Is CAT the Only Way to Pursue an MBA in India?

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Entrance exams for an MBA are becoming very popular these days. Even those who have work experience are leaning towards an MBA degree. Till a few years back, the CAT was the only test that MBA aspirants aimed for. But with so many other management exams coming into the limelight, the CAT might just be losing its popularity among aspirants.

Also Read: MBA without CAT

Here are a few exams other than the CAT whose scores are accepted by various business schools:

The AIMS Test for Management Admissions, also called ATMA, is a national-level examination organized by the AIMS — Association of Indian Management Schools for admission to MBA, MCA, PGDM, and PGDBA courses. The test is held by the authorities four times a year. More than 500 management institutions across India accept ATMA scores for admission to their management programs. The exam aims to assess the aptitude of aspirants, which is necessary for higher management education.

The Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a National Level Entrance Examination for admission to management programs. This test facilitates AICTE affiliated participating institutes to select suitable graduate candidates for entry to their management courses. The test was organized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) till 2018. The NTA has been conducting this test since 2019. The CMAT is a three-hour computer-based online test undertaken to evaluate the candidates’ ability across various segments like Quantitative Techniques, Logical Reasoning, language comprehension, and General Awareness.

The GMAT (short for Graduate Management Admission Test) is an adaptive computer test to assess quantitative, analytical, verbal, writing, and reading skills in written English for admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA program. GMAT scores are accepted worldwide. It mandates knowledge of certain specific grammar and knowledge of algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. The GMAT is conducted every year by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It assesses problem-solving abilities and analytical writing while also addressing data logic, sufficiency, and critical reasoning skills. These skills are vital to the world of business and management. Students can take the test up to five times a year but not more than eight times in total, and consecutive attempts must be at least 16 days apart.

Also Read: Tips to Prepare for GMAT

The MBA (International Business), a flagship program of IIFT, is a six-trimester general management residential program focusing on International Business. IIFT campuses are located in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada. Entry to the IIFT course is through an entrance exam and interview/group discussion etc. The NTA will be conducting the examination for admission to the MBA(IB) of IIFT for 2021–23. Aspirants must possess a recognized Bachelor’s degree of a minimum of three years’ duration in any discipline with 50% marks in Graduation (45% for SC/ST/PWD candidates). Candidates appearing in the final year examination of Graduation can also apply. There is no age bar set on examinees to appear for the test.

The Institute of Rural Management Anand, known as IRMA, is a private institution established in 1979 in Anand, Gujarat. It is a member institute of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). It has been accredited with an A Grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and approved by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It accepts the CAT, XAT, IRMASAT, and GMAT scores depending on the candidate’s course. The institution offers admission to all the programs through its online portal.

The Management Aptitude Test, MAT for short, is a standardized test organized since 1988 to enable business schools to screen candidates for enrollment to MBA and allied programs. It is a national level examination, and any business school, national or international, can consider the MAT Score as an admission input. MAT continues to be a students’ passport to over 600 business schools across India.

The MICA Admissions Test (MICAT) is an online entrance examination for MICA’s flagship course Post Graduate Diploma in Management — Communications (PGDM-C). MICAT is a unique MBA entrance test that comprises both subjective and objective questions. Along with the standard sections of the MBA entrance tests like Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, and Reasoning, there are additional sections like Descriptive Language Test and Psychometric Test.

Also Read: Study Abroad with CAT

The NMAT is an All-India-level MBA entrance examination organized for admission to NMIMS University and other reputed business schools in India. The NMAT is a candidate friendly test, designed keeping in mind the convenience of the test takers. Candidates are allowed to opt for their preferred date during the testing window and self-schedule the test, appointment date, time, and venue based on the availability of seats at each exam center.

The Symbiosis National Aptitude Test, also known as the SNAP, is an MBA test for any of the Symbiosis Institutes in India. Every year, nearly 1 lakh students from all disciplines, including Commerce, Engineering, Humanities, and even Law, take the SNAP Test to enroll in the 2,500 MBA seats in Symbiosis colleges. Over the years, SNAP has modified its question paper pattern from paper-based to computer-based. To get a high percentile (90+), an aspirant requires 3–4 months of serious preparation.

The TISS National Entrance Test (TISSNET) is a national level entrance test held by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, to enter its postgraduate courses. It offers as many as 53 Master’s Degree programs at its Mumbai, Guwahati, Tuljapur, Hyderabad campuses, and other locations. The MA programs administered at TISS campuses are at par with top MBA colleges’ management programs in the country. The test is organized in the online mode, and the exam paper comprises questions from Mathematical Skills and Logical Reasoning, English Proficiency, and General Awareness.

The Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is a national-level management entrance test organized by XLRI, Jamshedpur, for admission to its MBA/PGDM programs. Apart from XLRI and ten other XAMI members, over 700 B-schools accept XAT scores for admission to their postgraduate management courses. The XAT question paper comprises 100 Multiple Choice Questions from Decision Making, Verbal and Logical Ability, General Knowledge, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation.

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