CAT Percentile - How to Calculate, Importance & More

CAT Percentile is the outcome of converting test results into percentile scores based on the candidates’ relative performance. The CAT percentile shows how many other students scored the same or lower than you in the exam. Similar to several competitive exams, the CAT Exam also involves percentile calculation. Achieving a significant percentile is crucial in allowing candidates to pursue their dream of studying in the best management institutions.

The CAT percentile is considered necessary since the IIMs, and numerous other B-Schools use the percentile score as a selection criterion for admissions in their various management courses.

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In simple terms, the marks acquired are converted into a range of 100-0. You can discover more about the CAT Percentile, how it is calculated and its importance by reading through this article

What is a CAT Percentile?

In general, a percentile can be defined as a statistical measure of distribution. The definition of percentile can be further simplified as the total percent of quantity (or data) below a particular level. In terms of the CAT exam, a percentile can be explained as the percentage of candidates below a respective percentile. For example, a percentile score of 99 (of any individual) means that 99 percent of the candidates are below this particular individual. Aspirants can check the percentile calculator to get an idea about their respective percentiles.

How is CAT Percentile Calculated?

Initially, the candidates are allotted a particular rank according to their respective CAT scores. Then, the scores of the candidates are normalised, and the scaled CAT scores are converted to percentiles. The percentile is calculated using the given formula:

CAT Percentile= [1- (Respective Rank in CAT exam/ Total no. of CAT candidates)] * 100

An illustration is provided here for clear understanding:

Suppose Mr. X obtains a rank of 4500 amongst the total of 300,000 candidates who appeared for the CAT exam. By the formula as mentioned earlier, the percentile of Mr. X can be calculated as-

CAT percentile of Mr. X= [1- (4500/ 300,000)] * 100

i.e. = 98.5.

This percentile score of Mr. X implies that 98.5% of the total candidates have their scores below Mr. X or, in other words, 1.5% of candidates scored more than him in the exam.

Factors Determining CAT Percentile

  • The level of difficulty of the questions – An easy test will likely result in a more significant number of candidates achieving a high score, thereby increasing the level of competition, as more and more students seek admission at a specific cut-off point. The cut-off is raised or lowered to equalise the proportion of seats.
  • Category, a candidate belongs to – Generally speaking, the CAT cut-off for IIM is 99 to 100 percentile for students from the general category. The CAT cut-off is generally between 85-98 percentile for students from the reserved category.
  • The total number of seats available – A candidate’s percentile is also affected by the number of seats available at each IIM. For example, if each IIM has a limited number of seats, the cut-off is likely to be higher.
  • The number of candidates who took the test – Another factor determining the percentile is the number of test-takers. The cut-off would be reduced if there were a fall in the number of test-takers and vice versa. An increase in the number of test-takers combined with the exam being challenging will significantly reduce the cutoff.

Importance of CAT Percentile

The CAT percentile is highly crucial since the shortlisting for counselling involves the percentile scores of the candidates. The IIMs and other management schools put forth their respective cut-offs every year after conducting the CAT exam. The candidates clearing those cut-offs are considered for shortlisting, and called for successive rounds. Therefore, candidates can check the CAT percentile wise colleges to get a brief idea about the competition in the particular management schools and prepare accordingly. It should be noted that the CAT percentile is calculated up to three decimal places and then rounded off. So, the candidates scoring more than 99.985 percentile get their respective percentiles as 100.

To know more about different important facts about the CAT exam, stay tuned to BYJU’S. BYJU’S also provides various preparation strategies, detailed explanations and various engaging video lessons to help the CAT aspirants prepare more effectively and ace the exam easily.

Frequently Asked Questions on CAT Percentile

Can I achieve 99 percentile by attempting a certain number of questions accurately?

It is not possible to predict your percentile by the number of questions you attempt. Various factors are considered when normalising raw CAT scores to percentile scores. The percentile calculation depends on the number of students who have appeared for the exam.

What is the difference between CAT Score and Percentile?

The CAT percentile compares a management candidate’s performance to other applicants who took the same MBA entrance exam. In the CAT percentile, you can see how many other students had a similar score or scored lower than you. CAT score is the total of their marks in Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning sections.

What is the marking scheme of the CAT exam?

The CAT question paper consists of a total of 66 questions. Candidates will receive +3 points for each correct answer. Every incorrect answer is subject to a negative marking of 1 mark. There will be no deductions for non-MCQ questions or questions that are left unanswered.

Can I get into the IIM if I score 85 percentile?

cut-offs for admission to IIMs and Top MBA colleges in India are usually above 90 percentile. However, you should get into a good MBA school with an 85 percentile and above score. It is not hard to get into a good MBA school if you scored 85 percentile. Many of the best B-Schools in India accept cut-off scores of 80 percentile and above.

What is a good CAT score?

It varies depending upon the institute you’re trying to apply for and the level of competition. Applicants scoring above the 99th percentile are almost certain to get shortlisted for an interview at the IIMs. However, many second-tier colleges accept a score below 90 percentile.