What is a Good CAT Score? – PaGaLGuY

Many candidates in India and worldwide now aspire to post-graduate education in business and management.  It has certainly become one of the most popular post-graduate degrees considered by people to further their careers in any field.

The demand for an MBA degree is increasing, and at the same time, the competition for admission into the available courses and institutes is also increasing. Applicants sit for many exams that are conducted by many institutes, and qualifying these examinations is one of the factors that determine whether students get into these schools or not.

In India, these examinations include Symbiosis National Aptitude (SNAP) Test, Management Aptitude Test (MAT), Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT ), and last but not the least Common Admission Test (CAT).

What is CAT?

CAT is a widely popular examination in India. CAT is a common aptitude test that allows candidates an opportunity to study at some of the best business and management schools in India, including 20 Indian Institutes of Management and more than 1200 business schools. The prestigious and highly competitive exam is conducted by IIMs mostly in November each academic year.

Each year, two lakh candidates appear in CAT exam every year. In 2019, approximately 2,44,190 lakh students registered for the exam, whereas approximately 2,09,926 appeared for the exam. The exam is conducted in the online mode in more than 150 cities throughout the country.

It is conducted in two parts, with 100 MCQs based on the following subjects: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).

How is CAT scored?

Although the CAT score is not the ultimate factor, the scores of applicants play a huge role in determining their chances of being admitted into business and management schools.

The exam scores are distributed in three parts: Quantitative Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning and Verbal and Reading Comprehension. The score is valid for a year from when the score is released.

Each correct answer gets candidates three marks. However, one mark is deducted for each wrong answer. The exam is scored out of 300. It is pertinent to note that no marks are deducted for unanswered questions. The scores acquired with this process are termed raw scores.

These raw scores are then equated by adjusting for variances based on difficulty levels. During this process, the performance of candidates is evaluated using statistical processes. The process of equating helps level all candidate scores on a common scale and generate a range of scores, which are then converted into a percentile score. 

What is a good CAT score?

Although all candidates are eager to know with certainty, a ‘Good’ CAT score can be a very subjective term that depends on candidates’ target institutes. However, certain inferences can be made based on an approximate range of scores accepted by business and management schools in India.

The tier-one schools largely accept candidates with a score of approximately in the range of 190, which can generally get you a percentile score of 99+. Scores in the range of 130–160 would get candidates into tier-two business schools in India, whereas a score range of 90–120 is generally accepted by tier-three business schools.

Now, it is important to remember that different schools place varying weightage on CAT scores. Additionally, most schools do take into account different factors, such as employment and education records. So, in summary, it is pertinent that candidates select schools and consequently the target scores based on their requirements, such as the domains they wish to advance their career in.

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