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What are the Different MBA Entrance Exams in India: How to apply for Top MBA Colleges?

MBA Entrance Exams

Wish to get a postgraduate degree from any of the top reputed colleges but do not know how to take admission in that B-School? Many exams are conducted by different B-Schools on an annual, half-yearly, quarterly basis. But how to know which exam is beneficial for you and will open the doorway of top B-Schools of India for you. Being an MBA aspirant, you must know the top  MBA entrance exams which are conducted for admission in MBA courses offered by various top b-schools. 

Name of the Exam

Conducting Body

CAT

Indian Institute of Management

NMAT by GMAC

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

IIFT Entrance Exam

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

MAT - Feb 2021*

All India Management Association (AIMA)

CMAT

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

XAT

Xavier School of Management

SNAP

Symbiosis International University (SIU)

ATMA - April 2021**

Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS)

IBSAT

ICFAI Business School

TISSNET

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

CAT

CAT is the Common Admission Test for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes in 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and hundreds of other top MBA colleges in India. More than two lakh candidates appear in CAT every year and this number is rising consistently, to explore admission opportunity in MBA programmes offered by IIMs and other top B-schools. 

IIMs will offer admission 2022 on the basis of CAT 2021 only and will not accept any other test score. There are more than 150 cities and more than 400 venues where CAT 2021 will be conducted in India.

Apart from being the most important entrance test for the 2 years full time post graduate management program (MBA/PGDM), CAT 2021 is the gateway for one year MBA programmes in IIMs and other prominent management institutes.

NMAT by GMAC

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducts MBA entrance exam NMAT every year. The entrance exam is called NMAT by GMAC. The scores of NMAT by GMAC are accepted by Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies i.e. NMIMS and 25 other management institutes across India.

NMAT exam is a candidate friendly exam. It is designed keeping in mind the convenience of the test takers. Candidates are allowed to choose their preferred date during the testing window as well as self-schedule the test, appointment date, time and venue based on the availability of seats at each test centre.GMAC, the exam conducting body Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is likely to announce NMAT 2021 in August. The exam is expected to be conducted between November and January. Last year, NMAT was conducted in two phases in test-centres as well as in an online proctored mode.

IIFT Entrance Exam

The IIFT exam is a management aptitude test conducted for admission to MBA International Business course offered by Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Delhi, Kolkata and Kakinada. The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts IIFT exam on behalf of the insitute. The IIFT 2021 will help you get admission to IIFT’s MBA-IB (MBA in International Business) programme of these campuses.

As per the general trend, every year more than 50,000 aspirants take the competitive exam to become a part of the prestigious IIFT family. The screening at every step is very rigorous and the candidates are selected with great efforts.

MAT

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is a standardised test being administered since 1988 to facilitate Business Schools (B-Schools) to screen candidates for admission to MBA and allied programmes. Govt. of India, Ministry of HRD approved MAT as a national level test in 2003. Any B-School - national or international - can consider MAT Score as an admission input based on the Score Cards issued to the candidates. The largest test of its kind in the nation, MAT will continue to be your passport to over 600 B-Schools across India.

Candidates who qualify the exam are eligible for admissions to 800+ B-schools accepting MAT scores. As per the recent high court order, Maharashtra B-schools will also accept MAT score for admission.MAT is conducted in offline (Paper Based Test or PBT), online (Computer Based Test or CBT) and remote proctored (Internet Based Test or IBT) modes. 

CMAT

The Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a National Level Entrance Examination for admission to Management Programme(s) in the country. This Test facilitates AICTE affiliated participating Institutions to select suitable graduate candidates for admission to the Management Courses in such Institutions.

Till 2018, the Test was conducted by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). NTA is conducting this Test since 2019.

The CMAT 2021 will be conducted by the NTA. The CMAT is a three hours Computer Based Online Test which is conducted to evaluate the candidates ability across various segments like Quantitative Techniques, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness. The CMAT score is accepted by all AICTE- Approved Institutions / University Departments / Constituent Colleges /Affiliated Colleges.

XAT

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is a national level examination conducted by Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, for the aspirants of management studies all over the nation. XLRI Jamshedpur conducts XAT on behalf of the Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI). More than 150 institutes use the XAT score for providing admission to their management programmes. Candidates appearing in the examination will have to score well in order to crack good management institutions for their desired courses.

XLRI has been conducting XAT Exam for more than 60 years now. 

SNAP

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test or SNAP Test is a management aptitude test conducted by the Symbiosis International (Deemed) University for admission to the MBA/PGDM programmes offered by its 16 constituent institutes. The SNAP exam paper comprises questions from General English, Quantitative-Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency and Analytical & Logical Reasoning and the mode of exam is online. After clearing the SNAP exam, candidates have to participate in Group Exercise (GE), Personal Interaction (PI) and Written Ability Test (WAT), conducted by SIU.

Symbiosis International University (SIU) conducts the SNAP Test every year in order to shortlist candidates for MBA programs offered by various institutes affiliated with it. Candidates planning to opt for SNAP 2021 can expect the official admission notice to release by the second week of August 2021. The institute will tentatively release the important dates at the same time.

ATMA

AIMS Test for Management Admissions or ATMA is a national-level exam conducted by the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) for admission to MBA, PGDM, MCA and PGDBA courses. The exam is conducted four times a year. More than 500 management institutes across India accept ATMA scores for admission to their management programmes. The test aims to assess the aptitude of candidates which is necessary for higher management studies.

More than 200 MBA colleges offer MBA admission on the basis of ATMA exam score. ATMA is a credible, comprehensive and single-window test for admissions to Post-Graduate Management Programs like MBA, PGDM, MCA, MMS and other management post graduate courses. It is an online objective type nationally accepted entrance test. This test is recognized by AICTE and Ministry of HRD, Government of India and is conducted across all the states in India.

IBSAT

I BS Aptitude Test or IBSAT is a national level entrance exam conducted by ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (a deemed to be University) for admission to MBA/PGPM programmes.

IBSAT scores are accepted by nine ICFAI Business School (IBS) campuses, namely IBS Hyderabad, IBS Mumbai, IBS Bengaluru, IBS Pune, IBS Gurgaon, IBS Kolkata, IBS Ahmedabad, IBS Jaipur and IBS Dehradun. IBSAT is a two-hour Computer-based test (CBT) comprising multiple-choice questions. IBSAT 2021 notification is expected to be released in the first week of July. IBSAT is a computer-based test that is generally conducted over a window of two days in December. Last year, the exam was conducted in an online proctored mode or an Internet-based Test (IBT) mode wherein candidates had to appear for the test from their home or any location of their convenience. This step was taken as a response measure to the coronavirus pandemic, to avoid public gathering.

TISSNET

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) offers 52 Master's Degree programmes from its Mumbai, Tuljapur, Guwahati and Hyderabad campuses and other locations for the 2021-2023 batch. Candidates can apply for a maximum of three programmes across any of the two campuses indicating the order of preference. The merit list will be prepared based on the preferences given by the candidate in the application form.

Candidates applying for the Flagship programs of TISS Mumbai, i.e., (i) MA Human Resource Management & Labour Relations (HRM &LR) and (ii) MA Organisation Development, Change and Leadership (ODCL) - will have a Management Aptitude Test (TISS-MAT) conducted along with TISS-NET for 50 marks for duration of 45 minutes. The score for TISS-MAT will be added to the PAT score of the shortlisted candidates while preparing the final score for the selection.

Covid 19 and MBA entrance exams

Due to the COVID 19 outbreak within the country and nationwide lockdown in March, tons of MBA entrance exams scheduled to be held in May-June were deferred to July. So as to avoid delay in commencement of the tutorial year, national level entrance tests, MAT and ATMA were conducted in Internet-Based Test (IBT) mode. State-level entrance exams like APICET, TSICET, OJEE, and Karnataka PGCET are deferred pending government decisions. Given the present situation of the pandemic, the registration process and entrance examination dates are expected to be further delayed.

The entrance tests are of multiple-choice type, where each question is provided with multiple options / answers (generally four choices) and the candidate has to choose the right one.

Generally, the management programs are open to all the streams of study. The complexity level of the masters level management entrance test is mainly pegged at 10+2 level. However, the entrance test for bachelors level management program mainly emphasized on high school standards.

Understanding MBA Entrance Exams

The duration of the entrance test is generally 2 to 3 hours while the total number of questions are in the range of 150 - 250 in number. The tests are conceptualized in such a manner that only a well prepared and learned candidate will only be able to answer all the questions correctly in the given time frame.

The accuracy and speed of answering the questions are extremely important in the entrance tests as these results in the final assessment of the ability to handle the pressures.

The focus should be to maximize the overall performance, with reasonably good performance in each section. Since each section is targeted towards measuring specific skills, no section should be left un-attempted.

Further, one has to score a minimum of marks in each section to be eligible for being considered for over all ranking. While intelligent guessing is encouraged, arbitrary guessing is penalised by way of negative marks (1/4 th to 1/3 rd mark against every incorrect answer).

Group Discussion and Personal Interview

Some business schools / institutes adopt Group Discussions in the selection process while some do not. Students qualifying in the entrance test are invited for a Group Discussion.

This is further followed by a Personal Interview. The Group discussions are the first occasion on which the candidates meet and interact with the faculty and other members.

On an average 6 to 12 candidates are invited for this phase of the selection process for every seat offered. In a Group Discussion the candidates discuss the topic given to them with the faculty for a duration of 15 - 25 minutes.

On basis of the Group Discussion, the candidate's ability is assessed in terms of :-

  • Behavior
  • Communication skills
  • Contribution of ideas facilitating a discussion
  • The range and depth of his / her knowledge on topics of general interest
  • Initiative and leadership qualities

The Personal Interview process normally takes place after the group discussions. In this interview, besides the validation of the information provided by the candidate in the application form, a candidate's suitability for the management programme is assessed on basis of various personal attributes.

Academic Performance

Due weightage is given to a candidate's academic performance during the selection process.

Work Experience (if any)

Appropriate weightage is also given to candidates having at least 6 months of full-time work experience.

Learn how you can reach your career goals with a graduate business degree. Explore your business school options, prep and register for exams, and get advice on the admissions process. Reach to us if you need help during your MBA preparations.

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