CAT 2018: Eligibility Criteria to apply for the exam

Oct 17, 2018 17:14 IST
    CAT: Eligibility Criteria to apply for the exam
    CAT: Eligibility Criteria to apply for the exam

    CAT 2018 is one of the most coveted national level MBA entrance exam that is an entry ticket to all the IIM and other prestigious institutes such as IIT, FMS, and SPJAIN etc. CAT 2018 will be conducted on November 25, 2018 and recently, IIM Calcutta i.e. the exam conducting body of CAT 2018 has also commenced the registration process for the aspirants from August 8 and the applications window will remain open till September 14. So before you start applying for CAT 2018, take a look at the eligibility criteria, and make sure if you are eligible to appear for the exam.

    So here are the important key aspects which candidates must make sure before getting registered for the CAT 2018 exam about the Eligibility Criteria:

    Eligibility Criteria for CAT 2018

    There is not much change introduced in the eligibility criteria for appearing in the CAT exam since 2014. The eligibility criteria set by the CAT convening body every year for the upcoming exam. Some of the important aspects which candidates should look forward to are:

    Academic Background

    Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s Degree awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

    Final year Graduation Students

    Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply.

    Marks obtained in the Graduation

    Candidates with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PWD)/Differently Abled (DA) category) can apply for CAT 2018. The percentage of marks obtained by the candidate would be calculated based on the practice as followed by the respective University/Institution.


    Snapshot of CAT Eligibility Criteria:





    Recognized Bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years' duration.

    No age limit

    At least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA

    (45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and

    Persons with Disability (PWD)/Differently Able (DA) category)

    Seat Reservation for CAT 2018

    As per the Government of India requirements, 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. 27% of seats are reserved for other backward classes candidates belonging to the “non - creamy” layer (NC - OBC). As per the provision under section 39 of the PWD Act, 1995, 3% seats are reserved for Persons With Disability (PWD) candidates.



    Scheduled Caste (SC)


    Scheduled Tribe (ST)


    Other Backward Classes “non-creamy” layer (NC-OBC)


    Persons With Disability (PWD)


    Once the candidate has chosen a particular category while filling the online application form, no changes in the category will be accepted or entertained at the later stage. Candidates applying under SC / ST / N C-O B C / PWD category are also required to upload a copy of the certificate(s) at the time of CAT online registration and they are also required to submit a photocopy of the certificate at the time of interview.  

    CAT Eligibility Criteria vs. IIM Eligibility

    Candidates should not consider or assume the fulfillment of CAT eligibility criteria as a sure shot means to get short listing for admission to the IIMs. CAT eligibility criteria differ from IIM eligibility criteria on various aspects. A few of them are:

    1. CAT 2018 eligibility prescribes ‘No Age Bar’ to appear in CAT exam whereas IIM restricts any candidates to seek admission on the basis of age bar.
    2. Candidates can appear for the CAT exam with 2 years of graduation, however, a candidate cannot seek admission in the IIMs unless they have completed education with 10+2+3/4 year format.

    For more updates on CAT 2018, keep visiting MBA section of

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