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MBA Entrance Examinations

Published On: 28 Sep 2012 | Last Updated On: 18 Oct 2012

Today, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most sought after professional courses amongst students and young professionals. Graduates and young professionals are looking for the best institutes in the country to pursue MBA. There are various competitive exams that MBA aspirants are required to take up as a part of the admission process, such as, CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT, SNAP, NMAT, IBSAT, IIFT, and others. Different institutes accept the scores of one or more of these exams. Listed below are the popular exams that thousands of candidates take up every year for admission to the top B-schools in the country.

Common Admission Test (CAT)

The CAT exam is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission to 13 IIMs and other top B-schools in India. It is one of the toughest examinations in the country and every year thousands of aspirants take up this examination. The CAT will have only two sections. The first section is Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; the second section is Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits. The exam duration is 140 minutes. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions within each section, which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Within the 70 minutes provided for the section, candidates can review the answers. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move to the second section and will no longer be able to go back.  Some of the institutes accepting CAT scores are – all 13 IIMs; IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, Banaras Hindu University, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Management Development Institute, (MDI), Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, NIT Surathkal, and many more.

Click here to know more about CAT

Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

MAT is conducted by the All India Management Aptitude Testing Services (AIMATS), New Delhi for admission to the postgraduate management programs in AICTE approved institutes across the country. The exam is usually conducted four times in a year, in February, May, September and December. The MAT score is generally valid for a year from the date of the declaration of Results. There are 200 objective questions asked in the exam for duration of two and half hours. Candidates can opt to appear for the online mode or the offline mode of examination. Some of the institutes accepting MAT scores are – Asian Institute of Management and Technology (AIMT); BDS Institute of Management; Bhagwan Mahaveer Institute of Engineering and Technology; Academy of Management Studies and others.

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Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)

The CMAT exam is conducted by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) for admission to over four thousand AICTE approved business schools in the country, excluding the IIMs. With the introduction of the computer-based CMAT exam in 2012, many state-specific, university level examinations have been cancelled.  The CMAT will be a 3-hours online exam. The exam will consist of 4 sections - Quantitative Techniques, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, Data Interpretation and General Awareness. Each section will contain 25 questions of total 100 marks. There will be a negative marking system where 1 mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer.

Type of Questions

Number of questions

Maximum Marks

Quantitative Techniques &

Data Interpretation



Logical Reasoning



Language Comprehension



General Awareness



Some of the institutes accepting CMAT scores are – Goa Institute of Management; ITM Navi Mumbai; IFIM Business School; Asia Pacific Institute of Management; JK Lakshmipat University and many more. Recently Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh decided to accept the CMAT scores for providing admission to MBA programs. Rajasthan and Maharashtra had already agreed to accept the exam in 2011.  AICTE is persuading other states too to switch over to CMAT.

Click here to know more about CMAT

Xavier Admission Test (XAT)

Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur conducts the XAT for admission to various post graduate management programs offered at the Xavier group of institutes and also other top B-schools of the country. This entrance exam is conducted in around thirty cities in the country and also at four international centres. XAT evaluates students on their Aptitude, English Knowledge and Essay Writing. This exam is usually conducted in the first week of January every year. The institute has decided to add another section on general awareness from this year. Also the duration of XAT exam has been extended from 2 hour 30 minute to 3 hours. The exam will have 2 parts. The first part will have 3 sections comprising of multiple-choice based questions on analytical reasoning and decision making, verbal and logical ability and data interpretation and quantitative ability. Time duration of 2.20 hours will be allotted for this part. Another 40 minutes will be allotted to essay writing and general awareness.

Some of the institutes accepting XAT scores are - Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Indian Institute of Human Rights, International School of Business and Media - ISB&M, Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB), Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship - XIME and many more.

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NMIMS Management Aptitude Test (NMAT)

The Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) conducts NMAT examination for admission to various postgraduate management courses offered at the institute’s branches across India. NMAT is one of the largest online tests in India, which has been conducted successfully in CBT mode for four years now. This examination tests the candidates’ Language Skills, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Skills. The total marks allotted are 120. Students may avail two retakes after first attempt, subject to fulfilling required procedure, and in such cases the best of three scores would be considered by NMIMS for admissions to the offered programs. Institutes accepting NMAT scores are - Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering (MPSTME); NMIMS, Mumbai; and SVKM's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management and Higher Studies, Bangalore.

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Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP)

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) is conducted by Symbiosis International University (SIU), Pune. This test is conducted for taking admission to the post graduate programs offered at SIU and the other institutes under it. Test duration is 120 minutes. It is an objective test. Each question has 4 responses. Candidate should choose an appropriate response. Candidate must use Blue or Black ball point pen only. 0.25 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer. Paper will be divided into 4 sections with a total of 180 marks.

Click here to know more about SNAP

MBA aspirants should take up at least one of these examinations, if not all, for admission to one of the top management institutes in the country. To score well, they should start preparing for these examinations well in advance as the competition levels are very high. Coaching Centres, mock tests, books and study groups are few of the methods that candidates can opt for to prepare well for these examinations.

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

IIFT conducts its own entrance test for admission to various management programs offered by the institute. The admission test is a multiple choice objective type written test (in English). Duration of the test is two hours and will cover English Usage and Comprehension, General Knowledge & Awareness, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis. There will be a total of 120 questions and 1/3 marks will be deducted for each incorrect answer.

Click here to know more about IIFT

ICFAI Business Studies Aptitude Test (IBSAT)

IBSAT scores are accepted by the ICFAI Universitygroup. IBSAT will be a 2 hour computer based test.  The paper will have 125 questions divided into 4 sections.

Click here to know more about IBSAT


IRMA is conducted by Institute of Rural Management Anand. Duration of the exam is 2 hours. It will be paper-pencil based test comprising of 200 questions. More weightage will be given to analytical reasoning and English comprehension sections.

Click here to know more about IRMA

State level CET

Apart from above mentioned top MBA entrance exams, various states also conduct their own state level entrance exams such as GCET, MHCET, PGCETand others.

Thus, by appearing in any of the above given MBA entrance exams, one can ensure admission to leading B-schools of India.

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