How Can I Get An Interview Call From IIM Ahmedabad? – CAT 2017 – PGP 2018-20

So it’s that time of the year where selection criteria of each b-school are released. Let’s start with IIM Ahmedabad. It’s the b-school with one of the most complex selection criteria. We will try our best to simplify it for you.

Like last year, the key takeaway is – Diversity. Basically, good news for all non-engineering applicants.

The criteria haven’t changed much since last year. Guess, IIM Ahmedabad has finally figured out the perfect shortlisting and selecting procedure!

The selection process, as usual, is a two-step process.

Step 1 – Shortlisting for Academic Writing Test and Personal Interview

If you want to be shortlisted, it’s simple, crack the CAT. CAT 2017 will have three sections – Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Verbal and Reading Comprehension. Candidates with scores above the minimum cut-off – sectional and overall, will be considered for subsequent stages of selection.


IIM Ahmedabad, like last year, will follow an ‘Application Rating’ system at each stage of screening and selection.

There are 7 academic disciplines identified by IIM Ahmedabad. They will recognise exceptional performers in all these 7 fields. Exceptional performers who will be shortlisted will be identified based on ‘Composite Score’ – past academic performance + Performance in CAT 2017.

IIM Ahmedabad will consider top 5% in the respective Academic discipline limited to the respective categories (General/SC/ST/NC-OBC/PWD) among the applicants to IIMA who appear for CAT-2017.

IIM Ahmedabad will shortlist students from a particular category up to a certain limit only. For e.g. if the academic discipline in consideration is Engineering, then from this discipline the following maximum number of students that will be shortlisted will be :

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For a student to be shortlisted, he will have to meet all three criteria mentioned below –

Satisfy minimum percentile requirements. See table 1.

Once you meet the above criteria of minimum percentile, you will get to Application Rating Score. Application Rating Score: AR= (A+B+C).

How is AR calculated?

At different stages of the selection process ‘Application Rating’ (AR) score of an applicant will be used. An applicant’s AR score is the sum of the rating scores ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ (Tables 2-4) based on their percentage of marks obtained in the 10th standard, the 12th standard (depending upon the stream, viz., ‘Science’, ‘Commerce’ and ‘Arts & Humanities’) and the bachelor’s degree programme (depending upon the discipline) respectively. For different streams/disciplines the equivalent ARs are arrived at by using a (sort of) percentile equivalence of the score distributions using previous year’s CAT data.

Where A = Percentage of marks obtained in Standard 10th. Check the table below.

B = Rating scores for 12th Standard (depending on your Disciplines). Check the rating score below.

C = Rating scores for Bachelor’s Degree Program (again, depending on your discipline) Check the rating score below.

We are not done yet. The AR scores will then be normalised. Normalised AR score of an applicant is equal to their AR score divided by average of the top 50 AR scores from the applicants’ pool, (the applicants’ pool, in this case, being defined as the group of candidates who appear for CAT-2017 and apply to IIMA.)

Let’s understand this with an example!

So Netra is an Arts Graduate who scored 98.5%ile in CAT with a 90%ile plus in all three sections! Her scores in 10th and 12th are more than 85% and her graduation scores are more than 80%. Being an Arts Grad, she comes under AC-6.

So given the data, she clearly satisfies the pre-mentioned criteria.

So, how do we calculate Netra’s Application Rating score based on the above data?

8 points for Std 10th + 10 points for Std 12th + 10 points for graduation = 28!

But we’d have to normalise this.

Only your ‘Normalised’ AR will be used.

So, IIM A has a formula for that too.  Normalised AR is calculated using this formula – Normalised AR score of an applicant is equal to their AR score divided by the average of the top 50 AR scores from the applicants’ pool.

So if average of top 50 AR is 28, Netra’s score will be 28/28 = 1

But wait, there’s more!

Normalised AR scores are used to calculate this thing called a Composite Score. A composite score is calculated by 0.3 (Normalised AR score) + 0.7 (Normalised overall score in CAT)

Now, there will be a normalised CAT Score based on the equivalent CAT score. Let’s assume that comes to a figure like 0.78.

So Netra’s Composite score will be – 0.3 x (1) + 0.7 x (0.78) = 0.846

Now if this score is in the top 5% of all Arts Graduate Discipline (AC-6), then Netra will be shortlisted for the Analytical Written Test and Personal Interview.

This above process will be done for all 7 Academic Disciplines. Such a task!

Now that’s about Shortlisting. Next, comes selection.

Step 2 – Selection 

So let’s assume that Netra was shortlisted based on the composite score and she wrote the AWT and gave the PI.

Selection at this stage will strictly be based on the ranks of the candidates computed separately for each category (General/SC/ST/NC-OBC/DA) on the basis of their ‘Final Composite Scores’ (FCS).

The numbers selected in different categories will be in proportions mandated by law. The FCS of a candidate who appears in AWT & PI will be computed as follows:

FCS = 0.50 (Normalised PI Score) + 0.10 (Normalised AWT Score) + 0.4 (CS)

The emphasis on PI hasn’t changed since last year. 

The normalized PI and AWT scores of a candidate are equal to his/her PI and AWT scores divided by the average of the top 1% scores in PI and AWT respectively.


So the criteria hasn’t changed since last year for IIM Ahmedabad. You can check out the press release of the criteria here.

Check out the last year’s criteria here.

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