How Different is CAT From GMAT?

Pursuing an MBA from a prestigious b-school is a dream of many. However, most aspirants might be debating as to which is the most appropriate MBA entrance test for admissions. And, if you are an Indian MBA aspirant, the two popular options you have are GMAT and CAT. These exams differ in format and serve different purposes. Deciding on which exam to take depends on where you want to pursue your MBA – India or abroad. Through the course of this article, we’ll give you the details of GMAT and CAT, to help you make an informed decision. 


GMAT and CAT are considered as the two important exams required for MBA admissions. The Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT is a global level test mainly taken by aspirants who wish to pursue MBA admissions abroad. GMAT is computer-adaptive, which means the difficulty level of the next question depends on your answer to the previous question. On the other hand, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted at the national level and is administered by the Indian Institutes of Management(IIMs). In terms of difficulty, both GMAT and CAT are considered hard to crack as the exams are taken by lakhs of aspirants, making them highly competitive.


GMAT has a wider scope compared to CAT. A lot of the prestigious universities such as Harvard and MIT and Indian b-schools accept GMAT scores. However, CAT is accepted at a national level only, which means you can submit the scores in Indian universities only. Besides, GMAT includes four sections – Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment, while CAT exam includes three sections – Verbal and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. 


In terms of scoring, the overall score that you can achieve in the GMAT exam can be between 200 to 800. The overall score is calculated based on your performance in the Verbal and Quant sections. Whereas, the total score of the CAT exam is 228, with each question weighing three marks.

Eligibility Criteria

Besides, both the tests differ in terms of the eligibility criteria required. The GMAT exam has no specific eligibility requirements except that you should have valid ID proof and should be above 18 years of age. You can also take the exam if you are 13-18 years old with a permission letter from your guardian. On the contrary, the CAT exam requires you to hold a bachelor’s degree with 50{06ce1c3f957b9ab50c24eeed3f7481171d3c4ee0c1dd07a6302561a5526f61ef} marks to be eligible for the exam.


In terms of preparation, you need to give ample time for both exams if you need to score well. The official websites of both these exams provide mock tests. While preparing, try to attempt free GMAT mocks, and CAT mocks from official sources. This will give you an idea of how the question pattern will be. 

We hope the above comparison helps you make an informed decision on which exam to take. Whether to take the CAT or GMAT is a personal decision. However, an MBA can positively impact your career trajectory. So, think before deciding. Good luck!

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