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Change in IIM Ahmedabad Selection Criteria, Non Engineering Candidates get advantage

Last Updated - September 29, 2016

The aspiring Common Admission Test, CAT candidates belonging to non-engineering backgrounds will find it easy to get admission into IIM Ahmedabad 2017-19 session. The reason for this is due to the change in the admission policy by the Top B-Schools in India. In this session due to the introduction of the policy ‘Academic Diversity’ a higher weightage will be given to the students that do not belong to the engineering background.

This year IIM Ahmedabad wants their batches to consist of students from different academic backgrounds. They do not want to have all the students from the engineering background, they want their batches to have few students from arts, commerce, medical, CAs or CS backgrounds as well. This will enhance the learning atmosphere on the campus.

CAT Exam is an online national based exam conducted yearly by the IIMs. It is an exam taken by the aspiring candidates seeking admission in the field of Post Graduate Management Programmes in various IIMs and many other business schools across India. The CAT Syllabus majorly consists of Quantitative aptitude, Verbal Ability, Logical & Analytical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. The scores for the same are widely accepted by the IIMs and many other B-Schools.

Reasons for Inclusion of ‘Academic Diversity’ Policy by IIMs

The CAT aspirants belonging to the engineering field will find the exam easier than the aspirants from non-engineering field. The reason for this is due to the CAT syllabus. The subjects studied by the engineering students during their graduation time covers few topics that are there in the CAT exam. Hence, the policy introduced will help the aspiring candidates of CAT 2016 from non-engineering fields to have a better chance over the candidates from engineering field. Also, to compensate for this score, a few points are given to applicants from non-engineering category. To be more clear about the term of Academic Diversity in IIMs, it refers to giving admission to the students with different educational backgrounds. 

The addition of academic diversity in the admission policy is due to the following reasons:

  • This is done so that the students have a vibrant and diverse learning experience inside classrooms. The aspirants will get to know and get a basic understanding of various other fields apart from engineering.
  • Another reason for this is, as MBA is all about having a broad knowledge of various industries and to have proper awareness of the working environment, hence the students from different educational backgrounds can come together and have a healthy discussion on some topic. This will help all the students to know about other student’s perspective of interpreting things.
  • This diversity is what makes any post graduate MBA institute worth targeting.

The Selection Process of IIMA has Two Steps which is explained below and it includes Preliminary Selection (AWT & PI) and Final Selection on the basis of Composite Scores.

Preliminary Selection of applicants

Currently, IIM Ahmedabad is the only IIM college following the admission policy of academic diversity. Apart from preliminary shortlisting based on weightage to CAT 2016 scores which will be the mandatory shortlisting criterion, IIM Ahmedabad has devised the weightages with a view to improve the academic diversity in its class rooms. After shortlisting the then Eligible CAT candidates then they have to go through the final admission process of IIM Ahmedabad. The final admission round will comprise of Academic Writing Test (AWT) and Personal Interview (PI). Both the tests will be conducted on the same day and the admission offers shall be issued based on the scores obtained in CAT 2016, AWT, PI and other key parameters in the month of April, 2017.

  • Under first step,those applicants who are fulfilling the following given Minimum Cut-offs in the Overall Percentile Rank and Sectional Percentile Ranks will be eligible for Academic Writing Test (AWT) and Personal Interview (PI).
  • First of all applicants will be shortlisted and their AR Scores will be calculated.After the AR score calculation top 100 applicants from each 7 streams will be selected for the PI and AWT round.
READ ABOUT CAT Scoring System

AR Score Calculation

AR Score:

AR Score refers to Application Rating Score that will be calculated on the basis of their marks scored in the 10th Standard plus 12th Standard plus in their Bachelor’s.

Application Rating Score: AR= (A+B+C)

Normalised AR score of an applicant is equal to their AR score divided by average of the top 50 AR scores from the applicants’ pool, (the applicants’ pool in this case being defined as the group of candidates who appear for CAT-2016 and apply to IIMA.)

Minimum CAT 2016 Percentile Rank & Application Rating (AR) Scores

CategoryVerbal and Reading Comprehension Percentile Rank (PVRC)Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Percentile Rank (PDILR)Quantitative Aptitude Percentile Rank (PQA)Total Percentile Rank
NC-OBC – cum- transgender75757585

Note: ST is for Scheduled Tribes,SC is for Scheduled Castes,NC-OBC is for Non–creamy Other Backward Castes and DA for Differently Abled.

CAT 2016 ScoringCAT Reservation

The weightage for the calculation of AR score commences from Class 10th and goes down to the scores obtained in Class 12th and in their Bachelor’s. Mentioned below is the Points Awarded to the candidates according to their percentage scored in the class 10th , class 12th and in the Graduation:

Application Rating (AR): 2017-19 Rating Scores for 10th Class

Percentage in 10th Standard ExamRating Score A (Points Awarded)
>55 and <=602
>60 and <=703
>70 and <=805
>80 and <=908

READ ABOUT CAT 2016 General Normalization

Application Rating (AR): 2017-19 Rating Scores for 12th Class

Percentage in 12th Standard Exam (Science Stream)Rating Score B (Points Awarded)
>55 and <=602
>60 and <=703
>70 and <=805
>80 and <=908

READ ABOUT  CAT 2016 Important Dates

Percentage in 12th Standard Exam (Commerce Stream)Rating Score B (Points Awarded)
>50 and <=552
>55 and <=653
>65 and <=755
>75 and <=908

READ ABOUT  CAT 2016 Shortlist Preparation 

Percentage in 12th Standard Exam (Art Stream)Rating Score B (Points Awarded)
>45 and <=502
>50 and <=603
>60 and <=705
>75 and <=858

READ ABOUT CAT 2016 Written Ability Test

Application Rating (AR): 2017-19 Rating Scores for Graduation

Categories Under Bachelor’s Degrees are: AC-1 Stream, AC-2 Stream, AC-3 Stream, AC-4 Stream, AC-5 Stream, AC-6 Stream and AC-7 Stream.

AC-1 Stream

It will consist of Medicine and Surgery based subjects: MBBS, MD(USA).

Percentage Score in Bachelor’s AC- 1 Stream
Percentage ObtainedPoints Awarded
<= 55 %1
>55 % and <= 60%2
>60 % and <= 62 %3
>62 % and <= 65 %5
>65% and <= 70 %8
>70 %10

READ ABOUT  CAT 2016 IIMS Accepting Scores

AC-2 Stream

It will consist of selected Professional Degrees like:Chartered Accountancy (CA), Cost and Works Accountancy (ICWA) and Company Secretaryship (CS).

Percentage Score in Bachelor’s AC-2 Stream
Percentage ObtainedPoints Awarded
<= 50 %1
>50 % and <= 53 %2
>53 % and <= 55 %3
>55 % and <= 57 %5
>57% and <= 63 %8
>63 %10

READ ABOUT CAT Selection Procedure

AC-3 Stream

It will consist of all Commerce, Economics, Finance and Management Related Degrees: Including BAF, BBA, BBE, BBI, BBM, BBS, BCAF, BCCA, BCOM, BFIA, BFM, BHM, BHMCT, BIBF, BMS (Bachelor of Management studies) and BSBA. Also including any degree in Economics.Excluding candidates with professional degrees as mentioned in AC-2.

  • Commerce/Economics ( Accountancy, Auditing, Banking, Business Administration, Business Mathematics, Business Organisation, Economics (all degrees), Economic Development and Planning, Finance, Insurance, Investment Analysis, Public Finance, Secretarial Practices etc.)
  • Hotel & Tourism Management/Catering Technology
  • Management ( Business Administration, Business Management, Business Studies, Management Studies etc.)
  • Any vocational degree in commerce (BCOM).

AC-5 Stream

It will consist of all Science and Agriculture related Areas, other than Agricultural Engineering, Medicine and Surgery: Including all BS/BSC (excluding Economics, Journalism and all BS(ENG)/BSC(ENG). Including all degrees in Geological and Mathematical Sciences. Also including BCH, BDS, BFSC, BMATH, BN (Bachelor of Nursing), BPHARMA, BPT, BSTAT, BVSC and Dairy Technology and Fashion Technology. Excluding any BE/BS(ENG)/BSC(ENG)/BTECH degree in Biosciences and Biotechnology and Natural Sciences.

  • Actuarial Science
  • Agriculture (Agronomy, Soil Science, Agricultural Biochemistry, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Extension, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Pathology, Soil Science etc.) Excluding Agricultural Engineering.
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Biosciences and Biotechnology ( Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Botany, Entomology, Life Science, Zoology etc.) Excluding any BE/BS(ENG)/BSC(ENG)/ BTECH degree.
  • Dairy Science/Technology
  • Dentistry
  • Fisheries
  • Forestry
  • Food Technology
  • Geography and Geological Sciences (Geography, Geology and Geophysics): any bachelor’s/integrated master’s degree.
  • Horticulture
  • Paramedical/Physiotherapy
  • Pharmacology/Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Science/ Animal Husband/ Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics and Statistics): any bachelor’s/integrated master’s degree.
  • Natural Sciences ( Chemistry, Physics etc.). Excluding any BE/BS(ENG)/BSC(ENG)/ BTECH degree
  • Planning
  • Any vocational degree in science (BS/BSC).
  • Science (Others): Home Science, Nursing and all other branches of Science not explicitly included or excluded elsewhere in this list.
Percentage Score in Bachelor’s AC-3 and AC-5 Stream
Percentage ObtainedPoints Awarded
<= 55 %1
>55 % and <= 60 %2
>60 % and <= 65 %3
>65 % and <= 70 %5
>70% and <= 80 %8
>80 %10

READ ABOUT CAT Cutoff Percentile for New IIMS

AC-4 Stream

It will consist of all Computer Applications, IT, Engineering, Technology and Architecture related Areas: Including BARCH, all BE, BIT, BINFTECH, all BS (ENG)/ BSC (ENG) and all BTECH (Excluding Dairy Technology and Fashion Technology only).

  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Bioscience & Biotechnology (BE/BS(ENG)/BSC (ENG)/BTECH only.)
  • Computer Applications
  • Engineering/Technology (BE, BS (ENG), BSC (ENG), BTECH in all engineering subjects.) Including Computer Engineering, Computer Science and IT but excluding Dairy Technology and Fashion Technology)
  • Natural Sciences (BE/BS (ENG)/BSC (ENG)/BTECH only)
  • Textile Technology/Engineering.

    AC-7 Stream

    It will consist of any other discipline that are not mentioned in AC-1 to AC-6 Stream.

    Percentage Score in Bachelor’s AC-4 and AC-7
    Percentage ObtainedPoints Awarded
    <= 60 %1
    >60 % and <= 65 %2
    >65 % and <= 70 %3
    >70 % and <= 75 %5
    >75% and <= 85 %8
    >85 %10

    READ ABOUT CAT Participating Colleges

    AC-6 Stream

    It will consist of all Arts/Humanities Related Degrees, Design, Education, Fashion Technology, Law and Rural Studies): Including any BA (excluding Economics, Geography and Geological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics), BAA, BAJM, BED, BJ, BJMC, BL, BM (Bachelor of Music), BMus, BMC, BMS (Bachelor of Media Science), BCJ, BDES, BFTECH, BSW and LLB. Also including any degree in Journalism/Media Studies/Mass Communication.

    • Arts/Humanities (Archaeology, Education, Fine Arts (Dance, Drama, Film, Music, Painting etc.), History, Journalism, Languages, Library Science, Literature, Mass Communication, Media Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Social Work/Welfare, Sociology, etc.)
    • Any vocational degree in arts/education/humanities (BA).
    • Law
    • Education ( including Physical Education and Sports)
    • Rural Studies/Rural Sociology/Rural Cooperatives/Rural Banking
    • Accessories Design/Apparel Production/Design/Fashion Communication/Fashion technology/ Design/ Interior Design/ Knit Wear Design/Leather Design.
    Percentage Score in Bachelor’s AC-6
    Percentage ObtainedPoints Awarded
    <= 50 %1
    >50 % and <= 55 %2
    >55 % and <= 60 %3
    >60 % and <= 65 %5
    >65% and <= 75 %8
    >75 %10

    READ ABOUT How to CAT Exam Equated

    The CAT aspirants can go through the below-mentioned steps to calculate their AR Scores:

    • For those applicants clearing their CS/CA/ICAI without having a Bachelor’s Degree so their average of intermediate and final exam percentage will be treated as Bachelor’s Degree Marks.
    • Applicants who have not completed his Bachelor’s/undergraduateDegree till date his percentage of marks will be calculated on the basis of his / her available marks.
    • The AR score of the applicant will be calculated based on the scores obtained in all subjects that has appear in the 10th and 12thclass mark sheets irrespective of the board/University.
    • For Bachelor’s Degree candidates, the AR Scores will be calculated on the basis of the percentage of marks awarded by the Institute/University will be treated as final.If the institute/ university do not award the percentage of marks then it will be calculated on the basis of the marks obtained in all subjects listed in the mark sheet.
    • If the marks awarded by the institute / university in final exams  are not taken into account then the applicant has to take the certificate from the H.O.D/ Registrar/Principal/Director of the University/ Institutioncertifying that he is passed and other details during his interview,if shortlisted.
    • If the applicant has done five year integrated master’s degree then the marks will be considered from final year of his five year degree and his first 3 years will be taken into account as Bachelor’s degree percentage.
    • If any Institute provides only letter gradeswithout giving any correspondingpercentage of marks the candidate will have to obtain certificate from the board/university which specifies the equal marks which will be used to be fill for online CAT application Form. 

    READ ABOUT CAT Application Form

    Screening for Academic Writing Test (AWT) and Personal Interview (PI)

    Under this applicant will be has to appear for Academic Writing Test (AWT) and Personal Interview. For this the process will be carried out in Two Stages.

    Process stage 1: Shortlisting the candidate with exceptional Score

    From each of the Seven disciplines top 100 candidates or top 1% of the number of applicants will be shortlisted for the Academic Writing Test and Personal Interview on the basis of their Composite Score.

    CAT Score CardCAT 2016 Answer KeyCAT Important Dates

    There are three criteria for this:

    C1: The score for P

    Average Overall Percentile (PT)90

    Average Quantitative Ability Percentile (PQA)80

    Average Verbal Ability (PVRC)80

    Average Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (PDILR) ≥ 80

    C2. The score for P

    Average percentile Scored in Science80

    Average percentile Scores in Commerce77

    Average percentile Scores in Arts/Humanities75

    READ ABOUT  CAT 2016 MCQ Question

    C3: The score for P

    Percentage Marks in the Bachelor’s ExaminationMinimum cutoff percentage 

    DisciplineCut Off Percentage
    AC 174
    AC 268
    AC 371
    AC 478
    AC 573
    AC 666
    AC 759

    So how can we calculate the Composite Score?

    CS = 0.3 (Normalized AR Score) + 0.7 (Normalized overall score in CAT 2016)

    Process stage 2:

    C1: PQ, PQA, PDILR and PVVRC ≥ Respective Minimum cutoff (According first table)

    READ ABOUT CAT Cutoff          

    C2: P≥ Minimum Cutoffs (Given in below table)

    Stream taken in 12thStandardScienceHumanities and ArtsCommerce
    NC – OBC757072

    Final Selection on the basis of Composite Scores

    Under this step,the selection process of applicants will be held upon the rank of the applicants which will be calculated category wise separately on the basis the applicants Final Composite Scores (FCS).The Final Composite Scores (FCS) of applicants who will have performed in Academic Written Test (AWT) and PI(Personal Interview) will be evaluated by using below mentioned formula.

    FCS = 0.40 (Normalized PI Score) + 0.10 (Normalized AWT Score) + 0.5 (CS)
    READ ABOUT CAT 2016 Major Changes

    Release Date of Shortlisted Candidates

    Details of the candidates shortlisted will be made available on the IIMA website tentatively by the second week of January 2017 after the CAT results are published. Shortlisted candidates would also receives AWT & PI call letters by IIMA. No communication would be sent to applicants who are not shortlisted for AWT & PI.


    CAT 2016: Final admission Offer

    After the AWT & PI round, admission offers are made by IIMA to successful candidates. The ranking and the final selection is based on a diverse set of attributes which includes performance in CAT, performance in AWT & PI, academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements, work experience etc.

    B Schools Under CAT with Best Return On InvestmentsBudget B Schools under CAT 2016

    Candidates, who appear in AWT & PI will be able to view whether they have been offered admission by IIMA tentatively during the second week of April 2017 by visiting the IIMA website. Admission offer letter would be sent to all the selected candidates. Candidates, who are offered admission, need to confirm their acceptance by completing all the required formalities by the first/second week of May 2017. Some candidates may also be placed on the waiting list initially during the second week of April 2017. Offers to candidates on the waiting list would depend upon the number of successful candidates accepting the offer made by IIMA.


    Since CAT 2016 is the mandatory exam for admission to IIM Ahmedabad, candidates have to appear in the exam first. Registration for CAT 2016 will remain open till September 22, 2016 and the exam will be held on December 4, 2016 in 2 sessions.

    Know More


    CAT Registration

    CAT Eligibility

    CAT Exam Pattern

    CAT Result



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