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CAT Expected Cut off by TIME
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Neha Rani

Exams Prep Master

CAT 2020 was successfully conducted on November 24, 2020 (Sunday) in computer-based mode. Candidates who wish to apply must have a bachelor’s degree with minimum 50% marks. The online registration for CAT 2020 was started from August 7, 2020

Last date for CAT 2020 Registration was September 18, 2020. Candidates must check CAT exam eligibility before applying for the exam. After the release of CAT result, each participating institutes releases CAT Cut off

According to TIME Institute, the overall CAT 2020 cut-off is around 97-99 percentile. CAT Cutoff is the least percentile set by the management authorities that depends on various factors such as-

  • Number of candidates appear for the exam
  • Difficulty level of paper
  • Previous year cut off
  • Number of qualified candidates etc. 

It is used for shortlisting candidates for admission to various Management schools. For achieving the target of 99 percentile the candidate must have scored 150-165 marks in the CAT exam.

CAT 2020 Expected Cut off by TIME

Cut off is the minimum marks candidates have to secure to be eligible for admission to their desired institute. After the announcement of CAT Result, all the participating institutes will release their separate cut off list. Students score equal or more than cut off marks are only eligible to apply for the selection process. 

For admission to a good B-school, the candidates need to attempt at least 70-75 correct responses. The expected cutoff provided by TIME is tabulated here:

Sectional Cutoff Overall Cutoff
VARC DI & LR QA Total percentile Percentile Total Marks
41 ± 1 24 ± 1 32 ± 1 85
53 ± 1 33 ± 1 44 ± 1 95 97.5 136 ± 2
65 ± 1 46 ± 1 57 ± 1 99 99 150 ± 2

CAT 2018 Section wise Analysis

The paper was conducted in computer-based mode. Candidates have to attempt 100 questions from 3 sections (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation, Quantitative Ability). The table below represents the section wise analysis. 

Section Description Number of Questions Number of MCQs Number of Non-MCQs Difficulty Level
VARC 34 24 10 Moderate-Difficult
DILR 32 24 8 Very Difficult
QA 34 19 15 Moderate
Total 100 67 33 Difficult

CAT 2017 Section Wise Analysis

CAT Exam was conducted in online mode and a total of 100 questions were asked that were divided into three sections (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation, Quantitative Ability). The statistics related to section wise total number of questions and possible good attempts are mentioned in the table here.

Section Total questions Good Attempts
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation 34 14-16 14-16
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 32 22-24 23-26
Quantitative Ability 34 19-21 18-20

VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)

This section comprises questions based on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. The Passages were of moderate length based on interesting topics like Economics, Environment, Linguistic Studies etc. candidate were supposed to go through twice or thrice for attempting the answers since the options were closely related to each other. The overall attempts in this section were affected due to this.


Questions based on Para-formation lacked answer choices and are seen to be one of the toughest this year. For many candidates the task of finding connections and starting statements was laborious which lead to lack of accuracy and low scores. The Para summary questions were of moderate difficulty and should prove relief allowing for a boost in scores.


Verbal ability questions were quite tough but RC Passages were an easy read.   Introduction to new question types such as the, “Main purpose of the passage” and close choice in options made it difficult to crack this section. The Verbal Ability questions like Para Formation, Para Odd-man-out and Para summary were not provided with any options that made them a hard task to attempt. Lack of negative marking for these questions allowed some respite for the candidates.

Also Check CAT Paper Analysis

LRDI (Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation)

This section set a new standard of difficulty level this year as compared to recent years. The candidates were struck by this year’s CAT 2016 LRDI section.


Questions in DI sets were less difficult to interpret but Qs were full of twists and tricks. Qs were not everyone’s cup of tea and average candidates could not solve more than 2-3 Qs in each set. The trick to scoring high in this section was only to identify and attempt the easier sets. Solving 10-12 questions would be sufficient to clear this section.


The candidates who learned from CAT 2015 LRDI section’s trend of difficult questions and did good preparation with presence of mind would be able to perform better in this section. The difficult sets were easy to pick since they seemed unsolvable right from the beginning and thus their difficulty made the candidates to drop them. This would be a help to save candidate’s precious time.

QA (Quantitative Ability)

A total number of questions asked in QA section was 34 with 8 Qs of non-MCQ type. The questions based on Geometry were more and can be placed from moderate to difficult level of difficulty. Arithmetic questions provided and increase in the attempts.


The trend of low weightage for numbers in the morning slot was seen this year as well. Permutation and combination questions were missing in this session. The difficulty level of this section can be rated a bit higher than moderate level.


A similar pattern was followed as there were slightly higher questions on geometry and moderate-difficult level. Unlike Slot I, Permutation and combination questions reverted strongly this year in this session. Candidates with an average level of preparation could solve the Arithmetic questions that were asked in a good number.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques – When will CAT Cutoff release?

Ans –  CAT Cutoff will release soon after the release of CAT Result. Each IIM will release its own cutoff after the release of the result. 

Ques – Is CAT Cutoff similar for every candidate?

Ans – No, the cutoff is different for different category candidates. Cutoff score for general category candidate is more. 

Ques – Is there any sectional cut off also?

Ans – Yes, apart from the overall cutoff, candidates also have to clear sectional cutoff to get admission in one of the IIMs.