Admission in IIMs for MBA: Eligibility Criteria, Selection Procedure for IIMs

By Anjali Chowdhury|Updated : February 15th, 2022

How to get admission in IIMs for MBAThe Indian Institutes of Management, or IIMs, are India's leading management education and research institutions. Every year, nearly two lakh MBA applicants appear for the CAT exam to be considered for one of the MBA seats available at the IIMs' 20 campuses. The total number of applications for CAT 2021 was 2.32 lakh, with 1.92 lakh exam takers. 

The CAT exam is the first step towards admission to the IIMs. No IIM will admit students from the Indian Resident category unless they have passed the IIM CAT exam with the required minimum score. IIM Admission Process mainly comprises of two steps- CAT Exam followed by Written Test/Group Discussion and Personal Interview (PI).

Table of Content

IIM Eligibility Criteria 

In CAT 2021, there was a slight change in the eligibility criteria. The CAT committee has removed the minimum percentage of marks for CAT 2021. Also, the candidates in the final year of their Graduation Degree with “promotion/pass” instead of “award of marks” certificates in any of the last two years of the Bachelor’s Programme can enter the “Promotion or Pass” option in the application form. The eligibility criteria of CAT 2022 has remained the same as of CAT 2021. According to the past year's trend, the eligibility criteria for CAT 2022 are given below.

Education Qualification


Age limit

There is no age limit

Work Experience

Not Mandatory but fetches weightage as per the duration of the experience

Required Marks in Graduation

50%(General), 45%(SC/ ST/ PWD)

  • Candidates should have completed their Graduation Degree with at least 50% marks (General Category) and 45% marks (Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and PWD)
  • Final year students who have completed their degree requirements and are waiting for their results are also eligible.
  • Students with a professional degree are also eligible (CA/CS/ICWA/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India (FIAI)
  • There is no age limit for the candidates to apply for the CAT exam.

IIM Selection Procedure 

Stage 1: Appearing for the Common Aptitude Test, also known as the CAT Exam, which is administered by the IIMs (GMAT for international candidates).

  • After the CAT results are released, candidates must apply for the Group discussion (GD), Personal Interview (PI), and Written Ability Test (WAT) round through an official notice on each IIM's website. Aspirants who meet the shortlist cut-off must submit their name and CAT score using their CAT IDs.  

Stage 2: Written Test/Group Discussion and Personal Interview 

  • The candidates who applied for WAT/GD-PI are screened in the second round based on their CAT score and academic record, and interview letters are provided to those who are selected to participate in the WAT-GD-PI round. Between February and April, the WAT-GD-PI round is held in selected cities, although since 2020, only the PI round has been held online via video call. 

Final Stage:  Final admission offers Candidates are shortlisted based on their CAT exam scores.

  • In the third stage, each student's aggregate score is determined using numerous characteristics to conclude his or her selection. IIMs final selection procedure includes evaluating an applicant based on a set of criteria and calculating a total score.

What is CAT?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is India’s most prestigious national-level entrance examination, which permits aspirants to get into the top management institutes. There is no doubt that it is the most common MBA entrance test in the country. The IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) conduct this Common Admission Test on a rotational basis. It is a computer-based exam that takes place in 156 places across India. 

Preparation Tips to get Admission to IIM

Self-study is a good way to get prepared: It depends upon an individual whether they want to prepare for the CAT exam by self-study or by taking the coaching. The CAT exam is conducted entirely online. The written examination is normally moderately difficult in difficulty. 

The first and most important prerequisite is to properly understand the CAT syllabus and pattern. Ability to select the appropriate question, understand it fast and precisely, and solve it quickly and accurately 

Know the CAT Syllabus: Before beginning test preparation, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the CAT Exam Syllabus. Although there is no standard CAT syllabus provided by the IIMs. The CAT, or Common Admission Test, is divided into three sections: Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC). 

Strengthen your fundamentals: Begin working on the basics of each topic after you've gone over the curriculum and exam pattern. This will help the candidates to solve the questions with more accuracy. While regular reading is required to master the verbal ability component, the other two sections need a significant amount of practice. After you've mastered the fundamentals, move on to solving questions by topic and chapter. 

CAT Mock Tests should be given regularly: If you haven't taken the mocks, your CAT preparation is considered incomplete. These modelled CAT mocks, CAT sample papers, and CAT exam sets are intended to help candidates comprehend the paper's difficulty. Furthermore, the mock results reveal the CAT aspirant's strengths and shortcomings in terms of the CAT entrance exam's topic areas.

To raise your score, you must improve your weak regions while concurrently strengthening your good ones. Examine previous years' CAT papers to get a sense of the pattern and difficulty level of the exam. 


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  • CAT 2022 is expected to be held on 27th November 2022 however CAT 2022 official notification is yet to be released.

  • CAT is a national-level MBA entrance exam held annually by the IIMs for the candidates who aspire to get admission into the top B-Schools across the country.

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