CAT 2020 Exam: Common queries & FAQs for the Applicants

What is the Common Admission Test (CAT)?

CAT or the Common Admission Test is for MBA entrances. This computer-based aptitude test which students take to get entry into IIM colleges and 1200 other B-schools of India. CAT exams are conducted online across 156 cities of India. CAT is an arrangement of 100 MCQs & non-MCQs which include these sections:

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

CAT 2020 went live on July 29 in the year 2020 (Refer link - This link has details about entrance exam and admission process. This year registration was open from August 5 till September 23.

CAT 2020 exam and contact information:

  • Official CAT website:
  • CAT 2020 Helpline: 1-800-209-0830 (Toll-Free)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • IIM Indore Address: CAT Exam Centre, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Prabandh Shikhar, Rau - Pithampur Road, Indore- 453556, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Why CAT 2020?

CAT 2020 being one of our country’s most esteemed MBA entrance exams, CAT scores/CAT Ranks of the candidates are used by top B-schools to filter students for their flagship PGP programs. Apart from IIMs, other popular MBA schools like MDI, NITIE, IMT, FMS, SP Jain, JBIMS etc. consider CAT scores for admissions. CAT exams are complex and helps applicants get ready for more exams like XAT, SNAP, MAT and NMAT.

CAT 2020 exams and Important Dates

29-July-2020 CAT 2020 website made live and exam schedule announced
05-Aug-2020 Online registrations commence for candidates to apply for CAT
23-Sep-2020 End of registration process
28-Oct-2020 Admit cards to be downloaded from CAT website until the exam day
05-Nov-2020 CAT mock test released
05-Nov-2020 CAT official tutorial release via video to understand exam guidelines
29-Nov-2020 CAT exam 2020 in 156 cities in morning, afternoon and evening slot.
08-Dec-2020 Answer key to be downloaded from CAT website.
08-Dec to 11-Dec-2020 Answer key can be challenged by paying Rs 1000 per question
2nd week of January, 2021 CAT Result 2020 release. Scorecard on official website by 9 AM

When is CAT 2020 Exam held?

CAT exams are held in the month of November each year. CAT 2020 exams were held on 29th of November.

How to Download CAT Result 2020?

This year’s CAT exams were administered on 29 November. From among 2.27 lakh registrations, 1.9 lakh students appeared for the test. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) will release computer-based CAT results tentatively by 9 Jan. Examination results can be checked either through the CAT official website or through an SMS sent by the officials. The SMS, for the CAT 2020 Result contains only overall percentile details. For the sectional CAT 2020 Results, the online Score Card needs to be downloaded.

The CAT 2020 results/ scorecard will be available on the official website of IIMCAT and will be published only by online mode.

The candidates need to follow the below mentioned steps:
  • Visit the official website of
  • Click tab 'CAT login'
  • Enter Credentials (Input ID and Password)
  • Hit the Scorecard Tab
  • Results will appear on another window
  • The results can be downloaded from this window through 'download result/scorecard' link tab.
  • Check your score and take a print

CAT Result Date - Past Year trends

Year of CAT Exam CAT Exam date CAT Result Date
CAT 2020 November 29, 2020 by January 10, 2020 (tentative)
CAT 2019 November 24, 2019 January 7, 2020
CAT 2018 November 25, 2018 January 5, 2019
CAT 2017 November 26, 2017 January 8, 2018
CAT 2016 November 4, 2016 January 9, 2017

CAT 2020 Results

CAT 2020 result is expected to be out by second week of January 2021. Scorecards can be downloaded from IIMCAT website ( Answer Keys were released by IIM Indore on December 8. The candidates can now evaluate and calculate their percentile from the response sheet. The CAT 2020 results will contain candidate's sectional score, overall score, sectional percentile, overall percentile.

CAT result website
Conducting boady IIM Indore
CAT result date and time By January 10 (expected); time to be announced
How to check CAT 2020 result through CAT login
Credentials required CAT id and password
How is CAT percentile calculated through IIM CAT normalization process
CAT scorecard 2020 validity one year till December 31, 2021
Othe Mode to check CAT exam result through login and via SMS
CAT score card format pdf
Details in CAT results Candidate details, sectional and overall scores, sectional and overall percentile scores.
CAT result scorecard used for MBA/PGDM Admissions in IIMs, IITs and more than 1000 BSchools including Great Lakes, TAPMI, FMS, MDI, IMT, IMI, SPJIMR etc

CAT Normalization Process

CAT 2020 was conducted in three sessions. Since 3 Test Forms were administered in 3 Test Sessions, fairness and equity in assessment of performances needs to be ensured. So the scores of candidates should be subjected to a process of normalization. Hence there is an adjust for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalization in different forms, the scores are also normalized in different sections. The Scaled Scores are then converted into percentiles.

Refer to the link below to see the method for 'Calculation of Scaled Score' of a candidate.

CAT Cut offs

Once the results are out, the cut offs are released by authorities soon. Cut off of CAT 2020 simply means a minimal CAT 2020 percentile that a candidate needs to reach for qualifying for the next round of the selection. CAT cutoffs are decided on the basis of many aspects; a few among them are, difficulty level of exam, total number of participants, number of seats available, etc. For this year’s selection, only those candidates will be shortlisted who have qualified at least in both the sectional as well as the overall cutoff. Referring to earlier years’ trends:

  • The CAT cutoff for top IIMs and B-Schools ranges between 99 to 100 percentile for General Category, while it is a bit lower for reserved categories and ranges between 97 to 98 percentiles.
  • The cut offs for admission to top management schools, namely FMS, MDI, SPJIMR among others, range between 95 to 99 percentile.
  • On the other hand Baby IIMs like IIM Sambalpur, IIM Kashipur, IIM Trichy, etc. may have a cutoff of about a 90 percentile and above.
  • To score 99 percentile the runners need to score more than 150 marks. In each section marks vary depending upon difficulty level of exam. For a score more than 150, one must have at least 74 marks in VARC, 45 marks in LRDI and 65 marks in QA.
  • Typically IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore release their first shortlist of interview calls.

The IIM Colleges still do not release CAT cut offs openly and are available for access only through account login process for the candidates who attempted CAT exam. Two categories of CAT cut offs for IIM admissions are:

  • Qualifying cut off (IIM eligibility Cut off) – Declared before result declaration.
  • Final cut off (IIM call cut off) – Declared post result declaration

Qualifying cut off

Qualifying/ IIM shortlist cut off is the minimum score that a candidate must have scored to stand eligible for interview call or WAT/GD-PI round. Each campus announces qualifying CAT cut off percentiles individually in their admission criteria for that year. It has been noticed that qualifying CAT cut offs for all IIMs are above 90 percentile.

Final cut off

Final cut off for IIM call cut offs is the minimum score decided by IIMs in order to select candidates for WAT/GD-PI round. Final CAT cut offs are not officially announced but they are as high as 99+ percentile for admission in top IIMs. For final CAT cut offs sectional and overall cut offs are considered separately. Final cut off score may vary for general category and reserved category, male and female candidates and students with and without engineering background.

IIM's CAT Cutoff 2020 (Expected)

IIM Ahmedabad Cutoff 80 75 70 60 -
IIM Bangalore Cutoff* 85 75 70 65 -
IIM Calcutta Cutoff ≥85 ≥75 ≥70 ≥70 ≥75
IIM Kozhikode Cutoff 85 75 65 - -
IIM Lucknow Cutoff 90 82 70 65 82
IIM Indore Cutoff 90 70 55 45 90
IIM Visakhapatnam Cutoff 90 80 60 50 90
IIM Bodh Gaya Cutoff* >90 >75 >55 >35 -
IIM Ranchi Cutoff 90 78 60 40 85
IIM Kashipur Cutoff* 90 78 >60 40 -
IIM Udaipur Cutoff 90 78 60 40 85
IIM Nagpur Cutoff 85 76.5 60 40 85

CAT Cut Offs for Non-IIMs

To win an IIM seat is a hard dream. Getting into an old IIM is even more challenging, so the applicants also try their luck in the colleges with same level of repute. Some among them are SP Jain, FMS, MDI Gurgaon, IIT Delhi, NITIE, etc. Here is a look into the CAT Cut Offs for these colleges, which are many a times as high as IIMs cut offs.

Rating Approximate Cut off percentiles Institutes
A+ 94+ FMS, MDI-G, IISc-Bangalore, JBIMS, IIM-Rohtak, IIM-Ranchi, IIM-Raipur, IIM-Kashipur, IIM-Trichy, IIM-Bodh Gaya, IIM-Jammu, IIM-Sambalpur, IIM-Sirmaur, IIT-R
A+ CAT Percentile 90+ IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Kozhikode, IIM-Indore, IIM-Nagpur, IIM-Vishakapatnam, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kharagpur
A+ CAT Percentile 80+ IIM- Ahmedabad, IIM-Lucknow, SPJIMR, NITIE, IIM-Amritsar, IIT-Kanpur
A CAT Percentile 90+ IMT-Gaziabad, UBS-CHD, GLIM, PUMBA, DU

CAT Percentile predictor

CAT Percentile Predictor acts as a tool for CAT candidates and helps them predict their percentile even before the CAT Scorecard goes live. With the percentile predictor, CAT examinees get a fair impression of how they have performed in the exam and what to expect. This percentile calculator uses the actual percentile & exam score data of students who attempted CAT in previous years, to understand and arrive at a score for current year examinees’ results. Based on response sheets and the official key released by IIMCAT, percentile predictor calculates and arrives at a highly reliable prediction of your percentiles. This prediction is centered also on the CAT normalization and scaling process. Prospects can plan next course of action and start preparing for further steps to get entry into their choice of B-schools. Once CAT percentiles are available, it will be easy to check IIM and Top B-School Call Predictors. Call Predictors indicates examinee’s chances of getting a call from IIMs and other leading B-Schools of the country.

Know more about Percentile Score @

IIM and Top B-School Call Predictor 2021

Tentative CAT 2020 exam results are expected on January 5, 2021. Once the results have arrived, top IIMs - and other management institutes will announce IIM calls within next 3 days. These will be centered on candidate's CAT percentile, academic profile, diversity and work experience. So, the ‘Call Predictors’ compare IIM eligibility criteria with IIM aspirants’ profile parameters like category, academics, gender etc. Then a list of IIMs and B-schools is ascertained, from where you are more likely to get interview calls. Speaking in a simpler language IIM CAT call predictor fetches your chances of getting an interview call from top B-schools of India. This year’s exam has been rated more difficult than 2019. Particularly slot-3 was more difficult, hence the expectation is that the candidates will be shortlisted at a comparatively low CAT score than 2019. With IIM Call Predictor candidates do not have to wait till January for knowing about their calls, they may start gearing up for next rounds even before.

IIM Final Admission Criteria/Parameters

All business schools have different criterion. While some give more weightage to CAT scores, others emphasis on academic scores. The other parameters are written ability test, personal interviews and work experience and candidates need to perform well in all rounds. After the CAT 2020 results are announced, the process of shortlisting of candidates on the basis of Written Ability Test( WAT), Group Discussion rounds( GD), and personal interview( PI) will be carried out. Expectedly due to COVID-19 crisis, the selection rounds may be conducted in online mode. The top IIMs have announced their admission criteria 2021already in the month August 2020.

Visit the official website of each IIM to know about their selection criteria or refer the link below for a collective information about the criterion of all IIMs at one place.

Admission Related FAQs

What if one fails to meet the IIM Cutoff criteria?

If a candidate’s IIM cut off criteria is not met, one can consider other management colleges that accept the CAT scores. Few among them are International Institute of Business Studies, Kolkata, Taxila Business School, GRG School of Management Studies, Coimbatore and Vanguard Business School, Bangalore.

What are the other parameters apart from CAT cut-offs considered for IIM Selection?

For the selection process IIMs also consider work experience, academic scores, performance in the personal interview and written ability test.

Do IIMs specify sectional cut-offs also for CAT exam?

Yes, IIMs release sectional as well as an overall cut-off, and both cut off criterion must be met in order to get selected for admission.

Which of the IIMs release the lowest CAT Cut-off?

IIM Shillong, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Jammu and IIM IIM Rohtak are few IIMs where CAT cut offs are low. However CAT cut-offs are not constant and they are subject to changes.

Which of the IIMs release the highest CAT Cut-off?

IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow and IIM Indore are a few among those whose cut offs are always high.

What are the Cut off percentiles of IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta?

These are the top three IIMs and their cut off percentiles range from 99 to 100.

When will the IIM Cut off 2020 be released?

IIM Cutoff 2020 is expected to come out soon after the result declaration.

Do I have to satisfy both IIM Sectional cutoff and the overall cutoff?

Yes, you must qualify both the sectional as well as overall cutoff criterion of IIMs.

Who decides IIM Cut Off?

Each IIM decides its own cut off and selection process individually and independently. This would depend on factors like IIM Cut off, number of seats and exam difficulty.