CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria Changed: No Requirement of 50% or 45% Minimum Marks in Graduation
IIM Ahmedabad which is conducting CAT 2021, has revised the CAT 2021 Eligibility criteria on August 18, 2021 with many aspirant friendly changes due to Covid pandemic. The CAT convening IIM has removed the requirement of of minimum 50 or 45 percent of marks in graduation for appearing in the CAT 2021 exam due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted disruptions in the evaluations across the country. This exception is applicable only for writing CAT 2021 exam and to candidates who have completed the bachelor’s degree in 2020 and 2021.
The changes may bear implications resulting in the changes in the admission policy of many top B-schools who will accept CAT 2021 exam score for MBA admission 2022.
In an Important announcement dated August 18, 2021, on eligibility criteria for writing CAT 2021, the CAT Centre has shared following clarification responding to several queries that it received from candidates regarding their candidature due to the “promotion/pass” certificate awarded instead of the “marks” certificates in the last two years (pandemic years) of their bachelor’s programme.
Revised Eligibility Criteria for CAT 2021
Currently, CAT application requires candidates to meet eligibility criteria of at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in the case of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Persons with Disability (PwD) categories). This has raised queries in the application process for CAT2021. In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting disruptions in the evaluations across the country, the CAT Committee has made the following exceptions for CAT2021:
Candidates in the final year: Candidates with “promotion/pass” instead of “award of marks” certificates in any of the last two years of the bachelor’s program can enter the “Promotion or Pass” option in the application form. This will allow the candidate to complete & submit the CAT2021 application form despite the requirements of minimum eligibility criteria (45% and 50% [or equivalent CGPA] respectively). This eligibility relaxation is also applicable to those final year students with “award” of marks. This exception is available only to candidates who are completing the bachelor’s degree this year or are in the final year bachelor’s’ programme (graduation years – 2021 and 2022)
Candidates graduated in 2020 and 2021: Due to the implementation of point 1, and considering that there could be different evaluation patterns adopted by different universities across the country due to covid-19 pandemic, the CAT Committee has decided to remove the minimum percentage of marks (45% and 50% [or equivalent CGPA] respectively) for appearing for the CAT2021 exam. This exception is made to ensure parity to candidates who have completed the bachelor’s degree in 2020 and 2021.
This announcement is only applicable on the eligibility criteria for writing the CAT2021. CAT centre has advised the candidates to look at and follow respective institution specific admission policy
For those who completed their graduation earlier, the CAT eligibility criteria for CAT 2021 which was released on August 1, will be applicable. The CAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria for General & Reserved category candidates define different percentage of marks in the qualifying graduation degree.
With the release of details in CAT eligibility criteria, IIM Ahmedabad has also clarified, “Candidates should note that the mere fulfillment of the minimum eligibility criteria would not ensure consideration for shortlisting by IIMs.”
CAT Eligibility for Candidates Who Graduated before 2020
General & NC-OBC Candidates
- The candidate must hold Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA.
- Candidates who have completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with 50% marks
Reserved category candidates applying for CAT 2021 are eligible if they possess one of the following qualifications:
- Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) category candidates need 45% marks in graduation
- Candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2021
- Candidates who have completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with 45% marks
Important: Read More on CAT 2021 Articles
CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students
- The category wise CAT Eligibility for final year students is as under:
- General/NC-OBC/EWS: CAT Eligibility for final year students in this category requires that the candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2021. They need to enter promotion/pass for last year, if not awarded percentage of marks in 2021 and 2020.
- SC/ST/PwD Candidates: CAT Eligibility for final year students in this category requires that the candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT 2021. If they are not awarded marks in 2021 and 2021 exam years, they do not need to fill percentage of marks.
- If selected, the final year candidates, will be allowed to join the programme provisionally, only if they submit a certificate from the Principal/Registrar of their University/Institution (issued on or before the date as stipulated by the respective IIM) stating that they have completed all the requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification on the date of issue of the certificate.
Key Points to ensure your CAT Exam Eligibility 2021
- CAT eligibility criteria 2021 do not impose any age bar to appear in CAT 2021 exam.
- Eligibility for CAT further allows you to appear in CAT 2021 even if you have done graduation in old system of 2 years graduation provided the degree is UGC recognized
- One of the 3 main points in the CAT eligibility criteria 2021 must be fulfilled-
A. Completed Bachelor’s degree, or
B. Completed professional degree (CA/CS/ICWA) with required percentage, or
C. Should be in the final year of Bachelor’s degree
- The marks obtained by the candidate would be calculated based on the practice as followed by the respective University/Institution.
- In case of grades / CGPA, the conversion to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure as certified by the respective University/ institution in accordance with the CAT exam eligibility criteria.
- If any University/institution confirms that there is no scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and multiplying the result with 100 as per the CAT 2021 eligibility
- Mere fulfilment of minimum CAT eligibility criteria 2021 will not ensure consideration for short listing by IIMs.
- One of the key points prescribed by IIMs in CAT eligibility 2021 is that the candidates must declare and maintain a valid and unique email account and a phone number throughout the selection process
CAT Eligibility Criteria 2021: Clashing point in CAT Vs IIM Eligibility
Over the years the CAT exam eligibility criteria has more or less remained same. Some changes in CAT eligibility were introduced in 2014. After that, IIMs MBA admission eligibility and CAT exam eligibility criteria have faced few clashing points.
CAT eligibility for 2021 prescribes ‘No Age Bar’ to appear in the CAT 2021 exam nor the IIM MBA eligibility restricts any candidates to seek admission on the basis of age bar. However, one of the clashing points in CAT exam eligibility and IIM MBA eligibility is that although you are allowed to appear in CAT 2021 exam with 2 years of graduation in old system, but you are not allowed to pursue the management course at IIM unless you have completed graduation degree with minimum 3 years duration. Except this anomaly, CAT eligibility for 2021 and IIM MBA eligibility for 2022-24 batch remains the same.
Who is Not Eligible for CAT 2021? IIMs Define
- If you are not pursuing or completed your Bachelor’s degree or any Professional degree like CA/CS/ICWA, you are not eligible to appear for CAT 2021
- If you have not completed any graduation course but you are in the final year of a professional course, which will not award recognized graduate degree, you are not eligible for CAT 2021 exam.
- If your Graduation is not recognized by UGC/AICTE/MHRD-Govt. of India, You are not eligible to apply for CAT 2021
CAT Eligibility Determination: Conversion of CGPA/Grades to Percentage of Marks
To determine CAT Eligibility in case of CGPA is given and no percentage of marks is shared on the marks-sheet, the percentage of marks obtained by the candidate would be calculated based on the practice as followed by the respective University/Institution.
The conversion to percentage of marks from Grades/CGPA would be based on the procedure as certified by the respective University/Institution.
If any University/Institution confirms that there is no scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and multiplying the result with 100.
Reservation of Seats
The category wise Seat Reservation in IIMs is as below:
Percentage of Reserved Seats in IIMs
Scheduled Caste (SC)
Scheduled Tribe (ST)
Other Backward Classes of NC-OBC
The Eligibility criteria for CAT exam has not been much changed for CAT 2021. CAT 2021 Eligibility criteria feature some aspirant friendly changes. IIMs have kept the eligibility for CAT Exam on the same ground over the years. The only eligibility criterion change in CAT eligibility was introduced in 2014 when IIMs had announced to accept two years of graduation in CAT exam which continues as the CAT 2021 eligibility criteria also
Q. I'm 2020 BE passed out but I have an arrear am I eligible to write the CAT exam
A. Yes you can write provided the arrear is cleared with required percentage of marks/CGPA/Grade
Q. I am just enter in b tech final year, my B tech will complete in almost June 2022, am I eligible for CAT 2021
A. Yes, you are eligible for CAT 2021
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