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How to get into IIM without CAT?

Get Admission in Top IIMs without CAT

With lakhs of students taking the CAT exam each year and only around 4,000 total full-time MBA seats available across the IIMs, even candidates just below the cutoff score are often denied admission. Thus, many look at how to get into IIM without the CAT exam to realize their management education dreams.


This is an understandable question, as the CAT exam passing percentage requirements are quite high. Typically, you need to score in the 95th or even 99th percentile to be competitive for the top IIMs, which generally requires 6-9 months of intense CAT exam preparation.


Let’s look at how to get into IIM without the CAT exam!

How To Get Into IIMs Without The Cat Exam

We will explore practical ways to gain admission into the Indian Institutes of Management without taking the CAT exam:

Admission through GMAT

The Graduate Management Admission Test—or GMAT as most people call it—presents an alternative route to break into the coveted Indian Institutes of Management without facing the grueling Common Admission Test.


The GMAT is a computer-based standardized test run by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) that checks an applicant’s skills in areas like analytical writing, verbal reasoning, math, and reading comprehension—all in English. It's widely used for getting into grad business and management programs across the world. Most IIMs consider GMAT scores for Executive MBA programs.


Typically you need a bachelor’s degree with grades around 50% or a decent GPA to be eligible. Reserved candidates can go as low as 45% grades. People in their final year or waiting on graduation results can also apply based on expected scores.


Now here’s the catch—while over 200 management programs in India take GMAT scores in varying ranges, the IIMs want to see exceptionally high marks compared to global norms.


Overall GMAT goes from 200 to 800 points, with most people averaging between 400 to 600.


But for the IIM’s coveted 1-year post-graduate programs like PGPX, the top institutes like IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, and Indore expect no less than 720 GMAT or more. That puts them in the top 10 highest requirements in the entire world!


Also Read: NUS vs ISB



Top educational institutions across India are broadening their admission criteria. Prestigious institutes like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Mumbai's S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), and the Indian School of Business have decided to accept Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Starting from the 2024-25 academic year, renowned institutes such as IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore, SPJIMR Mumbai, the Indian Business School of Hyderabad, and the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research will accept GRE scores as part of their admission process.

This move comes as the Educational Testing Service (ETS) reports that around 100 institutes across India will now accept GRE scores from next year onwards. By recognizing the GRE, these premier institutions aim to broaden their international student pool and attract diverse, talented individuals from around the globe.

GRE General Test

Three sections- Verbal, Quant, and Analytical

Online and offline mode

Conducted throughout the year

Fees: $255


3 hours 45 minutes


GRE Eligibility

Here are the key eligibility requirements:

1.    You need a bachelor's degree, no matter what field of study. There's no age limit set by the test organizers, so it's open to all.

2.    Having a valid passport is a must to register and take the exam. Your parents, guardians, or you yourself will also need a debit or credit card handy to pay the exam fee.

3.    Once you've met these criteria, be sure to take the GRE at least 30-45 days before the application deadlines for the programs you're applying to. Giving yourself that buffer ensures your scores arrive on time.

4.    With a bachelor's degree, passport, payment method, and some advance planning, you'll be all set to take on the GRE challenge! Just check those key boxes first.

IIM without CAT

Executive MBA from IIMs without CAT

Aspiring MBA students can still enter IIMs without taking the CAT exam, but will need to write other tests like GMAT. Let's look at executive MBA from IIM without CAT:

IIM College



Ideal For

IIM Ahmedabad

ePGD in Advanced Business Analytics

16 Months

Working Professionals with an interest in Business Analytics


1 Year

Executives with substantial work experience

IIM Bangalore


1 Year

Mid-career professionals looking for leadership roles


2 Years (Weekend)

Working professionals aiming for mid to senior management roles


2 Years

Professionals interested in public policy and management

IIM Calcutta


1 Year

Executives with 5+ years of experience


1 Year

Professionals in the manufacturing and service sectors


2 Years

Aspiring business analysts

IIM Lucknow


2 Years (Weekend)

Working executives aiming for senior roles


1 Year

Experienced professionals seeking top management roles

IIM Kozhikode


2 Years

Aspiring finance professionals


2 Years

Those interested in Leadership and Social Change


1 Year

Senior executives aiming for leadership roles


2 Years (Interactive Learning)

Working professionals seeking management roles

IIM Indore


1 Year

Executives with 5+ years of experience


2 Years (Weekend)

Mid-senior level executives

IIM Shillong


1 Year

Experienced professionals focusing on entrepreneurship and leadership

IIM Udaipur

PGDBA Working Executives

2 Years (Weekend)

Working professionals focusing on analytics

One Year MBA-Global Supply Chain Management

1 Year

Professionals aiming for careers in Supply Chain Management

One Year MBA-Digital Enterprise Management

1 Year

Professionals focusing on digital transformations

IIM Trichy

MBA Working Executives (Chennai campus)

2 Years (Weekend)

Working professionals seeking managerial progression

IIM Ranchi

Executive MBA

2 Years

Mid-career professionals aiming for leadership roles

IIM Raipur


2 Years (Virtual classroom)

Working professionals wanting to delve into management

IIM Nagpur

MBA for Working Professionals

2 Years

Executives looking to enhance managerial skills

IIM Jammu

Executive MBA

2 Years

Professionals seeking to upgrade their management skills

IIM Sambalpur

Executive MBA

2 Years

Experienced professionals aiming for senior management roles

IIM Kashipur

Executive MBA

2 Years

Mid-senior level execs looking for a leap in their career

MBA (Analytics)

2 Years

Aspiring analytics professionals

IIM Sirmaur

MBA (Tourism & Hospitality Management)

2 Years

Aspiring leaders in the tourism and hospitality sector

IIM Amritsar

Executive MBA

2 Years

Professionals seeking executive management roles


Stuck on your MBA applications? Lean on MBA admission consultants at GOALisB. We offer personalized coaching fine-tuned to your particular target B-schools, going far beyond test prep with complete guidance.


From crafting a standout MBA essay to mastering those nerve-wracking MBA interview questions, our experts steer you each step of the way. Our MBA admission consultants draw from firsthand experiences at top institutes like IIM Ahmedabad, ensuring you put your best foot forward.


Our MBA admission consultants are graduates of prestigious Indian B-schools and globally-ranked one-year MBA programs in India. Having navigated the intense admissions process and MBA interview questions themselves earlier, they uniquely understand the problems you currently face. Contact GOALisB to have an expert mentor by your side!


Can exceptional academic achievements replace a high CAT score for IIM admissions?

Yes, with stellar academic records and grades, you can still get into IIMs without a stellar CAT score as academic excellence is weighted highly in selections via exams like GMAT, IPMAT, etc.

Can I take the GMAT instead of the CAT for IIM admissions?

Some IIMs allow the GMAT, an international exam testing analytical, writing, math, verbal, and reading skills, to substitute for CAT in the application process.

Are executive programs at IIMs open to candidates without CAT?

Executive IIM programs targeting experienced professionals advancing their careers or skills do not strictly require CAT, admission is based on work experience, academics, and selection performance.

Disclaimer- The information provided in this content is just for educational purposes and is written by a professional writer. Consult us to learn more about IIM admissions.


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