IIM is a dream of every student who wants to pursue an MBA program; however, non-clarity regarding the percentile score and the cut-off score required to be shortlisted at IIMs leads to much confusion among the candidates. In this article, we attempt to decipher the concept of percentile scoring as well as understand the trends in CAT 2018 Cut-off scores at the IIMs to make the life of CAT aspirants a little easier.
Percentile scores are just a representation of numbers of the candidates that have scored lesser than you have in that test. Raw score, on the other hand, is calculated based upon the questions that you answer correctly or incorrectly in the test. If you rank 3rd in an exam that was taken by 50 people, then 47 people scored lesser than you and your percentile score would be calculated as 47/50*100 = 94 Percentile.
It is obvious that percentile scores differ with the total number of candidates taking the test. So, let us see, how CAT percentile score vis-à-vis corresponding raw score has changed over the past years:
|Percentile Score||Overall Raw Score|
From the figures in the table above, it is evident that as a CAT aspirant, it is not advisable to target a particular bracket of percentile as it depends upon how other candidates are faring in the test. However, it makes more sense to maximize individual score in each section which will automatically land you in the top percentile bracket of CAT score. It is equally important to maintain parity in score across all the sections in CAT, as sectional percentiles carry a lot of weight in final selection along with overall percentile at the IIMs. Let us see how overall and sectional scores fared in CAT 2017:
IIMs announces overall CAT Cut-Off Percentile as well as sectional Cut-Off Percentile for their respective admission selection procedures. Please note that the minimum cut-off (overall as well as sectional cut-offs) for reserved category students is different and lesser than the General category students. Prior to the announcement of the CAT result, each IIM announces their individual admission policy for the academic year that includes relaxation extent for reserved category students, selection parameters and stages etc. The table below depicts the approximate CAT Cut-Off Percentiles that the IIMs have been accepting for selection in their respective programs:
|Approx. CAT Cut-Off Percentiles (General Category)||Institutes|
|CAT Percentile 98.5+||IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, IIM-I, IIM-K, IIM-L|
|CAT Percentile 96.5+||IIM-KS, IIM-RH, IIM-RN, IIM-RP, IIM-T, IIM-UP|
|CAT Percentile 94.5+||IIM-A (ABM), IIM-Asr, IIM-BG, IIM-L (ABM), IIM-N, IIM-Sam, IIM-Srm, IIM-V|
The tentative CAT 2018 cut-off scores for the top-IIMs as charted out based on past data is presented below for both overall as well as sectional scores:
Apart from the CAT score, IIMs also consider academic records of candidates and work experience (if any) to shortlist candidates for selection. Since percentile score is not something that candidates can manipulate, it makes sense to concentrate on maximizing individual CAT score and thereby the CAT percentile. That is the only way that you can improve your chances of making it to the IIMs.
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