CAT, MAT, XAT: Which MBA Entrance Exam Should You Appear For


CAT, MAT, or XAT – there are many entrance gateways to appear for the Master’s Business Administration (MBA) — one of the most sought later degrees. At least 35,000 students appear for the entrance exam every year for admission to MBA.

Every aspirant must recognise concerning all these exams and must be sure from the beginning of which exam he/she is going to appear for. The most prevailing entrance exams when it comes to MBA are CAT, MAT, and XAT.

It is observed that aspirants appear for more than one exam every year. The more exams you appear for, the higher the probability of getting within a good MBA institute. All the exams have almost the same syllabus and thus it isnt that tough to prepare for more than one exam.

Common Admission Test (CAT)

The CAT or Common Admission Test is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). The key feature of CAT is that it is an entrance gateway for admission to IIMs. CAT scores are used for admission to several B-schools.

Candidates should have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum score of 50 per cent. Candidates studying in the final year/semester can also apply. The exam is conducted once a year. This year it will be held on November 28.

It is computer-based and is held for a duration of 120 minutes. The exam pattern consists of three sections and 40 minutes is given to answer each section. The total number of questions is 100 and the maximum mark is 300. Candidates will get 3 marks for every right answer and a negative marking of 1 mark for every wrong answer. However, there is no negative marking for non-MCQ questions.

The syllabus for the exam comprises verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC), data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR), and quantitative aptitude (Quants).

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

XAT or Xavier Aptitude Test is conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur. Like CAT applicants, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or board or if he/she is in the final year of graduation. There is no age limit. It is also conducted once a year and is computer-based. It is held for a duration of 180 minutes.

The exam pattern consists of four sections. The maximum mark is 100. Marks gained per right answer is 1 mark and 0.25 mark is deducted for every wrong answer. The total number of questions – 100.

This exam will next be held on January 2. The syllabus consists of decision making, verbal and logical ability, data interpretation and quantitative ability, and general recogniseledge.

The XAT score is accepted by XLRI School of Management, Jamshedpur, Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research.

Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

The Management Aptitude Test or MAT is conducted by the All India Management Association. Should have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum score of 50 per cent or are studying in the final year/semester. Conducted in February, August, September, and December, it is also a computer-based exam held for a duration of 150 minutes.

The exam pattern features five sections. The maximum number of marks, as well as the total number of questions, is 200. Candidates will gain 1 mark per right answer and a negative marking of 0.25 mark is applicable for every wrong answer.

The syllabus features Language Comprehension, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical skills, Indian and Global Environment, and Intelligence, and critical reasoning.

Some of the top colleges that accept the MAT score include Great Lakes Institute of Management, TA Pai Institute of Management and Birla Institute of Management Technology.

— Written by – Sumit Singh Gandhi (Rahul), CEO, CATKing Educare

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