it is the final year of your graduation, you can take the CAT exam.
3. Is CAT only for MBA/PGDM programs?
Yes, the institutes need CAT scores only for MBA/PGDM admissions.
4. Who determines the CAT Exam Eligibility?
IIMs decide and declare the eligibility criteria for CAT.
5. Is class 12th marks considered for CAT?
No, class 12th marks have no role in CAT eligibility.
6. Can I give CAT after my master degree?
Yes, you can give CAT after any master degree.
7. Can I get admission in IIM after class 12th?
You can get admission in only the five-year integrated programs offered by some of the IIMs. However, you cannot seek admission in two-year MBA/PGDM or appear in CAT without bachelor degree.
8. Can I get into an IIM without taking CAT?
In case of MBA/PGDM admissions, IIMs require CAT scores. However, they also accept GMAT scores. So, if you plan not to give CAT, you need have gained a good score in GMAT.
9. Are CAT scores accepted in any foreign B-schools?
Yes, there are a few foreign institutes that accept CAT scores for MBA/MIM/other masters in management. These include HEC Paris, SP Jain School Of Global Management, Singapore Management University, etc.
10. Can I appear for CAT, if I have a backlog in graduation?
Yes, you can take CAT in spite of backlog. However, you need to clear it before taking admission in any of the B-schools.
11. Can 12th pass apply for CAT?
No, you need to be graduate student or be in final year of graduation in order to sit for CAT.
12. Does 12th marks matter in CAT?
Class 12th marks donot matter in CAT, but do have an impact on your B-school admissions.
13. Can I give CAT after BSC?
Yes, you can take CAT after any sort of bachelor degree, provided it is approved by UGC or equivalent authority.
14. What is the passing marks in CAT?
There are no passing marks mentioned by CAT committee. However, different B-schools do have different CAT cut-offs. So, if you are targetting a specific set of B-schools, you need to be aware of their cut-off figures and study accordingly. Most top B-schools have a cut-off of 90+ percentiles.
15. Can I clear CAT in 1st attempt?
Yes, you surely can. Several freshers and working professionals happen to crack CAT in the first attempt, with focused and dedicated preparation. It is not a surprise that some of the 99 percentilers did it in their first attempt. So, you can too!
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