CAT Score Vs Percentile: Minimum Score Required to Obtain in CAT 2022 Exam

By Anjali Chowdhury|Updated : January 5th, 2022

CAT Score Vs Percentile: The most common question that arises in aspirants’ minds is “What is CAT score vs Percentile”. The aspirants who are appearing for the CAT exam must know the difference between these two. CAT score is the score evaluated based on marks obtained in the exam and Percentile is the relative score calculated based on the number of applicants appearing for the exam. In simple words, the CAT Score vs Percentile is the measure of procuring a relative score by ranking a candidate on his/her performance compared to other candidates. CAT Percentile is much more important than CAT Score for screening of the candidates for GD-WAT-PI rounds. From this article, let us understand the CAT Score vs Percentile.

Table of Content

What is the CAT Score and How is it Evaluated?

The CAT exam score is calculated according to the marking scheme of the exam. Let us see the following points mentioned below for evaluating the CAT score:

  • The CAT paper consists of 66 questions (as per the latest pattern seen in CAT 2021) and is divided into three sections: VARC-24, QA-22, and DILR-20
  • Each question carries +3 marks and thus, the paper is 198 marks
  • For each incorrect, one mark is taken off. There is no negative marking for unattempted and TITA type questions
  • So, as stated by the marking scheme, the total marks are calculated and that is the CAT overall score
  • The sectional scores are added to form a total score out of 198 marks

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What is CAT Percentile?

CAT Percentile adverts to the total percentage of the candidates secured more or less than a particular candidate. For instance, if a candidate scores 90 percentile, then, it means around 90% of the students have scored less than you or 10% are the candidates which have secured the position higher than you. 

Imagine, 10,000 students appeared in the exam and you bag the 2nd position, then your percentile will be: (9,998/10,000) *100= 99.8 percentile

So, a candidate's percentile is not based on his/her actual performance in the exam but the individual's performance compared to other candidates.

How is CAT Percentile Evaluated?

Follow the steps listed below to calculate CAT percentile:

Step 1-The first step is to figure out the number of the candidates (N) who have appeared for the CAT examination in both the shifts

Step 2- Take into consideration the marks of one of the sections of CAT. Let us take Quantitative Ability (QA) section

Step 3- Then, rank (R) all the aspirants by the marks obtained in QA. if a candidate has the same marks in the QA section, then they are allotted the same rank

Step 4- Compute the percentile (P) of the candidate with ranking (R) in the QA section as shown: P = (N-r)/N x 100

Step 5- Now, a round of the percentile of a particular candidate to two decimal points

Now, follow the same procedure to evaluate the percentile of all other sections as well as the overall CAT Percentile

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CAT Score Vs Percentile

A glance at the table provided below for the following years and fetch an idea of how many marks you need to achieve for securing the 90+ percentile.


Marks in
CAT 2020*

Marks in
CAT 2019

Marks in
CAT 2018

Marks in
CAT 2017

Marks in
CAT 2016


















































Note: CAT 2020 had 76 questions rather than 100 questions like past year CAT exams, therefore marks have dropped in the overall scores. CAT 2020 reduced the time duration also from 3 hours to 2 hours. Later on, CAT 2021 had 66 questions.

What is Scaled Score in CAT?

  • Scaled Score is prepared by adjusting scale differences of score distribution across different slots’ question papers
  • Calculating a scaled score in CAT is an intricate procedure and involves a variety of statistical equations. 
  • Scaling is done to ensure fairness and equity among the candidates since CAT is conducted in two slots
  • Normalization score can be a little more or less than the raw score of the candidate
  • Based on scaled scores, a merit list is prepared for shortlisting the candidates for further WAT-PI rounds

Parameters for CAT Composite Score Calculation

Only the candidates securing the minimum percentile will be considered for the calculation of the composite score for the WAT-PI round. Here are some parameters listed below according to which the CAT composite score is calculated.

  • Scaled CAT Score
  • Class 10th and 12th percentage
  • Graduation Marks (Aggregate)
  • Diversity Factor (Gender)
  • Work Experience (If any)
  • Diversity Factor: Academic Disciplines

Also, see-

CAT Exam Related Links
CAT 2022 Exam DateCAT 2022 Registration
CAT Exam SyllabusCAT Question Papers
CAT Mock TestCAT Exam Eligibility
CAT Data InterpretationCAT Marks vs Percentile
CAT Expected Cut OffCAT Normalization


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  • 97-99 percentile is considered as a good one for walking into the IIMs institutes. However, other Top-B schools of India accept candidates having 80-90 percentile.

  • Overall, candidates must answer at least 75+ questions accurately for achieving 99+ percentile.

  • Yes, there is a negative marking of -1 for each incorrect answer. So, candidates are advised to attempt questions in which they are 100% sure.

  • The CAT score is calculated on the basis of the number of questions answered correctly/wrongly in the paper. For each correct question, 3 marks are awarded and for each wrong, one mark is withdrawn. There is no negative marking for Non-MCQs and un-attempted answers. Total CAT score is the score obtained by a candidate in the CAT exam.

  • The CAT percentile is evaluated on the difficulty level of the paper (normalisation takes place), raw CAT score and the number of applicants appeared in the exam.

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