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CAT 2018 Eligibility Criteria: Check Qualification and Age Limit

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2018 @ 1:01 pm

CAT Eligibility Criteria comprises several aspects including academic qualification, age limit and nationality. All the management aspirants applying for CAT must carefully go through the prescribed eligibility guidelines. The minimum eligibility requirements mandate completing graduation in a relevant discipline.

May 09: CAT 2018 Official Date released, exam to be held on November 25. Click Here

Any verification of documents will be only conducted at the time of selection process or later. However, failure to meet criteria any any stage will lead to rejection of candidature. CAT (Common Admission Test) is the gateway to Postgraduate Management Programs offered by IIMs and other top-notch B Schools. In this article you will get detailed information about CAT 2018 Eligibility Criteria.

CAT 2018 Eligibility Criteria

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Important Highlights for CAT 2018 Eligibility Criteria

Some of the important guidelines for CAT 2018 Eligibility Criteria are highlighted below:

  • Only Indian Nationals are eligible to fill CAT Application Form.
  • All aspirants must possess a graduate degree in a relevant discipline or its equivalent from a UGC recognized institution or organization.
  • Candidates appearing in the final year of their qualifying examination are eligible to apply for CAT 2018.
  • Minimum 50% is required in the qualifying degree examination while for reserved category candidates (SC/ST/Physically Disabled), requirement of marks is relaxed to 45%.
  • No bar on age limits is applicable as per the guidelines issued by CAT convening authorities.
  • Candidates who have completed the degree requirements and waiting for the result or appearing in the final year of the qualifying exam can apply subject to fulfilling Bachelor’s degree cutoff and other factors within the stipulated schedule notified by IIMs and other participating institutes.
  • CA/CS/ICWA professional degree holders are also eligible to apply.

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The official notification for CAT is expected to out in the month of July while the online application form can be filled from August, 2018. CAT 2018 Admit Card is expected to be available from the final week of August, 2018

The clear understanding of eligibility requirements will enable candidates to make right choices as well as avoid any unnecessary hurdles that may arise at later stages of the exam.

Category Wise Seat Reservation

The seat reservation for various reserved categories as per the norms of Government of India are mentioned in the table below:

Category Percentage
PWD 3%
ST 7.50%
SC 15%
OBC 27%

CAT 2018 Exam Calendar

The tentative calendar for CAT 2018 is tabulated below for reference of candidates. Candidates should clearly check the cut off dates related to fulfilling academic qualification requirements.

Events Dates
Advertisement released 30th July 2018
Online registration starts 9th August 2018
Last date for registration 25th September 2018 (Extended)
Application correction 27th – 30th September 2018
Admit card release date 25th October – 26th November 2018
Mock Test Release 30th October 2018
Exam date 26th November 2018
Result announcement 2nd week of January 2018

Change in eligibility criteria

CAT Examination authorities are not known to frequently bring changes in the eligibility guidelines of CAT. But they have the right to change it anytime. The criteria for the CAT Exam remained unchanged for last few years. IIMs have not imposed any age limit restrictions to allow more candidates to take part in the examination.

Candidates who have completed graduation in the old two years format can also apply subject to the fact that the degree is recognized by UGC. CAT 2018 Exam Eligibility and Syllabus is expected to remain same for the academic session 2018-19.

CAT MBA Entrance Exam Eligibility Conditions 2018

The candidates who did not possess the following CAT Academic Qualification and Age limit should not apply for the exam. Even though you applied, your application is not considered. All the CAT eligibility conditions are academic qualification, age limit, minimum aggregate etc. which the interested candidates must check before applying.

Eligibility as per Nationality for CAT 2018:

All permanent residents of India are eligible to appear for the test. Additionally, all the foreign Nationals who are eligible according to the criteria of CAT 2018 can apply for the common admission test 2018.

Eligibility for the Foreign Nationals/NRI/PIO for CAT 2018

CAT Eligibility required for foreign nationals, PIO’s or NRI’s is that they must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% (candidates of the SC/ST, PWD categories must have a minimum of 45%). The certification must be from any of the Universities that are accredited by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

Candidates who will be writing the final exam will also qualify for CAT Exam. Even those who complete their graduation and are waiting for the results can apply for CAT 2018.

Eligibility as per Age Limit for CAT exam 2018:

  1. There is no age limit for appearing for CAT exam. The candidate should have completed the age of 20 to be able to sit for the CAT exam, this is a certain age limit for CAT 2018.
  2. There is no upper limit for the exam.
  3. There are many people who are around their age of 50s and can still appear for their CAT exams. These include many famous personalities and authors such as Arun Sharma.
  4. A candidate can apply any number of times for the CAT exam as there is no upper age limit.

Educational Qualification for CAT 2018

  • Candidates completed their Graduation or Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized board or university are eligible for the CAT Exam.
  • Must have obtained a minimum aggregate of 50% and SC/ST/PWD category students should have at least 45% aggregate.
  • Candidates appearing in the final year of their qualifying examination can also sit for CAT Exam subject to fulfilling other requirements.
  • There is no restriction imposed on the stream of graduation. However, all aspirants must obtain the required aggregate required to qualify for CAT Exam.

Qualifying Examinations for CAT

If by any of these method the candidate have cleared the graduation degree will be eligible to sit for the CAT 2018 examination. Aspirants who have done their graduation from any university accepted by the Association of Indian Universities or the All India Council for Technical Education can apply for the CAT exam. Since the basic required qualification for CAT 2018 examination is this only but it can be changed according to the norms applied by the institutions.

A candidate:

  • Holding Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA 45% in case of the candidates belonging to the categories like “Scheduled Caste (SC), Differently Abled (DA) and Scheduled Tribe (ST)”. This degree should be awarded by any university which comes under the act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.
  • Possessing an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India (including the Associate Membership Examination (AMICE) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (India) as an equivalent qualification).

The calculation will be done on the basis of the percentage of marks obtained by the candidate in the graduation degree whichever is followed by the respective university/ institution from where he/she obtained the degree. In case the candidates are awarded grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure certified by the university/institution from where the candidate has obtained the bachelor’s degree. If some of the universities/institutions does not have any formula to convert the CGPA into marks equivalent to that then it would be established by the formula i.e. divide the CGPA of candidate by the maximum possible CGPA and then multiplying the result with 100. The verification of the eligible conditions are done by IIMs at many levels in the selection process, details of which are updated at the website www.iimcat.ac.in.

Note: The application data filled by the candidates will be treated as Final and on later stage it will not be allowed to change. If any variation of data is found to be provided by you in the data with actual data at the CAT selection stage then the candidature will be taken as invalid.


Number of Attempts in CAT 2018:

There in cap on the number of attempts to qualify CAT Exam. A candidate can appear unlimited time throughout his / her entire life span.

But, a candidate can appear for the CAT 2018 exam only once i.e. in one year a candidate can sit for exam only one time. A dual application or exam appearance will make his/her candidature invalid for that particular year.

CAT 2018 Reservation Criteria

Government of India has laid out some reservation policy norms for admission of reserved category candidates in IIMs. The percentage of seats reserved for various categories is indicated below,

According to the legal requirements, IIMs and other government institutes have to follow the reservation criteria as stipulated below:

  • 15 percent of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC)
  • 7.5 percent of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST)
  • 27 percent seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC) belonging to non-creamy layers
  • Three percent seats are reserved for Persons with Disability (PWD) candidates. The three categories of disability are: a) low vision blindness, b) hearing impairment and c) locomotor disability/cerebral palsy. This provision is applicable if the candidate suffers from any of the listed disabilities to the extent of not less than 40 percent, as certified by a medical authority as prescribed and explained in the said PWD Act, 1995 (Section 39).
  • The candidates belonging to the reserved categories have to score minimum cutoff percentile at CAT 2018 along with the eligibility criteria in order to be shortlisted for the admission process.

Note: In case of seats reserved for PwD or DA candidates, following is the definition of disability as described in the Section 39 of PwD Act of 1995.

  • Candidates with low-vision blindness
  • Candidates with hearing impairment
  • Candidates with loco-motor disability/ cerebral palsy

Candidates who suffer from these disabilities to the extent of not less than 40%, are eligible for reservation under this category. There is a predefined norm for the percentage of seats to be reserved for these categories.

CAT Cut off for the Reserved Category

CAT Cut off for the reserved category and General category is calculated separately. IIMs and other institutes will separately issue sectional scores for all the three sections as well as overall cutoff percentile required for different management courses.

Schedule Castes (ST) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Persons with Disability (PWD) candidates should have minimum 45% of percentage or equivalent amount of CGPA or grade in qualifying examination for appearing in CAT Exam.

Information for Reserved Category Candidates

  • The caste or tribe of candidates belonging to SC and ST categories have to be listed in the Government of India schedule. The caste certificate which they would submit to IIMs must carry the following information:
  1. Name of caste or tribe
  2. Whether candidate belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe
  3. District and the State or Union Territory of original residence
  4. The appropriate Government of India schedule under which your caste/tribe is approved by it as Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
  • During the application process, the reserved category candidates have to upload the SC / ST / NC-OBC / PWD certificate(s). In case candidates fail to upload the documents, the application may get rejected by IIMs.
  • At the time of selection process or interview rounds, candidates have to show the original documents and copies have to be submitted at IIMs during the final admission process. In case they are unable to submit the documents, they may not be considered under reserved categories


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