CAT 2017: Academic Backlogs, Grace Marks won’t block your way to IIMs

Appearing for CAT 2017? Here’s how you can register for CAT Exam and apply to top MBA colleges in India like IIMs despite backlogs or grace marks in graduation.

Created On: Sep 1, 2017 08:30 IST
CAT 2017: Eligibility Criteria
CAT 2017: Eligibility Criteria

Wondering if you are eligible to register for CAT 2017 MBA entrance exam or to get selected to top MBA colleges in India such as IIMs, you are not alone! Since the CAT 2017 MBA exam notification came out, there is some or the other confusion that has been clouding the minds of MBA aspirants. Despite the CAT 2017 notification dictating the eligibility criteria for the most important B-school entrance test very clearly, aspirants still seem to be in a limbo with regards to it.

In the last few days, IIM Lucknow, which is the organizing institute for CAT 2017 has received a number of queries with regards to eligibility of candidates who have an academic backlog during their graduation. If you also had a similar query or wanted to clarify your position as far as academic eligibility for CAT 2017 registration and admission to IIMs is concerned, please read on. 

Backlogs, Grace Marks – No Hindrance in IIM Admissions

CAT 2017 being one the most important entrance exams, especially to get into top MBA Colleges in India like IIMs, candidates and MBA aspirants assume that only the cream of the cream is allowed to take up this examination. However, if we examine the eligibility criteria mentioned in the CAT 2017 notification, we can see that neither CAT nor IIM admission policy specifies any such clause. But, this confusion is primarily due to the assumption of MBA aspirants and the candidates appearing for MBA test.

But, providing clarification over this this query, IIM Prof Neeraj Dwivedi, Convener CAT 2017 and faculty at IIM Lucknow has noted that ““Yes, as per the CAT 2017 eligibility norms, candidates who are completing their degree by May 2018 are eligible to appear for CAT. However, the candidate should select Yes to the question Are you in the final year of Bachelor Degree”.

This statement from CAT 2017 convenor has put all the speculations and worries about eligibility of candidates who have a backlog or grace marks as part of their academic background.

Eligibility Details

Just to clarify things further, we have again reiterated the basic eligibility criteria for CAT 2017 registration and application to IIMs for different PGP programmes; especially if you have a backlog or grace marks.

  • You are eligible to apply for CAT 2017…
  • If you have completed a bachelor’s degree but have a backlog
  • If you have to appear for a supplementary exam to complete your graduation
  • If you have scored the 50% marks (General Category) or 45% marks (Other Categories) in graduation

Entering Academic Details in CAT 2017 Registration Form

If you have any confusion with regards to how to enter your academic details into the CAT 2017 registration form, we have also listed down the key points that you must keep in mind for that as well. While filling your CAT 2017 registration form, you will be required to fill your academic background details in the academics page of CAT 2017 registration form. This would include the details of marks obtained in Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation / highest qualification of the candidate in the following format:


Board / University

Percentage / Marks

Class 10 Board



Class 12 Board






Here under the Bachelor’s degree option you would get question stating:

‘Are you in the final year of Bachelor Degree’?

Please select incomplete if you are still waiting for the graduation result or have a backlog or grace marks issue. In case you select incomplete, you will have to enter the completed years details along with average/aggregate marks.

In addition to this, as your graduation is still incomplete you would be required to provide a certificate latest by June 30, 2018 from the Principal/Registrar of the college/institute stating that you have completed all the requirements including appearing for supplementary exams. Results may be awaited.

So, there you have it, answers to all your questions regarding eligibility of MBA aspirants for CAT 2017 registration and admission to IIMs despite having a backlog. If you have any other queries regarding CAT 2017 or IIMs admission process in general, please visit to get the answers. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about the latest information on CAT 2017.

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