How Can I Get An Interview Call From IIM Bangalore – CAT 2017 – PGP 2018 – 2020

This article explains the selection criteria followed by IIM Bangalore for the batch of 2018-20.

IIM Bangalore has rolled out the official document containing the details of the selection criteria here. Like every year, we will simplify it for you in this article.

Over the years, IIM Bangalore has developed a selection process which is based on the performance of students at IIM Bangalore to their past performance at school and university, CAT score, performance in PI and work experience. In simple words, they refine the process every year with inputs from IIMB faculty body and derive a system which will give them students who are likely to perform exceedingly well at IIMB.

The process has a considerable weightage for all the important academic stages of your life, and is not solely based on your CAT score. It is designed to give a chance only to those students who have maintained a consistent and high performance in academics and all other parameters.

Let’s understand this with a hypothetical example. Supriya got 65% and 70% in Class 10 & 12 respectively, and she studied B.Com. This means that Supriya might do very well in CAT 2017, and has a non-engineering background and even the gender diversity point is in her favour, but since she scored poorly in Class 10, the odds of getting admission in IIM B are reduced.

Why? Because IIM B insists on consistent exemplary academic performance.

This is not very different from other top b-schools of the country. Let’s dive into the selection process now.

There are two phases – the first phase determines which students will be called upon for the PI.


Phase 1

The multi-criteria process in phase 1 is a bit complicated and demanding, but it helps IIM B ensure that it gets students with a consistent performance record in the PI round.

Shortlist 1 – To get into the first shortlist, you need to crack the CAT! Getting into this list doesn’t guarantee a PI call, it just ensures that you’ll be considered for it. Here are the minimum cut-offs based for entering the first short-list for different categories of students:

Table 1

This means that if you belong to the General category, and your aggregate score is 90, but you scored only 70 in the QA section, you will not be shortlisted.

Look at the minimum scores in each section for your category. This is the bare minimum you must score if you want to be shortlisted for the first round.

Note: Candidates obtaining a positive (greater than zero) raw score in all sections of the CAT-2017 will only be considered.


Say 100 number of students are shortlisted on the basis of their CAT scores according to the Table 1. The following parameters will be calculated for them now:

  1. 10th and 12th scores – The percentage score in both these years will be adjusted by dividing them by 90th percentile score for boards. This percentile is based on 10th and 12th scores of CAT applicants in the last 2 years.
  2. Marks obtained in graduation, and for students yet to appear in final exams, their incomplete aggregate marks obtained in graduation are taken and adjusted for all disciplines. This is the place where non-engineering students will get an advantage.
  3. Candidates with professional degrees: Chartered Accountancy, Cost Accounting, and Company Secretary certifications – The marks they have obtained are standardized for all the students in the first shortlist.
  4. Pre-PI Work Ex Score: If your work experience is more than 36 months, you automatically get 8 points, which is the maximum points you can obtain in pre-PI score. Otherwise, your pre-PI score is = 8x/36 if 0 < x < 36  (where x=number of months of work experience)

However, even if you have worked more than 36 months, you will not get more than 8 marks in the pre-PI work ex score.

Note: Here is where the twist comes! This is the Pre-PI work ex score. This means that after the PI, the panel will rate the quality of your work experience and this will be considered in the overall work experience score.

Let us take the example of Naresh. Naresh is a general category male. He is an engineer, and he worked at TCS for 3 years(=36 months) after completing graduation.

His Pre-PI work ex score will be 8 points. However, if he qualifies for PI and the panel judges that the quality of his work ex wasn’t remarkable, they might give him a lower score on the 5 point scale  (0.25 – 0.5 – 1 – 1.5 – 2), thereby arriving at a weighted work experience score.

Had Naresh worked only for 6-7 months, but done some quality work that he is able to justify to the panel, he would have scored lesser in the pre-PI score but it would have evened out in his favour after the PI.

Hence, the IIM B doesn’t blindly merit the length of work ex. Towards the end, it rewards shorter duration of quality work ex.

Here is the weightage for all the parameters described above:

Parameter Weightage Remarks
CAT 40% VARC – 14 points
DILR – 16 points
QA – 10 points
10th board   20%
12th board 10%
Bachelors   20%
Gender Diversity   2% Females get 2 points. Even IIM Calcutta follows the same system.
Work Experience   8% This is the pre-PI Work Ex Score.

As you can see here, IIM B gives 40% weightage to CAT score before PI, as compared to IIM Calcutta which gives only 56% weightage (before PI) and IIM Ahmedabad which gives 70% weightage to normalised CAT score in the composite score.

Here is what I like to call a wild card entry.

If you have scored exceptionally well in ANY ONE of the following, : total score in CAT, adjusted Bachelors’ score (commerce, arts, and science disciplines), and Professional (CA / ICWA / CS), i.e. if you are among the top 10 candidates in this categories individually, you get to sit for the PI.

Let’s talk about Supriya again. As we know, she didn’t score too well in Class 10 & 12, and by a stroke of ill fate, she screwed up her CAT 2017 as well. However, if she did really well in her CA exams, she can end up being among the top 10 candidate in that category and get a direct chance to appear for the PI.

However, after the PI, she will be evaluated on all the parameters as all the other students. This is just like a wild card entry, not a guarantee that she will qualify to get a seat.

At the end of Phase 1, all students who are shortlisted get to appear for the PI. This marks the beginning of Phase 2.

Normalization/Standardization: For all candidates in the first shortlist as stated in Table (1), normalization or standardization in any component stated above is carried out as per the following formula. All standardization is done with reference to the qualifying first shortlist or its subdivisions; Standardized score, truncated between 0 and weight (wt) is computed from the raw score (val) as:

Max [0, min {wt, wt/2 + ((val-mean) / sd) * wt / 6}]


Phase 2 = WAT + PI + post-PI work ex score

Candidates will sit for WAT (Written Ability Test) and will be judged on the content and style of their answers. Scores given by an individual evaluator will be considered for WAT.

As it is commonly known, in the PI, the panel will judge the candidate based on how good a fit he/she is for the PGP program. They will also rate the quality of the candidate’s work experience.

Be prepared to answer all kinds of questions about your work experience, and justify that you have done good work.

Final Aggregate Score:

This is the most important scores as the final offers will be made only on this score. Here is how it’s calculated:


Parameter Weightage
WAT 10%
PI 30%
CAT 25%
10th board 10%
12th board 5%
Bachelors 10%
Weighted Work Experience 10%

Before PI, CAT score is given 40% weightage, but this reduces to 25% post PI. Hence, overall, it has 32% weightage.

As you can see, the weightage given to academic performance reduces considerably and PI gets 30% weightage.

Hence Supriya, who scored considerably less in Class 10 & 12, and CAT 2017, but gets to appear for PI due to her good performance in CA exams, has a chance to get a final offer if she nails the PI and WAT.

CAT, PI and WAT scores end up having 65% weightage in the final score which decides candidates who will get the final offer.

As opposed to IIM Calcutta, there are no marks awarded for academic diversity at graduation level.

We hope this helps you get a better idea of where you stand.


Check out How You Can Get An Interview Call from IIM Ahmedabad here.

Check out How You Can Get An Interview Call from IIM Calcutta here.

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There is a wrong information…
IIM C doesn’t give 28% weightage on CAT, It gives a weightage of 28 on a total of 50, which means they give 56% weightage on CAT

Heer Shingala

It has been changed. However, we meant 30% weightage in the final selection. Thank you for pointing it out though! 🙂