CAT Admission Process 2020: Selection Criteria, CAP, GD/PI

All the participating institutes which consider CAT 2020 score as a parameter for providing admission are responsible for conducting the counselling. The CAT counselling 2020 considers the candidate's scores attained in the exam. IIM's CAT 2020 counselling process involves three steps, which are Group Discussion, Written Ability Test and a Personal Interview. A candidate is shortlisted for counselling if he/she performs well in all the associated rounds of the CAT exam. The entire procedure, participating institutes, and other factors and elements of CAT counselling 2020 are detailed below.

CAT 2020 Counselling Process Highlights

The CAT counselling process 2020 contains three major steps. It is advised in the interest of candidates to check the official website of the concerned IIM or IIMs from which they have received a call letter to understand the procedure of admission.

Receiving the CAT 2020 Counselling Call Letter

The call letter for CAT 2020 Counselling would be sent to the shortlisted candidates on their registered email address. The candidates should find the following information on the call letter:

  • Registration link for CAT counselling 2020.
  • Last date to register for CAT counselling 2020.
  • Dates for the shortlisting rounds- Group Discussion, Written Aptitude Test, Personal Interview
  • Venue for the shortlisting rounds- Group Discussion, Written Aptitude Test, Personal Interview
  • Candidate’s slot for the shortlisting rounds- Group Discussion, Written Aptitude Test, Personal Interview

Documents required for Verification during CAT 2020 Counselling Process

The candidates must report to the venue mentioned on the given date for submission of all the documents mentioned in the call letter. The call letter contains a list of all the documents which a candidate needs to bring to the venue. A list of all the documents is also given below for your reference.

Scorecard: Your CAT 2020 Score Card should be taken along with other original documents for document verification session.

Marksheet: Candidates are required to produce Original and self-attested Photocopy of 10th, 12th and graduation Marksheets in CAT Counselling 2020.

Photographs: 4 passport size photographs are required at the time of CAT 2020 counselling process.

Admit Card: Original and Photocopy of CAT Admit card 2020 will be required for the admission process.

Caste Certificate: Original and Photocopy of caste certificate signed by authorized authority is required for those candidates who come under the reserved category. The aspirants belonging to the SC/ST Category or the EWS Category must produce the certificate at the time of CAT Counselling 2020, and at the time of joining an IIM.

Final Year Candidates: In case you are in the final year of the bachelor's degree or equivalent, then it is mandatory for you to submit an original certificate from the Principal/Registrar/Director of the university/Institution.

Document Photocopies: The candidates should also being two sets of photocopies of the above mentioned documents to the CAT counselling venue mentioned on the call letter.

NOTE: The authorities at the CAT Counselling venue might retain the candidate’s documents for further verification formalities. The candidates must remember to take a receipt for the same.

CAT 2020 Counselling Choice Locking

The candidates must visit the official website after fulfilment of the previous step, i.e., document verification for CAT Counselling 2020. Fill the registration form and proceed to select and do the choice locking for CAT 2020 Counselling. The candidates will be notified about the same through SMS or email.

The candidates are supposed to visit the allocated institution, and submit the order of seat allotment.

CAT 2020 Selection Process

Few days after the announcement of CAT 2020 Result, based on your percentile you will get the most anticipated "call" from the IIMs for the next level of the selection process. The CAT 2020 counselling Process of the 2020 starts after the candidate has cleared the cut off 2020. Every IIM decides the CAT cut off for their institute and there is no universal cut off applicable to all. Also, the Institutes announces their admission process and selection criteria for the year beforehand. The CAT selection process broadly involves the following steps:

CAT Selection Procedure 2020
Elements Details
Date of Counselling The admission process of each IIM or any other college accepting CAT Score differs. It will be updated on the official website.
Merit Selection CAT 2020 Admission is based on merit list and a strict and focused selection process.
Personal Interview CAT 2020 Personal Interview is an important element in the candidate's selection in the IIMs.
Written Test and GD More weightage is given to the Written test as compared to the group discussion at the time of selection of the candidate for CAT 2020 IIMs Admission.

These steps for the Selection Procedure in CAT 2020 Counselling are discussed in detail below:

CAT 2020 Group Discussion

Group Discussion is an integral part of the CAT counselling 2020 process for admission to IIMs. At this stage, generally, groups of 5-6 students are given one topic and they discuss that topic for about 10 minutes or so.

First round includes the ability of a candidate to communicate his ideas clearly to a group. The candidate must be highly convincing, logical and reasonable. It also helps to shortlist candidates on the basis of 'team handling quality'. The topics for group discussion will be different for each group. The group discussion is conducted at the CAT counselling 2020 not just to evaluate your knowledge on the topic, but also gauge your team approach, leadership skills, and communication skills.

Hot topics for CAT Group Discussion: The topics asked in the CAT 2020 counselling rounds are based on national and international politics, current affairs, topics of socialism. So be prepared by reading newspapers daily, if you have not started reading them and be updated socially. Magazines, social media, articles will also help you in getting a day to day knowledge about current affairs. Some hot topics for CAT 2020 counselling group discussion round are as follows:

  • Narendra Modi- Innovating India
  • Make In India
  • Farm Income
  • General Election
  • RBI Autonomy
  • Regionalism
  • Fugitive Economic Offenders
  • Section 377
  • Me too
  • ISRO's Manned Mission
  • US-China Trade War
  • Immigration crisis
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Social media and Privacy
  • Impact of technology on jobs
  • End of Globalisation
  • Banking Scam, etc.

CAT 2020 Written Ability Test

The Written Ability Test for CAT selection procedure analyzes the candidate’s critical thinking ability, and their ability to solve the problems precisely and clearly in a given period of time. As a part of the Written Ability Test, a student will have to write an essay on a given topic. The topic will be given on the spot and specific time will be allotted for it.

Essay structure is important since the time to write is limited. A student must not spend too much time in planning the structure of the essay. A candidate must improve his writing skills to score good marks in Written Ability Test round of CAT counselling 2020.

The topics for written ability test can be from a variety of topics like current affairs, socialism, etc. Some of the examples are:

  • Corruption in India
  • Life and work balance
  • Women's welfare etc.
  • The economic problems in India
  • Unemployment is a blessing in disguise
  • The current five-year plan

CAT 2020 Personal Interview

The questions may be asked in an IIM interview based on personal life, academic record, extracurricular activities, work experience, hobbies and any technical questions.

Each IIM compulsorily has a personal interview round for the selection of candidates. So you need to develop some soft skills to get prepared for Face to Face Interview at the time of the CAT selection process.

Common Admission Process (IIM CAP)

Common Admission Process or CAP is an integrated selection process conducted for the 9 new baby IIMs that includes IIM Bodh Gaya, IIM Jammu, IIM Kashipur, IIM Ranchi, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Trichy, and IIM Udaipur. All candidates are shortlisted for CAP 2020 based on their CAT 2020 scores and then there is a admission process that is conducted at one conducting institute for all the nine new IIMs. The qualifying CAT cut off and weightage of admission selection parameters are common for all CAP participating IIMs. The admission process is same as that of the other IIMs i.e. WAT-PI process. The final scores from CAP 2020 are then sent to respective CAP participating IIMs and the institutes can then assess the candidates' performances as per their own selection parameters and make admission offers based on the individual merit which is made available on the official website of the respective IIMs.

NOTE: IIM Ranchi is the official conducting institute of CAP for the year 2020 - 2022.

All aspiring candidates can refer below step by step procedure of the Common Admission Process which is a very integral part of the CAT Counselling process for the new IIMs:

  • The nine new IIMs participating in CAP 2020 prepares a list of shortlisted candidates for WAT-PI process as per their own selection parameters.
  • Each IIM then shares the candidate list to CAP Coordinator 2020 .
  • From this combined list, the CAP conduction institute i.e. IIM Ranchi in this case conducts WAT-PI Round.
  • The final admission list is prepared by individual IIMs who assess the candidates based on the composite scores of WAT, PI, CAT Score, work experience, and past academic performance.
  • Each IIM then makes an individual merit list to offer admissions to the candidates.
  • This final merit list is displayed on the official website of the individual institutes and can be accessed by candidates using their institute login credentials.

CAT Counselling 2020 Reservation Criteria

As per the Indian government reservation scheme, CAT counselling for IIMs follows some reservation criteria. These data are according to the authentic information given on the official website.

Student Category Percentage of seats allocated
Scheduled Caste (SC) 15% of seats
Scheduled Tribe (ST) 7.5% seats
Other Backwards Classes (NC-OBC) 27% of seats
PWD Differently Abled Candidates (DA) 5% of seats
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) 10 % of Seats

CAT 2020 - Participating IIMs

Studying in IIMs is a dream for many students aspiring to do a management course in India. To get into it one has to clear the CAT exam 2020. One must score high to get into IIMs referring CAT previous years question papers will help a student to score high.

CAT Counselling 2020 Participating IIMs
IIMs Official Website
IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Amritsar
IIM Bangalore
IIM Bodhgaya
IIM Calcutta
IIM Indore
IIM Kashipur
IIM Kozhikode
IIM Lucknow
IIM Nagpur
IIM Raipur
IIM Ranchi
IIM Rohtak
IIM Shillong
IIM Trichy
IIM Udaipur
IIM Visakhapatnam
IIM Jammu
IIM Sambalpur
IIM Sirmaur

Admission through CAT 2020 in Non-IIM's

CAT 2020 scores are valid for admission to various Non-IIM institutes also. But these institutes don't follow the same pattern as for shortlisting candidates. Therefore, candidates have to apply to these organizations individually. Below are the Non-IIM institutions, which consider the exam scores, but aren't a part of the CAT counselling.

Non IIMs granting admission through CAT 2020
CAT 2020 Participating Non-IIMs
Andhra Pradesh
Institute for Financial Management & Research (IFMR University)
Jawaharlal Nehru School of Management Studies
Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna (CIMP) Development Management Institute
University Business School
Faculty of Management Studies Fore School of Management
IMM-Fostiima Business School (IFBS) Fortune Institute of International Business
Apeejay School of Management Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Technical Campus
Goa Institute of Management
MICA Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India
Institute of Rural Management Anand Institute of Management, Nirma University
Management Development Institute (MDI)
Jammu & Kashmir
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University
Indus Business Academy Myra School of Business
Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)
Alliance University International School of Management Excellence
Institute of Finance & International Management (IFIM Business School) GIBS Business School
Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute For Mangement Development  
SCMS School of Technology & Management SCMS Cochin School of Business
Rajagiri Business School  
Madhya Pradesh
Jaipuria Institute of Management (Indore) Indian Institute of Forest Management
K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research Institute Of Technology And Management
National Institute of Bank Management Balaji Institute of Telecom & Management (BITM)
National Institute of Industrial Engineering Balaji Institute of Management and Human Resource Development (BIMHRD)
National Insurance Academy Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research
Flame School of Business (FLAME University)  
Xavier University Bhubaneswar KIIT School of Management at KIIT University
LM Thapar School of Management University Business School - Ludhiana
Jaipuria Institute of Management (Jaipur) Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani
Tamil Nadu
Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM) National Institute of Technology
KCT Business School  
Institute Of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM) University of Hyderabad (School of Management Studies)
Siva Sivani Institute of Management Hyderabad School of Business Management
Vishwa Vishwani Institute of Systems and Management  
Uttar Pradesh
Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Jaipuria Institute of Management (Lucknow)
Birla Institute of Management Technology Indian Institute of Information Technology
University of Lucknow Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Jais, Amethi
Doon Business School
West Bengal
Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM) International Management Institute (Alipore)
Management Development Institute, Murshidabad Calcutta Business School

Note: All candidates must understand that completing the exam is just the first level and they have to pass through the CAT counselling 2020 process to get admission. Having said that, each candidate must score well to get a call for the CAT counselling.

Seat Intake of all Participating IIMs

All participating have their specific seat intake and all candidates who satisfy the eligibility criteria and fall under the merit list as per the CAT Selection process are given admission to the respective IIMs. The seat intake of all participating IIMs based on CAT exam score is given below:

Seat Intake of Participating IIMs
IIMs Seat Intake in MBA/PGP
IIM Ahmedabad 395
IIM Bangalore 400
IIM Calcutta 460
IIM Kozhikode 375
IIM Lucknow 500
IIM Visakhapatnam 120
IIM Indore 450
IIM Rohtak 240
IIM Shillong 180
IIM Trichy 240
IIM Udaipur 260
IIM Ranchi 185
IIM Kashipur 240
IIM Raipur 260
IIM Amritsar 160
IIM Bodhgaya 120
IIM Nagpur 130
IIM Jammu 140
IIM Sambalpur 120
IIM Sirmaur 120

*Number of seats mentioned in the above table is specific to 2020 academic session. It may change in the upcoming sessions as per respective participating IIMs.

Selection Parameters

The conducting authorities have laid down certain parameters, based on which candidates are selected for further rounds in the CAT Counselling for IIMs. The details for the same are given below:

IIM Ahmedabad

The parameters of selection to the CAT Counselling followed by IIM Ahmedabad are:

College Program Parameters for GDPI Parameters for Final Admission
IIM A PGP CAT (Normalised overall score in): 70% + Normalised Application Rating score (10th/12th and Graduation score based on your stream): 30% Normalised Personal Interview Score: 50% + Normalised Academic Writing Ability Score: 10% + Composite Score: 40%
IIM A PGP - FABM CAT score + The candidate must satisfy the eligibility criteria for the programme. CAT Score: 70%, Application Rating Score: 30% (10th marks, 12th marks, Graduation Marks)
IIM B PGP CAT = 40, 10th Std = 20, 12th Std = 10, Bachelors = 20, Gender Diversity = 2, Work Experience = 8. The WAT score (weightage = 10), and the personal interview score (weightage = 30), after standardization scores will be added to the following scores to arrive at the final aggregate score. CAT (weightage = 25), 10th board (weightage = 10), 12th board (weightage = 5), Bachelors (weightage = 10), Weighted Work Experience (weightage = 10)

The PGP programme offered in IIM A is not only based on the AWT (Academic Writing Test) and PI (Personal Interview) but all other factors like previous academic records, work experience, extracurricular and co-curricular activities. For PGP - FABM, as the course is related to the field of agriculture, candidates with a bachelor's degree or master's in the field of agriculture will be preferred in the CAT Counselling GD-PI rounds.

IIM Bangalore

The parameters of selection laid by IIM Bangalore for inviting candidates to CAT Counselling are:

College Program Parameters for GDPI Parameters for Final Admission
IIM B PGP CAT = 40, 10th Std = 20, 12th Std = 10, Bachelors = 20, Gender Diversity = 2, Work Experience = 8. The WAT score (weightage = 10), and the personal interview score (weightage = 30), after standardization scores will be added to the following scores to arrive at the final aggregate score. CAT (weightage = 25), 10th board (weightage = 10), 12th board (weightage = 5), Bachelors (weightage = 10), Weighted Work Experience (weightage = 10)

IIM B adopts a two-phase selection process for CAT counselling. The first phase is for all eligible candidates who appear for CAT to determine those qualifying candidates for personal interview (PI). The second phase is PI-WAT. Candidates selected for the PI process through CAT counselling will be required to take a Written Ability Test (WAT) on a topic provided for them. The topics chosen will typically be around current socio-political, economic and business affairs, though other topics such as sports and topics that demand the creative thinking of a candidate are also asked.

The 40 points for CAT are derived from the performance in each of the three sections as follows: Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC) - 14 points, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) - 16 points, and Quantitative Aptitude (QA) - 10 points.

Note: Gender diversity is applicable only for the first phase and not for the second phase of the selection process.

IIM Calcutta

The parameters of selection to the CAT Counselling followed by IIM Calcutta are:

IIM Program Parameters for GDPI Parameters for Final Admission
IIM C PGP CAT Score: 28%, Class X and Class XII aggregate percentages. (X: 10%, XII: 10%), and Gender Diversity: 2% 15%, Personal Interview (PI): 24%, Writing Ability Test (WAT): 5%, Point awarded for Academic Diversity at Bachelor’s degree level

Candidates with any of the following bachelor’s degree in the list below are eligible for Academic Diversity Factor at Bachelor's Degree (ADFB). A person under ADFB will get added points.

B.A, BA (H), B.Sc, B.Sc.(H), BS, B.Com, B.Com (H), BCA, BBA, B.Pharma, LL.B, MBBS, BDS or any other Non-Engineering bachelor’s degree.

If Bachelor’s degree is from the list above then ADFB=2 otherwise ADFB=0.

Work Experience: A maximum of 4 points will be given to people with work experience. Only full-time paid experience counts and other internships/training will not be considered as work experience.

Note: All the data mentioned above about the CAT counselling selection parameters are based on the official announcement of 2018. After CAT 2020, each IIM will release its own selection parameters/admission policy for the proceeding CAT counselling on its authentic website. So candidates can wait for the same.

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Discussion Forum



Admission Process for CAT 2017:

The IIMs mainly offer Postgraduate, Executive, and Doctoral programmes.

The two-year flagship programme of IIMs - Post Graduate Diploma - is popularly known as MBA. 

After the CAT results are announced, the list of selected candidates is put up for each of the IIMs separately.

The counselling and Admission process for all the IIMs is done separately. 

CAT Admission is based on merit and a rigorous selection process that consists of CAT scores, Group Discussions (GD), Essay Writing, Personal Interview (PI), and other factors.

In recent years, it is seen that the IIMs tend to give more weightage to the Written test and not the group discussion.

The Group Discussion is not as preferable as the other steps. 

The Personal Interview is a very important step and can be the deciding factor in the Candidate's selection in the IIMs.

Answer By: Getmyuni

06 Feb 2017



According to the policy of Indian government, the seat reservation will be applicable for CAT and the seats are reserved for the various categories are as follows:



Schedule Caste (SC)

15% seats

Schedule Tribe (ST)

7.5% seats

Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC)

27% seats

PWD Differently Abled (DA) candidates

3% seats

Answer By: Getmyuni

06 Feb 2017

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