Lowest percentile required to get a call from IIM


Lowest percentile required to get a call from IIM

Lowest Percentile required for IIM call:

Most people think that only if they can secure more than 98 percentile in CAT, they stand a chance to get into IIMs. While this is not entirely wrong, there are some loopholes in it. Each of the IIMs has its own criteria for the selection of candidates. There are so many parameters that sometimes even a 100 percentiler cannot be sure of getting calls from all the IIMs, but someone with 96 percentile can also get in. Besides the CAT percentile, your academics, profile, work ex, diversity all factors in. So, the question remains; what percentile do I require to get a call from IIMs? And what is the lowest percentile required for 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.

Also, you have a higher chance to get a call at a lower percentile if you have a good profile. Profile in this sense would mean a high percentage/ CGPA in your 10th, 12th, and Under graduation. Usually, those who have 90 percent and above for all three will be considered for a call by IIM (IIM A for sure!) Apart from this if you’re an exceptional performer in any extra-curricular activities, 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:

A weight of almost 70% is allotted to your CAT score, while the remaining 30 percent is based on the application rating score. The estimated percentile for CAT is above 99 for the general category, which demands a requisite of a constant range of 70-75 marks in all the sections of the CAT examination. While the reserved categories demand a 50-65 marks range for all sections.

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

IIM A is now focusing on getting a more diverse batch of students, hence they do give an advantage or preferences to Non-engineers. You can actually get a call at a percentile as low as 85 percentile, if you are a non-engineer with a solid profile (10th, 12th, and undergrad percentage usually 90% or above.)

IIMA is also looking to increase their gender diversity, so female candidates also get a small extra point in their final score, which may seem less, but with the cut-throat competition that takes place at IIMs, this would mean a huge advantage!


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

IIM Bangalore:

IIM Bangalore mainly focuses on a highly successful academic background and several other factors like work experience, extracurricular activities, etc. When compared to other top IIMs Bangalore requires a much higher percentile and cut-off.

For the sectional cut-offs, the cut-offs are higher than IIM A (VARC- 80, DILR- 75 & QA- 75) for the general category. Overall lowest cut-off up till now would be 90 percentile with an exceptional profile.

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

IIM Calcutta:

The estimated cut off percentile for IIM Calcutta is 95 and above. IIM Calcutta gives a huge weightage to educational and professional qualifications and work experience. This year, they have increased the weightage towards WAT and PI round.

From the previous year’s records, the sectional cut-offs are also higher for IIM C. 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:

The cut-offs are classified into 3 categories for IIM Lucknow, 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.

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

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

IIM Indore:

IIM Indore requires an overall percentile of 90 and above. The institute emphasizes on your score in X and XII and your graduation. The Personal Interview carries a huge weightage of 35 percent for final selection into the institute.

Minimum sectional cut-offs are also high for IIM Indore (VARC – 80, DILR- 80, QA- 80) for the general category, and goes down by average 10 percentile for each reserved category.

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

IIM Kozhikode:

The overall percentile for IIM Kozhikode is also around 90. This institute awards a bonus of 5 percent for gender and 2 percent for academic discipline. If selected for the Personal Interview, the chances of getting into the institute are high as the PI carries 45 percent weightage. However, the PIs at IIM Kozhikode is almost always Stress interviews, and it can be very difficult to crack.

For IIM Kozhikode, the minimum sectional cut-offs are V

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 these minimum benchmark numbers for the three sections (based on the last few years percentile calculation):

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension – 20 correct attempts

Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning – 8 correct attempts

Quantitative Ability- 16 correct attempts

I’ll repeat that these are the minimum benchmarks attempts, i.e. at least these many attempts to score well in each section, not the highest.


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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