How to Calculate CAT Percentile

How to Calculate CAT Percentile?

The Common Aptitude Test (CAT) is the standardized test organised by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) each year for admission to the management courses. Over the years, this has become the main exam not just for admission to the IIMs, but to most management institutes across the country. The CAT examination can be given by graduates of any course, and is generally held on the last Sunday of November every year.

Sections of CAT

The format of the CAT exam has changed over the years, but the sections included in the exam have generally remained the same. The first section is the VARC or Verbal and Reading Comprehension. This section tests the English skills of the candidate. The two types of questions included are questions based on a passage and general multiple choice English language questions. The next section is DILR or Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. This section contains two types of question, the first based on analysing data and the second based on reasoning, pattern recognition, and logic. The third section is QA, or quantitative aptitude. The questions in this section do not require as much calculation, as they require speed and the correct approach. The maximum subject knowledge required for this section is high school mathematics, but a significant amount of practice is required to develop the right speed and approach.

CAT 2020

CAT 2020 was held on 29 November 2020. It was held at multiple centres in 166 cities across the countries. It was a computer based test held in specified test centres in three slots. The results of the examination were released on 2 January 2021. Over 1.90 lakh applications sat for the examination.

CAT Percentile

The results of the CAT are different from a lot of other examinations. The main result of the CAT is never the score achieved in the examination or even the rank obtained. The results of the CAT exam are obtained as a percentile. The percentile is a measure of how many applicants for the exam scored below you in the exam. Very simply, the formula for CAT percentile is the following:

P = 100 x (R/N)

P = percentile

R = rank

N = total number of applicants

The percentile in your CAT results will be reported for each of the three sections separately, and also for the examination as a whole. This is the general formula that will be used in any CAT percentile predictor.

However, since the CAT exam is held in three different slots, this makes the job of the CAT percentile predictor significantly harder. It is not possible for each of the three exams to be of the exact same difficulty, despite having different questions. Due to the same, before calculating a rank and CAT percentile, your score in each section is normalised. Put simply, if you sat for the harder paper, your score will be increased to bring you at the same level as a candidate who sat for the easier paper.

Once the normalised score has been obtained, the rank of each student is assigned according to this score. Even here, a priority is generally assigned to sections. On the basis of the rank obtained, the student is given a section wise and overall CAT percentile.

Once you have obtained your percentile, you may apply for admission to various management schools based on their individual admission criteria.

Check the IIMs & Non IIMs Admission and Shortlisting Criteria for MBA Admissions at

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