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MBA is counted among the most professional degrees one can pursue in India today. According to the public perception, an MBA can land you a high-paying job and a comfortable lifestyle. Apart from the well-known Common Admission Test (CAT) and Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is yet another exam MBA aspirants can opt for.

About MAT

MAT is a national level examination conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA). The exam is held once in every three months – February, May, September and December and consists of an objective-based paper pattern with multiple-choice questions.

According to AIMA, the MAT score is accepted by more than 600 MBA institutes around the country and is valid for about one year after the result. Due to more number of attempts available and a relatively lower difficulty level than CAT, MAT score can be an alternative for aspirants wanting an MBA degree but not necessarily from the top-most institutes.


CAT and MAT though may be similar to some extent; there exists a valley of difference between them. The competition level in CAT is much higher compared to MAT, and the questions are tougher too. Furthermore, CAT can have substantial changes in the paper pattern every year. This is not the case with MAT, which follows a constant paper pattern. Thus solving previous year’s question paper might give you an edge in case of MAT, but not so much in CAT.

Another aspect is of time management, which is of utmost importance in the CAT exam. However, in MAT, time management is required but is not as taxing. Thus it is naturally assumed that the top cream is filtered out in CAT, and hence CAT score is what is considered by the top B-schools, as opposed to MAT scores.

How good is the MAT Score?

Though MAT score is accepted by a number of colleges, if you are aiming at the top management schools, it might not be of any aid to you. As mentioned earlier, the higher level of examination in CAT makes it a more competitive entrance exam, and thus increases its credibility.

Good score in CAT or XAT exams can secure you a seat in IIMs or XLRI and other Tier-I institutes. On the other hand, with MAT score you may only be able to get admission into Tier-II management schools. With just MAT score to show, MBA aspirants lose out on the better ones among private institutes like FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMT, etc. as well.

Specific exclusion in certain states

The plight of MAT score is all the more increased by states explicitly deciding not to use MAT score for B-school admissions. For instance, in Kerala, the Admission Supervisory Committee ordered that MAT scores would not be considered for admission to their MBA programmes. It decided that since it was a test organized by a non-governmental agency, it cannot be counted upon. Consequently, as of now, only CAT, CMAT, and KMAT scores are accepted by B-schools in Kerala. This decision was also upheld by a decision of the High Court.

As a result, the score obtained in MAT becomes meaningless in such states.

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