Cognizant Appraisal and Rating System 2024

Cognizant follows a two-step appraisal process. The performance rating cycle runs from January 1st to December 31st annually. The second step is the actual appraisal consisting of pay hikes and promotions, done in June-July and effective July 1st.

Performance Evaluation Criteria

The appraisal depends on metrics like:

  • Overall performance in last 6 months
  • Compliance adherence
  • Productivity
  • Project and company growth contributions
  • Skill development
  • Role responsibilities

The manager has to justify the rating to HR at year end before normalization and release by April-May.

Rating Buckets and Promotion Allocation

For teams with 50+ people, ratings are split into buckets (PAs, As etc.) and sometimes domains. Top buckets have limited promotion slots allocated - eg. 4-5 for EA, 10-15 for EM. EM and MA tend to have more allocations.

So managers have to pitch their reports for promotion and higher ratings. The better argued case gets the higher rating.

Bucket Description
EA Exceptional Achiever
EM Exceeded Expectations

There are 4 rating buckets. Yearly increment and bonus depends on rating band.

Hike Percentage

The highest hike percentage this year is 8%. Details on hike percentage for different ratings:

Rating Hike Percentage
1 2-4%
2 4-6%

Types of Rating Systems

Cognizant uses 5 rating types:

  1. Annual rating for people joining before Dec 31
  2. New Joinee Rating
  3. Promotion Cycle Rating

Upgradation Process

Upgradation involves Year End Appraisal documents and Goal Setting. Percentage increment depends on above factors and is 5-8% typically.


Cognizant's two-step appraisal process aims to objectively evaluate employee performance based on multiple aspects. The rating and promotion allocation process involves normalization across teams. Hike percentages vary from 2% to 8% based on rating bucket.


Q1: How many rating buckets does Cognizant have?

A1: Cognizant has 4 rating buckets - 1, 2, 3 and 4. Rating 1 is the lowest while 4 is the highest.

Q2: What is the highest hike percentage for 2024?

A2: The highest hike percentage this year is 8%.

Q3: What is the Cognizant appraisal cycle duration?

A3: The annual performance rating cycle runs from January 1st to December 31st every year.

Q4: How are ratings allocated?

A4: For large teams, ratings are allocated into buckets based on designations. Top buckets have limited promotion slots.

Q5: What documents are part of upgradation?

A5: Year End Appraisal documents and Goal Setting documents are part of the upgradation process.

Q6: What is the typical hike percentage range?

A6: The typical hike percentage range is 5% to 8%, depending on multiple performance factors.


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