CAT Exam Eligibility 2023: Age Limit, Qualification, Reservation Policy

Selva Kumar
Selva Kumar

Updated on - Dec 15, 2023

CAT Exam Eligibility 2023 is any Bachelor's Degree or equivalent from a recognized university with 50% marks for general candidates. On the other hand, for SC/ ST/ PwD, 45% marks in any Bachelor's Degree must be obtained to apply for the exam. CAT 2023 Exam Eligibility is released along with the reservation policy on the official website. The conducting authority has announced the CAT exam eligibility 2023 criteria before the application process.

CAT 2023 eligibility criteria established by IIM Ahmedabad do not specify any age limit for applicants. Candidates with work experience will have an added advantage in the interview phase, but it is not an essential eligibility requirement. Only the eligible applicant will be able to download the CAT admit card 2023.

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During the selection process at IIMs, the concerned authorities verify the candidate's eligibility at various stages. Candidates must remember that meeting the minimum CAT Exam Eligibility 2023 is the primary stage of clearing the CAT exam. 

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CAT Exam Eligibility 2023

According to CAT Exam Eligibility 2023, candidates who have earned any Bachelor's Degree from a recognized university with 50% of the total marks (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD) can apply for the CAT exam 2023. 

  • Candidates hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or its equivalent.
  • Candidates should possess a minimum score of 45% for the SC/ST/PWD category and 50% for the open category.
  • Candidates who are in their final year of undergraduate study. However, such candidates must submit the completion certificate from the university or institution's principal on or before the deadline set by the relevant IIMs.

CAT Exam Eligibility 2023 will be published along with the official notification. Since the MBA is a postgraduate program, graduation is the primary CAT exam eligibility.

Important Links: Advantages of CAT Exam

Did You Know?

CAT exam eligibility for IIM Admission 2024 does not allow students to seek admission based on an age restriction. Instead, they must meet the requirements of 'No Age restriction' in order to appear in the CAT exam.

The key facts related to CAT eligibility criteria are given below:  

CAT Exam Eligibility Highlights
Particulars Details
Number of Attempts No Limit
Academic Qualification Bachelor’s Degree
Required Marks in Graduate 50% (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)
CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students Admitted on a Provisional basis if Qualified
Age Limit for CAT 2023 No Age Restriction
Work Experience Not Mandatory
Reservation Based on Category

CAT Exam Eligibility 2023

Did You Know?

The main difference between CAT and GMAT is that CAT is a domestic entrance exam for MBA admissions in India, while GMAT is a global exam accepted by business schools worldwide. Indian B-schools usually accept GMAT scores for NRI (Non-Resident Indian) and foreign student

CAT Exam Eligibility for Educational Qualification

The IIM Bangalore will outline the CAT academic qualification and marks that the applicants must possess to appear for the exam. CAT exam eligibility 2023 with the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, has acknowledged the following qualification as equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

Here is the list of the academic qualifications which will be taken under consideration:

  • A 4-year bachelor's degree in engineering or technology earned after completing 10+2 or a post-B.Sc. or post-diploma course of study.
  • A diploma from a professional society recognized by the MHRD, UPSC, or AICTE that is equal to a bachelor's degree in engineering or technology, such as AMIE from the Institution of Engineers, India, or AMICE from the Institute of Civil Engineers of India
  • Candidates with degrees in CA/CS/ICWA (Gen: 50%; SC/ST/PWD: 45%) are also eligible to apply for CAT 2023 exam.

Note: Any candidate who meets the CAT exam eligibility 2023 and whose degree is not listed here may still apply if they can provide an equivalent certificate from the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi.

Read More: CAT Application Form 2023

CAT 2023 Academic Qualification: Category-wise CGPA

MHRD/AICTE: The University shall be considered as a university under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or shall be declared annexed by an Act of the Parliament or the State Legislature of India.

CAT Eligibility Criteria
Qualification Affiliation CGPA/Percentage
Bachelor’s Degree from any University/Institute UGC 50% (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)
Engineering Degree - B.Tech/ B.E. from any University/Institute MHRD/ AICTE 50% (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)
Final year of degree examination MHRD/ AICTE/ UGC 50% (45% for SC/ ST/ PwD)
CA/CS/ICWA/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India (FIAI) Recognized by MHRD/ UPSC/AICTE  50% (45% for SC, ST, and PWDs) 

Note: Candidates who took the degree exam in their final year should provide a certificate from the institution or university. The degree certificate must specify that the applicant has satisfied all conditions for equivalent qualification on the date the certificate is issued.


CAT Eligibility Criteria 2023- Marks Calculation

CAT eligibility criteria where marks will be converted into percentages for CGPA and grades under a procedure approved by the relevant institution or university. Alternatively, suppose no institution or university offers any improvement plans.

In that case, the percentage will be determined by dividing the student's CGPA by the highest CGPA possible and multiplying the result by 100.

For instance,

  • If a candidate has a minimum CGPA requirement of 10 and a maximum CGPA of 8.8, then 8.8/10 = 0.88, and multiplying that number by 100 gives us 0.88 X 100, or 88%.
  • Candidate’s CGPA/Maximum CGPA) X 100 = Equivalent Percentage.
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CAT Age Limit 2023

There is no upper CAT age limit for any category of applicants for age. In other words, the candidate's age is not considered in the CAT eligibility criteria 2023. CAT eligibility criteria degrees are given first preference. 

CAT Eligibility Age Limit
CAT Eligibility Criteria Age Details
Upper Age Limit Not Applicable
Lower Age Limit Not Applicable

Practice Now:

CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students

In CAT Exam Eligibility 2023, graduation is a requirement for taking the CAT exam, but students in their last year of a variety of bachelor's degree programs are also permitted to take the CAT exam. An applicant must graduate with a 50% grade point average to be admitted into a course.

At several points during the screening process, IIMs and other management institutions check candidates' CAT eligibility and syllabus. Shortlisted candidates must adhere to the following guidelines after taking CAT 2023 exam:

  • They must present an official certificate from the principal, department head, dean, or director of the university or institution attesting that they received 50% or an equivalent grade (45% in the case of a reserved category student), based on the most recent grades or marks available.
  • At the time of the interview, they must also provide a set of photocopies of the original certificates.

Selected candidates for CAT exam eligibility for IIM PGP will only be permitted to enrol in the program provisionally if they produce a certificate saying.

  • When the certificate is issued, they had finished all CAT exam criteria for getting a bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification (results could still be waiting, though).
  • When they produce the original mark sheet and degree certificate proving they have earned the bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification as specified in the certificate issued by the Principal/Registrar of their college/institute, their admission will only be confirmed.
  • The minimum grade they must receive is 50% or an equivalent. The mark-sheet and degree certificate must be submitted in photocopy.
  • The provisional admission will be automatically cancelled if this requirement is not met.

Suggested: When is the Best Time for CAT 2023 Preparation?

CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students: Documents Required

Here is a list of required documents that must be produced to the conducting authorities at the time of the CAT Interview process: 

  • They must also provide a set of photocopies of the CAT eligibility 12th marks, graduation degrees, and original certificates.
  • They produce the original mark sheet and degree certificate proving they have earned the bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification as specified in the certificate issued by the Principal/Registrar of their college/institute, their admission will only be confirmed.
  • The mark sheets and degree certificate must be submitted in photocopy.
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CAT 2023 Number of Seats in IIMs

There are currently 20 IIMs in India, essentially divided into three categories: Old, New, and Baby IIMs. The IIMs' Common Admission Test, or CAT, is considered by all IIMs.

For international students, certain IIMs also accept the GMAT 2023. IIMs are offering roughly 5100 seats in 2021

IIM CAT 2023 Reservation Criteria

The admissions selection criteria for IIMs will vary from institution to institution. They adhere to the restrictions on reservations imposed by the Indian government.

See the table below to learn about the CAT Exam Eligibility 2023 requirements for OBC, SC, ST, PwD, and general:

IIM CAT Eligibility Reservation
Category Percentage of Seat Reserved
Scheduled Caste (SC) 15% of the total seats.
Scheduled Tribes (ST) 7.5% of the total seats.
Physically Disabled 5% of the total seats.
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) up to 10% of seats
NC-OBC 27% of the total seats.

CAT Reservation Policy for Person with Disability (PwD)

Candidates in the PwD category must have a PwD certificate issued by an appropriate authority. Candidates can only take advantage of the PwD benefit after submitting the PwD certification issued by a legitimate authority.

The following provides information on the many sorts of disabilities recognized under the PwD reservation:

  • Low vision and blind
  • Hearing loss and deafness
  • Cerebral palsy, leprosy treatment, dwarfism, acid attack victims, and muscular dystrophy are examples of locomotor impairment.
  • Mental illness, intellectual disability, autism, and certain learning disabilities.
  • Other "specified disabilities" included in "The Schedule" of the RPwD Act 2016 Multiple disabilities among those covered by sections (1) to (4)

Caste-Based CAT Reservation Policy

CAT exam caste-based reservation policy applies to applicants under the SC, ST, or NC-OBC categories. The following guidelines apply to these categories:

  • CAT eligibility for SC or ST candidates must have received an overall grade of 45% on their Bachelor's degree program.
  • CAT eligibility criteria for reserved candidates under the NC-OBC category must have received an overall grade in their Bachelor's program of 50% or higher.
  • Eligibility for CAT exam in reservation the allocation of caste-based seat reservations.

Reservation Policy for EWS Category

According to the CAT EWS quota, 10% of the seats will be reserved for EWS applicants who fall within the General quota.

Who is Considered to be an EWS?

People who do not qualify for the SC, ST, or OBC quota program and whose family makes less than Rs 8 lakh in total annual income are classified as EWS for the reservation. Upon presentation of an Income and Asset Certificate issued by a Competent Authority, the benefit of reservation under the EWS can be accessed.

Who is Not Eligible for the EWS Quota?

Regardless of the family income, candidates who fall within any of the following categories are not eligible for the EWS quota benefits:

  • Candidates whose families own at least 5 acres of farmland.
  • Candidates who own residential properties with 1,000 square feet or more.
  • Candidates whose parents own a home site in a designated municipality 100 square yards or larger.
  • Candidates whose parents reside outside of the notified towns and own a residential plot of 200 square yards or more

CAT Essential Certificates

When applying, those who fall under the Differently Abled group must upload a PwD/DA certificate. At the time of the interview, they must additionally present the original certificate in the preferred format:

  • NC-OBC Certificate
  • SC-ST Certificate
  • DA/PwD Certificate
  • Format for Final Year Certificate
  • Format for Candidate Identification Affidavit

Who is Ineligible for CAT 2023?

  • If the individual is working towards a professional degree (CS, CA, or ICWA) without taking the bachelor's degree examination.
  • The applicant is working toward earning both a bachelor's and a professional degree but has not yet finished both.
  • The candidate is ineligible to apply for the CAT exam if their degree score is less than 50% (45% for SC/ST/PWT candidates).
  • The candidate shall not be regarded as eligible for the CAT exam if MHRD, AICTE, or UGC do not acknowledge the degree.


CAT Eligibility vs IIM Eligibility: What is the Difference?

Candidates who will take the CAT exam need to be aware of the distinctions between the CAT Exam Eligibility 2023 criteria and CAT eligibility standards for IIMs.

  • The IIMs' and CAT's eligibility requirements do not include an age restriction.
  • Although IIMs do not accept a two-year bachelor's degree, it is allowed to take the CAT exam under the previous education system.
  • Apart from this, unless specifically stated by IIMs, there are no significant distinctions.
  • In addition to the variety of academic and extracurricular activities that are not required to take the CAT exam, work experience is preferred by IIMs.
  • CAT exam eligibility and IIM eligibility are equivalent in all other respects.

CAT Exam Eligibility for IIM - Work Experience Requirements

  • There is no CAT exam eligibility for IIM for prior work experience for candidates.
  • There is no requirement to meet it, even if the CAT Application Form 2023 asks for it.
  • It should be mentioned that IIMs may give this work experience considerable weight during the final test. The actual proportion, however, has never been released publicly and will differ from one IIM to another IIM.
  • The bottom line is that work experience does not become a deciding factor until the end of the final selection process.
  • IIMs are noted for having a mixed batch of students, including both recent graduates and those with work experience.


Can a 12th pass apply for CAT Exam?

No, Class 12th qualified candidates are not eligible for CAT 2023 exam. Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree to apply for the CAT exam 2023.

Can a 3rd-year student give CAT Exam?

Candidates in the final year of their graduation degree can give the CAT exam 2023. In the case of a Bachelor's degree of 4 years, candidates are not eligible to apply. They will be able to apply during the final semester of their Bachelor's degree.

Can anyone apply for CAT Exam?

Anyone with a 50% score in Bachelor's degree can apply for the CAT exam. The reserved candidates should have 45% marks.

Is CAT compulsory for MBA Exam?

No, qualifying CAT exam is not mandatory for admission to MBA programs. However, for IIMs, qualifying CAT exam is a must.

How many CAT attempts are allowed?

There are no restrictions on the number of attempts for the CAT Exam. In other words, eligible candidates can apply and appear in the CAT exam as many times as they wish.



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