CAT 2021 Score vs Percentile

CAT 2021 Score vs Percentile
CAT 2021 Score vs Percentile

CAT 2021 Score vs Percentile

The CAT 2021 exam was held online on November 28th, 2021. Although this is more of a suggestion than regulation, the official CAT 2021 result is scheduled to be announced in the second week of January 2022. You can, however, estimate your CAT Percentile based on their projected CAT Score. The IIM calls that you are likely to receive can be shortlisted based on your projected CAT Percentile, and further preparation can be done appropriately.

So, how is the CAT percentile determined? Understand the relationship between the CAT Score and the Percentile.

Enroll to XAT Crash Course

Take XAT mock tests here

CAT Score vs Percentile – What Does it Mean

Aspirants should be aware that there is no precise CAT procedure for calculating the exact score required to be included in the top list of CAT 99 percentile league before normalisation. The percentile in the CAT exam is calculated in accordance with the exam’s difficulty level and performance of the students across various slots.

Because the difficulty level of the CAT exam varies from year to year, the marks vs CAT percentile varies as well. Before moving on to several instances involving the CAT score and CAT percentile, you should first understand what the terms CAT Score and CAT Percentile indicate.

Get 5 XAT mocks for just Rs. 299

Download XAT Previous Papers PDF

In 2020, a total of 9 and 19 individuals out of a total of 2,27,835 received 100 and 99.99 percentiles in the CAT, respectively. Aspirants came from a variety of disciplines, including engineering or technology, mathematics, electronics, management, and so on.

CAT 2019 had 10 applicants out of 2.09 lakh candidates achieve a perfect score. Those that received a perfect score on the CAT are from the engineering field. Maharashtra has the most CAT 2019 toppers, with four students scoring a perfect mark. Almost 21 individuals received a 99.99 percentile, with 19 of them having a background in engineering.

What is CAT Score?

To understand the CAT score, one must first grasp the CAT exam pattern and marking scheme, which is both covered in the sections that follow. Candidates can review the updated CAT 2021 exam pattern, which is provided below.

Section No. of Questions Marks Allocated
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 24 72
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 20 60
Quantitative Ability 22 66
Total 66 196

What is CAT Percentile?

A percentile is a unit of measurement used to calculate/evaluate the percentage of students in the merit list who are higher or lower than you. For example, if you get 70% on the CAT, it signifies that 70% of the students who took the exam scored lower than you. As a result, candidates with a 70 percentile or higher imply that they are in the top 30 percent of those who took the exam.

Let’s have a look at another example to make things clearer. If two lakh students took the CAT exam, at least 20% (40,000 students) would score in the 80-100 percentile range. As a result, the percentage obtained by applicants in the CAT exam is indicative of their position and does not show the marks obtained in the CAT exam.

Download IIFT previous papers PDF

Download XAT Previous Papers PDF

CAT 2021 Questions: Marking Scheme & Sectional Composition

The CAT 2021 exam time period has been decreased to 2 hours (same as CAT 2020), and the CAT 2021 question paper has 10 fewer questions than the CAT 2020 exam. As a result, at a low CAT score, a greater percentile will be rewarded. Last year’s CAT had 76 questions, and the CAT 2021 question paper included 66 questions. The question paper was broken into three sections and contained the following number of MCQs and Non-MCQs.

For MCQs, the marking method is +3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect response. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers in non-MCQs. As a result, the real structure of the CAT question paper is as follows, along with the marking scheme and highest raw score that a test taker can earn sectionally and overall.

Section Total questions MCQs (With negative marking) Non-MCQs (Without negative marking) Maximum Marks
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 19 5 72
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 15 5 60
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA) 22 14 8 66
Total 66 48 18 198

Convert CAT score into final percentile

So, in order to convert your Raw CAT score to a final percentile, you must go through three steps:

  • Calculation of raw score in CAT: You can compute it using the CAT 2021 marking scheme and the accuracy level with which you attempted the questions. You can also compare it to the answer keys made available by IIMs following the CAT exam.
  • Conversion of Raw score to scaled score: IIMs calculate after normalising raw CAT exam scores for all CAT exam slots.
  • Conversion of CAT Scaled score to Percentile: IIMs calculate percentiles based on the all scaled scores of all the test-takers across the various slots.

Go to CAT percentile predictor

CAT score vs percentile calculator
CAT score vs percentile calculator

Enroll to CAT 2022 Complete Course

CAT 2021 Slot 1 Marks Vs Percentile

On November 29, 2021, the CAT 2021 Slot-1 exam was held in the forenoon session, from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. The organising institute hinted at a change in pattern in an official announcement posted in September: this was precisely the case, as the number of questions was lowered from 76 to 66. (last year). Our staff attempted to analyse the available material in order to summarise the section-wise aspects of Slot 1 despite the candidates’ inconsistent responses:

Section Difficulty level No. of Questions
VARC Moderate-Difficult 24
DILR Moderate-Difficult 20
Quant Easy-Moderate 22


Estimated score for 99+ percentile: 36-42

Estimated percentiles Raw Score
99 36-42
95 30-33
90 24-27
85 21-22


Estimated score for 99+ percentile: 24-30

Estimated Percentile Raw Score
99 25-30
95 19-21
90 15-17
85 12-14


Estimated score for 99+ percentile: 42-45

Estimated percentile Raw Score
99 43-44
95 36-38
90 32-34
85 25-29

Checkout Detailed CAT 2021 Slot-1 Analysis

CAT 2021 Slot 2 Marks Vs Percentile

CAT 2021’s second slot was held between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. In comparison to CAT 2020, CAT 2021 has 10 less questions: 2 VA, 4 DILR, and 4 QA. According to student feedback, the general difficulty of the second slot was comparable to the first slot. The test was run in three slots nearly smoothly and without hiccups.

Section Number of Questions Duration MCQs TITA
VARC 24 40 min 19 5
DILR 20 40 min 15 5
QA 22 40 min 14 8
Total 66 120 min 48 18


Similarly to the previous slot, the test began with VARC, then DILR, and finally QA. To progress to the next section, one cannot skip a segment and must finish 40 minutes in each session.

Based on the feedback received from CrackU students and our team, the estimated marks vs percentile for individual sections and overall is as follows:

Percentile VARC DILR QA Total
99.5 42 33 44 100
99 38 29 37 92
95 31 22 27 69
90 27 19 22 59
85 24 17 17 50
80 21 14 14 43
70 19 12 12 39

Checkout Detailed CAT 2021 Slot-2 Analysis

CAT 2021 Slot 3 Marks Vs Percentile

The third CAT 2020 slot was held on November 28, 2021, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. In terms of the pattern, there were no surprises. The pattern remained consistent throughout all three slots. 

Section Number of Questions Duration MCQs TITA
VARC 24 40 min 19 5
DILR 20 40 min 14 6
QA 22 40 min 14 8
Total 66 120 min 47 19


Estimated score for 99+ percentile: 39-44

Estimated percentiles Raw Score
99 39-44
95 32-35
90 26-29
85 22-24


Estimated score for 99+ percentile: 24-30

Estimated Percentile Raw Score
99 24-30
95 19-22
90 15-18
85 12-14


Estimated score for 99+ percentile: 37-40

Estimated percentile Raw Score
99 37-40
95 32-34
90 27-29
85 24-26

Checkout Detailed CAT 2021 Slot-3 Analysis

Note: These are merely expected percentiles based on our knowledge, and actual percentiles may differ.

Candidates can Join our Telegram group of MBA aspirants for quick and regular exam updates.

Enroll to CAT 2022 Complete Course

Download XAT Previous Papers


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here