India sees a 50% jump in women candidates taking the ‘CAT’ exam for entry into its top business schools

India sees a 50% jump in women candidates taking the ‘CAT’ exam for entry into its top business schools
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  • India’s latest Common Admission Test (CAT), which was conducted on 25 November for admissions into the 20 Indian Institute of Management (IIM) schools, saw a 50% growth in women candidates taking the exam from six years ago.
  • Over 84,350 women candidates registered for the entrance test this year, up 8% from the previous year.
  • The IIMs credit up to 5% additional points in the selection process for women aspirants and non-engineers.
The number of women candidates taking the latest Common Admission Test (CAT), mandatory for entry into India’s prestigious Indian Institute of Management, has jumped significantly in the last five years.

For the latest exam held on 25 November, the number of women candidates was 50% higher than that recorded in 2013 with as many as 84,350 registrations. That figure marked nearly 8% rise in the women candidate registrations from the previous year.


With 12,000 more candidates this year compared to last year, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) entrance registered 6,300 female candidates compared to 78,009 from last year.

One reason behind the rise in women candidates is IIMs’ attempt to admit more women and increase diversity in classrooms by giving leverage to female aspirants, Times of India reported citing Sumanta Basu, CAT convenor from IIM Calcutta. Earlier, it was reported that the IIMs have been aiming at getting 30% women into the postgraduate programmes.

The efforts seem to have paid off. The schools have seen a significant rise in placements for female students who accounted for 60% of total summer placement since 2013.

According to Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, total number of women admitted into the 2015-17 batch were 881, while 1,211 female students enrolled for 2017-2019 class.