• Home
  • What is the minimum ...

What is the minimum marks to qualify for CAT Examination?

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

Updated On : September 14, 2023


Summary: Learn about the minimum marks required to qualify for the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam in India and its scoring system. Understand the importance of CAT percentiles for admission to top B-Schools and the significance of individual sectional scores.  

Discover benchmark percentiles for competitive institutions and gain insights into achieving a strong CAT score. Prepare effectively for the exam with dedicated efforts and increase your chances of embarking on a successful management education journey. 

If you want to study management in India, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is a pathway to some of the top B-Schools in India. However, many aspiring CAT applicants are curious about the minimum score required to pass the CAT exam.  

In this article, we will delve into the topic and offer you with an in-depth overview of the cutoff marks required to pass the CAT exam. So, let us explore the details and throw light on this essential component of the CAT entrance examination

Understanding CAT Exam Scoring 

Before we delve into the question, " what is the minimum marks to qualify for CAT exam" it's important to understand how the exam is graded. The CAT exam uses a scaled scoring system that includes both the number of correct and incorrect answers. There are three sections of the exam:  

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 
  • Quantitative Ability (QA).  

Each correct answer is worth three points, while each incorrect answer results in a penalty of one mark. Unanswered questions receive no marks or negative markings

Read more: Previous Year CAT Question Papers

cat 2023 super-30 course

cat 2023 super-30 course

CAT Exam Percentile and Qualification 

The CAT exam does not have a particular qualifying mark, unlike traditional exams, which have a fixed minimum passing percentage. The CAT exam is graded on a percentile scale, which assesses your performance in comparison to other candidates who took the same exam.  

Your CAT percentile indicates the proportion of individuals who scored lower than you on the exam. The greater your percentile, the better your chances of admission to top management schools

Benchmark Percentiles for Top B-Schools 

While there is no set minimum score for the CAT exam, it is important to understand the minimum percentiles required for admission to top B-Schools through CAT. The cutoff percentiles vary from year to year and are influenced by factors such as the exam's difficulty level and the number of applicants. A CAT percentile of 90 or higher is generally regarded as competitive for admission to the IIMs.  

However, it's important to note that each B-School has its own selection standards and may take into account additional factors such as academic performance, work experience, and personal interviews. 

CAT Exam Difficulty and Score Analysis 

To acquire a deeper understanding of the minimal marks required to qualify for the CAT exam, it is necessary to analyse the exam's difficulty level and associated scores. The CAT exam is well-known for its difficult nature, which tests candidates' analytical and problem-solving abilities.  

The general difficulty level of the exam varies from year to year. Based on historical statistics, an overall score of 150-160 out of 300 can be considered a fair starting point for a competitive percentile. 

Read more: CAT Cut-Off Marks

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series

Importance of Individual Sectional Scores 

In addition to the overall score, the sectional scores on the CAT exam are also important. Each section has a different weightage in the overall B-School assessment procedure. While there is no set minimum mark for individual areas, performing well in each component increases your chances of achieving a high percentile. Aim for a balanced performance across all parts to maximize your overall CAT score and improve your chances of admission. If required, join CAT coaching Classes to get the guidance required to clear the exam.

While there is no specific minimum score required to take the CAT exam, understanding the scoring structure, benchmark percentiles, and the significance of sectional results is important. Your CAT percentile is important in gaining admission to top B-Schools, with a percentile of 90 or higher often considered competitive

However, it is crucial to remember that admission requirements differ between B-Schools, and factors such as academic performance, work experience, and interviews all play an important role. Focus on performing well in all sections, analyse previous CAT exam patterns, and aim for a score that matches the standards of your preferred B-School.   

With thorough preparation, patience, and in-depth knowledge of the CAT exam, you can boost your chances of obtaining a competitive percentile and launching a successful management education journey.

CheckCAT Exam Preparation Strategy

Download Free IPMAT Study Material

Fill your details

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cut off for passing CAT exam?

How is the CAT exam scored?

What CAT percentile is considered competitive for admission to top B-Schools?

Is there a specific minimum score required for individual sections in the CAT exam?

What overall CAT score is considered competitive?

Do B-Schools consider factors other than CAT percentile for admission?

How can I improve my CAT score and admission chances?


Toprankers, launched in 2016, is India’s most preferred digital counselling & preparation platform for careers beyond engineering & medicine. We envision to build awareness and increase the success rate for lucrative career options after 12th. We offer best learning practices and end-to-end support to every student preparing for management, humanities, law, judiciary & design entrances.


: support@toprankers.com


: +91-7676564400

Social Channels

App Badge

Chat to Toprankers Team