CAT 2023: IIM admission criteria go far beyond CAT scores; these are the factors

IIM CAT 2023: School and college results, streams, work experience and gender are all in IIM admission criteria. Here’s how the process works.

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CAT 2023 date is November 26, 2023. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)CAT 2023 date is November 26, 2023. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

R. Radhika | October 19, 2023 | 01:47 PM IST

NEW DELHI: High scores in Common Admission Test alone will not fetch you a seat in one of the top Indian Institutes of Management. The country’s premier IIMs have a comprehensive multi-criteria selection process to draw talent to their MBA classrooms. Beyond the CAT exam, each IIM devises its own admission process, adopts different criteria and assigns them different weightages.
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The two-phased selection process is such that those who have a high CAT score but come with an unsatisfactory academic record or inadequate job experience get sifted out. A good CAT score will get you to the final level of the personal interview (PI) and writing ability test (WAT), but it will not get you any further unless you perform well in other areas.

A careful examination of the selection processes of some of the top four IIMs including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta and IIM Lucknow reveals that a majority of them are searching for MBA students with strong academic credentials, communication abilities, and relevant work experience.

The first phase of the process is applied to all eligible candidates who appear for CAT to identify candidates to be called for a personal interview (PI). Candidates selected for the personal interview are additionally required to take a WAT conducted by the institutes.

To allow admission of a diverse set of students, the IIMs have given different weightage to various factors such as board exam scores in Classes 10 and 12; different disciplines at graduation level; work experience and additional gender diversity points for women candidates. The selection criteria and weights assigned to specific factors are based on data from the previous cycle of admissions. The selection criteria are typically reviewed and altered once a year. Here is the updated admission policy of the top four IIMs.

CAT 2023 date is November 26, 2023. According to the CAT 2023 convenor, IIM Lucknow’s Sanjeet Singh, 3.3 lakh students have registered for the exam this year.

IIM Ahmedabad

In addition to the performance in CAT exam, IIM Ahmedabad uses academic performances from Class 10 to the bachelor’s level to shortlist candidates for the final selection stage. In both shortlisting and final stages, IIM Ahmedabad uses a system of “application rating” based on scores obtained in Classes 10 and 12, the bachelor’s degree programme and work experience.

For the selection of exceptional performers across different disciplines, different points are awarded for each of the different streams in Class 12 – science, commerce, arts – and also for the different streams of graduation. The application rating scores in the initial stage are pro-rated to 35 depending on the stream of subjects, discipline in graduation level and the work experience gained by July 31, 2023.

In the final stage, the shortlisted candidates must appear for the personal interview (PI) and WAT, also known as Academic Writing Test (AWT). Candidates are assessed on a diverse set of attributes including performance in the CAT exam, performance in AWT and PI, academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements, work experience among others.

Also Read| IIM Ahmedabad begins new academic session; 42% non-engineering students in MBA

The CAT score weightage for shortlisting and final selection has been substantially reduced during the past few years. As per the latest IIM Ahmedabad admission policy, the weightage for CAT score in shortlisting has been reduced to 65% from 75%, while its weightage for final selection is only 25%.

There’s greater emphasis on the PI to which IIM-A has assigned the maximum weightage – 50%– in the final selection process.

IIM Ahmedabad admission criteria

Shortlisting Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

65

Class 10 marks

30

Class 12 marks

Graduation marks

Work Experience

5

Final Selection Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

25

Class 10 marks

15

Class 12 marks

Graduation marks

Work experience

Writing ability test

10

Personal interview

50


Unlike other IIMs, the admission policy of IIM Ahmedabad does not award extra points to women candidates.

Also Read| CAT 2023: Why women have a better chance of getting into IIMs than ever before

IIM Bangalore

IIM Bangalore’s new admission policy has raised the weightage assigned to personal interview from 35% to 40% this year, making PI one of the critical components in the admissions process.

The institute has reduced the weightage to marks obtained in Classes 10 and 12 from 15% to 10 % each in the shortlisting phase.

In the final phase, the weight assigned to Class 10 and Class 12 marks has come down from 10% to 5%. Candidates with a score in the top 10 of IIM CAT 2023, combined with adjusted bachelor’s score and professional certifications like chartered accountancy, automatically qualify for the WAT-PI round.

IIM Bangalore has also reintroduced graduation marks as a factor in both selection and final phases. A candidate’s college graduation marks will hold 10% weightage in the selection and 5% in the final phase of MBA admission. This component was missing in the 2022 admission policy.

IIM Bangalore admission criteria

Shortlisting Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

55

Class 10 marks

10

Class 12 marks

10

Graduation marks

10

Work experience

10

Gender diversity

5

Final Selection Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

25

Class 10 marks

5

Class 12 marks

5

Graduation marks

5

Work experience

10

Writing ability test

10

Personal interview

40


IIM Calcutta

IIM Calcutta has not made changes in its admission policy from last year. In the shortlisting phase, the institute has given no weightage to graduation scores and the CAT 2023 cut-off will also remain 85 percentile for MBA programmes like last year. However, the sectional cut-off for quantitative ability has been reduced to 75 percentile for general category candidates and for reserved category, the required percentile has been reduced to 65.

While PI gets the highest weight of 48% in the final selection round, WAT gets just 8%. The CAT score weight is 30% in the final selection round and weightage to academic diversity for non-engineering degrees and professional qualifications has been set at 6%.

Also Read| CAT 2023: Dominance of engineers waning; IIM admissions see more BCom, BA graduates

IIM Calcutta admission criteria

Shortlisting Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

56

Class 10 marks

10

Class 12 marks

15

Gender diversity

4

Final Selection Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

30

Academic diversity at

bachelor’s and master’s level

6

Work experience

8

Writing ability test

8

Personal interview

48

IIM Lucknow

Since IIM Lucknow is the CAT 2023 exam convener this year, the institute was the first to release its MBA admission policy. In an effort to promote academic and gender diversity, IIM Lucknow has assigned 5 % weightage to each in the shortlisting stage.

IIM Lucknow has kept the CAT 2023 exam score weightage at 60% in shortlisting, but halved it to 30% in the final selection process. Personal interview and WAT will carry a combined weightage 50% in the final stage.

According to IIM Lucknow’s latest admission policy, the minimum requirement to clear the PI round, candidate must earn at least 12 out of 40 marks.

IIM Lucknow admission criteria

Shortlisting Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

60

Class 12 marks

10

Graduation marks

10

Work experience

10

Gender diversity

5

Academic diversity

5

Final Selection Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

30

Class 12 marks

5

Graduation marks

5

Work Experience

5

Diversity (Gender + Academic)

5

Writing Ability Test

10

Personal Interview

40


IIM Kozhikode

The IIM Kozhikode, revised its PGP admission policy by setting aside 10 percent weightage to gender diversity for women and transgender students meanwhile academic diversity will carry 5%. Until last year, both the components together carried a total of 10% weightage for shortlisting of candidates. The institute has given a final weightage of 45 % to the CAT 2023 scores for MBA admissions in the shortlisting phase and 35% in the final stage.

IIM Kozhikode admission criteria

Shortlisting CriteriaWeightage (in %)
CAT score45
Class 10 marks25
Class 12 marks 15
Work Experience5
Gender Diversity10
Academic Diversity5
Final Selection CriteriaWeightage (in %)
CAT score35
Resume10
Writing Ability Test20
Personal Interview35


IIM Mumbai

The latest addition to the list of IIMs, IIM Mumbai has also announced its first ever admission policy. The minimum CAT 2023 cut-off for IIM Mumbai has been set at the 85th percentile, while the sectional cut-offs have been set at the 80th percentile for VARC & DILR, and the 75th Percentile for QA. In the first stage of selection, candidates will shortlisted based on scores obtained in CAT 2023 and the cutoff set by the institute.

Candidate who meet the minimum requirements on both section-wise and overall percentiles in CAT 2023 will be called for personal interview round. The candidate's CAT-2023 score along with sectional cut offs, their reservation category and gender diversity will be considered for the final selection.

IIM Mumbai has assigned 55% weight to CAT 2023 scores in the final selection. Scores obtained in Classes 10 and 12 as well as at bachelors level will have combined weightage of 20% in calculating the composite score. Personal interview has a weightage of 20%, while gender diversity has a weightage of 5%.

IIM Mumbai admission criteria

Final Selection Criteria

Weightage (in %)

CAT score

55

Class 10 marks

20

Class 12 marks

Graduation marks

Work Experience

Gender Diversity

5

Writing Ability Test

NA

Personal Interview

20


Update: This copy has been updated to include IIM Mumbai' and IIM Kozhikode's admission policy.

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