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Every year, lakhs of aspirants apply for one entrance exam or the other, hoping to get enrolled in MBA in their preferred institute. In July/ August every year, most top MBA institutes of the country open up their admission process, however, there are a few who begin their process in September/ October. The aspirants must find out everything about the admission process of the institutes of their preference and understand the procedure well before applying. The following details shall help the aspirants understand the MBA admission process.

Let us take you through the process of MBA Admissions 2021.

1. Eligibility

The first step in the MBA admission process is to find out whether you are eligible to apply or not. The general eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • Aspirants should be a graduate with minimum 50% marks in any discipline from a recognized university/ institute.
  • Aspirants in their final year of graduation may also apply, provided they are able to submit their final year results before the final merit list is prepared.
  • Aspirants who have completed professional degree (CA/ CS/ ICWA) with 50% marks.
  • SC/ ST and Differently Abled category candidates need 45% marks in graduation to apply.

2. Identify your preferred institutes

The next step for the aspirants should be to identify the institutes they wish to seek admission to and find out whether they accept CAT scores or any other entrance exam scores such as XAT, SNAP, NMAT and so on. The following list may prove helpful to the aspirants:

Name of the institute

Acceptable entrance exam score



FMS Delhi


XLRI Jamshedpur




IMT Ghaziabad


Symbiosis Institutes


MDI Gurgaon


NMIMS Mumbai




XIM Bhubaneswar


3. Apply for MBA Entrance Exam

All aspirants must register themselves and apply for the MBA entrance exams that they prefer. CAT will figure on the top of the list for almost all candidates as CAT scores are accepted by all IIMs. But candidates are free to apply to other entrance exams as well and strengthen their back up options. Most MBA entrance exams close their registration process in September/ November. The candidates must register themselves for the entrance exams timely.

4. Appear in the MBA Entrance Exam

After registering themselves for the entrance exams, the aspirants should prepare well for the exams. The curriculum of most of these exams remains the same, though the difficulty level of questions and the type of questions may vary. All aspirants who wish to pursue the PGDM/MBA programme must appear in the entrance exams. The curriculum for the written test includes the following:

a. Quantitative Ability- This section tests the mathematical skills of the aspirants. Some of the topics generally tested in this section include:

- Percentages

- Ration and Proportion

- Partnerships

- Lines and Angles

- Geometry

- Probability

- Trigonometry

- Set Theory

- Number Theory etc

b. Verbal Ability- This section tests the language skills of the candidates. The areas included in this section are:

- Vocabulary

- Grammar

- English Usage

- Fill in the blanks

-Synonyms/ Antonyms

- Reading Comprehension

c. General and Business Awareness- This section tests the general knowledge of the candidates, as well as, their business awareness.

d. Reasoning Ability- This section tests the logical reasoning skills of the candidates. This section can include questions on series, blood relations, puzzles and so on.

5. Shortlisting candidates

After the results of the entrance exams are declared, the institutes prepare a shortlist of suitable candidates who have qualified for the next rounds. Most of the top institutes will consider the following criteria while selecting students for the next rounds of the MBA admission process:

  • Entrance Exam Score
  • Academic Profile
  • Work Experience
  • Gender Diversity, to name a few

This process of shortlisting candidates is completed by institutes individually.

6. Final Rounds

The shortlisted candidates are invited by the institutes to participate in the final rounds of the admission process before the final merit list is prepared. The final rounds may vary from institute to institute. Some institutes conduct the Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI). Some institutes such as FMS conduct GD and Extempore followed by the Personal Interview Round, some like MDI conduct GD and PI. A final merit list is prepared by the institutes factoring in the performance of candidates in the final selection rounds, their academic profile, work experience, gender diversity and admission will be offered to the successful candidates.

Points to Remember

The aspirants must keep the following points in mind:

  • Keep an eye out on the eligibility criteria of the institutes you wish to seek admission in.
  • Register for the relevant MBA entrance exam(s).
  • Chalk out a well-thought of preparation schedule.
  • Cover all ends and be ready to crack the entrance exam(s).
  • The MBA entrance exam is only minimum eligibility criteria. The aspirants should work harder to clear the subsequent rounds too.
  • GD and PI reveal a lot about the personality and soft skills of the selected aspirants. Hence, the aspirants should work on their body language, verbal skills and gestures to clear these rounds.
  • An MBA programme may prove expensive for aspirants. Hence, they must explore scholarships and look out for fee discounts, rebates and other financial assistance available at the institute.
  • Before settling in on the preferred institute(s), it is better to research about all the facilities and infrastructure available at the institute(s). A big factor that the aspirants must consider is the placement record of the institute(s) before finalising their admission.
  • It is even suggested that the aspirants should visit the campus of the institute they want admission in and talk to the existing students of the institute about the various pros and cons of taking admission in the institute.
  • The aspirants must remember that the decision to enrol in an MBA institute is huge from the point of view of their career and they must be completely sure before taking a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When can I apply for MBA 2021?
A. Candidates should note that for MBA 2020 exams you would be appearing in next November for CAT, year 2021 for XAT and year 2020 more exams will happen like IIFT, SNAP, NMAT etc. for the academic session year 2021 – 23 students should not get confused that MBA entrance test happen in preceding year for the next academic session of that year. Hence, you should be ready for the tests depending upon the important dates of the individual test.

Q. What is the fees for MBA admission?
A. MBA aspirants should note that there can be two fees - one is for MBA entrance test and second for the admission in an institution. MBA entrance test viz. CAT, XAT, MAT, CMAT, IIFT etc. all around Rs. 700 – 1000 for application form. Whereas for the admissions the fees varies a lot and the range is Rs. 25 Lacs to 5 Lacs for an institute depending upon the branding and the placements of the institute.

Q. What is the process of MBA admission?
A. All those MBA aspirants who wish to be admitted in MBA institute will have to take MBA entrance test like CAT, XAT, MAT, CMAT, IIFT etc. Once the candidate gets a cut off marks set by the institution then you will be invited for soft skill tests viz. written ability test, GD & PI. After clearing all these tests you might get offer letter for MBA admission. 

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