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CAT Eligibility 2018- Are You Eligible for CAT Exam?

Updated On - February 23rd 2018

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2018- Candidates willing to apply for CAT 2018 must have passed graduation with at least 50% marks (45% for reserved category). Those in their final year can also apply for CAT. There is no restriction on age or number of attempts. Candidates of foreign origin fulfilling CAT Eligibility Criteria can apply.

CAT Registration will begin from August onwards. The application form will release on the official website and the form fee is INR 1900

Important Links

CAT Application Form 2018
CAT 2018 Exam Dates
CAT Reservation Criteria

CAT Eligibility 2018 – Academic Qualification

  • A candidate should have completed his Bachelor’s degree program in any stream from a recognized university or have an equivalent qualification which is recognized by the Ministry of HRD, India.
  • For generaland NC-OBC category candidates, the minimum percentage required in Bachelor’s degree is 50%.
  • Candidates from the reserved categories must attain a minimum aggregate percentage of 45% in Bachelor’s.
  • For candidates who are awarded grades or CGPA, the conversion of grades or CGPA will be according to the process certified by the University or Institute.
  • Candidates in the final year of the program or awaiting their results can also apply. In such cases, a candidate will have to submit a certificate issued by Principal/Registrar of the College/Institution latest by June 30, 2018. The certificate should state that the candidate has successfully completed the requirements of the course.

Below are the academic qualification details of CAT Exam Eligibility:

QualificationUniversityPass Percentage
Engineering Degree – B. Tech/ B.E.Recognized by MHRD/ UPSC/AICTE50% (45% for SC, ST, PWD candidates)
Bachelor’s Degree from any UniversityRecognized by UGC50% (45% for SC, ST, PWD candidates)
Students who are pursuing final year of their Bachelor’s degree can also take the examination.Continuing graduation from University Recognized by MHRD/ UPSC/AICTE or UGC50% (45% for SC, ST, PWD candidates)

Note 1: A recognized university is one which is constituted by an Act of the Central or State Legislature. It also includes any university or institute which is established by an act of Parliament or is declared as Deemed to be University under Section 3 of the UGC Act of 1956.

Note 2:In case of Universities which award grades or CGPA, but do not have a procedure for conversion of grades to the percentage, the equivalent percentage will be calculated by the given process:

(Candidate’s CGPA/Maximum CGPA) X 100 = Equivalent Percentage

CAT Eligibility 2018 – Equivalent Degrees 

There are certain degrees which are considered equivalent to a bachelor degree. Candidates who possess or are pursuing any of these degrees are also eligible to appear for CAT 2018. The equivalent qualifications valid for appearing in CAT Exam are listed below:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Technology of 4-years duration completed after 10+2 or Post B.Sc. or Post Diploma.
  2. A degree equivalent to bachelor degree in Engineering and Technology of Professional Societies recognized by MHRD/UPSC/AICTE such as AMIE by Institution of Engineers, India or AMICE by Institute of Civil Engineers of India.
  3. Qualification equivalent to bachelor’s degree recognized by Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi.
  4. Candidates with CA/CS/ICWA degree (Gen: 50% & SC/ST/ PWD: 45%) can also apply.
  5. A candidate with any other qualification not listed here can also apply but they will have to produce an equivalency certificate issued by Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi.

CAT Eligibility 2018 for Final Year Students

  • The eligibility criterion for CAT is graduation, although final year students of various bachelor's degree courses can also take the test.
  • However, a candidate will be admitted into a course only if he clears graduation with at least 50% marks.
  • IIMs and other management institutes verify CAT eligibility at various stages of the selection process.

After taking CAT 2018, shortlisted candidates must follow the following instructions-

  1. They must show an original certificate from the Principal/Head of the Department/Registrar/Director of the University/Institution certifying that they have obtained 50% marks or equivalent (45% in case of reserved category) based on latest available grades/marks.
  2. They must also submit a set of photocopy of the original certificates at the time of interview.

For the PGP in IIMs, selected candidates will be allowed to join the program provisionally only if they submit a certificate, stating-

  1. They have completed all the requirements (the results may, however, be awaited) for obtaining the bachelor’s degree/ equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate.
  2. Their admission will be confirmed only when they submit original mark sheet and degree certificate of having passed the bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification referred to in the certificate issued by Principal/Registrar of their college/institute.
  3. They must obtain at least 50% marks or equivalent. They must submit a photocopy of the mark sheets and degree certificate.
  4. Non-fulfillment of this condition will automatically result in the cancellation of the provisional admission.
  5. IIMs would not allow any candidate to join their program in case the candidate is unable to complete all the requirements for a bachelor degree.


  • During CAT 2018 Registration, the entered data is treated as final, and no change is permitted at a later stage. Any variation in data provided at selection stage with the actual data will lead to the nullification of candidature.
  • Candidates must declare and maintain the following throughout the selection process:
  1. Valid and unique Email ID and a phone number
  2. CAT User ID (provided to you via email after completion of your online registration)

CAT Eligibility 2018 – Work Experience 

  • It is not mandatory for candidates to hold any prior work experience.
  • Although CAT Application Form does ask for it, but it not a necessary condition to fulfill.
  • It must be noted that at the time of final selection, this work experience may be given some weightage by the IIMs. However, the exact weightage in never revealed and it varies from one IIM to another.
  • The bottom line is that work experience does not come into play till the last stage of final selection and even then it does not play a deciding factor.
  • IIMs have been known to have a mixed batch comprising of both fresh graduates and students with work experience. 

CAT Reservation Criteria 2018

  • IIMs follow the reservation guideline of Central government for admission to their MBA programs.
  • Consequently, the reservation norms are also applicable to CAT 2018.
  • There are two types of reservations of seats at IIMs – Caste based reservation and Reservation for Differently abled individuals.

Caste Based Reservation Policy

The candidates falling in the SC, ST, or NC-OBC category falls under the aegis of Caste-based reservation policy. The rules which apply to these categories are as follows:

  1. Candidates who belong to the SC or ST categories must have scored an aggregate of 45% in their Bachelor’s degree program.
  2. Candidates who belong to the NC-OBC category must have scored an aggregate of 50% in their Bachelor’s degree program.

The distribution of seat reservation based on caste is given below:

CategoryPercent of seats reserved
Scheduled Caste (SC)15%
Scheduled Tribe (ST)7.5%
Other Backwards Classes – Non-Creamy Layer (NC-OBC)27%

Check Here CAT Reservation Criteria 2018

Essential Documents for Caste Based Reservation

  • Candidates who apply under the caste based reservation must upload their SC/ST/NC-OBC certificate during filling the application form online.
  • They will also need to produce the original certificate at the time of interview and admission.
  • The format for caste certificate is available on the CAT official website.

Reservation Policy for Differently Abled Candidates

There is a separate reservation policy for candidates who are differently abled. The criteria for Differently Abled candidates is defined as below:

  • Hearing impairment
  • Low Vision blindness
  • Locomotor Disability/Cerebral Palsy

This reservation is, however, applicable only for those candidates who suffer from the said disabilities at least to the extent of 40% or more. These candidates must possess a medical certificate stating the same, issued by an authorized medical authority.

Reservation Norms for Differently Abled candidates for CAT Exam

  1. There is a reservation of 3% seats for differently abled candidates in IIMs.
  2. Differently abled candidates need to have 45% marks in their graduate degree.
  3. Differently abled candidates will be provided with a wheel chair (blind candidates or those affected with locomotor disability) at the exam center, if selected during CAT Registration.
  4. Differently abled candidates in the low vision category can bring a scribe with them. There is no eligibility criteria set for scribes.

Essential Certificates

Those applying under the Differently Abled category, must upload a PwD/DA certificate at the time of applying. They also need to produce the original certificate at the time of interview in the desired format:

  1. Download NC-OBC Certificate
  2. Download SC-ST Certificate
  3. Download DA/PwD Certificate
  4. Download Format for Final Year Certificate
  5. Download Format for Candidate Identification Affidavit

CAT 2018 Application Form will be available from August onwards. More than 2 lacs candidates take CAT each year. The paper consists of 100 MCQ & Non-MCQs. CAT score is accepted by all IIMs and b-schools in India. Good luck for the exam!

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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Sonal Rohatgi

I have not done my graduation, but I am in the final year of a professional course. Can I apply for CAT 2017?

29 Jul, 2017 14:37
Sakshi Garg Expert

Hi Sonal, Yes, final year candidates can apply for the exam. For more details check CAT Eligibility

29 Jul, 2017 15:57
Surbhi Gupta

Do the non-MCQs and MCQs carry equal scores?

29 Jul, 2017 14:33
Sakshi Garg Expert

Hi Surbhi, No. The marking scheme for both kinds of questions vary. For the correct answer, +3 marks will be awarded whereas marking a wrong answer will penalty you -1 mark. In the case of Non-MCQs, no mark would be deducted for writing the incorrect answer.

29 Jul, 2017 15:46
Ruby Goyal

What are the categories under which a candidate can apply?

29 Jul, 2017 14:29
Sakshi Garg Expert

Hi Ruby, Only 4 acceptable categories are defined in the CAT 2017 exam:

  1. General
  2. Scheduled Caste (SC)
  3. Scheduled Tribe (ST)
  4. Other Backward Class (Non-Creamy Layer)

29 Jul, 2017 15:44
Jayant Pratap

Can I appear for CAT 2017 for practice even if I am not eligible for the exam?

29 Jul, 2017 14:26
Sakshi Garg Expert

Hi Jayant, No, you cannot appear for the exam as if you can't fulfill the eligibility criteria, your CAT Application Form will be rejected.

29 Jul, 2017 15:43

What are Testing Assistive devices?

29 Jul, 2017 13:58
Sakshi Garg Expert

Hi Arindam, Testing devices are the functional electronic and non-electronic aids that are designed to give assistance to the physically disabled candidates so that candidates in need are able to perform the task successfully.

29 Jul, 2017 15:07
Rahul Bhagat

This is my 3rd year of I want to do MBA from MATs university. It is important to give CATs examination for admission in MATs? Does it possible to take admission without giving any entrance examination ?

21 Jun, 2017 00:20
Kalpana Sharma Expert

Hi Rahul, To get admission in MBA course from MATS University, It is necessary to give entrance exam CATs for this course. For further information, please find these link Eligibility criteria for MBA 

01 Sep, 2017 11:55

I got 88.1 percentile in CAT 2016, And 96 percentile in MAT SEPT 2016. Whether I can get admission in UBS or not ? Please guide me.

06 Mar, 2017 11:58

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