When there are tryouts for a sports team, those who perform less well are "cut" from the team. There might be several "cuts" over a period of days or weeks until the final number for the team is reached, and the best players (ideally) have been selected. If an aspiring player did not survive the selection process and secure a place on the team, that player "did not make the cut."
So, in casual conversation, you'd say "Er hat es nicht gemacht." And if you were writing formally, you'd use "Er machte es nicht."? That seems so counterintuitive, since it's more work to say "Er hat es nicht gemacht." Is there some sort of idiomatic expression that you'd be more likely to encounter in conversation - or I guess that would be something that context would supply?