CAT 2021: What Percentile Can Give You an IIM?

CAT 2021: What Percentile Can Give You an IIM?

CAT 2021 was successfully conducted by IIM Lucknow on 26thNovember, 2021 and candidates are now eagerly waiting for the results. The results are expected to be announced in the 2nd week of January, 2021 and there is a long period of around one and half months in between. Here is information about CAT 2021 Percentile.

Every candidate has an expected score in mind after attempting the exam. However, for CAT 2021, it’s your percentile that matters.

Therefore, usually aspirants are unaware about the CAT percentile which will get them an interview call from the institute that they desire. So today, we bring you a comprehensive analysis of how much percentile can help you in taking admission into the IIM you want.

But first, let us take a look at how a score is converted into percentile and some important things about current trends of admission in IIMs: –


What is CAT percentile score and how your score is converted into percentile?

Percentile score is way different from percentage score, to which most of you would be familiar with. A percentile score defines the number of observations that fall below a particular level or score. For example, if you have scored a 90th percentile, it means that 90% of the people have actually scores less than you.

Worried about Not Clearing CAT check which colleges are accepting score cards other than CATLet us take an example to understand this. Let’s say a total of 2 lakh candidates appear for CAT. The total marks are 300. Out of 2 lakh, only 1000 students are able to score more than 180. Also, only 10000 are able to score more than 120. There is one candidate who has scored 285 marks and no one has scored more than him.


  • Percentile of candidate getting 180 marks will be: (199000/200000)*100 = 99.5.
  • Percentile of candidate getting 120 marks will be: (190000/200000)*100 = 95.
  • Percentile of candidate getting 285 marks will be: (199999/200000)*100 = 99.999, which actually will be shown as 100th

Before Shortlisting IIM, Read These

Before you start reading about the percentile that can fetch you calls from IIMs, we want you to know some important things about IIM Shortlisting. Take a look: –

  • IIMs do not release any cutoff data. So virtually no one knows the exact cutoffs.
  • Some IIMs do give extra marks to female candidates and non-engineer candidates; therefore, the cutoffs are generally different for such categories.
  • Every IIM has a different criterion for Shortlisting, a particular percentile may fetch calls from some IIMs and not from others.
  • Your profile plays an important role in Shortlisting and selection. Therefore, at a particular percentile you may get a call from an IIM but your friend might not, vice versa.
  • Most of the IIMs are full of engineers, and in most IIMs more than 80% students are engineers. It is not said officially, but many indications have been about IIMs looking to admit more non-engineers. Therefore, the cutoffs for non-engineers can be different.
  • IIM Raipur, Rohtak, Ranchi, Tiruchirapalli, Udaipur and Kashipur are collectively known as New IIMs. While IIM Nagpur, Vishakhapattnam, Bodh Gaya, Amritsar, Sambhalpur, Sirmaur and Jammu are collectively called Baby IIMs.

After you have understood these things, we now move on to the expected percentile for getting calls from different IIMs. Just note that these are for general category only, as not a lot of data is available for other categories. Generally, the cutoff for OBC category is quite close to General category, and for SC it is around 5-10 percentile lesser than general category.

What percentile can get you which IIM?

All IIMs have their own different admission criteria. A particular percentile may fetch you a call from one IIM but not from other. Or it can happen that some of theIIMs might call you and some might not. Also, keep in mind that you need to score more than their minimum eligibility score in sections of CAT and as well as the academic scores stated by them.

99.8 or more overall: – A 99.5th percentile is a magical score and can open the gates of many IIMs for you. If you are a non-engineer candidate, it is almost sure that every IIM will can you for an interview. Similar is the case for female candidates, at 99.8 a female candidate, irrespective of her background, will get called from almost every IIM.

However, the picture might be a bit lesser rosy for engineers here. For engineers, it depends a lot on their academic scores and work experience as most of the people in 99.8+ category are engineers. So being an engineer and fresher with a score of 99.8, you can expect a call from IIM Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode and all others for sure. IIM Bangalore is also highly probable at this score, but you might just need a little more to get call from IIM A. However, engineers with work experience of 1 to 3 years will get call from almost every IIM at this score.

99.5 to 99.79 percentile: – There is a very thin line between 99.5 and 99.8, but remember that around 600 candidates fall within these two scores. The story will not change much here for non-engineer and female candidates. You can definitely expect a call from all IIMs.

But for engineers, it might just be very difficult to get a call from top 3 IIMs, at a score around 99.5. Unless you have a 95% above score in 10th and 12th, 85+ in Graduation and some work experience as well, then you might just have a chance to get a call from top 3 IIMs.

At 99.5, a call from IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore and all others that have been established after these is expected. ( In the higher values of this range, like 99.7+ a call from top 3 IIMs and IIM Lucknow can be expected.

98.5 to 99.49 percentile: – At 98.5, female candidates and non-engineers can expect call from IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore, newer IIMs and baby IIMs for sure. However, for IIM A, B and C, you will need around 99.2 or more to get a call.

For engineers, it is very unlikely to get a call from top 3 institutes with a percentile below 99.5. At this score, only an extraordinary score in 10th, 12th or graduation can fetch you call. However, you can be positive about call for IIM Lucknow at 99.3 or more. For IIM Indore and Kozhikode, a call can be expected at 99+. For all other IIMs, you may get calls from some of at 98.5 depending upon their criteria.

97 to 98.49 percentile: – This is a crucial range of CAT percentile where you cannot predict anything. For most of the candidates, it is very unlikely to get a call from the top 3 IIMs. Candidates other than commerce and engineering graduates can expect a call from IIM A, B and C.

Female candidates and commerce graduates can expect calls from all IIMs except IIM A, B and C. Some female candidates might just be able to fetch a call at 98.4 or so, but it will surely not happen to all the female candidates out there.

On the other hand, engineering graduates will get call from newer IIMs and baby IIMs for sure. For all other, you may get calls from IIM Shillong and IIM Indore. For IIM Lucknow, at this percentile, you will either need a very good academic score or a good amount of work experience. IIM Kozhikode might just call you at 98.3 or so, but again, it will depend a lot upon profile.

95 to 96.99 percentile: – In this range it is very difficult to get a call from any of the top 6 IIMs for most of the candidates. A female candidate with good academics or work experience, and also with non-engineering background may a call from IIM Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong, Newer IIMs and Baby IIMs. For male commerce graduates, there are some chances of getting calls from IIM Indore and Shillong, while you can easily expect calls from Newer and Baby IIMs.

For engineering graduates, there are very faint chances of getting IIM Indore and Shillong. While calls from some of the newer and baby IIMs can be expected.

90 to 94.99 percentile: – Well, if you are targeting IIMs, this is ideally not the score you should be targeting. At this score, you must not expect more than baby IIMs. While some candidates will be lucky enough to get calls from newer IIMs as well, but again, a lot should not be expected at this score.

Some rare cases: – The above listed percentile predictions will work fine for most of the candidates, especially from commerce and engineering backgrounds.

However, there are always exceptions for everything. There are some candidates, especially from Arts and Science background, which have got calls from IIM A at a score as low as 90th percentile. Therefore, just keep in mind that you might see some unexpected call for people around you. But these cases are very rare. Therefore, decide which IIM you want and the predicted percentiles mentioned above will almost work very fine for you.


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