Top 7 MBA entrance exams to consider:
One pathways to reach the next stage in the corporate ladder or get a salary hike in India is to do a MBA Every year, over 2 Lakh people are preparing and attempting various entrance exams to pursue MBA, and the numbers keep soaring year after year. MBA from Top B-Schools like IIM’s, FMS, ISB, XLRI etc., can take you places on the corporate leadership ladder.
CAT is currently synonymous with MBA entrance exams in India; As we know, It is one of the most taken exams in India for post graduation, with over two Lakh candidates appearing each year. While CAT is the most sought out B-School entrance exam, There are a few other exams similar to CAT. Also these exams might require preparation on a few additional areas aside from your CAT preparation.
Here are the 7 Most popular MBA entrance exams to consider:
- MAH CET
Common admission test CAT is one of the most attempted MBA entrance exam in India. As we know, The CAT exam happens in the last week of November. The exam tests individuals in three sections Quantitative aptitude, Data interpretation and logical reasoning and verbal ability. Since the recent revision in exam pattern, each section has 40 minutes. All IIM’s, IIT’s and other top B-schools like FMS, SPJIMR, IMT, MDI etc., consider CAT scores for admission processes. If you wish to know more about CAT click here.
GMAT exams happen around the year, and candidates have the discretion to attempt as my times as they want. Almost all Top Tier colleges worldwide accept GMAT scores as criteria for MBA admissions. Even IIM’s like IIM-B and IIM-A, IIM-L, and IIM-I for their executive program are considering GMAT scores. Other top B-Schools like ISB, SPJIMR, MDI, XLRI, etc. accept GMAT scores. Because of the quality of questions, interface and test-taking experience, GMAT sets a higher standard among MBA entrance exams.
GMAT preparation is a different ball game compared to the other MBA entrance exams; There are four sections with fixed sectional timing. Candidates can choose the order of attempting each section from three predefined options. GMAT is a computer-adaptive exam. Because The difficulty level is adjusted based on the previous answer. While GMAT does require a different preparation strategy, One can easily pivot from their CAT preparation to GMAT by following certain nuances.
Xavier Aptitude Test or XAT is another major entrance exam like CAT. XAT is a computer-based three hour-test with four sections. It is conducted on the first week of January. As we know, XLRI Jamshedpur is the flagship college and the dream destination of XAT takers. But XAT scores are not limited to Xavier Universities like XLRI, XUB etc. Over 150 colleges in India, including IMT, MICA, and Great Lakes, accept XAT scores as admission criteria. The exam has two parts; The first part contains VARC, Decision making, and Quant. The second part consists of 25 MCQs on G.K and an essay question. There is no sectional cutoff for the second part
The flexibility with XAT is that there are no fixed sectional times. Also XAT gives you the flexibility to switch between sections. So this allows you to strategize and prioritize your strengths and weakness. As we know, a minimum number of questions has to attempted in each section to avoid penalty.The free reign on sectional timings can come in handy to tackle this challenge.
As far as preparation goes, XAT is similar to CAT preparation except for Business decision making. There are many business decision-making preparation materials available online, which should be sufficient to cover this section along with previous year question papers.
Indian Institute of foreign trade hosts three campuses across India- Kolkata, Delhi, and Kakinada. Admission to these colleges is based on the candidate’s score in the IIFT exam conducted by the National Testing Agency. The question paper contains 110 MCQs spread across four sections. Just like XAT there is no sectional timing. The exam happens on the first week of December, The Sunday after the CAT exam. IIFT has a slightly different scoring pattern. The first three sections (VARC, DILR, QA) award three marks for every correct answer and deduct one mark for every wrong answer. The G.K section awards 1.5 marks for correct answers and deduct 0.5 marks for wrong ones.
NMAT by GMAC is an exam organized by NMIMS. The exam window is open for three months, from mid-October to early January. The exam is two hours long. All three sections have equal weightage. The candidates face 108 objective questions with no negative marking. NMAT gives a best of three options to Candidates. Any candidate can take the exam up to three times. Admission is based on best score among the attempts. Besides NMIMS University, SPJIMR and a few programs in ISB consider NMAT scores for the admission process.
Symbiosis international university (SIU) conducts SNAP, An hour long aptitude exam consisting of sixty questions. SNAP scores are significant criteria for admission into all 16 Symbiosis Management courses like SIBM, SCMHRD, SIIP etc., across India. Since the exam is conducted thrice between November and January. Candidates can appear twice in a particular year. The exam has three sections (General English, Analytical & Logical reasoning and Quantitative, Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency) and a time limit for each section. Since the exam has a similar syllabus as CAT, There is no need for any special preparation
The Maharashtra State government conducts the MAH-CET or MAH MBA CET, A state level exam to pursue MBA. Over 300+ colleges in Maharashtra, including JBIMS, KJSOM etc. consider this score for admission. The exam happens during June with six slots. Two slots on each of the three exam days. MAH CET is a computer-based. As the test is state government based, The centres are primarily in and around Maharashtra. As for other states, The exam centres are in 16 cities across India. The exam has 200 MCQs with five options. The test duration is 150 minutes, and the test has three sections with no negative marking. Each correct answer carries one mark. The syllabus is similar to the CAT syllabus.
These are the major exams taken up by most MBA aspirants. While B-Schools like MICA have their own admission tests. They also consider CAT Scores as well. So I would strongly suggest focusing the preparation on CAT and XAT as these are the toughest and the best exams to crack.
There are always a ton of options, So be wise to choose the one that suits your dream. – Harish V
Harish is an alum of IIM Bangalore who can’t stop talking about Chelsea FC