A detailed comparison between CAT vs CMAT vs NMAT vs MAT. Candidates can select the perfect exam based on the factors we've talked about.
If you're here, then you're not the first to feel confused about the management exams such as CAT, MAT, CMAT, and NMAT. To help you differentiate, find out the similarities and organise your understanding of these exams we have listed out the details of each competitive management exam.
Table of Contents
- Common Admission Test (CAT)
- Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)
- Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Management Aptitude Test (NMAT)
- Management Aptitude Test (MAT)
Common Admission Test (CAT)
The Common Admissions Test (or CAT, for short) is an entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Management. Out of 19 IIMs, only 6 major institutes under the same brand organise and conduct this entrance exam annually. They include IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kolkata, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Bangalore. The exam itself is 3 hours long (or 180 minutes, for an exact number), so you would ideally dedicate 60 minutes to each section in the exam.
These sections include the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section, and finally, the Quantitative Ability section; a total of 3 sections. The sections share both MCQs as well as non-MCQs; there are a total of 72-75 MCQs present in the paper. The similarity between the MCQs/non-MCQs is that they are both objective-type questions. You cannot switch between sections mid-way; in order to do so, you must complete the section you started. So strategise accordingly.
As a Computer-Based Test, the CAT exam can detect if you selected/wrote the correct answer or the wrong one. A correct answer is worth 3 points, while a wrong answer will penalise you with a -1 marking. There is no negative marking applied if you leave a question unattempted. We could say that the negative marking is primarily the difficulty amplifier, followed by the subject matter. So the exam is understandably quite difficult when compared to the other entrance exams.
CAT Exam Pattern
CAT exam is an online-based exam and it has different sections. The CAT exam pattern is as mentioned in the table below:
|Exam Mode||Online, Computer-Based Test (CBT)|
|Number of sections||3 sections
Verbal & Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
|Total Time||3 hours (60 minutes per section)|
MCQ- +3 marks for correct answer & -1 mark for the incorrect answer
TITA Questions - +3 marks for the correct answer & no negative marking.
Read More: CAT 2022 Exam Pattern
The syllabus for CAT mainly includes basic topics under both English and Mathematics. For English, you would cover topics such as Grammar, Para Correction, Sentence Correction, Word Usage, Analogies, Idioms, and Para Jumbles.
The exam covers concepts related to Mathematics that were previously taught between Classes 6 to 10. These include Pie Charts, Graph Tables, Data Arrangement, Arithmetics and Mensuration, Geometry and Trigonometry, Calculus and Algebra.
Read More: CAT 2022 Syllabus
CAT Eligibility Criteria
The candidates aspiring to appear for CAT must satisfy the criteria given below:
- Candidates from the general category must hold a Bachelor’s degree with an average of 50% or an equivalent CGPA.
- Candidates from the reserved category such as SC/ST/PwD must hold a Bachelor’s degree with an average of 45% or an equivalent CGPA
- Additionally, the degree should be granted by universities pronounced as a university under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.
- In the final year of their graduation degree, candidates can also apply for CAT.
Read More: CAT 2022 Eligibility Criteria
Top 10 Colleges Accepting CAT Scores
If you're wondering which colleges accept CAT scores, then we've got a list for you.
|Indian Institute of Management Bangalore||Bangalore|
|Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad||Ahmedabad|
|Indian Institute of Management Kolkata||Kolkata|
|Indian Institute of Management Lucknow||Lucknow|
|Indian Institute of Management Indore||Indore|
|Indian Institute of Management Kharagpur||Kharagpur|
|Indian Institute of Management Jamshedpur||Jamshedpur|
|Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode||Kozhikode|
|Indian Institute of Management Delhi||Delhi|
|Indian Institute of Management Bombay||Bombay|
Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)
The Common Management Admission Test (or CMAT, for short) is an entrance exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The big difference seen in this Computer-Based Test when compared to CAT is that CMAT is conducted twice a year. It has a total of 4 sections to cover, each of which don't have a sectional time limit, but the entire exam still is 3 hours (or 180 minutes) long. All the questions asked in the exam are not only objective-type questions, but they're also MCQs. CMAT is comparatively freeing since you can switch to any section whenever you want.
Giving the correct answers will net you 4 points, but the problem of the -1 penalisation still exists. No negative marking is given for unattempted questions. The total marks are 400, with each section worth 100 marks. Due to the nature of the exam, it's largely moderate in difficulty, but it does tilt towards the more difficult side of things.
CMAT Exam Pattern
CMAT exam is conducted online and it has four sections. The entire CMAT exam pattern is as mentioned below:
|Number of sections||4 Sections (25 Questions Each)|
|Total Time||3 Hours|
Read More: CMAT 2023 Exam Pattern
The syllabus for the CMAT exam includes topics that are taken abundantly from Mathematics and some from English. Candidates will write on topics such as Geometry, Mensuration, Number Systems, Fractions and Decimals, Analytical Reasoning, Matrix Arrangements, Coding/Decoding, Nonverbal Reasoning, General Awareness, and English Grammar.
Read More: CMAT 2023 Syllabus
CMAT Eligibility Criteria
The eligibility criteria for the candidate to apply for the CMAT examination areas mentioned in the bullet points below:
- The candidate must be an Indian citizen.
- The candidate should have a bachelor's degree from a recognised university or equivalent.
- Moreover, candidates in their final year of graduation can also apply for the CMAT exam. They should submit their mark sheets at admission as proof for the university.
- However, there is no age restriction for the candidates to write the CMAT exam.
Read More: CMAT 2023 Eligibility Criteria
Top 10 Colleges Accepting CMAT Scores
Here is a list of the top 10 colleges accepting CMAT scores.
|Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies||Mumbai|
|Sydenham Institute of Management Studies And Research And Entrepreneurship Education||Mumbai|
|Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM)||Chennai|
|Goa Institute of Management||Goa|
|SIES College of Management Studies||Navi Mumbai|
|University of Pune - Department of Management Sciences||Pune|
|KREA University - IFMR Graduate School of Business||Chennai|
|Prin LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research||Mumbai|
|St Xavier's University - Xavier Business School (XBS)||Kolkata|
|Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM)||Gurgaon|
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Management Aptitude Test (NMAT)
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Management Aptitude Test (NMAT) is a Computer-Based (CBT) entrance exam conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). This 2-hour (120-minute) long exam tests the candidate's language skills, logic, reasoning, and their aptitude. In order to test these aspects, the paper is divided into 3 sections: Language Skills, Quantitative Aptitude, and Logical Reasoning. Each of them take between 22-30 minutes, but QA takes a total of 1 hour to finish. This is because the question format involves objective-type non-MCQs. The candidate can choose any order of the sections in the exam, but they must stick to it once they confirm their selection.
The NMAT exam is worth 120 marks in total; every correct answer gives you 1 mark. Unlike the previous two exams we've talked about, the NMAT exam has no negative markings for either wrong answers or unattempted questions, so you can rest easy knowing that. If you plan to retake the examination, you can do so within the stipulated exam date. As for the difficulty level, it'd range between medium and difficult, but when compared to the previous two exams (CAT and CMAT), the lack of negative markings helps tone down the difficulty substantially.
NMAT Exam Pattern
NMAT is a Computer-Based (CBT) entrance exam and the paper is divided into 3 sections. However, the NMAT exam pattern is as tabulated below:
|Number of sections||3 Sections
|Total Time||2 Hours|
+3 marks for a Correct answer.
No negative marking for an incorrect answer.
Read More: NMAT 2022 Exam Pattern
The NMAT syllabus includes major topics related to Mathematics and English. They're as follows:
- Mathematics: Linear and Quadratic Equations in Algebra, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Probability, Coordinate Geometry, Coding/Decoding, Series and Syllogisms.
- English: Statement Conclusions, Synonyms and Antonyms, Idioms, and Vocabulary.
Read More: NMAT 2022 Syllabus
NMAT Eligibility Criteria
The NMAT eligibility requirements for 2022 are listed below.
- There is no age limit for taking the NMAT by GMAC 2022 exam.
- Besides, candidates with two to three years of prior work experience are favoured throughout the final selection process. Candidates with no prior work experience are also welcome to apply.
- Candidates must have a three-year bachelor's degree from a recognised institute/university and a minimum aggregate score of 50% in the last year of their Bachelor's degree.
Read More: NMAT 2022 Eligibility Criteria
Top 10 Colleges Accepting NMAT Scores
Here are the top 10 colleges accepting NMAT scores as a basis for accepting candidates to their programmes.
|SVKM's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies||Bangalore|
|Xavier School of Human Resource Management||Bhubaneswar|
|Xavier School of Rural Management||Bhubaneswar|
|SDA Bocconi Asia Center||Mumbai|
|ICFAI Business School (IBS)||Hyderabad|
|Shiv Nadar University||Greater Noida|
|Amity Business School||Noida|
|Amity Business School||Jaipur|
Management Aptitude Test (MAT)
The Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is an entrance exam conducted by the All-India Management Association (AIMA). What's interesting about this exam is that it can be both a Computer-Based Test and a Paper-Based Test. It is also the most comprehensive exam compared to the other 3 exams. It's conducted 4 times each year, is divided into 5 different sections, and is perceived as shorter in duration; although NMAT in comparison is 2 hours long, the density at which the MAT exam is packed makes the 2.5-hour (or 150-minute) limit on it too short.
The sections you'd cover include Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, and India & Its Geographical Environments. Most of the questions asked are presented as MCQs, all of which are objective-type. The total marks for this exam come up to 200 marks, with 1 mark awarded for correct answers, and a 0.25 penalty for wrong answers. You're not penalised for leaving questions unanswered.
Is the MAT exam easy? No, it is moderate. But, this difficulty is due to the time management issue you'd have to work around with. Content-wise, the MAT exam is by far the easiest to write.
MAT Exam Pattern
MAT exam is arranged over both a Computer-Based Test and a Paper-Based Test. The MAT exam pattern is as mentioned below:
|Exam Mode||Online or Offline (Both)|
|Number of sections||5 Sections
Indian and Global Environment
Data Analysis and Sufficiency
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
|Total Time||2 Hours & 30 Minutes|
+1 marks for a Correct answer.
-0.25 marks for an incorrect answer.
Read More: MAT 2022 Exam Pattern
Here is the MAT syllabus, which includes:
- Data Arrangement
- Blood Relations
- Series and Sequences and Critical Reasoning
- Direction Sense
- Input/Output analysis
- General Knowledge
Read More: MAT 2022 Syllabus
MAT Eligibility Criteria
The eligibility criteria for students who wish to appear for MAT 2022 is set by AIMA and requires the following minimum:
- Candidates must have completed graduation in any discipline from a recognised University or equivalent.
- Additionally, candidates in their final year of UG programs can also apply.
- However, there is no Upper Age Limit set by AIMA to take the MAT exam.
- Moreover, there is no limit on the number of attempts.
Read More: MAT 2022 Eligibility Criteria
Top 10 Colleges Accepting MAT scores
Here are the top 10 colleges accepting MAT scores that we believe are worth looking into.
|BIMTECH (Specialised Programmes)||Greater Noida|
|Jaipuria Institute of Management||Lucknow|
|Institute of Public Enterprise||Hyderabad|
|International School of Business and Media||Pune|
|SDM Institute for Management Development (SDMIMD)||Mysore|
|SIES College of Management Studies||Navi Mumbai|
|Indus Business Academy (IBA)||Bangalore|
|Jagan Institute of Management Studies (JIMS Rohini)||Delhi|
|Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM)||Hyderabad|
Among all the management entrance exams, the CAT exam is considered to be the toughest among them all, and it has a lot to do with its combination of negative markings and tough-as-nails questions. Conversely, CMAT is considered the easiest when we take a look at the proportions; time, questions, difficulty, etc. It is also more financially viable for a student to pay off CMAT fees than the fees of other exams. Therefore, CMAT takes the cake here.