If you're an MBA aspirant and planning for admission in a B-school, you must know all about the Top MBA entrance exams. Once you know all about the exam such as the eligibility, exam pattern, exam related dates, selection procedure, etc., you can start your preparation accordingly. In this article by Careers360, candidates will get all the information about top MBA entrance exams. Let's have a look at the exams and the dates related to them first.
Entrance exam for MBA
2nd week of August
4th week of November
3rd week of August
1st week of January
1st week of August
1st week of December
2nd week of August
3rd week of December
NMAT by GMAC
1st week of July
1st week of October - 3rd week of December
3rd week of October
4th week of January
1st week of July
4th week of December
2nd week of October
1st week of February
4th week of September
3rd week of December
MAH CET MBA/MMS
3rd week of January
2nd week of March
February + May + September + December
January + February + May + June + August
CAT (COMMON ADMISSION TEST)
Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most sought after MBA entrance test and is held annually for admission to postgraduate management courses in 20 Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and over 100 B-schools in India. After commencement of six new IIMs in Nagpur, Visakhapatnam, Sirmaur, Amritsar, Sambalpur and Bodh Gaya, the total number of seats have increased to approximately 4000, with average intake being 80. Every year around two lakh MBA aspirants appear for CAT. The application form fee is Rs. 1800 for General category candidates and Rs. 900 for reserved category candidates. In 2015, CAT underwent massive changes in terms of pattern, schedule and test window. CAT will have three sections and candidates will not be allowed to switch from one section to another. As a part of major changes, candidates will be allowed to use a basic on-screen calculator for calculation. The exam pattern has remained same for the next years.
CAT Eligibility: Candidates require minimum 50 per cent aggregate marks in graduation in any discipline from a recognised institute or university. The candidates from SC, ST, OBC and DA categories need an aggregate of 45 per cent marks. Final year graduation students can also apply provided they can submit the graduation final marks to the institutes within the requisite schedule.
CAT Exam Pattern: Since 2009 CAT is a computer based test. The duration of the test is three hours, with 60 minutes to complete one section. CAT has multiple choice questions from the following sections: Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Verbal & Reading Comprehension. Candidates are expected to perform well in all the sections as there are separate cutoffs for individual sections as well. CAT has MCQs as well as some non-MCQs. These questions can be of any number. As per the scoring process, each question carries three marks. For the multiple choice objective type questions, there will be negative marking of one mark for each wrong answer. There will not be any negative marking for the non-MCQs. No marks will be allotted or deducted for the un-attempted questions.
CAT Selection Procedure: IIMs will release shortlist of candidates based on the CAT cutoffs and other admission criteria after the declaration of CAT result. Each IIM will send interview letters to the candidates it has shortlisted. The criteria for shortlisting vary from IIM to IIM. Other management colleges have different cutoffs for various courses. Candidates can apply to the colleges individually with the CAT score and then convert the call by going through a rigorous round of Writing Ability Test and Personal Interview.
XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test)
For more than 60 years, XLRI Jamshedpur has been conducting admission test on all India level to select the most appropriate students for management education. There are more than 140 Management Institutes which use XAT scores for selecting students. Each year around 90,000 candidates appear for the test. The information bulletin and application form is available for Rs. 1600.
XAT Eligibility Criteria: Candidates should have a Bachelor’s Degree (10+2+3) in any discipline from a recognised University or Institute. Final year candidates may also apply.
XAT Exam Pattern: XAT is a paper pencil based test of 3.5 hours duration. A majority of questions are of objective type, but it also has subjective type question in the form of Essay Writing. The exam is divided into two papers. Paper 1 is of 2 hours 20 minutes and is completely objective type in nature. The sections are Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation. The number of questions in the sections is not uniform. Paper 2 is a mix of objective and subjective questions. The overall duration of this paper is 30 minutes. The sections are General Knowledge and Essay Writing. There are 25 questions in General Knowledge. The Essay Writing question has 1 topic and no choice.
XAT Selection Procedure: XLRI and other XAT participating institutes will release shortlist of candidates based on XAT scores. The selection procedure will be conducted separately by XLRI and other participating institutes. Shortlisted candidates will have to appear for Group Discussion/Essay Writing and Personal Interview rounds.
IIFT (INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE)
The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up in 1963 by the Government of India as an autonomous organisation to help professionalise the country’s foreign trade management. Today it is one of India’s most prestigious business schools. Each year approximately 50,000 candidates apply for around 400 seats in three campuses located in New Delhi, Kolkata and Kakinada.
IIFT Eligibility Criteria: Recognised Bachelor’s degree of minimum three years duration in any discipline.
IIFT Exam Pattern: The entrance examination is of two hours having objective questions from the following sections: 1. English Comprehension, 2. Logical Reasoning, 3. Quantitative Analysis, 4. General Knowledge & Awareness. The number of questions varies from 100-140. There is differential marking scheme in each section. The candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of their scores in the entrance examination.
IIFT Selection Procedure: The shortlisted candidates will be called for Group Discussion, Personal Interview and Essay Writing for final selection.
SNAP (SYMBIOSIS NATIONAL APTITUDE TEST)
Symbiosis National Aptitude (SNAP) Test is a common written test for the admission to all the Post-Graduate Institutes of Symbiosis International University. SNAP is a National level post graduate entrance examination conducted by the Symbiosis International University (SIU) for admissions into the MBA programme of institutes under this university.
SNAP Eligibility Criteria: To apply for SNAP, a candidate should be a graduate with at least 50 per cent marks in graduation. Final year graduation students can also apply provided they complete their programme and fulfill the eligibility criteria by the time of admission at Symbiosis International University.
SNAP Exam Pattern: SNAP Test is of two hours duration and is an objective test with each question having four responses. Candidate should choose an appropriate response. Each wrong answer attracts 25 per cent negative marks. The four sections are General English, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness, Logical & Analytical Reasoning.
SNAP Selection Procedure: Candidates will be shortlsited on the basis of their performance in SNAP by the participating institutes depending on their cutoffs. Shortlisted candidates will have to appear for Group Exercise, Writing Ability Test and Personal Interview rounds. Final merit list will be prepared by Symbiosis International University on the basis of performance in SNAP, GE, WAT and PI rounds.
NMAT By GMAC
NMAT By GMAC is an MBA entrance exam conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The exam selects candidates for admission to NMIMS University and 23 other B-schools across India. GMAC in 2015 acquired the NMAT exam in India from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS). Assuming the ownership of the exam, GMAC has renamed it as ‘NMAT by GMAC’.
NMAT by GMAC Eligibility Criteria: Bachelor’s Degree (10+2+3) in any discipline from a recognised University with a minimum 50 per cent marks.
NMAT by GMAC Exam Pattern: The NMAT By GMAC is a computer-based test of two hours duration consisting of multiple-choice questions where the candidate needs to select one of the correct answers. The sections in the tests are Language Skills; Quantitative Skills, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency; and Logical Reasoning. Each question will carry one mark and there will be no negative marking for any wrong attempt.
NMAT by GMAC Selection Procedure: The final merit list will be prepared on the basis of the NMAT Score, Written Test marks (as applicable), Group Discussion, Personal Interview, Presentation (as applicable) and work experience. The selection will be based on merit.
CMAT (Common Management Admission Test)
AICTE or All India Council for Technical Education conducts the CMAT entrance exam for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes at over 1000 B-schools approved by AICTE. The application process is likely to commence in October. The computer based test is conducted in a single day window in three hours.
CMAT Eligibility Criteria: Applicants should hold a graduate degree from a recognised Institute or university with minimum 50 per cent marks in aggregate for General category candidates and 45 per cent for reserved category candidates. Final year Bachelor's Degree students may also apply provided they complete graduation by the requisite schedule.
CMAT Exam Pattern: CMAT is a computer based test carrying 100 multiple choice questions from four sections, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation and General Awareness. Each section carries 25 questions. Four marks are awarded for each correct answer and one mark is deducted for each wrong answer. There is no negative marking scheme for unattempted questions. The total duration of CMAT is three hours or 180 minutes.
CMAT Selection Procedure: After the declaration of CMAT result, each participating institute releases shortlist of candidates based on their individual CMAT cutoff marks. Shortlisted candidates have to appear for Group Discussion (GD) or Essay Writing and Personal Interview rounds. Each CMAT participating institute conducts their own selection procedure. There is no common counselling process for CMAT.
IBSAT (IBS APTITUDE TEST)
IBSAT is an aptitude test conducted by the ICFAI Business School Hyderabad, for MBA aspirants seeking admission into the management programme of ICFAI. The application form is available for Rs. 1800 and the test is held all over India across cities.
IBSAT Eligibility Criteria: Graduates (any discipline) in English medium with 50 per cent and above aggregate marks.
IBSAT Exam Pattern: IBSAT is for two hours duration and is aimed to test the applicants’ ability in Quantitative Techniques, Data Interpretation, Data Adequacy, Vocabulary, Analytical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. The test is computer-based with multiple type questions (MCQ’s) to be answered in the total duration of 2 hours. The details of the score (in terms of percentiles) obtained in the test is intimated to all applicants.
IBSAT Selection Procedure: Candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of IBSAT scores. Shortlisted candidates will have to appear for Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds. Final selection will be based on performance in IBSAT and GD-PI and past academic records.
IRMA Issues of Social Concern
IRMA entrance exam or IRMA Issues of Social Concern is conducted by Institute of Rural Management Anand for admission to its flagship Post Graduate Programme in Rural Management (PGPRM). It is a computer based test held in the month of February. IRMA entrance test carries only one section, which is Issues of Social Concern as the Institute assesses candidates' aptitude in sections like Quant, Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning through scores of CAT or XAT.
IRMA Eligibility Criteria: As per the eligibility criteria of IRMA Issues of Social Concern, candidates should have a Bachelor's degree of minimum three years duration with at least 50 per cent marks in aggregate for General category candidates and 45 per cent for reserved category candidates. Candidates have to appear in either CAT or XAT or both in order to apply for IRMA.
IRMA Exam Pattern: IRMA Issues of Social Concern is a computer based test of 80 minutes duration. There is only one section, Issues of Social Concern, which consists of 40 objective type multiple choice questions on General Knowledge on topics like rural development, agriculture, government policies etc. Each question carries five answer options. One mark is allotted for each question and there is negative marking scheme of one-fourth marks for each wrong answer.
IRMA Selection Procedure: IRMA shortlists candidates based on the IRMA entrance cutoff who have to participate in Group Activities and Personal Interview rounds. Final selection is based on CAT or XAT scores, IRMA Issues of Social Concern score, GA and PI scores. Highest weightage is assigned to CAT/XAT scores (40) followed by GA & PI (25 each) and IRMA entrance test (10).
MICAT (MICA Admission Test)
MICAT or MICAT Admission Test is conducted by MICA Ahmedabad for admission to its flagship Post Graduate Diploma in Management - Communication (PGDM-C) programme. MICAT is a combination of subjective and objective type questions which not only tests the candidates' aptitude in areas like Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, DI & LR and GK, but also assesses their creative quotient. MICAT is conducted twice in a year in December and February. It is optional for aspirants to take both MICAT. Those appearing in both MICAT-I and MICAT-II, their best of the scores will be considered by MICA.
MICAT Eligibility Criteria: Candidates should be graduates in any discipline from a recognised institute or university. Final year graduation students may also apply. Applicants must have appeared in at least one of the MBA entrance tests including CAT, XAT and GMAT.
MICAT Exam Pattern: MICAT is a computer based test of 2.45 hours duration carrying approximately 120 to 145 subjective and objective questions. The areas or sections of MICAT include Descriptive Test on Essay/Story Writing, Psychometric Test, Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, General Awareness and Divergent and Convergent Thinking. There is no negative marking scheme for Descriptive and Psychometric Test. But the negative marking scheme of 0.25 marks is levied for the wrong answer in the rest of the sections. Psychometric Test is compulsory to attempt without which candidates will be disqualified.
MICAT Selection Procedure: MICA will shortlist candidates based on their performance in MICAT. Shortlisted candidates will have to appear for Group Exercise and Personal Interview rounds. Final merit list is prepared on the basis of performance in MICAT, CAT/XAT/GMAT, GE and PI. Maximum weightage is allotted on MICAT scores.
MAH - MBA/MMS CET (MAHARASHTRA MBA COMMON ENTRANCE TEST)
Maharashtra – MBA/ MMS - Common Entrance Test (MAH-MBA/MMS CET) is conducted by DTE, Maharashtra for admission to post graduation management degree MBA/MMS and PGDBM/PGDM courses in Government, University Managed and Unaided institutes of Maharashtra. The application form is around Rs.1000 for General category candidates and Rs. 800 for reserved category candidates.
MAH CET Eligibility Criteria: Bachelor’s degree of minimum three years duration with a minimum of 50 per cent marks.
MAH CET Exam Pattern: The Entrance exam will be of 150 minutes duration consisting of 200 objective type questions. Questions will be from the following topics: Logical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability/Reading Comprehension. There is no negative marking in the examination.
MAH CET Selection Procedure: After the declaration of result, the candidates are called for the counselling rounds. Seats are allotted at participating institutes according to the cutoffs.
AIMA-MAT (MANAGEMENT APTITUDE TEST)
Management Aptitude Test or MAT, as it is popularly known is conducted four times a year (in February, May, September & December) by the Centre for Management Services (CMS) division of All India Management Association (AIMA). It is conducted in both paper pencil as well as computer based modes. The application form for MAT is available for Rs. 1400.
MAT Eligibility Criteria: Graduate in any discipline from a recognised university. Final year degree course students can also apply.
MAT Exam Pattern: MAT has two formats: Offline test or Computer based test, both of two and half hours. Candidates can opt for either one of these based on their convenience. There are five papers in MAT: Paper 1: Language Comprehension, Paper 2: Mathematical Skills, Paper 3: Data Analysis, Paper 4: Intelligence & Critical Reasoning, Paper 5: Indian & Global Environment Section, each comprising of 40 questions for a total of 200 Questions. Each correct answer bears one mark and for each wrong answer, there is 1/4 negative marking of the allotted marks.
MAT Selection Procedure: The MAT score tells you the relative position of the candidate with respect to the other candidates (percentile), there is no final percentile in MAT, instead a final composite score is given. Candidates can use this score to apply to various management institutes which accept MAT scores. The participating institutes will conduct Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds with the shortlisted candidates.
ATMA (AIMS TEST FOR MANAGEMENT ADMISSIONS)
ATMA has been approved by the Ministry of HRD of the Government of India for admission on All India basis to the MBA/PGDM and other postgraduate programmes like MCA. Around 100 MBA institutes accept ATMA scores for admission to various management programs. The application form for ATMA is available for Rs. 1100
ATMA Eligibility Criteria: Candidates must have completed their graduation from a recognised and authorised university.
ATMA Exam Pattern: ATMA test contains 180 Questions spread over six sections comprising Analytical, Verbal and Logical Reasoning. Each section is timed separately. Total time of the test is three hours.
ATMA Selection Procedure: After the declaration of result, candidates are shortlisted on the basis of their scores and participating institutes' cutoff. Shortlisted candidates have to appear for GD PI rounds. Final selection is based on performance in ATMA, GD and PI.
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