Lowest percentile required to get a call from IIM for CAT Exam


Lowest percentile required to get a call from IIM for CAT Exam

Lowest Percentile required for IIM call:

Most people think that they only have the chance to get into IIMs if they can secure more than 98 percentiles in CAT. Although that’s not completely wrong, there are some loopholes in it. Each IIM’s has its own criteria for candidate selection. There are so many parameters that even a 100 percentiler can’t be sure to receive calls from all IIMs at times, But somebody can get in with 96 percentiles too. In addition to the CAT percentile, your academics, profile, work ex, all factors diversity in. So, the question remains; which percentile do I need from IIMs to get a call? And what is the lowest percentile needed to get an IIM call?

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What is the IIM admission process?

IIM admission process involves three stages.

  • The first stage is the minimum percentile requirement in CAT, which differs from IIM to IIM.
  • The second stage consists of WAT (Written Ability Test) / PI (Personal Interview) or AWT rounds.
  • Shortlisted candidates from second-round go through to the third stage where extracurricular activities, work experience, the academic record is weighed in.

On the basis of all these three stages, you get an admission into this premier management institute of India. One important requirement to qualify for getting shortlisted by the IIMs is scoring high and balanced sectional percentile in CAT.

Also Read: Complete CAT exam structure and pattern analysis

The overall lowest cut-off for top IIMs:

You will get a call from IIM if you touch 90 percentile or above (except for IIM A which has a lower cut-off) The overall cutoffs are as follows:

Sr. No. IIMs Minimum overall cut-off
1 IIM Ahmedabad 80 percentile
2 IIM Bangalore 90.6 percentile
3 IIM Calcutta 90 percentile
4 IIM Lucknow 90 percentile
5 IIM Indore 90.5 percentile
6 IIM Kozhikode 90 percentile


Most of the new IIMs have their cut-off requirement set at 85 with IIM Shillong having cut-off set at 70 in CAT.

What really matters is the sectional cut-offs for all three sections. You need to have the minimum cut-off requirement for each section, which differs from IIM to IIM. If you get less than that for anyone of the sections, you will lose that call. For IIM A, this sectional cut-off is the lowest,  you need a sectional cut-off of just 70 percentile or above to get a call from them.

If you have a good profile, you have a higher chance of getting a call at a lower percentile, too. Profile in this sense would mean a high percentage / CGPA in your Graduation 10th, 12th and Under. Usually those who have 90 percent and above for all three will be considered for IIM ‘s call (IIM A for sure!) Apart from that if you are an exceptional performer in any extra-curricular activity with awards and recognition, you have a chance of getting a call from IIM.

One surprising fact is the actual cut-off date of IIMs goes on to show that for many IIMs, the actual CAT cut-off is much higher than what institutes announce prior to shortlisting for the further process of the institutes. Except a few of them, the actual interview cut-off of the majority of IIMs falls in the range of 96 to 100 percentile in CAT while the announced cut-off being in the range of 80 to 90 percentile.

What Is the Lowest percentile required to get a call from IIM?

Now, let’s look at each IIM individually to understand what are their cut-offs range and the lowest percentile required for a call from IIM

IIM Ahmedabad:

Your CAT score is allocated a weight of nearly 70 percent, while the remaining 30 percent is based on the application score. For the general category, the estimated percentile for CAT is above 99, which requires a requirement of a constant range of 70-75 marks in all sections of the CAT examination. While for all sections the reserved categories demand a range of 50-65 marks.

They have the lowest sectional cut-off requirement i.e. 70 percentile or above for each section. This is as a bid to get a more diverse batch of students, currently dominated by engineers (infamously called the General-Male-Engineers ‘GEMS’)

IIM A now focuses on getting a more diverse batch of students, which is why they give Non-Engineers an advantage or preferences. If you are a non-engineer with a solid profile (10th, 12th and undergraded percentage usually 90 percent or above), you can actually get a call at a percentile that is as low as 85 percentile.



Also read: All you need to know about IIM-Ahmedabad

IIM Bangalore:

IIM A now focuses on getting a more diverse batch of students, which is why they give Non-Engineers an advantage or preferences. If you are a non-engineer with a solid profile (10th, 12th, and undergrad percentage usually 90 percent or above), you can actually get a call at a percentile that is as low as 85 percentile, would be 90 percentile with an exceptional profile.

Also read: All you need to know about IIM-Bangalore

IIM Calcutta:

For IIM Calcutta the estimated cut-off percentile is 95 and above. IIM Calcutta gives the educational and professional qualifications and the work experience a huge weighting. They’ve increased weighting toward WAT and PI round this year. The sectional cut-offs for IIM C are also higher from the previous year’s records. You have to score (VARC-75, DILR – 80, QA – 80). So, the lowest overall percentile would be 90 percentile for the general category.


Also Refer: Everything you need to know about IIM-Calcutta

IIM Lucknow:

For IIM Lucknow, the cut-offs are categorised into 3 categories, namely PGP, PGP-SM, and PGP-ABM. The estimated lowest cut-offs for each of the sections are 90, 86, and 80 percentile respectively (for the general category). The cut off for the other reserved categories range from 77-83 and 69-73 in the two other categories.

For IIM L, the sectional cut-offs are rather high than the ABCs (VARC- 85, DILR- 85, QA- 85) Therefore an overall minimum percentile requirement of 90 is necessary for IIM Lucknow. Female candidates receive two additional points.

Also read: All you need to know about IIM-Lucknow

IIM Indore:

IIM Indore requires a percentile overall of 90 and above. The Institute emphasises your score and your graduation in X and XII. The Personal Interview carries an enormous weight of 35 per cent into the institute for final selection. Minimum sectional cut-offs for IIM Indore (VARC – 80, DILR- 80, QA- 80) are also high for the general category, and fall by an average of 10 percentiles for each reservation category .

Also read: All you need to know about IIM-Indore

IIM Kozhikode:

It’s also around 90 percentile overall for IIM Kozhikode. This institute awards a 5 per cent gender bonus and a 2 per cent academic bonus. If selected for the Personal Interview, the chances of entering the Institute are high as the PI is weighted by 45 per cent. The PIs at IIM Kozhikode are almost always interviews with Stress, however, and cracking can be very hard.

Also Refer: Everything you need to know about IIM-Kozhikode

A list of all sectional cutoffs with the overall aggregate cutoff of the other IIMs is mentioned in the table below:

Small tips on how you can get the minimum cutoff marks:

Focus on sectional cut-offs: After going through the article, you may have clearly understood that you have to focus on all three sections and ensure to get at least 80 percentile in each section to get calls from IIMs. This means, do not just focus on your strengths and leave your weak areas, but at the same time don’t invest all your time in your weaker sections and neglect your strong points. There has to be a balance in your study plan.

Ensure that once you have covered the basic concepts for each section, you devote an almost equal amount of time to practicing each section. You can, of course, invest more time in those sections that need more work, but not at the cost of the other ones.

Keep solving mocks, they are the best way to ensure that you practice all sections equally, and at the same time keep a track of whether you get the minimum required questions correct or not. While the minimum sectional questions that you need to solve may change with the difficulty level of the exam every year, you can target minimum benchmark numbers for the three sections (based on the last few years percentile calculation)


So, I hope you found this article helpful on the lowest percentile required to get a call from IIM. For all you non-engineers out there who are demotivated over the fact that they cant score a 99 percentile, what are you worried about now? Your call from IIM A is definitely not impossible! Everyone who is aspiring for the IIMs, start working hard now! Focus on all your section and weigh in other variables as well to have a better chance at the admission.

Remember, it always seems impossible, until it’s done. And you have a number of examples of people who have done it! So what are you waiting for?

Click here to Practice with actual CAT Mocks and get a call from IIM-A, B, C, L, I, K

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