CAT or GMAT? What do you prefer?

Nidhi Bahl updated on : 07 Jul 2017

In India, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are accepted for admissions at more than 200 programmes offered at over 90 business schools.


Now that more Indian business schools are accepting GMAT scores for MBA admissions, the craze for the Common Admission Test (CAT) has been diluted to a certain degree. It will be incorrect to say that the value of CAT has been undermined by any context, but with introduction of GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), the chances for students of getting into niche business schools in India and abroad has gone up reasonably.

According to reports by leading news agencies, the number of Indian students who took GMAT hit an all-time high last year. Figures released in news reports show that 22,878 applicants from India appeared for GMAT in the year 2013. This means that the number of test-takers has increased by 25% since 2010.

CAT aspirants can check their results at CAT Score Calculator and know the CAT accepting colleges available for admissions.

On the other hand, the reports also claimed that the number of applicants for CAT dipped to a seven-year low. Since 2010, the number of CAT test-takers has declined by 4%.

The new trend is being attributed to the country’s changing MBA education landscape where students are ditching two-year full-time MBA programmes to go for shorter management courses.

Currently, the CAT exam is applicable for admission to two-year full-time MBA courses only while GMAT is applicable to full-time (one year or two-year) Post Graduate courses in management.

Another reason behind CAT’s declining popularity could be GMAT’s flexible format, which allows candidates to take the test multiple times in a single year. Also, GMAT scores have longer validity.

Check details on CAT 2017

Differentiators of CAT & GMAT:





Administering body

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)

Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC) –the global non-profit council of leading business schools worldwide

Test frequency

Happens once a year

Can be taken up to 5 times in a year.

When do you get the score?

Results are announced much later at a fixed date

Score for Verbal and Quantitative section can be known immediately. But you have to wait up to 3 weeks for the official scores to reach you.

Validity of score

Valid for 1 year

Valid for a period of 5 years


Rs. 1600

US$250 – At current value, it is approximately Rs. 16000.

Courses accepting the scores

Two-year full-time MBA/PGP

Full-Time PGP (1 year or 2-year)

No. of schools In India accepting the score

Compulsory for IIMs and mostly all other top business schools accept CAT exam scores except a few that conduct their own entrance tests

GMAT exam is accepted for admission at more than 200 courses offered at over 90 business schools

Sections on the test

You have 2 hours and 50 minutes to attempt a total of 100 questions in 2 sections: Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (b) Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning.

You have 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the 4 sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal

Test Format

Computer-Based Test


Computer-Adaptive Test

Booking your test

You can register for CAT 2014 from the official CAT 2014 website



Choose the nearest GMAT test center by visit the GMAT official website,

After this, you can schedule the exam as per your convenience and register.

Who should take the test?

Both fresh graduates and working professionals can apply provided they meet the eligibility criteria

Both fresh graduates and working professionals can apply provided they meet the eligibility criteria


Institutes accepting GMAT scores in India


ISB, Hyderabad & ISB, Mohali


S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai


IIM, Ahmedabad


IIM, Bangalore


Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai


School of Management, NMIMS, Mumbai


IIM, Calcutta


XLRI, Jamshedpur


IMT, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Nagpur & Dubai


IIM, Indore


IIM, Lucknow


ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad & Mumbai


IIM, Kozhikode


MDI, Gurgaon


FMS, Delhi


TAPMI, Manipal


Dept. of Management, BITS Pilani


XIM, Bhubaneswar


IIFT, Delhi & Kolkata


Goa Institute of Management, Goa


K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai


MICA, Ahmedabad


TISS, Mumbai


IMI, New Delhi, Bhubaneswar & Kolkata


VIT Business School, Vellore


Birla Institute of Management Technology, Noida


School of Business, Alliance University, Bangalore


Amity Business School, Noida


ISBF, Delhi


School of Management and Entrepreneurship - Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida

IIT-DMS, Delhi, Kanpur, Bombay, Madras, Roorkee & Kharagpur


IIM, Ranchi


SDM Institute for Management Development, Mysore

PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore


Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management, Ahmedabad


Europe Asia School of Business, Pune


School of Management - SRM University, Chennai


IIM, Rohtak


National Institute of Securities Markets, Mumbai


IIM, Shillong




IIM, Tiruchirappalli


Mysore Royal Academy, MYRA School of Business, Mysore


IIM, Udaipur


Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Harihar & Pune


IIM, Raipur


IFMR, Chennai


NIFT, Delhi


NIT, Surathkal


Woxsen School of Business, Hyderabad


School of Business Studies, Sharda University, Noida


IILM Institute of Higher Education, New Delhi


Seshadripuram Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore


GITAM School of International Business, Visakhapatnam


Asia Graduate School of Business, Hyderabad


Amrita School of Business, Amrita ViswaVidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Bangalore, Kochi & Coimbatore



BIMS, Bangalore


B I I M, Bangalore

IISWBM, Kolkata


IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida


ITM, Mumbai


Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Hyderabad


Jindal Global Business School, O.P Jindal University, Sonipat


NIIT, Neemrana (ICICI Business Leadership Program)


Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi


Acharya School of Management, Bangalore


AIMS School of Business, Bangalore


School of Telecom Management, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune


Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad


SOIL, Gurgaon


Aegis School of Business and Telecommunication, Navi Mumbai


School of Economics, Pune



Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai

Galgotias Business School, Uttar Pradesh, Greater Noida


Amity Institute of Telecom Technology and Management, New Delhi


Centre for Management, Mumbai


Apex Institute of Management, Pune





TERI School of advanced Sciences, TERI University, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai & Guwahati


Asian School of Business Management (ASBM), Bhubaneswar


College of Commerce, Shivaji University, Pune


International School of Management Excellence, Bangalore


Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Gujarat


Doon Business School, Dehradun


G L Bajaj Institute of Management and Research, Greater Noida


International School of Telecom Technology and Management, Hyderabad


IFIM Business School, Bangalore


ISBR Business School, Bangalore


IIBM School of Business, Allahabad


Institute of Management, JK Lakshmipat University Jaipur


Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Mgmt., Kolkata


JRE School of Management, Greater Noida


Indian School of Business, Indore


IBA, Bangalore


School of Management, International Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar


Seshadripuram Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore


Lotus Business School, Pune


College of Commerce and Management, Pune


School of Management, Udaipur


Faculty of Management, Mody Institute of Technology and Science, Jamnagar


Spicer Memorial College, Secundrabad


National Management School, Chennai


National Schools of Business and Management Private Limited, Chennai


Praxis Business School, Kolkata


Pune Institute of Business Management, Pune


Vanguard Business School, Bangalore


Delhi School of Business, Delhi


Sadhana Centre for Management & Leadership Development, Pune


Sunstone Business School, Noida





CAT is definitely most popular & reputed entrance exam in India by virtue of its administering body – the IIM’s. Also, because of its age, CAT is widely recognised by most of the corporate and industries. GMAT, being a relatively new entrant in the MBA & PGDM world in India may be looked upon with raised brows, but it is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

As a student, it totally depends on what exam/s you choose to appear for. All we are saying is that GMAT may open up avenues for you in ways that you would never have imagined. So keep your options open and maybe, you would want to add another option for your perusal of management studies.

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