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CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification PDF Download

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) will release the eligibility criteria for the Common Admission Test (CAT) Exam 2023 on its official website. Those wishing to take the CAT entrance exam must meet the CAT 2023 Eligibility Criteria. 

What is the CAT Eligibility Criteria?

CAT Eligibility criteria is a set of conditions or requirements setforth by IIMs which an MBA aspirant must qualify to take the CAT Exam.

  • The basic overview of CAT Exam Eligibility states that the candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized university. (For IIM CAT Eligibility criteria for general category candidates is 50% marks in graduation; 45% for reserved category).
  • Candidates who are in their final year of graduation are also eligible to apply for the exam. 
  • Moreover, there is no age limit to appear for the exam.
  • Also, candidates with the reserved category can take benefit from the reservation policy while filling out the online application form.  CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification

EduRev experts have made comprehensive guide for anyone seeking information on the eligibility criteria for the CAT Exam.

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Latest Changes in the CAT Eligibility Criteria

The authorities made no adjustments to CAT Eligibility criteria last year. As a result, applicants who take the forthcoming exam should expect the same. However, CAT Exam Eligibility has gone through the following announcements in recent years.

  • As per the official CAT Eligibility Criteria, candidates having backlogs in their graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2023 without any problem.
  •  Candidates having working experience have an advantage over fresher candidates when getting evaluated IIM Selection Process. However, having prior working experience before applying is not mandatory, as per the official CAT Eligibility.

Note that the conducting authority has the complete right to cancel your candidature if they found that you have not completed the requirements of official CAT Exam Eligibility.

CAT Eligibility Criteria: Educational Qualifications

It is mandatory to have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized university. 

  • Students who got 'promotion/pass' certificates rather than 'award of marks' certificates in any of the last two years of their bachelor's degree can register for CAT 2023 using this option.
  • The candidate has to pass their Bachelor's degree with at least 50% (for General Category) For SC/ST and Differently Abled (DA) candidates, the percentage required is 45%.
  • For the Degree to be counted, the University which awarded the degree must be recognized by the MHRD.
  • If the University awards grades or CGPA instead of marks, the conversion factor given by the University has to be used. 
  • If there is no conversion factor specified by the University, the CGPA has to be converted into a percentage by direct conversion i.e, divide the CGPA received by the highest CGPA possible and multiply the result by 100.
  • Candidates who have completed their professional degrees with over 50% (45% for SC/ST/PwD) are also eligible for CAT.

Acceptable Degrees for CAT Eligibility 

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification

CAT Eligibility Criteria: Marks Calculation

Universities/ institutes follow their own criteria for assigning marks on graduation. The CAT marks calculation will be based on this process.

  • If the university awards grades or CGPA instead of marks, the conversion method provided by the university has to be used to convert the marks to percentages.
  • In case the university has no methodology for converting marks/ CGPA to percentages, it is to be done through direct conversion. The candidate should divide the achieved CGPA by the highest CGPA possible and multiply the result by 100.

CAT Eligibility Criteria: Age Limit

According to the official eligibility criteria for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2023, there is no age limit for candidates who wish to take the exam. This means that individuals of any age are eligible to apply for the exam. Check the below table for CAT Age Limit 2023.

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification

CAT Eligibility Criteria: Final Year Students

Final year students can also apply for the exam provided they complete their graduation before the admission date and meet the graduation marks eligibility.

In such cases, a candidate will have to submit a certificate issued by the Principal/Registrar of the College/Institution latest by the specified date. 

Below mentioned are some key points for final year students to keep in mind while checking their eligibility for CAT Exam

  • Final-year students of all bachelor's degrees are eligible to apply for the CAT exam.
  • However, if selected for further stages, these students are required to clear their bachelor's with the required percentage and provide proof for the same at the time of selection.
  • If the candidate is unable to meet this requirement, their results in the further admission processes will be rendered null and void.

Documents required for Final Year Students

  • To comply with the eligibility criteria, candidates may be required to provide additional documents, such as a document from their school or university verifying that they have obtained over 50% marks in their course if they do not yet have their final degree certificate.
  • After being admitted to a B-School, candidates will need to provide their final graduation certificate in order to continue their studies.

CAT Eligibility with Backlogs

It should be noted that the official IIM admission policy does not mention that candidates with backlogs are ineligible to take the CAT. As a result, any applicant who has a backlog in their last year of graduation is entitled to register for CAT and finish the registration process. 

CAT Eligibility Criteria: Work Experience Conditions

As the application form for CAT asks about work experience, candidates are often doubtful of its effect on the overall application and exam process. 

Here is a better understanding of the role of work experience in the CAT Selection Process:

  • Candidates appearing for the CAT entrance exam are not required to have prior work experience.
  • Though the CAT application form has a section for work experience, this condition is not a prerequisite.
  • Work experience has some weightage in the later stages of the admission process in IIMs. However, within the CAT exam, having any experience will not affect the scores or eligibility.

Documents required to prove Work Experience

To prove your work-ex in the IIMs you will require the following documents:

  • Joining letter
  • Work-experience certificate issued by your company
  • First month and last three months' payslips
  • By showing these documents one can easily prove work experience at IIMs.

CAT Eligibility Criteria: Reservation Policy

According to official updates, IIM adheres to the Central Government's reservation policy for admission to its MBA programmes. 

According to the official CAT Eligibility, there are two sorts of IIM seat reservations: 

  • Caste-based Reservations and 
  • Reservation Policy for Personal with Disabilities. 

However, IIMs implemented the EWS quota in the academic year 2020-21 in accordance with the 124th Amendment Bill to the Indian Constitution. 

Take note of the chart to better comprehend the CAT 2023 reservation requirements.

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification

CAT Reservation Policy for Caste-Based Reservation

Candidates must have been included in the Government of India schedule if they fall under the SC/ST category.
Candidates will be allowed to submit caste or category certificates only in the formats specified by the government. The following should be included in the specified format:

  • Name of the caste or tribe,
  • Whether the candidate is from an SC or ST background,
  • The candidate's native district, state, or union territory of residence
  • An appropriate Government of India schedule under which the caste or tribe of the candidate has been recognized as SC or ST.
  • When registering for CAT, upload the certificates.
  • A copy of the certificates will be needed while conducting interviews.

Documents Required for CAT Reservation for SC/ ST Category

Candidates belonging to SC/ ST category will have to submit the caste certificate along with some other documents. These documents must comprise some information provided below.

  • Whether the candidate belongs to the Scheduled tribe or Scheduled caste category.
  • Union Territory or District and the State of the ordinary residence.
  • Name of the belonging caste or tribe of the candidate.
  • Signatures of required authorities.

CAT Reservation Policy for Personal with Disability (PwD)

As per the provision of CAT Eligibility, 5% of seats in CAT were reserved in 2022 for physically abled candidates. 

There are 3 categories of disability: The candidates must check all the details for the CAT Exam Eligibility for reservation policy to avoid any type of miscommunication.

  • Blindness and low vision
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy.
  • Autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness
  • Multiple disabilities from amongst personal under clauses (1) to (4)
  • Other ‘specified disabilities’ mentioned in ‘The Schedule’ of the RPwD Act 2016

This reservation is, however, applicable only to 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.

CAT Reservation Policy for Economically Weaker Section (EWS)

As per CAT EWS quota, a 10% reservation shall be granted to the EWS candidates belonging to the General quota candidates. 

Who falls under the EWS category?

  • Candidates who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs and whose family has a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh are only identified as EWS for benefit of reservation.
  • The benefit of reservation under EWS can be availed upon the production of an Income and Asset Certificate issued by a Competent Authority.

Who can’t access the EWS quota?

Regardless of what the family income is, if the candidates fall under any of the following, they can’t avail of the benefits of the EWS quota: 

  • Candidates whose families own 5 acres of agricultural land and above.
  • Candidates who own a residential flat of 1,000 sq. ft. and above.
  • Candidates whose parents possess a residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities.
  • Candidates whose parents own a residential plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities.

Authorities to issue an ‘Income and Asset Certificate’

Following is the list of the competent authorities who can issue an ‘Income and Asset Certificate’:

  • District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate/ Collector/ Deputy Commissioner/Additional Deputy Commissioner/ 1st Class Stipendiary Magistrate/ Sub-Divisional Magistrate/ Taluka Magistrate! Executive Magistrate/ Extra Assistant Commissioner
  • Chief Presidency Magistrate/Additional Chief Presidency Magistrate/ Presidency Magistrate
  • Revenue Officer not below the rank of Tehsildar
  • Sub-Divisional Officer or the area where the candidate and/or his family normally resides

Reservation in CAT Exam: Essential Documents

Given below are all the important documents required for reservation in CAT 2023. Candidates also need to produce the original certificate at the time of the interview in the desired format:

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

Who are not eligible to appear for CAT Exam?

In the B-Schools admission process via CAT, students will be disqualified if:

  • If the candidate is in the process of completing their professional degree (CS/ CA/ ICWA) without appearing for their bachelor’s degree.

  • The candidate is pursuing both a bachelor’s degree and a professional degree but has not yet completed both.
  • If the candidate's score in the degree is less than 50% (45% for SC / ST / PWT candidates), he or she is ineligible to apply for the CAT.
  • If the degree is not recognized by MHRD/ AICTE/ UGC, the candidate will be considered ineligible for the CAT examination.

CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria vs IIMs Eligibility Criteria

It is important to note that the eligibility criteria for the CAT exam and the criteria set by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) may not always align. 

  • While both the CAT exam and IIMs do not have an age limit, there are some differences to keep in mind. 
  • The CAT exam accepts a 2-year bachelor’s degree, while IIMs only accept a 3-year bachelor's degree for their management programs. 
  • Though CAT does not require work experience, IIMs allot some weightage to work experience though it is not mandatory either.

Apart from the above-mentioned key points, there are no contradictions between the CAT Exam Eligibility and the IIM Eligibility.

CAT Exam Registration 

CAT 2023 Registration has to be done online on the official website- Given below are the details on the CAT registration process and fees.

New Registration

  1. Visit the official website for CAT 2023.
  2. Click on New Candidate Registration and fill in all the basic details- name, DOB, email address, phone number, and country of origin..
  3. A unique user ID and password will be sent to your registered email address and mobile number after verification.

Fill CAT 2023 Application Form

  1. Fill up the personal, academic, and work experience details such as the father’s name, mother’s name, date of birth, gender, nationality, category, address, graduation percentage, class 10th & 12th marks, and full-time work experience.
  2. Choose the IIMs as per your preference and the course you want to take admission.
  3. You can select up to six cities as CAT examination centers.

Upload Documents for CAT 2023 Registration

You need to upload the below-mentioned documents while filling up the application form:

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification

Learn the simple 3-step process for registering for CAT 2023 by reviewing the detailed step-by-step registration guide.

Can I apply for CAT 2023?

The registration process for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2023 is expected to begin in August 2023 and will be conducted entirely online. 

  • Eligible candidates who wish to take the test can apply via the official website of the CAT exam, 
  • It is important to note that the registration process for CAT 2023 is done through online mode only, so candidates are required to have an active internet connection and a valid email id to apply. 
  • The official website will have all the necessary information and instructions for the registration process, including the eligibility criteria, important dates, and the required documents. 
  • Candidates should make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any mistakes during the registration process.

Who is eligible for the CAT exam?

  • The basic overview of CAT Exam Eligibility states that the candidates must hold 3 years of bachelor's degree from a recognized university (for IIM CAT Eligibility criteria for general category candidates is 50% marks in graduation; 45% for reserved category).
  • Candidates who are in their final year of graduation may also apply for the exam.
  • Moreover, there is no age limit to appear for the exam.
  • Also, candidates with the reserved category can take the benefit of reservation policy while filling the online application form.  
  • It is very important for each and every candidate to go through the detailed CAT Exam Eligibility 2023 to avoid failing last minutes cancellation of the candidature.

Are 3rd-year students eligible for CAT?

Yes, if it is the final year of your graduation, you can take the CAT Exam. Last year graduation students are allowed to apply for the CAT exam to be a part of the MBA programme.

Such candidates will be provided with provisional admission.

What is the validity of the CAT score?

The CAT scorecard is valid for a period of one year only. After this candidates will have to take the following years' CAT exam for admission in respective institutes. Most of the Institutions/Universities in India accept the CAT score for admissions.

The document CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification is a part of CAT category.
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FAQs on CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit, Reservation, Marks, Qualification

1. What is the eligibility criteria for the CAT exam?
Ans. The eligibility criteria for the CAT exam include having a bachelor's degree with at least 50% aggregate marks (45% for reserved categories) or being in the final year of bachelor's degree.
2. What are the latest changes in the CAT eligibility criteria?
Ans. As of now, there have been no recent changes in the CAT eligibility criteria. It remains the same as mentioned in the official notification.
3. What are the educational qualifications required for CAT?
Ans. To be eligible for CAT, candidates must have a bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized university or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
4. Is there any age limit for appearing in the CAT exam?
Ans. No, there is no age limit for appearing in the CAT exam. Candidates of any age can apply for the exam as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria.
5. Can final year students apply for CAT?
Ans. Yes, final year students can apply for CAT. However, they must submit their graduation marks at the time of admission, and their admission will be provisional until they fulfill the eligibility criteria.
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