Deconstructing IIM Lucknow’s Shortlisting Criteria for the Class of 2014-16

The criteria at IIM Lucknow  for the Class of 2016 largely remains the same as last year. There are minor tweaks but that will have no real impact in the overall analysis.

Main Highlights

– IIM Lucknow was the first IIM to give extra marks to women and to non-engineers in the shortlisting process itself. They managed to admit 170 odd women for the Class of 2014.  IIM C and IIM K have followed suit and giving extra marks to women candidates has become the norm. As we will show below, it has never been better for a non-engineer female candidate!

– CAT Scaled score has a high weight in getting a shortlist. It is 76% for getting a shortlist. It also matters in the final analysis (38%)

– Sectional cutoffs are at 85%ile. Overall cutoff is 90%ile.

– Academic scores – 10th (1 point out of 50) , 12th (1 point out of 50),  Graduation (3 points out of 50) and number of months of Work Experience (2 points out of 50) all have some weight in the shortlisting process. A fresher (no work-ex) male engineer who is not in the top 20 Percentile in his 10th and 12th board  is unlikely to get a call from IIM Lucknow even at a relatively high percentile.

– Unlike most other older IIMs, IIM Lucknow retains the Group Discussion in the process for the final selection of a candidate.

Test Cases

For the general category, we have done an analysis for everyone to understand how the various type of candidates fare at a certain scaled score.

Stacking a Male Candidate against the other 3 types of candidates – IIM Lucknow Selection Criteria. Assume all candidates have 10th and 12th scores between the 90th and 95th percentile.

Candidate Type CAT Scaled Score CAT Points out of 38 Gender Diversity out of 2 Domain Diversity out of 3 10th Std out of 1 12th Std Out of 1 Total out of 45
Female – Diverse Background 275 23.22 2 3 0.75 0.75 29.72
Female – Engineer 275 23.22 2 0 0.75 0.75 26.72
Male – Diverse Background 275 23.22 0 3 0.75 0.75 27.72
Male Engineer 298 25.16 0 0 0.75 0.75 26.66


Assume the 4 types of applicants to IIM Lucknow to have the scores above. Clearly, a General Engineer Male has a lot to fight against. So an additional 23 Scaled Score Points is wiped away clean by the virtue of the other applicants being of a certain ‘Type’. But mind you, this score is out of 45 whereas the final analysis for a shortlist is out of 50.

The Other 5 Points – Work Ex (2 out of 50) and Grad Score (3 out of 50)

The G E M has his grad score and his work experience to try and narrow this gap against the others in the case above. A work experience of 20 Months gives you 2 out of 2 and technically, a male engineer with 20+ Months of work ex can be even with a fresher engineer female if both have the same Scaled CAT Score. Also, one can hope grad scores normalization stays in your favour and you don’t lose ground even if you can’t realistically cover much ground.

IIM Lucknow has a lot of variables and it is clearly a case of ‘right person at the right time at the right place’ phenomenon to bag that IIM L call!

You can read the official admission policy document for IIM Lucknow here


Our analysis of IIM Kozhikode’s criteria

Our analysis of IIM Indore’s criteria

Our analysis of IIM Ahmedabad’s criteria


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