CAT vs. MAT- Which one is worth the effort
In India, there are several forms of MBA entrance exams. The Common Admission Test (CAT) and Management Aptitude Test (MAT) are regarded as the two national level MBA entrance tests which are quite famous. Over the years, the number of MBA aspirants preparing for these exams has also increased. It is important to know that, CAT is conducted for acquiring admission in top tier B-schools all across India majorly including IIM’s. On the other hand, MAT acts as a medium for admission in next tier of B-schools in the nation. To judge which format is worth the effort, it is important to learn in-depth about these two entrance examinations.
Common Admission Test (CAT)
In comparison to all the MBA entrance exams conducted in India, CAT is the topmost entrance exam. All the CAT aspirants aim to acquire a good percentile through hard work and proper attentiveness. Why? The answer is very simple as CAT is the one and only gateway through which one can enter the A-grade MBA colleges present in India. Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) is the crowning body that conducts CAT entrance exams and the date of the tests are also decided by the same institute.
Colleges & Eligibility
Every aspiring MBA student wishes to grab a place in any one of the IIM’s. All of its branches are considered as the shining business schools in the country. Other than the IIM’s, other business schools that accept CAT scores are MICA, NIRMA, the NIT’s, SP Jain Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad etc. Students must note this fact that this exam is held every year. For appearing in the CAT exam, the candidate should possess a degree with a minimum possession of 50% marks. Moreover, final year degree students are also allowed to appear in this exam. Subjects such as problem-solving, verbal ability, critical reasoning, data interpretation and reading comprehension are part of the exam paper. CAT is regarded as a difficult test paper because the pattern and count of sections vary every year.
Management Aptitude Test (MAT)
MAT is an MBA entrance exam which is managed by AIMA and is approved MHRD, GOI to be called as a National Entrance Test. In a single year, there are four MAT exams conducted in the months of February, May, September and December respectively. A total of more than 500 institutions are included in the MAT exam every year. MAT exam is managed through a written as well as computer-based format. It is important to note that, an average student can comfortably score more than 80 percentile in this MBA entrance exam.
Colleges & Eligibility
However, candidates who have a score above 95 percentile are considered to get admission in top grade next tier B-schools in India. The names of colleges which accept MAT scores include Christ College Institute of Management (Bangalore), Alliance Business Academy (Bangalore), Indian Institute of Finance (Delhi), BIMTECH (Noida) and IMS (Ghaziabad). One must also note that, candidates who acquire a good MAT score can easily apply to AICTE approved universities and colleges. Students who possess a degree or in their final year are eligible to apply for MAT exam. The question paper pattern is almost similar to the CAT exam. One of the prime difference is that, MAT test paper includes an additional section related to General Awareness.
Factors Differentiating CAT and MAT
If we need to consider which one is worth a try, then MAT might take a lead over CAT.
- MAT exams are carried out four times in a year making it more feasible for students who are aiming an entry into any of the top B- grade reputed MBA colleges in India. Only if your dream is stuck at an A-graded business school, then CAT is primarily important to crack.
- Both of these entrance exams judge the potential of students by analyzing their verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills.
- On another aspect, CAT is much tougher to clear as compared to MAT in terms of the difficulty level of the questions presented to the candidates during the exam.
- Moreover, the changing pattern of CAT makes the previous exam papers less useful as compared to MAT, where practicing previous exam papers can benefit you to a large extent.