An MBA Entrance Exam is the 1st step to getting admission to a Top B-School. Earlier, B-school admissions were granted on the basis of merit, but due to an increased number of applicants, most B-Schools have revised their MBA admissions criteria and now consider admissions through entrance exams.
There are multiple entrance exams that students can take for getting admission to MBA programs across different B-Schools. This page will help you understand the various types of entrance exams, their acceptance criteria, test dates, exam pattern, colleges that accept exam scores, and so on.
Types of MBA Entrance Exams in India 2023 – 2024
Overall, there are 6 nationalized tests approved by AICTE. The list of all MBA entrance exams in India are GMAT, CAT, MAT, NMAT, XAT, CMAT, IIFT, TISSNET, and IBSAT.
While the CAT, MAT, XAT, IIFT, NMAT, SNAP, etc., are accepted by only the related institutions and limited B-schools, GMAT is accepted by a larger range of B-schools across India and abroad. By taking the GMAT exam, a candidate has the advantage of applying to business schools across the globe.
In addition to these nationalized tests, there are individual institute specific tests also which can help you get admissions to institutes not associated with the nationalized exams.
Here is the list of various types of MBA exams that happen in India.
National Level MBA Exams
|Name of the National MBA Exam||MBA Entrance Exam Date||Top MBA colleges accepting Exam|
|GMAT 2023||Candidates can select a date as per their convenience as the GMAT exam is held throughout the year.||SPJIMR, IMI, IMT, XIMB, TAPMI, FORE, LBSIM, GIM Goa|
|Common Admission Test (CAT) 2023||November 26, 2023 (Tentative)
|IIMs, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR, MDI, IITs, IMI, IMT|
|Xavier Aptitude Test – XAT 2024||January 7, 2024 (Tentative)||XLRI, XIMB, IMI, IMT, TAPMI, Great Lakes|
|NMAT by GMAC 2024||Third week of October 2023 till the third week of December 2023||NMIMS, K J Somaiya, XUB, VIT Vellore, SD Bacconi Asia Centre|
|SNAP 2023||2nd week of December 2023||SIBM Pune, SCMHRD, SIOM & 12 Other Symbiosis colleges|
|CMAT 2023||To be held between April 2 and 9, 2023||GIM Goa, BIMTECH, K J Somaiya, IFMR, Welingkar, Jaipuria, N L Dalmia|
|MAT 2023||PBT- Feb 19, 2023
IBT- Feb to Mar, 2023
CBT- Feb 26 and March 4, 2023
|JAGSoM, IPE Hyderabad, Jaipuria, BIMTECH (Specialized PGDM), JIMS, NDIM|
Institute Level MBA Exams
MBA entrance exams at the institute level are administered by specific management institutes, which may or may not accept scores from other entrance exams. The majority of these exams will happen in 2023, with some taking place in 2024.
|Name of the Institute level MBA Entrance Exam||Exam Dates||Top MBA Institute Accepting Exam score|
|IIFT MBA (IB) 2024||Second Week of December, 2023||Indian Institute of Foreign Trade-Delhi, Kolkata, Kakinada|
|TISSNET 2023||February 25, 2023||Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) all campuses|
|IBSAT 2023||Last Week of December, 2023||9 ICFAI B-Schools|
|MICAT 2024||January 29, 2024||MICA Ahmedabad|
|KIITEE Management 2023||Conducted in 2 Phases
||KIIT School of Management (KSOM) Bhubaneswar|
|IRMASAT 2024||Dates to be Announced soon||IRMA Anand|
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Overview of Various MBA Entrance Exams
GMAT Exam 2023
Graduate Management Aptitude Test or GMAT, is a standardized entrance exam accepted by the top business schools. It is a computer adaptive test. GMAC is the owner and administers the GMAT exam, the first and only standardized test specifically designed for graduate business and management programs. GMAT exam helps in getting a graduate management program, such as MBA and Master’s in Finance-related courses. More than 1,00,00 lac students appear for the GMAT exam every year.
The duration of the GMAT exam is 3 hours and 7 minutes. It tests the candidates on the below mentioned sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment
- Integrated Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Verbal Reasoning
CAT Exam 2023
Common Admission Test or CAT, is an entrance examination of India conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). CAT score is used by 20 IIMs and over 1000 other management institutes across the country for admission. Registration for CAT is online and the exam is held at over 400 exam centers.
The question paper consists of 100 questions (MCQs) to be solved in 3 hours. CAT exam consists of three sections:
- Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
- Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC)
XAT Exam 2023
Xavier Aptitude Test, also known as XAT, is an important MBA Entrance Exam for Admissions to XLRI, IMT, XIMB, TAPMI, and 150+ MBA Colleges in India. The XAT exam is conducted once a year & exam date for 2024 will be released soon. XAT is conducted by Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur and is thus referred to as XLRI-XAT.
The question paper consists of 105 questions which need to be solved in 3 hours and 30 minutes. XAT exam tests the candidates on four fronts:
- Quantitative Ability
- English Language & Logical Reasoning
- Decision Making
- General Knowledge
NMAT Exam 2023
NMAT is a national level MBA entrance exam that leads to admission to top MBA colleges such as NMIMS Mumbai, SPJIMR, ISB, VIT, and XIMB, among 30 other institutes and universities in India. GMAC is the exam conducting body for the NMAT. The NMAT exam date for 2024 will be released soon. NMAT is offered in two formats: online proctored test and online exam, with 76 exam centers located in 73 cities. NMAT by GMAC has various candidate-friendly options. For instance, candidates can appear for the exam a total of three times and the best of three scores will be used for admission.
The candidates need to attempt 108 questions (MCQs) in 2 hours. The NMAT exam has three main sections:
- Language Skills
- Quantitative Skills
- Logical Reasoning
SNAP Exam 2023
SNAP is an MBA Entrance Exam for Admission to 16 Symbiosis Institutes in India. Symbiosis International University (SIU) Pune conducts Symbiosis National Aptitude Test, SNAP every year as a computer based test. Over the years, SNAP has changed its question paper pattern from paper based to computer based. SNAP 2023 is likely to be held as a computer based test in December 2023.
The question paper consists of 60 questions to be solved in 1 hour. It tests candidates on:
- General English
- Quantitative-Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
- Analytical & Logical Reasoning
MAT Exam 2023
The Management Aptitude Test, also known as the MAT Exam, is one of the most popular national level MBA entrance exams in India. The exam leads to admission to more than 400 MBA/PGDM colleges that accept MAT exam scores. Conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA), MAT is held four times a year – February, May, September and December. The exam is held in Computer Based Test (CBT), Paper Based Test (PBT) mode and Internet Based Test (IBT) mode.
Held for 1 hour and 30 minutes, the MAT exam has 5 sections with 40 questions in each section, making it a total of 200 questions. The candidates are tested on the following subjects:
- Indian and Global Environment
- Language Comprehension
- Data Analysis and Sufficiency
- Mathematical Skills
- Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
CMAT Exam 2023
Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a government organized computer based national level MBA entrance examination for 1000 AICTE approved management programs (MBA/PGDM) all over India and is accepted by all AICTE-Approved Institutions like JBIMS, SIMSREE, K J Somaiya Mumbai, Welingkar Mumbai, PUMBA Pune, Great Lakes Chennai, BIMTECH Greater Noida among others. CMAT is conducted by the National Testing Agency as a computer based test.
The question paper consists of 100 questions (MCQs) which need to be solved in 3 hours. CMAT is a computer-based exam and tests the candidate’s aptitude on the below mentioned sections:
- Quantitative Technique
- Logical Reasoning
- Language Comprehension
- General Awareness
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
IIFT Exam 2023
The National Testing Agency administers the IIFT entrance exam for admission to MBA (IB) programs as a computer-based test. The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Admission Test-2023, also known as the IIFT Exam 2023, is the MBA entrance exam for admission to all three IIFT campuses in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada. Every year, approximately 60,000 students from all disciplines, including Engineering, Commerce, Humanities, and even Law, take the IIFT admission test to gain admission to the MBA (IB) program at one of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade’s three campuses.
The question paper consists of 110 questions (MCQs) to be solved in 2 hours. The candidates are tested on the following subjects:
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
- General Knowledge
- Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
- Quantitative Analysis
IBSAT Exam 2023
IBSAT is an online aptitude test conducted by the ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, which is a deemed university under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956. It is intended for students applying to the MBA and PhD programs at IBS Hyderabad, the MBA program at IBS Hyderabad (off campus) in Bangalore, and the other eight ICFAI business schools.
The candidates need to attempt 140 questions(MCQs) in 2 hours. The candidates are tested on the following subjects:
- Verbal Ability
- Reading Comprehension
- Quantitative Aptitude
- Data Adequacy/ Sufficiency and Data Interpretation
TISSNET Exam 2023
TISSNET is a computer-based National Entrance Test for admission to Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai’s Masters (M.A.) programs. Tata Institute of Social Sciences M.A. programs are highly sought after Masters Degree courses for candidates seeking careers in management and other fields. The TISSNET exam is conducted in CBT(Computer-based Test) mode.
The question paper consists of 100 questions(MCQs) which need to be solved in 100 minutes. The TISSNET exam tests the candidates ability on the following sections:
- General Awareness
- English Proficiency
- Math and Logical Reasoning
MICAT Exam 2023
MICAT is a computer-based test (CBT) that is used to select students for the PGDM-C and PGDM batches. Featuring both objective and purely subjective questions, the MICAT is a distinctive MBA entrance exam. There are two parts to the MICAT exam: MICAT I and MICAT II. The shortlist is created by taking into account the candidates’ highest test scores.
The MICAT exam question paper consists of 150 questions to be solved in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The candidates are tested on the basis of 3 sections:
- Psychometric Test
- Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, General Awareness and Divergent-Convergent Reasoning
- Descriptive Test
IRMASAT Exam 2023
The Institute of Rural Management Anand conducts the IRMASAT or IRMA Social Awareness Test (IRMA). Admission to the Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM) and Fellow Program in Rural Management is based on IRMASAT scores (FPRM). The IRMASAT exam is conducted in computer-based test mode.
The IRMASAT exam question paper consists of 40 questions to be answered in 1 hour and 20 minutes. It tests the candidates on the following subject:
- Issues of Social Concern
KIITEE Exam 2023
The KIITEE exam is a computer-based test. It is a prerequisite for those seeking MBA admission to KIIT University. KIITEE is conducted 5 times a year. Candidates with a valid CAT/ GMAT/ XAT/ MAT/ CMAT/ ATMA score, on the other hand, are exempted from taking the KIITEE MBA entrance exam.
The KIITEE exam question paper has 120 questions(MCQs) to be solved in 3 hours. It tests the candidates on the basis of the following subjects:
MBA Entrance Exam Syllabus
Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude are all prevalent topics in the MBA Entrance Exams Syllabus that are covered in all important exams. Other topics and sections on the MBA Entrance Exam Syllabus may differ, for example, a key section on Decision Making is in the XAT, a high weightage is given to the GK component in the CMAT, IIFT, which is not there in the CAT and NMAT. To prevent wasting time, experts advise that you should first review the MBA Entrance Exams Syllabus before beginning your preparation. For instance, you can opt for a preparation which is a combination of CAT, NMAT, and XAT or the IIFT, SNAP, and CMAT if you want to prepare for top MBA entrance examinations similarly.
MBA Entrance Exam Pattern
The MBA Entrance exam pattern is almost similar for all types of MBA exams. There can be a slight variation in the number of questions, duration of the exams, or total questions assigned.
- The total average duration for the MBA entrance exam ranges from 120-140 minutes.
- The MBA entrance exam has a total of 40 – 100 questions.
- The MBA entrance exam is conducted in 3-time slots. Some of them are conducted in 1 or 2-time slots, morning, afternoon, and evening.
- The MBA entrance exam pattern could seem more flexible in the time to be allocated to each section which could vary from 40-45 min.
- The number of questions in each of the sections varies from 20-25 questions in the Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quant (QA) as well as in the Data and logical (DILR) section.
- There are MCQs that could be more than 48 questions. This varies from entrance exam to entrance exam conducted by different authorities or institutes.
- Negative marking is also included in the exams so students should be cautious while answering the questions.
MBA Entrance Exam: Eligibility to Apply
The MBA Entrance Exam eligibility criteria is similar for all types of exams in India whether it is at the national or international level. Fresh graduates with minimum 50% marks or the candidates with work experience of 2-3 years after graduation are eligible to apply for these MBA entrance exams. These are the common eligibility criteria to appear in any MBA entrance exam in India.
XAT eligibility does not require any minimum percentage of marks in graduation.
MBA Entrance Exam: Important Dates to Remember
|MBA Exam||Registration Start Date||Last Date to Apply||Exam Date|
|GMAT 2023||6 Months before the exam date||24 hours before the exam date||GMAT is conducted throughout the year|
|CAT 2023||August 2023||September 2023||26 November, 2023 (Tentative)|
|NMAT 2023||First week of August 2023||Second week of October 2023||Third week of October 2023 till the third week of December 2023|
|SNAP 2023||2nd week of August 2023||3rd week of November 2023||2nd week of December 2023|
|IBSAT 2023||1st week of July 2023||3rd week of December 2023||Last week of December 2023|
|CMAT 2023||13 February, 2023||13 February, 2023||2 April, 2023|
|XAT 2024||August 2023||November 2023||January 2024|
|IIFT 2024||First Week of October, 2023||Fourth Week of November, 2023||Second Week of December, 2023|
|TISSNET 2023||Second Week of December, 2023||Last Week of January, 2024||Last Week of February, 2024|
Cost of MBA Entrance Exam Application Forms
There is a huge variation in the application forms of each exam starting from a range of Rs.1000 to Rs. 2500. Below are the costs of each MBA entrance exam application forms are listed in the table below:
|MBA Entrance Exams||MBA Entrance Exam Fee (General category)||MBA Entrance Exam Fee (Reserved category)|
|NMAT by GMAC||Rs.2300/-||Rs.2300/-|
In addition to pursuing MBA from India, students can also pursue their MBA from abroad which opens wider career opportunities and increases acceptability with big corporations not just abroad but also in India. Global exposure, subject mastery, and networking opportunities are a few of the many reasons students are choosing to study abroad. Taking the GMAT exam opens your gateway to various top-notch B-schools in the USA, Canada, Singapore, and many other countries including India. It has a score validity of 5 years as against 1 year in case of other exams. So, you can take the GMAT exam in your final year and use the score 3 years later.
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