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Top MBA Exams 2024 other than CAT in India

Top MBA Exams 2024 other than CAT in India

Edited By Sundararajan | Updated on Mar 27, 2024 10:24 AM IST | #MBA

Top 10 MBA Exam Other Than CAT in India: Studying MBA in premier B-Schools is the dream of many graduates in India. Most graduates aim to crack CAT to get admission in IIMs. However, CAT or IIMs are not the only gateway for world-class MBA education. CAT is a highly competitive exam, and there are some other MBA exams similar to CAT, i.e. XAT, CMAT, MAT, and SNAP, which are some of the exams candidates should consider.

There are many other top MBA exam other than CAT for studying MBA courses in renowned B-Schools. In fact, institutes like IIFT, MICA, and XIM offer one-of-a-kind MBA courses that are valued on par, sometimes more than IIM PGDM programmes.

MBA Exam Other than CAT: Exam Dates

Candidates can get familiar with the tentative month in which these MBA national-level entrance exams are conducted. Along with it, we have also provided the list of institutes accepting the respective exams other that CAT for MBA. The provided list is CAT-like exams Check below:

Exam Name

MBA Exam Dates (Tentative)

Top Accepting Colleges


First Week of January


First week of April


2 selected test dates within 75-day test window between October-December

NMIMS, K J Somaiya, VIT Vellore, SD Bacconi Asia Centre, XUB, Amity, LPU


  • Three slots in December
  • Total 2 attempts can be taken


First week of December (NOTE: Last year, IIFT admission is based on CAT exam)


MICAT I & MICAT II, respectively, in first week of December and last week of January

Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad


Four times a year in February, May, September, and December


Last week of February


Last week of December

IBS B-Schools


Throughout the year, on the published dates


ATMAFour times a year in February 18, May 11, June 23, and July 21, 2024
MDI Gurgaon, IPE Hyderabad, JIMS Rohini Delhi, IMS Ghaziabad, etc

Exam preparation for top MBA entrance exams like CAT requires 9–12 months of dedicated studies, which means the candidate will be able to join an MBA institute only after a year, while in case of admission via other MBA exams beyond CAT, the candidate can start the MBA course immediately after graduation. Though the placements differ when it comes to IIMs and other colleges,. However, wasting a year and ROI is much better than getting an MBA from other colleges too.

MBA Application Form Fee

Here we have listed in detail category wise MBA form fee for Non CAT exam. Check out the details:

Exam Name

Application Fee (General Category)*

Application Fee (Reserved Category)*


Rs 1800

Rs 1800


Rs 2000

Rs 1000


Rs 2300

Rs 2300


Rs 1950

Rs 1950


Rs 2500

Rs 1000


Rs 2100

Rs 2100


Rs 1950

Rs 3100


Rs 1030 per course

Rs 260 per course


Rs 1800

Rs 1800

GMAT exam form fees

  • $275 for offline test
  • $300 for online test
  • $275 for offline test
  • $300 for online test

*The fee is subject to change as per the current exam session.

MBA Admissions: Entrance exams other than CAT to take

Read below to know which MBA exams at national level, which are also CAT equivalent exams, you can take in the coming months, their registration process, eligibility, fees, syllabus, pattern and preparation strategy. This information will help you decide which MBA entrance exams you can take this year and which MBA colleges you can apply to.

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

XAT is the second most popular MBA entrance exam other than CAT. Over 1 lakh candidates take the test. The exam-conducting body is the Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI) in India, including XLRI. XLRI stands at 8 in the NIRF rankings, only next to IIMs. The exam notification is tentatively released in the month of August every year. Usually, XLRI conducts the XAT entrance test on the first or second Sunday of January every year.

Over 1000 MBA colleges in India accept XAT scores. It is a computer-based test with a 3-hour, 10-minute duration. The XAT syllabus is similar to CAT except additional sections of decision-making, General Awareness and essay writing.

Also read: XAT eligibility criteria

Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)

CMAT is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It is one of the standard exams for MBA other than CAT in the country. Over 75,000 candidates apply for the test every year. Unlike other MBA entrances, CMAT usually happens in the month of March, making it easy for students to prepare. CMAT scores are accepted by over 1300 government and private AICTE approved MBA colleges in India. The CMAT exam pattern follows questions from Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language, Comprehension, General Awareness, Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Also Read: CMAT Eligibility criteria

Narsee Monjee Aptitude Test (NMAT)

NMAT or NMIMS Management Test, is used by various B-Schools in India and abroad for their MBA admissions. From 2015, GMAC has been conducting the exam along with GMAT. NMAT is a preferred MBA exam other than CAT as it offers flexibility to choose our own date and venue over a 75-day window in October–December. Since COVID, GMAC has also opened a remote-proctored mode of examination. A two-hour exam with 108 MCQs, NMAT syllabus comprises Quantitative Skills, Logical Reasoning, and Language skills. Candidates can take the exam 3 times within the window period, with a 15-day gap between 2 successive attempts. The best score will be considered for further admission.

Also read: NMAT Eligibility Criteria

Symbiosis National Aptitutde Test (SNAP)

Symbiosis International University (SIU), Pune, convenes the SNAP exam notification, conducting SNAP every year. It admits students into PGDM courses offered by SIU and 14-affiliated institutions across the country. SNAP always stands among the highest-ranked MBA entrance exams other than CAT for the variety of MBA specialisations it offers including executive MBA and PGDM. The average package for SIBM, Pune MBA graduates is 20 LPA. It is a one hour online exam conducted three times, tentatively in the month of December. Maximum two attempts are allowed out of which, the best score will be considered.

There will be 60 questions from General English, Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency, Analytical & Logical Reasoning subjects. The exam is conducted in the month of December following CAT.

Also Read: How to prepare for SNAP

Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

MAT (Management Aptitude Test), just like CMAT, is a common national-level MBA entrance in India. Over 600 MBA colleges in India accept MAT scores. It is one of the best management exams other than CAT for quality MBA education at affordable costs. Candidates can take the test four times a year (February, May, September and December) by AIMA (All India Management Association). There are 200 questions with a 150 minute duration. The exam is conducted 4 times a year in February, May, September and December in all three modes– CBT, IBT, PBT. Registration windows for respective tests will be open in the given months.

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade) is the most sought-after MBA exams other than CAT for its flagship MBA programmes in International trade and business. But, last year, IIFT admission for MBA programme is based on CAT scores. Students who specialise in nation’s trade management gain exposure into international bodies such as WTO and UNCTAD.

NTA conducts the IIFT exam in the month of December for admissions to IIFT Delhi, Kolkata, Kakinada. The IIFT exam pattern follows an objective question paper with 110 MCQs and 2 hr duration. The syllabus of IIFT MBA entrance comprises Quantitative Aptitude, VARC, LIDR, and General Knowledge. Foreign nationals can also undertake this exam if they fulfil IIFT eligibility criteria. With a difficulty level comparable to the CAT, the average packages for successful MBA graduates stand at 25-30 LPA.

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Mudra Institute of Communications Admissions Test (MICAT)

MICAT is a premier MBA entrance exam other than CAT in India. MICA stands for Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad. MICA MBA course in Strategic Marketing and Communications is a flagship program. Over 5000 students take the test for 180 seats. Candidates must have a valid score in CAT, XAT or GMAT to be eligible for MICAT. MICAT exam dates are conducted twice a year (December and February) as MICAT I & MICAT II. Candidates can take both to improve scores. In the case of writing two tests, the best score will be considered for the admissions.

The MICAT exam syllabus is unique with both objective and descriptive type assessment. Subjects include Verbal Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness, Convergent & Divergent Thinking along with a Descriptive Test, and Psychometric Test.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Test (TISSNET)

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is one of the oldest universities in India that offers M.A programmes in HRM considered equivalent to MBA. TISS-NET (National Entrance Test) leads admission to its School of Management and Labour Studies, Mumbai. The MBA equivalent courses offered by TISS are unique courses with affordable fees. Career prospects are also bright with students bagging average packages of 20-25 LPA from world-renowned firms. TISS-NET exam pattern follows an online test of 100 minute duration conducted in February. The syllabus is similar to the CAT. However, TISSNET is generally less difficult compared to the CAT.

ICFAI Business Studies Aptitude Test (IBSAT)

ICFAI Business Schools are the premier B-Schools in the country for industry-oriented MBA programmes. IBS Hyderabad received 19th rank among private colleges in IIRF Ranking. IBSAT is the only gateway for ICFAI B-Schools (IBS). It is conducted in online mode at the candidate's own location once a year in the month of December. IBSAT requires valid scores in the CAT, GMAT, or NMAT of the last two years.

Unlike CAT and other MBA entrance exams, the IBSAT exam pattern gives more weightage to Verbal Ability & Reading comprehension. It is a two hour test with 140 MCQs from Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Ability, Data Adequacy & Sufficiency. The maximum marks are 140, with no negative marking. The exam is conducted in the month of December within the MBA exam season.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

GMAT is a globally recognised management entrance conducted by the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). It is a widely accepted MBA entrance exam other than the CAT. GMAT scores are accepted by IIMs for their 1 year MBA programmes. The GMAT is a highly candidate-friendly exam. Candidates can take the exam throughout the year, and registrations are allowed up to 24 hrs before the exam. GMAT is a gateway for studying MBA at global universities as well. The GMAT exam syllabus is based on Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment.

Learn more about the various state-level and private MBA entrance exams in India, along with the top MBA colleges in the country.

Also Read: GMAT Exam Pattern

AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA)

ATMA is a national-level entrance exam conducted by Association of Indian Management School (AIMS). ATMA is a single-window test held for admission to various post-graduate programmes like MBA, MMS, PGDM, etc. The ATMA exam will be conducted multiple times in a year, i.e., in February, May, June, and July. The ATMA exam will be conducted in computer-based test mode. The duration of the ATMA is 180 minutes (3 hours). The exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) carrying one mark each.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What exams can I give other than CAT?

Other that CAT, there are some more national-level MBA entrance exam such as Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) MBA (IB), Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), Management Aptitude Test (MAT).

2. Which exam is better than CAT?

CAT is one of the most popular MBA entrance exams among MBA aspirants. If a candidates looking for MBA entrance exam except than CAT then for them there are lots of other national and state level MBA entrance exam to take.

3. Is MBA good without CAT?

Yes, if a candidate does not want to appear for CAT or any other MBA entrance exam then they can choose the path of direct MBA admission. There are many notable B-Schools that provide direct admission to management courses.


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Questions related to MBA

Have a question related to MBA ?


Don't worry, you can try the following steps to recover your online MBA registration application ID:

1. Check your email: Look for emails from the university or admission portal, as they might have sent your application ID or login credentials.

2. Login recovery: Visit the admission portal and click on "Forgot Application ID" or "Forgot Password." Follow the instructions to recover your ID.

3. Contact support: Reach out to the university's admission support team or helpline, providing your name, email, and other details. They can help you retrieve your application ID.

4. Check your documents: Verify your application form, receipt, or acknowledgment letter, as they might contain your application ID.

If none of these steps work, you may need to re-register or contact the university's admission office for further assistance. Good luck!

Hi Ananya,

Yes, VIT (Vellore Institute of Technology) in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, offers MBA (Master of Business Administration) courses. VIT is well-known for its management programs and offers MBA in various specializations. The MBA program at VIT is highly regarded and attracts students from across the country.

Hope it helps!

Choosing between an MSc in Microbiology and preparing for CAT to pursue an MBA in Food Technology depends on your career goals and interests.

MSc in Microbiology:

  • Pros:
    • Deepen Your Knowledge: You will gain advanced knowledge and skills in microbiology, potentially leading to research or specialist roles in fields like medical microbiology, food microbiology, or industrial microbiology.

    • Specialized Careers: Opens doors to careers like microbiologist, research scientist, quality control specialist, or laboratory technician in various industries.

  • Cons:
    • Time Commitment: A master's degree requires additional time and financial investment.

    • Job Market: While the field is growing, the job market for microbiologists can be competitive.

MBA in Food Technology:

  • Pros:
    • Business and Management Skills: Gain valuable business and management skills applicable to the food industry. Learn about marketing, finance, operations, and innovation in the food sector.

    • Career Advancement: An MBA can open doors to managerial and leadership roles in the food and beverage industry.

  • Cons:

It is understandable that you are concerned about applying as EWS while being an open category student (Maratha) in the CET form for MBA 2023-24, considering the Maharashtra government's stance on EWS certificates for Maratha students.

The most reliable source of information in this situation is the admissions authority responsible for the MBA program you applied to. Look for their contact information (phone number or email address) on the official website of the institute or university conducting the MBA program.

  • Explain your situation clearly. Mention that you are an open category student (Maratha) but mistakenly applied as EWS in the CET form.

  • Inquire if this will cause any problems during admission processing, given the state government's policy.

    There is a chance they might allow you to rectify your application category from EWS to open (Maratha) before the admission process goes any further.

    The admissions authority might ask you to submit a letter explaining the error and your ineligibility for EWS due to the state government policy. They might have a specific format for this letter, so be sure to ask about it.

    It is important to address this issue proactively to avoid any delays in your admission process. The sooner you contact the admissions authority, the better.

    I hope it helps!

VIT Bhopal CSE Category 1 (2.01 Lakh):

  • Pros:
    • Reputed institution with a strong focus on engineering.
    • Category 1 ensures a good hostel and other facilities.
    • Strong alumni network and good placement record for CSE, with potential for high packages.
    • Focus on core CSE subjects.

  • Cons:
    • Newer campus compared to UPES.
    • Fees might be higher compared to UPES (check both institutions' fee structure).
    • Might not offer a combined program like NMIMS.

UPES Dehradun CSE:

  • Pros:
    • Established campus with good infrastructure and facilities.
    • Potentially lower fees compared to VIT Bhopal.
    • Might offer specializations or electives within CSE.

  • Cons:
    • Placement record might be slightly lower compared to VIT Bhopal for CSE (check placement reports of both institutions).
    • Reputation might not be as strong as VIT for pure engineering.

NMIMS Mumbai CSE MBA Tech:

  • Pros:
    • Located in Mumbai, a major commercial hub with ample job opportunities.
    • Offers a unique combination of technical and management education.
    • Good reputation for NMIMS School of Engineering.

  • Cons:
    • This program might be more expensive than the other two options (check fee structure).
    • Focus might be divided between technical and management subjects, potentially leading to less depth in CSE.

      I hope it helps!
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