CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

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For admissions to the top B-schools in India, candidates must register themselves for the CAT exam. Common Admission Test or CAT is a computer-based test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management. CAT 2021 will be held in November 2021. Due to COVID, CAT 2020 saw a few major changes in its pattern. However, the same for CAT 2021 will be notified upon the release of CAT notification. Registrations for CAT 2021 will commence in August 2021 and will close in September 2021. Students may expect CAT 2021 results by second week of January 2022. Besides, candidate must fulfill all the CAT 2021 eligibility requirements to be eligible for the exam. All the information related to the CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria has been mentioned below.
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CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria
Various students from different educational backgrounds apply for CAT. However, before applying for CAT 2021, you must go through the CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria thoroughly:
1. A candidate is eligible to appear in CAT 2021 if he/she holds a Bachelor's Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA.
The candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) categories, need at least 45% marks.
2. The degree must have been awarded by 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 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, will be allowed to 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, 2022 (issued on or before June 30, 2022) 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.
4. The percentage of marks will be calculated based on the calculation pattern followed by the concerned University/Institution.
In 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 equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate's CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.
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NB: IIMs will not shortlist applicants incapable of fulfilling the eligibility criteria.
IIMs may verify eligibility at various stages of the selection process. (The details of 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, a few changes were introduced in 2014, which led to clashes between CAT exam eligibility criteria and IIMs Admission criteria.
Applicants are allowed to appear in CAT 2021 exam with two years of graduation in the old system, but they are not allowed to pursue the management course at IIM unless they have completed graduation degree with minimum three years duration. Except this, the eligibility for CAT & IIM admissions remains the same. There is no age bar to appear for CAT exam or to pursue MBA from IIMs. For the batch of 2022-24, the eligibility criteria remain the same.
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Who is not eligible to appear for CAT 2021?
As defined by IIMs, a few are not eligible for CAT 2021:
  • If you have not complete any professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) or not pursuing bachelor’s degree, then you are not eligible to appear for CAT 2021.
  • If you have pursued any professional degree, but not bachelors, you are not eligible to appear for CAT 2021. Having a Bachelors degree is necessary to appear for CAT 2021.
  • You must not score below 50% as General Category and below 45% as SC/ST/PwD candidates.
  • You are not eligible for CAT 2021, if your Bachelor’s degree is not recognized by AICTE/UGC/MHRD-Govt. of India.
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CAT 2021 Eligibility Determination: CGPA/Grade Conversion to Percentage of Marks
In case of CGPA, you can determine the CAT Eligibility by following the procedure certified by respective institution or university. If no university/institution confirms of any conversion scheme, then the equivalence of marks would be established by dividing your CGPA by maximum CGPA and then multiplying the same by 100. By following this, you can calculate the maximum marks required to be eligible for CAT 2021.
Reservation of Seats
Seat Reservation IIMs is as followed:
Category Reserved Seats (In Percentage)
Schedule Cast (SC) 15%
Schedule Tribe (ST) 7.5%
Other Backward Classes of NC-OBC 27%
Over the years, the eligibility for CAT has more or less remained same since 2014. Visit iimcat.ac.in for more information on CAT 2021.
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