Careers360 Logo
CAT vs NMAT: Understanding the Key Differences and Similarities

CAT vs NMAT: Understanding the Key Differences and Similarities

Edited By Alen Tom Shaji | Updated on Jul 17, 2024 11:22 AM IST | #NMAT

NMAT VS CAT - NMAT or CAT, which is easier to crack? Which one should you give? NMAT and CAT are the top entrance exams accepted by the top colleges and universities for MBA admissions. By comparing NMAT vs CAT, the exam pattern and syllabus appear to be similar. NMAT and CAT entrance exams are accepted by the majority of the MBA institutions in India. NMAT is a national-level entrance exam accepted by NMIMS and many others conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council. However, CAT is a national-level entrance examination accepted by all IIMs and other B-schools in India.

Is NMAT easier than CAT?

NMAT vs CAT: Candidates can apply for the NMAT exam and CAT exam based on their eligibility criteria. Candidates who scored 50% minimum aggregate marks in any relevant bachelor programme or final year students from an approved university can register for the CAT exam or NMAT entrance exam. Read this article of careers360 to get the answers to the dilemmas such as which exam is easier NMAT or CAT?, Is CAT harder than NMAT? and Is it easier to crack NMAT?

Differences Between CAT and NMAT: Key Points

CAT (Common Admission Test) and NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test) are the entrance exams for admission to MBA courses in top institutions. Candidates can understand the basic details of the NMAT vs CAT exam.

NMAT vs CAT: Overview




Full Form

Common Admission Test

NMIMS Management Aptitude Test

Conducting Body


Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Number of Attempts

Once every year

Three attempts in a year

Application Fee

  • General category: Rs. 2400
  • Reserved category: Rs. 1200

Rs. 2800

Negative Marking



Also Read:

ICFAI Business School-IBSAT 2024

9 IBS Campuses | Scholarships Worth Rs 10 CR

Amity University Noida MBA Admissions 2024

Ranked as India’s #1 Not for profit pvt. University by India Today

NMAT VS CAT: Know the Difference

NMAT is conducted once a year. Candidates who failed to meet the NMAT cutoff marks on the first attempt can retake 2 times in the same year. The NMAT retake exam can taken only after a 15-day gap from the previous attempt. While the CAT exam is conducted once a year only.

NMAT Additional Window: Candidates who do not use three attempts of the NMAT exam can register for the NMAT additional window. Exam slots available for the additional registration window are limited and slots are offered on a first come first serve basis. Candidates who already have an account in the NMAT exam portal can only able to use the NMAT additional window.

NMAT Syllabus vs CAT Syllabus

NMAT and CMAT are the entrance exams accepted for admission to the top B-schools in India. There are 3 topics to be covered in the NMAT Vs CAT entrance exams. The CAT exam syllabus consists of sections such as Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). However, the NMAT syllabus consists of Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Skills, and Language Skills. Candidates can check out the below tables to know the sectional-wise topics of NMAT vs CAT exam syllabus.

NMAT Syllabus

NMAT Section-wise questions

NMAT exam 2024 Syllabus

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

NMAT exam Quantitative Aptitude

Logical Reasoning of NMAT 2024

  • Analytical Puzzles

  • Deductions

  • Critical Reasoning

  • Other Reasoning

CAT Syllabus

CAT 2024 Syllabus

CAT exam 2024 Topics

Verbal Ability

Para jumbles, Para summary, Odd sentence out, Inferences, Predictions, One-word substitution, Solving Main idea and title questions, Drawing Conclusions.

Reading Comprehension

RC passages

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

Binary Logic, Syllogism, Directions, Clocks and calendars, Tables, Graphs, Charts, Connectives, Logical Sequence, Matching/ Puzzles, Number and Letter Series, Seating Arrangement, Venn Diagrams, Coding-Decoding, Caselets and Table

Quantitative Aptitude

Geometry, Trigonometry, Averages, Percentages, Number Systems, Arithmetic, Algebra, Mensuration, Modern Maths, Profit and loss, Simple & Compound Interest

NMAT VS CAT: Exam Pattern

Candidates can go through the below table to understand the major differences in th NMAT vs CAT exam patterns.

NMAT vs CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Highlights


NMAT 2024 Exam

CAT 2024 Exam Details

Exam sections

  • Quantitative skills

  • Logical reasoning

  • Language skills

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC),

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR),

  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Duration of exam

120 minutes

120 minutes

Total number of questions expected



Total marks



Type of questions

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

MCQs and Non-MCQ

Marking Scheme

  • No NMAT Negative marking.

  • Three marks for the right answer.

  • Each question will carry 3 marks

  • 1 mark negative marking for every wrong answer

  • No negative marking for Non-MCQs

NMAT VS CAT Cut-off: Top B-Schools Accepting Scores

Cutoff marks expected for the MBA admissions for top 10 colleges are listed below. MBA cutoff marks for NMAT vs CAT are determined by factors such as the number of candidates attending the exam, difficulty level of the exam, reservation policy, previous year's cutoff trends and many others. The MBA entrance exam's expected 2024 cutoff marks are mentioned in the table below.

NMAT Cutoff 2024

CAT Cutoff 2024

NMAT vs CAT: Selection Process

The selection process of NMAT or CAT entrance exams usually have written test in the first round followed by GD or personal interview. The candidates who qualified in the first round only will be eligible to participate in the next round of the selection process.

NMAT Selection Process 2024

The NMAT selection process comprises two steps that are mentioned below:

  • Step 1: The candidates have to appear for the NMAT 2024 exam.
  • Step 2: The candidates will be shortlisted based on the NMAT scores.
  • Step 3: Shortlisted candidates might appear for the Case Discussion and Personal Interview rounds.
  • Step 4: The final merit list will be released based on the Academic performance, NMAT 2024 score, Work experience and Case discussion / personal interview.
NMAT 2024 Sample Paper and Mock Test
Candidates can download NMAT 2024 sample paper provided by Hitbullseye which is based on latest exam pattern includes verbal, quantitative ability & logical reasoning questions.
Download Now

CAT Selection Process 2024

The candidates who cleared the CAT 2024 will be invited for the CAT selection process by the participating institutes, including the IIMs and non-IIMs. The MBA admission criteria can vary from one institute to another based on CAT 2024 score, WAT, and GD/PI. Check out the CAT selection process for the MBA / PGDM programmes.

  • Step 1: Shortlisting of the candidates based on the CAT cutoff.
  • Step 2: Candidates shortlisted can attend the written test done by the institutes.
  • Step 3: Candidates must go through the group discussion or personal interview round.
  • Step 4: Based on the performance of candidates in the previous academic qualifications and CAT selection process the final result will be announced.
Jindal Global Business School | MBA Admissions 2024

MBA (2 Years) & MBA in Business Analytics (1 Year) @ JGBS | NAAC Accredited | AACSB Member |92% Placement Track | Highest CTC 11 LPA

DSU- Dayanand Sagar University MBA 2024

60+ Years of Education Legacy | UGC & AICTE Approved | Prestigious Scholarship Worth 6 Crores

Quick Links: MBA Books For Preparation Entrance Exam

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Is CAT harder than NMAT?

Both CAT and NMAT exams are the most challenging MBA entrance exams. While comparing the exam syllabus of CAT or NMAT, appears to be similar. Candidates preparing for the CAT can also secure good marks in NMAT. Compared to NMAT, CAT is tougher.

2. Is NMAT easy to crack?

Candidates can easily crack the NMAT exam if they have a proper study plan, dedication and hard work. The NMAT exam is conducted to analyse the mathematical, logical, language and analytical abilities of students.

3. What are the cutoff marks required to qualify for NMAT 2024?

Candidates who obtained NMAT cutoff marks above 200 will be offered admission to top b-schools accepting NMAT scores.

4. Which is easier, NMAT or CAT?

When comparing the entrance exam pattern and syllabus, the CAT is generally considered more challenging than the NMAT. The NMAT accepting colleges is less as compared to the CAT accepting institutes. Candidates who wish to apply for the MBA programmes at IIMs must qualify for the CAT exam. There are no differences in the exam pattern and syllabus of NMAT or CAT.


Certifications By Top Providers

Explore Top Universities Across Globe

Questions related to NMAT

Have a question related to NMAT ?

MAT and NMAT are both entrance exams conducted for admission into management program in India. While there maybe some overlap in terms of the general aptitude & reasoning sections, it's important to note that they are conducted by different bodies and have different focuses.

MAT covers sections like language comprehension, Mathematical skills, data analysis and sufficiency, intelligence and critical reasoning, and India and Global environment.

NMAT on the other hand, focuses on language skills, Quantitative analysis and logical reasoning.

MAT is conducted in either paper based or computer based but, NMAT is only computer based.

MAT scores are accepted by wide range of management schools across India. While NMAT score are primarily used for admission into NMIMS, and some other institutions.

Given these differences, it's advisable to study separately for each exam.

Hello aspirant,

Because the NMAT is one of the most well-liked management entry exams, the cutoff scores are relatively high. You can anticipate a call from NMIMS Bangalore or Hyderabad with these marks, but not from NMIMS Mumbai. An alternative to NMIMS, the universities you can attend are:

  • Xavier School of Human Resource Management - Bhubaneswar.
  • SDA bacconi Asia centre
  • ICFAI Business School
  • Woxen School of Business Management
  • ISBR Business School, Banglore

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Hello aspirant,

You may be eligible to attend ITM Business School in Navi Mumbai, ISBR Business School in Hyderabad, GITAM University, SRM University, University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Thapar School of Management, and other colleges based on your NMAT result.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.


With a NMAT score of 197, you have a good chance of receiving a call from NMIMS Indore or Hyderabad. However, it is very important to note that the final selection depends on various factors like the number of applicants, the cutoff scores, and the overall competition. The best way to know for sure is to check the official website of NMIMS and their admission criteria for the specific programs you are interested in.

Hope this helps you,

Thank you


When it comes to admission requirements for MBA programs through NMAT, the score required can vary from college to college. Different colleges have there different cutoffs, and it is always best to check with the specific colleges you are interested in to know their score requirements or section cutoffs. As for the availability of admission forms, you can visit the official website of NMAT or the respective colleges to get the most up-to-date information on admissions and application forms.

Hope this helps you,

Thank you

View All
Marketing Director

A career as Marketing Director is also known as a marketing expert who is responsible for the overall marketing aspect of the company. He or she oversees plans and develops the company's budget. The marketing Director collaborates with the business team to plan and develop the marketing and branding strategies for the company's products or services. 

4 Jobs Available
Business Development Executive

Business development executives strive to achieve maximum output with minimum input. If you are good at understanding and convincing people, the career as a business development executive can be enjoyable for you. Business development executives are candidates who have been transferred to the sales from other departments. In general, Business development executives are promoted to a management position. There are plenty of work openings throughout the profession because every company requires Business development executives.

3 Jobs Available
Content Marketing Specialist

Content Marketing Specialists are also known as Content Specialists. They are responsible for crafting content, editing and developing it to meet the requirements of digital marketing campaigns. To ensure that the material created is consistent with the overall aims of a digital marketing campaign, content marketing specialists work closely with SEO and digital marketing professionals.

3 Jobs Available
Sales Manager
2 Jobs Available
Business Analyst

Individuals who opt for a career as a business analyst look at how a company operates. He or she conducts research and analyses data to improve his or her knowledge about the company. This is required so that an individual can suggest the company strategies for improving their operations and processes. Students can visit the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies to study Business Analytics courses. Business analyst jobs are usually done to help the company make more money, solve existing business problems and achieve its goals.

2 Jobs Available
Marketing Manager
2 Jobs Available
SEO Analyst

An SEO Analyst is a web professional who is proficient in the implementation of SEO strategies to target more keywords to improve the reach of the content on search engines. He or she provides support to acquire the goals and success of the client’s campaigns. 

2 Jobs Available
Digital Marketing Executive

Digital marketing is growing, diverse, and is covering a wide variety of career paths. Each job function aids in the development of effective digital marketing strategies and techniques. The aims and objectives of the individuals who opt for a career as a digital marketing executive are similar to those of a marketing professional: to build brand awareness, promote company services or products, and increase conversions. Individuals who opt for a career as Digital Marketing Executives, unlike traditional marketing companies, communicate effectively through suitable technology platforms.

2 Jobs Available
Back to top