CAT vs GMAT: Which Exam To Choose?
- Posted by: mahie
- Category: TG
Are you also confused about choosing between the CAT vs GMAT? Not anymore! In this article, we are helping you to pick the suitable exam for you.
Most management institutions require CAT or GMAT scores for admission. We know that picking the right entrance exam is a make-or-break decision. So, whether you are targeting top B-colleges or want to study management abroad, it is essential to choose a suitable entrance.
What is CAT (Common Admission Test)?
CAT is primarily conducted for admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top-tier business schools. The FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMT, and other management institutes accept this exam. It assesses candidates based on Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR).
What is GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)?
Over 2,000+ Indian business institutes and universities accept the GMAT exam. Furthermore, 7,000+ institutes in the UK, US, Canada, Singapore, and Europe accept this exam globally. Here, the candidates are examined based on Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, and Verbal skills.
CAT vs GMAT
Both the CAT and GMAT exams are popular and widely accepted by business schools in India and abroad. However, there are some key differences between them that you should consider before making your decision. For your ease, we have depicted the various aspects of CAT and GMAT in a table format, so that you can know which one is suitable for you.
|Admission to Indian business schools
|Admission to international business schools
|IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management)
|GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)
|Bachelor’s degree with minimum 50% marks (45% for reserved categories)
|Bachelor’s degree (no minimum percentage)
|Primarily in India (few MBA colleges abroad also accept)
|Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Ability (QA)
|Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, Verbal
|Computer-Based Test (CBT)
|Computer-Based (at the Test Centre or online at home)
|3 hours and 7 minutes (excluding breaks)
|Scaled scores in each section, overall percentile rank
|Scaled scores for Verbal and Quantitative sections, overall score
|+3 for correct answer, -1 for incorrect answer, and 0 for unattempted question
|Scaled score from 200 to 800, with each section having a separate score
|Once a year
|Year-round, with no specific dates
|Retaken once a year
|It can be taken once every 16 days, up to 5 times in a rolling 12-month period
|Usually valid for one year
|Valid for 5 years
|Weightage to CAT score, academic performance, work experience, and other criteria set by individual B-schools
|GMAT score, academic performance, work experience, recommendation letters, and interview
|Intensive preparation required
|Intensive preparation recommended
|INR 2400/- (for General category)
INR 1200/- (for SC/ST/PwD category)
|INR 22,000/- (for test centre)
INR 24,600/- (for online)
How to Choose CAT vs GMAT?
Choosing between the CAT and GMAT depends on several factors such as your career goals, preferences, and the colleges you are applying to. We have already seen the various aspects of GMAT and CAT. Now, here are a few questions that can help you decide which exam is better suitable for you:
1. Where do you want to study?
If you want to study at an international business school, the GMAT might be the better option. Why? Because it is more widely recognized and preferred. However, if you are applying primarily to Indian business schools, then the CAT is a natural choice. Indeed, the CAT exam is the most popular and competitive in India.
2. What is your academic background and profile?
If you have a strong academic record and a high percentage in your bachelor’s degree, you may have an edge in CAT. Meanwhile, if you have a low percentage or an educational gap, you can opt for GMAT. It has no minimum percentage requirement. Unlike CAT, GMAT entrance focuses more on your work experience and extracurricular activities.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
If you are good at verbal and reading comprehension skills, you may find CAT easier as it has a higher weightage than the VARC section. However, if you are good at analytical and integrated reasoning skills, you may find GMAT easier as it has a separate section for IR and AWA.
You should also consider the difficulty level and adaptive nature of these exams. CAT is generally more difficult than GMAT as it has a higher number of questions and a lower time limit.
GMAT is adaptive, which means the difficulty level of the questions changes according to your performance. It can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your preparation and confidence level.
4. What are your budget and time constraints?
If you have a limited budget and time, you may prefer CAT as it has a lower exam fee and a fixed exam date. If you have more flexibility and resources, you may prefer the GMAT as it has a higher exam fee and a flexible exam date. You can also retake GMAT up to five times a year, whereas you can only take the CAT once a year.
Undeniably, there is no definitive answer to which exam is better: CAT or GMAT. Both exams have their advantages and disadvantages and require different strategies and preparation.
You should choose the exam that matches your goals and preferences. Besides, consider your academic profile, strengths, weaknesses, budget and time constraints.
In any case, you should focus on your overall application and performance and not just on the exam score. Lastly, we recommend you to analyze all the factors and take the proper guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is GMAT easier than CAT?
Many consider GMAT to be easier than CAT. The CAT has more questions and less time as compared to the GMAT.
Q. Is GMAT accepted in IIMs?
Yes, seven IIMs accept the GMAT score. Those include IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Shillong.
Q. Is CAT preparation sufficient for GMAT?
The syllabi of both GMAT and CAT are slightly different. But, with the right guidance and preparation, you can use CAT study for the GMAT.
Q. What GMAT score is required to get into IIMS?
IIMs require a higher score than other institutes. Hence, the optimal GMAT score for IIMs can be above 700.
Q. What CAT score is required to get admission abroad?
A higher score opens the possibility of the candidate’s admission to the top universities. The overall CAT score required for admission to international management institutions is higher than 98 percent.
Q. Which exam is better CAT vs GMAT for MBA?
Most students get confused when choosing between the CAT and GMAT for an MBA program. In this article, we have explained in detail the different factors of both entrances.
We hope this article has helped you understand the main differences between CAT and GMAT and how to choose the right entrance for you. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask. We would be happy to read and reply to them. All the best!