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CAT 2017: IIM Call vs IIM Eligibility

By: R Chandrakala on December 14, 2017

After going through the admission criteria that has been released by various IIMs, the candidate might feel very optimistic about getting selected or receiving a call from the reputed IIMs. 

CAT 2017 was held on November 26, 2017, and the CAT Result would be announced in the second week of January 2018. IIMs would shortlist candidates meeting the cutoff once the results are announced. 

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While it does sound viable, with IIM A overall cutoff for General category being near 80 percentile and sectional cutoffs being as 70 percentile (QA & DILR) and 75 percentile. (VARC), the real scenario is quite different.

The interview cutoff for the Unreserved category at IIM Ahmedabad in 98.5 percentile for 2017-2019 batch.

Thus, there exists this thin line of difference between landing an IIM Call and being eligible for IIM Admissions. 

Have you ever put a thought into why such a difference occurs?

This difference occurs because of the eligibility cutoff announced by an IIM, this is the minimum CAT Percentile candidates are required to secure, to get their names on the merit list to be considered for the next stage of CAT Selection process of Written Ability Test and Personal Interview Round.

The actual cutoff that would be finally determined would depend on the number of candidates ruling on the top. IIM- A might have a candidate pool of 1000, from the unreserved category to get the desired percentile of 98-100. In a typical scenario, 4000 candidates would be in the Top 2 Percentile amidst a number of 2 Lakh.

CAT Cutoff thus, is the initial screening factor that the IIMs use to get to the top cream of the candidates.

What is the role of the Total number of candidates and IIM intake in determining CAT cutoff?

A percentile, simply explained, is an indication of the value below which a percentage of test takers would be coming under. 90 percentile, in the case of an example, means the value below which 90% of the CAT Examinees would fall. For the subsequent academic year in the IIMs, offering seats of 4000, about 12,000 candidates would be shortlisted.

The Unreserved category would be near to 6,000, about 50% of the total selected count. IIM-A would be having 400 seats wherein similarly 50% would be reserved for the General category. The institute would be shortlisting close to 600 candidates, making it consequently get candidates in the range of 99.5-100 percentile.

The candidates thus shortlisted belong to the top percentile bracket of 98-100 and not 90 percentile bracket as mentioned in the IIM Eligibility Criteria. 

While the other IIMs consider factors like academic records, work experience, academic and gender diversity in profiling the candidate, it is not a necessity that all 99 percentile candidates while getting selected for an interview. A consistent performance across all selection rounds is what determines the selection of candidates.

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