Do you have future plans in India or abroad? Do you wish to study MBA in IIMs or in your dream international B-school? If you have answers to these questions, then probably you know what you’re required to do! Should I take the CAT exam or GMAT or both? It’s a big dilemma for MBA aspirants but everybody has to decide their own which exam would give them a better ROI. However, both MBA entrance examinations have their own significance in terms of fetching a seat in a top MBA college.

Similarities between CAT and GMAT exam
The skills required to clear both the CAT and GMAT exam are similar. An MBA aspirant must have reasoning ability, writing & data interpretation skills and the ability to solve quantitative questions for taking these entrance exams. A major portion of the CAT preparation is relevant for the GMAT exam, but one needs additional preparation to score well in GMAT.

The Big Debate: Differences between GMAT and CAT

  • Importance: The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for selecting candidates for their MBA programmes. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test which is used as the selection criteria for more than 5,900 programmes offered by more than 2,100 universities and institutions worldwide.
  • Number of aspirants: Number of candidates appearing for these two exams is increasing every year. However, the number of aspirants taking CAT is three times more than the GMAT exam. This means there are fewer seats available for lakhs of CAT aspirants competing against each other. In short, you’ll get more opportunities with GMAT as compared to CAT.
  • Number of attempts and score validity: You can appear in the GMAT test multiple times in a year while you can take CAT once in a year. GMAT scores are valid for five years while CAT scores only for one year. For example, if you take the CAT exam 2015, the score will be valid for getting admission in Indian B-schools in the year 2016 and not after that.
  • Admission deciding factors: Institutions accepting GMAT scores don’t have any reservation system. Your knowledge, talent and statement of purpose will matter most. You’ll also need 3–4 years of work experience along with good GMAT scores in order to increase your selection chances. However, in the CAT exam, 10th and 12th board exam marks along with CAT percentile are considered in the selection process.

It’s not just a debate of which is better or tougher!  It is more important for MBA aspirants to decide which is appropriate for their future career.

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