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CAT Eligibility Criteria 2018- Age Limit, Qualification, Marks

Updated On - August 9th 2018 by KRITIKA GUPTA

CAT Eligibility Criteria 2018: IIMS have kept the CAT eligibility on the same ground. As per the basic eligibility criteria, candidates who have completed graduation degree with 50% marks are eligible to apply for CAT 2018. Also, candidates in final year/semester are eligible. A relaxation of 5% marks is awarded to candidates belonging to SC/ST/PWD categories. There is no restriction on age or number of attempts. Candidates of foreign origin fulfilling CAT Eligibility Criteria can apply.

CAT Registration (August 8)CAT Exam Dates (Announced)CAT Exam CentersCAT Exam Pattern

IIM Calcutta, the conducting body will release the CAT eligibility criteria with the release of official notification on CAT 2018. It is mandatory to fulfill the eligibility conditions before applying for the management entrance exam. Read on to know more about CAT eligibility criteria, reservation scheme, work experience, documents required and other such details.

CAT Eligibility

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 general and 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 Bachelors.
  • 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.

Note: 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-fulfilment 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 wheelchair (blind candidates or those affected with a 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 are 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 Eligibility FAQs

Ques.  I am not pursuing or completed my Bachelor’s degree or any Professional degree. Can I appear for CAT 2018?

Ans. As per CAT 2018 eligibility criteria, you are not eligible to appear for CAT 2018.

Ques.  I am yet to complete my Bachelor’s Degree/in the final year of Bachelor’s degree. What marks should I enter in my CAT Application form?

Ans.  The Aggregate Percentage up to the last marks statement received from the University must be provided in the CAT application form.

Ques.  Can I appear for CAT for practice purpose, even though I am not eligible for the exam?

Ans. No. You must fulfil the eligibility requirements to appear for CAT.

Ques.  I am a General category candidate with 49% in the Bachelor’s and 51%, for my Master’s degree. Am I eligible to apply for CAT 2018?

Ans. No. you should have 50% or more in your graduation.

Ques. I have completed my Bachelor’s degree in May-June 2018 but have a backlog. Am I eligible to apply for CAT 2018?

Ans. Yes, candidates who complete their degree by May 2019 are eligible to appear for CAT.

Ques. Where are the notifications related to CAT 2018 Eligibility Announced?

Ans. All the updated information and Notifications related to CAT 2018 Eligibility are announced on the official website of CAT.

Ques. What are the Academic Qualifications required for CAT 2018?

Ans. Candidate must possess a Bachelors degree having a minimum of 50% marks or has an equivalent GPA.

Ques. What are the relaxations related to Academic Qualification of a candidate willing to appear for CAT 2018 and belongs to the reserved category?

Ans. Candidates who belong to the reserved category are given a relaxation of 5% i.e. candidates who belong to the reserved category must have 45% of their bachelor’s degree.

Ques. In case of Grades or GPA are not available, how will be the calculation of minimum marks for the eligibility criteria?

Ans. If in case the Grading system or GPA score is not available for a particular college or university, the conversion of the percentage of marks will be done as per the procedure prescribed by the respective university or college.

Ques.  What if a particular university or Institute does not have a Grade calculating procedure?

Ans. Candidates whose University or Institutes who do not have any grade calculating procedure will be required to divide the candidate’s marks with the maximum marks and then multiply it by 100.

Ques.  What are the ‘Specified Disabilities’ required for PWD candidates to give CAT 2018 exam?

Ans. The categories of disability are:

  • In case of blindness and low vision
  • deafness or if a candidate is 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 persons.

Ques.  If a candidate has not completed his Bachelor’s degree or another professional degree, is he allowed to appear for CAT 2018 Exam?

Ans. NO, a candidate who has not completed his bachelor’s professional course is ineligible to sit for the exam.

Ques. What if a candidate scores 49% of the Bachelor’s degree. Will they be allowed to appear for the exam?

Ans. No, the candidate is required to have a minimum of 50% in their Bachelors to appear in the test.

Ques. A candidate who has completed his/her bachelors in 2018 Eligible to sit for the examination?

Ans. Yes, candidates can sit for the exam even if they complete their bachelors in the same year of appearing for the examination.

Ques. Under which category can a candidate apply for CAT 2018?

Ans. Candidates can apply in the following categories:

  • General
  • Scheduled Caste (SC)
  • Scheduled Tribe (ST)
  • Non-Creamy Other Backward Class (NC-OBC)

Ques. Is there any AGE LIMIT to appear for the test?

Ans. NO, there is no age bar to appear for CAT 2018.

Ques. Is it possible for a candidate to appear for 2 slots in the CAT exam?

Ans. No, a candidate cannot appear for more than one slot to give the exam.

Ques.  What is the helpline number for the Helpdesk?

Ans. Candidates can contact the exam authorities through- Toll-free number – 18002663549 Email –

Ques. What are the Eligibilities of a Reader/Scribe?

Ans. There are no particular eligibility criteria that a candidate appearing as a reader needs to follow. However, candidates appearing as readers are required to carry a passport size photograph, ID proof and must sign a declaration of their educational qualification.

Ques. From where can candidates obtain the form for a scribe or reader?

Ans. There is no separate form for the reader. Candidate must mention himself as scribe or reader while filling the CAT 2018 application form.

Ques. Where can a candidate submit his documents for verification?

Ans. Candidates must upload all the required documents online while filling application form of CAT 2018.

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. In case of any doubt/query, ask in the comments below.

*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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kanika chhatwal

HI, I have completed my MBA from Amity University (Distance) with a CGPA of 7 , can i apply for CAT?

16 Aug, 2018 21:10
Akansha Expert

Hi Kanika, 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 general and 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 Bachelors.
  • 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.

As More Mentioned Above  Please read Carefully.

17 Aug, 2018 16:54
ajinkya kharke

I am from ST category. I have Caste Certificate with me, but I don't have validity certificate. Do I require validity certificate for appearing through ST category for CST exam ? Or ST caste certificate is sufficient for appearing through CAT exam ? Will they ask me for validity certificate of ST afterwards ?

08 Aug, 2018 22:27
Akansha Expert

Hi Ajinkya, Yes You need require validity certificate for appearing through ST category for CST exam, yes they will required the Caste certificate in Procedures.

09 Aug, 2018 14:51
M r Shivashankari

My son has completed B.Com (CS) in the Loyolo college in 2017 and scored 67 %, he is coming under SC reserved catogory, He did not do CAT or ZAT, will he get admission in MBA in LIBA please.

03 Nov, 2017 00:20
Bhawna Vedwal

Hello Shivashankari, Admission to PGDM will be based on CAT or XAT scores followed by GD and PI. Loyola Institute of Business Administration(liba) consider CAT or XAT score for MBA admissions

14 May, 2018 11:28
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

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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