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How to Calculate Percentage of CAT Exam

CAT is organized to provide admission into management program offered by the various top management colleges. It is a computer-based test. CAT generally is known as Common Admission Test is a national level entrance test. This exam is regulated by the 19 Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) on a rotation basis.

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CAT Percentile 2017/2018

The rank of the candidates is represented by the percentile in the examination. The institutions follow the CAT marking scheme to calculate the percentile. The answers will be checked & a total score will be determined. A process called “equating”  through which the total score will be adjusted. Then, the score will be normalized across different sections. Thereafter the normalized score secured by the candidates will be further converted into percentiles for the purposes of shortlisting. Candidates can download their CAT score card via online mode.

The CAT result has been released on 8th January 2018. The lower range B-Schools have cut-off range is around 50 percentiles, while the mid-range B-School cut-off range, 75 to 80 percentile, & the top B-Schools have a higher range of CAT cut-off, 90+ percentile.

Candidates will get a call from different IIMs & other non-IIM management institutions on the basis of CAT percentile, CAT score & along with the sectional cut-off for the next round.

CAT Percentile Calculations as per IIMs

Basically, IIMs gives weight to CAT score in the range of 60 to 80% and the remaining is contributed by a candidate’s academic record & work experience.

IIM Ahmedabad: The Institution gives 70% weight to CAT Score & 30% to the academic record, work experience & extracurricular activities. The Cut-off of IIM Ahmedabad is probably to be 99.5 percentile.

IIM Calcutta: This Institution gives 67% weight to CAT score & 30% of the academic records. While the girl candidates are eligible for the weight of remaining 3%. The Cut-off of IIM Calcutta is likely to be 99 percentile.

IIM Bangalore: The Institution gives major emphasis to the candidate’s academics record (Class 10, 12 and Bachelors) & CAT Percentile. The percentile criteria for the second round of shortlisting the candidates by the Institution are not tough.

IIM Lucknow & IIM Kozhikode: 70 to 80% weight is given to the CAT Score.

Other IIM Institutions: All the other Institutions give overall weight to the CAT score.Click here for detailed cut off.

96-97 percentiles are the lowest range of percentile expected for a call from the new IIMs.
CAT Percentile

Previous year Overall CAT Percentile

Total Marks In 300 Correct Questions Percentage Percentile
192 64 64 100
183 61 61 99.5
171 57 57 99
168 56 56 98
162 54 54 97
153 51 51 95.5
147 49 49 95
144 48 48 94
138 46 46 93
132 44 44 92
123 41 41 91
117 39 39 90
111 37 37 89
99 33 33 85

Expected Percentile Range 2017

Category Quantitative Ability Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Verbal Ability Overall Percentile Rank
GEN 80 80 80 90
NC-OBC 75 75 75 85
SC 70 70 70 80
ST 60 60 60 70
DA/PwD 70 70 10 80

CAT Admission Process 2017

The CAT admission process will begin after the announcement of result. There will be no centralized counseling will be organized for providing admission in management courses. IIMs separately organize the counseling process in which candidates are required to participate to get admission. Other colleges will also conduct admission rounds like the personal interview, group discussion, etc. Candidates have to qualify certain admission rounds to get admission.

Calculation of CAT Percentile

CAT Percentile = [1 – (Your Rank in CAT 2017/Total Number of Candidates taking CAT 2017)] * 100

For Example:

If the total number candidates who will be appearing for CAT 2017 exam for admission to MBA entrance or other management courses is 2, 00,000 and you will score a CAT rank 2017 of 3,500 then your CAT percentile will be calculated as below:

Your CAT 2017 Percentile = [1 – (3500/2, 00,000)] * 100 = 98.25

The above percentile means that 98.25% of the students writing the CAT exam shall have the CAT score below you.

Please note that no one can score an absolute 100 percentile in CAT exam because CAT Percentile indicates what percent of students you are ahead of, including yourself. Also, the CAT percentile is calculated up to three decimal places and it then rounded off to the next closest possible number.


For a candidate having a range of scores in different sections, an approximate CAT percentile is mentioned in the below table:

How is CAT Score evaluated?

The CAT MBA entrance exam is conducted in two sessions after which a process of normalization takes place. Normalization ensures that there are fairness and equality in the performance of the management aspirants. It shall adjust for location and scale differences of CAT score distributions across different forms. The scaled CAT scores obtained by this process shall be converted into CAT percentiles for purposes of shortlisting.

After this process, the modified/scaled scores for each section of the paper like Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA)) and Total along with the CAT Percentiles shall be published by the CAT Exam organizing authority.

All the IIMs along with other MBA colleges in India,  use the CAT percentile / CAT score to shortlist students for offering MBA admission.

The CAT 2018 questions will be of multiple choice and some questions will also be the direct answer based – where the management aspirant have to type the answer. One must note that one mark will be deducted if there is an incorrect answer in MCQs. However direct answer based questions do not carry negative marking. The number of questions has also been changed and they have been divided into three sections, the details of which are as follows:

Section Number of Questions
Quantitative Aptitude 34
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32
Verbal Ability 34
Total 100

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