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MBA Entrance Exams in India


Deciding to embark on an MBA journey requires a lot of meticulous planning. In recent times, entrance exams have become a pivotal aspect of MBA admissions and are often a point of decision for further eligibility. Here, we intend to discuss a few of these exams in detail for more clarity,

MBA Indian Entrance Exams 2023 – 2024:

The first step towards your MBA journey is marked by an entrance test and there are six standardized tests conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AITCE). Each test has its unique features and acceptance rates. Although all of them are valid, a GMAT is widely accepted in India as well as abroad, opening more routes for a candidate

National MBA Entrance Exams:

Exam Exam Date Top MBA Colleges Accepting Exam
CAT 2023 November 26, 2023 (Tentative) IIMs, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR, MDI, IITs, IMI, IMT
XAT 2024 January 7, 2024 (Tentative) XLRI, XIMB, IMI, IMT, TAPMI, Great Lakes
NMAT by GMAC 2024 Third week of October 2023 – 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 April 2nd – 9th, 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


Institution Based Entrance Exams:

These entrance exams correspond to the requirements of particular management institutes and have varying entry-level processes,

Exam Exam Date 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 Phase 1: 14 – 20 April, 2023; Phase 2: 14 – 20 May, 2023 KIIT School of Management (KSOM) Bhubaneswar
IRMASAT 2024 Dates to be Announced soon IRMA Anand


MBA Entrance Exams: An Overview

  1. GMAT:

    • It is accepted by business schools globally
    • Time limit: 3 hours and 7 minutes
    • Components: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning
  2. CAT:

    • It is widely accepted by management schools in India and is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
    • Time limit: 3 hours
    • Components: Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Verbal and Reading Comprehension
  3. XAT:

    • This is conducted by XLRI for admissions to mainly XLRI, IMT, XIMB, TAPMI, and other B-schools
    • Time limit: 3 hours and 30 minutes
    • Components: Quantitative Ability, English Language & Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, General Knowledge
  4. NMAT:

    • It is one of the top MBA entrance exams conducted nationally and is accepted by top colleges in India
    • Time limit: 2 hours
    • Components: Quantitative Skills, Language Skills, Logical Reasoning
  5. SNAP:

    • This is an MBA entrance exam that allows you a chance to secure admits from the 16 Symbiosis institutes in India 
    • Time limit: 1 hour
    • Components: General English, Quantitative-Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency, Analytical & Logical Reasoning
  6. MAT:

    • A popular MBA entrance exam (national) which is accepted by all top B-schools in India 
    • Time limit: 1 hour and 30 minutes
    • Components: Indian and Global Environment, Language Comprehension, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
  7. CMAT:

    • A computer-based national-level MBA entrance exam
    • Time limit: 3 hours
    • Components: Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, General Awareness, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  8. IIFT:

    • This is an exam for entry to MBA (IB) colleges
    • Time limit: 2 hours
    • Components: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, General Knowledge, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, Quantitative Analysis
  9. IBSAT:

    • An online aptitude test conducted by the ICFAI.
    • Time limit: 2 hours
    • Components: Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude, Data Adequacy/ Sufficiency and Data Interpretation
  10. TISSNET:

    • Exam for particularly the (TISS) – Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai’s Masters
    • Time limit: 100 minutes
    • Components: General Awareness, English Proficiency, Math and Logical Reasoning
  11. MICAT:

    • Selection test for PGDM – C and PGDM batches
    • Time limit: 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • Components: Psychometric Test, Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, General Awareness, Divergent-Convergent Reasoning, Descriptive Test
  12. IRMASAT:

    • This is for admission to the FPRM and PGDRM programs conducted by IRMA 
    • Time limit: 80 minutes
    • Components: Social Concern issues
  13. KIITEE:

    • A KIIT University entrance exam
    • Time limit: 180 minutes
    • Components: Math, Physics, Chemistry


The typical sections involved are mostly Verbal, Reasoning, Numerical Aptitude, and Language proficiency. However, it is important to identify the one that works best for you and prepare accordingly

Entrance Exam Patterns:

The pattern for most MBA exams is fairly similar with minute changes in a few categories,

  • Time limit: 120-140 minutes (avg.)
  • No of questions: 40 – 100
  • Preferably divided into 3-time slots (with 1 or 2-time slots exception)
  • Components: Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data and logical (DILR)
  • Questions per section: 20-25 (a few might have 45+ questions)
  • Negative marking 



A graduation degree with 50% marks and/or a work experience of 2-3 years makes you eligible for this exam. However, XAT does not have a requirement

Important Dates for Exams:

Exam Registration  Last Date  Exam Date
GMAT 2023 6 Months before exam 24 hours before exam  Whole year
CAT 2023 August 2023 September 2023 November 26, 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 Application Forms:

Entrance Exams Exam Fee (General category) Exam Fee (Reserved category)
CAT Rs. 2200/- Rs. 1100/-
XAT Rs. 1800/- Rs. 1800/-
IIFT Rs. 2500/- Rs. 1000/-
NMAT by GMAC Rs. 2300/- Rs. 2300/-
SNAP Rs. 1950/- Rs. 1950/-
CMAT Rs. 2000/- Rs. 1000/-
MAT Rs. 1650/- Rs. 1650/-
IBSAT Rs. 1800/- Rs. 1800/-
TISSNET Rs. 1030/- Rs. 500/-
MICAT Rs. 1985/- Rs. 1985/-
KIITEE Rs. 1250/- Rs. 1250/-


MBA in Abroad:

While here we elaborately discussed opportunities in India, you can avail several options for study abroad as well. GMAT is the most widely accepted standardized entrance test for MBA and is accepted worldwide. Therefore, you can utilize the basic information and apply it accordingly.


The journey to pursue MBA admissions is elaborative and often guided by several steps involved, one of which is the presence of different entrance tests for admission. Whether you target India or Abroad, you can keep this information as a base to start your preparations and also take expert advice who can help you select the one most suitable for you.

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Can we study MBA in India without CAT?

Yes, we can study MBA in India without entrance exam like CAT.
Following is the list of best MBA colleges in India without entrance exam like CAT:
• XLRI, Jamshedpur
• Symbiosis International University
• MICA, Ahmedabad
• IRMA, Anand
• Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

What is the difference between MBA Abroad vs MBA in India?

The difference lies in eligibility criteria and qualifying exams apart from the difference in the MBA program fee. To qualify for an MBA program abroad an applicant generally has to either give GMAT or GRE test along with IELTS/TOEFL. Universities in USA, UK, Australia and Canada normally require applicants to have 2-3 years of work experience. The program fee may vary from Rs.35- 85 Lakhs. Eligibility for MBA from India requires an applicant to qualifying through CAT exam, work experience may not be a mandatory requirement and the fee may vary between Rs. 20000-40 Lakhs.

Are there any MBA competitive exams?

In general, India has 9 popular National Level MBA entrance exams for MBA admission. CAT, CMAT, MAT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP, ATMA, and GMAT are the exams. Then there are state-level exams like MAH CET, TANCET, PGCET, and KMAT, which can help you get into MBA programs in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and other states.

Do you have a preference for a one-year or a two-year MBA?

One year vs two years MBA abroad is a choice dependent on many factors. One year MBA has an obvious advantage of a shorter duration study period; generally, 10-12 months, is less expensive but with no internship. One year MBA program is highly intensive however is limited in terms of choices with career paths. Two year MBA degree on the other hand gives students an immersive learning experience, freedom to choose from different study pathways and internship opportunities to work with top organizations in various fields.

Which is the top most MBA entrance exam in India?

The CAT or Common Admission Test is conducted by IIM or Indian Institutes of Management. Hence, this is considered the top MBA entrance exam in India.

Which is the easiest MBA entrance exam?

That depends on the understanding of the exam pattern of the student. Although the MAT/Management Aptitude Test and CMAT/Common Management Entrance Test are considered the easiest of all MBA entrance exams. Thus, a majority of students.

What is the syllabus of an MBA entrance exam?

Quantitative Aptitude, DATA interpretation, Logical Reasoning, English comprehension, and General Awareness. Thus, this is the syllabus of an MBA entrance exam. Whereas, GA is not part of the CAT syllabus.

How many times is MAT conducted in a year?

The MBA entrance exam is conducted in the months of February, May, September, and December. Thus, four to 4 times a year an aspirant can take the MAT exam. 

How many attempts are allowed in NMAT?

Within the 75-day test window, the aspirant is allowed to take the NMAT 3 times in a year. 

Is NMAT the same as GMAT?

No, the NMAT is technically the same as GMAT. Due to the acceptance requirements, both differ. Well, GMAT scores are necessary for admission to all other universities in the world which is also a mandatory requirement. In NMAT the scores are primarily accepted by the NMIMS Campuses like Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. 

Should I take the CAT or GMAT?

The basic difference between the CAT and GMAT is that the GMAT score is accepted by different universities across the globe. But the CAT score is only conducted for domestic universities. Thus, it depends on the choice of the student. If the aspirant wants to study abroad then opt for GMAT or vice versa. 

What are the state level top MBA Entrance exams?

MAH CET for Maharashtra, TSICET for Telangana, TANCET for Tamil Nadu, APICET for Andra Pradesh, KMAT for Karnataka, and KMAT Kerala for Kerala. DAVVCET for Madhya Pradesh, UPSEE for Uttar Pradesh, HPU MAT for Himachal Pradesh and OJEE for Odisha. Thus, these are the top level state MBA entrance exams.

How many colleges accept XAT exam scores?

Faculty of Management Studies, Sp Jain Institute of Management Research, Institute of Management Technology, Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship, etc. Thus, these are some top colleges that accept XAT exam scores. Although more than 700 MBA colleges accepted the XAT exam score. 

Are all MBA entrance exams conducted online?

Not exactly, PGCET and VMOU MET both are conducted in pen and paper mode. MAT is conducted in both online and offline modes and there are several other MBA exams that are conducted offline. 

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