CAT Exam Eligibility: Age Limit, Reservation | CAT Exam Eligibility for IIM

CAT Exam Eligibility: Age Limit, Reservation | CAT Exam Eligibility for IIM

ByAditi Joshi  |  Updated on: May 9, 2022Get all the details of the Eligibility for CAT Exam. Know Who is Eligible for CAT. Note all the factors that influence CAT Exam Eligibility such as qualification, age limit, reservation, and more.
Get all the details of the Eligibility for CAT Exam. Know Who is Eligible for CAT. Note all the factors that influence CAT Exam Eligibility such as qualification, age limit, reservation, and more.
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CAT Exam Eligibility is officially released by the exam conducting authority on the official website. It is important to note the Eligibility for CAT Exam to take part in this exam and before filling out the CAT application form. The candidates preparing for the upcoming exam must check all the factors that affect Eligibility for CAT Exam to avoid any disqualification at a later stage.

CAT Age Limit is not a barrier in the Eligibility Criteria for CAT 2022 as there is no upper limit to it. As long as applicants are eligible as per other parameters, the age limit for the CAT exam is not an issue.

CAT Exam Eligibility 2022

The basic overview of CAT Eligibility Criteria 2022 states that the candidates must hold 3 years of bachelor's degree with 50% marks (45% for reserved category). However, the final year’s students can also apply for this exam. Due to the last 2 years of the pandemic, the exam authority has made some alterations to CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria. It is very important for each and every candidate to go through the Eligibility Criteria for CAT 2022 to avoid failing last minutes cancellation of the candidature.

As per the analysis, CAT Eligibility Criteria for IIM includes details about age limit and educational qualifications and many more. Here, you will get all the details regarding CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria.

Latest Changes in the Eligibility Criteria for CAT Exam

Note the below points to know the latest changes in the Eligibility for CAT Exam.

  • CAT Authorities have declared to completely remove the minimum percentage criteria for the upcoming exam. 
  • Candidates having backlogs in their graduation are also eligible to apply for CAT Exam 2022 without any problem.
  • Having prior working experience before applying is not mandatory. However, candidates having working experience have an advantage over fresher candidates while getting evaluated at any of the IIMs for the selection process.

[Important Note: The Eligibility for CAT Exam has not changed in the past several years. However, the authorities have made some major announcements regarding the academic eligibility for candidates].

CAT Exam Eligibility 2022 Highlights

The candidates appearing for the upcoming exam must fulfill CAT Eligibility Criteria. The CAT Exam authority officially declares the eligibility every year. Click on the link below link to get the official details of eligibility to appear in the CAT Exam.

CAT Exam Eligibility PDF Download

The below table overviews the important parameters for CAT Exam Eligibility for IIM.

CAT Eligibility Criteria 



Completed Graduation


Promoted to Final Year of Graduation 

CAT Age Limit

NO lower/upper age limit

Work Experience

Not required


Based on the Category of the candidate

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CAT Age Limit

As per the official CAT Exam Eligibility details, there is no upper age limit for CAT Exam. Candidates who wish to apply for CAT 2022 must just check the other eligibility details as there are no limitations on CAT Maximum Age. Check the below table for MAX Age for CAT.

CAT Age Limit Criteria


Upper Age Limit

Not Applicable

Lower Age Limit

Not Applicable

CAT Educational Qualification

As per the Eligibility for CAT Exam, the candidates must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized University. Students who received “promotion/pass” certificates instead of “award of marks” certificates in any of the last two years of their bachelor's programme can select this option of CAT Registration 2022. This waiver of CAT Eligibility Criteria also applies to final-year students who have received an “award” of grades. Note the table below to understand the minimum educational qualification as per the official CAT Exam Eligibility.

  • The candidate must be graduated in any stream from a recognized university or have an equivalent qualification that is recognized by the Ministry of HRD, India.
  • For general and NC-OBC category candidates, the minimum percentage requirement is 50%. (45% for reserved category)
  • For candidates who are awarded grades or CGPA, the conversion of grades or CGPA will be according to the process certified by the university/ institute.

CAT Exam Eligibility - Degrees Accepted 

The academic qualification details for the Eligibility for CAT Exam are tabulated below.



Pass Percentage

Engineering Degree – B. Tech/ B.E.


50% (45% for reserved candidates)

Bachelor’s Degree from any University

UGC Approved

Students who are pursuing the final year of their Bachelor’s degree can also take the examination.


CA/CS/ICWA/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India (FIAI)


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CAT Eligibility for Final Year Students

Candidates in the final year of the program or awaiting their results can also apply. In such cases, a candidate will have to submit a certificate issued by the Principal/Registrar of the College/Institution latest by the specified date. If they fail to submit their documents within these specific dates, then their candidature will be canceled automatically.

Disqualifying Factors of Eligibility for CAT Exam

In the B-Schools admission process via CAT, students will be disqualified if:

  • The candidate has not appeared for their bachelor's degree and is still completing her/his Professional Degree (CA/CS/ICWA)
  • The AICTE / UGC / MHRD has not approved the Institution of the applicant from which he/she graduated.
  • The student is appearing for both Bachelor's and a professional degree simultaneously and is yet to give the exams for both.

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CAT Exam Eligibility Criteria vs IIMs Eligibility Criteria

There are some specific differences between the eligibility for CAT Exam and IIMs. So, the candidates must be aware of this before applying for the exam.

  • There is no age limit defined in the norms of CAT Eligibility Criteria and IIMs.
  • Although 2 Years Bachelors's degree is not accepted by IIMs although the candidates can appear for CAT Exam.
  • Apart from this, there are no particular differences unless defined by IIMs in particular.
  • Work experience, diversity of academics, and co-curricular activities are preferred in IIMs. But these are not mandatory to appear for the CAT Exam.

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CAT Reservation 2022

As per the official updates, IIM follows the reservation rules as per the reservation policy by the Central Government for admission to their MBA programs. There are two types of reservations of seats at IIM: Caste Based reservations and Reservations for Differently Abled Individuals. However, IIMs also introduced EWS Quota the last year as per the 124th Amendment Bill in Indian Constitution. Note the table to understand the reservation criteria for CAT Exam.

CAT Reservation Category

Seats Reserved

A person with Benchmark Disabilities (PWD)


Other Backward Classes (non-creamy)


Scheduled Caste


Scheduled Tribe


Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)

Up to 10% 

CAT Reservation for PwD

As per the provision, 5% of seats in CAT are reserved for physically abled candidates. As per CAT Exam Eligibility regulation, there are 3 categories of disability:

  • Low vision blindness
  • Hearing impairment
  • Locomotor Disability or Cerebral Palsy

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CAT Reservation Policy for EWS Category

Persons who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs and whose family has a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakhs are only identified as EWS for benefit of reservation.

Candidates can avail of this scheme by providing an Income and Asset Certificate.

But there are the following exceptions to this. If the candidates’ families’ gross income is less than 8 lakhs but satisfies any of the conditions stated below, the candidate shall not fall under this category-

  • If the candidates’ families own 5 acres of agricultural land and above.
  • Candidates who owe a residential flat of 1,000 sq. ft. and above.
  • Candidates whose parents possess a residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities.
  • Candidates whose parents own a residential plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities.

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CAT 2022 Eligibility Criteria FAQs

  • CAT Eligibility is released on the official CAT website. There is no upper age limit for CAT Exam and as per the educational qualification, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized University with at least 50% marks. In the latest update, the minimum percentage requirement has been removed. 

  • Age is no bar to appear for the CAT Exam. The candidates irrespective of their ages can apply for this exam. The only criteria for CAT Exam Eligibility is the candidates must be graduated with a minimum of 50% (45% for Reserved Category).

  • As per the official updates, the CAT Exam Eligibility is declared by conducting IIMs. the candidates must note all the factors before applying for this exam.

  • The candidates must note one thing CAT Exam Eligibility and IIMs Eligibility are not the same. To appear CAT Exam, the candidates have to score 50% (45% for the reserved category) in their bachelor’s degree. So, it is recommended to check the eligibility details for respective IIMs while filling out the application.

  • The candidates whose family income is below 8 Lakhs per year, they will be considered as poor students. As per CAT Eligibility Criteria, they have to provide an Income and Asset Certificate to avail of this facility.

  • The candidates who have qualified M.Sc can apply for CAT Exam if they score 50% in graduation (45% for the reserved category). Because the exam authority only considers the graduation marks as MBA is a Post-Graduation study. 

  • Yes, the candidates with backlogs can also apply for the CAT Exam. But they have secure 50% in their graduation studies (45% for reserved category).

  • Yes, the candidates who are pursuing their final year can also apply for CAT 2022. But they have to show the proof of required documents within the stipulated time, mentioned by the exam conducting body.

  • For IIM Admission and CAT Exam, CAT Eligibility 12th Marks are not so important as there are different admission criteria in different institutes. some IIMs also give preference to 12th Marks by giving 10% weightage. So, it is necessary to have a good academic record entirely.

  • IIM follows Reservation in CAT as per the reservation policy of the Government of India. There are 2 types of reservations: Caste-based Reservation and Reservations for Differently Abled Individuals. Additionally, from 2021 IIM also introduced the EWS quota as per the 124th Amendment Bill in the Indian Consitution.