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Bad CAT Score-Should We Join College or Take Drop Year

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Bad CAT score-Should we join college or take drop year

With CAT results out, all candidates would know where they stand and how they have fared in the exam. While for some, CAT results may have brought the happy news of excellent percentile score, for most of the candidates, the results may have posed a huge dilemma before them-

  1. Whether to take admission in whichever college they get or
  2. drop the year and come back stronger next year?

The answer to the above question is not easy. Let’s explore the two choices that candidates who have not been able to crack CAT this time have.

Secure Admission

There’s no doubt that all candidates who appear for CAT do so with the aim of getting into the top institutes of the country, primarily the IIMs. But with soaring cut offs, that might just remain a dream for most candidates. So, should the candidates secure their admission instead of wasting a year?

Yes, they should

  • While the institute you pursue your course from definitely makes an impact on your career graph, not getting into the big brands should not become a limiting factor in your career. It's best to accept the reality and rise up to the challenge of excelling irrespective of the institute.
  • It is up to you to make the best out of the opportunity you have.
  • Admission into an elite college is no guarantee for success, if you are not willing to work hard. Conversely, not getting into an elite college does not translate into failure.
  • If you are determined to succeed and willing to work towards your goal, then what college you get makes no difference.
  • Don’t make securing admission into the best college the yardstick for your success. Instead, make the fulfilment of your own life-goals a measure of your success.
  • There is no guarantee that you will do better in CAT the next year. Your performance depends on a lot of variables such as your preparation, level of difficulty of CAT, Cut offs and so on.
  • Other than IIMs, several options are available for candidates to explore with their percentile range:
  1. Candidates with 80-90 percentile can explore reputed institutes such as SPJIMR, IMI Delhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, TA Pai Management Institute and others. These institutes have a better ranking than some of the IIMs in the NIRF-MHRF’s ranking list and may offer better facilities, resources and exposure.
  2. Candidates with 70-80 percentile can explore options such as BIMTECH, BITS Pilani, Amity University, IBS Business School, Great Lakes Institute of Management and the like.
  3. Candidates with 60-70 percentile score can explore options such as Doon Business School, IIBS Bangalore, Indus Business Academy, Sharda University, Jagan Institute of Management and others. 

Don't Waste Your Precious Year

Candidates must not waste their year. In addition to being difficult to justify, a gap year may break the flow and concentration of the candidate. Therefore, it is wise to make good use of the time and appear for various National, State and Institute Level Exams. Some of the colleges that accept various exam scores are:

National Level Exam


Last date to register (Tentative)

Exam Date (Tentative)


  • IIMs
  • MDI Gurgaon
  • FMS New Delhi
  • IMI New Delhi
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • MICA Ahmedabad
  • Xavier University Bhubaneswar
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • GIM Goa
  • FORE School of Management

September 2022

November 2022


  • IMI New Delhi
  • LBSIM New Delhi
  • XLRI Jamshedpur
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • IMI New Delhi
  • FORE School of Management
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • XUB




  • IIFT
  • IFIM Business School
  • IPS Business School
  • GITAM School of International Business




  • SIBM
  • SIIB
  • SIMS
  • SCIT
  • SIHS
  • SSBF
  • SSMC



  • GIM
  • IFMR
  • KIIT School of Management
  • IMS Ghaziabad
  • Jaipuria Institute of Management
  • GLIM
  • K J Somaiya
January 2022 February 2022
  • KIIT- School of Management
  • IMS Ghaziabad
  • Jaipuria Institute of Management
  • SRM University
  • Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship
  • Chitkara University
  • GITAM Institute of Management
  • Institute of Public Enterprise
  • Asian Business School

28 Feb 2022 (PBT)

07 Mar 2022(CBT)

06 Mar 2022(PBT)

13 Mar 2022(CBT)

State Level Exam



  • WeSchool
  • SIES College of Management Studies

February 2022

March 2022


  • ABBS
  • Alliance School of Business
  • Presidency University
  • ISBR Business School
  • BIT Bangalore

March 2022

April 2022


  • PES University
  • RV Institute of Management
  • Presidency College, Bangalore
  • IBA
  • GIBS
  • IIBS

June 2022

July 2022


  • SRM University, Chennai
  • Anna University, Chennai
  • University of Madras
  • ITM Business School, Chennai

February 2022

March 2022

Institute Level Exam



  • IBS (All campuses)
  • GIBS
  • JK Business School
  • Vanguard Business School
  • VYASA Business School

December 2022

December 2022


  • KSOM
  • VIT,Velore
  • KIIT University
  • GIM
  • KSBT
  • TMI

May 2022

June 2022

Drop Year

Candidates must consider taking a drop year only if their percentile is very low. You can use the time 

  • to prepare for the next attempt and improve your scores.
  • to gain work experience and insight into the industry. This will give you a different perspective once your course begins.

A bad CAT score should not mean the end of the road for you. It should only be a slight blip on the long journey of professional success that you undertake.

Stay informed, Stay ahead and Stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous.