Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Apr 7, 2020 14:14 IST

GMAT or CAT, which is the right choice for the MBA aspirants? Before understanding the difference and similarities between the CAT and GMAT, one must learn about both the standardized exams, so, they can evaluate and choose the one which suits them.

GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that evaluates a candidate’s writing, quantitative, analytical, and reading skills in standard written English. Generally, this test is taken by those who want to get into a graduate management program like MBA or Finance related course.

Common Admission Test or CAT is a computer-based entrance test given by MBA aspirants who wish to get into prestigious B-schools across the country including IIMs. Also, this exam is conducted by the IIMs on a rotational basis.

The basic difference, between the two, is that while CAT is held at a national level and is a national level entrance exam for students looking for admission to Top Business Schools in India, GMAT is held at a more global platform and qualifies students for admission to top B-Schools globally. However, many students are not aware that with GMAT Score they can get admission in top B-schools in India as well. Conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council, GMAT scores are acceptable mainly in case of NRI/Foreign students in India. The IIMs accept GMAT score of domestic candidates for executive management programs. Students residing in India planning to pursue management or finance studies can take both the exams or else they should check with the education institutes' requirements before giving the exam and then prepare accordingly.

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Check out the differences between the GMAT and CAT and decide which exam cater to your needs:




Eligibility Criteria

The aspirant should have completed a bachelor's degree in any stream from a recognized university for giving the GMAT Exam.

Students currently in the final year can also apply for this exam. Also, there is no minimum cut off marks required to appear for the GMAT exam.

In order to appear for CAT exam, the aspirant must have a Bachelor’s degree in any stream from a recognized university with 50% marks. Final year students can also give this exam.

Exam Fee

US $250 for all countries.

For General NC-OBC category students CAT Exam fee is INR 1900 whereas for SC, SCT and physically disabled students

CAT exam fee is INR 950.


CAT exam is held once a year. The application process for the exam begins in August and the exam is held in the last week of November or first week of December.

GMAT Exam can be given throughout the year. The candidates can book the slot for the exam as per their convenience, however, candidates cannot give the exam within the gap of 16 days.

Score Validity

CAT Score is valid for one year only.

GMAT score will be valid for five years.


Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and an Analytical Writing Assessment

Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Exam Duration

187 minutes

180 minutes

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio


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