CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria 2024: Age Limit & Reservation Criteria for General, SC/ST/PwD

Common Admission Test 2024 ( CAT )

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Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content
Updated on Mar 27, 2024 17:31 IST

CAT exam eligibility criteria 2024 is graduation in any stream from a recognised university. Candidates with other professional qualifications can also appear for the CAT exam. Get all the information related to eligibility criteria of CAT 2024 exam below.

CAT eligibility criteria

CAT eligibility criteria 2024- Common Admission Test or CAT is conducted for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes offered by IIMs and over 1,200 other B-schools in India. Since MBA is a post graduation programme, the basic CAT exam eligibility criteria is graduation, i.e. every CAT aspirant must have completed graduation or be in the final year of the degree course. The minimum marks criteria apply to both Reserved and Unreserved category students.

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The CAT 2024 exam eligibility criteria will be announced along with the exam notification on July 30, 2024. CAT exam 2024 registrations will begin in the first week of August 2024 and will go on until the third week of September 2024. Candidates interested in appearing in CAT exam 2024 must know the eligibility criteria. We have shared in this article all about CAT eligibility criteria 2024, including:

  • Graduation Marks and Equivalent Degrees
  • Difference between IIM and CAT Eligibility Criteria
  • CAT Reservation Criteria
  • FAQs Related to CAT Eligibility Criteria

Also read: CAT registration and application process 2024

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CAT Exam Eligibility 2024 - Graduation Marks

The minimum qualification required to apply for CAT 2024 is graduation. Check below, the CAT exam eligibility criteria and minimum marks required for General and Reserved category students:

Academic Qualification for CAT Affiliation Required Pass Percentage Required
Engineering Degree – BTech/ BE Recognized by MHRD/AICTE * 50% for General/EWS/NC-OBC & 45% for SC, ST, PwD candidates
Bachelor’s Degree in any stream from any University Recognized by UGC 50% for General/EWS/NC-OBC & 45% for SC, ST, PwD candidates
Students in their final year of Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) are also eligible to take CAT exam Continuing graduation from University Recognized by MHRD/AICTE or UGC 50% for General/EWS/NC-OBC & 45% for SC, ST, PwD candidates
(CA/CS/ICWA/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India
Certification granting organisation 50% for General/EWS/NC-OBC & 45% for SC, ST, PwD candidates

Those having post graduation degree have the option of mentioning or not mentioning their PG qualification in the CAT form. However, mentioning PG qualification can be beneficial for students at the time of PI and admission shortlisting. 

CAT Eligibility Criteria: General and NC-OBC Candidates

  • Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a university or educational institution recognized by the Government of India
  • Candidates must have scored minimum 50 per cent aggregate in graduation (or equivalent) in any stream
  • Candidates must be in their final year of graduation or awaiting result
  • Candidates must have professional degrees like CA/CS/ICWA with minimum 50 per cent aggregate

CAT Eligibility Criteria for SC, ST and PwD Candidates

  • Candidates belonging to SC/ST/PwD categories must have scored minimum 45 per cent aggregate in graduation (or equivalent) in any stream
  • Candidates must be in their final year of graduation or awaiting result
  • Candidates must have professional degrees like CA/CS/ICWA with minimum 45 per cent aggregate are also eligible to apply

CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria 2024: Equivalent Degrees

  • In case the marking scheme of any candidate’s bachelor’s degree is in grades or CGPA, percentage of marks would be calculated on the basis of practice as followed by the respective University/Institution.
  • If any University/Institution confirms that they do not follow any scheme for converting CGPA into marks, the calculation will be done by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA, and multiplying the result with 100.

Who is Not Eligible to Apply for the CAT Exam 2024?

Given below are six situations under which a candidate is not eligible to apply for CAT exam 2024. 

  • If the candidate has not scored 50 per cent in graduation (45 per cent for SC/ST/PwD candidates)
  • Candidates who don’t have either a bachelor’s degree or any equivalent degree like CA/CS/ICWA
  • Candidates whose two years average in bachelor's degree does not make up 50 per cent (45 per cent or SC/ST/PwD candidates)
  • Candidates who are not in the final year of their bachelor’s degree programme
  • Candidates who are pursuing (not completed) professional degree like CA/CS/ICWA
  • If the candidates' bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) is not recognized by UGC/AICTE/MHRD-Govt

Difference between IIM Eligibility and CAT Eligibility Criteria

The basic academic eligibility criteria of CAT and IIM are same. However, while to appear in CAT exam, one has to fulfill mainly academic criteria which is graduation, to be eligible for admission to the IIMs, one has to meet the CAT cut off percentile.

Also read: IIM Shortlist, Selection and Admission Criteria

CAT Reservation Criteria 2024

There is no reservation criteria for CAT exam apart from 5 per cent relaxation of marks in graduation for SC/ST/PwD candidates. However, the IIMs follows reservation criteria fixed by the Government of India. Take a look at the table below for percentage of seats reserved for SC, ST and NC-OBC candidates:


Percentage of Seats Reserved in IIMs and other MBA colleges









What is the meaning of Person with Benchmark Disability (PwD) in CAT?

Persons with benchmark disability means a person with not less than forty per cent of a specified disability as specified in the Schedule of the RPwD Act 2016. Given below are disabilities that fall under CAT’s PwD category:

  • Blindness and low vision
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy.
  • Autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness
  • Multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d)
  • Other 'specified disabilities' mentioned in 'The Schedule' of the RPwD Act 2016

Check CAT cut offs and predict calls from IIMs and other Top MBA Colleges, whether your CAT score is 70 percentile, 80 percentile or 90 percentile. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and eligibility of all MBA Colleges by clicking the link below:

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FAQs on CAT Eligibility Criteria 2024

Q: Is there an age limit to appear in CAT exam?

 A: There is no upper age limit to appear in CAT exam. Any individual can apply for CAT at any phase of their career. Candidates need to have only bachelor's degree with minimum 50 per cent aggregate (45 per cent for SC/ST/PwD) candidates. It means the the CAT aspirant must be of at least 20 years of age at the time of appearing for the exam.

Q: I have completed my bachelor’s degree, but have a backlog. Can I apply for CAT 2024?

A: Yes, you are eligible to apply for CAT provided your aggregate is 50 per cent in the first and second year of bachelor's degree programme. The aggregate marks are to be filled in the CAT 2024 application form and only those forms will be accepted that meet the minimum academic requirement fixed by the examination authorities.

Q: I have not completed graduation but I am pursuing CA. Am I eligible to apply for CAT 2024?

A: No, you are not eligible to apply for CAT exam until you complete your CA course and clear ICAI CA exams. In case of absence of graduation degree, candidates are required to complete the professional degree before applying. The minimum score for applying for CAT on the basis of professional degree course in 50 per cent ( 45 per cent for SC/ST/PwD candidates).

Q: What is the CAT eligibility criteria for the scribe for PwD candidates?

A: There is no specific eligibility criteria for the scribe to be used in CAT exam. However, they need to be less qualified than the candidate in terms of academics. The candidate needs to submit a scribe affidavit confirming the appearance of a scribe for a particular candidate. The scribe too has to sign an affidavit that needs to be submitted before the CAT exam.

Q: I am a student belonging to Reserved category? What are the documents required to be submitted with CAT form?

A: You must upload the Caste Certificate issued by the Government of India at the time of filling CAT 2024 application form. The certificate must clearly mention the following:

  • Name of the caste/tribe
  • Whether the candidate belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe
  • District and the State or Union Territory of candidate’s ordinary residence
  • The appropriate category under which candidate’s caste/tribe is approved by it as Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.

Q: I am in my final year of graduation and my aggregate of first and second year is less than 50 per cent. Can I apply for CAT 2024?

A: Yes, you can apply for CAT 2024, but you will have to ensure you score as much in the final year so that the overall aggregate in graduation is at least 50 per cent. So, your performance in the final year of graduation will be crucial and play a decisive role in your selection to an MBA college. 

Q: When will CAT registration 2024 begin?

A: CAT 2024 registration cum application process will begin in the first week of August 2024. The process will go on until the third week of September 2024. The official CAT 2024 notification will be released on July 30, 2024 announcing the exam and registration dates. The CAT application form 2024 will be available on the official website and will have to be filled in online mode only. The CAT application fee is INR 2400 (INR 1200 for Reserved category students).

Q: Is CAT eligibility criteria and MBA eligibility criteria different?

A: No, CAT eligibility criteria and MBA eligibility criteria are same i.e. graduation. However, the minimum marks criteria may vary from institute to institute. Also, in case of stream specific MBA courses such as MBA in Pharma or MBA in Agri-Management etc., the requirement is graduation in specific subject. 

Q: What is the CAT application fee?

A: CAT application fee is INR 2,400 for General/OBC category candidates and INR 1,200 for SC/ST/PwD candidates. The fees is to be paid in online mode via debit/credit card, netbanking or mobile wallet. The fee is to be paid during application form submission. The process will be completed only after the submission of fees.

Q: I have a Bachelor's degree in Arts degree. Am I eligible for CAT exam?

A: Yes, you are eligible. Candidates with bachelor's degree in any subject is eligible for CAT exam. However, the degree must be from a UGU recognised university and the candidate must mee the minimum aggregate score criteria for CAT, which is 50 per cent for General category and 45 per cent for SC/ST category students. 

Q: Can I appear for CAT exam multiple times?

A: CAT is an annual exam, thus one can appear for it only once in the same academic year. However, one can appear for it any number of times over several years. There is no cap on number of appearance. There is no age limit either. Many candidates appear for the CAT two-three times to achieve their desired percentile. 

About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content

Vipra is a massive Breaking Bad fan. When not watching crime drama series, she spends time in updating the list of places she wants to visit and people she wants to meet, but she is happiest in the company of dogs. ... Read Full Bio

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Answered 2 days ago

The desired CAT range to into CIMAGE college for MBA is 45% percentile. It is also based on demand that year, like if less students apply for addmission there is more change to get addmission with a less percentile, the minimum is 45% in CAT . MBA course in CIMAGE offers a good placement with higher



Sekhar Sonari

Beginner-Level 5

Answered 2 days ago

Yes, a CAT score of 85 percentile is very good for admission to MBA at CIMAGE college. MBA from CIMAGE is very good option for those who want a great placement. Top companies like TCS, Wipro, Flipkart etc. come for recruiting the students from CIMAGE campus. The average package offered is INR 5 LPA.


Sekhar Sonari

Beginner-Level 5

Answered a week ago

As a student of Chandigarh University, I can share that it's possible to pursue an MBA without the CAT exam. Chandigarh University, recognised as India's No.1 private university by QS World University Rankings 2024, offers an MBA programme with flexible admission criteria. Eligibility requires a bac




Beginner-Level 2

Answered a week ago

Sadly, no. You can not take admission for 2024 batch into Dr. Shakuntala Misra National Rehabiliation University for MBA on the basis of CAT score. It accepts only CUET-PG for admission to its MBA Program. Thus, you will have to appear for the CUET-PG exam.


Saanya Kalra

Contributor-Level 9

Answered a week ago

Lovely Professional University is a well known college for an  MBA programme. LPU's placement record is also very well, they are awared for their employability. Over 500 companies come here for recruitment. It is not mandatory to pass CAT exam or MAT exam with a good percentile for admission. Howeve



Sankhayan Sadhukhan

Beginner-Level 5

Answered a week ago

Quantum University MBA Expected Cutoff
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CAT70-80 percentile
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Vikash Kumar

Beginner-Level 5

Answered a week ago

There is no age limit to appear for CAT. The CAT exam is open for fresh graduates as well as working professionals. Since CAT is accepted by over 1300 B-schools across India for their full-time as well as executive MBA or online professional courses, a lot of working professionals appear for the CAT


Indrani Choudhury

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a week ago

The CAT exam is always conducted on the last Sunday of November every year so the CAT 2024 exam will be conducted on November 24, 2024. Official announcement of the CAT 2024 exam date will be made by the convening IIM on July 30, 2024. The announcement will be made at the official website as well


Indrani Choudhury

Contributor-Level 10